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Eze 25:1-17. APPROPRIATELY IN THE INTERVAL OF SILENCE AS TO THE JEWS IN THE EIGHT CHAPTERS, (TWENTY-FIFTH THROUGH THIRTY-SECOND) EZEKIEL DENOUNCES JUDGMENTS ON THE HEATHEN WORLD KINGDOMS.
If Israel was not spared, much less the heathen utterly corrupt, and having no mixture of truth, such as Israel in its worst state possessed (1Pe 4:17, 18). Their ruin was to be utter: Israel's but temporary (Jer 46:28). The nations denounced are seven, the perfect number; implying that God's judgments would visit, not merely these, but the whole round of the heathen foes of God. Babylon is excepted, because she is now for the present viewed as the rod of God's retributive justice, a view too much then lost sight of by those who fretted against her universal supremacy.
4. men of . . . east--literally, "children of the East," the nomad
tribes of Arabia-Deserta, east of the Jordan and the Dead Sea.
5. Rabbah--meaning "the Great," Ammon's metropolis. Under the Ptolemies
it was rebuilt under the name Philadelphia; the ruins are called Amman now, but there is no dwelling inhabited.
6, 7. "Because thou hast clapped thine hands," exulting over
the downfall of Jerusalem, "I also will stretch out Mine hand upon
thee" (to which
also may refer, "I will smite Mine hands together").
7. a spoil--so the Hebrew Margin, or Keri, for the text or Chetib, "meat" (so Eze 26:5; 34:28). Their goods were to be a "spoil to the foe"; their state was to be "cut off," so as to be no more a "people"; and they were as individuals, for the most part, to be "destroyed."
8. Moab, Seir, and Ammon were contiguous countries, stretching in one
line from Gilead on the north to the Red Sea. They therefore naturally
acted in concert, and in joint hostility to Judea.
9, 10. open . . . from the cities--I will open up the side, or
border of Moab (metaphor from a man whose side is open to blows),
from the (direction of) the cities on his northwest border
beyond the Arnon, once assigned to Reuben
but now in the hands of their original owners; and the "men of the
east," the wandering Bedouin hordes, shall enter through these cities
into Moab and waste it. Moab accordingly was so wasted by them, that
long before the time of Christ it had melted away among the hordes of
the desert. For "cities," GROTIUS translates the
Hebrew as proper names, the Ar and Aroer, on the
Arnon. Hence the Hebrew for "cities," "Ar" is repeated twice
10. with the Ammonites--FAIRBAIRN explains and translates, "upon the children of Ammon" (elliptically for, "I will open Moab to the men of the east, who, having overrun the children of Ammon, shall then fall on Moab"). MAURER, as English Version, "with the Ammonites," that is, Moab, "together with the land of Ammon," is to be thrown "open to the men of the east," to enter and take possession (Jer 49:1-39).
12. taking vengeance--literally, "revenging with revengement," that is, the most unrelenting vengeance. It was not simple hatred, but deep-brooding, implacable revenge. The grudge of Edom or Esau was originally for Jacob's robbing him of Isaac's blessing (Ge 25:23; 27:27-41). This purpose of revenge yielded to the extraordinary kindness of Jacob, through the blessing of Him with whom Jacob wrestled in prayer; but it was revived as an hereditary grudge in the posterity of Esau when they saw the younger branch rising to the pre-eminence which they thought of right belonged to themselves. More recently, for David's subjugation of Edom to Israel (2Sa 8:14). They therefore gave vent to their spite by joining the Chaldeans in destroying Jerusalem (Ps 137:7; La 4:22; Ob 10-14), and then intercepting and killing the fugitive Jews (Am 1:11) and occupying part of the Jewish land as far as Hebron.
13. Teman . . . they of Dedan--rather, "I will make it desolate from Teman (in the south) even to Dedan (in the northwest)" [GROTIUS], (Jer 49:8), that is, the whole country from north to south, stretching from the south of the Dead Sea to the Elanitic gulf of the Red Sea.
14. by . . . my people Israel--namely, by Judas Maccabeus. The Idumeans were finally, by compulsory circumcision, incorporated with the Jewish state by John Hyrcanus (see Isa 34:5; 63:1, &c.; 1 Maccabees 5:3). So complete was the amalgamation in Christ's time, that the Herods of Idumean origin, as Jews, ruled over the two races as one people. Thus the ancient prophecy was fulfilled (Ge 25:23), "The elder shall serve the younger."
15. (1Sa 13:1-14:52; 2Ch 28:18). The "old hatred" refers to their continual enmity to the covenant-people. They lay along Judea on the seacoast at the opposite side from Ammon and Moab. They were overthrown by Uzziah (2Ch 26:6), and by Hezekiah (2Ki 18:8). Nebuchadnezzar overran the cities on the seacoast on his way to Egypt after besieging Tyre (Jer 47:1-7). God will take vengeance on those who take the avenging of themselves out of His hands into their own (Ro 12:19-21; Jas 2:13).
16. cut off the Cherethims--There is a play on similar sounds in the
Hebrew, hichratti cherethim, "I will slay the slayers." The name may
have been given to a section of the Philistines from their warlike
(1Sa 30:14; 31:3).
They excelled in archery, whence David enrolled a bodyguard from them
(2Sa 8:18; 15:18; 20:7).
They sprang from Caphtor, identified by many with Crete, which was
famed for archery, and to which the name Cherethim seems akin.
Though in emigration, which mostly tended westwards, Crete seems more
likely to be colonized from Philistia than Philistia from Crete, a
section of Cretans may have settled at Cherethim in South
Philistia, while the Philistines, as a nation, may have come
originally from the east (compare
the Philistines are made distinct from the Caphtorim, and are
said to come from the Casluhim; so that the Cherethim were but a
part of the Philistines, which
17. know . . . vengeance--They shall know Me, not in mercy, but by My vengeance on them (Ps 9:16).