[Ezekiel 21:1] AND THE WORD OF THE LORD CAME UNTO ME, SAYING,
In some versions of the Bible, what is listed here as verse 21:1 is listed as 21:6.
[Ezekiel 21:2] SON OF MAN, SET THY FACE TOWARD JERUSALEM, AND DROP THY WORD
TOWARD THE HOLY PLACES, AND PROPHESY AGAINST THE LAND OF ISRAEL,
This prophecy is directed against Jerusalem and Judah. The time frame
is just before the final destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple by the Babylonian
forces under Nebuchadnessar.
[Ezekiel 21:3] AND SAY TO THE LAND OF ISRAEL, THUS SAITH THE LORD; BEHOLD,
I AM AGAINST THEE, AND WILL DRAW FORTH MY SWORD OUT OF HIS SHEATH, AND WILL
CUT OFF FROM THEE THE RIGHTEOUS AND THE WICKED.
<<THE RIGHTEOUS AND THE WICKED>>: When disaster comes it hits everyone.
Doing evil brings evil, doing good brings good. Whatever comes affects everybody.
[Ezekiel 21:4] SEEING THEN THAT I WILL CUT OFF FROM THEE THE RIGHTEOUS AND
THE WICKED, THEREFORE SHALL MY SWORD GO FORTH OUT OF HIS SHEATH AGAINST ALL
FLESH FROM THE SOUTH TO THE NORTH:
Eisemann (Artscroll) brings commentaries that this was referring to all
nations south of Babylon not just to Judah. The other nations were to be
punished because they rejoiced at the downfall of Judah. The gentiles did
not realize that the Temple was beneficial for them. On Succoth seventy
bullocks would be sacrificed, one for each of the national groups of
humanity descended from the seventy descendants of Noah enumerated in Genesis 10.
"The gentile nations also have an inner core of holiness. If they had only
realized it, the Divine presence of God in the Temple could have been the
focus of their own spiritual strivings. More than for Israel who, through
their Torah, are themselves a sanctuary for the Divine, the Temple was an
indispensable condition for the spiritual development of the gentile
[Ezekiel 21:5] THAT ALL FLESH MAY KNOW THAT I THE LORD HAVE DRAWN FORTH MY
SWORD OUT OF HIS SHEATH: IT SHALL NOT RETURN ANY MORE.
[Ezekiel 21:6] SIGH THEREFORE, THOU SON OF MAN, WITH THE BREAKING OF THY
LOINS; AND WITH BITTERNESS SIGH BEFORE THEIR EYES.
[Ezekiel 21:7] AND IT SHALL BE, WHEN THEY SAY UNTO THEE, WHEREFORE SIGHEST
THOU? THAT THOU SHALT ANSWER, FOR THE TIDINGS; BECAUSE IT COMETH: AND EVERY
HEART SHALL MELT, AND ALL HANDS SHALL BE FEEBLE, AND EVERY SPIRIT SHALL
FAINT, AND ALL KNEES SHALL BE WEAK AS WATER: BEHOLD,
IT COMETH, AND SHALL BE BROUGHT TO PASS, SAITH THE LORD GOD.
[Ezekiel 21:8] AGAIN THE WORD OF THE LORD CAME UNTO ME,
[Ezekiel 21:9] SON OF MAN, PROPHESY, AND SAY, THUS SAITH THE LORD; SAY, A
SWORD, A SWORD IS SHARPENED, AND ALSO FURBISHED:
FURBISHED i.e. polished up.
[Ezekiel 21:10] IT IS SHARPENED TO MAKE A SORE SLAUGHTER; IT IS FURBISHED
THAT IT MAY GLITTER: SHOULD WE THEN MAKE MIRTH? IT CONTEMNETH THE ROD OF MY
SON, AS EVERY TREE.
[Ezekiel 21:11] AND HE HATH GIVEN IT TO BE FURBISHED, THAT IT MAY BE
HANDLED: THIS SWORD IS SHARPENED, AND IT IS FURBISHED, TO GIVE IT INTO THE
HAND OF THE SLAYER.
