|<< Ezek 23|
Ezekiel 24-27 Listen
Ezekiel's cooking sign (Ezekiel 24:1-14)
1 Again in the ninth year, in the tenth month, in the tenth day of the month, the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
2 Son of man, write thee the name of the day, even of this same day: the king of Babylon set himself against Jerusalem this same day.
3 And utter a parable unto the rebellious house, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Set on a pot, set it on, and also pour water into it:
4 Gather the pieces thereof into it, even every good piece, the thigh, and the shoulder; fill it with the choice bones.
5 Take the choice of the flock, and burn also the bones under it, and make it boil well, and let them seethe the bones of it therein.
6 Wherefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Woe to the bloody city, to the pot whose scum is therein, and whose scum is not gone out of it! bring it out piece by piece; let no lot fall upon it.
7 For her blood is in the midst of her; she set it upon the top of a rock; she poured it not upon the ground, to cover it with dust;
8 That it might cause fury to come up to take vengeance; I have set her blood upon the top of a rock, that it should not be covered.
9 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Woe to the bloody city! I will even make the pile for fire great.
10 Heap on wood, kindle the fire, consume the flesh, and spice it well, and let the bones be burned.
11 Then set it empty upon the coals thereof, that the brass of it may be hot, and may burn, and that the filthiness of it may be molten in it, that the scum of it may be consumed.
12 She hath wearied herself with lies, and her great scum went not forth out of her: her scum shall be in the fire.
13 In thy filthiness is lewdness: because I have purged thee, and thou wast not purged, thou shalt not be purged from thy filthiness any more, till I have caused my fury to rest upon thee.
14 I the LORD have spoken it: it shall come to pass, and I will do it; I will not go back, neither will I spare, neither will I repent; according to thy ways, and according to thy doings, shall they judge thee, saith the Lord GOD.
We have a date and a new set of prophecies. The date is December/January 589/588 B.C. according to verse 1. The rendering there is based upon the length of captivity of Jehoiachin who was taken to prison in Babylon. This is the day that the siege of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar began over 600 miles away (as the crow flies, 850 miles over land) in Jerusalem. Remember, Ezekiel lived in Babylon with the exiles already. The exiles to whom Ezekiel was prophesying would have had no way of knowing the siege had begun so far away for quite some time, but Ezekiel had supernatural knowledge from God. It would take a couple of years for Jerusalem to actually fall; this happened in 586 B.C.
On this day, Ezekiel is told to cook. Ezekiel did a lot of object lessons. Here's the way it boils down (pun intended). The pot is Jerusalem, the choice cuts of meat are the inhabitants. The fire is the Babylonian army. In verse 6 we see the pot has "scum" in it (a reference to rust or some other residue making it inappropriate for cooking). The "scum" represents the corruption of the people in Jerusalem. Since the meal (cooked in a scummy pot) is yucky, Ezekiel empties the contents out into the fire (Jerusalem is breached). So, the iron pot represented the safety of the city of Jerusalem. Remember that the Assyrians (over 100 years earlier) could not breach the city - though they tried for months. This time, however, the contents of the pot (people in Jerusalem) will be exposed to the judgment fire (the enemy army).
Then a very sad object lesson (Ezekiel 24:15-27)
15 Also the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
16 Son of man, behold, I take away from thee the desire of thine eyes with a stroke: yet neither shalt thou mourn nor weep, neither shall thy tears run down.
17 Forbear to cry, make no mourning for the dead, bind the tire of thine head upon thee, and put on thy shoes upon thy feet, and cover not thy lips, and eat not the bread of men.
18 So I spake unto the people in the morning: and at even my wife died; and I did in the morning as I was commanded.
19 And the people said unto me, Wilt thou not tell us what these things are to us, that thou doest so?
20 Then I answered them, The word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
21 Speak unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will profane my sanctuary, the excellency of your strength, the desire of your eyes, and that which your soul pitieth; and your sons and your daughters whom ye have left shall fall by the sword.
22 And ye shall do as I have done: ye shall not cover your lips, nor eat the bread of men.
23 And your tires shall be upon your heads, and your shoes upon your feet: ye shall not mourn nor weep; but ye shall pine away for your iniquities, and mourn one toward another.
24 Thus Ezekiel is unto you a sign: according to all that he hath done shall ye do: and when this cometh, ye shall know that I am the Lord GOD.
