Ezekiel 5 Bible Commentary

John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes

(Read all of Ezekiel 5)

Verse 1

[1] And thou, son of man, take thee a sharp knife, take thee a barber's razor, and cause it to pass upon thine head and upon thy beard: then take thee balances to weigh, and divide the hair.

Take — Thus foretel the mourning, reproach, and deformity that are coming, for all this is signified by shaving the head and beard.

Verse 2

[2] Thou shalt burn with fire a third part in the midst of the city, when the days of the siege are fulfilled: and thou shalt take a third part, and smite about it with a knife: and a third part thou shalt scatter in the wind; and I will draw out a sword after them.

A third part — Described on the tile, chap. 4:1, a type of what should be done in Jerusalem.

The days — When the three hundred and ninety days of thy lying against the portrayed city shall be ended.

With a knife — To signify them that fall by the sword.

Scatter — To typify them that fell to the Chaldeans, or fled to Egypt, or other countries.

Verse 3

[3] Thou shalt also take thereof a few in number, and bind them in thy skirts.

Take — Of the last third.

Bind — As men tied up in the skirt of their garment what they would not lose: to signify the small remnant.

Verse 4

[4] Then take of them again, and cast them into the midst of the fire, and burn them in the fire; for thereof shall a fire come forth into all the house of Israel.

Of them — Out of that little remnant.

In the fire — For their sin against God, their discontents at their state, and conspiracies against their governor, another fire shall break out which shall devour the most, and be near consuming all the houses of Israel.

Verse 5

[5] Thus saith the Lord GOD; This is Jerusalem: I have set it in the midst of the nations and countries that are round about her.

This is Jerusalem — This portrayed city, is typically Jerusalem.

The midst — Jerusalem was set in the midst of the nations, to be as the heart in the body, to invigorate the dead world with a divine life, as well as to enlighten the dark world with a divine light.

Verse 6

[6] And she hath changed my judgments into wickedness more than the nations, and my statutes more than the countries that are round about her: for they have refused my judgments and my statutes, they have not walked in them.

More — More than the heathen.

Verse 7

[7] Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Because ye multiplied more than the nations that are round about you, and have not walked in my statutes, neither have kept my judgments, neither have done according to the judgments of the nations that are round about you;

Multiplied — In idols, superstitions, and wickedness.

Neither — You have exceeded them in superstition and idolatry, and fallen short of them in moral virtues.

Verse 9

[9] And I will do in thee that which I have not done, and whereunto I will not do any more the like, because of all thine abominations.

Not done — Though the old world perished by water, and Sodom by fire, yet neither one or other was so lingering a death.

Verse 10

[10] Therefore the fathers shall eat the sons in the midst of thee, and the sons shall eat their fathers; and I will execute judgments in thee, and the whole remnant of thee will I scatter into all the winds.

Scatter — This was verified when they were fetched away, who were left at the departure of the besiegers, and when the very small remnant with Johanan fled into Egypt.

Verse 11

[11] Wherefore, as I live, saith the Lord GOD; Surely, because thou hast defiled my sanctuary with all thy detestable things, and with all thine abominations, therefore will I also diminish thee; neither shall mine eye spare, neither will I have any pity.

Sanctuary — My temple.

Detestable things — Thy idols.

Verse 13

[13] Thus shall mine anger be accomplished, and I will cause my fury to rest upon them, and I will be comforted: and they shall know that I the LORD have spoken it in my zeal, when I have accomplished my fury in them.

Comforted — In executing my vengeance.

In my zeal — For my own glory.

Verse 15

[15] So it shall be a reproach and a taunt, an instruction and an astonishment unto the nations that are round about thee, when I shall execute judgments in thee in anger and in fury and in furious rebukes. I the LORD have spoken it.

Taunt — A very proverb among them.

Instruction — Sinners shall learn by thy miseries, what they may expect from me.

Verse 17

[17] So will I send upon you famine and evil beasts, and they shall bereave thee; and pestilence and blood shall pass through thee; and I will bring the sword upon thee. I the LORD have spoken it.

Bereave thee — Of your children, friends, and your own life.

Pestilence and blood — Thy land shall be the common road for pestilence and blood. Tho' this prophecy was to be accomplished presently, in the destruction of Jerusalem by the Chaldeans; yet it may well be supposed to look forward, to the final destruction of it by the Romans, when God made a full end of the Jewish nation, and caused his fury to rest upon them.