Ezekiel 33:2
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
“Son of man, speak to your people and say to them, If I bring the sword upon a land, and the people of the land take a man from among them, and make him their watchman,

King James Bible
Son of man, speak to the children of thy people, and say unto them, When I bring the sword upon a land, if the people of the land take a man of their coasts, and set him for their watchman:

American Standard Version
Son of man, speak to the children of thy people, and say unto them, When I bring the sword upon a land, and the people of the land take a man from among them, and set him for their watchman;

Douay-Rheims Bible
Son of man, speak to the children of thy people, and say to them: When I bring the sword upon a land, if the people of the land take a man, one of their meanest, and make him a watchman over them:

English Revised Version
Son of man, speak to the children of thy people, and say unto them, When I bring the sword upon a land, if the people of the land take a man from among them, and set him for their watchman:

Webster's Bible Translation
Son of man, speak to the children of thy people, and say to them, When I bring the sword upon a land, if the people of the land take a man of their borders, and set him for their watchman:

Ezekiel 33:2 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

Impression Made upon the Nations by the Fall of Asshur; and Its Application to Pharaoh

Ezekiel 31:15. Thus saith the Lord Jehovah, In the day that he went down to hell I caused a mourning: covered the flood for his sake, and stopped its streams, and the great waters were held back: I caused Lebanon to blacken itself for him, and all the trees of the field pined for him. Ezekiel 31:16. I made the nations tremble at the noise of his fall, when I cast him down to hell to those who go into the grave: and they comforted themselves in the nether world, even all the trees of Eden, the choice and most beautiful of Lebanon, all the water-drinkers. Ezekiel 31:17. They also went with him into hell, to those pierced with the sword, who sat as his helpers in his shade among the nations. Ezekiel 31:18. Whom dost thou thus resemble in glory and greatness among the trees of Eden? So shalt thou be thrust down to the trees of Eden into the nether world, and lie among uncircumcised ones with those pierced with the sword. This is Pharaoh and all his tumult, is the saying of the Lord Jehovah. - In order that the overthrow of the Assyrian, i.e., the destruction of the Assyrian empire, may be placed in the clearest light, a picture is drawn of the impression which it made upon the whole creation. There is no necessity to understand כּה אמר in a past sense, as in Ezekiel 31:10. What God did on the overthrow of Asshur He may even now, for the first time, make known through the prophet, for a warning to Pharaoh and the people of Israel. That this is the way in which the words are to be interpreted, is evident from the use of the perfect האבלתּי, followed by the historical imperfects, which cannot be taken in a prophetical sense, as Kliefoth supposes, or turned into futures. It is contrary to Hebrew usage to connect האבלתּי and כּסּתי together as asyndeton, so as to form one idea, viz., "to veil in mourning" as Ewald and Hvernick propose. The circumstances under which two verbs are joined together to form one idea are of a totally different kind. In this instance האבלתּי is placed first as an absolute; and in the sentences which follow, it is more specifically defined by a detail of the objects which were turned into mourning. כּסּה עליו את־תּהום cannot mean her, "to cover the flood upon (over) him" (after Ezekiel 24:7 and Ezekiel 26:19); for this is altogether unsuitable to either the more remote or the more immediate context. The tree Asshur was not destroyed by a flood, but cut down by strangers. The following clauses, "I stopped its streams," etc., show very plainly that the connection between the flood (תּהום) and the tree which had been felled is to be understood in accordance with Ezekiel 31:4. A flood, which poured its נהרות round about its plantation, made the cedar-tree great; and now that the tree has been felled, God covers the flood on its account. כּסּה is to be explained from כּסּה שׂק, to veil or wrap in mourning, as Raschi, Kimchi, Vatablus, and many others have shown. The word שׂק is omitted, because it appeared inappropriate to תּהום. The mourning of the flood is to be taken as equivalent to drying up, so that the streams which issued from it were deprived of their water. Lebanon, i.e., the cedar-forest (Isaiah 10:34), and all the other trees, mourned over the fall of the cedar Asshur. הקדּיר, to clothe in black, i.e., to turn into mourning. עלפּה is regarded by Ewald as a Pual formed after the Aramean mode, that is to say, by attaching the syllable ae instead of doubling the middle radical; whilst Hitzig proposes to change the form into עלּפּה. In any case the word must be a perfect Pual, as a nomen verbale appears unsuitable; and it must also be a third person feminine, the termination ־ה being softened into ־ה, as in זוּרה (Isaiah 59:5), and the doubling of the ל being dropped on account of the Sheva; so that the plural is construed with the singular feminine (Ewald, 317a). עלּף, to faint with grief (cf. Isaiah 51:20). The thought is the following: all nature was so painfully affected by the fall of Asshur, that the whole of the resources from which its prosperity and might had been derived were dried up. To interpret the different figures as specially relating to princes and nations appears a doubtful procedure, for the simple reason that in Ezekiel 31:16 the trembling of the nations is expressly named.

