Ezekiel 7:22
My face will I turn also from them, and they shall pollute my secret place: for the robbers shall enter into it, and defile it.
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(22) My secret place.—The holy of holies, sacredly guarded from all intrusion, and representing the very culmination both of the religion and of the national life of Israel, shall be polluted. If the pronoun “they” represents any one in particular, it must be the Chaldæans; but it is better to take the verb, as often in the third person plural, impersonally, i.e., “shall be polluted.” The agents in this pollution are immediately mentioned as “the robbers,” i.e., the Chaldæan armies.

7:16-22 Sooner or later, sin will cause sorrow; and those who will not repent of their sin, may justly be left to pine away in it. There are many whose wealth is their snare and ruin; and the gaining the world is the losing of their souls. Riches profit not in the day of wrath. The wealth of this world has not that in it which will answer the desires of the soul, or be any satisfaction to it in a day of distress. God's temple shall stand them in no stead. Those are unworthy to be honoured with the form of godliness, who will not be governed by its power.My secret place - The inner sanctuary, hidden from the multitude, protected by the most high. 22. pollute my secret place—just retribution for the Jews' pollution of the temple. "Robbers shall enter and defile" the holy of holies, the place of God's manifested presence, entrance into which was denied even to the Levites and priests and was permitted to the high priest only once a year on the great day of atonement. My face will I turn; either from the Jews, who cry under such violence and profaneness; or, from the Chaldeans who act it, neither relieving the one nor restraining the other.

My secret place; either,

1. My enclosed land of Judea. Or,

2. My city Jerusalem. Or,

3. The temple. And,

4. The holy of holies: all which the Babylonian conquerors trampled under their conquering feet. The robbers; the soldiers, who in truth robbed the temple and here have their true style given them, are robbers that used the temple and its consecrated gifts without ally reverence or respect. They should break all open, and rush into the places which Jews, Levites, and priests might not enter. My face will one turn also from them,.... Deny them his presence, and withdraw his protection from them; show them no favour, nor afford them any help and succour in their distress, when they cry unto him; so the Targum,

"I will cause my Shechinah to remove from them:''

unless the Chaldeans are meant, as some think, whose robberies and ravages the Lord would wink at, and not restrain, but suffer them to plunder and spoil at pleasure: since it follows,

and they shall pollute my secret place; the holy of holies, by going into it, which none but the high priest might do, and he but once a year; though the Targum understands this of the Jews, and makes it to be a reason of what is threatened in the preceding clause, rendering it thus,

"because they have profaned the land of the house of my Shechinah:''

for the robbers shall enter into it, and defile it; as did the king of Babylon and his army; and afterwards, in the second temple, Antiochus, Pompey, and Titus Vespasian.

My face will I turn also from them, and they shall pollute my {r} secret place: for the robbers shall enter into it, and defile it.

(r) Which signifies the most holy place, into which none might enter but the high priest.

22. The enemy shall penetrate into the temple and profane it.

turn … from them] This most naturally refers to Israel, from whom the Lord will turn his face in anger, cf. Ezekiel 7:11. It might refer to the invader, whom the Lord will not behold but permit to work his will, cf. Lamentations 2:3.

secret place] Is probably the temple (Lamentations 2:1); less natural would be the city. The word “secret,” however, is not to be referred to the arcanum of the Most Holy place; the meaning is “my precious thing.”

for the robbers] and robbers; the Chaldean pillagers. The words “pollute” and “defile” are the same; better, profane.Verse 22. - My secret place. The work of the spoiler would not stop at the idols of silver and gold. Jehovah would surrender his own "secret place" (secret treasure in margin of Revised Version), that over which he had watched, sc. the sanctuary of his temple, to the hands of the spoiler. In Psalm 83:4 the same adjective is used of persons, the "hidden" or protected ones of God. In the name of Baal-zephon, "Lord of the secret place," we have possibly a kindred thought. In Psalm 17:14 we have "hid treasure." The execution of the judgment announced in Ezekiel 7:2-4, arranged in four strophes: Ezekiel 7:5-9, Ezekiel 7:10-14, Ezekiel 7:15-22, Ezekiel 7:23-27. - The first strophe depicts the end as a terrible calamity, and as near at hand. Ezekiel 7:3 and Ezekiel 7:4 are repeated as a refrain in Ezekiel 7:8 and Ezekiel 7:9, with slight modifications. Ezekiel 7:5. Thus saith the Lord Jehovah: Misfortune, a singular misfortune, behold, it cometh. Ezekiel 7:6. End cometh: there cometh the end; it waketh upon thee; behold, it cometh. Ezekiel 7:7. The fate cometh upon thee, inhabitants of the land: the time cometh, the day is near; tumult and not joy upon the mountains. Ezekiel 7:8. Now speedily will I pour out my fury upon thee, and accomplish mine anger on thee; and judge thee according to thy ways, and bring upon thee all thine abominations. Ezekiel 7:9. My eye shall not look with pity upon thee, and I shall not spare; according to thy ways will I bring it upon thee, and thy abominations shall be in the midst of thee, that ye may know that I, Jehovah, am smiting. - Misfortune of a singular kind shall come. רעה is made more emphatic by אחת רעה, in which אחת is placed first for the sake of emphasis, in the sense of unicus, singularis; a calamity singular (unique) of its kind, such as never had occurred before (cf. Ezekiel 5:9). In Ezekiel 7:6 the poetical הקיץ, it (the end) waketh upon thee, is suggested by the paronomasia with הקּץ. The force of the words is weakened by supplying Jehovah as the subject to הקיץ, in opposition to the context. And it will not do to supply רעה (evil) from Ezekiel 7:5 as the subject to הנּה באה (behold, it cometh). באה is construed impersonally: It cometh, namely, every dreadful thing which the end brings with it. The meaning of tzephirâh is doubtful. The only other passage in which it occurs is Isaiah 28:5, where it is used in the sense of diadem or crown, which is altogether unsuitable here. Raschi has therefore had recourse to the Syriac and Chaldee צפרא, aurora, tempus matutinum, and Hvernick has explained it accordingly, "the dawn of an evil day." But the dawn is never used as a symbol or omen of misfortune, not even in Joel 2:2, but solely as the sign of the bursting forth of light or of salvation. Abarbanel was on the right track when he started from the radical meaning of צפר, to twist, and taking tzephirâh in the sense of orbis, ordo, or periodical return, understood it as probably denoting rerum fatique vicissitudinem in orbem redeuntem (Ges. Thes. p. 1188). But it has been justly observed, that the rendering succession, or periodical return, can only give a forced sense in Ezekiel 7:10. Winer has given a better rendering, viz., fatum, malum fatale, fate or destiny, for which he refers to the Arabic tsabramun, intortum, then fatum haud mutandum inevitabile. Different explanations have also been given of הד הרים. But the opinion that it is synonymous with הידד, the joyous vintage cry (Jeremiah 25:30; Isaiah 16:10), is a more probable one than that it is an unusual form of הוד, splendor, gloria. So much at any rate is obvious from the context, that the hapax legomenon dh̀ is the antithesis of מהוּמה, tumult, or the noise of war. The shouting of the mountains, is shouting, a rejoicing upon the mountains. מקּרוב, from the immediate vicinity, in a temporal not a local sense, as in Deuteronomy 32:17 ( equals immediately). For כּלּה , see Ezekiel 6:1-14;12. The remainder of the strophe (Ezekiel 7:8 and Ezekiel 7:9) is a repetition of Ezekiel 7:3 and Ezekiel 7:4; but מכּה is added in the last clause. They shall learn that it is Jehovah who smites. This thought is expanded in the following strophe.
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