New English Translation
3 He said to me, “Son of man, I am sending you to the house[d] of Israel, to rebellious nations[e] who have rebelled against me; both they and their fathers have revolted[f] against me to this very day. 4 The people[g] to whom I am sending you are obstinate and hard-hearted,[h] and you must say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says.’[i] 5 And as for them,[j] whether they listen[k] or not—for they are a rebellious[l] house[m]—they will know that a prophet has been among them. 6 But you, son of man, do not fear them, and do not fear their words. Even though briers[n] and thorns[o] surround you and you live among scorpions—do not fear their words and do not be terrified of the looks they give you,[p] for they are a rebellious house! 7 You must speak my words to them whether they listen or not, for they are rebellious. 8 As for you, son of man, listen to what I am saying to you: Do not rebel like that rebellious house! Open your mouth and eat what I am giving you.”
9 Then I looked and realized a hand was stretched out to me, and in it was a written scroll. 10 He unrolled it before me, and it had writing on the front[q] and back;[r] written on it were laments, mourning, and woe.
3 He said to me, “Son of man, eat what you see in front of you[s]—eat this scroll—and then go and speak to the house of Israel.” 2 So I opened my mouth and he fed me the scroll.
3 He said to me, “Son of man, feed your stomach and fill your belly with this scroll I am giving to you.” So I ate it,[t] and it was sweet like honey in my mouth.
4 He said to me, “Son of man, go to the house of Israel and speak my words to them. 5 For you are not being sent to a people of unintelligible speech[u] and difficult language,[v] but[w] to the house of Israel— 6 not to many peoples of unintelligible speech and difficult language, whose words you cannot understand.[x] Surely if[y] I had sent you to them, they would listen to you! 7 But the house of Israel is unwilling to listen to you,[z] because they are not willing to listen to me,[aa] for the whole house of Israel is hardheaded and hardhearted.[ab]
8 “I have made your face adamant[ac] to match their faces, and your forehead hard to match their foreheads. 9 I have made your forehead harder than flint—like diamond![ad] Do not fear them or be terrified of the looks they give you,[ae] for they are a rebellious house.”
10 And he said to me, “Son of man, take all my words that I speak to you to heart and listen carefully. 11 Go to the exiles, to your fellow countrymen,[af] and speak to them. Say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says,’ whether they pay attention or not.”
Ezekiel Before the Exiles
12 Then a wind lifted me up[ag] and I heard a great rumbling sound behind me as the glory of the Lord rose from its place,[ah] 13 and the sound of the living beings’ wings brushing against each other, and the sound of the wheels alongside them, a great rumbling sound. 14 A wind lifted me up and carried me away. I went bitterly,[ai] my spirit full of fury, and the hand of the Lord rested powerfully[aj] on me. 15 I came to the exiles at Tel Abib,[ak] who lived by the Kebar River.[al] I sat dumbfounded among them there, where they were living, for seven days.[am]
16 At the end of seven days the Lord’s message came to me: 17 “Son of man, I have appointed you a watchman[an] for the house of Israel. Whenever you hear a word from my mouth, you must give them a warning from me. 18 When I say to the wicked, ‘You will certainly die,’[ao] and you do not warn him—you do not speak out to warn the wicked to turn from his wicked lifestyle so that he may live—that wicked person will die for his iniquity,[ap] but I will hold you accountable for his death.[aq] 19 But as for you, if you warn the wicked and he does not turn from his wicked deed and from his wicked lifestyle, he will die for his iniquity but you will have saved your own life.[ar]
20 “When a righteous person turns from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and I set an obstacle[as] before him, he will die. If you have not warned him, he will die for his sin. The righteous deeds he performed will not be considered, but I will hold you accountable for his death. 21 However, if you warn the righteous person not to sin, and he[at] does not sin, he will certainly live because he was warned, and you will have saved your own life.”
Isolated and Silenced
22 The hand[au] of the Lord rested on me there, and he said to me, “Get up, go out to the valley,[av] and I will speak with you there.” 23 So I got up and went out to the valley, and the glory of the Lord was standing there, just like the glory I had seen by the Kebar River,[aw] and I threw myself face down.
