And they shall come against you with chariots, wagons, and wheels, and with an assembly of people, which shall set against you buckler and shield and helmet round about: and I will set judgment before them, and they shall judge you according to their judgments.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)With chariots, wagons, and wheels.—The word translated “chariots” occurs only here, and is thought to mean some weapon of war. It would be better to translate, with weapons, chariots, and wheels. The clause “I will set judgment before them,” is equivalent to I will entrust to them the judgment upon thee.
wheels—The unusual height of these increased their formidable appearance (Eze 1:16-20).
their judgments—which awarded barbarously severe punishments (Jer 52:9; 29:22).They, mentioned before, Ezekiel 23:23,
shall come against thee, or upon thee, surprise thee with a speedy march, for they were swift in their course.
With chariots; the Hebrew is of larger sense, and more properly speaks all kind of arms for the war, a thorough furniture; so the Chaldee paraphrase, with instruments of war, or arms.
Wagons, Heb. chariots, and is oftener so rendered; for expedition, for ease of their commanders on their march, and for strength against the enemy in the battle.
Wheels; whether distinct from all other, or whether prepared lest in their march the carriage wheels should break, and they be at a stand, therefore beforehand store of these were provided.
An assembly; a mighty confluence of people, and a mixture, where the worst and cruellest are the most numerous.
Which shall set against thee buckler, and shield, and helmet; yet for their own defence well armed, and with armature fitted to defeat the arrows and offensive weapons of their enemy, and to maintain a siege, such as they should weary Jerusalem with.
I will set judgment before them; give them a power by their victory, and in right of conquest over their rebels, as well as mine; and I will give them a spirit of judgment to discern the greatness of this people’s sins.
They shall judge thee; plead with thee, convince, condemn, and execute sentence upon thee.
According to their judgments; to their will, power, wrath, and custom against rebels, for these are their rules of judgment; all which appeared when the chief of all the people were condemned to slavery, the wise counsellors and valiant commanders sentenced to die, Zedekiah’s children slain, his own eyes put out, and city and temple to be burnt.
"and they shall come against thee with instruments of war, with chariots and wheels;''
all which denotes how well prepared they should be, and with what swiftness they would come:
and with an assembly of people, which shall set against thee buckler, and shield, and helmet, round about; a multitude of people, a vast army gathered out of all the provinces of Babylon, having bucklers and shields about their bodies, and helmets on their heads to protect and defend them; and these should surround the city of Jerusalem. So the Targum,
"an army of people, armed with shields and helmets, shall set themselves against thee round about:''
and I will set judgment before them, and they shall judge thee according to their judgments; that is, I will deliver you into their hands, and they shall judge and condemn you; not according to my laws and yours, but according to their own laws, according to the customs and usages among them, according to the law of nations; they shall deal with you as rebels and covenant breakers, such Zedekiah was; he broke covenant with the king of Babylon, and rebelled against him: and this was fulfilled when he fell into his hands, and when he slew his children before his face, and then put out his eyes.And they shall come against thee with chariots, wagons, and wheels, and with an assembly of people, which shall set against thee buckler and shield and helmet round about: and I will set judgment before them, and they shall judge thee according to their judgments.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)24. with chariots] The term is entirely unknown; LXX. from the north. Boettcher suggested the word “multitude” (Ezekiel 26:10), a sense which Frd. Del. (Baer, Ez. p. xi.) thinks can be reached through the Assyr., the present word remaining unchanged. For people peoples.
set judgment] i.e. commit it unto them, Deuteronomy 11:26; 1 Kings 8:46.
according to their judgments] lit. with their judgments, which are cruel and savage, Ezekiel 23:25.Verse 24. - With chariots, wagons, and wheels, etc. The first word is only found here, and probably means" armor." So the Revised Version, with weapons, chariots, and wagons. They shall judge thee according to their judgments; sc. shall execute the judgment which God has assigned to them after their own manner, so their usual cruel treatment of barbarous nations.
