Ezekiel 9:1-11

 

 

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Ezekiel 9:1 Then He cried out in my hearing with a loud voice saying, "Draw near, O executioners of the city, each with his destroying weapon in his hand."
Young's Literal: and He crieth in mine ears—a loud voice—saying, ‘Drawn near have inspectors of the city, and each his destroying weapon in his hand.
GWT: Then I heard the LORD call out with a loud voice. He said, "Come here, those who are going to punish this city. Each of you should bring your weapon with you."
WBC:
Then he cried loudly in my hearing, “Come here,a you who are to be responsible for the city’s fate,b with your weapons of destruction in yourc hands.”
NLT: Then the LORD thundered, "Bring on the men appointed to punish the city! Tell them to bring their weapons with them!"
Message:
Then I heard him call out loudly, “Executioners, come! And bring your deadly weapons with you.”

THEN HE CRIED OUT IN MY HEARING WITH A LOUD VOICE SAYING (Ezek 43:6,7; Isaiah 6:8; Amos 3:7,8; Revelation 1:10,11; 14:7)

"DRAW NEAR, O EXECUTIONERS OF THE CITY, EACH WITH HIS DESTROYING WEAPON IN HIS HAND: (Exodus 12:23; 2Kings 10:24; 1Chronicles 21:15; Isaiah 10:6,7)

 

 

Ezekiel 9:2 Behold, six men came from the direction of the upper gate which faces north, each with his shattering weapon in his hand; and among them was a certain man clothed in linen with a writing case at his loins. And they went in and stood beside the bronze altar.
Young's Literal: And lo, six men are coming from the way of the upper gate, that is facing the north, and each his slaughter-weapon in his hand, and one man in their midst is clothed with linen, and a scribe’s inkhorn at his loins, and they come in, and stand near the brazen altar.
GWT:So six men came from the upper north gate. Each one brought a deadly weapon with him. Among them was a person dressed in linen who was carrying paper and pen. The men came in and stood by the bronze altar.
WBC:
There appeared six men, coming from the direction of the upper, north-facing gateway, all holding cudgels. With them was another man, clothed in linen, who had a writing kit at his waist. They came and stood beside the bronze altar. 
NLT: Six men soon appeared from the upper gate that faces north, each carrying a battle club in his hand. One of them was dressed in linen and carried a writer's case strapped to his side. They all went into the Temple courtyard and stood beside the bronze altar.
Message:
Six men came down the road from the upper gate that faces north, each carrying his lethal weapon. With them was a man dressed in linen with a writing case slung from his shoulder. They entered and stood by the bronze altar.

AND BEHOLD, SIX MEN CAME FROM THE DIRECTION OF THE UPPER GATE WHICH FACES NORTH, EACH WITH HIS SHATTERING WEAPON IN HIS HAND (Jeremiah 1:15; 5:15, 16, 17; 8:16,17; 25:9) (2Kings 15:35; 2Chronicles 27:3; Jeremiah 26:10) (Ezek 10:2,6,7; Leviticus 16:4; Revelation 15:6)

AND AMONG THEM WAS A CERTAIN MAN CLOTHED IN LINEN WITH A WRITING CASE AT HIS LOINS. AND THEY WENT IN AND STOOD BESIDE THE BRONZE ALTAR: (Exodus 27:1-7; 40:29; 2Chronicles 4:1)

 

Ezekiel 9:3 Then the glory of the God of Israel went up from the cherub on which it had been, to the threshold of the temple. And He called to the man clothed in linen at whose loins was the writing case.
Young's Literal: And the honour of the God of Israel hath gone up from off the cherub, on which it hath been, unto the threshold of the house.
GWT:Then the glory of the God of Israel went up from the angels, where it had been, to the temple's entrance. The LORD called to the person dressed in linen who was carrying paper and pen.
WBC:
Now the manifestation of the presence of the God of Israel had ascended from the cherubim-structure it rested on and moved tob the thresholdc of the temple.He cried to the man who was clothed in linen and had the writing kit at his waist; 
NLT: Then the glory of the God of Israel rose up from between the cherubim, where it had rested, and moved to the entrance of the Temple. And the LORD called to the man dressed in linen who was carrying the writer's case.
Message:
The Glory of the God of Israel ascended from his usual place above the cherubim-angels, moved to the threshold of the Temple, and called to the man with the writing case who was dressed in linen:

THEN THE GLORY OF THE GOD OF ISRAEL WENT UP FROM THE CHERUB ON WHICH IT HAD BEEN, TO THE THRESHOLD OF THE TEMPLE. AND HE CALLED TO THE MAN CLOTHED IN LINEN AT WHOSE LOINS WAS THE WRITING CASE: (Ezek 3:23; 8:4; 10:4; 11:22,23; 43:2, 3, 4)

"Threshold" describes the sill of a doorway and the place of entrance to a building. Because the threshold was part of a house’s foundation, it was sometimes spoken of symbolically to represent the house as a whole.

 

Ezekiel 9:4 The LORD said to him, "Go through the midst of the city, even through the midst of Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and groan over all the abominations which are being committed in its midst."
Young's Literal: And He calleth unto the man who is clothed with linen, who hath the scribe’s inkhorn at his loins, and Jehovah saith unto him, ‘Pass on into the midst of the city, into the midst of Jerusalem, and thou hast made a mark on the foreheads of the men who are sighing and who are groaning for all the abominations that are done in its midst.’
GWT: The LORD said to that person, "Go throughout the city of Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of those who sigh and groan about all the disgusting things that are being done in the city."
WBC:
Yahweh told him, “Pass through the city of Jerusalem and put a cross on the foreheads of the men who have been moaning and groaning over the shocking rites perpetrated within it.”
NLT: He said to him, "Walk through the streets of Jerusalem and put a mark on the foreheads of all those who weep and sigh because of the sins they see around them."
Message:
“Go through the streets of Jerusalem and put a mark on the forehead of everyone who is in anguish over the outrageous obscenities being done in the city.”

AND THE LORD SAID TO HIM,GO THROUGH THE MIDST OF THE CITY, EVEN THROUGH THE MIDST OF JERUSALEM, AND PUT A MARK ON THE FOREHEADS: (Ex12:7,13; Mal 3:16; 2Cor1:22; Ep 4:30; 2Ti 2:19; Rev 7:2,3; 9:4; Rev 13:16, 17; 14:1; 20:4)

"Put a mark on the forehead" - "mark" is the last letter of the Hebrew alphabet (Tau), which the rabbis said suggested completeness. Charles Feinberg (in his book "The Prophecy of Ezekiel) notes a “remarkable similarity between what is stated here and in Rev 7:1–3-note”. Christian interpreters have seen a somewhat prophetic allusion to the sign of the cross for in the earlier script the last letter of the Hebrew alphabet (Tau) had the form of a cross. Ezekiel would not have had Christian symbolism in mind nor is the passage a prophecy of Messiah and His Cross.  Nevertheless, the coincidence is quite remarkable and most intriguing.

The question dear reader is this "Have you received the mark of the Cross" so to speak, having been born from above by the Spirit of God Who has now sealed you with His pledge of your future inheritance (Eph 1:14-note)?

Judging from this and other texts (cf. Noah and the ark), it seems to be characteristic of God to deliver true believers before pouring out judgment on the ungodly.

There is precedence for "marks" that "save" (realizing of course that in the final analysis only God saves eternally through one's personal faith in the atoning work of His Son): As protection from the 10th plaque on Pharaoh's house God prescribed that those who would be spared "shall take some of the blood (of the lamb) and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses in which they eat it" (which makes the sign of the cross) "And the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you live; and when I see the blood I will pass over you, and no plague will befall you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt." (Ex 12:7,13)

Although not exactly a mark, a parallel passage in Malachi teaches the same principle recording that "those who feared the LORD spoke to one another, and the LORD gave attention and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the LORD and who esteem His name." (Mal 3:16)

NT passages also pick up this theme and so Paul writes that "He who establishes us with you in Christ and anointed us is God, Who also sealed us and gave us the Spirit in our hearts as a pledge." (2Cor1:21, 22)

The seal indicates security, and the pledge is a guarantee that God will fulfill His promises. 

