Ezekiel 21:15

15 So that hearts may melt with fear and the fallen be many, I have stationed the sword for slaughteraat all their gates. Look! It is forged to strike like lightning, it is grasped for slaughter.

Read Ezekiel 21:15 Using Other Translations

I have set the point of the sword against all their gates, that their heart may faint, and their ruins be multiplied: ah! it is made bright, it is wrapped up for the slaughter.
that their hearts may melt, and many stumble. At all their gates I have given the glittering sword. Ah, it is made like lightning; it is taken up for slaughter.
Let their hearts melt with terror, for the sword glitters at every gate. It flashes like lightning and is polished for slaughter!

What does Ezekiel 21:15 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
Ezekiel 21:15

I have set the point of the sword against all their gates,
&c.] The word rendered "point" is nowhere else used, and is differently translated: by some the "fear" of the sword F26, as Menachem and Kimchi; by others the "cry" of the sword, or of those that are slain with it, as Jarchi; and the Targum paraphrases it,

``those that slay with the sword:''
some, as both Jarchi and Kimchi, observe, by an inversion of the letters of the alphabet, called "athbash", render it, the "slaughter" of the sword; and De Dieu and Dr. Castel, from the use of the word in the Ethiopic language, the "destruction" of it, or, the power of it. The meaning is, that the enemy, with their swords drawn, should be placed at every gate of the city of Jerusalem, or of their houses, pointed towards them; which would be very terrible, and sore destruction to them. That their hearts may faint;
seeing nothing but death before their eyes, and no way to escape it: and their ruins be multiplied;
of their families, and of their houses. Ah! it is made bright;
to terrify the more, as in ( Ezekiel 21:10 ) , appearing as a flaming sword, and so causing fear; the prophet expresses his sorrow and concern for it. The Targum is,
``woe! the sword is drawn out to kill.''
It is wrapped up for slaughter;
in its sheath or scabbard, that it might not rust or be blunted, it being furbished and brightened; but this seems contrary to its being drawn out of its sheath, as in ( Ezekiel 21:3 Ezekiel 21:5 ) . Kimchi renders it, therefore, "sharpened", as in ( Ezekiel 21:10 ) and so the Targum,
``it is sharpened to destroy;''
the more easily and speedily.
FOOTNOTES:

F26 (brx txba) "terrorem gladii", Munster, Pagninus, Montanus.
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