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11 For thus saith the Lord GOD; The sword of the king of 12 Babylon shall come upon thee. By the swords of the mighty will I cause thy multitude to fall, the terrible of the nations, all of them and they shall spoil the pomp of Egypt, and all 13 the multitude thereof shall be destroyed. I will destroy alse all the beasts thereof, the horses, wherein they trusted, or their great men, from beside the great waters; neither shall the foot of man trouble them any more, nor the hoofs of beasts 14 trouble them. Then will I make their waters deep, and cause their rivers to run like oil, saith the Lord GOD; there shall be a face of universal melancholy, as if the river Nile, which was peculiarly rapid, had become a stagnant pool, its motion be15 ing hardly to be perceived. When I shall make the land of E
gypt desolate, and the country shall be destitute of that whereof it was full, when I shall smite all them that dwell therein, 16 then shall they know that I [am] the LORD. This [is] the
lamentation wherewith they shall lament her: the daughters of the nations, the people of the neighbouring countries, shall lament her they shall lament for her, [even] for Egypt, and for all her multitude, saith the Lord God.
It came to pass also in the twelfth year, in the fifteenth [day] of the month, [that] the word of the LORD came unto 18 me, saying, Son of man, wail for the multitude of Egypt, and cast them down, declare with authority that they shall be cast down, [even] her, and the daughters of the famous nations, unto the nether parts of the earth, with them that go down into the pit; a beautiful passage, in which God leads the prophet as it were through some stately burying place, and points out the 19 tombs of many princes. Whom dost thou pass in beauty? what is there so peculiarly glorious in thee, that thou shouldst be exempted from the fate of other monarchs? go down, and be 20 thou laid with the uncircumcised. They shall fall in the midst of [them that are] slain by the sword: she is delivered to the sword draw her and all her multitudes to the grave, 21 like dead carcasses. The strong among the mighty shall speak
to him out of the midst of hell with them that help him; the spirits of deceased tyrants and their subjects shall meet him, and congratulate his coming: they are gone down, they lie uncir22 cumcised, slain by the sword. Ashur [is] there and all her company; the famous, warlike, victorious kings of Assyria: his graves [are] about him; all of them slain, fallen by the 23 sword: Whose graves, like lesser graves about the monuments of persons of quality, are set in the sides of the pit, and her company is round about her grave: all of them slain, fallen by 24 the sword, which caused terror in the land of the living. There [is] Elam, or Persia, which was conquered by Nebuchadnezzar, and all her multitude round about her grave, all of them slain, fallen by the sword, which are gone down uncircumcised into
the nether parts of the earth, which caused their terror in the land of the living; yet have they borne their shame with 25 them that go down to the pit. They have set her a bed in the midst of the slain with all her multitude: her graves [are] round about him all of them uncircumcised, slain by the sword though their terror was caused in the land of the living, yet have they borne their shame with them that go down to the pit he is put in the midst of [them that be] slain. 26 There is Meshech, Tubal, and all her multitude; the Scythian
kings and leaders: her graves [are] round about him: all of them uncircumcised, slain by the sword, though they caused 27 their terror in the land of the living. And they shall not lie with the mighty [that are] fallen of the uncircumcised, which are gone down to hell with their weapons of war and they have laid their swords under their heads; an allusion to the custom of burying princes with their armour ; which was carried in funeral procession, and interred with them, but their iniquities shall be upon their bones, the punishment of their great cruelty shall follow them after death, and cause their bones to be cast out upon the earth, though [they were] the terror of the mighty 28 in the land of the living. Yea, thou shalt be broken in the
midst of the uncircumcised, and shalt lie with [them that are] 29 slain with the sword. There [is] Edom, her kings, and all
her princes, which with their might are laid by [them that were] slain by the sword: they shall lie with the uncircumcised, and with them that go down to the pit, though, being of 30 the seed of Abraham, they had been circumcised. There [be]
the princes of the north, the Tyrians, all of them, and all the Zidonians, which are gone down with the slain; with their terror they are ashamed of their might; and they lie uncircumcised with [them that be] slain by the sword, and bear 31 their shame with them that go down to the pit. Pharaoh shall see them, and shall be comforted over all his multitude, [even] Pharaoh and all his army slain by the sword, saith the Lord God; it shall be some satisfaction that other great princes have been slain, other great armies routed, and other great nations 32 destroyed. For I have caused my terror in the land of the living; he had been the terror of the mighty; but now I have caused my terror to fall upon him: and he shall be laid in the midst of the uncircumcised with [them that are] slain with the sword, [even] Pharaoh and all his multitude, saith the Lord GOD.
The Scythians made an inroad upon the Medes, and lived some years by plundering that country; but they were destroyed by Cyaxares, and did not die in an honourable manBer in the field, but were slain by a stratagem, while drunk at a feast.
BSERVE the sad effects of the fall of great nations. Tyrannical, ambitious princes disquiet the world, and cause trouble and terror to their neighbours: but their day will come to fall. Some shall be vexed, others astonished, and others lament at their fall. The neighbouring nations shall become quiet; and other princes and states rise out of their ruins. So changing is the state of this world, and so little are its grandeur, power, and connection with the great and mighty, to be depended upon.