24 Then a wind[ax] came into me and stood me on my feet. The Lord[ay] spoke to me and said, “Go shut yourself in your house. 25 As for you, son of man, they will put ropes on you and tie you up with them, so you cannot go out among them. 26 I will make your tongue stick to the roof of your mouth so that you will be silent and unable to reprove[az] them, for they are a rebellious house. 27 But when I speak with you, I will loosen your tongue[ba] and you must say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says.’ Those who listen will listen, but the indifferent will refuse,[bb] for they are a rebellious house.
Ominous Object Lessons
4 “And you, son of man, take a brick[bc] and set it in front of you. Inscribe[bd] a city on it—Jerusalem. 2 Lay siege to it! Build siege works against it. Erect a siege ramp[be] against it! Post soldiers outside it[bf] and station battering rams around it. 3 Then for your part take an iron frying pan[bg] and set it up as an iron wall between you and the city. Set your face toward it. It is to be under siege; you are to besiege it. This is a sign[bh] for the house of Israel.
4 “Also for your part lie on your left side and place the iniquity[bi] of the house of Israel on it. For the number of days you lie on your side you will bear their iniquity. 5 I have determined that the number of the years of their iniquity are to be the number of days[bj] for you—390 days.[bk] So bear the iniquity of the house of Israel.[bl]
6 “When you have completed these days, then lie down a second time, but on your right side, and bear the iniquity of the house of Judah 40 days[bm]—I have assigned one day for each year. 7 You must turn your face toward the siege of Jerusalem with your arm bared and prophesy against it. 8 Look here: I will tie you up with ropes, so you cannot turn from one side to the other until you complete the days of your siege.[bn]
9 “As for you, take wheat, barley, beans, lentils, millet, and spelt,[bo] put them in a single container, and make food[bp] from them for yourself. For the same number of days that you lie on your side—390 days[bq]—you will eat it. 10 The food you eat will be eight ounces[br] a day by weight; you must eat it at fixed times.[bs] 11 And you must drink water by measure, a pint and a half;[bt] you must drink it at fixed times. 12 And you must eat the food as you would a barley cake. You must bake it in front of them over a fire made with dried human excrement.”[bu] 13 And the Lord said, “This is how the people of Israel will eat their unclean food among the nations[bv] where I will banish them.”
14 And I said, “Ah, Sovereign Lord, I have never been ceremonially defiled before. I have never eaten a carcass or an animal torn by wild beasts; from my youth up, unclean meat[bw] has never entered my mouth.”
15 So he said to me, “All right then, I will substitute cow’s manure instead of human excrement. You will cook your food over it.”
16 Then he said to me, “Son of man, I am about to remove the bread supply[bx] in Jerusalem. They will eat their bread ration anxiously, and they will drink their water ration in terror 17 because they will lack bread and water. Each one will be terrified, and they will rot for their iniquity.[by]
5 “As for you, son of man, take a sharp sword and use it as a barber’s razor.[bz] Shave off some of the hair from your head and your beard.[ca] Then take scales and divide up the hair you cut off. 2 Burn a third of it in the fire inside the city when the days of your siege are completed. Take a third and slash it with a sword all around the city. Scatter a third to the wind, and I will unleash a sword behind them. 3 But take a few strands of hair[cb] from those and tie them in the ends of your garment.[cc] 4 Again, take more of them and throw them into the fire,[cd] and burn them up. From there a fire will spread to all the house of Israel.
5 “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: This is Jerusalem; I placed her in the center of the nations with countries all around her. 6 Then she defied my regulations and my statutes, becoming more wicked than the nations[ce] and the countries around her.[cf] Indeed, they[cg] have rejected my regulations, and they do not follow my statutes.
7 “Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: Because you are more arrogant[ch] than the nations around you,[ci] you have not followed my statutes and have not carried out my regulations. You have not even[cj] carried out the regulations of the nations around you!
8 “Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I—even I—am against you,[ck] and I will execute judgment[cl] among you while the nations watch.[cm] 9 I will do to you what I have never done before and will never do again because of all your abominable practices.[cn] 10 Therefore, fathers will eat their sons within you, Jerusalem,[co] and sons will eat their fathers. I will execute judgments on you, and I will scatter any survivors[cp] to the winds.[cq]
11 “Therefore, as surely as I live, says the Sovereign Lord, because you defiled my sanctuary with all your detestable idols and with all your abominable practices, I will withdraw; my eye will not pity you, nor will I spare[cr] you. 12 A third of your people will die of plague or be overcome by the famine within you.[cs] A third of your people will fall by the sword surrounding you,[ct] and a third I will scatter to the winds. I will unleash a sword behind them. 13 Then my anger will be fully vented; I will exhaust my rage on them, and I will be appeased.[cu] Then they will know that I, the Lord, have spoken in my jealousy[cv] when I have fully vented my rage against them.