25 Also, thou son of man, shall it not be in the day when I take from them their strength, the joy of their glory, the desire of their eyes, and that whereupon they set their minds, their sons and their daughters,
26 That he that escapeth in that day shall come unto thee, to cause thee to hear it with thine ears?
27 In that day shall thy mouth be opened to him which is escaped, and thou shalt speak, and be no more dumb: and thou shalt be a sign unto them; and they shall know that I am the LORD.
These are very sad verses. First of all, realize what a lonely life Ezekiel must have had; virtually nobody seemed to like him...except for Mrs. Ezekiel. He'd go out in the mornings to warn the people of the exile about their corruption and that of the people in Jerusalem, but they didn't listen to him. They hated Ezekiel - hated the truth. It must have been a great comfort to come home each day to a wife who cared for him. But one day he gets this word from God: "As a sign, I'm taking your wife from you." Talk about "Why Lord!!!!!?" Ezekiel is commanded by God to handle this great, great loss without the customary acts of mourning as an example to the exiles for when they realize that their sacred temple in Jerusalem along with their relatives have been lost in the siege on Jerusalem. So, the sad verse is 18, "So I spake unto the people in the morning: and at even my wife died; and I did in the morning as I was commanded." Now...that's commitment!
1 The word of the LORD came again unto me, saying,
2 Son of man, set thy face against the Ammonites, and prophesy against them;
3 And say unto the Ammonites, Hear the word of the Lord GOD; Thus saith the Lord GOD; Because thou saidst, Aha, against my sanctuary, when it was profaned; and against the land of Israel, when it was desolate; and against the house of Judah, when they went into captivity;
4 Behold, therefore I will deliver thee to the men of the east for a possession, and they shall set their palaces in thee, and make their dwellings in thee: they shall eat thy fruit, and they shall drink thy milk.
5 And I will make Rabbah a stable for camels, and the Ammonites a couchingplace for flocks: and ye shall know that I am the LORD.
6 For thus saith the Lord GOD; Because thou hast clapped thine hands, and stamped with the feet, and rejoiced in heart with all thy despite against the land of Israel;
7 Behold, therefore I will stretch out mine hand upon thee, and will deliver thee for a spoil to the heathen; and I will cut thee off from the people, and I will cause thee to perish out of the countries: I will destroy thee; and thou shalt know that I am the LORD.
8 Thus saith the Lord GOD; Because that Moab and Seir do say, Behold, the house of Judah is like unto all the heathen;
9 Therefore, behold, I will open the side of Moab from the cities, from his cities which are on his frontiers, the glory of the country, Bethjeshimoth, Baalmeon, and Kiriathaim,
10 Unto the men of the east with the Ammonites, and will give them in possession, that the Ammonites may not be remembered among the nations.
11 And I will execute judgments upon Moab; and they shall know that I am the LORD.
12 Thus saith the Lord GOD; Because that Edom hath dealt against the house of Judah by taking vengeance, and hath greatly offended, and revenged himself upon them;
13 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; I will also stretch out mine hand upon Edom, and will cut off man and beast from it; and I will make it desolate from Teman; and they of Dedan shall fall by the sword.
14 And I will lay my vengeance upon Edom by the hand of my people Israel: and they shall do in Edom according to mine anger and according to my fury; and they shall know my vengeance, saith the Lord GOD.
15 Thus saith the Lord GOD; Because the Philistines have dealt by revenge, and have taken vengeance with a despiteful heart, to destroy it for the old hatred;
16 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will stretch out mine hand upon the Philistines, and I will cut off the Cherethims, and destroy the remnant of the sea coast.
17 And I will execute great vengeance upon them with furious rebukes; and they shall know that I am the LORD, when I shall lay my vengeance upon them.
Ezekiel prophesies the fall of all Jerusalem's neighbors:
The prophet Amos had also prophesied against all of these nations 150 years or so earlier in Amos 1:1-2:3 (see notes).
1 And it came to pass in the eleventh year, in the first day of the month, that the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
2 Son of man, because that Tyrus hath said against Jerusalem, Aha, she is broken that was the gates of the people: she is turned unto me: I shall be replenished, now she is laid waste:
3 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Tyrus, and will cause many nations to come up against thee, as the sea causeth his waves to come up.
4 And they shall destroy the walls of Tyrus, and break down her towers: I will also scrape her dust from her, and make her like the top of a rock.
