Ezekiel 24

 

וַיְהִי דְבַר־יְהוָה אֵלַי בַּשָּׁנָה הַתְּשִׁיעִית בַּחֹדֶשׁ הָעֲשִׂירִי בֶּעָשֹׂור לַחֹדֶשׁ לֵאמֹר׃   24:1

Ezek. 24:1   And the word of the Lord occurred to me in the ninth year, in the tenth month, on the month's tenth day, saying,                                                                  [Return to Ezek. 26:2]

The tenth day of the tenth month of the ninth year:  We are now into the fourth year of Ezekiel’s revelations.  According to the next verse this day marks the beginning of the siege of Jerusalem.

בֶּן־אָדָם (כְּתֹוב) [כְּתָב]־לְךָ אֶת־שֵׁם הַיֹּום אֶת־עֶצֶם הַיֹּום הַזֶּה סָמַךְ מֶלֶךְ־בָּבֶל אֶל־יְרוּשָׁלִַם   24:2         בְּעֶצֶם הַיֹּום הַזֶּה׃

Ezek. 24:2   “Human, write for yourself the name of the day, this very day; the king of Babylon applies pressure to Jerusalem on this very day.”

The word in the parentheses has an extraneous vav, which changes the form of the verb translated as write from imperative (what it should be) to infinitive, thereby changing its meaning.  The correction is in the brackets.

וּמְשֹׁל אֶל־בֵּית־הַמֶּרִי מָשָׁל וְאָמַרְתָּ אֲלֵיהֶם כֹּה אָמַר אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה שְׁפֹת הַסִּיר שְׁפֹת וְגַם־יְצֹק בֹּו   24:3

 מָיִם׃

Ezek. 24:3   “And speak a parable about the rebellious house; and you shall say concerning them, ‘Thus says the Master, the Lord:

                      Set the pot!  Set,

                              and also pour water into it!’

On the off chance that you missed it, the pot represents Jerusalem.

אֱסֹף נְתָחֶיהָ אֵלֶיהָ כָּל־נֵתַח טֹוב יָרֵךְ וְכָתֵף מִבְחַר עֲצָמִים מַלֵּא׃   24:4

Ezek. 24:4   ‘Gather her pieces of flesh to her,

                               every piece of good flesh,

                       thigh and shoulder, the choicest!

                               Make full of bones!’

מִבְחַר הַצֹּאן לָקֹוחַ וְגַם דּוּר הָעֲצָמִים תַּחְתֶּיהָ רַתַּח רְתָחֶיהָ גַּם־בָּשְׁלוּ עֲצָמֶיהָ בְּתֹוכָהּ׃   24:5

Ezek. 24:5   ‘Let the choicest of the flock be taken,

                                and also lay the bones beneath her;

                      make her boil well;

                                also let her bones roast in her midst.’

לָכֵן כֹּה־אָמַר אֲדֹנָי יְהֹוִה אֹוי עִיר הַדָּמִים סִיר אֲשֶׁר חֶלְאָתָה בָהּ וְחֶלְאָתָהּ לֹא יָצְאָה מִמֶּנָּה   24:6            לִנְתָחֶיהָ לִנְתָחֶיהָ הֹוצִיאָהּ לֹא־נָפַל עָלֶיהָ גֹּורָל׃

Ezek. 24:6   ‘In truth, thus says the Master, the Lord:  Alas, bloody city, a pot that has her filth in her, and her filth has not come forth out of her; bring it out piece by piece; a lot has not fallen on it.’

The meaning of the last clause in this verse, according to bible commentators, is that the contents of the pot are to be taken out at random.  I believ e this is not the correct interpretation.  It must be understood that he fall of Jerusalem has not yet taken place.  Thus the lot had not yet fallen on it.

כִּי דָמָהּ בְּתֹוכָהּ הָיָה עַל־צְחִיחַ סֶלַע שָׂמָתְהוּ לֹא שְׁפָכַתְהוּ עַל־הָאָרֶץ לְכַסֹּות עָלָיו עָפָר׃   24:7

Ezek. 24:7   ‘For her blood is in her midst; she has set it on the bare surface of rock; she has not poured it on the earth to spread dust over it,

לְהַעֲלֹות חֵמָה לִנְקֹם נָקָם נָתַתִּי אֶת־דָּמָהּ עַל־צְחִיחַ סָלַע לְבִלְתִּי הִכָּסֹות׃   24:8

Ezek. 24:8   arousing the rage to exact vengeance; I have set her blood on the bare surface of rock so as not to be covered.’

לָכֵן כֹּה אָמַר אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה אֹוי עִיר הַדָּמִים גַּם־אֲנִי אַגְדִּיל הַמְּדוּרָה׃   24:9

Ezek. 24:9   ‘This being so, thus says the Master, the Lord:  Woe, bloody city!  I also will make the pyre great.’