14 “I will make you desolate and an object of scorn among the nations around you, in the sight of everyone who passes by. 15 You will be[cw] an object of scorn and taunting,[cx] a prime example of destruction[cy] among the nations around you when I execute judgments against you in anger and raging fury.[cz] I, the Lord, have spoken! 16 I will shoot against them deadly,[da] destructive[db] arrows of famine,[dc] which I will shoot to destroy you.[dd] I will prolong a famine on you and will remove the bread supply.[de] 17 I will send famine and wild beasts against you, and they will take your children from you.[df] Plague and bloodshed will overwhelm you,[dg] and I will bring a sword against you. I, the Lord, have spoken!”
- Ezekiel 2:1 sn The phrase son of man occurs ninety-three times in the book of Ezekiel. It simply means “human one” and distinguishes the prophet from the nonhuman beings that are present in the world of his vision.
- Ezekiel 2:2 tc The phrase “as he spoke to me” is absent from the LXX.
- Ezekiel 2:2 tn Or “spirit.” The NIV has “the Spirit,” but the absence of the article in the Hebrew text makes this unlikely. Elsewhere in Ezekiel the Lord’s Spirit is referred to as “the Spirit of the Lord” (11:5; 37:1), “the Spirit of God” (11:24), or “my (that is, the Lord’s) Spirit” (36:27; 37:14; 39:29). Some identify the “spirit” of 2:2 as the spirit that energized the living beings; however, that “spirit” is called “the spirit” (1:12, 20) or “the spirit of the living beings” (1:20-21; 10:17). Still others see the term as referring to an impersonal “spirit” of strength or courage, that is, the term may also be understood as a disposition or attitude. The Hebrew word often refers to a wind in Ezekiel (1:4; 5:10, 12; 12:4; 13:11, 13; 17:10, 21; 19:12; 27:26; 37:9). In 37:5-10 a “breath” originates in the “four winds” and is associated with the Lord’s life-giving breath (see v. 14). This breath enters into the dry bones and gives them life. In a similar fashion the breath of 2:2 (see also 3:24) energizes paralyzed Ezekiel. Breath and wind are related. On the one hand, it is a more normal picture to think of breath rather than wind entering someone, but since wind represents an external force, it seems more likely for wind rather than breath to stand someone up (unless we should understand it as a disposition). It may be that one should envision the breath of the speaker moving like a wind to revive Ezekiel, helping him to regain his breath and invigorating him to stand. A wind also transports the prophet from one place to another (3:12, 14; 8:3; 11:1, 24; 43:5).
- Ezekiel 2:3 tc The Hebrew reads “sons of,” while the LXX reads “house,” implying the more common phrase in Ezekiel. Either could be abbreviated with the first letter ב (bet). In preparation for the characterization “house of rebellion,” in vv. 5, 6, and 8 “house” is preferred (L. C. Allen, Ezekiel [WBC], 1:10 and W. Zimmerli, Ezekiel [Hermeneia], 2:564-65).
- Ezekiel 2:3 tc Heb “to the rebellious nations.” The phrase “to the rebellious nations” is omitted in the LXX. Elsewhere in Ezekiel the singular word “nation” is used for Israel (36:13-15; 37:22). Here “nations” may have the meaning of “tribes” or refer to the two nations of Israel and Judah.
- Ezekiel 2:3 tc This word is omitted from the LXX. tn The Hebrew term used here is the strongest word available for expressing a covenant violation. The word is used in the diplomatic arena to express a treaty violation (2 Kgs 1:1; 3:5, 7).
- Ezekiel 2:4 tn Heb “sons.” The word choice may reflect treaty idiom, where the relationship between an overlord and his subjects can be described as that of father and son.
- Ezekiel 2:4 tc Heb “stern of face and hard of heart.” The phrases “stern of face” and “hard of heart” are lacking in the LXX.
- Ezekiel 2:4 tn The phrase “thus says [the Lord]” occurs 129 times in Ezekiel; the announcement is identical to the way messengers often introduced their messages (Gen 32:5; 45:9; Exod 5:10; Num 20:14; Judg 11:15).
