The Sword of Judgment
21 (21:6)[a] The Lord’s message came to me: 2 “Son of man, turn toward[b] Jerusalem and speak out against the sanctuaries. Prophesy against the land of Israel 3 and say to them,[c] ‘This is what the Lord says: Look,[d] I am against you.[e] I will draw my sword[f] from its sheath and cut off from you both the righteous and the wicked.[g] 4 Because I will cut off from you both the righteous and the wicked, my sword will go out from its sheath against everyone[h] from the south[i] to the north. 5 Then everyone will know that I am the Lord, who drew my sword from its sheath—it will not be sheathed again!’
6 “And you, son of man, groan with an aching heart[j] and bitterness; groan before their eyes. 7 When they ask you, ‘Why are you groaning?’ you will reply, ‘Because of the report that has come. Every heart will melt with fear and every hand will be limp; everyone[k] will faint, and every knee will be wet with urine.’[l] Pay attention—it is coming and it will happen, declares the Sovereign Lord.”
8 The Lord’s message came to me: 9 “Son of man, prophesy and say: ‘This is what the Lord says:
“‘A sword, a sword is sharpened,
and also polished.
10 It is sharpened for slaughter,
it is polished to flash like lightning!
“‘Should we rejoice in the scepter of my son? No! The sword despises every tree![m]
11 “‘He gave it to be polished,
to be grasped in the hand—
the sword is sharpened, it is polished—
giving it into the hand of the executioner.
12 Cry out and moan, son of man,
for it is wielded against my people;
against all the princes of Israel.
They are delivered up to the sword, along with my people.
Therefore, strike your thigh.[n]
13 “‘For testing will come, and what will happen when the scepter, which the sword despises, is no more?[o] declares the Sovereign Lord.’
14 “And you, son of man, prophesy,
and clap your hands together.
Let the sword strike twice, even three times!
It is a sword for slaughter,
a sword for the great slaughter surrounding them.
15 So hearts melt with fear and many stumble.
At all their gates I have stationed the sword for slaughter.
Ah! It is made to flash, it is drawn for slaughter!
16 Cut sharply on the right!
Swing to[p] the left,
wherever your edge[q] is appointed to strike.
17 I too will clap my hands together,
I will exhaust my rage;
I the Lord have spoken.”
18 The Lord’s message came to me: 19 “You, son of man, mark out two routes for the king of Babylon’s sword to take; both of them will originate in a single land. Make a signpost and put it at the beginning of the road leading to the city. 20 Mark out the routes for the sword to take: ‘Rabbah of the Ammonites’ and ‘Judah with Jerusalem in it.’[r] 21 For the king of Babylon stands at the fork[s] in the road at the head of the two routes. He looks for omens:[t] He shakes arrows, he consults idols,[u] he examines[v] animal livers.[w] 22 Into his right hand[x] comes the portent for Jerusalem—to set up battering rams, to give the signal[y] for slaughter, to shout out the battle cry,[z] to set up battering rams against the gates, to erect a siege ramp, to build a siege wall. 23 But those in Jerusalem[aa] will view it as a false omen. They have sworn solemn oaths,[ab] but the king of Babylon[ac] will accuse them of violations[ad] in order to seize them.[ae]
24 “Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: ‘Because you have brought up[af] your own guilt by uncovering your transgressions and revealing your sins through all your actions, for this reason you will be taken by force.[ag]
25 “‘As for you, profane and wicked prince of Israel,[ah]
whose day has come, the time of final punishment,
26 this is what the Sovereign Lord says:
Tear off the turban;[ai]
take off the crown!
Things must change.[aj]
Exalt the lowly;
bring low the exalted![ak]
27 A total ruin I will make it![al]
Indeed, this[am] will not be
until he comes to whom is the right, and I will give it[an] to him.’[ao]
28 “As for you, son of man, prophesy and say, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says concerning the Ammonites and their coming humiliation:[ap]
“‘A sword, a sword drawn for slaughter,
polished to consume,[aq] to flash like lightning—
29 while seeing false visions about you
and reading lying omens about you[ar]—
to place you[as] on the necks of the profane wicked,[at]
whose day has come,
the time of final punishment.
30 Return it to its sheath![au]
In the place where you were created,[av]
in your native land, I will judge you.
31 I will pour out my anger on you;
the fire of my fury I will blow on you.
I will hand you over to brutal men,
who are skilled in destruction.[aw]
32 You will become fuel for the fire—
your blood will stain the middle of the land;[ax]
you will no longer be remembered,
for I, the Lord, have spoken.’”
