וַיָּבֹוא אֵלַי אֲנָשִׁים מִזִּקְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וַיֵּשְׁבוּ לְפָנָי׃ 14:1
Ezek. 14:1 Now men from the elders of Israel came to me and sat before me.
Is this still a vision, or is Ezekiel now conveying actual events? I suspect it is still a vision, and this suspicion is fairly well supported in this chapter. In the first half of it (vss. 14:4 to 14:11) the Lord (or the God Figure) tells Ezekiel to speak to these elders and what he should say. In most of the second half (vss. 14:12 to 14:21) He speaks to Ezekiel about the evil He is to bring on Jerusalem. Finally in the last two verses, He seems to be speaking directly to the elders. Yet it is all part of the vision.
וַיְהִי דְבַר־יְהוָה אֵלַי לֵאמֹר׃ 14:2
Ezek. 14:2 And the word of the Lord occurred to me saying,
בֶּן־אָדָם הָאֲנָשִׁים הָאֵלֶּה הֶעֱלוּ גִלּוּלֵיהֶם עַל־לִבָּם וּמִכְשֹׁול עֲוֹנָם נָתְנוּ נֹכַח פְּנֵיהֶם הַאִדָּרֹשׁ 14:3 אִדָּרֵשׁ לָהֶם׃
Ezek. 14:3 “Human, these men have exalted their idols along with their minds, so they have put the stumbling block of their iniquity in front of their own faces. Should I allow consultation, should I care for them?”
לָכֵן דַּבֵּר־אֹותָם וְאָמַרְתָּ אֲלֵיהֶם כֹּה־אָמַר אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה אִישׁ אִישׁ מִבֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל אֲשֶׁר יַעֲלֶה 14:4
אֶת־גִּלּוּלָיו אֶל־לִבֹּו וּמִכְשֹׁול עֲוֹנֹו יָשִׂים נֹכַח פָּנָיו וּבָא אֶל־הַנָּבִיא אֲנִי יְהוָה נַעֲנֵיתִי לֹו (בָהּ) [בָא] בְּרֹב
Ezek. 14:4 “Therefore warn them and you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Master, the Lord: Any man from the house of Israel who would exalt his idols in addition to his mind so he would place the stumbling block of his iniquity in front of his own face, then would come to the prophet, I, the Lord, respond to his coming according to the abundance of his idols,
The word in the parentheses seems to be in error. It’s likely that the heh should be an aleph. The alleged correction is in the brackets.
לְמַעַן תְּפֹשׂ אֶת־בֵּית־יִשְׂרָאֵל בְּלִבָּם אֲשֶׁר נָזֹרוּ מֵעָלַי בְּגִלּוּלֵיהֶם כֻּלָּם׃ 14:5
Ezek. 14:5 in order to capture the house of Israel by their heart, all of them who have become estranged from Me through their idols.’”
לָכֵן אֱמֹר אֶל־בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל כֹּה אָמַר אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה שׁוּבוּ וְהָשִׁיבוּ מֵעַל גִּלּוּלֵיכֶם וּמֵעַל כָּל־תֹּועֲבֹתֵיכֶם 14:6 הָשִׁיבוּ פְנֵיכֶם׃
Ezek. 14:6 “Therefore say to the house of Israel, ‘Thus says the Master, the Lord: Return, and turn away from your idols, and turn your faces away from all your abominations.’
Notice that here the God Figure tells Ezekiel that he should address himself to the house of Israel -- that is, all the Jews left in their land. He is not speaking to exiled elders here. The elders mentioned in the first verse are still in Israel. This is the best evidence that this chapter deals with a vision.
כִּי אִישׁ אִישׁ מִבֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל וּמֵהַגֵּר אֲשֶׁר־יָגוּר בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל וְיִנָּזֵר מֵאַחֲרַי וְיַעַל גִּלּוּלָיו אֶל־לִבֹּו 14:7 וּמִכְשֹׁול עֲוֹנֹו יָשִׂים נֹכַח פָּנָיו וּבָא אֶל־הַנָּבִיא לִדְרָשׁ־לֹו בִי אֲנִי יְהוָה נַעֲנֶה־לֹּו בִּי׃
Ezek. 14:7 ‘For any one from the house of Israel, or from a foreigner who might sojourn in Israel, and separates himself from following Me and exalts his idols as well as his mind and would place the stumbling block of his iniquity in front of his face, and might come to the prophet to consult for himself with Me, I, the Lord, will be responding to him Myself.’
