13. And it came to pass, when I prophesied, that Pelatiah the son of Benaiah died: then fell I down upon my face, and cried with a loud voice, and said, Ah Lord God! wilt thou make a full end of the remnant of Israel?
13. Et fuit cum prophetarem, tunc Phalatias filius Benaim mortuus est: et cecidi super faciem meam, et clamavi voce magna, et dixi, Heus Dominator Iehovah, tu consumptionem facies residui Israel?
It is by no means doubtful that this Phalatias died at the same time at which the vision was offered to God's servant. We shall see at the end of the chapter that the Prophet was always in exile; but then he seemed to himself caught up into the temple, and seemed also to himself to behold Phalatias dead. And yet it is possible that he died at his own home, and not in the entrance or threshold of the temple. But we know that the vision was not limited to places. As, therefore, Ezekiel was only by vision in the temple, so also he saw the death of Phalatias; and in this way God began by a kind of prelude to show that the slaughter of the city was at hand. For Phalatias was one of the chief rulers, as was said in the first verse of this chapter, and was doubtless a man of good reputation: hence his death was a presage of a general destruction. Hence this exclamation of the Prophet, Ah Lord God, wilt thou utterly consume the remnant of Israel? for now only a small number out of an immense multitude remained. Phalatias is seized, and in this way he shows that destruction hangs over the whole people. Hence it came to pass that the Prophet fell upon the earth astonished, and exclaimed that it was by no means agreeable to God's promises to destroy the remnant of Israel. For some remnant ought to remain, as we often see in other places: even in the general slaughter of the whole people, God always gave some hope that he would not abolish his covenant. For this reason the Prophet now exclaims.
Grant, Almighty God, since we cease not to provoke thine anger every day, that at least being admonished by the prophecies which thine ancient people did not despise with impunity, we may be touched with a true sense of penitence, and may we so submit ourselves to thee, that we may willingly humble and renounce ourselves; and not only do thou mitigate the punishments which otherwise hang over us, but also show thyself a merciful and gracious Father towards us, until at length we enjoy the fullness of thy fatherly love in thy heavenly kingdom, through Christ our Lord. -- Amen.
IN the last Lecture the Prophet's complaint and lamentation on account of the death of Phalatias, was described to us. He had heard indeed by the Spirit that Phalatias and others like him were impious despisers of God, and corrupters of his whole worship: yet he exclaims when he sees him dead, as if all things were lost. But we must remember that the Prophet did not speak in his own senses.1 He regards also the reputation and dignity of Phalatias, for there is no doubt that he excelled the other elders, as the greater of the people thought their own stability depended on his counsel and prudence. Since, therefore, almost all thought Phalatias to be the support of the city and kingdom, it is not surprising that the Prophet, according to the common opinion, asks with wonder whether God is about to consume every remnant of the people. And he alludes to the man's name, For
1 "Ex proprio sensu:" -- in contrast to prophetic inspiration.
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