Ezekiel 6:11
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.
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(11) Smite with thine hand, and stamp with thy foot.—The prophecy returns again to its heavy tidings of woe. To clap the hands and stamp the feet, either singly (Numbers 24:10; Ezekiel 21:14; Ezekiel 21:17; Ezekiel 22:13) or together (Ezekiel 25:6), is a gesture of strong emotion or earnestness of purpose. The prophet is here directed to use it as indicating God’s unchangeable determination united to a sense of grievous wrong.

Ezekiel 6:11-14. Smite with thy hand, and stamp with thy foot — Join to thy words the gestures which are proper to express grief and concern at the wickedness of thy people, and for their calamities that will ensue. For they shall fall by the sword, &c. — See note on Ezekiel 5:12. He that is far off — And thinks himself out of danger, because he is out of the reach of the enemy; shall die of the pestilence — The arrow that I will shoot at him. And he that is near — Who stays in his own country, or who is near a place of strength, which he hopes will be to him a place of safety, yet shall fall by the sword before he can retreat to it. And he that remaineth — Who is so cautious as not to venture out, but remains in the city; shall die by the famine — The most miserable death of all: thus will I accomplish my fury — I will satisfy my just displeasure, and give them full measure of punishment: I will do all that against them which I had purposed to do. Then shall ye know — See note on Ezekiel 6:10. When their slain men shall be among their idols — As was threatened before, Ezekiel 6:5-7. Upon every high hill, &c. — There, where they had prostrated themselves in honour of their idols, God will lay them dead to their own reproach, and the reproach of their idols: they lived among them, and shall die among them: they had offered sweet odours to their idols, but there shall their dead carcasses send forth an offensive smell, as it were, to atone for that misplaced incense. So will I stretch out my hand — Put forth my almighty power; and make the land desolate — שׁממה, a desolation, a Hebraism, for most desolate: that fruitful, pleasant, populous country, which has been as the garden of Eden, the glory of all lands; shall be more desolate than the wilderness toward Diblath — Or Diblathaim, as it is called Numbers 33:46; the desert in the borders of Moab, part of that great and terrible wilderness, described Deuteronomy 8:15.

6:11-14 It is our duty to be affected, not only with our own sins and sufferings, but to look with compassion upon the miseries wicked people bring upon themselves. Sin is a desolating thing; therefore, stand in awe, and sin not. If we know the worth of souls, and the danger to which unbelievers are exposed, we shall deem every sinner who takes refuge in Jesus from the wrath to come, an abundant recompence for all contempt or opposition we may meet with.The gleam of hope is but transitory. Darkness again gathers round, for as yet the prophet is predicting judgment.

Ezekiel 6:11

Smite ... stamp - Well-known modes of expressing grief.

11. Gesticulations vividly setting before the hearers the greatness of the calamity about to be inflicted. In indignation at the abominations of Israel extend thine hand towards Judea, as if about to "strike," and "stamp," shaking off the dust with thy foot, in token of how God shall "stretch out His hand upon them," and tread them down (Eze 6:14; Eze 21:14). Here are two actions commanded, and both signify a mixture of affection in the person, as wonder and amazement, indignation and displeasure, grief and sorrow, pity and commiseration, all which are required in the prophet, to show both the evil of sin he did see, and the evil of sufferings which he did foresee, on Israel.

Say, Alas; tell them what thou meanest by such unusual gestures, speak with grief; Alas!

Evil abominations; sins in full growth, ripe to the harvest, make him cry out.

By the sword, & c.; grievous miseries coming on his people and on his kindred. The house of Israel must fall, be ruined, laid desolate, and carried captive.

Thus saith the Lord God, smite with thine hand, and stamp with thy foot,.... These are gestures of persons in distress and agony, who, to show their trouble and grief, smite one hand against the other; or smite with the hand upon the thigh, as in Jeremiah 31:19; and "stretch out", or "make a distension with the foot" (d); as it is in the Hebrew text; extend their thighs; throw out their feet; stamp with them; beat the earth, and make it shake, as the Syriac version; all expressive of anguish and sorrow:

and say, alas, for all the evil abominations of the house of Israel! the word "alas", or "woe", as the Targum, Jarchi, and Kimchi, an interjection of mourning and lamentation, explains the above gestures; and what follows shows the cause of all; namely, the sins and abominations committed by the house of Israel; which they being insensible of, and unconcerned about, the prophet is ordered to take such a method to awaken them out of their stupidity and lethargy; and the rather, since the heaviest of judgments were coming upon them:

for they shall fall by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence; which are threatened in Ezekiel 5:12; and the persons on whom they should be separately executed are mentioned in Ezekiel 6:12.

(d) "extende pede tuo", Pagninus, Montanus, Polanus; "fac distensionem cum pede tuo", Munster; "divarica pedes tuos": Calvin.

Thus saith the Lord GOD; {f} Smite with thy 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.

(f) By these signs he would that the prophet would signify the great destruction to come.

11. Smite with thine hand] Ch. Ezekiel 25:6, “Because thou (Ammon) hast clapped thine hands and stamped with the feet, and rejoiced with all the despite of thy soul against the land of Israel.” The gestures are those of scorn and ill-will, and of rejoicing over another’s misfortune; ch. Ezekiel 22:13; Job 27:23. In ch. Ezekiel 21:17 the same gesture is attributed to Jehovah.