5 It shall be a place for the spreading of nets in the midst of the sea: for I have spoken it, saith the Lord GOD: and it shall become a spoil to the nations.
6 And her daughters which are in the field shall be slain by the sword; and they shall know that I am the LORD.
7 For thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will bring upon Tyrus Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, a king of kings, from the north, with horses, and with chariots, and with horsemen, and companies, and much people.
8 He shall slay with the sword thy daughters in the field: and he shall make a fort against thee, and cast a mount against thee, and lift up the buckler against thee.
9 And he shall set engines of war against thy walls, and with his axes he shall break down thy towers.
10 By reason of the abundance of his horses their dust shall cover thee: thy walls shall shake at the noise of the horsemen, and of the wheels, and of the chariots, when he shall enter into thy gates, as men enter into a city wherein is made a breach.
11 With the hoofs of his horses shall he tread down all thy streets: he shall slay thy people by the sword, and thy strong garrisons shall go down to the ground.
12 And they shall make a spoil of thy riches, and make a prey of thy merchandise: and they shall break down thy walls, and destroy thy pleasant houses: and they shall lay thy stones and thy timber and thy dust in the midst of the water.
13 And I will cause the noise of thy songs to cease; and the sound of thy harps shall be no more heard.
14 And I will make thee like the top of a rock: thou shalt be a place to spread nets upon; thou shalt be built no more: for I the LORD have spoken it, saith the Lord GOD.
15 Thus saith the Lord GOD to Tyrus; Shall not the isles shake at the sound of thy fall, when the wounded cry, when the slaughter is made in the midst of thee?
16 Then all the princes of the sea shall come down from their thrones, and lay away their robes, and put off their broidered garments: they shall clothe themselves with trembling; they shall sit upon the ground, and shall tremble at every moment, and be astonished at thee.
17 And they shall take up a lamentation for thee, and say to thee, How art thou destroyed, that wast inhabited of seafaring men, the renowned city, which wast strong in the sea, she and her inhabitants, which cause their terror to be on all that haunt it!
18 Now shall the isles tremble in the day of thy fall; yea, the isles that are in the sea shall be troubled at thy departure.
19 For thus saith the Lord GOD; When I shall make thee a desolate city, like the cities that are not inhabited; when I shall bring up the deep upon thee, and great waters shall cover thee;
20 When I shall bring thee down with them that descend into the pit, with the people of old time, and shall set thee in the low parts of the earth, in places desolate of old, with them that go down to the pit, that thou be not inhabited; and I shall set glory in the land of the living;
21 I will make thee a terror, and thou shalt be no more: though thou be sought for, yet shalt thou never be found again, saith the Lord GOD.
We see from verse 1 that this prophecy (chapters 26-28) was pronounced against Tyre while the siege of Jerusalem was in process in the "eleventh" year (586 B.C.). This date is based upon the captivity of Judah's King Jehoiachin in Babylon. Tyre was a city just north of Israel on the coast - a big port city in today's Lebanon. It was an independent, booming trade city. The next 3 chapters are going to be the prophecy concerning the total devastation of Tyre by Nebuchadnezzar's army. It would appear from verse 2 that the inhabitants of Tyre were getting a good bit of satisfaction out of the impending fall of Jerusalem. The same fate shall befall them. So, Tyre, in response to your "Aha!" in verse 2, this is for you, "na na na na na!"
The City of Tyre addressed by Ezekiel (Ezekiel 27)
1 The word of the LORD came again unto me, saying,
2 Now, thou son of man, take up a lamentation for Tyrus;
3 And say unto Tyrus, O thou that art situate at the entry of the sea, which art a merchant of the people for many isles, Thus saith the Lord GOD; O Tyrus, thou hast said, I am of perfect beauty.
4 Thy borders are in the midst of the seas, thy builders have perfected thy beauty.
5 They have made all thy ship boards of fir trees of Senir: they have taken cedars from Lebanon to make masts for thee.
6 Of the oaks of Bashan have they made thine oars; the company of the Ashurites have made thy benches of ivory, brought out of the isles of Chittim.
7 Fine linen with broidered work from Egypt was that which thou spreadest forth to be thy sail; blue and purple from the isles of Elishah was that which covered thee.
8 The inhabitants of Zidon and Arvad were thy mariners: thy wise men, O Tyrus, that were in thee, were thy pilots.
9 The ancients of Gebal and the wise men thereof were in thee thy calkers: all the ships of the sea with their mariners were in thee to occupy thy merchandise.
