1. Moreover, the word of the Lord came unto me, saying,
1. Et fuit sermo Iehovæ ad me, dicendo,
2. Also, thou son of man, thus saith the Lord God unto the land of Israel; An end, the end is come upon the four corners of the land.
2. Et tu fili hominis, sic dicit Dominator Iehovah terrae Israel, vel de terra; finis, venit finis super quatuor alas terrae.
Ezekiel seems here too verbose; for he repeats the same sentiments almost in the same words. But the reason which I have brought forward must be marked, if God had only uttered his commands shortly, when the people were not only slow to believe but of a perverse disposition, his message had proved cold and ineffectual. With this design he uses, as we have seen, many words, and now repeats the same: he now changes his expression, because he ought by all means to stimulate that sloth, or rather sluggishness, under which the people labored. Another thing to be noted is, that he came not once only by God's command to preach to the people, but. that he was often sent to stir up their minds. For if he had included in one context what God had enjoined, the Israelites might for the time have thought of God's judgment, but a prophecy once uttered would have easily escaped them. Besides, when Ezekiel testifies that he was sent by God, and afterwards returns and affirms that he brings new commands, this was more effectual to influence their minds. Now we see the meaning of the phrase, the word was given by Jehovah. For this prophecy is distinguished from the former, and yet the matter is the same, without any difference, as it seems to weave in with the same discourse: this, indeed, is true, but he ought to be sent twice, that the people may understand that not once only, but twice and perpetually, what he heard from God's mouth was to be repeated: since it was sufficiently clear, that God was anxious for their safety, since he never ceased to exhort them. Thus, therefore, says the Lord Jehovah concerning the land of Israel: an end is coming, an end upon the four corners of the land. Here God seems to regard the moderate punishments which he had already inflicted on the kingdom of Israel. For we know that they often felt God's hand, but when some relaxation was afforded them, they thought themselves escaped, so they forgot their wickedness and went on in it so carelessly that it was very clear that they despised God, unless when he oppressed them with his dreadful power. This seems the meaning of the word end, and it is emphatically repeated: an end is coming, an end upon the four corners of the land. He puts, indeed, wings, but intends it metaphorically for four different regions. God, therefore, reproves the Israelites for their obstinacy, because though often chastised they did not cease to transgress, through not supposing that any thing more grievous could happen. He puts therefore the word end, as if he said, hitherto I have treated you moderately. And surely God had displayed a remarkable specimen of clemency in punishing the Israelites so lightly when he might utterly have cut them off. Since, therefore, he had so refrained himself in punishing, the sluggishness of the people was on that account the less tolerable, since they thought all was over as soon as God had withdrawn his hand. An end, says he, an end is come, that is, after this you must not hope for any moderation. I see there is no hope of repentance in you, and so I shall utterly consume you; and he adds, on the four corners of the land, as he had just said, in all your dwellings. Again, therefore, he teaches, that no part of the earth should be free from the slaughter which he predicts. It follows --
Back to BibleStudyGuide.org.
These files are public domain. This electronic edition was downloaded from the Christian Classics Ethereal Library.