Ezekiel 23:11. And her sister Oholibah saw it, and carried on her coquetry still more wantonly than she had done, and her whoredom more than the whoredom of her sister. Ezekiel 23:12. She was inflamed with lust towards the sons of Asshur, governors and officers, standing near, clothed in perfect beauty, horsemen riding upon horses, choice men of good deportment. Ezekiel 23:13. And I saw that she had defiled herself; they both went one way. Ezekiel 23:14. And she carried her whoredom still further; she saw men engraved upon the wall, figures of Chaldeans engraved with red ochre, Ezekiel 23:15. Girded about the hips with girdles, with overhanging caps upon their heads, all of them knights in appearance, resembling the sons of Babel, the land of whose birth is Chaldea: Ezekiel 23:16. And she was inflamed with lust toward them, when her eyes saw them, and sent messengers to them to Chaldea. Ezekiel 23:17. Then the sons of Babylon came to her to the bed of love, and defiled her with their whoredom; and when she had defiled herself with them, her soul tore itself away from them. Ezekiel 23:18. And when she uncovered her whoredom, and uncovered her nakedness, my soul tore itself away from her, as my soul had torn itself away from her sister. Ezekiel 23:19. And she increased her whoredom, so that she remembered the days of her youth, when she played the harlot in the land of Egypt. Ezekiel 23:20. And she burned toward their paramours, who have members like asses and heat like horses. Ezekiel 23:21. Thou lookest after the lewdness of thy youth, when they of Egypt handled thy bosom because of thy virgin breasts. - The train of thought in these verses is the following: - Judah went much further than Samaria. It not only indulged in sinful intercourse with Assyria, which led on to idolatry as the latter had done, but it also allowed itself to be led astray by the splendour of Chaldea, to form alliances with that imperial power, and to defile itself with her idolatry. And when it became tired of the Chaldeans, it formed impure connections with the Egyptians, as it had done once before during its sojourn in Egypt. The description of the Assyrians in Ezekiel 23:12 coincides with that in Ezekiel 23:5 and Ezekiel 23:6, except that some of the predicates are placed in a different order, and לבשׁי is substituted for לבשׁי תכלת. The former expression, which occurs again in Ezekiel 38:4, must really mean the same as תכלת 'לב. But it does not follow from this that מכלול signifies purple, as Hitzig maintains. The true meaning is perfection; and when used of the clothing, it signifies perfect beauty. The Septuagint rendering, εὺπάρυφα, with a beautiful border - more especially a variegated one - merely expresses the sense, but not the actual meaning of מכלול. The Chaldee rendering is לבשׁי גמר, perfecte induti. - There is great obscurity in the statement in Ezekiel 23:14 as to the way in which Judah was seduced to cultivate intercourse with the Chaldeans. She saw men engraved or drawn upon the wall (מחקּה, a participle Pual of חקק, engraved work, or sculpture). These figures were pictures of Chaldeans, engraved (drawn) with שׁשׁר, red ochre, a bright-red colour. חגורי, an adjective form חגור, wearing a girdle. טבוּלים, coloured cloth, from טבל, to colour; here, according to the context, variegated head-bands or turbans. סרוּח, the overhanging, used here of the cap. The reference is to the tiarae tinctae (Vulgate), the lofty turbans or caps, as they are to be seen upon the monuments of ancient Nineveh. שׁלישׁים, not chariot-warriors, but knights: "tristatae, the name of the second grade after the regal dignity" (Jerome. See the comm. on Exodus 14:7 and 2 Samuel 23:8).
The description of these engravings answers perfectly to the sculptures upon the inner walls of the Assyrian palaces in the monuments of Nimrud, Khorsabad, and Kouyunjik (see Layard's Nineveh and its Remains, and Vaux, Nineveh and Persepolis). The pictures of the Chaldeans are not mythological figures (Hvernick), but sculptures depicting war-scenes, triumphal processions of Chaldean rulers and warriors, with which the Assyrian palaces were adorned. We have not to look for these sculptures in Jerusalem or Palestine. This cannot be inferred from Ezekiel 8:10, as Hvernick supposes; nor established by Hitzig's argument, that the woman must have been in circumstances to see such pictures. The intercourse between Palestine and Nineveh, which was carried on even in Jonah's time, was quite sufficient to render it possible for the pictures to be seen. When Israelites travelled to Nineveh, and saw the palaces there, they could easily make the people acquainted with the glory of Nineveh by the accounts they would give on their return. It is no reply to this, to state that the woman does not send ambassadors till afterwards (Ezekiel 23:16), as Hitzig argues; for Judah sent ambassadors to Chaldea not to view the glories of Assyria, but to form alliances with the Chaldeans, or to sue for their favour. Such an embassy, for example, was sent to Babylon by Zedekiah (Jeremiah 29:3); and there is no doubt that in v. 16b Ezekiel has this in his mind. Others may have preceded this, concerning which the books of Kings and Chronicles are just as silent as they are concerning that of Zedekiah. The thought in these verses is therefore the following: - The acquaintance made by Israel (Judah) with the imperial splendour of the Chaldeans, as exhibited in the sculptures of their palaces, incited Judah to cultivate political and mercantile intercourse with this imperial power, which led to its becoming entangled in the heathen ways and idolatry of the Chaldeans. The Chaldeans themselves came and laid the foundation for an intercourse which led to the pollution of Judah with heathenism, and afterwards filled it with disgust, because it was brought thereby into dependence upon the Chaldeans. The consequence of all this was, that the Lord became tired of Judah (Ezekiel 23:17, Ezekiel 23:18). For instead of returning to the Lord, Judah turned to the other power of the world, namely, to Egypt; and in the time of Zedekiah renewed its ancient coquetry with that nation (Ezekiel 23:19-21 compared with Ezekiel 23:8). The form ותּעגּבה in Ezekiel 23:20, which the Keri also gives in Ezekiel 23:18, has taken ah as a feminine termination (not the cohortative ah), like תּרגּה in Proverbs 1:20; Proverbs 8:1 (vid., Delitzsch, Comm. on Job, en loc.). פּלּגשׁים are scorta mascula (here (Kimchi) - a drastically sarcastic epithet applied to the sârisim, the eunuchs, or courtiers. The figurative epithet answers to the licentious character of the Egyptian idolatry. The sexual heat both of horses and asses is referred to by Aristotle, Hist. anim. vi. 22, and Columella, de re rust. vi. 27; and that of the horse has already been applied to the idolatry of the people by Jeremiah (vid., Jeremiah 5:8). בּשׂר, as in Ezekiel 16:26. פּקד (Ezekiel 23:21), to look about for anything, i.e., to search for it; not to miss it, as Hvernick imagines.
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