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  Discovery Box

Ezekiel 33:21-29

The Fall of Jerusalem

33:21 In the twelfth year of our exile, in the tenth month, on the fifth of the month, 1  a refugee came to me from Jerusalem 2  saying, “The city has been defeated!” 3  33:22 Now the hand of the Lord had been on me 4  the evening before the refugee reached me, but the Lord 5  opened my mouth by the time the refugee arrived 6  in the morning; he opened my mouth and I was no longer unable to speak. 7  33:23 The word of the Lord came to me: 33:24 “Son of man, the ones living in these ruins in the land of Israel are saying, ‘Abraham was only one man, yet he possessed the land, but we are many; surely the land has been given to us for a possession.’ 8  33:25 Therefore say to them, ‘This is what the sovereign Lord says: You eat the meat with the blood still in it, 9  pray to 10  your idols, and shed blood. Do you really think you will possess 11  the land? 33:26 You rely 12  on your swords and commit abominable deeds; each of you defiles his neighbor’s wife. Will you possess the land?’

33:27 “This is what you must say to them, ‘This is what the sovereign Lord says: As surely as I live, those living in the ruins will die 13  by the sword, those in the open field I will give to the wild beasts for food, and those who are in the strongholds and caves will die of disease. 33:28 I will turn the land into a desolate ruin; her confident pride will come to an end. The mountains of Israel will be so desolate no one will pass through them. 33:29 Then they will know that I am the Lord when I turn the land into a desolate ruin because of all the abominable deeds they have committed.’ 14 

1 tn January 19, 585 b.c.

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

3 tn Heb “smitten.”

4 tn The other occurrences of the phrase “the hand of the Lord” in Ezekiel are in the context of prophetic visions.

5 tn Heb “he”; the referent has been specified in the translation for clarity.

6 tn Heb “by the time of the arrival to me.” For clarity the translation specifies the refugee as the one who arrived.

7 sn Ezekiel’s God-imposed muteness was lifted (see 3:26).

8 sn Outside of its seven occurrences in Ezekiel the term translated “possession” appears only in Exod 6:8 and Deut 33:4.

9 sn This practice was a violation of Levitical law (see Lev 19:26).

10 tn Heb “lift up your eyes.”

11 tn Heb “Will you possess?”

12 tn Heb “stand.”

13 tn Heb “fall.”

14 sn The judgments of vv. 27-29 echo the judgments of Lev 26:22, 25.

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