Gaebelein's Annotated Bible
And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,Ezekiel 21:1-32. A solemn message is given to the prophet: “Behold I am against thee, and will draw forth my sword out of its sheath, and will cut off from thee the righteous and the wicked.” It was to be a widespread judgment, against all flesh. Ezekiel was commanded to sigh with bitterness before their eyes and was to tell them the cause of his grief (Ezekiel 21:1-7). The sharpening of the sword of judgment is given in Ezekiel 21:8-17. It was hanging over their heads, ready to strike at any moment. The question is asked, “Should we then make mirth?” is this the time of mirth, worldly pleasures and enjoyment? Not for the faithful in Israel. Nor is the present solemn time a time of mirth for those who know the signs of the times and what God has revealed concerning things to come.
The king of Babylon and his divination is vividly pictured in Ezekiel 21:18-24. The Babylonians used different kinds of enchantments, etc., to ascertain what they should do. The king stands at the cross-roads. Shall he go to Rabbath or against Jerusalem? He used arrows and put on one the name of “Rabbath” of the Ammonites; on the other “Jerusalem.” Then he shook them to and fro (correct rendering--”he made his arrows bright”). In Ezekiel 21:22, we see the result of this divination. He has in his hands the arrow with “Jerusalem” on it.
The wicked prince and the Coming One are seen in Ezekiel 21:25-27. Here Christ and Antichrist are contrasted. There can be no question that Zedekiah is first of all in view as the profane wicked prince of Israel. But the prophecy looks far beyond Zedekiah. It is the coming wicked prince, the one who comes in his own name, the final Antichrist, the false messiah, or, as he is also called in Revelation, the false prophet. That Ezekiel 21:25 refers to the time of the end, is seen by the words, “in the time of the iniquity of the end” (correct translation). The same phrase appears in Daniel 11:35-39, “the time of the end,” and the person described in that passage is the Antichrist, the wicked prince. It is the time of the future great tribulation “when the transgressors are come to the full” Daniel 8:23. This false Christ will claim priestly and kingly honors. He is the beast out of the earth, Revelation 13:1-18) having two horns like a lamb, but speaking as a dragon. The two horns represent the priesthood and the kingship he assumes. And this, we learn from Ezekiel 21:26, is the character of the wicked prince of Israel of whom Ezekiel speaks. Again, we must correct the faulty translation of the Authorized Version: “Remove the mitre and take off the crown”; the word “diadem” is mitre, the head-dress of the high-priest Exodus 28:4. He wears the mitre of the priest and the crown of the king. He is Satan’s final counterfeit (like the pope) of the Priest-King. In Ezekiel 21:27, the overturning times are mentioned. Thrice it is stated, “I will overturn.” Even so will it be at the time of the end until He comes whose right it is.
Ezekiel 21:28-32 give the announcement of judgment upon the Ammonites.