The Sins of Jerusalem
22 The Lord’s message came to me: 2 “As for you, son of man, are you willing to pronounce judgment?[ay] Are you willing to pronounce judgment on the bloody city?[az] Then confront her with all her abominable deeds! 3 Then say, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: O city, who spills blood within herself (which brings on her doom),[ba] and who makes herself idols (which results in impurity), 4 you are guilty because of the blood you shed and defiled by the idols you made. You have hastened the day of your doom;[bb] the end of your years has come.[bc] Therefore I will make[bd] you an object of scorn to the nations, an object to be mocked by all lands. 5 Those both near and far from you will mock you, you with your bad reputation,[be] full of turmoil.
6 “‘See how each of the princes of Israel living within you has used his authority to shed blood.[bf] 7 They have treated father and mother with contempt[bg] within you; they have oppressed the resident foreigner among you; they have wronged the orphan and the widow[bh] within you. 8 You have despised my holy things and desecrated my Sabbaths! 9 Slanderous men shed blood within you.[bi] Those who live within you eat pagan sacrifices on the mountains;[bj] they commit obscene acts among you.[bk] 10 They have sexual relations with their father’s wife within you;[bl] they violate women during their menstrual period within you.[bm] 11 One[bn] commits an abominable act with his neighbor’s wife; another obscenely defiles his daughter-in-law; another violates[bo] his sister—his father’s daughter[bp]—within you. 12 They take bribes within you to shed blood. You engage in usury and charge interest;[bq] you extort money from your neighbors. You have forgotten me,[br] declares the Sovereign Lord.[bs]
13 “‘See, I strike my hands together[bt] at the dishonest profit you have made, and at the bloodshed[bu] they have done among you. 14 Can your heart endure,[bv] or can your hands be strong when I deal with you?[bw] I, the Lord, have spoken, and I will do it! 15 I will scatter you among the nations and disperse you among various countries; I will remove your impurity from you.[bx] 16 You will be profaned within yourself[by] in the sight of the nations; then you will know that I am the Lord.’”
17 The Lord’s message came to me: 18 “Son of man, the house of Israel has become slag to me. All of them are like bronze, tin, iron, and lead in the furnace;[bz] they are the worthless slag of silver. 19 Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: ‘Because all of you[ca] have become slag, look out! I am about to gather you in the middle of Jerusalem. 20 As silver, bronze, iron, lead, and tin are gathered in a furnace so that the fire can blow on them to melt them, so I will gather you in my anger and in my rage. I will deposit you there[cb] and melt you. 21 I will gather you and blow on you with the fire of my fury, and you will be melted in it. 22 As silver is melted in a furnace, so you will be melted in it, and you will know that I, the Lord, have poured out my anger on you.’”
23 The Lord’s message came to me: 24 “Son of man, say to her: ‘You are a land that receives no rain[cc] or showers in the day of my anger.’[cd] 25 Her princes[ce] within her are like a roaring lion tearing its prey; they have devoured lives. They take away riches and valuable things; they have made many women widows[cf] within it. 26 Her priests abuse my law and have desecrated my holy things. They do not distinguish between the holy and the profane,[cg] or recognize any distinction between the unclean and the clean. They ignore[ch] my Sabbaths, and I am profaned in their midst. 27 Her officials are like wolves in her midst rending their prey—shedding blood and destroying lives—so they can get dishonest profit. 28 Her prophets coat their messages with whitewash.[ci] They see false visions and announce lying omens for them, saying, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says,’ when the Lord has not spoken. 29 The people of the land have practiced extortion and committed robbery. They have wronged the poor and needy; they have oppressed the resident foreigner and denied them justice.[cj]
30 “I looked for a man from among them who would repair the wall and stand in the gap before me on behalf of the land, so that I would not destroy it, but I found no one.[ck] 31 So I have poured my anger on them and destroyed them with the fire of my fury. I hereby repay them for what they have done,[cl] declares the Sovereign Lord.”
- Ezekiel 21:1 sn Ezek 21:1 in the English Bible is 21:6 in the Hebrew text (BHS). See the note at 20:45.
- Ezekiel 21:2 tn Heb “set your face toward.”
- Ezekiel 21:3 tn Heb “the land of Israel.”
- Ezekiel 21:3 tn The word הִנֵּה (hinneh, traditionally “behold”) draws attention to something and has been translated here as a verb.
- Ezekiel 21:3 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.
- Ezekiel 21:3 sn This is the sword of judgment; see Isa 31:8; 34:6; 66:16.
