9:1 He cried also in my ears with a loud voice, saying, Cause them that have charge over a the city to draw near, even every man [with] his destroying weapon in his hand.
(a) The time to take vengeance. 9:2 And, behold, six b men came from the way of the higher gate, which lieth toward the c north, and every man a slaughter weapon in his hand; and one man among them [was] clothed with linen, with a writers d inkhorn by his side: and they went in, and stood beside the brasen altar.
(b) Which were angels in the appearance of men. 9:3 And the glory of the God of Israel had e gone up from the cherub, on which he was, to the threshold of the house. And he called to the man clothed with linen, who [had] the writers inkhorn by his side;
(c) Signifying that the Babylonians would come from the north to destroy the city and the temple.
(d) To mark them that would be saved.
(e) Which declared that he was not bound to it, neither would remain any longer than there was hope that they would return from their wickedness and worship him correctly. 9:4 And the LORD said to him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that f sigh and that cry for all the abominations that are done in the midst of it.
(f) He shows what is the manner of Gods children, whom he marks for salvation: that is, to mourn and cry out against the wickedness which they see committed against Gods glory. 9:6 Slay utterly old [and] young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom [is] the g mark; and begin at my sanctuary. Then they began at the h elders who [were] before the house.
9:8 And it came to pass, while they were slaying them, and I was left, that I fell upon my face, and cried, and said, i Ah Lord GOD! wilt thou destroy the whole remnant of Israel in thy pouring out of thy fury upon Jerusalem?
(g) Thus in all his plagues the Lord preserves his small number, which he marks as in ( Exodus 12:12 ; Revelation 7:3 ) but the chief mark is the spirit of adoption, with which the heart is sealed up to life everlasting.
(h) Which was the chief opportunity for all these evils, as in ( Ezekiel 8:11 ).
(i) This declares that the servants of God have a compassion when they see his judgments executed. 9:9 Then said he to me, The iniquity of the house of Israel and Judah [is] exceeding great, and the land is full of k blood, and the city full of perverseness: for they say, The LORD hath forsaken the earth, and the LORD seeth not.
(k) That is, with all kinds of wickedness. See Isaiah 1:15