The End Arrives1 The word of the Lord came to me: 2 “You, son of man – this is what the sovereign Lord says to the land of Israel: An end! The end is coming on the four corners of the land! ▼ 3 The end is now upon you, and I will release my anger against you; I will judge ▼
▼ Or “punish” (cf. BDB 1047 s.v. שָׁפַט 3.c).you according to your behavior, ▼
▼ Heb “ways.”I will hold you accountable for ▼
▼ Heb “I will place on you.”all your abominable practices. 4 My eye will not pity you; I will not spare ▼
▼ 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.you. ▼
▼ The pronoun “you” is not in the Hebrew text, but is implied.For I will hold you responsible for your behavior, ▼
▼ “I will set your behavior on your head.”and you will suffer the consequences of your abominable practices. ▼
▼ Heb “and your abominable practices will be among you.”Then you will know that I am the Lord!
5 “This is what the sovereign Lord says: A disaster ▼ – a one-of-a-kind ▼
▼ So most Hebrew mss; many Hebrew mss read “disaster after disaster” (cf. NAB, NCV, NRSV, NLT).disaster – is coming! 6 An end comes ▼
▼ Or “has come.”– the end comes! ▼
▼ Or “has come.”It has awakened against you ▼
▼ With different vowels the verb rendered “it has awakened” would be the noun “the end,” as in “the end is upon you.” The verb would represent a phonetic wordplay. The noun by virtue of repetition would continue to reinforce the idea of the end. Whether verb or noun, this is the only instance to occur with this preposition.– the end is upon you! Look, it is coming! ▼
▼ For this entire verse, the LXX has only “the end is come.”▼
▼ In each of the three cases of the verb translated with forms of “to come,” the form may either be a participle (“comes/is coming”) or a perfect (“has come”). Either form would indicate that the end is soon to arrive. This last form appears also to be feminine, although “end” is masculine. This shift may be looking ahead to the next verse, whose first noun (“Doom”) is feminine.7 Doom is coming upon you who live in the land! The time is coming, the day ▼ is near. There are sounds of tumult, not shouts of joy, on the mountains. ▼
▼ The LXX reads “neither tumult nor birth pains.” The LXX varies at many points from the MT in this chapter. The context suggests that one or both of these would be present on a day of judgment, thus favoring the MT. Perhaps more significant is the absence of “the mountains” in the LXX. If the ר (resh) in הָרִים (harim, “the mountains” not “on the mountains”) were a ד (dalet), which is a common letter confusion, then it could be from the same root as the previous word, הֵד (hed), meaning “the day is near – with destruction, not joyful shouting.”8 Soon now I will pour out my rage ▼ on you; I will fully vent my anger against you. I will judge you according to your behavior. I will hold you accountable for all your abominable practices. 9 My eye will not pity you; I will not spare ▼
▼ 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.you. For your behavior I will hold you accountable, ▼
▼ Heb “According to your behavior I will place on you.”and you will suffer the consequences of your abominable practices. Then you will know that it is I, the Lord, who is striking you. ▼
▼ The MT lacks “you.” It has been added for clarification.
10 “Look, the day! Look, it is coming! Doom has gone out! The staff has budded, pride has blossomed! 11 Violence ▼
▼ Heb “the violence.”has grown into a staff that supports wickedness. Not one of them will be left ▼
▼ The LXX reads “he will crush the wicked rod without confusion or haste.”▼
▼ The verb has been supplied for the Hebrew text to clarify the sense.– not from their crowd, not from their wealth, not from their prominence. ▼
▼ The Hebrew word occurs only here in the OT.12 The time has come; the day has struck! The customer should not rejoice, nor the seller mourn; for divine wrath ▼
▼ Heb “wrath.” Context clarifies that God’s wrath is in view.comes against their whole crowd. 13 The customer will no longer pay the seller ▼
▼ The translation follows the LXX for the first line of the verse, although the LXX has lost the second line due to homoioteleuton (similar endings of the clauses). The MT reads “The seller will not return to the sale.” This Hebrew reading has been construed as a reference to land redemption, the temporary sale of the use of property, with property rights returned to the seller in the year of Jubilee. But the context has no other indicator that land redemption is in view. If correct, the LXX evidence suggests that one of the cases of “the customer” has been replaced by “the seller” in the MT, perhaps due to hoimoioarcton (similar beginnings of the words).while both parties are alive, for the vision against their whole crowd ▼
▼ The Hebrew word refers to the din or noise made by a crowd, and by extension may refer to the crowd itself.will not be revoked. Each person, for his iniquity, ▼ will fail to preserve his life.
