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The Prophet is still prosecuting the sad subject of the sins of Jerusalem; and the Lord's displeasure, and threatened punishment, added.
The opening of this chapter, in the words of the Lord, is put into the form of a question, not only of judging, but it seems as if the Lord condescended to ask His servant, whether he had ought to say in justification of the city of bloods, for so the original is; meaning much evil abounded in Jerusalem. And then, as if the Lord knew the Prophet could not say anything by way of the least apology, the Lord adds, Then say thou; that is, then pronounce both their guilt and their punishment; and all that follows in this paragraph is to this amount. Crimes upon crimes, and sins of the blackest nature. And all this found in the Jerusalem of the Lord! Tell it not in Gath; publish it not in the streets of Askelon.
The figure here is very striking of dross, the refuse of the coarser metals, brass, iron, lead, and tin; whereas Jerusalem in her holy days had been of the purest gold. The very streets were full of silver as stones in the days of Solomon. But, alas! it must be now said with the Prophet, How is the gold become dim how is the most fine gold changed? 1 Kings 10:27 ; Lamentations 4:1 . Reader! think what a striking representation this is also, in a spiritual sense, in the ruin wrought in our whole nature by the fall! Think also, at the same time, how blessed the change wrought in the circumstances of the Church, in the recovery of His redeemed by the Lord Jesus Christ.
The close of this chapter is uncommonly beautiful, if we read it with an eye to Jesus. Many had been the intercessors for perishing sinners in the earlier ages, and all of them were types of Christ. Abraham interceding for Sodom, Genesis 18:23 etc. Moses and Joshua for Israel, Exodus 32:31 etc. Joshua 7:6 etc. And Aaron in the matter of Korah, Numbers 16:47 . But here the Lord seems to be on the look-out, as it were, for someone to arise for Israel. Let the Reader turn to Isaiah 63:0 , and he will find Christ making use of the same language; and then taking to himself this great power of redemption. Isaiah 63:5 .
WHAT a sad catalogue of sins and transgressions hath the Prophet here charged Jerusalem with. Surely to read it, is like the roll of Ezekiel written with Lamentations, and mourning, and woe. Reader! What an awful state of degeneracy is the heart of men capable of falling into! What a still more awful consideration is it, that this is Israel of whom these things are written!
Precious, precious Lord Jesus! what a relief is it to the souls of thy people, the consideration of thy holiness and thy finished salvation! Didst thou not know, dearest Jesus! when thou didst undertake the redemption of our nature, what polluted, sinful nature it was, and would be? And was not thy love chilled in beholding such vileness? Oh no! I knew (thou saidst) that thou wouldest deal very treacherously, and was called a transgressor from the womb. And is it so that all this and worse, did not check the workings of thy compassion; but rather made thee, long for the fulness of time, when thou shouldest enter upon thy great work, to seek and save that which was lost. Surely then, blessed Lord, thou wilt still have compassion on the poor, wretched, lost, and undone creatures of thy grace and mercy; and wilt save thy Jerusalem sinners from all their filthiness, and from all their idols! Yea, Lord, thou wilt give them a new heart, and a right spirit wilt thou put within them. Thou wilt be their God and they shall be thy people. Even so, Amen.
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Ezekiel 22". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://studylight.org/
the Second Week of Advent