- Ezekiel 2:5 tn Heb “they”; the phrase “And as for them” has been used in the translation for clarity.
- Ezekiel 2:5 tn The Hebrew word implies obedience rather than mere hearing or paying attention.
- Ezekiel 2:5 tn This Hebrew adjective is also used to describe the Israelites in Num 17:10 (17:25 HT) and Isa 30:9.
- Ezekiel 2:5 sn The book of Ezekiel frequently refers to the Israelites as a rebellious house (Ezek 2:5, 6, 8; 3:9, 26-27; 12:2-3, 9, 25; 17:12; 24:3).
- Ezekiel 2:6 tn The Hebrew term occurs only here in the OT.
- Ezekiel 2:6 tn The Hebrew term is found elsewhere in the OT only in Ezek 28:24.sn Here thorns may be a figure for hostility (Ezek 28:24; Mic 7:4).
- Ezekiel 2:6 tn Heb “of their faces.”
- Ezekiel 2:10 tn Heb “on the face.”
- Ezekiel 2:10 sn Written on the front and back. While it was common for papyrus scrolls to have writing on both sides, the same was not true for leather scrolls.
- Ezekiel 3:1 tn Heb “eat what you find.”
- Ezekiel 3:3 tc Heb “I ate,” a first common singular preterite plus paragogic he (ה). The ancient versions read “I ate it,” which is certainly the meaning in the context, and indicates they read the he as a third feminine singular pronominal suffix. The Masoretes typically wrote a mappiq in the he for the pronominal suffix but apparently missed this one.sn I ate it. A similar idea of consuming God’s word is found in Jer 15:16 and Rev 10:10, where it is also compared to honey and may be specifically reminiscent of this text.
- Ezekiel 3:5 tn Heb “deep of lip” (in the sense of incomprehensible).
- Ezekiel 3:5 tn Heb “heavy of tongue.” Similar language occurs in Exod 4:10 and Isa 33:19.
- Ezekiel 3:5 tn The conjunction “but” is not in the Hebrew text but is implied from the context.
- Ezekiel 3:6 tn Heb “hear.”
- Ezekiel 3:6 tc The MT reads: “if not,” but most ancient versions translate only “if.” The expression occurs with this sense in Isa 5:9 and 14:24. See also Ezek 34:8; 36:5; 38:19.
- Ezekiel 3:7 sn Moses (Exod 3:19) and Isaiah (Isa 6:9-10) were also told that their messages would not be received.
- Ezekiel 3:7 sn A similar description of Israel’s disobedience is given in 1 Sam 8:7.
- Ezekiel 3:7 tn Heb “hard of forehead and stiff of heart.”
- Ezekiel 3:8 tn Heb “strong, resolute.”
- Ezekiel 3:9 tn The Hebrew term translated “diamond” is parallel to “iron” in Jer 17:1. The Hebrew uses two terms which are both translated at times as “flint,” but here one is clearly harder than the other. The translation “diamond” attempts to reflect this distinction in English.
- Ezekiel 3:9 tn Heb “of their faces.”
- Ezekiel 3:11 tn Heb “to the sons of your people.”
- Ezekiel 3:12 sn See note on “wind” in 2:2.
- Ezekiel 3:12 tc This translation accepts the emendation suggested in BHS of בְּרוּם (berum, “in the lifting”) for בָּרוּךְ (barukh). The letters mem (מ) and kaf (כ) were easily confused in the old script, while בָּרוּךְ (“blessed be”) implies a quotation, which is out of place here. The word also does not fit the later phrase “from its place,” which requires a verb of motion.
- Ezekiel 3:14 tn The traditional interpretation is that Ezekiel embarked on his mission with bitterness and anger, either reflecting God’s attitude toward the sinful people or his own feelings about having to carry out such an unpleasant task. L. C. Allen (Ezekiel [WBC], 1:13) takes “bitterly” as a misplaced marginal note and understands the following word, normally translated “anger,” in the sense of fervor or passion. He translates, “I was passionately moved” (p. 4). Another option is to take the word translated “bitterly” as a verb meaning “strengthened” (attested in Ugaritic). See G. R. Driver, Canaanite Myths and Legends, 152.
- Ezekiel 3:14 tn Heb “the hand of the Lord was on me heavily.” The “hand of the Lord” is a metaphor for his power or influence; the modifier conveys intensity. sn In Ezekiel God’s “hand” being on the prophet is regularly associated with communication or a vision from God (1:3; 3:14, 22; 8:1; 37:1; 40:1).