- Ezekiel 21:3 sn Ezekiel elsewhere pictures the Lord’s judgment as discriminating between the righteous and the wicked (9:4-6; 18:1-20; see as well Pss 1 and 11) and speaks of the preservation of a remnant (3:21; 6:8; 12:16). Perhaps here he exaggerates for rhetorical effect in an effort to subdue any false optimism. See L. C. Allen, Ezekiel (WBC), 2:25-26; D. I. Block, Ezekiel (NICOT), 1:669-70; and W. Zimmerli, Ezekiel (Hermeneia), 1:424-25. The words do not require all the people in each category to be cut off.
- Ezekiel 21:4 tn Heb “all flesh” (also in the following verse).
- Ezekiel 21:4 tn Heb “Negev.” The Negev is the south country.
- Ezekiel 21:6 tn Heb “breaking loins.”
- Ezekiel 21:7 tn Heb “every spirit will be dim.”
- Ezekiel 21:7 sn This expression depicts in a very vivid way how they will be overcome with fear. See the note on the same phrase in 7:17.
- Ezekiel 21:10 tn Heb “Or shall we rejoice, scepter of my son? It despises every tree.” The translation understands the subject of the verb “despises,” which is a feminine form in the Hebrew text, to be the sword (which is a feminine noun) mentioned just before this. Alternatively, the line may be understood as “Let us not rejoice, O tribe of my son; it despises every tree.” The same word in Hebrew may be either “rod,” “scepter,” or “tribe.” The word sometimes translated as “or” or taken as an interrogative particle may be a negative particle. See D. I. Block, Ezekiel (NICOT), 1:672, n. 79.sn The people of Judah should not place false hope in their king, symbolized by his royal scepter, for God’s judgment (symbolized by fire and then a sword) would destroy every tree (see 20:47), symbolizing the righteous and wicked (see 21:3-4).
- Ezekiel 21:12 sn This physical action was part of an expression of grief. Cf. Jer 31:19.
- Ezekiel 21:13 tn Heb “For testing (will come), and what if also a scepter it despises will not be?” The translation understands the subject of the verb “despises,” which is a feminine form in the Hebrew text, to be the sword (which is a feminine noun) mentioned in the previous verses. The text is very difficult, and any rendering is uncertain.
- Ezekiel 21:16 tn Heb “Put to.”
- Ezekiel 21:16 tn Heb “face.”
- Ezekiel 21:20 tc The MT reads “Judah in fortified Jerusalem,” a geographic impossibility. The translation follows the LXX, which assumes בְּתוֹכָהּ (betokhah, “in it”) for בְּצוּרָה (betsurah, “fortified”). sn As the Babylonians approached from the north, one road would branch off to the left and lead down the east side of the Jordan River to Ammon. The other road would veer to the right and lead down west of the Jordan to Jerusalem.
- Ezekiel 21:21 tn Heb “mother.”
- Ezekiel 21:21 sn Mesopotamian kings believed that the gods revealed the future through omens. They employed various divination techniques, some of which are included in the list that follows. A particularly popular technique was the examination and interpretation of the livers of animals. See R. R. Wilson, Prophecy and Society in Ancient Israel, 90-110.
- Ezekiel 21:21 tn This word refers to personal idols that were apparently used for divination purposes (Gen 31:19; 1 Sam 19:13, 16).
- Ezekiel 21:21 tn Heb “sees.”
- Ezekiel 21:21 tn Heb “the liver.”
- Ezekiel 21:22 tn Or “on the right side,” i.e., the omen mark on the right side of the liver.
- Ezekiel 21:22 tn Heb “to open the mouth” for slaughter.
- Ezekiel 21:22 tn Heb “to raise up a voice in a battle cry.”
- Ezekiel 21:23 tn Heb “they”; the referent (the people in Jerusalem) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
- Ezekiel 21:23 sn When the people of Judah realized the Babylonians’ intentions, they would object on grounds that they had made a treaty with the Babylonian king (see 17:13).
- Ezekiel 21:23 tn Heb “he”; the referent (the king of Babylon) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
- Ezekiel 21:23 tn Or “iniquity.”
- Ezekiel 21:23 tn Heb “and he will remind of guilt to be captured.” The king would counter their objections by pointing out that they had violated their treaty with him (see 17:18), thus justifying their capture.
- Ezekiel 21:24 tn Heb “caused to be remembered.”
- Ezekiel 21:24 tn Heb “Because you have brought to remembrance your guilt when your transgressions are uncovered so that your sins are revealed in all your deeds—because you are remembered, by the hand you will be seized.”
- Ezekiel 21:25 tn This probably refers to King Zedekiah.
- Ezekiel 21:26 tn Elsewhere in the Bible the turban is worn by priests (Exod 28:4, 37, 39; 29:6; 39:28, 31; Lev 8:9; 16:4), but here a royal crown is in view.
