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Ezekiel 22:2-15

Context
22:2 “As for you, son of man, are you willing to pronounce judgment, 1  are you willing to pronounce judgment on the bloody city? 2  Then confront her with all her abominable deeds! 22:3 Then say, ‘This is what the sovereign Lord says: O city, who spills blood within herself (which brings on her doom), 3  and who makes herself idols (which results in impurity), 22:4 you are guilty because of the blood you shed and defiled by the idols you made. You have hastened the day of your doom; 4  the end of your years has come. 5  Therefore I will make 6  you an object of scorn to the nations, an object to be mocked by all lands. 22:5 Those both near and far from you will mock you, you with your bad reputation, 7  full of turmoil.

22:6 “‘See how each of the princes of Israel living within you has used his authority to shed blood. 8  22:7 They have treated father and mother with contempt 9  within you; they have oppressed the foreigner among you; they have wronged the orphan and the widow 10  within you. 22:8 You have despised my holy things and desecrated my Sabbaths! 22:9 Slanderous men shed blood within you. 11  Those who live within you eat pagan sacrifices on the mountains; 12  they commit obscene acts among you. 13  22:10 They have sex with their father’s wife within you; 14  they violate women during their menstrual period within you. 15  22:11 One 16  commits an abominable act with his neighbor’s wife; another obscenely defiles his daughter-in-law; another violates 17  his sister – his father’s daughter 18  – within you. 22:12 They take bribes within you to shed blood. You engage in usury and charge interest; 19  you extort money from your neighbors. You have forgotten me, 20  declares the sovereign Lord. 21 

22:13 “‘See, I strike my hands together 22  at the dishonest profit you have made, and at the bloodshed 23  they have done among you. 22:14 Can your heart endure, 24  or can your hands be strong when I deal with you? 25  I, the Lord, have spoken, and I will do it! 22:15 I will scatter you among the nations and disperse you among various countries; I will remove your impurity from you. 26 

1 tn Heb “will you judge.” Here the imperfect form of the verb is probably used with a desiderative nuance. Addressed to the prophet, “judge” means to warn of or pronounce God’s impending judgment upon the city. See 20:4.

2 tn The phrase “bloody city” is used of Nineveh in Nah 3:1.

3 tn Heb “her time”; this refers to the time of impending judgment (see the note on “doom” in v. 4).

4 tn Heb “you have brought near your days.” The expression “bring near your days” appears to be an adaptation of the idiom “days draw near,” which is used to indicate that an event, such as death, is imminent (see Gen 27:41; 47:29; Deut 31:14; 1 Kgs 2:1; Ezek 12:23). Here “your days” probably refers to the days of the personified city’s life, which was about to come to an end through God’s judgment.

5 tn Heb “and you have come to your years.” This appears to mean that she has arrived at the time when her years (i.e., life) would end, though it may mean that her years of punishment will begin. Because “day” and “time” are so closely associated in the immediate context (see 21:25, 29) some prefer to emend the text and read “you have brought near your time.” See L. C. Allen, Ezekiel (WBC), 2:31, as well as the translator’s note on verse 3.

6 tn The Hebrew verb is a prophetic perfect, emphasizing that the action is as good as done from the speaker’s perspective.

7 tn Heb “unclean of name.”

8 tn Heb “Look! The princes of Israel, each according to his arm, were in you in order to shed blood.”

9 tn Heb “treated lightly, cursed.”

10 tn Widows and orphans are often coupled together in the OT (Deut 14:29; 16:11, 14; 24:19-21; 26:12-13; Jer 7:6; 22:3). They represented all who were poor and vulnerable to economic exploitation.

11 tn Heb “men of slander are in you in order to shed blood.”

12 tn Heb “and on the mountains they eat within you.” The mountains mentioned here were the site of pagan sacrifices. See 18:6.

13 sn This statement introduces vv. 10-11 and refers in general terms to the sexual sins described there. For the legal background of vv. 10-11, see Lev 18:7-20; 20:10-21; Deut 22:22-23, 30; 27:22.

14 tn Heb “the nakedness of a father one uncovers within you.” The ancient versions read the verb as plural (“they uncover”). If the singular is retained, it must be taken as indefinite and representative of the entire group. The idiomatic expression “uncover the nakedness” refers here to sexual intercourse (cf. Lev 18:6). To uncover a father’s nakedness could include sexual relations with one’s own mother (Lev 18:7), but more likely it refers to having intercourse with another wife of one’s father, such as a stepmother (Lev 18:8; cf. Gen 35:22; 49:4).

15 tn Heb “(one who is) unclean due to the impurity they humble within you.” The use of the verb “to humble” suggests that these men forced themselves upon women during menstruation. Having sexual relations with a woman during her period was forbidden by the Law (Lev 18:19; 20:18).

16 tn Heb “a man.”

17 tn The verb is the same one used in verse 10b and suggests forcible sexual violation of the woman.

18 sn Sexual relations with one’s half-sister may be primarily in view here. See Lev 18:9; 20:17.

19 tn Heb “usury and interest you take.” See 18:13, 17. This kind of economic exploitation violated the law given in Lev 25:36.

20 sn Forgetting the Lord is also addressed in Deut 6:12; 8:11, 14; Jer 3:21; 13:25; Ezek 23:35; Hos 2:15; 8:14; 13:6.

21 tn The second person verb forms are feminine singular in Hebrew, indicating that the personified city is addressed here as representing its citizens.

22 sn This gesture apparently expresses mourning and/or anger (see 6:11; 21:14, 17).

23 tn Heb “the blood which was in you.”

24 tn Heb “stand.” The heart here stands for the emotions; Jerusalem would panic in the face of God’s judgment.

25 tn Heb “in the days when I act against you.”

26 sn The ultimate purpose of divine judgment is to purify the covenant community of its sins.



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