2. We may hence take occasion to reflect on the universal empire'of death: he makes no distinction, either of rich, powerful, or mighty, though they have been terrors to others. Princes are buried in pomp, heroes with their atchievements; some honoured with monuments and inscriptions; others cast into common graves, or left unburied; but princes, and all the multitude, are destroyed by this universal conqueror. Death, the king of terrors, destroys the monarchs, as well as the meaner ones of the earth. Happy those, who can by faith look beyond the grave; and, whether buried, or not; with monuments, or without, can rejoice in hope of future glory, and a resurrection to eternal life.
God had told Ezekiel that he should be dumb, that is, have no more prophetic revelations to Israel, till his prophecy of the destruction of Jerusalem was accomplished. In the mean time he prophesied against other nations, and might preach to the Israelites as a common minister; but now Jerusalem was taken, his mouth was opened, and his commission as a prophet was renewed. He is directed what answer to make to the cavils of infidelity and impety; to vindicate the ways of God; and foretell the utter desolation of all Judea.
GAIN the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
unto them, When I bring the 'sword upon a land, if the people of the land take a man of their coasts, and set him for their 3 watchman: If when he seeth the sword come upon the land, 4 he blow the trumpet, and warn the people; Then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head; he is the cause of his own destruction. 5 He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning;
his blood shall be upon him: but he that taketh warning shall 6 deliver his soul. But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, if he acts treacherously, or only shifts for his own safety, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take [any] person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the 7 watchman's hand. So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me. 8 When I say unto the wicked, O wicked [man,] thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked [man] shall die in his iniquity; but his 9 blood will I require at thine hand. Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.
Therefore, O thou son of man, speak unto the house of Israel; Thus ye speak, saying, if our transgressions and our sins [be] upon us, and we pine away in them, how should we then live? as if they had said, Some time ago you brought us comfortable messages, set before us deliverance and mercy ; but instead of that, judgments are increasing upon us, and we pine away; how then can we believe your better messages? A foolish objection, for the prophet had plainly told them that deliverance should not yet come, that many previous calamities should 11 happen, and that only a remnant should be preserved. Say un
to them, [As] I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live; turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for 12 why will ye die, O house of Israel? Therefore, thou son of man, say unto the children of thy people, The righteousness of the righteous shall not deliver him in the day of his transgression as for the wickedness of the wicked, he shall not fall thereby in the day that he turneth from his wickedness; neither shall the righteous be able to live for [his righteous13 ness] in the day that he sinneth. When I shall say to the righteous, [that] he shall surely live; if he trust to his own righteousness, that is, to its merit, or his own strength, and thinks himself so well established that he shall not fall, and after this he commit iniquity, all his righteousness shall not be remembered; but for his iniquity that he hath committed, he 14 shall die for it. Again, when I say unto the wicked, Thou
shalt surely die; if he turn from his sin, and do that which is 15 lawful and right; [If] the wicked restore the pledge, give
again that he had robbed, walk in the statutes of life, without committing iniquity; he shall surely live, he shall not die. 16 None of his sins that he hath committed shall be mentioned
unto him: he hath done that which is lawful and right; he shall surely live.
Yet the children of thy people say, The way of the LORD is not equal: but as for them, their way is not equal; I need only again state the case, it carries its own evidence with it to 18 unprejudiced minds. When the righteous turneth from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, he shall even die 19 thereby. But if the wicked turn from his wickedness, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall live thereby. Yet ye say, The way of the LORD is not equal. O ye house of Israel, I will judge you every one after his ways.
And it came to pass in the twelfth year of our captivity, in the tenth [month,] in the fifth [day] of the month, [that] one that had escaped out of Jerusalem came unto me, saying, 22 The city is smitten.† Now the hand of the LORD was upon me in the evening, the evening before he received the message in the former part of this chapter, afore he that was escaped came, and had opened my mouth, until he came to me in the morning; and my mouth was opened, and I was no more 23 dumb. Then the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 24 Son of man, they that inhabit those wastes of the land of Is
rael, Ishmael's party, that murdered Gedaliah, who was appointed governor by the king of Babylon ; Ishmael perhaps intended to make himself an independent king, therefore they speak, saying, Abraham was one, and he inherited the land but we [are] many; the land is given us for inheritance; Abraham, from one, became many; and so we, though but few, shall people the 25 land and be able to defend it. Wherefore say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Ye eat with the blood, and lift up your eyes toward your idols, and shed blood; and shall ye 26 possess the land? Ye stand upon your sword, injure others with the sword, and trust to it, ye work abomination, and ye defile every one his neighbour's wife and shall ye possess 27 the land? Say thou thus unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; [AS] I live, surely they that are in the wastes, or desolate cities, shall fall by the sword, and him that is in the open field will I give to the beasts to be devoured, and they that [be] in the forts and in the caves, in artificial or natural for. 28 tresses, shall die of the pestilence. For I will lay the land most desolate, and the pomp of her strength, her rich, magnifi cent, strong places, shall cease, and the mountains of Israel 29 shall be desolate, that none shall pass through. Then shall they know that I [am] the LORD, when I have laid the land
• Dr. Kennicott says the eleventh year.
This was a year and five months after the city was taken; so important a conquest must have been heard of at Babylon long before; but in chap. xxiv. 26. God told the proph et that he should hear of it from an eye witness; and here one comes and gives him a par ticular and affecting account of the dreadful scene.