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Ezekiel 22:23-31

Context

22:23 The word of the Lord came to me: 22:24 “Son of man, say to her: ‘You are a land that receives no rain 1  or showers in the day of my anger.’ 2  22:25 Her princes 3  within her are like a roaring lion tearing its prey; they have devoured lives. They take away riches and valuable things; they have made many women widows 4  within it. 22:26 Her priests abuse my law and have desecrated my holy things. They do not distinguish between the holy and the profane, 5  or recognize any distinction between the unclean and the clean. They ignore 6  my Sabbaths and I am profaned in their midst. 22:27 Her officials are like wolves in her midst rending their prey – shedding blood and destroying lives – so they can get dishonest profit. 22:28 Her prophets coat their messages with whitewash. 7  They see false visions and announce lying omens for them, saying, ‘This is what the sovereign Lord says,’ when the Lord has not spoken. 22:29 The people of the land have practiced extortion and committed robbery. They have wronged the poor and needy; they have oppressed the foreigner who lives among them and denied them justice. 8 

22:30 “I looked for a man from among them who would repair the wall and stand in the gap before me on behalf of the land, so that I would not destroy it, but I found no one. 9  22:31 So I have poured my anger on them, and destroyed them with the fire of my fury. I hereby repay them for what they have done, 10  declares the sovereign Lord.”

1 tc The MT reads “that is not cleansed”; the LXX reads “that is not drenched,” which assumes a different vowel pointing as well as the loss of a מ (mem) due to haplography. In light of the following reference to showers, the reading of the LXX certainly fits the context well. For a defense of the emendation, see L. C. Allen, Ezekiel (WBC), 2:32. Yet the MT is not an unreasonable reading since uncleanness in the land also fits the context, and a poetic connection between rain and the land being uncleansed may be feasible since washing with water is elsewhere associated with cleansing (Num 8:7; 31:23; Ps 51:7).

2 tn Heb “in a day of anger.”

3 tn Heb “a conspiracy of her prophets is in her midst.” The LXX reads “whose princes” rather than “a conspiracy of prophets.” The prophets are mentioned later in the paragraph (v. 28). If one follows the LXX in verse 25, then five distinct groups are mentioned in vv. 25-29: princes, priests, officials, prophets, and the people of the land. For a defense of the Septuagintal reading, see L. C. Allen, Ezekiel (WBC), 2:32, and D. I. Block, Ezekiel (NICOT), 1:720, n. 4.

4 tn Heb “her widows they have multiplied.” The statement alludes to their murderous acts.

5 tn Or “between the consecrated and the common.”

6 tn Heb “hide their eyes from.” The idiom means to disregard or ignore something or someone (see Lev 20:4; 1 Sam 12:3; Prov 28:27; Isa 1:15).

7 tn Heb “her prophets coat for themselves with whitewash.” The expression may be based on Ezek 13:10-15.

8 tn Heb “and the foreigner they have oppressed without justice.”

9 tn Heb “I did not find.”

10 tn Heb “their way on their head I have placed.”



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