וַיְהִי דְבַר־יְהוָה אֵלַי לֵאמֹר׃ 6:1
Ezek. 6:1 And the word of the Lord occurred to me saying,
בֶּן־אָדָם שִׂים פָּנֶיךָ אֶל־הָרֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וְהִנָּבֵא אֲלֵיהֶם׃ 6:2
Ezek. 6:2 “Human, set your face toward the mountains of Israel and prophesy to them,
וְאָמַרְתָּ הָרֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל שִׁמְעוּ דְּבַר־אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה כֹּה־אָמַר אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה לֶהָרִים וְלַגְּבָעֹות לָאֲפִיקִים 6:3 וְלַגֵּיֹאָיֹת) [וְלַגֵּאָיֹות] הִנְנִי אֲנִי מֵבִיא עֲלֵיכֶם חֶרֶב וְאִבַּדְתִּי בָּמֹותֵיכֶם׃
Ezek. 6:3 and you shall say, ‘Mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Master, the Lord! Thus says the Master, the Lord, to the mountains and to the hills, to the ravines and the valleys: Behold I, alone, am bringing a sword against you and I will destroy your high places.’
Up to this point we couldn’t be sure of Ezekiel’s state of consciousness, whether he was awake or asleep. But here we can assume that, if he was dreaming or seeing a vision before, now he is separated from that state and is in a new state, whatever that is. This I gather from the way this chapter opens, different from the other chapters, and more like that of a “normal” prophet’s opening verse.
Meanwhile the error in the word before the left parenthesis is that it contains an extra yad and is missing a vav. Quite a spelling variant! The correction is in the brackets. For one more time -- which is already ten too many -- I ask that you forgive the missing right parenthesis.
וְנָשַׁמּוּ מִזְבְּחֹותֵיכֶם וְנִשְׁבְּרוּ חַמָּנֵיכֶם וְהִפַּלְתִּי חַלְלֵיכֶם לִפְנֵי גִּלּוּלֵיכֶם׃ 6:4
Ezek. 6:4 ‘And your altars shall be desolate, and your sun images shall be shattered, as I cast down your slain before your idols.’
וְנָתַתִּי אֶת־פִּגְרֵי בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל לִפְנֵי גִּלּוּלֵיהֶם וְזֵרִיתִי אֶת־עַצְמֹותֵיכֶם סְבִיבֹות מִזְבְּחֹותֵיכֶם׃ 6:5
Ezek. 6:5 ‘And I will set the carcasses of the children of Israel before their idols, and I will scatter your bones on the sides of your altars.’
בְּכֹל מֹושְׁבֹותֵיכֶם הֶעָרִים תֶּחֱרַבְנָה וְהַבָּמֹות תִּישָׁמְנָה לְמַעַן יֶחֶרְבוּ וְיֶאְשְׁמוּ מִזְבְּחֹותֵיכֶם 6:6 וְנִשְׁבְּרוּ וְנִשְׁבְּתוּ גִּלּוּלֵיכֶם וְנִגְדְּעוּ חַמָּנֵיכֶם וְנִמְחוּ מַעֲשֵׂיכֶם׃
Ezek. 6:6 ‘In all your dwelling places the cities shall be laid waste and the high places shall be ruined, so that your altars would be wasted and desolate, and your idols shattered, and your sun images cut down, that your works would be blotted out.’
וְנָפַל חָלָל בְּתֹוכְכֶם וִידַעְתֶּם כִּי־אֲנִי יְהוָה׃ 6:7
Ezek. 6:7 ‘And any slain shall fall in your midst, and you may know that I am the Lord.’
וְהֹותַרְתִּי בִּהְיֹות לָכֶם פְּלִיטֵי חֶרֶב בַּגֹּויִם בְּהִזָּרֹותֵיכֶם בָּאֲרָצֹות׃ 6:8
Ezek. 6:8 ‘Still, I will leave a remnant, there being some escapees of the sword for you among the nations, scattering you among the countries.’
וְזָכְרוּ פְלִיטֵיכֶם אֹותִי בַּגֹּויִם אֲשֶׁר נִשְׁבּוּ־שָׁם אֲשֶׁר נִשְׁבַּרְתִּי אֶת־לִבָּם הַזֹּונֶה אֲשֶׁר־סָר מֵעָלַי 6:9 וְאֵת עֵינֵיהֶם הַזֹּנֹות אַחֲרֵי גִּלּוּלֵיהֶם וְנָקֹטּוּ בִּפְנֵיהֶם אֶל־הָרָעֹות אֲשֶׁר עָשׂוּ לְכֹל תֹּועֲבֹתֵיהֶם׃
Ezek. 6:9 ‘And your refugees shall remember Me among the nations where they were taken captive, that I am anguished with their unfaithful heart that has departed from Me and with their adulterous eyes following their idols; then they shall be loathsome before themselves because of the evils that they did, for all their abominations.’
