Ezekiel 22 Bible Commentary

John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes

(Read all of Ezekiel 22)

Verse 2

[2] Now, thou son of man, wilt thou judge, wilt thou judge the bloody city? yea, thou shalt shew her all her abominations.

Judge — The question is doubled, to awaken the prophet more fully, and to quicken him to his work.

Verse 3

[3] Then say thou, Thus saith the Lord GOD, The city sheddeth blood in the midst of it, that her time may come, and maketh idols against herself to defile herself.

Her time — The time of ripeness in her sins, and of execution of judgments on her.

To defile — For this does more defile them, and provoke God to wrath against them.

Verse 4

[4] Thou art become guilty in thy blood that thou hast shed; and hast defiled thyself in thine idols which thou hast made; and thou hast caused thy days to draw near, and art come even unto thy years: therefore have I made thee a reproach unto the heathen, and a mocking to all countries.

Thy days — The days of thy sorrows, and punishment.

Art come — Thou art grown up to the eldest years in sin, beyond which thou art not to go.

Verse 5

[5] Those that be near, and those that be far from thee, shall mock thee, which art infamous and much vexed.

Much vexed — Afflicted, impoverished, and ruined.

Verse 6

[6] Behold, the princes of Israel, every one were in thee to their power to shed blood.

Every one — Not one to be found of a more merciful temper.

To their power — According to their ability.

Verse 7

[7] In thee have they set light by father and mother: in the midst of thee have they dealt by oppression with the stranger: in thee have they vexed the fatherless and the widow.

In thee — In Jerusalem.

Verse 8

[8] Thou hast despised mine holy things, and hast profaned my sabbaths.

Thou — O Jerusalem.

Mine holy things — All mine institutions, temple, sacrifices, feasts.

Verse 9

[9] In thee are men that carry tales to shed blood: and in thee they eat upon the mountains: in the midst of thee they commit lewdness.

Carry tales — Informers, or persons that for money, give in false witness against the innocent.

They eat — Offer sacrifice on the mountains and feast there, in honour of their idols.

Verse 10

[10] In thee have they discovered their fathers' nakedness: in thee have they humbled her that was set apart for pollution.

Discovered — Defiled their fathers bed.

Verse 13

[13] Behold, therefore I have smitten mine hand at thy dishonest gain which thou hast made, and at thy blood which hath been in the midst of thee.

Smitten mine hand — In testimony of my abhorrence.

Verse 14

[14] Can thine heart endure, or can thine hands be strong, in the days that I shall deal with thee? I the LORD have spoken it, and will do it.

Endure — Withstand the evils that are coming, or bear them when come.

Verse 16

[16] And thou shalt take thine inheritance in thyself in the sight of the heathen, and thou shalt know that I am the LORD.

In thyself — Whereas I was thine inheritance so long as thou wert a holy, obedient people; now be an inheritance to thyself, if thou canst.

Verse 18

[18] Son of man, the house of Israel is to me become dross: all they are brass, and tin, and iron, and lead, in the midst of the furnace; they are even the dross of silver.

Dross — Utterly degenerate, and base metal.

The furnace — The afflictions I have laid upon them have not bettered them.

The dross — While they loved mercy, did justly, walked humbly with their God, they were as silver; now they are but dross.

Verse 19

[19] Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Because ye are all become dross, behold, therefore I will gather you into the midst of Jerusalem.

Gather you — From all parts. I will, by a secret over-ruling providence, bring you into Jerusalem, as into a furnace, where you may be consumed.

Verse 23

[23] And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,

Her — The land of Israel.

Not cleansed — Though God's judgments have been as violent floods; and as hottest fires.

Nor rained upon — Yet neither thy filth hath been carried away, nor thy dross melted out of thee. Therefore thou shalt be deprived of the rain, that should cool thy thirsty land.

Verse 25

[25] There is a conspiracy of her prophets in the midst thereof, like a roaring lion ravening the prey; they have devoured souls; they have taken the treasure and precious things; they have made her many widows in the midst thereof.

A conspiracy — A contrivance, to speak all alike, smooth words, and give out promises of peace and safety.

Thereof — Of the land.

The treasure — As a reward of their lies.

Made her — By persuading Zedekiah to hold out the war, which filled Jerusalem with dead husbands, and forlorn widows.

Verse 26

[26] Her priests have violated my law, and have profaned mine holy things: they have put no difference between the holy and profane, neither have they shewed difference between the unclean and the clean, and have hid their eyes from my sabbaths, and I am profaned among them.

My holy things — Sacrifices, and oblations.

Put no difference — Neither have they in their practice, differenced holy and profane, nor in their teaching acquainted the people with the difference, nor in the exercise of their authority, separated the profane from the holy, either persons, or things.

Hid their eyes — Despised, and would not see the holiness of the sabbaths.

Profaned — Contemned, dishonoured, disobeyed.

Verse 27

[27] Her princes in the midst thereof are like wolves ravening the prey, to shed blood, and to destroy souls, to get dishonest gain.

Destroy souls — Ruin families; cutting off the fathers, and impoverishing the widow, and fatherless.

Verse 28

[28] And her prophets have daubed them with untempered morter, seeing vanity, and divining lies unto them, saying, Thus saith the Lord GOD, when the LORD hath not spoken.

Daubed them — Flattered them, in their ways of sin.

Untempered mortar — With promises that like ill-tempered mortar, will deceive them, though all seems at present smooth and safe.

Verse 30

[30] And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.

I sought — God speaks after the manner of men.

A man — Any one, among princes, prophets, priests, or people, to repair the breach.

And stand — Interpose between a sinful people, and their offended God, and intreat for mercy.

But — All were corrupted.