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24 And when they went, I heard the noise 27 And I saw as the colour of amber, as of their wings, like the noise of great waters, the appearance of fire round about within it, as the voice of the Almighty, the voice of from the appearance of his loins even upspeech, as the noise of an host: when they ward, and from the appearance of his loins stood, they let down their wings.
even downward, I saw as it were the
appear25 And there was a voice from the firma- ance of fire, and it had brightness round ment that was over their heads, when they about. stood, and had let down their wings.
28 As the appearance of the bow that is 26 | And above the firmament that was in the cloud in the day of rain, so was the over their heads was the likeness of a throne, appearance of the brightness round about. as the appearance of a sapphire stone: and This was the appearance of the likeness of upon the likeness of the throne was the the glory of the LORD. And when I saw it, likeness as the appearance of a man above I fell upon my face, and I heard a voice of
one that spake. Ezekiel.- Ezekiel, like Jeremiah. was of the sacerdotal race. and was one of the captives carried away, at the same time with Jehoiachin king of Judah, to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar. He was stationed with other captives at soine place on the river Chebar; and it does not appear that he e ercised the prophetic office until he had been removed from his own country. “The thirtieth year," which he gives as the date of his first prophecy, is supposed by some to be the year of his own age; it was certainly, as explained in the second verse. equivalent to the fifth year of king Jehviachiu's captivity. which leads Calmet to conjecture that it was rather the thirtieth year from the renewal of the covenant with Gud in the time of Josiah, as this was just thirty years prior to the time stated in the second and explanatory date. From a comparison of this date with that in chap. xxix. 17. it will appear that Ezekiel continued to prophesy nearly twenty-two years--the first being in the fifth year of his own captivity, and the last in the twenty-seventh. Thus Ezekiel, in Mesopotamia, did, during a very important period, prophesy contemporaneously with Jeremiah in Judea ; but he began his prophecies later and continued them longer than Jeremiah. As the predictions of the prophets, so distant from each other, referred in a very considerable degree to the same events, and were mutually corroborative, it is nut unlikely, as Jerome conjectures, that the prophecies of Jeremiah were sent to Mesopotamia, and those of Ezekiel to Judea, to give encouragement and confidence to the captive Jews, on the one hand, and, on the other. to reprove and leave without excuse those that remained in their own country. Some traditionary reports concerning Ezekiel himself and the place of his interment, we reserve for the final note to his book of prophecy.
The principal object of Ezekiel's prophecies, according to their immediate and literal sense. is to rebuke the children of Israel for their idolatries and unbelief, and to announce-as Jeremiah had done before and was thendoing-the terrible judgments which the Lord would exercise upon them by the hands of Nebuchadnezzar. This is the general subject of the twenty-four first chapters. The eight chapters following embrace prophecies against the Ammonites, Moabites, Edomites, Philistines, Tyrians, Sidonians, Egyptians, and Babylonians. These prophecies respecting foreign nations, hesides the conclusive evidence which they furnish to all ages of the Divine authority by which the prophets spoke, were, by the speedy accomplishment of many of them, well calculated to assure the Hebrews of the certain fulfilment of those other prophecies in which they were themselves more immediately interested. The remainder of the book, again. relates principally to the Hebrews, who, after proper warnings and reproofs, are assured of their final and happy re-establ shment in their own country.
The visions of Ezekiel, particularly those with which the bok opens and terminates, have always been regarded both by Jews and Christians as very abstruse and of difficult interpretation.-80 much so, inderd, that the former anciently forbade either of them to be read by persons under thirty years of age.
