Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
Eze 6:1-14. Continuation of the Same Subject.
Son of man, set thy face toward the mountains of Israel, and prophesy against them,
2. mountains of Israel—that is, of Palestine in general. The mountains are addressed by personification; implying that the Israelites themselves are incurable and unworthy of any more appeals; so the prophet sent to Jeroboam did not deign to address the king, but addressed the altar (1Ki 13:2). The mountains are specified as being the scene of Jewish idolatries on "the high places" (Eze 6:3; Le 26:30).
And say, Ye mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord GOD; Thus saith the Lord GOD to the mountains, and to the hills, to the rivers, and to the valleys; Behold, I, even I, will bring a sword upon you, and I will destroy your high places.
3. rivers—literally, the "channels" of torrents. Rivers were often the scene and objects of idolatrous worship.
And your altars shall be desolate, and your images shall be broken: and I will cast down your slain men before your idols.
4. images—called so from a Hebrew root, "to wax hot," implying the mad ardor of Israel after idolatry [Calvin]. Others translate it, "sun images"; and so in Eze 6:6 (see 2Ki 23:11; 2Ch 34:4; Isa 17:8, Margin).
cast your slain men before your idols—The foolish objects of their trust in the day of evil should witness their ruin.
And I will lay the dead carcases of the children of Israel before their idols; and I will scatter your bones round about your altars.
5. carcasses … before … idols—polluting thus with the dead bones of you, the worshippers, the idols which seemed to you so sacrosanct.
In all your dwellingplaces the cities shall be laid waste, and the high places shall be desolate; that your altars may be laid waste and made desolate, and your idols may be broken and cease, and your images may be cut down, and your works may be abolished.
6. your works—not gods, as you supposed, but the mere work of men's hands (Isa 40:18-20).
And the slain shall fall in the midst of you, and ye shall know that I am the LORD.
7. ye shall know that I am the Lord—and not your idols, lords. Ye shall know Me as the all-powerful Punisher of sin.
Yet will I leave a remnant, that ye may have some that shall escape the sword among the nations, when ye shall be scattered through the countries.
8. Mitigation of the extreme severity of their punishment; still their life shall be a wretched one, and linked with exile (Eze 5:2, 12; 12:16; 14:22; Jer 44:28).
And they that escape of you shall remember me among the nations whither they shall be carried captives, because I am broken with their whorish heart, which hath departed from me, and with their eyes, which go a whoring after their idols: and they shall lothe themselves for the evils which they have committed in all their abominations.
9. they that escape of you shall remember me—The object of God's chastisements shall at last be effected by working in them true contrition. This partially took place in the complete eradication of idolatry from the Jews ever since the Babylonian captivity. But they have yet to repent of their crowning sin, the crucifixion of Messiah; their full repentance is therefore future, after the ordeal of trials for many centuries, ending with that foretold in Zec 10:9; 13:8, 9; 14:1-4, 11. "They shall remember me in far countries" (Eze 7:16; De 30:1-8).
I am broken with their whorish heart—Fairbairn translates, actively, "I will break" their whorish heart; English Version is better. In their exile they shall remember how long I bore with them, but was at last compelled to punish, after I was "broken" (My long-suffering wearied out) by their desperate (Nu 15:39) spiritual whorishness [Calvin], (Ps 78:40; Isa 7:13; 43:24; 63:10).
loathe themselves—(Le 26:39-45; Job 42:6). They shall not wait for men to condemn them but shall condemn themselves (Eze 20:43; 36:31; Job 42:6; 1Co 11:31).
And they shall know that I am the LORD, and that I have not said in vain that I would do this evil unto them.
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.
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).
He that is far off shall die of the pestilence; and he that is near shall fall by the sword; and he that remaineth and is besieged shall die by the famine: thus will I accomplish my fury upon them.
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 that I am the LORD, when their slain men shall be among their idols round about their altars, upon 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 savour to all their idols.
So will I stretch out my hand upon them, and make the land desolate, yea, more desolate than the wilderness toward Diblath, in all their habitations: and they shall know that I am the LORD.
14. Diblath—another form of Diblathaim, a city in Moab (Nu 33:46; Jer 48:22), near which, east and south of the Dead Sea, was the wilderness of Arabia-Deserta.