וַיְהִי דְבַר־יְהוָה אֵלַי לֵאמֹר׃ 22:1
Ezek. 22:1 And the word of the Lord occurred to me saying,
וְאַתָּה בֶן־אָדָם הֲתִשְׁפֹּט הֲתִשְׁפֹּט אֶת־עִיר הַדָּמִים וְהֹודַעְתָּהּ אֵת כָּל־תֹּועֲבֹותֶיהָ׃ 22:2
Ezek. 22:2 “Now you, human, can you judge -- will you judge -- the city of blood, and have her acknowledge all her abominations?”
You will soon see that the city of blood is Jerusalem.
וְאָמַרְתָּ כֹּה אָמַר אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה עִיר שֹׁפֶכֶת דָּם בְּתֹוכָהּ לָבֹוא עִתָּהּ וְעָשְׂתָה גִלּוּלִים עָלֶיהָ לְטָמְאָה׃ 22:3
Ezek. 22:3 “Then you shall say, ‘Thus says the Master, the Lord: O city shedding blood in her midst! The time is coming when her fashioning of idols on her behalf will be her defilement.’
בְּדָמֵךְ אֲשֶׁר־שָׁפַכְתְּ אָשַׁמְתְּ וּבְגִלּוּלַיִךְ אֲשֶׁר־עָשִׂית טָמֵאת וַתַּקְרִיבִי יָמַיִךְ וַתָּבֹוא עַד־שְׁנֹותָיִךְ 22:4 עַל־כֵּן נְתַתִּיךְ חֶרְפָּה לַגֹּויִם וְקַלָּסָה לְכָל־הָאֲרָצֹות׃
Ezek. 22:4 ‘By your blood that you have shed you are guilty, and by your idols that you fashioned you are defiled; so you have brought near your days, and you have come up to your years; therefore I have made you a reproach to the nations and a derision for all the lands.’
All the second-person pronouns in this verse are feminine singular, so I presume they also refer to Jerusalem. In fact, all the second-person pronouns in the following verses up until v. 22:16, are feminine singular, and therefore refer to Jerusalem.
הַקְּרֹבֹות וְהָרְחֹקֹות מִמֵּךְ יִתְקַלְּסוּ־בָךְ טְמֵאַת הַשֵּׁם רַבַּת הַמְּהוּמָה׃ 22:5
Ezek. 22:5 ‘Those near, and those far from you shall scoff at you: O least pure of name! Greatest of destruction!’
הִנֵּה נְשִׂיאֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל אִישׁ לִזְרֹעֹו הָיוּ בָךְ לְמַעַן שְׁפָךְ־דָּם׃ 22:6
Ezek. 22:6 ‘Behold the princes of Israel! Each according to his strength, they have been in you in order to shed blood.’
אָב וָאֵם הֵקַלּוּ בָךְ לַגֵּר עָשׂוּ בַעֹשֶׁק בְּתֹוךֵךְ יָתֹום וְאַלְמָנָה הֹונוּ בָךְ׃ 22:7
Ezek. 22:7 In you, they have been contemptuous of father and mother; to the stranger they have acted with oppression in your midst; in you they have treated orphan and widow violently.’
קָדָשַׁי בָּזִית וְאֶת־שַׁבְּתֹתַי חִלָּלְתְּ׃ 22:8
Ezek. 22:8 You have despised My holiness and profaned My Sabbaths.’
אַנְשֵׁי רָכִיל הָיוּ בָךְ לְמַעַן שְׁפָךְ־דָּם וְאֶל־הֶהָרִים אָכְלוּ בָךְ זִמָּה עָשׂוּ בְתֹוךֵךְ׃ 22:9
Ezek. 22:9 ‘In you, they have been men of slander in order to shed blood, and in you, they have eaten at the mounts; they have committed lewdness in your midst,
עֶרְוַת־אָב גִּלָּה־בָךְ טְמֵאַת הַנִּדָּה עִנּוּ־בָךְ׃ 22:10
Ezek. 22:10 one uncovers the nakedness of father in you. In you, they have humbled the impurity of menstruation.’