The style and manner of this prophet is marked by a peculiar character of its own, which is easily distinguishable even in a translation. It is thus discriminated by Bishop Lowth:-" Ezekiel is much inferior to Jeremiah in elegance ; in sublimity he is not even excelled by Isaiah: but his sublimity is of a totally different kind. He is deep, vehement, tragical; the only sensation he affects to excite is the terrible: his sentiments are elevated, servid, full of fire, indig. nant; his imagery is crowded, magnificent, terrific, sometimes almost to disgust; his language is pompous, solemn, austere, ruugh, and at times unpolished: he employs frequent repetitions, not for the sake of grace or elegance, but from the vehemence of passion and indignation. Whatever subject he treats of, that he sedulously pursues, from that he rarely departs, but cleaves as it were to it, whence the counection is in general evident and well preserved. In inary respects he is perhaps excelled by the other prophets ; but in that species of composition to which he seems by nature adopteti
, the forcible, the impetuous, the great and solemn, not one of the sacred writers is superior to him. His diction is sufficiently perspicuous. all his obscurity consists in the nature of his subject.” This estimate has been onjected to by some writers, and particularly by Michaelis, who can by no means allow that Ezekiel is equal in sublitrity to Isaiah: but to such discussions about style and manner, it may be well to append the remark of Archbishop Neweome, that the holy prophet is not to be considered merely as a poet, or as a framer of those august and astonishir.g visinns, and of those admirable poetical representations which he committed to writing; but as an instrument in the hands of God, who vouchsafed to reveal himself, through a long succession of ages, not only in divers parts constituting a magnificent and uniform whole, but also in divers manners, as by a voice, by dreams, by inspiration, and by plain or enigmatical vision.
Verse 1. “ The river of Chebar.”—This is doubtless the river that still bears the name of Khabour-being the same Oriental name, differently represented in European orthography. It is the only stream of note that enters the Euphrates, which it does from Mesopotamia. It is formed by the junction of a number of little brooks, which have their source at Ras-ul-lin (once a considerable town but now in ruins), thirteen fursungs south-west from Merdin. It takes a southerly direction till it receives the waters of another river, equal to itselt, when it bends westward to the Euphrates, which it enters at Kerkesia, the ancient Cireessium, which was the extreme boundary of the Roman empire in the time of Julian. This is about 280 mijes to the north-west of Babylon. The river which the Khabour receives is the Hermes, « Nahr-el-Houali, to which the Greeks gave the name of Mygdonius. It rises in Mount Masius, near Merdin; and after washing the ruined ramparts of Nisibis, encircles the base of the mountain Sinjar, and finally disembugues itself
into the Khabour. From this it appears clear that the band of captives to which Ezekiel belonged was settled in the higher Mesopotamia, at a very considerable distance from Babylon. See Kinneir's 'Geographical Memoir of the Persian Empire,' p. 244.
16. “ Beryl."-See the note on Exod. xxviii. 20.
22. “The terrible crystal.”—The 8713071727 ha-kerach ha-nora seems to have been a term of pre-eminence for the diamond, for it is indeed an admirable crystal for its brilliancy and hardness. The diamond is found in alluvial beds in India and Brazil, and also in the diamond bed of clay in the former country underneath beds of red or bluish clay. The diamond reflects all the light falling on the posterior surface at an angle of incidence greater than 24° 13', whence we have the cause of its superior brilliancy. When it is said that the firmament was as the colour of the terrible crystal, we must refer colour to the original, which is ry), “as the eye” or splendour of the diamond, which is sometimes yellow, red, or green, but colouring is not the remarkable feature of this gem, and seems therefore not to have been referred to here. "It is remarkable that in the Levant the diamond is called the eye of purity” (ain yaccoul), whence Dr. Shaw also concludes that the diamond is here to be understood.
26. “ Sapphire." —See the note on Exod. xxiv. 10. 27. “ Amber.”—See the note on ch. viii. 2.