הַרְבֵּה הָעֵצִים הַדְלֵק הָאֵשׁ הָתֵם הַבָּשָׂר וְהַרְקַח הַמֶּרְקָחָה וְהָעֲצָמֹות יֵחָרוּ׃   24:10

Ezek. 24:10   ‘Increase the wood!  Feed the fire!  Destroy the flesh!  And stir the mixture so the bones will burn!’

וְהַעֲמִידֶהָ עַל־גֶּחָלֶיהָ רֵקָה לְמַעַן תֵּחַם וְחָרָה נְחֻשְׁתָּהּ וְנִתְּכָה בְתֹוכָהּ טֻמְאָתָהּ תִּתֻּם חֶלְאָתָהּ׃   24:11

Ezek. 24:11   ‘Then set her empty on her coals so that she will stay hot and her impurity will burn and her uncleanness will be poured out in her midst, her filth destroyed.’

תְּאֻנִים הֶלְאָת וְלֹא־תֵצֵא מִמֶּנָּה רַבַּת חֶלְאָתָהּ בְּאֵשׁ חֶלְאָתָהּ׃   24:12

Ezek. 24:12   ‘She is weary of toiling, yet the abundance of her filth will not go out of her; her filth is in the fire.’

בְּטֻמְאָתֵךְ זִמָּה יַעַן טִהַרְתִּיךְ וְלֹא טָהַרְתְּ מִטֻּמְאָתֵךְ לֹא תִטְהֲרִי־עֹוד עַד־הֲנִיחִי אֶת־חֲמָתִי בָּךְ׃   24:13

Ezek. 24:13   ‘In your lewd practice of adultery, though I purify you, yet you are not pure, you will not be purified again from your lewd practice until My putting to rest My ‘rage’ at you.’

אֲנִי יְהוָה דִּבַּרְתִּי בָּאָה וְעָשִׂיתִי לֹא־אֶפְרַע וְלֹא־אָחוּס וְלֹא אֶנָּחֵם כִּדְרָכַיִךְ וְכַעֲלִילֹותַיִךְ שְׁפָטוּךְ   24:14     נְאֻם אֲדֹנָי יְהֹוִה׃

Ezek. 24:14   ‘I, the Lord, have spoken:  It is coming, and I will act.  I will not ignore, and I will not pity, and I will not repent; it is as if your ways and your evil deeds have judged you, declares the Master, the Lord.’”

This verse seems to be startlingly revealing.  Is the Lord saying here that the Jews are to blame for their own “punishment?”  Would the commentators or the authorities (the rabbis) say that God is a Jew hater?  NO!  Never!  God loves the Jews.  Yet here he says that they shold be considered as guilty parties to the world’s response.

וַיְהִי דְבַר־יְהוָה אֵלַי לֵאמֹר׃   24:15

Ezek. 24:15   And the word of the Lord occurred to me saying,

בֶּן־אָדָם הִנְנִי לֹקֵחַ מִמְּךָ אֶת־מַחְמַד עֵינֶיךָ בְּמַגֵּפָה וְלֹא תִסְפֹּד וְלֹא תִבְכֶּה וְלֹוא תָבֹוא דִּמְעָתֶךָ׃   24:16

Ezek. 24:16   “Human, behold, I am taking from you the desire of your eyes by divine judgment, but you will not lament, and you will not weep, so your tears will not come out.”

This verse and the next two describe a sad episode that Ezekiel is required to experience.  We also learn in v. 24:18 that Ezekiel did indeed interact with the people on this occasion.  As we shall see, he was the personification of what the Lord would be enduring concerning Jerusalem.

הֵאָנֵק דֹּם מֵתִים אֵבֶל לֹא־תַעֲשֶׂה פְאֵרְךָ חֲבֹושׁ עָלֶיךָ וּנְעָלֶיךָ תָּשִׂים בְּרַגְלֶיךָ וְלֹא תַעְטֶה עַל־שָׂפָם   24:17 וְלֶחֶם אֲנָשִׁים לֹא תֹאכֵל׃

Ezek. 24:17   “Groan silently; you will do no mourning of the dead; bind your headdress on yourself, and you will put your shoes on your feet, and you will put no cover over the mustache, and the bread of others you will not eat.”                                                      [Return to Mica. 3:7]

I imagine we have here the basis for many of the Jewish mourning rituals.  Yet this is amazing.  To turn this verse around, a normal mourner should remove his headdress, keep his shoes off, cover the mustache, and eat the bread of others.

וָאֲדַבֵּר אֶל־הָעָם בַּבֹּקֶר וַתָּמָת אִשְׁתִּי בָּעָרֶב וָאַעַשׂ בַּבֹּקֶר כַּאֲשֶׁר צֻוֵּיתִי׃   24:18

Ezek. 24:18   And I spoke to the people in the morning; then my wife died in the evening; then in the morning I did as I had been commanded.