- Ezekiel 21:26 tn Heb “This not this.”
- Ezekiel 21:26 tn Heb “the high one.”
- Ezekiel 21:27 tn Heb “A ruin, a ruin, a ruin I will make it.” The threefold repetition of the noun “ruin” is for emphasis and draws attention to the degree of ruin that would take place. See IBHS 233 §12.5a and GKC 431-32 §133.k. The pronominal suffix (translated “it”) on the verb “make” is feminine in Hebrew. The probable antecedent is the “turban/crown” (both nouns are feminine in form) mentioned in verse 26. The point is that the king’s royal splendor would be completely devastated as judgment overtook his realm and brought his reign to a violent end.
- Ezekiel 21:27 tn The pronoun “this” is feminine, while the following negated verb (“will not be”) is masculine. Some emend the verb to a feminine form (see BHS), In this case the statement refers to the destiny of the king's turban crown (symbolizing his reign). See the previous note. It ultimately denotes kingship in Israel, as with “not this” in v. 26.
- Ezekiel 21:27 tn Horace D. Hummel, Ezekiel (Concordia Commentary), 2:642, states that the suffixed object of the Hebrew verb for “give” (נָתַן, natan) can be indirect: “to him,” while the direct object (“it”) is understood from the preceding “right.” However, a more likely candidate for the understood object would be “this,” the turban/crown and the kingship it implies. The one who comes already has the “right.”
- Ezekiel 21:27 tn Hummel, Ezekiel, 2:658, states that “very early” interpreters saw similarity between this verse and Gen 49:10. Early Christian scholars like Jerome interpreted Ezek 21:27 of Jesus Christ, as did the majority of Christian scholars until rather recent times. The phrase “until he comes to whom it belongs” in Gen 49:10 resembles the words here. “Until” and “comes” are the same in both verses. In both verses there follows a relative pronoun like “who,” the preposition “to,” a prepositional object “him,” and an understood linking verb “is.” An allusion would favor those Hebrew words having the same meaning in both verses, with “right, legal claim” as the sense for מִשְׁפָּט, (mishpat) rather than “judgment,” since it is more compatible with an allusion. sn A popular alternative view of this verse takes “right” as “judgment,” views the one who comes as Nebuchadnezzar, and translates “until” (עַד, ‘ad) as “when.” The basis for this unique translation of עַד (which rarely can mean “while”) is that here it would refer to the period during which the devastation is realized rather than to its termination point. See L. C. Allen, Ezekiel (WBC), 2:19, 21. Ezekiel often has מִשְׁפָּט as “judgment” and does not use it elsewhere as “right.” God promises to “give” “judgment” to the Babylonians in 23:24, as he would here. However, “right” is a normal sense for מִשְׁפָּט, and even most who see Nebuchadnezzar as the one who comes find an allusion to Gen 49:10 here, though inverted. However, this verse can alter the idea of Gen 49:10 even without Allen’s view, since Gen 49:10 promises that the scepter will not depart from Judah until the Messiah comes, while Ezek 21:27 promises that the royal turban/crown will be a ruin until Messiah comes. Robert W. Jenson, Ezekiel (Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible), 173, favors the traditional view “because of the eschatological rhetoric of the whole poem,” adding that “ending merely with Nebuchadnezzar would be a poetically disastrous anticlimax.” For Ezek 34:23-24 and 37:22, 24-25 promise the restoration of Davidic kingship in the Messiah.
- Ezekiel 21:28 tn Heb “their reproach.”
- Ezekiel 21:28 tn Heb “to contain, endure,” from כוּל (khul). Since that sense is difficult here, most take the text to read either “to consume” or “for destruction.” GKC 186 §68.i suggests that the form represents the Hiphil of אָכַל (’akhal, “consume”). The ’alef (א) would have dropped out, as it sometimes does and might do with אָכַל in Ezek 42:5. D. I. Block (Ezekiel [NICOT], 1:693) prefers seeing כוּל as a byform of כָּלָה (kalah, “be complete”), with a meaning like “consume” in the Hiphil. The weakness of Block’s suggestion is that כָּלָה does not elsewhere exhibit a Hiphil.
- Ezekiel 21:29 tn Heb “in the seeing concerning you falsehood, in divining concerning you a lie.” This probably refers to the attempts of the Ammonites to ward off judgment through prophetic visions and divination.
- Ezekiel 21:29 tn The antecedent for you is the sword mentioned in v. 28.
- Ezekiel 21:29 sn The second half of the verse appears to state that the sword of judgment would fall upon the wicked Ammonites, despite their efforts to prevent it.
