Moreover the word of the LORD
came unto me, saying,
This chapter, which also forms a distinct prophecy, foretells
the dreadful destruction of the land of Israel, or Judah, (for
after the captivity of the ten tribes these terms are often
used indiscriminately for the Jews in general,) on account of
the heinous sins of its inhabitants, 1-15;
and the great distress of the small remnant that should escape,
The temple itself, which they had polluted with idolatry, is
devoted to destruction, 20-22;
and the prophet is directed to make a chain, as a type of that
captivity, in which both king and people should be led in bonds
to Babylon, 23-27.
The whole chapter abounds in bold and beautiful figures, flowing
in an easy and forcible language.
NOTES ON CHAP. VII
Also, thou son of man, thus saith the Lord GOD
unto the land of Israel; An end, the end is come upon the four corners of the land.
Verse 2. An end, the end is come
] Instead of kets ba hakkets, one
MS. of Kennicott's, one
of De Rossi's
, and one
of my own
, read kets ba, ba hakkets
, "The end
cometh, come is the end." This reading is supported by all the
ancient Versions, and is undoubtedly genuine. The end
termination of the Jewish state is coming
, and while I am
speaking, it is come
. The destruction is at the door. The later
hand, who put the vowel points
to the ancient MS. that has the
above reading, did not put the points to the flrst ba
struck his pen gently across it, and by a mark in the margin
intimated that it should be blotted out. All my ancient MSS. were
without the points originally; but they have been added by modern
hands, with a different ink; and they have in multitudes of
instances corrected, or rather changed, important readings, to
make them quadrate with the masora
. But the original reading, in
almost every case, is discernible. The end is come upon the four corners of the land.
] This is not
calamity; it shall cover and sweep the whole land. The
cup of your iniquity is full, and my forbearing is at an end. This
whole chapter is poetical
the end come
upon thee, and I will send mine anger upon thee, and will judge thee according to thy ways, and will recompense upon thee all thine abominations.a
And mine eye shall not spare thee, neither will I have pity: but I will recompense thy ways upon thee, and thine abominations shall be in the midst of thee: and ye shall know that I am
Verse 4. Thine abominations shall be in the midst of thee
shall ever stare thee in the face, upbraid thee with thy
ingratitude and disobedience, and be witnesses against thee.
Thus saith the Lord GOD
; An evil, an only evil, behold, is come.
Verse 5. An evil, an only evil
] The great, the sovereign, the
last exterminating evil, is come: the sword, the pestilence, the
famine, and the captivity. Many MSS. read achar, after
evil cometh after evil; one instantly succeeds another.
An end is come, the end is come: it watcheth for thee; behold, it is come.b
Verse 6. An end is come, the end is come: it watcheth for thee
This is similar to the second
verse; but there is a paronomasia
or play upon letters and words, which is worthy of note. kets ba, ba hakkets, hekits elayich
signifies to make an end
cutting off something, and yakats
signifies to awake from sleep
: hence kits
, the summer
, as the earth and its
productions seem then to awake from the sleep of winter. The end
or final destruction is here personified
; and represented as an executioner
who has arisen early
from his sleep, and is waiting
for his orders to execute judgment upon these offenders. Hence it
The morning is come unto thee, O thou that dwellest in the land: the time is come, the day of trouble is
near, and not the sounding again of the mountains.c
Verse 7. The morning is come unto thee
] Every note of time
used in order to show the certainty
of the thing. The morning
the executioner has watched
for is come; the time
of that morning,
in which it should take place, and the day
to which that time, precise hour
of that morning
, belongs in which judgment shall be
executed. All, all is come. And not the sounding again of the mountains.
] The hostile troops
are advancing! Ye hear a sound
, a tumultuous noise
; do not suppose
that this proceeds from festivals upon the mountains
; from the joy
, or the treaders of the wine-press
. It is the noise
of those by whom ye and your country are to fall. veto hed harim
, and not the reverberation of sound, or reflected sound,
from the mountains. "Now will I shortly pour out," Eze 7:8
. Here they come!