6 And thou, son of man, be not afraid
of them, neither be afraid of their words, i Ezekiel's commission. 6 His instruction. 9 The roll of his heavy prophecy.
though 'briers and thorns be with thee, and
thou dost dwell among scorpions : be not And he said unto me, Son of man, stand afraid of their words, nor be dismayed at upon thy feet, and I will speak unto thee. their looks, though they be a rebellious
2 And the spirit entered into me when house. he spake unto me, and set me upon my feet, 7 And thou shalt speak my words unto that I heard him that spake unto me. them, whether they will hear, or whether
3 And he said unto me, Son of man, I they will forbear: for they are ‘most rebelsend thee to the children of Israel, to a re- lious. bellious 'nation that hath rebelled against 8 But thou, son of man, hear what I say me: they and their fathers have transgressed unto thee; Be not thou rebellious like that against me, even unto this very day. rebellious house: open thy mouth, and 'eat
4 For they are 'impudent children and that I give thee. stiffhearted. I do send thee unto them; 99 And when I looked, behold, an hand and thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith was sent unto me; and, lo, a roll of a book the Lord God.
was therein; 5 And they, whether they will hear, or 10 And he spread it before me: and it whether they will forbear, (for they are a re- was written within and without: and there bellious house,) yet shall know that there written therein lamentations, and hath been a prophet among them.
mourning, and woe. i Heb nations. ? Heb. hard of face.
Or, rebels. * Heb. rebellion, * Revel. 10.9. Verse 10. “ Written within and without.”—This was not a common practice, the rolls which formed the ancient books being usually written on one side only. But when the matter to be written exceeded the calculation under which the skin was prepared or provided, the writing was sometimes continued to the required extent on the other side, being the outer side of the roll." Therefore that the roll was written on “within and without,” implies that it was redundantly full of " lamentation, mourning, and woe.”
unto thee; for they will not hearken unto 1 Ezekiel eateth the roll. 4 God encourageth him. me: for all the house of Israel are 'impudent
15 God sheweth him the rule of prophecy. 22 and hardhearted. God shutteth and openeth the prophet's mouth. 8 Behold, I have made thy face strong MOREOVER he said unto me, Son of man, against their faces, and thy forehead strong eat that thou findest; eat this roll, and go against their foreheads. speak unto the house of Israel.
9 As an adamant harder than flint have 2 So I opened my mouth, and he caused I made thy forehead: "fear them not, neime to eat that roll.
ther be dismayed at their looks, though 3 And he said unto me, Son of man, they be a rebellious house. cause thy belly to eat, and fill thy bowels 10 Moreover he said unto me, Son of with this roll that I give thee. Then did I man, all my words that I shall speak unto eat it; and it was in my mouth as honey thee receive in thine heart, and hear with for sweetness.
thine ears. 4 And he said unto me, Son of man, 11 And go, get thee to them of the capgo, get thee unto the house of Israel, and tivity, unto the children of thy people, and speak with my words unto them.
speak unto them, and tell them, Thus saith 5 For thou art not sent to a people 'of a the Lord God; whether they will hear, or strange speech and of an hard language, but whether they will forbear. to the house of Israel;
12 Then the spirit took me up, and I 6 Not to many people of a strange speech
heard behind me a voice of a great rushing, and of an hard language, whose words thou saying, Blessed be the glory of the LORD canst not understand. Surely, had I sent from his place. thee to them, they would have hearkened 13 I heard also the noise of the wings of unto thee.
the living creatures that 'touched one an7 But the house of Israel will not hearken other, and the noise of the wheels over
. Heb. deep of lip, and heavy of tongue; and so verse 6. 3 Heb. deep of lip, and heary of language. * Or, if I had unt thes, &c. would ihoy not have hearkened unto thee! Heb. stif of forehead, and hard of heart.
1 Revel. 10.9.
7 Heb. kissed
against them, and a noise of a great rush- shall not be remembered; but his blood will ing
I require at thine hand. 14 So the spirit lifted me up, and took 21 Nevertheless if thou warn the rightme away, and I went 8in bitterness, in the eous man, that the righteous sin not, and 'heat of my spirit; but the hand of the he doth not sin, he shall surely live, because Lord was strong upon me.
he is warned; also thou hast delivered thy 15 | Then I came to them of the capti- soul. vity at Tel-abib, that dwelt by the river of 22 | And the hand of the LORD was there Chebar, and I sat where they sat, and re- upon me; and he said unto me, Arise, go mained there astonished among them seven forth into the plain, and I will there talk days.