- Ezekiel 21:30 sn Once the Babylonian king’s sword (vv. 19-20) has carried out its assigned task, the Lord commands a halt. The resheathed sword will return to the land where it was created, and there itself face judgment. The pronouns continue to be second person feminine singular. The sword figuratively represents the Babylonian nation, whose land is the locus of judgment.
- Ezekiel 21:30 tn In the Hebrew text of vv. 30-32 the second person verbal and pronominal forms are generally feminine singular. This continues the address of the personified Babylonian sword from verse 29 (the Hebrew word for “sword” is feminine). “Return” is masculine, either due to the Hebrew preference for the masculine gender, or to the fact that soldiers were men.
- Ezekiel 21:31 sn The imagery of blowing on the sword with fire and putting it in the hands of skillful men can evoke the work of smithies.
- Ezekiel 21:32 tn Heb “your blood will be in the middle of the land.” sn This can be the blood that covered the sword in its great slaughter (v. 14), figuratively representing the end of Babylon. The pronouns are still second person feminine singular.
- Ezekiel 22:2 tn Heb “will you judge.” Here the imperfect form of the verb is probably used with a desiderative nuance. Addressed to the prophet, “judge” means to warn of or pronounce God’s impending judgment upon the city. See 20:4.
- Ezekiel 22:2 tn The phrase “bloody city” is used of Nineveh in Nah 3:1.
- Ezekiel 22:3 tn Heb “her time”; this refers to the time of impending judgment (see the note on “doom” in v. 4).
- Ezekiel 22:4 tn Heb “you have brought near your days.” The expression “bring near your days” appears to be an adaptation of the idiom “days draw near,” which is used to indicate that an event, such as death, is imminent (see Gen 27:41; 47:29; Deut 31:14; 1 Kgs 2:1; Ezek 12:23). Here “your days” probably refer to the days of the personified city’s life, which was about to come to an end through God’s judgment.
- Ezekiel 22:4 tn Heb “and you have come to your years.” This appears to mean that she has arrived at the time when her years (i.e., life) would end, though it may mean that her years of punishment will begin. Because “day” and “time” are so closely associated in the immediate context (see 21:25, 29), some prefer to emend the text and read: “you have brought near your time.” See L. C. Allen, Ezekiel (WBC), 2:31, as well as the translator’s note on verse 3.
- Ezekiel 22:4 tn The Hebrew verb is a prophetic perfect, emphasizing that the action is as good as done from the speaker’s perspective.
- Ezekiel 22:5 tn Heb “unclean of name.”
- Ezekiel 22:6 tn Heb “Look! The princes of Israel, each according to his arm, were in you in order to shed blood.”
- Ezekiel 22:7 tn Heb “treated lightly, cursed.”
- Ezekiel 22:7 tn Widows and orphans are often coupled together in the OT (Deut 14:29; 16:11, 14; 24:19-21; 26:12-13; Jer 7:6; 22:3). They represented all who were poor and vulnerable to economic exploitation.
- Ezekiel 22:9 tn Heb “men of slander are in you in order to shed blood.”
- Ezekiel 22:9 tn Heb “and on the mountains they eat within you.” The mountains mentioned here were the site of pagan sacrifices. See 18:6.
- Ezekiel 22:9 sn This statement introduces vv. 10-11 and refers in general terms to the sexual sins described there. For the legal background of vv. 10-11, see Lev 18:7-20; 20:10-21; Deut 22:22-23, 30; 27:22.
- Ezekiel 22:10 tn Heb “The nakedness of a father one uncovers within you.” The ancient versions read the verb as plural (“they uncover”). If the singular is retained, it must be taken as indefinite and representative of the entire group. The idiomatic expression “uncover the nakedness” refers here to sexual intercourse (cf. Lev 18:6). To uncover a father’s nakedness could include sexual relations with one’s own mother (Lev 18:7), but more likely it refers to having intercourse with another wife of one’s father, such as a stepmother (Lev 18:8; cf. Gen 35:22; 49:4).
- Ezekiel 22:10 tn Heb “(one who is) unclean due to the impurity they humble within you.” The use of the verb “to humble” suggests that these men forced themselves upon women during menstruation. Having sexual relations with a woman during her period was forbidden by the Law (Lev 18:19; 20:18).
- Ezekiel 22:11 tn Heb “a man.”
- Ezekiel 22:11 tn The verb is the same one used in verse 10b and suggests forcible sexual violation of the woman.
- Ezekiel 22:11 sn Sexual relations with one’s half-sister may be primarily in view here. See Lev 18:9 and 20:17.
