Ezekiel 22:13
Behold, therefore I have smitten my hand at your dishonest gain which you have made, and at your blood which has been in the middle of you.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(13) Smitten mine hand.—See Note on Eze. Vi. 11, and comp. Ezekiel 22:17 and Ezekiel 22:13.

Ezekiel 22:13-16. Therefore I have smitten my hand at thy dishonest gain, &c. — Therefore I have expressed my indignation against thy avarice and unjust practices: I have called for punishment to come upon thee, and have animated and encouraged thy enemies to destroy thee. Can thy heart endure? — Will not thy heart fail thee when thou shalt fall into those calamities which I will certainly bring upon thee? And will consume thy filthiness out of thee — Will purge thee in the furnace of afflictions, and take that method to consume thy dross, and put an end to thy idolatrous practices. And thou shalt take thine inheritance in thyself in the sight of the heathen — “Instead of being mine inheritance, and under my peculiar care and protection, thou shalt be cast out among the heathen, and there eat the fruit of thine own ways, and receive the just reward of thy wickedness.” The translation of this clause in the margin seems preferable: Thou shalt be profaned, that is, thou shalt no longer enjoy the privileges of a city called by my name, and set apart for my worship, but shalt be laid open as common ground to be profaned by infidels: compare Isaiah 47:6.22:1-16 The prophet is to judge the bloody city; the city of bloods. Jerusalem is so called, because of her crimes. The sins which Jerusalem stands charged with, are exceeding sinful. Murder, idolatry, disobedience to parents, oppression and extortion, profanation of the sabbath and holy things, seventh commandment sins, lewdness and adultery. Unmindfulness of God was at the bottom of all this wickedness. Sinners provoke God because they forget him. Jerusalem has filled the measure of her sins. Those who give up themselves to be ruled by their lusts, will justly be given up to be portioned by them. Those who resolve to be their own masters, let them expect no other happiness than their own hands can furnish; and a miserable portion it will prove.Set apart for pollution - Or, "unclean by reason of impurity" Leviticus 12:2. 13. smitten mine hand—in token of the indignant vengeance which I will execute on thee (see on [1057]Eze 21:17). Behold; hear therefore, and mark, ye wicked Jews.

I have smitten mine hand, in testimony of my abhorrence of your ways, as threatening to punish you, and setting on the fierce Babylonian upon you to execute my just displeasure.

At thy dishonest gain; thy covetousness, the root of all the evils in thee; thy cursed, unsatiable hunger for wealth.

Thy blood, which thou didst shed, that thou mightest then seize their estates; kill Naboths, and take possession. Behold, therefore, I have smitten mine hand at thy dishonest gain which thou hast made,.... As one amazed at it; or as filled with indignation against it; or as grieved and distressed at it; so Jarchi and Kimchi: or else as rejoicing at the punishment going to be inflicted on them for it. So the Septuagint renders it,

"I will bring my hand upon them;''

and the Targum,

"behold, I will bring my vengeance upon thee for the sins of mammon, &c.

Jarchi and Kimchi observe from their Rabbins, that four and twenty sins are recited by Ezekiel; but the final sentence of punishment is for rapine or dishonest gain, which is the greatest evil of all, 1 Timothy 6:10,

and at thy blood which hath been in the midst of thee; the innocent blood shed in the midst of her; not so much by thieves and cutthroats, as under a pretence of justice which was very abominable indeed; against which the Lord expresses just and strong resentment.

Behold, therefore I have {f} smitten my hand at thy dishonest gain which thou hast made, and at thy blood which hath been in the midst of thee.

