Ezekiel 33:10
Therefore, O you son of man, speak to the house of Israel; Thus you speak, saying, If our transgressions and our sins be on us, and we pine away in them, how should we then live?
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(10) How should we then live?—Formerly, when the prophet had given them warning of impending judgments, the people had refused to believe: now, however, when those judgments had been realised, they despaired, and cried out, “If all this is in punishment for our sins, how can there yet be any hope for us?”

Ezekiel 33:10-11. If our transgressions be upon us, &c. — If the unpardoned guilt of our sins lie upon us, and we be punished for them in the wasting of our country, the burning of our city, the abolishing the public worship of God, &c.; and we pine away in them — Experience their bitter consequences in famine and disease, and in a variety of other calamities; how shall we live? — How then can the promises of life belong to us? How can such assurances be true as were given us Ezekiel 18:17-32? What ground can we have to hope for a recovery of our former condition? Or, how canst thou promise the continuance or restoration of any mercy to us? How can it be better with us than it is? If thy threatenings be true, it will be worse with us, and not better; and if they be not true, how can we trust thy promises of recovery? These are supposed to be the words of impious persons, who, pretending to despair of God’s mercies, take encouragement from thence to continue in their sins. Say, As I live, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked — For an elucidation of this and the following verses to the 20th, compare chap. 18.; and see the notes there.33:10-20 Those who despaired of finding mercy with God, are answered with a solemn declaration of God's readiness to show mercy. The ruin of the city and state was determined, but that did not relate to the final state of persons. God says to the righteous, that he shall surely live. But many who have made profession, have been ruined by proud confidence in themselves. Man trusts to his own righteousness, and presuming on his own sufficiency, he is brought to commit iniquity. If those who have lived a wicked life repent and forsake their wicked ways, they shall be saved. Many such amazing and blessed changes have been wrought by the power of Divine grace. When there is a settled separation between a man and sin, there shall no longer be a separation between him and God.Again - And. For Ezekiel 33:1-20, compare Ezekiel 18 notes. 10. be upon us—that is, their guilt remain on us.

pine away in them—if we suffer the penalty threatened for them in Eze 24:23, according to the law (Le 26:39).

how should we … live?—as Thou dost promise in Eze 33:5 (compare Eze 37:11; Isa 49:14).

Speak, declare from me,

unto the house of Israel; the residue of the two tribes, which are brought to Babylon; or else to those already there, and here their brethren are on the way thitherward, since Jerusalem was taken.

Thus ye speak; thus ye discourse among themselves, object against God, and his prophet, and your own duty, some of you out of infirmity, others out of perverseness.

If our transgressions and our sins be upon us; the unpardoned guilt and the unsupportable punishment of our sins, who were warned and took not warning, do thus, as in the wasting our country, burning our city, abolishing the public worship of God, come upon us, we shall pine away, consume; it is too late to hope it will be better with us now, we should have heard and followed the counsel earlier, if we would have delivered our own souls. If the prophet spake true at first, there is no hope, say the weaker; if there be hope now after so peremptory menaces and so great execution, the prophet did not speak truth, say the perverse, and so concluded they would as they were run the hazard.

How should we then live? how can it be better with us? if the threats be true and sure, it will be worse; if not true, how are his promises to be rested on, that it will be better. Therefore, O thou son of man, speak unto the house of Israel,.... Such of them as were with him in the captivity: thus ye speak, saying; reasoning and arguing within and among themselves; which the Lord heard, and made known to the prophet, who is bid to repeat it to them in order to give an answer:

if our transgressions and our sins be upon us, and we pine away in them; as the prophet said they should, Ezekiel 24:23, with which he had concluded his prophecies to them; and now they take it up, and argue against themselves, and against him; if our sins and transgressions are laid upon us, and we must answer for them; if the guilt of them is charged on us, and they are unexpiated and unatoned for; and the punishment of them is, or will be, inflicted on us, and we do, and must pine away, and be consumed in them, and by them:

how should we then live? as thou promisest us upon repentance; it is all over with us; there is no hope for us; what signify our repentance, or thy promises of life unto us? these things can never hang together, that we should live, and yet pine away in our sins; so that these are the words of persons both despairing, and making the prophet to say things opposite and contradictory, and which would not admit of a reconciliation; see Ezekiel 37:11.

Therefore, O thou son of man, speak to the house of Israel; Thus ye speak, saying, If our transgressions and our sins are upon us, and we pine away in them, {e} how should we then live?

(e) Thus the wicked when they hear God's judgments for their sins, despair of his mercies and murmur.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
10. If our transgressions] Better, direct: our transgressions … are upon us. The people had come to regard their calamities as due to their sins and evidence of them. They had come round to the prophet’s view of their history, for they saw his predictions fulfilled. But the new view came with a crushing weight upon them. The calamities of their country were unparalleled (Lamentations 1:12; Lamentations 2:13; Lamentations 2:20; Lamentations 3:1; Lamentations 4:6; Lamentations 4:9), and equally unparalleled must have been their guilt (Lamentations 1:9; Lamentations 1:14; Lamentations 2:14; Lamentations 4:13; Lamentations 5:7). And their calamities seemed final, their sin was expiable only by their complete destruction.

we pine away] Or, waste away. The word expresses not mental but physical wasting away, ending in complete dissolution. See the very similar figures, Isaiah 10:18; Isaiah 17:4; cf. Ezekiel 4:17; Ezekiel 24:23; Leviticus 26:39.