- Ezekiel 3:15 sn The name “Tel Abib” is a transliteration of an Akkadian term meaning “mound of the flood,” i.e., an ancient mound. It is not to be confused with the modern city of Tel Aviv in Israel.
- Ezekiel 3:15 tn Or “canal.”
- Ezekiel 3:15 sn A similar response to a divine encounter is found in Acts 9:8-9.
- Ezekiel 3:17 tn The literal role of a watchman is described in 2 Sam 18:24 and 2 Kgs 9:17.
- Ezekiel 3:18 sn Even though the infinitive absolute is used to emphasize the warning, the warning is still implicitly conditional, as the following context makes clear.
- Ezekiel 3:18 tn Or “in his punishment.” The phrase “in/for [a person’s] iniquity” occurs fourteen times in Ezekiel: here and v. 19; 4:17; 7:13, 16; 18:17, 18, 19, 20; 24:23; 33:6, 8, 9; 39:23. The Hebrew word for “iniquity” may also mean the “punishment for iniquity.”
- Ezekiel 3:18 tn Heb “his blood I will seek from your hand.” The expression “seek blood from the hand” is equivalent to requiring the death penalty (2 Sam 4:11-12).
- Ezekiel 3:19 tn Verses 17-19 are repeated in Ezek 33:7-9.
- Ezekiel 3:20 tn Or “stumbling block.” The Hebrew term refers to an obstacle in the road in Lev 19:14.
- Ezekiel 3:21 tn Heb “the righteous man.”
- Ezekiel 3:22 tn Or “power.” sn Hand in the OT can refer metaphorically to power, authority, or influence. In Ezekiel God’s hand being on the prophet is regularly associated with communication or a vision from God (1:3; 3:14, 22; 8:1; 37:1; 40:1).
- Ezekiel 3:22 sn Ezekiel had another vision at this location, recounted in Ezek 37.
- Ezekiel 3:23 tn Or “canal.”
- Ezekiel 3:24 tn See the note on “wind” in 2:2.
- Ezekiel 3:24 tn Heb “he.”
- Ezekiel 3:26 tn Heb “you will not be to them a reprover.” In Isa 29:21 and Amos 5:10 “a reprover” issued rebuke at the city gate.
- Ezekiel 3:27 tn Heb “open your mouth.”
- Ezekiel 3:27 tn Heb “the listener will listen, and the refuser will refuse.” Because the word for listening can also mean obeying, the nuance may be that the obedient will listen, or that the one who listens will obey. Also, although the verbs are not jussive as pointed in the MT, some translate them with a volitive sense: “the one who listens—let that one listen, the one who refuses—let that one refuse.”
- Ezekiel 4:1 sn Ancient Near Eastern bricks were 10 to 24 inches long and 6 to 13½ inches wide.
- Ezekiel 4:1 tn Or perhaps “draw.”
- Ezekiel 4:2 tn Or “a barricade.”
- Ezekiel 4:2 tn Heb “set camps against it.”
- Ezekiel 4:3 tn Or “a griddle,” that is, some sort of plate for cooking.
- Ezekiel 4:3 tn That is, a symbolic object lesson.
- Ezekiel 4:4 tn Or “punishment” (also in vv. 5, 6).
- Ezekiel 4:5 tn Heb “I have assigned for you that the years of their iniquity be the number of days.” Num 14:33-34 is an example of the reverse, where the days were converted into years, the number of days spying out the land becoming the number of years of the wilderness wanderings.
- Ezekiel 4:5 tc The LXX reads “190 days.” sn The significance of the number 390 is not clear. The best explanation is that “days” are used figuratively for years and the number refers to the years of the sinfulness of Israel during the period of the First Temple. Some understand the number to refer to the length of the division of the northern and southern kingdoms down to the fall of Jerusalem (931-586 b.c.), but this adds up to only 345 years.
- Ezekiel 4:5 tn Or “When you have carried the iniquity of the house of Israel,” and continuing on to the next verse.
- Ezekiel 4:6 sn The number 40 may refer in general to the period of Judah’s exile, indicating the number of years Israel was punished in the wilderness. In this case, however, one would need to translate, “you will bear the punishment of the house of Judah.”
- Ezekiel 4:8 sn The action surely refers to a series of daily acts rather than to a continuous period.