וְנָתַתִּי פָנַי בָּאִישׁ הַהוּא וַהֲשִׂמֹתִיהוּ לְאֹות וְלִמְשָׁלִים וְהִכְרַתִּיו מִתֹּוךְ עַמִּי וִידַעְתֶּם כִּי־אֲנִי יְהוָה׃ 14:8
Ezek. 14:8 ‘And I will set My ‘face’ on that man and place him for a sign and for parables, and I will cut him off from the midst of My people, that you would know that I am the Lord.’
וְהַנָּבִיא כִי־יְפֻתֶּה וְדִבֶּר דָּבָר אֲנִי יְהוָה פִּתֵּיתִי אֵת הַנָּבִיא הַהוּא וְנָטִיתִי אֶת־יָדִי עָלָיו וְהִשְׁמַדְתִּיו 14:9 מִתֹּוךְ עַמִּי יִשְׂרָאֵל׃
Ezek. 14:9 ‘And when the prophet would be enticed and would speak a word, I, the Lord, have enticed that prophet, and I will extend My ‘hand’ against him and will annihilate him from the midst of My people, Israel.’
וְנָשְׂאוּ עֲוֹנָם כַּעֲוֹן הַדֹּרֵשׁ כַּעֲוֹן הַנָּבִיא יִהְיֶה׃ 14:10
Ezek. 14:10 ‘And they shall bear their iniquity; the iniquity of the prophet shall be as the iniquity of the inquirer,
לְמַעַן לֹא־יִתְעוּ עֹוד בֵּית־יִשְׂרָאֵל מֵאַחֲרַי וְלֹא־יִטַּמְּאוּ עֹוד בְּכָל־פִּשְׁעֵיהֶם וְהָיוּ לִי לְעָם וַאֲנִי אֶהְיֶה 14:11 לָהֶם לֵאלֹהִים נְאֻם אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה׃
Ezek. 14:11 so that the house of Israel might not wander again from following Me and not be defiled again by any of their transgressions, and be for a people to Me as I will be for God to them, declares the Master, the Lord.’”
וַיְהִי דְבַר־יְהוָה אֵלַי לֵאמֹר׃ 14:12
Ezek. 14:12 And the word of the Lord occurred to me saying,
בֶּן־אָדָם אֶרֶץ כִּי תֶחֱטָא־לִי לִמְעָל־מַעַל וְנָטִיתִי יָדִי עָלֶיהָ וְשָׁבַרְתִּי לָהּ מַטֵּה־לָחֶם וְהִשְׁלַחְתִּי־בָהּ 14:13 רָעָב וְהִכְרַתִּי מִמֶּנָּה אָדָם וּבְהֵמָה׃
Ezek. 14:13 ׃“Human, when a land sins towards Me, transgressing treacherously, and I extend My ‘hand’ against it and break the staff of bread for it and send famine on it, and I cut off man and beast from it,
וְהָיוּ שְׁלֹשֶׁת הָאֲנָשִׁים הָאֵלֶּה בְּתֹוכָהּ נֹחַ (דָּנִאֵל) [דָּנִיאֵל] וְאִיֹּוב הֵמָּה בְצִדְקָתָם יְנַצְּלו נַפְשָׁםּ 14:14 נְאֻם אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה׃
Ezek. 14:14 and were these three men in its midst: Noah, Daniel, and Job, they by their righteousness could save only their own souls, declares the Master, the Lord.”
The name of Daniel is misspelled in this verse and in v. 14:20 below. The name in the parentheses seems to be missing a yad. It is identified as an error because its many spellings in the book of Daniel all include the yad. The correction is in the brackets. But aside from this, the mention of Daniel -- and Job -- here presents us with an interesting question. The book of Ezekiel was supposedly written before and during the Babylonian exile. This means that the books of Daniel and Job had to have been written before or contemporaneously with this one. This means that either Daniel and Job were written about 450 years or so earlier than scholars assume (although Daniel was in Babylon during Nebuchadnezzar’s reign) or Ezekiel was written much later. An exciting and provocative realization!
לוּ־חַיָּה רָעָה אַעֲבִיר בָּאָרֶץ וְשִׁכְּלָתָּה וְהָיְתָה שְׁמָמָה מִבְּלִי עֹובֵר מִפְּנֵי הַחַיָּה׃ 14:15
Ezek. 14:15 “If I were to cause an evil creature to pass through the land and it would bereave it and it would become a desolation without passage of a living presence,
שְׁלֹשֶׁת הָאֲנָשִׁים הָאֵלֶּה בְּתֹוכָהּ חַי־אָנִי נְאֻם אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה אִם־בָּנִים וְאִם־בָּנֹות יַצִּילוּ הֵמָּה לְבַדָּם 14:16 יִנָּצֵלוּ וְהָאָרֶץ תִּהְיֶה שְׁמָמָה׃
Ezek. 14:16 these three men in its midst, as I live, declares the Master, the Lord, could deliver neither sons nor daughters; only they themselves would be delivered, and the land would become a desolation.”