10–20. Despondency of the people, making the prophet’s appeals to them of none effect. Removal of the despair by two gracious words from the Lord.Verse 10. - Thus ye speak, saying, etc. At the earlier stage the prophet had to contend with scorn, incredulity, derision (Ezekiel 12:22). They trusted in the promises of the false prophets (Ezekiel 13:6). They laid to their soul the flattering unction that they were suffering, not for their own sins, but for the sins of their fathers (Ezekiel 18:2). Now they stand face to face with the fulfillment of the prophet's words. They cherish no hopes, and they make no excuses. They have fallen into the abyss of despair. Admitting their own sin and the righteousness of their punishment, does not the very admission exclude hope? Who can bring life to those that are thus dead in trespasses and sins? The parallelism with Leviticus 26:39-42 is so striking that it can scarcely be accidental The destruction of Pharoah. - Ezekiel 32:2. Son of man, raise a lamentation over Pharaoh the king of Egypt, and say to him, Thou wast compared to a young lion among the nations, and yet wast like a dragon in the sea; thou didst break forth in thy streams, and didst trouble the waters with thy feet, and didst tread their streams. Ezekiel 32:3. Thus saith the Lord Jehovah, Therefore will I spread out my net over thee in the midst of many nations, that they may draw thee up in my yarn; Ezekiel 32:4. And will cast thee upon the land, hurl thee upon the surface of the field, and will cause all the birds of the heaven to settle upon thee, and the beasts of the whole earth to satisfy themselves with thee. Ezekiel 32:5. Thy flesh will I put upon the mountains, and fill the valleys with thy funeral heap. Ezekiel 32:6. I will saturate the earth with thine outflow of thy blood even to the mountains, and the low places shall become full of thee. - This lamentation begins, like others, with a picture of the glory of the fallen king. Hitzig objects to the ordinary explanation of the words כּפיר גּוים נדמיתה, λέοντι ἐθνῶν ὡμοιώθης (lxx), leoni gentium assimilatus es (Vulg.), on the ground that the frequently recurring נדמה would only have this meaning in the present passage, and that נמשׁל, which would then be synonymous, is construed in three other ways, but not with the nominative. For these reasons he adopts the rendering, "lion of the nations, thou belongest to death." But it would be contrary to the analogy of all the קינות to commence the lamentation with such a threat; and Hitzig's objections to the ordinary rendering of the words will not bear examination. The circumstance that the Niphal נדמה is only met with here in the sense of ὁμοιοῦσθαι, proves nothing; for דּמה has this meaning in the Kal, Piel, and Hithpael, and the construction of the Niphal with the accusative (not nominative, as Hitzig says) may be derived without difficulty from the construction of the synonymous נמשׁל with כ. But what is decisive in favour of this rendering is the fact that the following clause is connected by means of the adversative ואתּה (but thou), which shows that the comparison of Pharaoh to a תּנּים forms an antithesis to the clause in which he is compared to a young lion. If נדמית 'כּפיר ג contained a declaration of destruction, not only would this antithesis be lost, but the words addressed to it as a lion of the nations would float in the air and be used without any intelligible meaning. The lion is a figurative representation of a powerful and victorious ruler; and כּפיר גּוים is really equivalent to אל גּוים in Ezekiel 31:11.

Pharaoh was regarded as a mighty conqueror of the nations, "though he was rather to be compared to the crocodile, which stirs up the streams, the fresh waters, and life-giving springs of the nations most perniciously with mouth and feet, and renders turbid all that is pure" (Ewald). תּנּים, as in Ezekiel 29:3. Ewald and Hitzig have taken offence at the words תּגח בּנהרתיך, "thou didst break forth in thy streams," and alter בּנהרתיך retla d into בּנחרתיך, with thy nostrils (Job 41:12); but they have not considered that תּגח would be quite out of place with such an alteration, as גּיח in both the Kal and Hiphil (Judges 20:33) has only the intransitive meaning to break out. The thought is simply this: the crocodile lies in the sea, then breaks occasionally forth in its streams, and makes the waters and their streams turbid with its feet. Therefore shall Pharaoh also end like such a monster (Ezekiel 32:3-6). The guilt of Pharaoh did not consist in the fact that he had assumed the position of a ruler among the nations (Kliefoth); but in his polluting the water-streams, stirring up and disturbing the life-giving streams of the nations. God will take him in His net by a gathering of nations, and cause him to be drawn out of his element upon the dry land, where he shall become food to the birds and beasts of prey (cf. Ezekiel 29:4-5; Ezekiel 31:12-13). The words 'בּקהל עמּים ר are not to be understood as referring to the nations, as spectators of the event (Hvernick); but ב denotes the instrument, or medium employed, here the persons by whom God causes the net to be thrown, as is evident from the והעלוּך which follows. According to the parallelismus membrorum, the ἁπ. λεγ. רמוּת can only refer to the carcase of the beast, although the source from which this meaning of the word is derived has not yet been traced. There is no worth to be attached to the reading rimowt in some of the codices, as רמּה does not yield a suitable meaning either in the sense of reptile, or in that of putrefaction or decomposed bodies, which has been attributed to it from the Arabic. Under these circumstances we adhere to the derivation from רוּם, to be high, according to which רמוּת may signify a height or a heap, which the context defines as a funeral-pile. צפה, strictly speaking, a participle from צוּף, to flow, that which flows out, the outflow (Hitzig), is not to be taken in connection with ארץ, but is a second object to השׁקיתי; and the appended word מדּמך indicates the source whence the flowing takes place, and of what the outflow consists. אל ההרים, to the mountains, i.e., up to the top of the mountains. The thought in these verses is probably simply this, that the fall of Pharaoh would bring destruction upon the whole of the land of Egypt, and that many nations would derive advantage from his fall.

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