[Ezekiel 21:12] CRY AND HOWL, SON OF MAN: FOR IT SHALL BE UPON MY PEOPLE,
IT SHALL BE UPON ALL THE PRINCES OF ISRAEL: TERRORS BY REASON OF THE SWORD
SHALL BE UPON MY PEOPLE: SMITE THEREFORE UPON THY THIGH.
<<ALL THE PRINCES OF ISRAEL>>: According to the simple meaning this is referring to the Princes
of Judah who is also termed "Israel".
[Ezekiel 21:13] BECAUSE IT IS A TRIAL, AND WHAT IF THE SWORD CONTEMN EVEN
THE ROD? IT SHALL BE NO MORE, SAITH THE LORD GOD.
[Ezekiel 21:14] THOU THEREFORE, SON OF MAN, PROPHESY, AND SMITE THINE HANDS
TOGETHER. AND LET THE SWORD BE DOUBLED THE THIRD TIME, THE SWORD OF THE
SLAIN: IT IS THE SWORD OF THE GREAT MEN THAT ARE SLAIN, WHICH ENTERETH INTO
THEIR PRIVY CHAMBERS.
[Ezekiel 21:15] I HAVE SET THE POINT OF THE SWORD AGAINST ALL THEIR GATES,
THAT THEIR HEART MAY FAINT, AND THEIR RUINS BE MULTIPLIED: AH! IT IS MADE
BRIGHT, IT IS WRAPPED UP FOR THE SLAUGHTER.
[Ezekiel 21:16] GO THEE ONE WAY OR OTHER, EITHER ON THE RIGHT HAND, OR ON
THE LEFT, WHITHERSOEVER THY FACE IS SET.
[Ezekiel 21:17] I WILL ALSO SMITE MINE HANDS TOGETHER, AND I WILL CAUSE MY
FURY TO REST: I THE LORD HAVE SAID IT.
[Ezekiel 21:18] THE WORD OF THE LORD CAME UNTO ME AGAIN,
[Ezekiel 21:19] ALSO, THOU SON OF MAN, APPOINT THEE TWO WAYS, THAT THE
SWORD OF THE KING OF BABYLON MAY COME: BOTH TWAIN SHALL COME FORTH OUT OF
ONE LAND: AND CHOOSE THOU A PLACE, CHOOSE IT AT THE HEAD OF THE WAY TO THE
[Ezekiel 21:20] APPOINT A WAY, THAT THE SWORD MAY COME TO RABBATH OF THE
AMMONITES, AND TO JUDAH IN JERUSALEM THE DEFENCED.
<<JERUSALEM THE DEFENCED>>: Jerusalem was built up with
mighty fortifications. Its inhabitants considered it impregnable. This was
not the first nor the last time they made this mistake.
[Ezekiel 21:21] FOR THE KING OF BABYLON STOOD AT THE PARTING OF THE WAY, AT
THE HEAD OF THE TWO WAYS, TO USE DIVINATION: HE MADE HIS ARROWS BRIGHT, HE
CONSULTED WITH IMAGES, HE LOOKED IN THE LIVER.
Archaeological findings have confirmed these means of sorcery. Baked
clay models of livers have been found with directions for divination, i.e.
a kind of do-it-yourself sorcery directory.
[Ezekiel 21:22] AT HIS RIGHT HAND WAS THE DIVINATION FOR JERUSALEM, TO
APPOINT CAPTAINS, TO OPEN THE MOUTH IN THE SLAUGHTER, TO LIFT UP THE VOICE
WITH SHOUTING, TO APPOINT BATTERING RAMS AGAINST THE GATES, TO CAST A
MOUNT, AND TO BUILD A FORT.
[Ezekiel 21:23] AND IT SHALL BE UNTO THEM AS A FALSE DIVINATION IN THEIR
SIGHT, TO THEM THAT HAVE SWORN OATHS: BUT HE WILL CALL TO REMEMBRANCE THE
INIQUITY, THAT THEY MAY BE TAKEN.
[Ezekiel 21:24] THEREFORE THUS SAITH THE LORD GOD; BECAUSE YE HAVE MADE
YOUR INIQUITY TO BE REMEMBERED, IN THAT YOUR TRANSGRESSIONS ARE DISCOVERED,
SO THAT IN ALL YOUR DOINGS YOUR SINS DO APPEAR; BECAUSE, I SAY, THAT YE ARE
COME TO REMEMBRANCE, YE SHALL BE TAKEN WITH THE HAND.
