וַיִּקְרָא בְאָזְנַי קֹול גָּדֹול לֵאמֹר קָרְבוּ פְּקֻדֹּות הָעִיר וְאִישׁ כְּלִי מַשְׁחֵתֹו בְּיָדֹו׃ 9:1
Ezek. 9:1 Then He shouted in my ear, a voice loud, saying, “Draw near, overseers of the city, with each a weapon of destruction of his in his hand!”
This appears to be a continuation of the vision of the previous chapter.
וְהִנֵּה שִׁשָּׁה אֲנָשִׁים בָּאִים מִדֶּרֶךְ־שַׁעַר הָעֶלְיֹון אֲשֶׁר מָפְנֶה צָפֹונָה וְאִישׁ כְּלִי מַפָּצֹו בְּיָדֹו 9:2 וְאִישׁ־אֶחָד בְּתֹוכָם לָבֻשׁ בַּדִּים וְקֶסֶת הַסֹּפֵר בְּמָתְנָיו וַיָּבֹאוּ וַיַּעַמְדוּ אֵצֶל מִזְבַּח הַנְּחֹשֶׁת׃
Ezek. 9:2 Then behold, six men were coming from the direction of the upper gate, which is facing north, with each a shattering weapon of his in his hand; and one man in their midst was wearing linens and the ink horn of a writer on his hips, and they came and stood near the altar of brass.
וּכְבֹוד אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל נַעֲלָה מֵעַל הַכְּרוּב אֲשֶׁר הָיָה עָלָיו אֶל מִפְתַּן הַבָּיִת וַיִּקְרָא אֶל־הָאִישׁ הַלָּבֻשׁ 9:3 הַבַּדִּים אֲשֶׁר קֶסֶת הַסֹּפֵר בְּמָתְנָיו׃
Ezek. 9:3 And the glory of the God of Israel was brought up from the cherub that was beside it to the threshold of the house, and He called to the man wearing the linens, on whose hips was the ink horn of a writer.
I think we will learn in the next chapter that the cherub may be like the beings described in Chapter 1. Apparently, we are told here that the cherub was beside the glory of God rather than beneath it. Later we will learn that there was a cherub at the door of the gate. So this must be an “extra” cherub, not one of the original four.
וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוָה (אֵלֹו) [אֵלָיו] עֲבֹר בְּתֹוךְ הָעִיר בְּתֹוךְ יְרוּשָׁלִָם וְהִתְוִיתָ תָּו עַל־מִצְחֹות הָאֲנָשִׁים 9:4 הַנֶּאֱנָחִים וְהַנֶּאֱנָקִים עַל כָּל־הַתֹּועֵבֹות הַנַּעֲשֹׂות בְּתֹוכָהּ׃
Ezek. 9:4 And the Lord said to him, ”Pass through the midst of the city, the midst of Jerusalem, and you shall make a mark on the foreheads of the men groaning and lamenting over all the abominations being committed in its midst.”
The word in error in the parentheses is missing a yad. The correction is made in the brackets.
וּלְאֵלֶּה אָמַר בְּאָזְנַי עִבְרוּ בָעִיר אַחֲרָיו וְהַכּוּ (עַל) [אַל]־תָּחֹס (עֵינֵיכֶם) [עֵינְכֶם] וְאַל־תַּחְמֹלוּ׃ 9:5
Ezek. 9:5 And to the others He said in my ears, “Pass through in the city after him and smite; let not your eye look with compassion, and you shall have no pity.”
The two errors in the pair of parentheses are corrected in the respective pair of brackets. The first error has an ayen in place of an aleph. The second error has a plural spelling and should be singular.
זָקֵן בָּחוּר וּבְתוּלָה וְטַף וְנָשִׁים תַּהַרְגוּ לְמַשְׁחִית וְעַל־כָּל־אִישׁ אֲשֶׁר־עָלָיו הַתָּו אַל־תִּגַּשׁוּ וּמִמִּקְדָּשִׁי 9:6 תָּחֵלּוּ וַיָּחֵלּוּ בָּאֲנָשִׁים הַזְּקֵנִים אֲשֶׁר לִפְנֵי הַבָּיִת׃
Ezek. 9:6 “Old man, young man, and maiden, and children, and women, you shall utterly destroy, but you shall not come near any man on whom the mark is, and you should begin from My sanctuary.” Then they began with the elderly men who were before the house.
וַיֹּאמֶר אֲלֵיהֶם טַמְּאוּ אֶת־הַבַּיִת וּמַלְאוּ אֶת־הַחֲצֵרֹות חֲלָלִים צֵאוּ וְיָצְאוּ וְהִכּוּ בָעִיר׃ 9:7
Ezek. 9:7 And He said to them, “Defile the house, and fill the courts with fatally wounded! Go forth!” And they went forth and smote in the city.
וַיְהִי כְּהַכֹּותָם וְנֵאשֲׁאַר אָנִי וָאֶפְּלָה עַל־פָּנַי וָאֶזְעַק וָאֹמַר אֲהָהּ אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה הֲמַשְׁחִית אַתָּה אֵת 9:8 כָּל־שְׁאֵרִית יִשְׂרָאֵל בְּשָׁפְךְּךָ אֶת־חֲמָתְךָ עַל־יְרוּשָׁלִָם׃
Ezek. 9:8 And it was while they were smiting them and I remained, that I fell on my face and cried out, and I said, “Ah, Master, O Lord! Are You going to destroy all the residue of Israel by Your venting Your ‘rage’ upon Jerusalem?”
וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלַי עֲוֹן בֵּית־יִשְׂרָאֵל וִיהוּדָה גָּדֹול בִּמְאֹד מְאֹד וַתִּמָּלֵא הָאָרֶץ דָּמִים וְהָעִיר מָלְאָה מֻטֶּה כִּי 9:9 אָמְרוּ עָזַב יְהוָה אֶת־הָאָרֶץ וְאֵין יְהוָה רֹאֶה׃
Ezek. 9:9 And He said to me, “The iniquity of the house of Israel and of Judah is very exceedingly great and the land is filled with blood, and the city is full of perverted judgment, for they say, ‘The Lord has abandoned the land, and the Lord is not looking.’”
וְגַם־אֲנִי לֹא־תָחֹוס עֵינִי וְלֹא אֶחְמֹל דַּרְכָּם בְּרֹאשָׁם נָתָתִּי׃ 9:10
Ezek. 9:10 “And I am neither! My ‘eye’ shall not spare, and I shall not have pity. I have set their way on their head.”
Notice how the God Figure cries out in apparent anguish in response to the last part of v. 9:9, that He has neither abandoned the land or is not watching.
וְהִנֵּה הָאִישׁ לְבֻשׁ הַבַּדִּים אֲשֶׁר הַקֶּסֶת בְּמָתְנָיו מֵשִׁיב דָּבָר לֵאמֹר עָשִׂיתִי כַּאֲשֶׁר צִוִּיתָנִי׃ 9:11
Ezek. 9:11 Then behold, the man wearing the linens on whose hips was the ink horn was returning; he spoke saying, “I have done as You have commanded me.”
This entire chapter is a metaphor for the destruction of Jerusalem, which was to happen soon. It is all part of the Godly vision. We can conclude this because Ezekiel imagines himself still in Jerusalem when he is actually in his house in Babylon (see Ezek. 8:1).
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