Now will I shortly pour out my fury upon thee, and accomplish mine anger upon thee: and I will judge thee according to thy ways, and will recompense thee for all thine abominations.
And mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity: I will recompense thee according to thy ways and thine abominations that
are in the midst of thee; and ye shall know that I am
Behold the day, behold, it is come: the morning is gone forth; the rod hath blossomed, pride hath budded.
Verse 10. Behold the day
] The same words are repeated, sometimes
varied, and pressed on the attention with new figures
and new circumstances
, in order to alarm this infatuated people. Look at
! It is come! The morning is gone forth
] It will wait no longer. The rod
is to chastise you hath blossomed
; it is quite ready. Pride hath budded.
] Your insolence, obstinacy, and daring
opposition to God have brought forth their proper fruits.
Violence is risen up into a rod of wickedness: none of them shall remain
, nor of their multitude, nor of any of theirs: neither shall there be
wailing for them.e
Verse 11. Violence is risen, up into a rod of wickedness
prophet continues his metaphor: "Pride has budded."-And what has
it brought forth? Violence
. To meet these, the rod of God
cometh. There is such a vast rapidity of succession in the
ideas of the prophet that he cannot wait to find language to
clothe each. Hence we have broken sentences; and, consequently, obscurity
. Something must be supplied
to get the sense, and most
critics alter words in the text. Houbigant
, who rarely
acknowledges himself to be puzzled, appears here completely
nonplussed. He has given a meaning; it is this: "Violence hath
burst forth from the rod; salvation shall not proceed from them,
nor from their riches, nor from their turbulence: there shall be
no respite for them." Calmet
has given no less than five
interpretations to this verse. The simple meaning seems to be,
that such and so great is their wickedness that it must be
punished; and from this punishment, neither their multitude nor
struggles shall set them free. They may strive to evade the
threatened stroke; but they shall not succeed, nor shall they have
any respite. Our Version
is to be understood as saying,-None of
the people shall be left; all shall be slain, or carried into
captivity: nor shall any of theirs, their princes, priests, wives,
or children, escape. And so deserved shall their desolation
appear, that none shall lament
them. This may be as good a sense
as any, and it is nearest to the letter.
The time is come, the day draweth near: let not the buyer rejoice, nor the seller mourn: for wrath is
upon all the multitude thereof.
Verse 12. Let not the buyer rejoice, nor the seller mourn
is now the state of public affairs, that he who through want has
been obliged to sell his inheritance
, need not mourn
account; as of this the enemy would soon have deprived him. And he
who has bought
it need not rejoice
in his bargain, as he shall
soon be stripped of his purchase, and either fall by the sword, or
be glad to flee for his life.
For the seller shall not return to that which is sold, although they were yet alive: for the vision is
touching the whole multitude thereof, which
shall not return; neither shall any strengthen himself in the iniquity of his life.f, g, h
Verse 13. For the seller shall not return
] In the sale of all
heritages among the Jews, it was always understood that the
heritage must return to the family on the year of jubilee
was every fiftieth
year; but in this case the seller
return to possess it, as it was not likely that he should be alive
when the next jubilee should come, and if he were even to live
till that time, he could not possess it, as he would then be in
captivity. And the reason is particularly given; for the vision
-the prophetic declaration of a seventy
regards the whole multitude of the people; and it shall not return
, i.e., it will be found to be strictly true, without any
They have blown the trumpet, even to make all ready; but none goeth to the battle: for my wrath is
upon all the multitude thereof.
Verse 14. They have blown the trumpet
] Vain are all the efforts
you make to collect and arm the people, and stand on your own
defence; for all shall be dispirited, and none go to the battle
The sword is
without, and the pestilence and the famine within: he that is
in the field shall die with the sword; and he that is
in the city, famine and pestilence shall devour him.
Verse 15. The sword
] War through all the country
within the city, shall destroy the
whole, except a small remnant. He who endeavours to flee from the
one shall fall by the other.