[Ezekiel 21:25] AND THOU, PROFANE WICKED PRINCE OF ISRAEL, WHOSE DAY IS
COME, WHEN INIQUITY SHALL HAVE AN END,
[Ezekiel 21:26] THUS SAITH THE LORD GOD; REMOVE THE DIADEM, AND TAKE OFF
THE CROWN: THIS SHALL NOT BE THE SAME: EXALT HIM THAT IS LOW, AND ABASE HIM
THAT IS HIGH.
[Ezekiel 21:27] I WILL OVERTURN, OVERTURN, OVERTURN, IT: AND IT SHALL BE NO
MORE, UNTIL HE COME WHOSE RIGHT IT IS; AND I WILL GIVE IT HIM.
British Israel writers interpreted this verse as referring to the throne of
David that would be overturned twice or thrice: from Jerusalem to Ireland
to Scotland to England. The word translated as "overturn" in Hebrew is
"iva" which more correctly means "make crooked". It could also be
translated perhaps (as others say, see Ezekiel 21:32 in most versions) as
"perturb" or "make desolate". I guess you could also translate it to say
"turn aside towards" and therefore by extension as meaning
"overturn"? Even so, to propose a strong doctrinal point one should employ
clear, strong, and simple passages as we usually do.
[Ezekiel 21:28] AND THOU, SON OF MAN, PROPHESY AND SAY, THUS SAITH THE LORD
GOD CONCERNING THE AMMONITES, AND CONCERNING THEIR REPROACH; EVEN SAY THOU,
THE SWORD, THE SWORD IS DRAWN: FOR THE SLAUGHTER IT IS FURBISHED, TO
CONSUME BECAUSE OF THE GLITTERING:
The people of Ammon participated in the downfall of Judah. The Babylonians
would later destroy the Kingdom of Ammon and drive away its people.
[Ezekiel 21:29] WHILES THEY SEE VANITY UNTO THEE, WHILES THEY DIVINE A LIE
UNTO THEE, TO BRING THEE UPON THE NECKS OF THEM THAT ARE SLAIN, OF THE
WICKED, WHOSE DAY IS COME, WHEN THEIR INIQUITY SHALL HAVE AN END.
[Ezekiel 21:30] SHALL I CAUSE IT TO RETURN INTO HIS SHEATH? I WILL JUDGE
THEE IN THE PLACE WHERE THOU WAST CREATED, IN THE LAND OF THY NATIVITY.
[Ezekiel 21:31] AND I WILL POUR OUT MINE INDIGNATION UPON THEE, I WILL BLOW
AGAINST THEE IN THE FIRE OF MY WRATH, AND DELIVER THEE INTO THE HAND OF
BRUTISH MEN, AND SKILFUL TO DESTROY.
[Ezekiel 21:32] THOU SHALT BE FOR FUEL TO THE FIRE; THY BLOOD SHALL BE IN
THE MIDST OF THE LAND; THOU SHALT BE NO MORE REMEMBERED: FOR I THE LORD
HAVE SPOKEN IT.
The point should be made and questions should be asked: This prophecy and
others like it were referring to historical disasters that overtook Judah
and Jerusalem. There is a principle that all these prophecies have some
application in the End Times. Are they referring to Jerusalem in the
future? or to London? or Washington? Or something else?
Rembember Y2K? We had a friend and supporter in the USA who really believed
that just after midnight of New Year's Day in the year 2000 disaster would
overtake America. Everything would break down. He had a caravan and
supplies staked out somewhere in the west and he was all prepared to depart
to his place of refuge. I am speaking of a good, intelligent, well-informed
person. He was not the only one to be taken in by the scare-mongers and
conspiracy buffs. He was not rich and I suspect that he invested quite a
sum on his "survival kit". Someone should write a book about it.
The sages said that if you are planting a field and you hear the Messiah is
coming, finish what you are doing and then go and greet the Messiah.
Even so, disasters do occur when no-one expects them.
God wants us to do the best we can with what we have for our own sake, the
sake of our dear ones, and those around us and part of us.