Ezekiel’s use of the second-from-last word in this verse, translated as they have humbled, may be revealing. The root word has several other interesting meanings, such as oppress, torture, afflict, rape, force, violate, postpone, delay, and others. I imagine you get the point. More is meant here than just simply to humble, although that certainly is appropriate.
וְאִישׁ אֶת־אֵשֶׁת רֵעֵהוּ עָשָׂה תֹּועֵבָה וְאִישׁ אֶת־כַּלָּתֹו טִמֵּא בְזִמָּה וְאִישׁ אֶת־אֲחֹתֹו בַת־אָבִיו 22:11
Ezek. 22:11 ‘And each has committed abomination with the wife of his neighbor, and each has defiled his sister-in-law by incest, and in you, each has humbled his sister, the daughter of his father.’
שֹׁחַד לָקְחוּ־בָךְ לְמַעַן שְׁפָךְ־דָּם נֶשֶׁךְ וְתַרְבִּית לָקַחַתְּ וַתְּבַצְּעִי רֵעַיִךְ בַּעֹשֶׁק וְאֹתִי שָׁכַחַתְּ נְאֻם 22:12
Ezek. 22:12 In you, they have taken bribes so as to spill blood. You have taken usury and bonus, and the gains of your neighbor by oppression. So you have forgotten Me, declares the Master, the Lord.’
Perhaps trivial, or maybe of some significance, the phrase translated as and the gains of your neighbor may indicate some carelessness on Ezekiel’s part. The pronoun your still refers to Jerusalem, so how can a city take the gains of her neighbor? I imagine Ezekiel (or the Lord?) used a shorthand here instead of saying your princes have taken ..., and the gains of their neighbors. This observation may be of some significance in that it might show Ezekiel being less than precise in his descriptions. And he does it again in v. 22:15 below.
וְהִנֵּה הִכֵּיתִי כַפִּי אֶל־בִּצְעֵךְ אֲשֶׁר עָשִׂית וְעַל־דָּמֵךְ אֲשֶׁר הָיוּ בְּתֹוךֵךְ׃ 22:13
Ezek. 22:13 ‘Then behold, I clap My ‘palms’ against your dishonest gain that you have produced and against your blood that they have caused to be in your midst.’
הֲיַעֲמֹד לִבֵּךְ אִם־תֶּחֱזַקְנָה יָדַיִךְ לַיָּמִים אֲשֶׁר אֲנִי עֹשֶׂה אֹותָךְ אֲנִי יְהוָה דִּבַּרְתִּי וְעָשִׂיתִי׃ 22:14
Ezek. 22:14 ‘Can your heart endure or your hands be strong for the time when I am dealing with you? I, the Lord, speak and accomplish.’
וַהֲפִיצֹותִי אֹותָךְ בַּגֹּויִם וְזֵרִיתִיךְ בָּאֲרָצֹות וַהֲתִמֹּתִי טֻמְאָתֵךְ מִמֵּךְ׃ 22:15
Ezek. 22:15 ‘So I will scatter you among the nations and disperse you throughout the lands; thus I will purify your filthiness out of you.’
Here Ezekiel has the Lord saying I will scatter you [Jerusalem] and disperse you [Jerusalem] throughout the lands. But actually he more likely should have written I will scatter your inhabitants ... and disperse them ....
וְנִחַלְתְּ בָּךְ לְעֵינֵי גֹויִם וְיָדַעַתְּ כִּי־אֲנִי יְהוָה׃ 22:16
Ezek. 22:16 ‘But you by yourself shall be defiled in the eyes of the nations so you may acknowledge that I am the Lord.’”
Ezekiel quotes the Lord as if Jerusalem itself is the target of the Lord’s “anger.” I would be prone to consider this Ezekiel’s own feelings being expressed in this way. But it can also be more of his shorthand that I’ve addressed in vss. 22:12 and 22:15. I’m inclined to believe the latter is the appropriate explanation, although both may be valid.
