And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,The former prophecies concerned the city of Jerusalem and the inhabitants of Judaea. The present is addressed to the whole land and people of Israel, which is to be included in a like judgment, The ground of the judgment is "idolatry," and the whole rests on Deuteronomy 12. The prophecy is against the "mountains" of Israel, because the mountains and valleys were the seats of idol-worship. It is also the proclamation of the final judgment of Israel. It is the picture of the future judgment of the world.
Son of man, set thy face toward the mountains of Israel, and prophesy against them,
And say, Ye mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord GOD; Thus saith the Lord GOD to the mountains, and to the hills, to the rivers, and to the valleys; Behold, I, even I, will bring a sword upon you, and I will destroy your high places.Rivers - Or, "ravines," which were, like the mountains, favorite seats of idol-rites 2 Kings 23:10.
And your altars shall be desolate, and your images shall be broken: and I will cast down your slain men before your idols.Images - See the margin and margin reference, and the Ezekiel 8:16 note.
Idols - The Phoenicians were in the habit of setting up "heaps" or "pillars" of stone in honor of their gods, which renders the use of the word more appropriate.
And I will lay the dead carcases of the children of Israel before their idols; and I will scatter your bones round about your altars.
In all your dwellingplaces the cities shall be laid waste, and the high places shall be desolate; that your altars may be laid waste and made desolate, and your idols may be broken and cease, and your images may be cut down, and your works may be abolished.
And the slain shall fall in the midst of you, and ye shall know that I am the LORD.The force of the words is, "When the slain shall fall in the midst of you, then at last ye shall know that I am the Lord." So in Ezekiel 6:10 where the knowledge implies a recognition of the merciful intent of Yahweh's dispensations, and therefore, a hope of restoration.
Yet will I leave a remnant, that ye may have some that shall escape the sword among the nations, when ye shall be scattered through the countries.
And they that escape of you shall remember me among the nations whither they shall be carried captives, because I am broken with their whorish heart, which hath departed from me, and with their eyes, which go a whoring after their idols: and they shall lothe themselves for the evils which they have committed in all their abominations.I am broken ... - Translate: "because" I have broken "their whorish heart, which hath departed from me," and their eyes etc. Since Ezekiel is addressing the Church of God through Israel, we are to note here that the general principle of the divine administration is laid down. Sin leads to judgment, judgment to repentance, repentance to forgiveness, forgiveness to reconciliation, reconciliation to a knowledge of communion with God.
And they shall know that I am the LORD, and that I have not said in vain that I would do this evil unto them.
Thus saith the Lord GOD; Smite with thine hand, and stamp with thy foot, and say, Alas for all the evil abominations of the house of Israel! for they shall fall by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence.The gleam of hope is but transitory. Darkness again gathers round, for as yet the prophet is predicting judgment.
Smite ... stamp - Well-known modes of expressing grief.
He that is far off shall die of the pestilence; and he that is near shall fall by the sword; and he that remaineth and is besieged shall die by the famine: thus will I accomplish my fury upon them.
Then shall ye know that I am the LORD, when their slain men shall be among their idols round about their altars, upon every high hill, in all the tops of the mountains, and under every green tree, and under every thick oak, the place where they did offer sweet savour to all their idols.Sweet savor - Compare Genesis 8:21. Words, applied to the smell of sacrifices accepted by God, applied here to idol-sacrifices in irony.
So will I stretch out my hand upon them, and make the land desolate, yea, more desolate than the wilderness toward Diblath, in all their habitations: and they shall know that I am the LORD.Toward Diblath - Or, "Diblathaim," the "Diblathan" of the Moabite stone, one of the double cities of Moab (see Ezekiel 25:9) to the east of which lay the great desert of Arabia. Some read: "unto Riblah" Jeremiah 52:9 and take the margin rendering.