- Ezekiel 4:9 sn Wheat, barley, beans, lentils, millet, and spelt. All these foods were common in Mesopotamia where Ezekiel was exiled.
- Ezekiel 4:9 tn Heb “bread.”
- Ezekiel 4:9 tc The LXX reads: “190 days.”
- Ezekiel 4:10 sn Eight ounces (Heb “twenty shekels”). The standards for weighing money varied considerably in the ancient Near East, but the generally accepted weight for the shekel is 11.5 grams (0.4 ounce). This makes the weight of grain about 230 grams here (8 ounces).
- Ezekiel 4:10 tn Heb “from time to time.”
- Ezekiel 4:11 sn A pint and a half [Heb “one-sixth of a hin”]. One-sixth of a hin was a quantity of liquid equal to about 1.3 pints or 0.6 liters.
- Ezekiel 4:12 sn Human waste was to remain outside the camp of the Israelites according to Deut 23:15.
- Ezekiel 4:13 sn Unclean food among the nations. Lands outside of Israel were considered unclean (Josh 22:19; Amos 7:17).
- Ezekiel 4:14 tn The Hebrew term refers to sacrificial meat not eaten by the appropriate time (Lev 7:18; 19:7).
- Ezekiel 4:16 tn Heb, “break the staff of bread.” The bread supply is compared to a staff that one uses for support.
- Ezekiel 4:17 tn Or “in their punishment.” Ezek 4:16-17 alludes to Lev 26:26, 39. The phrase “in/for [a person’s] iniquity” occurs fourteen times in Ezekiel: here, 3:18, 19; 7:13, 16; 18:17, 18, 19, 20; 24:23; 33:6, 8, 9; 39:23. The Hebrew word for “iniquity” may also mean the “punishment for iniquity.”
- Ezekiel 5:1 tn The Hebrew word occurs only here in the OT.
- Ezekiel 5:1 tn Heb, “pass (it) over your head and your beard.”
- Ezekiel 5:3 tn Heb “from there a few in number.” The word “strands” has been supplied in the translation for clarification.
- Ezekiel 5:3 sn Objects could be carried in the end of a garment (Hag 2:12).
- Ezekiel 5:4 tn Heb “into the midst of” (so KJV, ASV). This phrase has been left untranslated for stylistic reasons.
- Ezekiel 5:6 sn The nations are subject to a natural law according to Gen 9; see also Amos 1:3-2:3 and Jonah 1:2.
- Ezekiel 5:6 tn Heb “she defied my laws, becoming wicked more than the nations, and [she defied] my statutes [becoming wicked] more than the countries around her.”
- Ezekiel 5:6 sn One might conclude that the subject of the plural verbs is the nations/countries, but the context (vv. 5-6a) indicates that the people of Jerusalem are in view. The text shifts from using the feminine singular (referring to personified Jerusalem) to the plural (referring to Jerusalem’s residents). See L. C. Allen, Ezekiel (WBC), 1:73.
- Ezekiel 5:7 tn Traditionally this difficult form has been derived from a hypothetical root הָמוֹן (hamon), supposedly meaning “be in tumult/uproar,” but such a verb occurs nowhere else. It is more likely that it is to be derived from a root מָנוֹן (manon), meaning “disdain” (see L. C. Allen, Ezekiel [WBC], 1:52). A derivative from this root is used in Prov 29:21 of a rebellious servant. See HALOT 600 s.v. מָנוֹן.
- Ezekiel 5:7 sn You are more arrogant than the nations around you. Israel is accused of being worse than the nations in Ezek 16:27; 2 Kgs 21:11; Jer 2:11.
- Ezekiel 5:7 tc Some Hebrew mss and the Syriac omit the words “not even.” In this case they are being accused of following the practices of the surrounding nations. See Ezek 11:12.
- Ezekiel 5:8 tn Or “I challenge you.” The phrase “I am against you” may be a formula for challenging someone to combat or a duel. See D. I. Block, Ezekiel (NICOT), 1:201-2, and P. Humbert, “Die Herausforderungsformel ‘hinnenî ’êlékâ’” ZAW 45 (1933): 101-8. The Hebrew text switches to a second feminine singular form here, indicating that personified Jerusalem is addressed (see vv. 5-6a). The address to Jerusalem continues through v. 15. In vv. 16-17 the second masculine plural is used, as the people are addressed.
