The Justice of God's Punishment of Jerusalem

12 The word of the Lord came to me: 13 "Son of man, if a country sins against me by being unfaithful and I stretch out my hand against it to cut off its food supply and send famine upon it and kill its people and their animals, 14 even if these three men-Noah, Daniel[1] and Job-were in it, they could save only themselves by their righteousness, declares the Sovereign Lord. 15 "Or if I send wild beasts through that country and they leave it childless and it becomes desolate so that no one can pass through it because of the beasts, 16 as surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, even if these three men were in it, they could not save their own sons or daughters. They alone would be saved, but the land would be desolate. 17 "Or if I bring a sword against that country and say, 'Let the sword pass throughout the land,' and I kill its people and their animals, 18 as surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, even if these three men were in it, they could not save their own sons or daughters. They alone would be saved. 19 "Or if I send a plague into that land and pour out my wrath on it through bloodshed, killing its people and their animals, 20 as surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, even if Noah, Daniel and Job were in it, they could save neither son nor daughter. They would save only themselves by their righteousness. 21 "For this is what the Sovereign Lord says: How much worse will it be when I send against Jerusalem my four dreadful judgments-sword and famine and wild beasts and plague-to kill its men and their animals! 22 Yet there will be some survivors-sons and daughters who will be brought out of it. They will come to you, and when you see their conduct and their actions, you will be consoled regarding the disaster I have brought on Jerusalem-every disaster I have brought on it. 23 You will be consoled when you see their conduct and their actions, for you will know that I have done nothing in it without cause, declares the Sovereign Lord."

Matthew Henry's Commentary on Ezekiel 14:12-23

Commentary on Ezekiel 14:12-23

(Read Ezekiel 14:12-23)

National sins bring national judgments. Though sinners escape one judgment, another is waiting for them. When God's professing people rebel against him, they may justly expect all his judgments. The faith, obedience, and prayers of Noah prevailed to the saving of his house, but not of the old world. Job's sacrifice and prayer in behalf of his friends were accepted, and Daniel had prevailed for the saving his companions and the wise men of Babylon. But a people that had filled the measure of their sins, was not to expect to escape for the sake of any righteous men living among them; not even of the most eminent saints, who could be accepted in their own case only through the sufferings and righteousness of Christ. Yet even when God makes the greatest desolations by his judgments, he saves some to be monuments of his mercy. In firm belief that we shall approve the whole of God's dealings with ourselves, and with all mankind, let us silence all rebellious murmurs and objections.