The ruin of Judah under the emblem of a sharp sword. (1-17) The approach of the king of Babylon described. (18-27) The destruction of the Ammonites. (28-32)
Verses 1-17 Here is an explanation of the parable in the last chapter. It is declared that the Lord was about to cut off Jerusalem and the whole land, that all might know it was his decree against a wicked and rebellious people. It behoves those who denounce the awful wrath of God against sinners, to show that they do not desire the woful day. The example of Christ teaches us to lament over those whose ruin we declare. Whatever instruments God uses in executing his judgments, he will strengthen them according to the service they are employed in. The sword glitters to the terror of those against whom it is drawn. It is a sword to others, a rod to the people of the Lord. God is in earnest in pronouncing this sentence, and the prophet must show himself in earnest in publishing it.
Verses 18-27 By the Spirit of prophecy Ezekiel foresaw Nebuchadnezzar's march from Babylon, which he would determine by divination. The Lord would overturn the government of Judah, till the coming of Him whose right it is. This seems to foretell the overturnings of the Jewish nation to the present day, and the troubles of states and kingdoms, which shall make way for establishing the Messiah's kingdom throughout the earth. The Lord secretly leads all to adopt his wise designs. And in the midst of the most tremendous warnings of wrath, we still hear of mercy, and some mention of Him through whom mercy is shown to sinful men.
Verses 28-32 The diviners of the Ammonites made false prophecies of victory. They would never recover their power, but in time would be wholly forgotten. Let us be thankful to be employed as instruments of mercy; let us use our understandings in doing good; and let us stand aloof from men who are only skilful to destroy.
This chapter contains an explanation of a prophecy in the latter part of the preceding chapter; and a new one, concerning the sword of the Chaldeans, and the destruction of the Jews and Ammonites by it. The prophecy of the fire in the forest is explained, Eze 21:1-5, upon which the prophet is directed to show his concern at it by sighing, in order to awaken the attention of the people to it, Eze 21:6,7, then follows a prophecy of a very sharp and bright sword, which should do great execution upon the people and princes of Israel; and therefore the prophet, in order to affect them, with it, is bid to howl and cry, and smite on his thigh; and smite his hands together, and the Lord says he would do so; all which is designed to set forth the greatness of the calamity and the distress, Eze 21:8-17, next the prophet is ordered to represent the king of Babylon as at a place where two ways met, and as at a loss which way to take, and as determined by divination to go to Jerusalem first, Eze 21:18-24, and then Zedekiah, the then reigning prince of Israel, has his doom pronounced on him, and he is ordered to be stripped of his regalia; and an intimation is given that there should be no more king over Israel of the house of David until the Messiah came, Eze 21:26,27 and the chapter is concluded with a prophecy of the destruction of the Ammonites in their own land, which should certainly be, though their diviners might, say the contrary, Eze 21:28-31.
above excuse or complaint about speaking in parables; wherefore the prophet is ordered to speak in plainer language to the people. It is very probable that the prophet delivered the prophecy recorded in the latter part of the preceding chapter in the figurative terms in which he received it; and he here is bid to explain it to the people, or to repeat it to them in clearer expressions. 28904-950610-1207-Eze21.2