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Bible Commentaries

Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible

Ezekiel 9

Verses 1-11

The Slaughter of the Idolaters in Jerusalem

The voice which has been speaking to Ezekiel now summons six supernatural beings armed with weapons of slaughter. They are attended by a seventh robed like a priest and equipped as a scribe. They come from the north, and take their stand by the brasen altar in the inner court. The ’glory of God’ leaves the living chariot and stands at the threshold of the main Temple building. The man who acts as scribe is instructed to go through the city and set a mark on the foreheads of all those who mourn for the prevailing idolatries. The other six are instructed to follow him, to slay all those who are not thus marked, without respect to sex or age, and to begin at the Temple itself. The command is obeyed, and the sun-worshippers in the Temple are the first victims. Ezekiel, appalled at the fate of the citizens, falls on his face to plead that the whole nation may not be destroyed, but he is told that punishment must be sternly executed on those who have so fully deserved it. The scribe-angel reports that his work is done, and we are left to imagine that the work of slaughter was carried out too. This chapter teaches that while God visits sin with doom, He is perfectly just, and will not suffer the righteous to perish with the wicked.

2. The higher (RV ’upper’) gate.. toward the north] the northern gate of the inner court, as in Ezekiel 8:3, Ezekiel 8:5, Ezekiel 8:7. The brasen altar] made by Solomon (2 Chronicles 4:1), and probably placed in the middle of the inner court. Ahaz made a new altar of stone, and removed Solomon’s brasen altar to the N. side of it (2 Kings 16:14).

3. The cherub] mentioned without explanation. Throughout this vision ’cherub’ is used for ’living creature’ for the reason given in Ezekiel 10:20. The singular number is used here, as in Ezekiel 1:20-21, for the group of four. The house] the chief Temple building, which was on the W. side of the inner court, with its front facing E.

4. A mark] lit. ’a Tav,’ the last letter of the Hebrew alphabet. Its early form was like a cross, thus

. Revelation 7:3 is based on this passage.

6. The ancient men] the sun-worshippers in Ezekiel 8:16. The thought of this v. is taken up in 1 Peter 4:17.

7. Defile] The presence of corpses would pollute the sanctuary.

8. One of the few instances in which Ezekiel’s love of his nation struggles with his approval of God’s judgments upon them. He fears that all Israel may share Jerusalem’s fate.

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Bibliographical Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Ezekiel 9". "Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". 1909.