Ezekiel (Ch 5-6)

Chapter 5 is using Jerusalem as an example of the judgments which God were about to execute on its inhabitants by famine, pestilence, sword, and dispersion, and what were the reasons of God’s judgments on that great city; and the nature, rise, and end of them. 

Ezekiel 5

1 “And thou, son of man, take thee a sharp knife, take thee a barber’s razor and cause it to pass over thine head and upon thy beard. Then take thee balances to weigh and divide the hair. — The Septuagint version reads this in conjunction with the former, thus, “take thee a knife”, or “sword, sharper than a barber’s razor,” — In the Brenton translation: “a sword sharper than a barber’s razor.”

John Gill: and cause it to pass upon thine head, and upon thy beard; the “head” was a symbol of the city of Jerusalem, the metropolis of Judea; the “beard”, of the cities, towns, and villages about it; and the “hair” of both, of the common people; compared to hair for their numbers, for their levity and unsteadiness, and for their being the beauty and ornament of the places where they lived; and the shaving of them denotes their disgrace and destruction, and mourning on account thereof.

Thou shalt burn with fire a third part in the midst of the city, when the days of the siege are fulfilled; and thou shalt take a third part and smite about it with a knife, and a third part thou shalt scatter in the wind; and I will draw out a sword after them.

The first third “fire” would also include pestilence and famine: “Our skin was black like an oven because of the terrible famine.” Lementation 5:10: see also Ezekiel 5:12 below.

The Septuagint: 2 A fourth part thou shalt burn in the fire in the midst of the city, at the fulfillment of the days of the siege: and thou shalt take a fourth part, and burn it up in the midst of it: and a fourth part thou shalt cut with a sword round about it: and a fourth part thou shalt scatter to the wind; and I will draw out a sword after them. 

The rubble of the World Trade Centre in New York smoulders following a terrorist attack on September 11, 2001 in New York. China was quick to express solidarity and willingness to work with the US to defeat terrorism. Photo: AFP
One already passed, more along the way . . .

Thou shalt also take thereof a few in number, and bind them in thy skirts. and bind them in thy skirts; in the pockets of them; signifying both a very small number of them, and their preservation. Jarchi and Kimchi interpret these that were carried captive to Babylon, and lived there, and were preserved, and returned again.

Then take of them again, and cast them into the midst of the fire, and burn them in the fire; for thereof shall a fire come forth into all the house of Israel. and cast them into the midst of the fire, and burn them in the fire: this was fulfilled in Gedaliah and the Jews that were with him, over whom the king of Babylon had made him governor, who were slain by Ishmael.

“Thus saith the Lord God: This is Jerusalem. I have set it in the midst of the nations and countries that are round about her. Gill: A type or sign of it; it may refer to both the former and latter type. It is the city of Jerusalem that is designed by the city portrayed upon the tile; and the same is signified by the head of the prophet that was to be shaved; that being not only the chief city of Judea, but of the whole world.

And she hath changed My judgments into wickedness more than the nations, and My statutes more than the countries that are round about her; for they have refused My judgments and My statutes. They have not walked in them.

Gill: And she hath changed my judgments into wickedness more than the nations…. So they changed their glory for that which did not profit; and the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man; and the truth of God into a lie, Jeremiah 2:11; or, “for wickedness”; for judgments and laws that were not good, and which to observe was wickedness. The word rendered “changed” signifies to “rebel against” or to “transgress”: and the may be, she, that is, Jerusalem, has “rebelled” against my judgments, and “transgressed” them in a wicked manner, even to a greater degree than the nations of the world. The Targum and Jarchi interpret it changed as we do: — witness LGBTQIA (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (questioning), intersex, asexual (agender))

Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that count darkness as light, and light as darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Isaiah 5:20

and my statutes more than the countries that [are] around her. “Judgments” and “statutes”, are the same laws and ordinances of worship, being just and righteous, and firm and unalterable; unless it should rather be thought that “judgments” belong to the moral law, being given forth by the Lord as a judge, and founded upon judgment and righteousness; and “statutes” to the ceremonial law, being of positive institution and appointment, and to last so long as it was the pleasure of the lawgiver: — witness God’s judgement on Jerusalem in 70 AD.

for they have refused my judgments and my statutes; they refused to comply with them, and to yield an obedience to them, and that with loathing, disdain, and contempt, as the word s signifies — no one seems to understanding the significance of the siege and inferno of Jerusalem from 66 AD to 70 AD.

they have not walked in them; they did not make them the role of their walk and conversation; they showed no regard to them; they went out of the way of them, into crooked paths, with the workers of iniquity.