Alas for all] Rather: Ha! for all. The interjection seems a shorter form of that used elsewhere, as ch. Ezekiel 25:3, “Because thou (Ammon) saidst, Aha! for my sanctuary, when it was destroyed, and for the land of Israel, when it was desolate.” The prophet hates and scorns the evil practices of Israel so deeply, that he rejoices at the vengeance about to overtake them. The grammatical anomaly in “evil abominations of” is obviated in LXX. by omission of “evil.”

11–14. Renewal of the threat of destruction because of idolatry

Verse 11. - Smite with thine hand, etc. The outward gestures were to give a dramatic emphasis to the mingled indignation and sorrow with which the prophet was to utter his woe. A like action meets us in Ezekiel 21:12. Instances of its use for other feelings meet us in Ezekiel 22:13; Numbers 24:10 (anger); Jeremiah 31:19 (shame). Ezekiel 6:11The Punishment Is Just and Well Deserved

Ezekiel 6:11. Thus saith the Lord Jehovah, Smite with thy hand, and stamp with thy foot, and say, Woe on all the wicked abominations of the house of Israel! that they must perish by sword, hunger, and pestilence. Ezekiel 6:12. He that is afar off will die by the pestilence; and he that is near at hand shall fall by the sword; and he who survives and is preserved will die of hunger: and I shall accomplish my wrath upon them. Ezekiel 6:13. And ye shall know that I am Jehovah, when your slain lie in the midst of your idols round about your altars, on every high hill, upon all the summits of the mountains, and under every green tree, and under every thick-leaved terebinth, on the places where they brought their pleasant incense to all their idols. Ezekiel 6:14. And I will stretch out my hand against them, and make the land waste and desolate more than the wilderness of Diblath, in all their dwellings: so shall ye know that I am Jehovah. - Through clapping of the hands and stamping of the feet - the gestures which indicate violent excitement - the prophet is to make known to the displeasure of Jehovah at the horrible idolatry of the people, and thereby make manifest that the penal judgment is well deserved. הכּה בכפּך is in Ezekiel 21:19 expressed more distinctly by הך כּף אל , "to strike one hand against the other," i.e., "to clap the hands;" cf. Numbers 24:10. אח, an exclamation of lamentation, occurring only here and in Ezekiel 21:20. אשׁר, Ezekiel 6:11, is a conjunction, "at." Their abominations are so wicked, that they must be exterminated on account of them. This is specially mentioned in Ezekiel 6:12. No one will escape the judgment: he who is far removed from its scene as little as he who is close at hand; while he who escapes the pestilence and the sword is to perish of hunger. נצוּר, servatus, preserved, as in Isaiah 49:6. The signification "besieged" (lxx, Vulgate, Targum, etc.), Hitzig can only maintain by arbitrarily expunging הנּשׁאר as a gloss. On Ezekiel 6:12, cf. Ezekiel 5:13; on 13a, cf. Ezekiel 6:5; and on 13b, cf. Ezekiel 6:3, and Hosea 4:13; Jeremiah 2:20; Jeremiah 3:6; Deuteronomy 12:2. 'אל כּל־גב, according to later usage, for על כּל־גב. ריח ניחח, used in the Pentateuch of sacrifices pleasing to God, is here transferred to idol sacrifices; see on Leviticus 1:9 and Genesis 8:21. On account of the prevalence of idolatry in all parts, God will make the land entirely desolate. The union of שׁממה serves to strengthen the idea; cf. Ezekiel 33:8., Ezekiel 35:3. The words ממּדבּר דּבלתה are obscure, either "in the wilderness towards Diblath" (even to Diblath), or "more than the wilderness of Diblath" (מן of comparison). There is no doubt that דּבלתה is a nom. prop.; cf. the name of the city דּבלתים in Jeremiah 48:22; Numbers 33:46. The second acceptation of the words is more probable than the first. For, if ממּדבּר is the terminus a quo, and דּבלתה the terminus ad quem of the extent of the land, then must ממּדבּר be punctuated not only as status absolut., but it must also have the article; because a definite wilderness - that, namely, of Arabia - is meant. The omission of the article cannot be justified by reference to Ezekiel 21:3 or to Psalm 75:7 (Hitzig, Ewald), because both passages contain general designations of the quarters of the world, with which the article is always omitted. In the next place, no Dibla can be pointed out in the north; and the change of Diblatha into Ribla, already proposed by Jerome, and more recently brought forward again by J. D. Michaelis, has not only against it the authority of all the old versions, but also the circumstance that the Ribla mentioned in 2 Kings 23:33 did not form the northern boundary of Palestine, but lay on the other side of it, in the land of Hamath; while the הרבלה, named in Numbers 34:11, is a place on the eastern boundary to the north of the Sea of Gennesareth, which would, moreover, be inappropriate as a designation of the northern boundary. Finally, the extent of the land from the south to the north is constantly expressed in a different way; cf. Numbers 23:21 (Numbers 34:8); Joshua 13:5; 1 Kings 8:65; 2 Kings 14:65; Amos 6:14; 1 Chronicles 13:5; 2 Chronicles 7:8; and even by Ezekiel himself (Ezekiel 48:1) לבוא is named as the boundary on the north. The form דּבלתה is similar to תּמנתה for תּמנה, although the name is hardly to be explained, with Hvernick, as an appellation, after the Arabic dibl, calamitas, exitium. The wilderness of Diblah is unknown. With 'וידעוּ כּי וגו the discourse is rounded off in returning to the beginning of Ezekiel 6:13, while the thoughts in Ezekiel 6:13 and Ezekiel 6:14 are only a variation of Ezekiel 6:4-7.

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