- Ezekiel 22:12 tn Heb “usury and interest you take.” See 18:13, 17. This kind of economic exploitation violated the law given in Lev 25:36.
- Ezekiel 22:12 sn Forgetting the Lord is also addressed in Deut 6:12; 8:11, 14; Jer 3:21; 13:25; Ezek 23:35; Hos 2:15; 8:14; 13:6.
- Ezekiel 22:12 tn The second person verb forms are feminine singular in Hebrew, indicating that the personified city is addressed here as representing its citizens.
- Ezekiel 22:13 sn This gesture apparently expresses mourning and/or anger (see 6:11; 21:14, 17).
- Ezekiel 22:13 tn Heb “the blood that was in you.”
- Ezekiel 22:14 tn Heb “stand.” The heart here stands for the emotions; Jerusalem would panic in the face of God’s judgment.
- Ezekiel 22:14 tn Heb “in the days when I act against you.”
- Ezekiel 22:15 sn The ultimate purpose of divine judgment is to purify the covenant community of its sins.
- Ezekiel 22:16 tc Several ancient versions read the verb as first person, in which case the Lord refers to how his people’s sin brings disgrace upon him. For a defense of the Hebrew text, see D. I. Block, Ezekiel (NICOT), 1:712, n. 68, and M. Greenberg, Ezekiel (AB), 2:457-58. tn The phrase “within yourself” is the same as the several previous occurrences of “within you” but adjusted to fit this clause, which is the culmination of the series of indictments.
- Ezekiel 22:18 tn For similar imagery, see Isa 1:21-26 and Jer 6:27-30.
- Ezekiel 22:19 tn The Hebrew second person pronoun is masculine plural here and in vv. 19b-21, indicating that the people are being addressed.
- Ezekiel 22:20 tn Heb “I will put.” No object is supplied in the Hebrew, prompting many to emend the text to “I will blow.” See BHS and verse 21.
- Ezekiel 22:24 tc The MT reads: “that is not cleansed”; the LXX reads: “that is not drenched,” which assumes a different vowel pointing as well as the loss of a מ (mem) due to haplography. In light of the following reference to showers, the reading of the LXX certainly fits the context well. For a defense of the emendation, see L. C. Allen, Ezekiel (WBC), 2:32. Yet the MT is not an unreasonable reading since uncleanness in the land also fits the context. A poetic connection between rain and the land being uncleansed may be feasible since washing with water is elsewhere associated with cleansing (Num 8:7; 31:23; Ps 51:7).
- Ezekiel 22:24 tn Heb “in a day of anger.”
- Ezekiel 22:25 tn Heb “a conspiracy of her prophets is in her midst.” The LXX reads “whose princes” rather than “a conspiracy of prophets.” The prophets are mentioned later in the paragraph (v. 28). If one follows the LXX in verse 25, then five distinct groups are mentioned in vv. 25-29: princes, priests, officials, prophets, and the people of the land. For a defense of the Septuagintal reading, see L. C. Allen, Ezekiel (WBC), 2:32, and D. I. Block, Ezekiel (NICOT), 1:720, n. 4.
- Ezekiel 22:25 tn Heb “her widows they have multiplied.” The statement alludes to their murderous acts.
- Ezekiel 22:26 tn Or “between the consecrated and the common.”
- Ezekiel 22:26 tn Heb “hide their eyes from.” The idiom means to disregard or ignore something or someone (see Lev 20:4; 1 Sam 12:3; Prov 28:27; Isa 1:15).
- Ezekiel 22:28 tn Heb “Her prophets coat for themselves with whitewash.” The expression may be based on Ezek 13:10-15.
- Ezekiel 22:29 tn Heb “and the resident foreigner they have oppressed without justice.”
- Ezekiel 22:30 tn Heb “I did not find.”
- Ezekiel 22:31 tn Heb “their way on their head I have placed.”
Concluding Exposition: Old and New Sacrifices Contrasted
10 For the law possesses a shadow of the good things to come but not the reality itself, and is therefore completely unable, by the same sacrifices offered continually, year after year, to perfect those who come to worship.[a] 2 For otherwise would they not have ceased to be offered, since the worshipers would have been purified once for all and so have[b] no further consciousness of sin? 3 But in those sacrifices[c] there is a reminder of sins year after year. 4 For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. 5 So when he came into the world, he said,
“Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me.
6 “Whole burnt offerings and sin-offerings you took no delight in.
