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Ezekiel 21:3-4

Context
21:3 and say to them, 1  ‘This is what the Lord says: Look, 2  I am against you. 3  I will draw my sword 4  from its sheath and cut off from you both the righteous and the wicked. 5  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 6  from the south 7  to the north.

1 tn Heb “the land of Israel.”

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

3 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.

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

5 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.

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

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



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