Ezekiel 14

CHAPTER XIV

Here God threatens those hypocrites who pretended to worship

him, while they loved and practised idolatry, 1-11.

He declares his irreversible purpose of punishing so guilty a

nation, in behalf of which no intercession of the people of God

shall be of any avail. The gross idolaters of Jerusalem and

Judah shall be visited with God's four sore judgments, famine,

12-14;

wild beasts, 15, 16;

the sword, 17, 18;

and pestilence, 19-21.

A remnant shall be delivered from the wrath coming upon the

whole land, 22, 23.

NOTES ON CHAP. XIV

Verse 1. Then came certain of the elders of Israel unto me]

These probably came to tempt him, or get him to say something that

would embroil him with the government. They were bad men, as we

shall see in the third verse.

Verse 3. These men have set up their idols in their heart] Not

only in their houses; in the streets; but they had them in their

hearts. These were stumbling-blocks of iniquity; they fell over

them, and broke the neck of their souls. And should God be

inquired of by such miscreants as these?

Verse 4. According to the multitude of his idols] I will treat

him as an idolater, as a flagrant idolater.

Verse 7. And cometh to a prophet] Generally supposed to mean a

false prophet.

I the Lord will answer him by myself] I shall discover to him,

by my own true prophet, what shall be the fruit of his ways. So,

while their false prophets were assuring them of peace and

prosperity, God's prophets were predicting the calamities that

afterwards fell upon them. Yet they believed the false prophets in

preference to the true. Ahab, about to engage with the Syrians,

who had possession of Ramoth-Gilead, asked Micaiah, the prophet of

the Lord, concerning the event; who told him he should lose the

battle. He then inquired of Zedekiah, a false prophet, who

promised him a glorious victory. Ahab believed the latter, marched

against the enemy, was routed, and slain in the battle,

1Ki 22:10, &c.

Verse 9. I the Lord have deceived that prophet] That is, he ran

before he was sent; he willingly became the servant of Satan's

illusions; and I suffered this to take place, because he and his

followers refused to consult and serve me. I have often had

occasion to remark that it is common in the Hebrew language to

state a thing as done by the Lord which he only suffers or permits

to be done; for so absolute and universal is the government of

God, that the smallest occurrence cannot take place without his

will or permission.

Verse 10. The punishment of the prophet] They are both equally

guilty; both have left the Lord, and both shall be equally

punished.

Verse 13. By trespassing grievously] Having been frequently

warned, and having refused to leave their sin, and so filled up

the measure of their iniquity.

Verse 14. Though-Noah, Daniel, and Job] The intercession even of

the holiest of men shall not avert my judgments. Noah, though a

righteous man, could not by his intercession preserve the old

world from being drowned. Job, though a righteous man, could not

preserve his children from being killed by the fall of their

house. Daniel, though a righteous man, could not prevent the

captivity of his country. Daniel must have been contemporary with

Ezekiel. He was taken captive in the third year of Jehoiakim,

Da 1:1. After this Jeholakim reigned

eight years, 2Ki 23:36. And this prophecy, as appears from

Eze 8:1, was uttered in the

sixth year of Jehoiachin's captivity, who succeeded Jehoiakim,

and reigned only three months, 2Ki 24:6, 8. Therefore at this

time Daniel had been fourteen years in captivity. See Newcome.

Even at this time he had gained much public celebrity. From this

account we may infer that Job was as real a person as Noah

or Daniel; and of their identity no man has pretended to doubt.

When God, as above, has determined to punish a nation, no

intercession shall avail. Personal holiness alone can prevent

these evils; but the holiness of any man can only avail for

himself.

Verse 21. My four sore judgments] SWORD, war. FAMINE, occasioned

by drought. PESTILENCE, epidemic diseases which sweep off a great

part of the inhabitants of a land. The NOISOME BEAST, the

multiplication of wild beasts in consequence of the general

destruction of the inhabitants.

Verse 22. Behold, they shall come forth unto you] Though there

shall be great desolations in the land of Judea, yet a remnant

shall be left that shall come here also as captives; and their

account of the abominations of the people shall prove to you with

what propriety I have acted in abandoning them to such general

destruction. This speech is addressed to those who were already in

captivity; i.e., those who had been led to Babylon with their king

Jeconiah.

Verse 23. Ye shall know that I have not done without cause]

There is no part of the conduct of God towards man that is not

dictated by the purest principles of justice, equity, and truth.

He does nothing but what is right; and whatever is right to be

done, that ought to be done. In God's justice there is no

severity; in God's mercy there is no caprice. He alone doth

all things well; for he is the Fountain of justice and mercy.

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