14 “They have blown the trumpet and everyone is ready, but no one goes to battle, because my anger is against their whole crowd. ▼
▼ The Hebrew word refers to the din or noise made by a crowd, and by extension may refer to the crowd itself.15 The sword is outside; pestilence and famine are inside the house. Whoever is in the open field will die by the sword, and famine and pestilence will consume everyone in the city. 16 Their survivors will escape to the mountains and become like doves of the valleys; all of them will moan – each one for his iniquity. 17 All of their hands will hang limp; their knees will be wet with urine. ▼
▼ Heb “their knees will run with water.” The expression probably refers to urination caused by fright, which is how the LXX renders the phrase. More colloquial English would simply be “they will wet their pants,” but as D. I. Block (Ezekiel [NICOT], 1:261, n. 98) notes, the men likely wore skirts which were short enough to expose urine on the knees.18 They will wear sackcloth, terror will cover them; shame will be on all their faces, and all of their heads will be shaved bald. ▼
▼ Heb “baldness will be on their heads.”19 They will discard their silver in the streets, and their gold will be treated like filth. ▼ Their silver and gold will not be able to deliver them on the day of the Lord’s fury. ▼ They will not satisfy their hunger or fill their stomachs because their wealth ▼
▼ Heb “it.” Apparently the subject is the silver and gold mentioned earlier (see L. C. Allen, Ezekiel [WBC], 1:102).was the obstacle leading to their iniquity. ▼ 20 They rendered the beauty of his ornaments into pride, ▼
▼ The MT reads “he set up the beauty of his ornament as pride.” The verb may be repointed as plural without changing the consonantal text. The Syriac reads “their ornaments” (plural), implying עֶדְיָם (’edyam) rather than עֶדְיוֹ (’edyo) and meaning “they were proud of their beautiful ornaments.” This understands “ornaments” in the common sense of women’s jewelry, which then were used to make idols. The singular suffix “his ornaments” would refer to using items from the temple treasury to make idols. D. I. Block points out the foreshadowing of Ezek 16:17 which, with Rashi and the Targum, supports the understanding that this is a reference to temple items. See D. I. Block, Ezekiel (NICOT), 1:265.and with it they made their abominable images – their detestable idols. Therefore I will render it filthy to them. 21 I will give it to foreigners as loot, to the world’s wicked ones as plunder, and they will desecrate it. 22 I will turn my face away from them and they will desecrate my treasured place. ▼
▼ My treasured place probably refers to the temple (however, cf. NLT “my treasured land”).Vandals will enter it and desecrate it. ▼
▼ Since the pronouns “it” are both feminine, they do not refer to the masculine “my treasured place”; instead they probably refer to Jerusalem or the land, both of which are feminine in Hebrew.23 (Make the chain, ▼
▼ The Hebrew word “the chain” occurs only here in the OT. The reading of the LXX (“and they will make carnage”) seems to imply a Hebrew text of ַהבַּתּוֹק (habbattoq, “disorder, slaughter”) instead of הָרַתּוֹק (haratoq, “the chain”). The LXX is also translating the verb as a third person plural future and taking this as the end of the preceding verse. As M. Greenberg (Ezekiel [AB], 1:154) notes, this may refer to a chain for a train of exiles but “the context does not speak of exile but of the city’s fall. The versions guess desperately and we can do little better.”because the land is full of murder ▼ and the city is full of violence.) 24 I will bring the most wicked of the nations and they will take possession of their houses. I will put an end to the arrogance of the strong, and their sanctuaries ▼
▼ Or “their holy places” (KJV, ASV, NASB, NCV, NRSV).will be desecrated. 25 Terror ▼
▼ The Hebrew word occurs only here in the OT. It is interpreted based on a Syriac cognate meaning “to bristle or stiffen (in terror).”is coming! They will seek peace, but find none. 26 Disaster after disaster will come, and one rumor after another. They will seek a vision from a prophet; priestly instruction will disappear, along with counsel from the elders. 27 The king will mourn and the prince will be clothed with shuddering; the hands of the people of the land will tremble. Based on their behavior I will deal with them, and by their standard of justice ▼
▼ Heb “and by their judgments.”I will judge them. Then they will know that I am the Lord!”
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