Therefore thus saith the Lord God: Because ye multiplied more than the nations that are round about you, and have not walked in My statutes, neither have kept My judgments, neither have done according to the judgments of the nations that are round about you,

therefore thus saith the Lord God: Behold I, even I, am against thee, and will execute judgments in the midst of thee in the sight of the nations.

And I will do in thee that which I have not done, and the like of which I will not do any more, because of all thine abominations. — Because of all thine abomination — God shows the reason why he deals with Jerusalem in greater severity than with the surrounding nations; because she was more wicked than they. Bad and idolatrous as they were, the nations had a greater degree of morality among them than the Israelites had. Having fallen from the true God, these Israelites became more abominable than others in proportion to the height, eminence, and glory from which they had fallen. This is the common case of backsliders; they frequently, in their fall, become tenfold more the children of wrath than they were before.

10 Therefore the fathers shall eat the sons in the midst of thee, and the sons shall eat their fathers; and I will execute judgments in thee, and the whole remnant of thee will I scatter into all the winds.

Gill: Therefore the fathers shall eat the sons in the midst of thee…. Which was long ago threatened by the Lord, and prophesied of by Moses, Leviticus 26:27; and was fulfilled at several times in the people of Israel, as at the siege of Samaria, 2 Kings 6:28; at the siege of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar, Lamentations 4:10; and at the siege of the same city by Titus Vespasian, as Josephus relates; for though these instances only show that mothers ate their children, yet no doubt the fathers took part with them; and if mothers, who are naturally more tender, could do this, it is much more reasonable to suppose that fathers did the same.

11 “Therefore as I live, saith the Lord God, surely because thou hast defiled My sanctuary with all thy detestable things and with all thine abominations, therefore will I also diminish thee; neither shall Mine eye spare, neither will I have any pity.

12 A third part of thee shall die with the pestilence, and with famine shall they be consumed in the midst of thee; and a third part shall fall by the sword round about thee; and I will scatter a third part into all the winds, and I will draw out a sword after them.

A third part of them shall die with the pestilence and with famine shall they be consumed in the midst of thee;

and a third part shall fall by the sword round about thee; signified by the third part of the hair, smitten with a knife;

and I will scatter a third part into all the winds; the greatest part of which were carried into captivity.

13 Thus shall Mine anger be accomplished, and I will cause My fury to rest upon them, and I will be comforted; and they shall know that I, the Lord, have spoken it in My zeal when I have accomplished My fury upon them. and they shall know that I the Lord have spoken [it] in my zeal; that is, they shall find by experience that what the Lord had spoken by his prophets, and had threatened to bring upon them, was said in earnest, and arose from a jealousy for his own glory; this will be a clear case, and out of question.

14 “Moreover I will make thee a waste and a reproach among the nations that are round about thee, in the sight of all that pass by.

15 So it shall be a reproach and a taunt, an instruction and an astonishment unto the nations that are round about thee, when I shall execute judgments upon thee in anger and in fury and in furious rebukes. I, the Lord, have spoken it. I the Lord have spoken [it]; The Targum is, “I the Lord have decreed in my word.”

16 When I shall send upon them the evil arrows of famine which shall be for their destruction, and which I will send to destroy you, and I will increase the famine upon you, and will break your staff of bread,

17 so will I send upon you famine and evil beasts, and they shall bereave thee; and pestilence and blood shall pass through thee, and I will bring the sword upon thee. I, the Lord, have spoken it.” I the Lord have spoken [it]: who was able to perform it, and did, both at the destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar and by Titus in 70 AD; and perhaps a series of bigger ones in the future?

Ezekiel 6

1 And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying,

“Son of man, set thy face toward the mountains of Israel, and prophesy against them Son of man, set thy face towards the mountains of Israel…. Or cities of Israel, the future inhabitants of them; not the ancient ten tribes, for they had been carried captive long before this time, even in the times of Hezekiah; but far more likely, into the far future unless it can be thought that this prophecy is designed to show the reason of their captivity, which isn’t. 

and say: ‘Ye mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord God. Thus saith the Lord God to the mountains and to the hills, to the rivers and to the valleys: Behold I, even I, will bring a sword upon you, and I will destroy your high places.

And your altars shall be desolate, and your images shall be broken; and I will cast down your slain men before your idols.

And I will lay the dead carcasses of the children of Israel before their idols; and I will scatter your bones round about your altars.