(f) In token of my wrath and vengeance.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
13–22. The judgment on these vices

13. smitten mine hand] clapped my hands, cf. Ezekiel 21:14; Ezekiel 21:17, Ezekiel 6:11. The gesture is expressive of violent agitation, though the agitation may be due to different emotions—here disdain and dislike.Verse 13. - I have smitten my hand. The gesture, as in Ezekiel 21:14, 17, was one of indignant, and, as it were, impatient command. Overthrow of the Ammonites

Ezekiel 21:28. And thou, son of man, prophesy and say, Thus saith the Lord Jehovah, concerning the sons of Ammon, and concerning their scorn, sword, sword, drawn to slay, polished, that it may devour, that it may flash! Ezekiel 21:29. While they prophesy deceit to thee, while they divine lying to thee, it shall lay thee by the necks of the sinners slain, whose day cometh at the time of the final transgression. Ezekiel 21:30. Put it in its scabbard again. At the place where thou wast created, in the land of thy birth will I judge thee, Ezekiel 21:31. And pour out my anger upon thee, kindle the fire of my wrath against thee, and give thee into the hand of foolish men, of smiths of destruction. Ezekiel 21:32. Thou shalt be for the fire to devour; thy blood shall remain in the midst of the land; thou shalt be remembered no more; for I Jehovah have spoken it. - As Judah in Jerusalem will fall by the sword of the king of Babylon, contrary to all expectation; so will the Ammonites be punished for their scorn with utter extermination. חרפּה is scorn at the overthrow of Israel (cf. Ezekiel 25:3, Ezekiel 25:6, and Zephaniah 2:8). The sword is already drawn against them. פּתוּחה, taken out of the scabbard, as in Psalm 37:14. לטבח is to be connected with פּתוּחה, notwithstanding the accents, and להכיל להכיל with מרוּטה. This is required by the correspondence of the clauses. הכיל is regarded as a derivative of כּוּל by Ewald and others, in the sense of ad sustinendum, according to capacity, i.e., as much as possible. But the adverbial rendering it opposed to the context, and cannot be sustained from Ezekiel 23:32. Moreover, כּוּל, to contain, is applicable enough to goblets and other vessels, but not to a sword. Hitzig therefore explains it from the Arabic kll, to blunt (sc., the eyes), i.e., to blind. But this is open to the objection that the form הכיל points to the verb כּוּל rather than כּלל; and also to a still greater one, - namely, that there is nothing in the Hebrew usage to suggest the use of כלל in such a sense as this, and even if it were used in the sense of blunting, it would be perfectly arbitrary to supply עינים; and lastly, that even the flashing of the sword does not suggest the idea of blinding, but is intended to heighten the terror occasioned by the sharpness of the sword. We therefore adhere to the derivation of הכיל from אכל, and regard it as a defective form for האכיל, like תּמרוּ for תּאמרוּ in 2 Samuel 19:14, יהל as syncopated form for יאהל (Isaiah 13:20), and watochez ותּחז for ותּאחז in 2 Samuel 20:9; literally, to cause it to eat or devour, i.e., to make it fit for the work of devouring. למען , literally, for the sake of the lightning (flash) that shall issue therefrom (cf. Ezekiel 21:10). - In Ezekiel 21:29 (34), לתת (to lay, or place) is also dependent upon חרב פּתוּחה, drawn to lay thee; so that the first half of the verse is inserted as a parenthesis, either to indicate the occasion for bringing the sword into the land (Hitzig), or to introduce an attendant circumstance, according to the sense in which the ב in בּחזות is taken. The parenthetical clause is understood by most of the commentators as referring to deceptive oracles of Ammonitish soothsayers, which either determined the policy of Ammon, as Hitzig supposes (cf. Jeremiah 27:9-10), or inspired the Ammonites with confidence, that they had nothing to fear from the Chaldeans. Kliefoth, on the other hand, refers the words to the oracles consulted by Nebuchadnezzar, according to Ezekiel 21:23. "These oracles, which directed the king not to march against the Ammonites, but against Jerusalem, proved themselves, according to Ezekiel 21:29, to be deceptive prophesying to the Ammonites, inasmuch as they also afterwards fell by the sword; just as, according to Ezekiel 21:23, they proved themselves to be genuine so far as the Israelites were concerned, inasmuch as they were really the first to be smitten." This view is a very plausible one, if it only answered in any degree to the words. But it is hard to believe that the words, "while it (one) prophesies falsehood to thee," are meant to be equivalent to "while its prophecy proves itself to be false to thee." Moreover, Nebuchadnezzar did not give the Ammonites any oracle, either false or true, by the circumstance that his divination at the cross-road led him to decide in favour of the march to Jerusalem; for all that he did in consequence was to postpone his designs upon the Ammonites, but not to relinquish them. We cannot understand the words in any other sense, therefore, than as relating to oracles, which the Ammonites received from soothsayers of their own.

