Darby's Bible Synopsis
And thou, son of man, take thee a sharp knife, take thee a barber's rasor, and cause it to pass upon thine head and upon thy beard: then take thee balances to weigh, and divide the hair.
The following commentary covers Chapters 5 and 6.
In the revelation given to Ezekiel Jerusalem is taken, and its population almost entirely destroyed. The dispersed remnant are pursued by the sword, and a portion only of this remnant is spared. There would be some even of this portion cast into the fire [See Note #1]. And this fire should reach to the whole house of Israel. That is to say, the judgment that should fall upon the remnant who do not perish in the city should represent the position of all Israel. It is thus that the prophet is constantly led to speak of the whole nation. For, as long as there was a remnant at Jerusalem, the nation had a place on the earth. But when the iniquitous rebellion of Zedekiah had led to the destruction of Jerusalem, this was no longer the case. But this judgment of Jerusalem contains very important elements for the understanding of all this part of the history of the people and of the dealings of God, "This is Jerusalem, saith the Lord Jehovah; I have set it in the midst of the nations and countries round about her." And instead of being a testimony in the midst of the nations, so that the house of Jehovah should have attracted them, or at least have placed them under responsibility by a true testimony to God who dwelt there-instead of this, her inhabitants had even gone beyond the idolatrous nations in wickedness. Therefore God would execute judgments upon her in the sight of all the nations-a just retribution for her sins. She should also be laid waste and made a reproach among the nations round about her; and (chap. 6) the judgment should not be confined to Jerusalem, it should be executed on all the high places, on all the mountains of Israel. Every city should be desolate, all their idols destroyed, and the people scattered. They should know that the Lord had not threatened them in vain with His judgments. The fire should reach those that were afar off as well as those that were in the land; and the land should be laid waste, and the worshippers of idols slain around their infamous gods. Nevertheless God would remember mercy in the midst of judgment; He would spare a little remnant of those who were scattered, and those who should escape should loathe themselves for the abominations they had committed. Thus Jerusalem was judged as well as the mountains of Israel, which were but too notorious for their idols and their high places.
It is thus that I understand this passage. We should imagine, from our translation, that it was some of the hairs that were cast into the fire. But in the Hebrew the pronoun is in the singular, and it is masculine as well as feminine.
Thou shalt burn with fire a third part in the midst of the city, when the days of the siege are fulfilled: and thou shalt take a third part, and smite about it with a knife: and a third part thou shalt scatter in the wind; and I will draw out a sword after them.
Thou shalt also take thereof a few in number, and bind them in thy skirts.
Then take of them again, and cast them into the midst of the fire, and burn them in the fire; for thereof shall a fire come forth into all the house of Israel.
Thus saith the Lord GOD; This is Jerusalem: I have set it in the midst of the nations and countries that are round about her.
And she hath changed my judgments into wickedness more than the nations, and my statutes more than the countries that are round about her: for they have refused my judgments and my statutes, they have not walked in them.
Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Because ye multiplied more than the nations that are round about you, and have not walked in my statutes, neither have kept my judgments, neither have done according to the judgments of the nations that are round about you;
Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I, even I, am against thee, and will execute judgments in the midst of thee in the sight of the nations.
And I will do in thee that which I have not done, and whereunto I will not do any more the like, because of all thine abominations.
Therefore the fathers shall eat the sons in the midst of thee, and the sons shall eat their fathers; and I will execute judgments in thee, and the whole remnant of thee will I scatter into all the winds.
Wherefore, as I live, saith the Lord GOD; Surely, because thou hast defiled my sanctuary with all thy detestable things, and with all thine abominations, therefore will I also diminish thee; neither shall mine eye spare, neither will I have any pity.
A third part of thee shall die with the pestilence, and with famine shall they be consumed in the midst of thee: and a third part shall fall by the sword round about thee; and I will scatter a third part into all the winds, and I will draw out a sword after them.
Thus shall mine anger be accomplished, and I will cause my fury to rest upon them, and I will be comforted: and they shall know that I the LORD have spoken it in my zeal, when I have accomplished my fury in them.
Moreover I will make thee waste, and a reproach among the nations that are round about thee, in the sight of all that pass by.
So it shall be a reproach and a taunt, an instruction and an astonishment unto the nations that are round about thee, when I shall execute judgments in thee in anger and in fury and in furious rebukes. I the LORD have spoken it.
When I shall send upon them the evil arrows of famine, which shall be for their destruction, and which I will send to destroy you: and I will increase the famine upon you, and will break your staff of bread:
So will I send upon you famine and evil beasts, and they shall bereave thee; and pestilence and blood shall pass through thee; and I will bring the sword upon thee. I the LORD have spoken it.