וַיְהִי דְבַר־יְהוָה אֵלַי לֵאמֹר׃ 22:17
Ezek. 22:17 And the word of the Lord occurred to me saying,
בֶּן־אָדָם הָיוּ־לִי בֵית־יִשְׂרָאֵל (לְסוּג) [לְסִיג] כֻּלָּם נְחֹשֶׁת וּבְדִיל וּבַרְזֶל וְעֹופֶרֶת בְּתֹוךְ כּוּר 22:18 סִגִים כֶּסֶף הָיוּ׃
Ezek. 22:18 “Human, the house of Israel have become to Me as of dross, all of them; brass and tin and iron and lead in the midst of the furnace, they are the dross remains of silver ore.”
The word in the parentheses is in error, having been spelled with a vav in place of a yad. The correction is in the brackets.
לָכֵן כֹּה אָמַר אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה יַעַן הֱיֹות כֻּלְּכֶם לְסִגִים לָכֵן הִנְנִי קֹבֵץ אֶתְכֶם אֶל־תֹּוךְ יְרוּשָׁלִָם׃ 22:19
Ezek. 22:19 “Therefore thus says the Master, the Lord: Because all of you have become as dross remains, therefore behold, I am gathering you to the midst of Jerusalem,
קְבֻצַת כֶּסֶף וּנְחֹשֶׁת וּבַרְזֶל וְעֹופֶרֶת וּבְדִיל אֶל־תֹּוךְ כּוּר לָפַחַת־עָלָיו אֵשׁ לְהַנְתִּיךְ כֵּן אֶקְבֹּץ 22:20 בְּאַפִּי וּבַחֲמָתִי וְהִנַּחְתִּי וְהִתַּכְתִּי אֶתְכֶם׃
Ezek. 22:20 an assemblage of silver, with brass and iron and lead and tin, in the midst of a furnace to blow fire on it for melting. Thus in My ‘anger’ and in My ‘rage,’ I shall gather and deposit and melt you.”
In v. 22:19, this one, and the next two, the second-person pronouns are masculine plural, so the focus has shifted to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.
וְכִנַּסְתִּי אֶתְכֶם וְנָפַחְתִּי עֲלֵיכֶם בְּאֵשׁ עֶבְרָתִי וְנִתַּכְתֶּם בְּתֹוכָהּ׃ 22:21
Ezek. 22:21 “So I shall gather you and blow with the fire of My ‘fury’ upon you, and you shall be melted in its midst.”
כְּהִתּוּךְ כֶּסֶף בְּתֹוךְ כּוּר כֵּן תֻּתְּכוּ בְתֹוכָהּ וִידַעְתֶּם כִּי־אֲנִי יְהוָה שָׁפַכְתִּי חֲמָתִי עֲלֵיכֶם׃ 22:22
Ezek. 22:22 “As the melting of silver in the midst a furnace, so shall you melt in its midst, and you may know that I, the Lord, had poured out My ‘rage’ upon you.”
וַיְהִי דְבַר־יְהוָה אֵלַי לֵאמֹר׃ 22:23
Ezek. 22:23 And the word of the Lord occurred to me saying,
בֶּן־אָדָם אֱמָר־לָהּ אַתְּ אֶרֶץ לֹא מְטֹהָרָה הִיא לֹא גֻשְׁמָהּ בְּיֹום זָעַם׃ 22:24
Ezek. 22:24 “Human, say to it, ‘You are a land not cleansed.’ It will not be rained upon in the time of indignation.”
Here the Lord is referring to Jerusalem or Israel. Its uncleanness will not be cleansed by figurative rain.