- Ezekiel 5:8 tn The Hebrew text uses wordplay here to bring out the appropriate nature of God’s judgment. “Execute” translates the same Hebrew verb translated “carried out” (literally meaning “do”) in v. 7, while “judgment” in v. 8 and “regulations” in v. 7 translate the same Hebrew noun (meaning “regulations” or in some cases “judgments” executed on those who break laws). The point seems to be this: God would “carry out judgments” against those who refused to “carry out” his “laws.”
- Ezekiel 5:8 tn Heb “in the sight of the nations.”sn This is one of the ironies of the passage. The Lord set Israel among the nations for honor and praise as they would be holy and obey God’s law, as told in Ezek 5:5 and Deut 26:16-19. The practice of these laws and statutes would make the peoples consider Israel wise. (See Deut 4:5-8, where the words for laws and statutes are the same as those used here). Since Israel did not obey, they are made a different kind of object lesson to the nations, not by their obedience but in their punishment, as told in Ezek 5:8 and Deut 29:24-29. Yet Deut 30 goes on to say that when they remember the cursings and blessings of the covenant and repent, God will restore them from the nations to which they have been scattered.
- Ezekiel 5:9 tn Or “abominable idols.”
- Ezekiel 5:10 tn In context “you” refers to the city of Jerusalem. To make this clear for the modern reader, “Jerusalem” has been supplied in the translation in apposition to “you.”sn This cannibalism would occur as a result of starvation due to the city being besieged. It is one of the judgments threatened for a covenant law violation (Lev 26:29; see also Deut 28:53; Jer 19:9; Lam 2:20; Zech 11:9).
- Ezekiel 5:10 tn Heb “all of your survivors.”
- Ezekiel 5:10 tn Heb “to every wind.”
- Ezekiel 5:11 tn The meaning of the Hebrew term is primarily emotional: “to pity,” which in context implies an action, as in being moved by pity in order to spare them from the horror of their punishment.
- Ezekiel 5:12 sn The judgment of plague and famine comes from the covenant curse (Lev 26:25-26). As in v. 10, the city of Jerusalem is figuratively addressed here.
- Ezekiel 5:12 sn Judgment by plague, famine, and sword occurs in Jer 21:9; 27:13; Ezek 6:11, 12; 7:15.
- Ezekiel 5:13 tn Or “calm myself.”
- Ezekiel 5:13 tn The Hebrew noun translated “jealousy” is used in the human realm to describe suspicion of adultery (Num 5:14ff.; Prov 6:34). Since Israel’s relationship with God was often compared to a marriage, this term is appropriate here. The term occurs elsewhere in Ezekiel in 8:3, 5; 16:38, 42; 23:25.
- Ezekiel 5:15 tc This reading is supported by the versions and by the Dead Sea Scrolls (11QEzek). Most Masoretic Hebrew mss read:“it will be,” but if the final he (ה) is read as a mater lectionis, as it can be with the second masculine singular perfect, then they are in agreement. In either case the subject refers to Jerusalem.
- Ezekiel 5:15 tn The Hebrew word occurs only here in the OT. A related verb means “revile, taunt” (see Ps 44:16).
- Ezekiel 5:15 tn Heb “discipline and devastation.” These words are omitted in the Old Greek. The first term pictures Jerusalem as a recipient or example of divine discipline; the second depicts her as a desolate ruin (see Ezek 6:14).
- Ezekiel 5:15 tn Heb “in anger and in fury and in rebukes of fury.” The heaping up of synonyms emphasizes the degree of God’s anger.
- Ezekiel 5:16 tn The Hebrew word carries the basic idea of “bad, displeasing, injurious” but has the nuance “deadly” when used of weapons (see Ps 144:10).
- Ezekiel 5:16 tn Heb “which are/were to destroy.”
- Ezekiel 5:16 tn The language of this verse may have been influenced by Deut 32:23.
- Ezekiel 5:16 tn Or “which were to destroy those whom I will send to destroy you” (cf. NASB).
- Ezekiel 5:16 tn Heb, “break the staff of bread.” The bread supply is compared to a staff that one uses for support. See 4:16, as well as the covenant curse in Lev 26:26.
- Ezekiel 5:17 tn Heb “will bereave you.”
- Ezekiel 5:17 tn Heb “will pass through you.” This threat recalls the warning of Lev 26:22, 25 and Deut 32:24-25.