In all your dwelling places the cities shall be laid waste, and the high places shall be desolate, that your altars may be laid waste and made desolate, and your idols may be broken and cease, and your images may be cut down, and your works may be abolished. In all your dwelling places your cities shall be laid waste…. Which denotes that the desolation should be general, wherever they had cities and places to dwell in; the idolatry being universal, as is said in Jeremiah 2:28; But where are thy gods that thou hast made thee? Let them arise if they can save thee in the time of thy trouble; for according to the number of thy cities are thy gods, O Judah. Of course, this is for modern Israel, not Judah.

And the slain shall fall in the midst of you, and ye shall know that I am the Lord.

“‘Yet will I leave a remnant, that ye may have some that shall escape the sword among the nations when ye shall be scattered through the countries.

And they that escape from among you shall remember Me among the nations whither they shall be carried captives, because I am broken with their whorish heart which hath departed from Me, and with their eyes which go a whoring after their idols. And they shall loathe themselves for the evils which they have committed in all their abominations. They that escape of you shall remember me — Those that escape the sword, the pestilence, and the famine, and shall be led into captivity, shall plainly see that it is God who has done this, and shall humble themselves on account of their abominations, leave their idolatry, and worship me alone. And this they have done from the Babylonish captivity to the present day.

10 And they shall know that I am the Lord, and that I have not said in vain that I would do this evil unto them.

11 “‘Thus saith the Lord God: Smite with thine hand and stamp with thy foot, and say: “Alas for all the evil abominations of the house of Israel!” For they shall fall by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence. for they shall fall by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence; which are threatened in Ezekiel 5:12; and the persons on whom they should be separately executed are mentioned in Ezekiel 6:12.

12 He that is far off shall die of the pestilence, and he that is near shall fall by the sword, and he that remaineth and is besieged shall die by the famine; thus will I accomplish My fury upon them. central theme of falling by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence are repeated for emphasis. And sometimes in different order indicates they are all mixed together.

13 Then shall ye know that I am the Lord, when their slain men shall be among their idols round about their altars, upon every high hill, on all the tops of the mountains, and under every green tree, and under every thick oak, the place where they offered sweet savor to all their idols.

14 So will I stretch out My hand upon them and make the land desolate, yea, more desolate than the wilderness toward Diblath, in all their habitations; and they shall know that I am the Lord.’”

By now we have established that 70 AD is one of God’s judgement on Judah and Jerusalem, but it’s a microcosm for the wider Israelites at the endtime. So which sects faced God’s judgement in 70 AD? And which sects managed to escape fire and death? History recorded only two sects that escaped the inferno of 70 AD.

(1) The Christians, known as Nazarenes in Acts 24:5. They escaped to a northern town called Pella, west of the Jordan River.

(2) Some Pharisees, those of the House of Hillel. They were headed by a Pharisaic rabbi, Johanan ben Zakkai, the head of the Sanhedrin, who was smuggled out of besieged Jerusalem in a coffin. They escaped to Yavne and, later, his followers re-emerged as Rabbinic Jews, who established the Hillel Calendar, which was revealed by Hillel II in about 359 AD concerning the rules of the calendar.

All other sects died and “disappeared” in the 70 AD inferno: All Sadducees, Herodians, Boethusians, Essenes, together with the House of Shammai Pharisees and those of its military arm, the Zealots. They all disappeared by receiving their fire. Were these sects facing their judgement as warned by Ezekiel?

If the 70 AD inferno was only a microcosm, a foretaste, how could those who deviate from the God ordained Calendar, who have similar deceptive beliefs as the original Essenes, escape Ezekiel’s and John’s warning during the Last Days? Wouldn’t there be another Sodom and Gomorrah? And wouldn’t they also share its fate? It’s an unpleasant ending, but that’s what the Scriptures indicate.

When in 70 AD, Jerusalem went through a fire inferno and all Sadducees disappeared from history.  “Disappeared from history” seems like a whitewashed phrase. They were in fact burnt off like the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah. Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? Shall there be evil in a city, and the Lord hath not done it? Amos 3:6. Their predictions of death were proven true, that the Sadducees were sharing the same fate with king Zedekiah, described as “the wicked ones … whose reign over Israel will be brought down … his wives, his children, and his infant will go into captivity.”

Like the Samaritans, the Sadducees rejected not only the Oral Torah and the Rabbinic understanding of the Torah, but instead accepted the Samaritan interpretation of their Passover and Pentecost celebration. By doing so they rejected the Prophets (like Ezekiel) and their Writings. God included His holy city of Jerusalem in this judgment in 70 AD as a microcosm for us to be forewarned, so take heed.

~ by Joel Huan on September 6, 2021.

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