10 They of Persia and of Lud and of Phut were in thine army, thy men of war: they hanged the shield and helmet in thee; they set forth thy comeliness.
11 The men of Arvad with thine army were upon thy walls round about, and the Gammadims were in thy towers: they hanged their shields upon thy walls round about; they have made thy beauty perfect.
12 Tarshish was thy merchant by reason of the multitude of all kind of riches; with silver, iron, tin, and lead, they traded in thy fairs.
13 Javan, Tubal, and Meshech, they were thy merchants: they traded the persons of men and vessels of brass in thy market.
14 They of the house of Togarmah traded in thy fairs with horses and horsemen and mules.
15 The men of Dedan were thy merchants; many isles were the merchandise of thine hand: they brought thee for a present horns of ivory and ebony.
16 Syria was thy merchant by reason of the multitude of the wares of thy making: they occupied in thy fairs with emeralds, purple, and broidered work, and fine linen, and coral, and agate.
17 Judah, and the land of Israel, they were thy merchants: they traded in thy market wheat of Minnith, and Pannag, and honey, and oil, and balm.
18 Damascus was thy merchant in the multitude of the wares of thy making, for the multitude of all riches; in the wine of Helbon, and white wool.
19 Dan also and Javan going to and fro occupied in thy fairs: bright iron, cassia, and calamus, were in thy market.
20 Dedan was thy merchant in precious clothes for chariots.
21 Arabia, and all the princes of Kedar, they occupied with thee in lambs, and rams, and goats: in these were they thy merchants.
22 The merchants of Sheba and Raamah, they were thy merchants: they occupied in thy fairs with chief of all spices, and with all precious stones, and gold.
23 Haran, and Canneh, and Eden, the merchants of Sheba, Asshur, and Chilmad, were thy merchants.
24 These were thy merchants in all sorts of things, in blue clothes, and broidered work, and in chests of rich apparel, bound with cords, and made of cedar, among thy merchandise.
25 The ships of Tarshish did sing of thee in thy market: and thou wast replenished, and made very glorious in the midst of the seas.
26 Thy rowers have brought thee into great waters: the east wind hath broken thee in the midst of the seas.
27 Thy riches, and thy fairs, thy merchandise, thy mariners, and thy pilots, thy calkers, and the occupiers of thy merchandise, and all thy men of war, that are in thee, and in all thy company which is in the midst of thee, shall fall into the midst of the seas in the day of thy ruin.
28 The suburbs shall shake at the sound of the cry of thy pilots.
29 And all that handle the oar, the mariners, and all the pilots of the sea, shall come down from their ships, they shall stand upon the land;
30 And shall cause their voice to be heard against thee, and shall cry bitterly, and shall cast up dust upon their heads, they shall wallow themselves in the ashes:
31 And they shall make themselves utterly bald for thee, and gird them with sackcloth, and they shall weep for thee with bitterness of heart and bitter wailing.
32 And in their wailing they shall take up a lamentation for thee, and lament over thee, saying, What city is like Tyrus, like the destroyed in the midst of the sea?
33 When thy wares went forth out of the seas, thou filledst many people; thou didst enrich the kings of the earth with the multitude of thy riches and of thy merchandise.
34 In the time when thou shalt be broken by the seas in the depths of the waters thy merchandise and all thy company in the midst of thee shall fall.
35 All the inhabitants of the isles shall be astonished at thee, and their kings shall be sore afraid, they shall be troubled in their countenance.
36 The merchants among the people shall hiss at thee; thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt be any more.
We started reading about Tyre in chapter 26 (see above). This city is located just above Israel - between Israel and Lebanon. Tyre was its own city/state - sort of like Jerusalem after Judah fell. It was a big trade city with the best of everything. Notice the long list of their trading partners in this prophecy.
Tyre had fallen to Assyria, but had regained its independence simply because Assyria had too much on its plate to keep its whole empire in check as Assyria was on the decline. Hang on Tyre; you're about to meet the Babylonians. As a matter of fact, the cities and nations with whom Tyre had been doing business will turn on them - possibly out of a fear of the Babylonians. Tyre in this chapter is presented as an overloaded ship that was sunk by the east wind of Babylonia - an interesting metaphor, don't you think?
By the way, we're still not finished with Tyre; Ezekiel 28 (see notes) is dedicated to these people also.