Ezekiel – 20:45 – 21:32
The prophet is bidden to prophecy: (a) against the south (of Palestine) (20:45-49), and (b) against Jerusalem and the land of Israel (21:1-17). The sword of the Lord is drawn from its sheath (21:1-7), sharpened and polished (21:8-13), and smites repeatedly in its deadly work (21:14-17). In 21:18-27, the explanation is given. The king of Babylon is seen, standing at the parting of the ways, seeking guidance by divination – Ammon or Jerusalem? The decision falls of Jerusalem, the city is taken, and the king (Zedekiah) slain. The closing verses of the chapter (verses 28-32) are a short prophecy of utter doom upon Ammon as well.
- Who kindles the fire? Whose sword is drawn? Yet it was by a heathen king that the judgment was affected. What does this teach us concerning God’s methods of accomplishing his purpose of judgment in the world? Cf. Jer. 25:9 (‘my servant’); Is. 25:1-4.
- When human leaders and confidences all fail and are overthrown, where can we still look for the establishment of a reign of peace? See 21:25-27; cf. Ps. 2:6-9; Luke 21:25-28.
- 21:21 refers to three well-known forms of divination practiced by the Babylonians: drawing marked arrows from a quiver (or throwing them in the air to see how they fall); consulting the teraphim, the ancestral household gods, in some form of necromancy; and studying the marks on the entrails of sacrificial victims.
- 21:27. ‘To whom it rightfully belongs’: i.e., the Davidic Messiah who is entitled to the kingship. Cf. Gen. 49:10.
Ezekiel – 22
This chapter falls into three divisions: (a) a description of the sins committed within the city (verses 1-16); (b) the certainty of judgment (verses 17-22); and (c) an indictment of all classes of the community (verses 23-31).
- Group the sins enumerated in verses 1-12 under the following two heads: (a) religious, and (b) social. Notice how, with the loss of a true conception of far are the sins mentioned here prevalent among us today?
- What four classes are mentioned in verses 24-29, and what charges are made against them? What is the saddest feature of the situation, as stated in verse 30? Cf. verse 19 (‘all become dross’) and Jer. 5:1-5.
- Verse 4. ‘Your days to a close’: i.e., to the day of your judgment.
- Verse 13. Striking the hands was an expression of horror. Cf. 21:14, 17.
Verse 30. ‘Build up the wall’ i.e., act as a bastion against the inroads of wickedness.