Threatenings against hypocrites. (1-11) God's purpose to punish the guilty Jews, but a few should be saved. (12-23)
Verses 1-11 No outward form or reformation can be acceptable to God, so long as any idol possesses the heart; yet how many prefer their own devices and their own righteousness, to the way of salvation! Men's corruptions are idols in their hearts, and are of their own setting up; God will let them take their course. Sin renders the sinner odious in the eyes of the pure and holy God; and in his own eyes also, whenever conscience is awakened. Let us seek to be cleansed from the guilt and pollution of sins, in that fountain which the Lord has opened.
Verses 12-23 National sins bring national judgments. Though sinners escape one judgment, another is waiting for them. When God's professing people rebel against him, they may justly expect all his judgments. The faith, obedience, and prayers of Noah prevailed to the saving of his house, but not of the old world. Job's sacrifice and prayer in behalf of his friends were accepted, and Daniel had prevailed for the saving his companions and the wise men of Babylon. But a people that had filled the measure of their sins, was not to expect to escape for the sake of any righteous men living among them; not even of the most eminent saints, who could be accepted in their own case only through the sufferings and righteousness of Christ. Yet even when God makes the greatest desolations by his judgments, he saves some to be monuments of his mercy. In firm belief that we shall approve the whole of God's dealings with ourselves, and with all mankind, let us silence all rebellious murmurs and objections.
In this chapter are contained the displeasure of God at hypocritical idolaters that sought unto him, and at the false prophets; the judgments that should come upon them, and which should not be averted by the intercession of the best of men; and yet a promise that a remnant should be saved. The elders of Israel are said to sit before the prophet, Eze 14:1; to whom the Lord gives an account of them, Eze 14:2,3; and orders the prophet what he should say to them, that the Lord would answer them himself, Eze 14:4,5; and that he should bid the house of Israel repent and turn from their idols, or else the Lord would set his face against them, and cut them off, both them and the false prophets they sought unto; and this is threatened in order to reform them, and continue them his covenant people, Eze 14:6-11; and then the judgment of famine is particularly threatened; to avert which, the prayers of the best of men would be of no effect, Eze 14:12-14; and next the judgment of noisome beasts, with the same intimation, Eze 14:15,16; likewise the sword, Eze 14:17,18; and also the pestilence, Eze 14:19,20; and much less when they should be all sent together, Eze 14:21; and the chapter is concluded with a promise that a remnant should be saved; which would be a comfort to the captives of Babylon, and accounts for what the Lord had done, or would do, in Jerusalem, Eze 14:22,23.