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Ezekiel 21:1-5

Context
The Sword of Judgment

21:1 (21:6) 1  The word of the Lord came to me: 21:2 “Son of man, turn toward 2  Jerusalem 3  and speak out against the sanctuaries. Prophesy against the land of Israel 21:3 and say to them, 4  ‘This is what the Lord says: Look, 5  I am against you. 6  I will draw my sword 7  from its sheath and cut off from you both the righteous and the wicked. 8  21:4 Because I will cut off from you both the righteous and the wicked, my sword will go out from its sheath against everyone 9  from the south 10  to the north. 21:5 Then everyone will know that I am the Lord, who drew my sword from its sheath – it will not be sheathed again!’

1 sn Ezek 21:1 in the English Bible is 21:6 in the Hebrew text (BHS). See the note at 20:45.

2 tn Heb “set your face toward.”

3 map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

4 tn Heb “the land of Israel.”

5 tn The word הִנֵּה (hinneh, traditionally “behold”) draws attention to something and has been translated here as a verb.

6 tn Or “I challenge you.” The phrase “I am against you” may be a formula for challenging someone to combat or a duel. See D. I. Block, Ezekiel (NICOT), 1:201-2, and P. Humbert, “Die Herausforderungsformel ‘h!nn#n' ?l?K>,’” ZAW 45 (1933): 101-8.

7 sn This is the sword of judgment, see Isa 31:8; 34:6; 66:16.

8 sn Ezekiel elsewhere pictures the Lord’s judgment as discriminating between the righteous and the wicked (9:4-6; 18:1-20; see as well Pss 1 and 11) and speaks of the preservation of a remnant (3:21; 6:8; 12:16). Perhaps here he exaggerates for rhetorical effect in an effort to subdue any false optimism. See L. C. Allen, Ezekiel (WBC), 2:25-26; D. I. Block, Ezekiel (NICOT), 1:669-70; and W. Zimmerli, Ezekiel (Hermeneia), 1:424-25.

9 tn Heb “all flesh” (also in the following verse).

10 tn Heb “Negev.” The Negev is the south country.



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