¶ But they that escape of them shall escape, and shall be on the mountains like doves of the valleys, all of them mourning, every one for his iniquity.
Verse 16. They-shall be on the mountains like doves of the valleys
] Rather, like mourning doves haggeayoth
chased from their dove-cotes, and separated from their mates.
All hands shall be feeble, and all knees shall be weak as
Verse 17. All knees shall be weak
understands this curiously: La frayeur dont on sera saisi, fera
qu'on ne pourra retenir son urine. D'autres l'expliquent d'une
autre souillure plus honteuse. I believe him to be nearly about
right. St. Jerome
is exactly the same: Pavoris magnitudine, urina
polluet genua, nec valebit profluentes aquas vesica prohibere.
This and other malretentions are often the natural effect of
extreme fear or terror.
They shall also gird themselves
with sackcloth, and horror shall cover them; and shame shall be
upon all faces, and baldness upon all their heads.
They shall cast their silver in the streets, and their gold shall be removed: their silver and their gold shall not be able to deliver them in the day of the wrath of the LORD
: they shall not satisfy their souls, neither fill their bowels: because it is the stumblingblock of their iniquity.j, k
Verse 19. They shall cast their silver in the streets
riches can be of no use; as in a time of famine there is no
necessary of life to be purchased
, and gold
and silver cannot fill their bowels
. It is the stumbling-block of their iniquity.
] They loved riches,
and placed in the possession of them their supreme happiness. Now
they find a pound
not worth an ounce
¶ As for the beauty of his ornament, he set it in majesty: but they made the images of their abominations and
of their detestable things therein: therefore have I set it far from them.l
Verse 20. As for the beauty of his ornament
] Their beautiful temple
was their highest ornament
, and God made it majestic
his presence. But they have even taken its riches to make their idols
, which they have brought into the very courts of the Lord's
house; and therefore God hath set it
-the temple, from him
up to pillage. Some say it means, "They took their ornaments,
which were their pride, and made them into images to worship."
And I will give it into the hands of the strangers for a prey, and to the wicked of the earth for a spoil; and they shall pollute it.
My face will I turn also from them, and they shall pollute my secret place
: for the robbers shall enter into it, and defile it.m
Verse 22. The robbers shall enter into it
] The Chaldeans shall
not only destroy the city; but they shall enter the temple, deface
it, plunder it, and burn it to the ground.
¶ Make a chain: for the land is full of bloody crimes, and the city is full of violence.
Verse 23. Make a chain
] Point out the captivity
; show them that
it shall come, and show them the reason: "Because the land is full
of bloody crimes," &c.
Wherefore I will bring the worst of the heathen, and they shall possess their houses: I will also make the pomp of the strong to cease; and their holy places shall be defiled.n
Verse 24. The worst of the heathen
] The Chaldeans; the most
cruel and idolatrous of all nations.
Destruction cometh; and they shall seek peace, and there shall be
Verse 25. They shall seek peace
] They see now that their ceasing
to pay the tribute to the king of Babylon has brought the
Chaldeans against them; and now they sue for peace
in vain. He
will not hear: he is resolved on their destruction.
Mischief shall come upon mischief, and rumour shall be upon rumour; then shall they seek a vision of the prophet; but the law shall perish from the priest, and counsel from the ancients.
Verse 26. Then shall they seek a vision
] Vision shall perish
from the prophet, the law from the priest, and counsel from the
ancients. Previously to great national judgments, God restrains
the influences of his Spirit. His word is not accompanied with the
usual unction; and the wise men
of the land, the senators
, devise foolish schemes; and thus, in
endeavouring to avert it, they hasten on the national ruin. How
true is the saying, Quem Deus vult perdere, prius dementat. "Those
whom God designs to destroy, he first infatuates."
The king shall mourn, and the prince shall be clothed with desolation, and the hands of the people of the land shall be troubled: I will do unto them after their way, and according to their deserts will I judge them; and they shall know that I am