Ezekiel 6:13
Then shall you know that I am the LORD, when their slain men shall be among their idols round about their altars, on every high hill, in all the tops of the mountains, and under every green tree, and under every thick oak, the place where they did offer sweet smell to all their idols.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(13) Upon every high hill.—The various localities especially selected for idolatrous rites are enumerated one after another, to give more vividness and graphic character to the whole judgment. The words “sweet savour” are constantly applied to the commanded sacrifices to the Lord, and are here used ironically of the idol sacrifices.

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.Sweet savor - Compare Genesis 8:21. Words, applied to the smell of sacrifices accepted by God, applied here to idol-sacrifices in irony.12. He that is far off—namely, from the foe; those who in a distant exile fear no evil.

he that remaineth—he that is left in the city; not carried away into captivity, nor having escaped into the country. Distinct from "he that is near," namely, those outside the city who are within reach of "the sword" of the foe, and so fall by it; not by "famine," as those left in the city.

Then shall ye know: see Ezekiel 6:3-7,10.

Upon every high hill, & c.; each of which was accounted a fit place for such superstitions rites, and in all which some or other of you did commit idolatry, and, shame to speak it, burnt sweets, rich spices, which God had given them, to dunghill gods, stinking idols, which the devil had commended to them, Deu 32:17. Then shall ye know that I am the Lord,.... Whom they had denied, by serving other gods; but now by those punishments their eyes would be opened to see, and be obliged to acknowledge, that there was no God but the Lord:

when their slain men shall be among their idols round about their altars; as is threatened, Ezekiel 6:5; by which it will appear that the idols whom they worshipped could not save them; since they should fall just by them, round about the altars on which they sacrificed unto them; which idols were placed, and altars for their worship built,

upon every high hill, in all the tops of the mountains: mountains and high hills were usual places of idolatry among the Heathens, in which the Jews imitated them, and particularly Herodotus (e) says of the Persians, that, going up to the highest parts of mountains, they offered sacrifice to Jupiter; so they called the whole circle of the heavens:

and under every green tree, and under every thick oak; see 1 Kings 14:23; here their slain were to fall, where they committed their idolatry: even in

the place where they did offer sweet savour to all their idols; or dunghill gods; yet, though they were such, sweet savour or incense was offered to them; wherefore, in righteous judgment, here their carcasses should fill and lie, and rot and stink.

(e) Clio, sive l. 1. c. 131.

Then shall {g} ye know that I am the LORD, when their slain men shall be among their idols all around their altars, upon every high hill, on all the tops of the mountains, and under every green tree, and under every thick oak, the place where they offered sweet savour to all their idols.

(g) That is, all nations when you will see my judgments.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
13. Comp. Ezekiel 6:7 on the effect of these judgments on the minds of the people. On “idols,” cf. Ezekiel 6:4. The cumulative phrases “in all the tops of the mountains,” and “under every thick oak” are wanting in LXX.; and so “he that remaineth” Ezekiel 6:12. For oak rather terebinth.

sweet savour] Is said of the smoke or steam of the sacrificial fat burnt upon the altar, ch. Ezekiel 16:19, Ezekiel 20:28; Ezekiel 20:41, and often in the ritual laws of the Pentateuch.Verse 13. - The thought is the same as in ver. 6, but the localities are given in greater detail. The "hills" and "mountains" were naturally the scenes of the worship of the "high places," and these were commonly associated with groves of trees, as in Jeremiah 2:20; Jeremiah 3:6; Isaiah 57:5. In Hosea 4:13, oaks (or terebinths), poplars, and elms are specifically named (comp. Deuteronomy 12:2; 2 Kings 16:4). Where they did offer sweet savour, etc. The phrase is eminently characteristic of Ezekiel as a priest (Ezekiel 16:19; Ezekiel 20:28, 41), and is specially prominent in the books which he must have studied. It meets us three times in Exodus, seventeen in Leviticus, seventeen in Numbers, and seldom elsewhere. The crowning sin, from the prophet's point of view, was that the incense which was due to Jehovah had been lavished on the false gods of the nations. Further Execution of this Threat