with thee. 16 And it came to pass at the end of se- 23 Then I arose, and went forth into the ven days, that the word of the LORD came plain : and, behold, the glory of the Lord unto me, saying,
stood there, as the glory which I saw by 17 Son of man, I have made thee a the river of Chebar: and I fell on my watchman unto the house of Israel: there- face. fore hear the word at my mouth, and give 24 Then the spirit entered into me, and them warning from me.
set me upon my feet, and spake with me, 18 When I say unto the wicked, Thou and said unto me, Go, shut thyself within shalt surely die; and thou givest him not thine house. warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked 25 But thou, O son of man, behold, they from his wicked way, to save his life; the shall put bands upon thee, and shall bind same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; thee with them, and thou shalt not go out but his blood will I require at thine hand.
19 Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he 26 And I will make thy tongue cleave to turn not from his wickedness, nor from his the roof of thy mouth, that thou shalt be wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but dumb, and shalt not be to them "a reprover: thou hast delivered thy soul.
for they are a rebellious house. 20 Again, When a "righteous man doth 27 But when I speak with thee, I will turn from his "righteousness, and commit open thy mouth, and thou shalt say unto iniquity, and I lay a stumblingblock before them, Thus saith the Lord God; He that him, he shall die : because thou hast not heareth, let him hear; and he that forbeargiven him warning, he shall die in his sin, eth, let him forbear: for they are a rebeland his righteousness which he hath done lious house.
10 Chap 33 7 1 Chap 18. 94. 12 Heb. righteousnesses. 18 Chap 1.
among them :
8 Heb. bitter.
9 Heb. hot anger.
14 Heb. a man reproving.
Verse 15.“ Tel-abib.”—Names of places beginning with “ Tel" are still common in Assyria, Mesopotamia, and Syria. The word, in its present usage, indicates an artificial height, or loosely, any height; and when used as a prefix, intimates that the place is situated on some elevation. Tel-abib means “heap of ears of corn,” and we are not sure whether it is the name of a town, so called from the fertility of its neighbourhood, or of the fertile district itself. Whether a towni or a district it was certainly near to or traversed by the Chebar. Junius thinks it was the name of the district extending from Mount Masius to the Euphrates ; but perhaps a more distinct recognition may be obtained in the Thala laba, which the Theodosian table places in Mesopotamia, on the banks of the Chaborus (Khabour or Chebar), and the situation of which is marked in the map of D'Anville as in about the centre part of the district which Junius supposes the present name to describe.
set the camp also against it, and set 'batter
ing rams against it round about. 1 Under the type of a siege is shewed the time from 3 Moreover take thou unto thee 'an iron
the defection of Jeroboam to the captivity. 9 By the provision of the siege, is shewed the hardness
pan, and set it for a wall of iron between of the famine.
thee and the city: and set thy face against
it, and it shall be besieged, and thou shalt Thou also, son of man, take thee a tile, and lay siege against it. This shall be a sign tu lay it before thee, and pourtray upon it the the house of Israel. city, even Jerusalem :
2 And lay siege against it, and build a lay the iniquity of the house of Israel upon fort against it, and cast a mount against it; | it: according to the number of the days
i Or, chief leaders. * Or, a flat plate, or, slice.
thou shalt lie upon it thou shalt bear 11 Thou shalt drink also water by mea • iniquity.
sure, the sixth part of an hin: from time to For I have laid upon thee the years of time shalt thou drink. - iniquity, according to the number of 12 And thou shalt eat it as barley cakes, lays, three hundred and ninety days: and thou shalt bake it with dung that com
halt thou bear the iniquity of the house eth out of man, in their sight. 1rael.