אֹו חֶרֶב אָבִיא עַל־הָאָרֶץ הַהִיא וְאָמַרְתִּי חֶרֶב תַּעֲבֹר בָּאָרֶץ וְהִכְרַתִּי מִמֶּנָּה אָדָם וּבְהֵמָה׃ 14:17
Ezek. 14:17 “Or were I to bring a sword against that land and say, ‘Let the sword pass through the land,’ and I cut off man and beast from it,
וּשְׁלֹשֶׁת הָאֲנָשִׁים הָאֵלֶּה בְּתֹוכָהּ חַי־אָנִי נְאֻם אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה לֹא יַצִּילוּ בָּנִים וּבָנֹות כִּי הֵם לְבַדָּם 14:18 יִנָּצֵלוּ׃
Ezek. 14:18 though these three men were in its midst, as I live, declares the Master, the Lord, they could not deliver sons or daughters but only they themselves would be delivered.”
אֹו דֶּבֶר אֲשַׁלַּח אֶל־הָאָרֶץ הַהִיא וְשָׁפַכְתִּי חֲמָתִי עָלֶיהָ בְּדָם לְהַכְרִית מִמֶּנָּה אָדָם וּבְהֵמָה׃ 14:19
Ezek. 14:19 “Or were I to send a pestilence to that land and empty My ‘rage’ upon it with blood, cutting off man and beast from it,
וְנֹחַ (דָּנִאֵל) [דָּנִיאֵל] וְאִיֹּוב בְּתֹוכָהּ חַי־אָנִי נְאֻם אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה אִם־בֵּן אִם־בַּת יַצִּילוּ הֵמָּה 14:20 בְצִדְקָתָם יַצִּילוּ נַפְשָׁם׃
Ezek. 14:20 and Noah, Daniel, and Job were in its midst, as I live, declares the Master, the Lord, they could deliver neither son nor daughter; they by their righteousness would deliver only their own souls.”
The name of Daniel is misspelled here as in v. 14:14.
כִּי כֹה אָמַר אֲדֹנָי יְהֹוִה אַף כִּי־אַרְבַּעַת שְׁפָטַי הָרָעִים חֶרֶב וְרָעָב וְחַיָּה רָעָה וָדֶבֶר שִׁלַּחְתִּי 14:21 אֶל־יְרוּשָׁלִָם לְהַכְרִית מִמֶּנָּה אָדָם וּבְהֵמָה׃
Ezek. 14:21 “For thus says the Master, the Lord: How much more when I send My four calamitous judgments, sword, and famine, and evil creature, and pestilence, to Jerusalem, cutting off man and beast from it!”
וְהִנֵּה נֹותְרָה־בָּהּ פְּלֵטָה הַמּוּצָאִים בָּנִים וּבָנֹות הִנָּם יֹוצְאִים אֲלֵיכֶם וּרְאִיתֶם אֶת־דַּרְכָּם 14:22 וְאֶת־עֲלִילֹותָם וְנִחַמְתֶּם עַל־הָרָעָה אֲשֶׁר הֵבֵאתִי עַל־יְרוּשָׁלִַם אֵת כָּל־אֲשֶׁר הֵבֵאתִי עָלֶיהָ׃
Ezek. 14:22 “Yet behold, an escaped remnant is left in it, being brought out, sons and daughters. Behold them! They will be emerging to you. When you will observe their manner and their deeds, then you will be comforted concerning the evil that I had brought to Jerusalem, all that I had brought upon it.”
Here the Lord (or the God Figure) speaks directly to the elders. The evidence is in the three second-person pronouns, which, along with the two in the next verse, are all masculine plural. He seems to be saying here that the evil ways of the new exiles from Jerusalem will demonstrate to the elders the wisdom and justification of His destruction.
וְנִחֲמוּ אֶתְכֶם כִּי־תִרְאוּ אֶת־דַּרְכָּם וְאֶת־עֲלִילֹותָם וִידַעְתֶּם כִּי לֹא חִנָּם עָשִׂיתִי אֵת 14:23 בָהּ נְאֻם אֲדֹנָי יְהֹוִה׃ כָּל־אֲשֶׁר־עָשִׂיתִי
Ezek. 14:23 “Then they will comfort you when you observe their manner and their deeds and you will understand that I had not done all that I did in it without cause, declares the Master, the Lord.”
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