Ezekiel 5:10. Therefore shall fathers devour their children in thy midst, and children shall devour their fathers: and I will exercise judgments upon thee, and disperse all thy remnant to the winds. Ezekiel 5:11. Therefore, as I live, is the declaration of the Lord Jehovah, Verily, because thou hast polluted my sanctuary with all thine abominations and all thy crimes, so shall I take away mine eye without mercy, and will not spare. Ezekiel 5:12. A third of thee shall die by the pestilence, and perish by hunger in thy midst; and the third part shall fall by the sword about thee; and the third part will I scatter to all the winds; and will draw out the sword after them. Ezekiel 5:13. And my anger shall be fulfilled, and I will cool my wrath against them, and will take vengeance. And they shall experience that I, Jehovah, have spoken in my zeal, when I accomplish my wrath upon them. Ezekiel 5:14. And I will make thee a desolation and a mockery among the nations which are round about thee, before the eyes of every passer-by. Ezekiel 5:15. And it shall be a mockery and a scorn, a warning and a terror for the nations round about thee, when I exercise my judgments upon thee in anger and wrath and in grievous visitations. I, Jehovah, have said it. Ezekiel 5:16. When I send against thee the evil arrows of hunger, which minister to destruction, which I shall send to destroy you; for hunger shall I heap upon you, and shall break to you the staff of bread. Ezekiel 5:17. And I shall send hunger upon you, and evil beasts, which shall make thee childless; and pestilence and blood shall pass over thee; and the sword will I bring upon thee. I, Jehovah, have spoken it. - As a proof of the unheard-of severity of the judgment, there is immediately mentioned in Ezekiel 5:10 a most horrible circumstance, which had been already predicted by Moses (Leviticus 26:29; Deuteronomy 28:53) as that which should happen to the people when hard pressed by the enemy, viz., a famine so dreadful, during the siege of Jerusalem, that parents would eat their children, and children their parents; and after the capture of the city, the dispersion of those who remained "to all the winds, i.e., to all quarters of the world." This is described more minutely, as an appendix to the symbolical act in Ezekiel 5:1 and Ezekiel 5:2, in Ezekiel 5:11 and Ezekiel 5:12, with a solemn oath, and with repeated and prominent mention of the sins which have drawn down such chastisements. As sin, is mentioned the pollution of the temple by idolatrous abominations, which are described in detail in Ezekiel 8. The אגרע, which is variously understood by the old translators (for which some Codices offer the explanatory correction אגדע), is to be explained, after Job 36:7, of the "turning away of the eye," and the עיני following as the object; while ולא־תחוס, "that it feel no compassion," is interjected between the verb and its object with the adverbial signification of "mercilessly." For that the words ולא תחוס are adverbially subordinate to אגרע, distinctly appears from the correspondence - indicated by וגם אני - between אגרע and לא . Moreover, the thought, "Jehovah will mercilessly withdraw His care for the people," is not to be termed "feeble" in connection with what follows; nor is the contrast, which is indicated in the clause וגם־אני, lost, as Hvernick supposes. וגם־אני does not require גּרע to be understood of a positive act, which would correspond to the desecration of the sanctuary. This is shown by the last clause of the verse. The withdrawal without mercy of the divine providence is, besides, in reality, equivalent to complete devotion to destruction, as it is particularized in Ezekiel 5:12. For Ezekiel 5:12 see on Ezekiel 5:1 and Ezekiel 5:2. By carrying out the threatened division of the people into three parts, the wrath of God is to be fulfilled, i.e., the full measure of the divine wrath upon the people is to be exhausted (cf. 7, 8), and God is to appear and "cool" His anger. הניח חמה, "sedavit iram," occurs again in Ezekiel 16:42; Ezekiel 21:22; Ezekiel 24:13. הנּחמתּי, Hithpael, pausal form for הנּחמתּי, "se consolari," "to procure satisfaction by revenge;" cf. Isaiah 1:24, and for the thing, Deuteronomy 28:63. In Ezekiel 5:14. the discourse turns again from the people to the city of Jerusalem. It is to become a wilderness, as was already threatened in Leviticus 26:31 and Leviticus 26:33 to the cities of Israel, and thereby a "mockery" to all nations, in the manner described in Deuteronomy 29:23. והיתה, in Ezekiel 5:15, is not to be changed, after the lxx, Vulgate, and some MSS, into the second person; but Jerusalem is to be regarded as the subject which is to become the object of scorn and hatred, etc., when God accomplishes His judgments. מוּסר is a warning-example. Among the judgments which are to overtake it, in Ezekiel 5:16, hunger is again made specially prominent (cf. Ezekiel 4:16) and first in Ezekiel 5:17 are wild beasts, pestilence, blood, and sword added, and a quartette of judgments announced as in Ezekiel 14:21. For pestilence and blood are comprehended together as a unity by means of the predicate. Their connection is to be understood according to Ezekiel 14:19, and the number four is significant, as in Ezekiel 14:21; Jeremiah 15:3. For more minute details as to the meaning, see on Ezekiel 14:21. The evil arrows point back to Deuteronomy 32:23; the evil beasts, to Leviticus 24:22 and Deuteronomy 32:24. To produce an impression, the prophet heaps his words together. Unum ejus consilium fuit penetrare in animos populi quasi lapideos et ferreos. Haec igitur est ratio, cur hic tanta varietate utatur et exornet suam doctrnam variis figuris (Calvin).

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