Ezekiel 5:3
Parallel Verses
New International Version
But take a few hairs and tuck them away in the folds of your garment.

King James Bible
Thou shalt also take thereof a few in number, and bind them in thy skirts.

Darby Bible Translation
And thou shalt take thereof a few in number, and bind them in thy skirts;

World English Bible
You shall take of it a few in number, and bind them in your skirts.

Young's Literal Translation
And thou hast taken thence a few in number -- and hast bound them in thy skirts;

Ezekiel 5:3 Parallel
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

Take thee a sharp knife - Among the Israelites, and indeed among most ancient nations, there were very few edge-tools. The sword was the chief; and this was used as a knife, a razor, etc., according to its different length and sharpness. It is likely that only one kind of instrument is here intended; a knife or short sword, to be employed as a razor.

Here is a new emblem produced, in order to mark out the coming evils.

1. The prophet represents the Jewish nation.

2. His hair, the people.

3. The razor, the Chaldeans.

4. The cutting the beard and hair, the calamities, sorrows, and disgrace coming upon the people. Cutting off the hair was a sign of mourning; see on Jeremiah 45:5 (note); Jeremiah 48:37 (note); and also a sign of great disgrace; see 2 Samuel 10:4.

5. He is ordered to divide the hair, 2 Samuel 10:2, into three equal parts, to intimate the different degrees and kinds of punishment which should fall upon the people.

6. The balances, 2 Samuel 10:1, were to represent the Divine justice, and the exactness with which God's judgments should be distributed among the offenders.

7. This hair, divided into three parts, is to be disposed of thus:

1. A third part is to be burnt in the midst of the city, to show that so many should perish by famine and pestilence during the siege.

2. Another third part he was to cut in small portions about the city, (that figure which he had pourtrayed upon the brick), to signify those who should perish in different sorties, and in defending the walls.

3. And the remaining third part he was to scatter in the wind, to point out those who should be driven into captivity. And,

4. The sword following them was intended to show that their lives should be at the will of their captors, and that many of them should perish by the sword in their dispersions.

5. The few hairs which he was to take in his skirts, 2 Samuel 10:3, was intended to represent those few Jews that should be left in the land under Gedaliah, after the taking of the city.


Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

a few

2 Kings 25:12 But the captain of the guard left of the door of the poor of the land to be vinedressers and farmers.

Jeremiah 39:10 But Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard left of the poor of the people, which had nothing, in the land of Judah...

Jeremiah 40:6 Then went Jeremiah to Gedaliah the son of Ahikam to Mizpah; and dwelled with him among the people that were left in the land.

Jeremiah 52:16 But Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard left certain of the poor of the land for vinedressers and for farmers.

Matthew 7:14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leads to life, and few there be that find it.

Luke 13:23,24 Then said one to him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said to them...

1 Peter 4:18 And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?

skirts [heb] wings

To a modern taste, Ezekiel does not appeal anything like so powerfully as Isaiah or Jeremiah. He has neither the majesty of the one nor the tenderness and passion of the other. There is much in him that is fantastic, and much that is ritualistic. His imaginations border sometimes on the grotesque and sometimes on the mechanical. Yet he is a historical figure of the first importance; it was very largely from him that Judaism received the ecclesiastical impulse by which for centuries it was powerfully
John Edgar McFadyen—Introduction to the Old Testament

Cross References
Ezekiel 5:2
When the days of your siege come to an end, burn a third of the hair inside the city. Take a third and strike it with the sword all around the city. And scatter a third to the wind. For I will pursue them with drawn sword.

Ezekiel 5:4
Again, take a few of these and throw them into the fire and burn them up. A fire will spread from there to all Israel.

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