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Bible Commentaries

Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament

Ezekiel 5

Verse 1

Eze 5:1. The prophet was directed to do some more acting to which reference has been made frequently. The head is the most important part of the body, and the Lord selected that part of Ezekiel's person in the present drama. The weighing of the hairs was necessary in order to make the equal divisions that were called for.

Verse 2

Eze 5:2. The hulk of the hairs was to be divided into thirds, corresponding to the three points in verse 12. Midst of the city could not mean Jerusalem literally, because Ezekiel was in Babylon and there is no evidence that he ever left it. The phrase means he was to perform these things in the midst of the people of whose former kingdom the city of Jerusalem was the capital. (See verse 5.) The prophet was to go out among the people and burn one division of the hairs in their sight. He would hold a division in one hand and with the other he would hack or hew it to bits. The other third of the hairs was to be tossed out and let be scattered with tiie wind. Apparently these last hairs, representing actual living persons, were set free to go where they would. Vet that was not to be so, for even those who escaped the first two fates were doomed to be pursued with hostile intent, hence the Lord said he would do what Ezekiel could not humanly do; make a sword follow after the scattered hairs.

Verse 3

Eze 5:3. Before making the divisions described In the preceding verse, Ezekiel was to reserve a few in number. (This refers to the "remnant” recorded in Ezr 2:64.) He was to hind them in his garment which would indicate an act to shield them from the ravages of the three events just described.

Verse 4

Eze 5:4. The "remnant,” however, was not to escape entirely from tribulation, hence Ezekiel was directed to take sAne of the hairs he had placed in the folds of his garment and burn them. The Lord explained that a fire (figuratively) would come out against the house of Israel.

Verse 5

Eze 5:5. This is Jerusalem explains that whaL Ezekiel was directed to do was to be fulfilled upon Jerusalem as was stated at verse 2. Set if in the midst of nations. God bestowed great honors on Jerusalem by giving her such prominence among the nations.

Verse 6

Eze 5:6. Jerusalem did not literally commit more or greater idolatry than the nations of heathendom, for that would have been next to impossible. But when considered in the light of her opportunities and her professions, she had committed abomination mo-rc than the countries about. Specifically, Bhe had substituted wickedness for the judgments of the Lord and refused to walk in the law of God.

Verse 7

Eze 5:7. Multiplied is from HAMON and the definition in Strong's lexicon is, "A noise, tumult, crowd; also disquietude, wealth." The thought is that Jerusalem made a greater ado than the surrouding nations as to her importance of wealth and strength. In spite of such claims, however, she did not show as consistent an attitude toward the law she professed to follow as dirt the heathen nations.

Verse 8

Eze 5:8. It may be observed that mucti of Ezekiel's writing seems to be directed more especially against Jerusalem than against the nation generally. That can be explained by the fact that most of the nation was already in exile and suffering their punishment., while Jerusalem as a city was still standing and facing the third and last stage of the captivity. Jerusalem was the capital city and was largely responsible for the state of corruption among the people through the power and example of the leaders, hence God declared, "I am against thee.”

Verse 9

Eze 5:9. This means that the punishment the Lord intended to inflict on Jerusalem would be greater than had ever been put on her before.

Verse 10

Eze 5:10. This verse predicts some of the awful effects of a famine that was to be brought upon Jerusalem by the siege. It would seem impossible for parents to he starved to such an extent that they would eat the flesh of their own children, But hunger is a terrible motive, and this very deed has been committed (2 Kings 6: 2529).

Verse 11

Eze 5:11. The defilement refers to the practice of idolatry which the people of Jerusalem had mixed with the worship prescribed by the Lord. Will diminish thee, was a prediction of the overthrow of the city, both as to its power or authority and also materially in that it was destined to be taken and burned.

Verse 12

Eze 5:12. These three means of reducing the great capital city would fulfill tlie symbolic prediction that was made by the acting of the prophet in verse 2. The three items would logically result in the almost total destruction of the nation. Pestilence and famine are tied together as one because a serious scarcity of food generally breeds disease. Some of the citizens tried to resist the enemy by fighting but were defeated in battle. Some escaped immediate death on the battle field and fled into distant regions, hut they could not run away from God and the sword caught up with them.

Verse 13

Eze 5:13. I wall be comforted could not mean that God takes personal joy out of the suffering of his people. The thought is that the Lord will he satisfied with bis work of reproving the nation through the severe chastisement.

Verse 14

Eze 5:14. National "pride" is not endorsed by the Lord at any time, for pride is always condemned wherever it exists. Yet it is a strong punishment upon any nation to humiliate it before the eyes of other nations, and that was to be one form of divine judgment upon Jerusalem and her people.

Verse 15

Eze 5:15. There was a twofold purpose in punishing the people of Israel in the sight of other nations. One was to bring Israel to repentance and the other was to serve as a warning to those heathen groups. The like object was in the divine mind in recording the facts of ancient times for Lhe use of men in the days of the Christian Dispensation (1Co 10:11; Rom 15:4). Such is the meaning of this ver3e by including the word instruction which was lo apply to the heathen observers.

Verse 16

Eze 5:16. When God sends his judgments on Israel, it should be a lesson to them (the heathen) and cause them to improve their national ways.

Verse 17

Eze 5:17. The items threatened are a repetition of what has previously been slated. An important declaration is connected with it, 1 the Lord have spoken it.
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Bibliographical Information
Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on Ezekiel 5". Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament. https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/znt/ezekiel-5.html. 1952.