So now Ezekiel’s wife represents Jerusalem and Ezekiel represents the Lord.  The Lord would not mourn for the loss of the desire of His “eyes.”

וַיֹּאמְרוּ אֵלַי הָעָם הֲלֹא־תַגִּיד לָנוּ מָה־אֵלֶּה לָּנוּ כִּי אַתָּה עֹשֶׂה׃   24:19

Ezek. 24:19   And some of the people said to me, “Will you not tell to us what these things are to us that you are doing?”

וָאֹמַר אֲלֵיהֶם דְּבַר־יְהוָה הָיָה אֵלַי לֵאמֹר׃   24:20

Ezek. 24:20   And I said to them, “The word of the Lord occurred to me saying,

                                                                                                                                      [Return to Ezek. 48:35]

אֱמֹר לְבֵית יִשְׂרָאֵל כֹּה־אָמַר אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה הִנְנִי מְחַלֵּל אֶת־מִקְדָּשִׁי גְּאֹון עֻזְּכֶם מַחְמַד עֵינֵיכֶם   24:21          וּמַחְמַל נַפְשְׁכֶם וּבְנֵיכֶם וּבְנֹותֵיכֶם אֲשֶׁר עֲזַבְתֶּם בַּחֶרֶב יִפֹּלוּ׃

Ezek. 24:21   ‘Speak to the house of Israel!  Thus says the Master, the Lord:  Behold, I am profaning My sanctuary, the pride of your strength, the desire of your eyes, and the deeply loved of your soul, and your sons and daughters, whom you left behind shall fall by the sword.’”

וַעֲשִׂיתֶם כַּאֲשֶׁר עָשִׂיתִי עַל־שָׂפָם לֹא תַעְטוּ וְלֶחֶם אֲנָשִׁים לֹא תֹאכֵלוּ׃   24:22

Ezek. 24:22   But you shall do as I have done; you shall not put a cover over the mustache, and you shall not eat the bread of others,

וּפְאֵרֵכֶם עַל־רָאשֵׁיכֶם וְנַעֲלֵיכֶם בְּרַגְלֵיכֶם לֹא תִסְפְּדוּ וְלֹא תִבְכּוּ וּנְמַקֹּתֶם בַּעֲוֹנֹתֵיכֶם וּנְהַמְתֶּם   24:23      אִישׁ אֶל־אָחִיו׃

Ezek. 24:23   and your headdresses shall be on your heads, and your shoes on your feet; you shall not lament and not weep; and you shall pine away in your iniquities, and groan one to another.

I interpreted these two verses, 24:22 and 24:23, as an interjection by Ezekiel.  I take them to be his words, not the Lord’s.  He resumes the Lord’s words in the next verse.  Did Ezekiel actually say this to the people of Jerusalem?  Unlikely!  Remember he is still sitting at the river Chebar.

וְהָיָה יְחֶזְקֵאל לָכֶם לְמֹופֵת כְּכֹל אֲשֶׁר־עָשָׂה תַּעֲשׂוּ בְּבֹאָהּ וִידַעְתֶּם כִּי אֲנִי אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה׃   24:24

Ezek. 24:24   “So Ezekiel shall be for a sign to you:  According to all that he has done, you shall do; when it comes to pass, then you may know that I am the Master, the Lord.”

וְאַתָּה בֶן־אָדָם הֲלֹוא בְּיֹום קַחְתִּי מֵהֶם אֶת־מָעוּזָּם מְשֹׂושׂ תִּפְאַרְתָּם אֶת־מַחְמַד עֵינֵיהֶם   24:25                 וְאֶת־מַשָּׂא נַפְשָׁם בְּנֵיהֶם וּבְנֹותֵיהֶם׃

Ezek. 24:25   “And you, human, shall it not be on the day I have taken from them their protection, the joy of their glory, the desire of their eyes and the uplifting of their soul, their sons and their daughters,

בַּיֹּום הַהוּא יָבֹוא הַפָּלִיט אֵלֶיךָ לְהַשְׁמָעוּת אָזְנָיִם׃   24:26

Ezek. 24:26   on that day an escaped one shall come to you to make ears hear,

בַּיֹּום הַהוּא יִפָּתַח פִּיךָ אֶת־הַפָּלִיט וּתְדַבֵּר וְלֹא תֵאָלֵם עֹוד וְהָיִיתָ לָהֶם לְמֹופֵת וְיָדְעוּ כִּי־אֲנִי יְהוָה׃   24:27

Ezek. 24:27   in the same day your mouth will be opened with the escaped one, that you can speak and not be dumb any more?  Then you will be for a sign to them, that they may know that I am the Lord.”

Does this verse confirm that Ezekiel has said nothing up until the future point in time referred to in this verse?  Or does it merely refer to Ezekiel’s apparent experience of losing his wife?  No way to know the answer.

 

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