Hitzig takes offence at the expression, "that it (the sword) may lay thee by (to) the necks of the sinners slain," because colla cannot stand for corpora decollata, and consequently proposes to alter אותך into אותהּ, to put it (the sword) to the necks. But by this conjecture he gets the not less striking thought, that the sword was to be put to the necks of those already slain; a thing which would be perfectly unmeaning, and is therefore not generally done. The sinners slain are the Judaeans who have fallen. The words point back to Ezekiel 21:25, the second half of which is repeated here, and predict the same fate to the Ammonites. It is easy to supply חרב to השׁב אל־תּערהּ: put the sword into its scabbard again. These words can only be addressed to the Ammonites; not to the Chaldeans, as Kliefoth imagines, for the latter does not harmonize in any way with what follows, viz., in the place of thy birth will I judge thee. God does not execute the judgment independently of the Chaldeans, but through the medium of their sword. The difficulties occasioned by taking the words as referring to the Ammonites are not so great as to necessitate an alteration of the text (Hitzig), or to call for the arbitrary explanation: put it now or for the present into the scabbard (Kliefoth). The use of the masculine השׁב (with Patach for השׁב, as in Isaiah 42:22), if Ammon is addressed by the side of the feminine אותך, may be explained in a very simple way, from the fact that the sword is carried by men, so that here the thought of the people, the warriors, is predominant, and the representation of the kingdom of the Ammonites as a woman falls into the background. The objection that the suffix in תּערהּ can only refer to the sword (of the Chaldean) mentioned in Ezekiel 21:28, is more plausible than conclusive. For inasmuch as the scabbard presupposes a sword, and every sword has a scabbard, the suffix may be fully accounted for from the thing itself, as the words, "put the sword into its scabbard," would lead any hearer to think at once of the sword of the person addressed, without considering whether that particular sword had been mentioned before or not. The meaning of the words is this: every attempt to defend thyself with the sword and avert destruction will be in vain. In thine own land will God judge thee. For מכרותיך, see the comm. on Ezekiel 16:3. This judgment is still further explained in Ezekiel 21:31, where the figure of the sword is dropped, and that of the fire of the wrath of God introduced in its place. אפיח...בּאשׁ, we render: "the fire of my wrath I blow (kindle) against thee," after Isaiah 54:16, and not "with the fire...do I blow, or snort, against thee," as others have done; because blowing with the fire is an unnatural figure, and the interpretation of the words in accordance with Isa. l.c. is all the more natural, that in the closing words of the verse, חרשׁי משׁחית, the allusion to that passage is indisputable, and it is only from this that the combination of the two words can be accounted for. - Different explanations have been given of בּערים. Some render it ardentes, and in accordance with Isaiah 30:27 : burning with wrath. But בּער is never used in this sense. Nor can the rendering "scorching men" (Kliefoth) be sustained, for בּער, to burn, only occurs in connection with things which are combustible, e.g., fire, pitch, coals, etc. The word must be explained from Psalm 92:7, "brutish," foolish, always bearing in mind that the Hebrew associated the idea of godlessness with folly, and that cruelty naturally follows in its train. - Ezekiel 21:32. Thus will Ammon perish through fire and sword, and even the memory of it be obliterated. For Ezekiel 21:32 compare Ezekiel 15:4. The words, "thy blood will be בּתוך הארץ in the midst of the land," can hardly be understood in any other sense than "thy blood will flow over all the land." For the rendering proposed by Ewald, "remain in the midst of the earth, without thy being mentioned," like that given by Kliefoth, "thy blood will the earth drink," does not harmonize with Ezekiel 24:7, where דּמהּ בּתוכהּ היה is affirmed of blood, which cannot penetrate into the earth, or be covered with dust. For תּזּכרי, see Ezekiel 25:10. Ammon as the enemy of the kingdom of God will utterly perish, leaving no trace behind, and without any such hope of restoration as that held out in Ezekiel 21:27 to the kingdom of Judah or the people of Israel.

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