וְיָדְעוּ כִּי־אֲנִי יְהוָה לֹא אֶל־חִנָּם דִּבַּרְתִּי לַעֲשֹׂות לָהֶם הָרָעָה הַזֹּאת׃ 6:10
Ezek. 6:10 ‘And they shall know that I am the Lord. I did not promise to do this evil to them for no reason.’
Is this statement another revealing insight into God’s purpose? I believe it is. Furthermore, I consider it, among other statements in the bible, as substantiation of my belief that the misfortunes suffered by the Jews are not punishment. They are a lesson, homework, to study and learn from. The world is a school for us. And the Torah (and bible) is our textbook.
כֹּה־אָמַר אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה הַכֵּה בְכַפְּךָ וּרְקַע בְּרַגְלְךָ וֶאֱמָר־אָח אֶל כָּל־תֹּועֲבֹות רָעֹות בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל 6:11 אֲשֶׁר בַּחֶרֶב בָּרָעָב וּבַדֶּבֶר יִפֹּלוּ׃
Ezek. 6:11 ‘Thus says the Master, the Lord: Beat with your hand and stomp with your foot and say, ‘Alas! Because of all the evil abominations of the house of Israel that by sword, by famine, and by pestilence they must fall.’
הָרָחֹוק בַּדֶּבֶר יָמוּת וְהַקָּרֹוב בַּחֶרֶב יִפֹּול וְהַנִּשְׁאָר וְהַנָּצוּר בָּרָעָב יָמוּת וְכִלֵּיתִי חֲמָתִי בָּם׃ 6:12
Ezek. 6:12 ‘Any one far off shall die by pestilence, and any one near shall fall by the sword, and any one remaining and blockaded shall die by famine; so will I exhaust My ‘rage’ on them.’
וִידַעְתֶּם כִּי־אֲנִי יְהוָה בִּהְיֹות חַלְלֵיהֶם בְּתֹוךְ גִּלּוּלֵיהֶם סְבִיבֹות מִזְבְּחֹותֵיהֶם אֶל כָּל־גִּבְעָה רָמָה 6:13 בְּכֹל רָאשֵׁי הֶהָרִים וְתַחַת כָּל־עֵץ רַעֲןָן וְתַחַת כָּל־אֵלָה עֲבֻתָּה מְקֹום אֲשֶׁר נָתְנוּ־שָׁם רֵיחַ נִיחֹחַ לְכֹל גִּלּוּלֵיהֶם׃
Ezek. 6:13 ‘So you shall know that I am the Lord, there being their slain amid their idols on all sides of their altars at every lofty hill, on all the tops of the mountains, and beneath every lush tree, under every thick terebinth, any place where they offered a soothing scent to all their idols.’
וְנָטִיתִי אֶת־יָדִי עֲלֵיהֶם וְנָתַתִּי אֶת־הָאָרֶץ שְׁמָמָה וּמְשַׁמָּה מִמִּדְבַּר דִּבְלָתָה בְּכֹל מֹושְׁבֹותֵיהֶם וְיָדְעוּ 6:14 כִּי־אֲנִי יְהוָה׃
Ezek. 6:14 And I will extend My ‘hand’ against them and make the land wasted and devastated more than the wilderness of Diblah throughout all their habitations. Then they may know that I am the Lord.’”
The reference to Diblah is rather mysterious. It has been connected with Riblah, the place where Zedekiah watched his sons and nobles killed and then had his eyes put out (Jere. 39:6 and 39:7). What’s the connection with Riblah? Some say that the Hebrew letters daled and resh might be interchangeable, so Diblah becomes Riblah. Of course the names look alike, but I hardly think that’s enough to justify this reasoning. Moreover, Diblah is called a devastated wilderness in this verse. How does that connect with Riblah? Was Riblah also a devastated wilderness? I don’t think so. In fact, what is more important to be sure -- the incident described in Jeremiah Chapter 39 hadn’t happened yet. It was still three to five years away if the duration of these first six chapters hasn’t been distorted. And I don’t think it has. In fact, it couldn’t have happened yet according to this chapter and the previous one. The siege of Jerusalem was still in the future.
[Return to Ezekiel Chapters] [Prev.: Ezek. 5] [Next: Ezek. 7]