13 And the LORD said, Even thus shall And when thou hast accomplished them, the children of Israel eat their defiled bread zain on thy right side, and thou shalt among the Gentiles, whither I will drive the iniquity of the house of Judah forty them. : I have appointed thee ‘each day for
14 Then said I, Ah Lord God! behold,
my soul hath not been polluted: for from Cherefore thou shalt set thy face toward my youth up even till now have I not eaten ege of Jerusalem, and thine arm shall be of that which dieth of itself, or is torn in rered, and thou shalt prophesy against it. pieces; neither came there abominable flesh And, behold, I will lay bands upon thee, into my mouth. hou shall not turn thee 'from one side 15 Then he said unto me, Lo, I have other, till thou hast ended the days of given thee cow's dung for man's dung, ege.
and thou shalt prepare thy bread thereTake thou also unto thee wheat, and with. } , and beans, and lentiles, and millet, 16 Moreover he said unto me, Son of man, itches, and put them in one vessel, and behold, I will break the 'staff of bread in
thee bread thereof, according to the Jerusalem : and they shall eat bread by er of the days that thou shalt sie upon weight, and with care; and they shall ide, three hundred and ninety days drink water by measure, and with astonishthou eat thereof.
ment: · And thy meat which thou shalt eat 17 That they may want bread and water,
be by weight, twenty shekels a day: and be astonied one with another, and conime to time shalt thou eat it.
sume away for their iniquity. 3 Num. 14.34. • Heb, a day for a year, a day for a year 3 Heb. from thy side to thy side.
• Or, spelt. 7 Lev. 26. 26. Chap. 5. 16, and is. 13. 1. “Take thee a tile... and pourtray upon it the city.”—For "tile," we may read “ brick,” and for “ pourtray," re.". This is a striking reference to the Chaldean usage of writing and pourtraying by indented figures upon ad thin bricks. Great numbers of such bricks, charged with inscriptions in the arrow-headed character, and ures of animals and other objects, are found among the ruins of Babylon and other ancient sites in Chaldea. criptions of those which have been brought to light have not been decyphered, except that Professor Grotefend ad the name of Darius upon one of them. The bricks applied to this use are of fine clay, much hardened in
They are of different sizes, but very commonly a foot square by three inches in thickness. Heeren thinks it 3 that the usual process in forming the inscriptions was to impress the characters upon the brick by means of hich they applied before the mass was submitted to the fire. li so, they touched upon the invention of printing y as the materials would allow. Some of these bricks, besides the lines of inscribed writing, bear the impression offering the figures of animals and other objects, with other lines of inscription attached to them ; whence it a conjectured that these bricks contain public or private documents, with the names and seals of witnesses, and ruined edifices from which they are obtained were the repositories of such archives. It is however not necesgeneralise this opinion, and to suppose that all the inscribed bricks were such documents, some of which may contain the astronomical observations for a long series of years, which the ancient Chaldeans are said to have I on bricks. But it is difficult to explain, under any hypothesis, how it happens that such bricks should have ployed in the construction of walls, with their inscribed faces downward-their edges, which formed the front all, only appearing--and connected by a strong cement, so as to preclude the possibility of their being read till e destruction of the buildings of which they were composed. However, enough has been stated to illustrate, e common practice of the countıy, the act of the prophet when he took a tile to “ portray.” Jerusalem thereon. 3 was done, we do not know; but probably by inscribing its name or symbol upon the brick, or possibly by a representation of some conspicuous part or building of the city. ta iron pan."--Or“ an iron plate," probably such as was employed for baking cakes of bread. See Lev. ii. 5. Beans.”_572 pul, whence the Latin puls, and our English pulse, as a general appellation for the seeds of leguplants. The kinds most common in Syria are the white horse bean and the kidney bean. The paintings of show that the bean was cultivated in that country in very ancient times. It is stated by Herodotus that beans id in abhorrence by the Egyptian priesthood, and that they were never eaten by the people. But as they were eless cultivated, the intimation of Diodorus that the abstinence from beans was not general, is more than prohough it is not likely that they formed so considerable an article in the diet of the poorer people as they do at
in the same country. It will be observed that the prophet is directed to make his bread with beans, dhourra, , and other coarse, inferior matters, mixed with wheat, to show that wheat should become too costly to be used und to express the shifts to which the besieged people should be driven. Thus the Romans were in the habit ng the meal of the bean with that of corn grasses, in times of scarcity, and the practice has been imitated in 1 times. The present passage shows the antiquity of this resource.