7 “Then I said, ‘Here I am:[d] I have come—it is written of me in the scroll of the book—to do your will, O God.’”[e]
8 When he says above, “Sacrifices and offerings and whole burnt offerings and sin-offerings you did not desire nor did you take delight in them”[f] (which are offered according to the law), 9 then he says, “Here I am: I have come to do your will.”[g] He does away with[h] the first to establish the second. 10 By his will[i] we have been made holy through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. 11 And every priest stands day after day[j] serving and offering the same sacrifices again and again—sacrifices that can never take away sins. 12 But when this priest[k] had offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, he sat down at the right hand[l] of God, 13 where he is now waiting[m] until his enemies are made a footstool for his feet.[n] 14 For by one offering he has perfected for all time those who are made holy. 15 And the Holy Spirit also witnesses to us, for after saying,[o] 16 “This is the covenant that I will establish with them after those days, says the Lord. I will put[p] my laws on their hearts and I will inscribe them on their minds,”[q] 17 then he says,[r] “Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no longer.”[s]
- Hebrews 10:1 tn Grk “those who approach.”
- Hebrews 10:2 tn Grk “the worshipers, having been purified once for all, would have.”
- Hebrews 10:3 tn Grk “in them”; the referent (those sacrifices) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
- Hebrews 10:7 tn Grk “behold,” but this construction often means “here is/there is” (cf. BDAG 468 s.v. ἰδού 2).
- Hebrews 10:7 sn A quotation from Ps 40:6-8 (LXX). The phrase a body you prepared for me (in v. 5) is apparently an interpretive expansion of the HT reading “ears you have dug out for me.”
- Hebrews 10:8 sn Various phrases from the quotation of Ps 40:6 in Heb 10:5-6 are repeated in Heb 10:8.
- Hebrews 10:9 tc The majority of mss, especially the later ones (א2 0278vid 1739 M lat), have ὁ θεός (ho theos, “God”) at this point, while most of the earliest and best witnesses lack such an explicit addressee (so P46 א* A C D K P Ψ 33 1175 1881 2464 al). The longer reading is apparently motivated in part by the wording of Ps 40:8 (39:9 LXX) and by the word order of this same verse as quoted in Heb 10:7.
- Hebrews 10:9 tn Or “abolishes.”
- Hebrews 10:10 tn Grk “by which will.” Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started here in the translation.
- Hebrews 10:11 tn Or “daily,” “every day.”
- Hebrews 10:12 tn Grk “this one.” This pronoun refers to Jesus, but “this priest” was used in the translation to make the contrast between the Jewish priests in v. 11 and Jesus as a priest clearer in English.
- Hebrews 10:12 sn An allusion to Ps 110:1.
- Hebrews 10:13 tn Grk “from then on waiting.”
- Hebrews 10:13 sn An allusion to Ps 110:1.
- Hebrews 10:15 tn Grk “after having said,” emphasizing the present impact of this utterance.
- Hebrews 10:16 tn Grk “putting…I will inscribe.”
- Hebrews 10:16 sn A quotation from Jer 31:33.
- Hebrews 10:17 tn Grk “and.”
- Hebrews 10:17 sn A quotation from Jer 31:34.
A song, a psalm of David.
108 I am determined,[b] O God.
I will sing and praise you with my whole heart.[c]
2 Awake, O stringed instrument and harp.
I will wake up at dawn.[d]
3 I will give you thanks before the nations, O Lord.
I will sing praises to you before foreigners.[e]
4 For your loyal love extends beyond the sky,[f]
and your faithfulness reaches the clouds.
5 Rise up[g] above the sky, O God.
May your splendor cover the whole earth.[h]
6 Deliver by your power[i] and answer me,
so that the ones you love may be safe.[j]
7 God has spoken in his sanctuary:[k]
“I will triumph! I will parcel out Shechem;
the Valley of Sukkoth I will measure off.[l]
8 Gilead belongs to me,
as does Manasseh.[m]
Ephraim is my helmet,[n]
Judah my royal scepter.[o]
9 Moab is my washbasin.[p]
I will make Edom serve me.[q]
I will shout in triumph over Philistia.”
10 Who will lead me into the fortified city?
Who will bring me to Edom?[r]
11 Have you not rejected us, O God?
O God, you do not go into battle with our armies.
12 Give us help against the enemy,
for any help men might offer is futile.[s]
13 By God’s power we will conquer;[t]
he will trample down[u] our enemies.
- Psalm 108:1 sn Psalm 108. With some minor variations, this psalm is a composite of Ps 57:7-11 (see vv. 1-5) and Ps 60:5-12 (see vv. 6-13).
- Psalm 108:1 tn Or perhaps “confident”; Heb “my heart is steadfast.” The “heart” is viewed here as the seat of the psalmist’s volition and/or emotions.