קֶשֶׁר נְבִיאֶיהָ בְּתֹוכָהּ כַּאֲרִי שֹׁואֵג טֹרֵף טָרֶף נֶפֶשׁ אָכָלוּ חֹסֶן וִיקָר יִקָּחוּ אַלְמְנֹותֶיהָ הִרְבּוּ 22:25 בְתֹוכָהּ׃
Ezek. 22:25 “An alliance of its prophets is in its midst; like a roaring lion rending prey, they devour soul, they seize treasure and value; they make its widows numerous in its midst.”
כֹּהֲנֶיהָ חָמְסוּ תֹורָתִי וַיְחַלְּלוּ קָדָשַׁי בֵּין־קֹדֶשׁ לְחֹל לֹא הִבְדִּילוּ וּבֵין־הַטָּמֵא לְטָהֹור לֹא הֹודִיעוּ 22:26 וּמִשַׁבְּתֹותַי הֶעְלִימוּ עֵינֵיהֶם וָאֵחַל בְּתֹוכָם׃
Ezek. 22:26 “Its priests treat My Torah violently and profane My holiness; they do not separate between holy to unholy, and they do not make known between unclean to pure, and they have hidden their eyes from My Sabbaths; so I am profaned among them.”
The Hebrew clauses translated as “they do not separate between holy to unholy, and they do not make known between unclean to pure,” is unusual. Such appears no where else in the bible. Therefore, a number of different translations for them can be found. The meaning seems clear, however, in all the translations. They violate many commandments having to do with purity and impurity.
שָׂרֶיהָ בְקִרְבָּהּ כִּזְאֵבִים טֹרְפֵי טָרֶף לִשְׁפָּךְ־דָּם לְאַבֵּד נְפָשֹׁות לְמַעַן בְּצֹעַ בָּצַע׃ 22:27
Ezek. 22:27 “Its princes in its midst are like wolves, renders of prey, to shed blood, to destroy souls, in order to acquire unjust gain.”
וּנְבִיאֶיהָ טָחוּ לָהֶם תָּפֵל חֹזִים שָׁוְא וְקֹסְמִים לָהֶם כָּזָב אֹמְרִים כֹּה אָמַר אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה וַיהוָה לֹא 22:28
Ezek. 22:28 “And its prophets daub whitewash for them, seeing nothing and divining falsehood to them saying, ‘Thus says the Master, the Lord,’ though the Lord had not spoken.”
עַם הָאָרֶץ עָשְׁקוּ עֹשֶׁק וְגָזְלוּ גָּזֵל וְעָנִי וְאֶבְיֹון הֹונוּ וְאֶת־הַגֵּר עָשְׁקוּ בְּלֹא מִשְׁפָּט׃ 22:29
Ezek. 22:29 “The people of the land employ oppression and commit robbery and mistreat the poor and the needy and defraud the stranger without discretion.”
וָאֲבַקֵּשׁ מֵהֶם אִישׁ גֹּדֵר־גָּדֵר וְעֹמֵד בַּפֶּרֶץ לְפָנַי בְּעַד הָאָרֶץ לְבִלְתִּי שַׁחֲתָהּ וְלֹא מָצָאתִי׃ 22:30
Ezek. 22:30 “Yet I seek out of them one man to seal the wall and to stand in the breach before Me on behalf of the land to prevent its destruction, but I find none.”
I wonder, ..., is this a derogatory reference to Ezekiel? Is Ezekiel displaying guilt feelings over being ineffective at what the Lord asks of him? As far as we know so far, he is mostly writing down what the Lord is revealing to him -- he is doing few of these things, if any. What do you think?
וָאֶשְׁפֹּךְ עֲלֵיהֶם זַעְמִי בְּאֵשׁ עֶבְרָתִי כִּלִּיתִים דַּרְכָּם בְּרֹאשָׁם נָתַתִּי נְאֻם אֲדֹנָי יְהֹוִה׃ 22:31
Ezek. 22:31 “So I pour out My ‘indignation’ upon them; I consume them with My ‘wrathful fire;’ I pay the wages of their way on their head, declares the Master, the Lord.”
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