Whilst all the nations on the surface of the earth tremble at the fall of Assyria, because they are thereby warned of the perishable nature of all earthly greatness and of their own destruction, the inhabitants of the nether world console themselves with the thought that the Assyrian is now sharing their fate (for this thought, compare Ezekiel 32:31 and Isaiah 14:9-10). "All the trees of Eden" are all the powerful and noble princes. The idea itself, "trees of Eden," is explained by the apposition, "the choice and beautiful ones of Lebanon," i.e., the picked and finest cedars, and still further strengthened by the expression כּל־שׁתי (cf. Ezekiel 31:14). מבחר are connected, as in 1 Samuel 9:2; and both words are placed side by side in the construct state, as in Daniel 1:4 (cf. Ewald, 339b). They comfort themselves because they have gone down with him into Sheol, so that he has no advantage over them. They come thither to those pierced with the sword, i.e., to the princes and peoples whom Asshur slew in wars to establish his imperial power. וּזרעו might also belong to ירדוּ as a second subject. In that case ישׁבוּ בצלּו should be taken in a relative sense: "and his arm," i.e., his resources, "which sat in his shadow among the nations." With this explanation זרעו would be different from הם, and could only denote the army of the Assyrian. But this does not harmonize with the sitting in his shadow among the nations, for these words obviously point back to Ezekiel 31:6; so that זרעו is evidently meant to correspond to כּּל־גוים רבּים (Ezekiel 31:6), and is actually identical with הם, i.e., with all the trees of Eden. We therefore agree with Osiander, Grotius, and others, in regarding the whole of the second hemistich as more precisely determining the subject, - in other words, as a declaration of the reason for their descending into hell along with the Assyrians, - and render the passage thus: "for as his arm (as his might) they sat in his shadow among the nations;" so that the cop. w is used in place of a causal particle. In any case, the conjecture which Ewald has adopted from the lxx and the Syriac, viz., וזרעו, and his seed, in support of which appeal might be made to Isaiah 14:21, is unsuitable, for the simple reason that the statement, that it sat in his shadow among the nations, does not apply. - After this description of the greatness and the destruction of the imperial power of Assyria, Ezekiel repeats in Ezekiel 31:18 the question already asked in Ezekiel 31:3 : to whom is Pharaoh like? כּכה, so, i.e., under such circumstances, when the glorious cedar Asshur has been smitten by such a fate (Hitzig). The reply to this question is really contained in the description given already; so that it is immediately followed by the announcement, "and thou wilt be thrust down," etc. ערלים, uncircumcised, equivalent to ungodly heathen 'הוּא פ, not "he is," as that would require פּרעה הוּא; but הוּא is the predicate: this is (i.e., so does it happen to) Pharaoh. המונו, as in Ezekiel 31:2.

Ezekiel 33:2 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

speak

Ezekiel 33:17,30 Yet the children of your people say, The way of the Lord is not equal: but as for them, their way is not equal...

Ezekiel 3:11,27 And go, get you to them of the captivity, to the children of your people, and speak to them, and tell them, Thus said the Lord GOD...

When I bring the sword upon a land. [heb] A land when I bring a sword upon her

Ezekiel 6:3 And say, You mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord GOD; Thus said the Lord GOD to the mountains, and to the hills...

Ezekiel 11:8 You have feared the sword; and I will bring a sword on you, said the Lord GOD.

Ezekiel 14:17,21 Or if I bring a sword on that land, and say, Sword, go through the land; so that I cut off man and beast from it...

Ezekiel 21:9-16 Son of man, prophesy, and say, Thus said the LORD; Say, A sword, a sword is sharpened, and also furbished...

Leviticus 26:25 And I will bring a sword on you, that shall avenge the quarrel of my covenant: and when you are gathered together within your cities...

Jeremiah 12:12 The spoilers are come on all high places through the wilderness...

Jeremiah 15:2,3 And it shall come to pass, if they say to you, Where shall we go forth? then you shall tell them, Thus said the LORD...

Jeremiah 25:31 A noise shall come even to the ends of the earth; for the LORD has a controversy with the nations, he will plead with all flesh...

Jeremiah 47:6 O you sword of the LORD, how long will it be ere you be quiet? put up yourself into your scabbard, rest, and be still.

Jeremiah 47:7 How can it be quiet, seeing the LORD has given it a charge against Ashkelon, and against the sea shore? there has he appointed it.

Zechariah 13:7 Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, said the LORD of hosts: smite the shepherd...

set

Ezekiel 33:7 So you, O son of man, I have set you a watchman to the house of Israel; therefore you shall hear the word at my mouth...

2 Samuel 18:24-27 And David sat between the two gates: and the watchman went up to the roof over the gate to the wall, and lifted up his eyes, and looked...

2 Kings 9:17-30 And there stood a watchman on the tower in Jezreel, and he spied the company of Jehu as he came, and said, I see a company...

Isaiah 21:6-9 For thus has the LORD said to me, Go, set a watchman, let him declare what he sees...

Isaiah 56:9,10 All you beasts of the field, come to devour, yes, all you beasts in the forest...

Isaiah 62:6 I have set watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem, which shall never hold their peace day nor night: you that make mention of the LORD...

Jeremiah 51:12 Set up the standard on the walls of Babylon, make the watch strong, set up the watchmen, prepare the ambushes...

Hosea 9:8 The watchman of Ephraim was with my God: but the prophet is a snare of a fowler in all his ways, and hatred in the house of his God.

Cross References
Ezekiel 3:11
And go to the exiles, to your people, and speak to them and say to them, 'Thus says the Lord GOD,' whether they hear or refuse to hear."

Ezekiel 33:1
The word of the LORD came to me:

Ezekiel 33:12
"And you, son of man, say to your people, The righteousness of the righteous shall not deliver him when he transgresses, and as for the wickedness of the wicked, he shall not fall by it when he turns from his wickedness, and the righteous shall not be able to live by his righteousness when he sins.

Ezekiel 33:17
"Yet your people say, 'The way of the Lord is not just,' when it is their own way that is not just.

Ezekiel 37:18
And when your people say to you, 'Will you not tell us what you mean by these?'

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