- Psalm 108:1 tn Heb “also my glory,” but this makes little sense in the context. Some view the term כָּבוֹד (kavod, “glory”) here as a metonymy for man’s inner being (see BDB 459 s.v. II כָּבוֹד 5), but it is preferable to emend the form to כְּבֵדִי (kevedi, “my liver”). Like the heart, the liver is viewed as the seat of one’s emotions. See also Pss 16:9; 30:12; 57:9; as well as H. W. Wolff, Anthropology of the Old Testament, 64, and M. Dahood, Psalms (AB), 3:93. For an Ugaritic example of the heart/liver as the source of joy, see G. R. Driver, Canaanite Myths and Legends, 47-48: “her [Anat’s] liver swelled with laughter, her heart was filled with joy, the liver of Anat with triumph.”
- Psalm 108:2 tn BDB 1007 s.v. שַׁחַר takes “dawn” as an adverbial accusative, though others understand it as a personified direct object. “Dawn” is used metaphorically for the time of deliverance and vindication the psalmist anticipates. When salvation “dawns,” the psalmist will “wake up” in praise.
- Psalm 108:3 tn Or “the peoples.”
- Psalm 108:4 tn Heb “for great upon the sky [or “heavens”] [is] your loyal love.”
- Psalm 108:5 tn Or “be exalted.”
- Psalm 108:5 tn Heb “over all the earth [be] your splendor.” Though no verb appears, the tone of the statement is a prayer or wish. (Note the imperative form in the preceding line.)
- Psalm 108:6 tn Heb “right hand.”
- Psalm 108:6 tn Or “may be rescued.” The lines are actually reversed in the Hebrew text: “So that the ones you love may be rescued, deliver by your power and answer me.”
- Psalm 108:7 tn Heb “in his holy place.”
- Psalm 108:7 sn Shechem stands for the territory west of the Jordan River; the Valley of Sukkoth represents the region east of the Jordan.
- Psalm 108:8 tn Gilead was located east of the Jordan River. Half of the tribe of Manasseh lived east of the Jordan in the region of Bashan.
- Psalm 108:8 tn Heb “the protection of my head.”sn Ephraim, one of Joseph’s sons, was one of two major tribes located west of the Jordan River. By comparing Ephraim to a helmet, the Lord suggests that the Ephraimites played a primary role in the defense of his land.
- Psalm 108:8 sn Judah, like Ephraim, was the other major tribe west of the Jordan River. The Davidic king, symbolized here by the royal scepter, came from this tribe.
- Psalm 108:9 sn The metaphor of the washbasin, used to rinse one’s hands and feet, suggests that Moab, in contrast to Israel’s elevated position (vv. 7-8), would be reduced to the status of a servant.
- Psalm 108:9 tn Heb “over Edom I will throw my sandal.” The point of the metaphor is not entirely clear. Some interpret this as idiomatic for “taking possession of.” Others translate עַל (ʿal) as “to” and understand this as referring to a master throwing his dirty sandal to a servant so that the latter might dust it off.
- Psalm 108:10 sn The psalmist speaks again and acknowledges his need for help in battle. He hopes God will volunteer, based on the affirmation of sovereignty over Edom in v. 9, but he is also aware that God has seemingly rejected the nation of Israel (v. 11).
- Psalm 108:12 tn Heb “and futile [is] the deliverance of man.”
- Psalm 108:13 tn Heb “in God we will accomplish strength.” The statement refers here to military success (see Num 24:18; 1 Sam 14:48; Pss 60:12; 118:16).
- Psalm 108:13 sn On the expression trample down our enemies see Ps 44:5.
- Proverbs 27:12 tn All of the verbs in this verse are Hebrew perfect forms that should be understood as past tense. The proverb presents its message as events which have occurred and are prototypical of the behavior of the shrewd and the inexperienced.
- Proverbs 27:12 tn This noun is plural, while the earlier substantival adjective “shrewd” is singular. The contrast may suggest that the naive are in a group, each one doing what the others do, while insightful person had to go against the flow. That is, the naive go along with the bandwagon; but the shrewd person thinks for his/herself and makes good decisions accordingly.
- Proverbs 27:12 tn Heb “passed by”; the word “right” is supplied in the translation to clarify the meaning: The naive person, oblivious to impending danger, meets it head on.
- Proverbs 27:12 tn The Qal of the verb עָנָשׁ (ʿanash) means to impose a fine; here in the Niphal it means to have a fine imposed, or to have to pay for something. By extension it means to suffer a penalty. The English idiom “to pay for” meaning “to suffer the consequences” conveys the idea while preserving the lexical base in Hebrew. Cf. NIV, ESV “suffer for it,” NASB, TNIV “pay the penalty,” KJV, Holman “are punished.”