Paul admonishes the Ephesians "do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption." (Ep 4:30-note)

Paul encourages Timothy that "the firm foundation of God stands, having this seal, "The Lord knows those who are His," and, "Let everyone who names the name of the Lord abstain from wickedness." (2Ti 2:19-note)

In the Revelation, the idea of a "mark" takes on special significance and so John writes "I saw another angel ascending from the rising of the sun, having the seal of the living God; and he cried out with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was granted to harm the earth and the sea saying, "Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees, until we have sealed the bond-servants of our God on their foreheads....And they ("locusts")  were told that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, nor any green thing, nor any tree, but only the men who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads." (Rev 7:2,3-note; Rev 9:4-note)

As is often seen in Scripture, the enemy counterfeits God's truth and so in Revelation we see a counterfeit mark ("666"), John recording the the false prophet

"causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand, or on their forehead, and he provides that no one should be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name." (Rev 13:16,17-note)

This mark instead of saving, brings eternal condemnation for John records that

"If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives a mark on his forehead or upon his hand, he also will drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is mixed in full strength in the cup of His anger; and he will be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb and the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever; and they have no rest day and night, those who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name." (Rev 14:9, 10, 11-note)

Jeremiah himself was an example of one preserved by the mark on his forehead, for he records

he word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord after Nebuzaradan captain of the bodyguard had released him from Ramah, when he had taken him bound in chains, among all the exiles of Jerusalem and Judah, who were being exiled to Babylon. Now the captain of the bodyguard had taken Jeremiah and said to him, ”The Lord your God promised this calamity against this place; and the Lord has brought it on and done just as He promised. Because you people sinned against the Lord and did not listen to His voice, therefore this thing has happened to you. “But now, behold, I am freeing you today from the chains which are on your hands. If you would prefer to come with me to Babylon, come along, and I will look after you; but if you would prefer not to come with me to Babylon, never mind. Look, the whole land is before you; go wherever it seems good and right for you to go.” (Jer 40:1-4)

OF THE MEN WHO SIGH AND GROAN OVER ALL THE ABOMINATIONS WHICH ARE BEING COMMITTED IN ITS MIDST: (2Ki22:13,19,20; Ps 119:53,136; Is 57:15; Jer13:17; 2Co12:21; 2Pe2:8,9)

"that sigh and that cry " (ASV),

who moan and groan" (NAB),

who grieve and lament" (NIV)

Men who sigh and groan

In a somewhat parallel passage, discussing the remnant of Israel who would be saved God says that

"those of you who escape will remember Me among the nations to which they will be carried captive, how I have been hurt by their adulterous hearts which turned away from Me, and by their eyes, which played the harlot after their idols; and they will loathe themselves in their own sight for the evils which they have committed, for all their abominations." (Ezek 6:9)

Godly King Josiah (Judah's monarch at time Ezekiel was a young man and when Jeremiah had begun his prophetic ministry) shows "godly" sighing and groaning when confronted with the truth of God's Word that had been lost in the house of God (2Ki22 is a great story if you haven't read it) the LORD Himself declaring that "because your heart was tender and you humbled yourself before the LORD when you heard what I spoke against this place and against its inhabitants that they should become a desolation and a curse, and you have torn your clothes and wept before Me, I truly have heard you," declares the LORD. Therefore, behold, I will gather you to your fathers, and you shall be gathered to your grave in peace, neither shall your eyes see all the evil which I will bring on this place." (2Ki 22:18-19)

The psalmist declares that "Burning indignation has seized me because of the wicked, who forsake Thy law" and that "My eyes shed streams of water, because they do not keep Thy law." (Ps 119:53,136)

 A somewhat tragic illustration of godly groaning is Lot for Peter writes

for by what he saw and heard that righteous man, while living among them (Sodom), felt his righteous soul tormented day after day with their lawless deeds), then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from temptation, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the day of judgment."  (2Pe2:8,9-note)

 

Ezekiel 9:5 But to the others He said in my hearing, "Go through the city after him and strike; do not let your eye have pity and do not spare.
Young's Literal: And to the others he said in mine ears, ‘Pass on into the city after him, and smite; your eye doth not pity, nor do ye spare
GWT:Then he said to the others as I was listening, "Follow him throughout the city and kill. Don't have any compassion, and don't feel sorry.
WBC:
To the others he said, in my hearing, “Pass through the city behind him and start killing, with no look of pity nor show of compassion. 
NLT: Then I heard the LORD say to the other men, "Follow him through the city and kill everyone whose forehead is not marked. Show no mercy; have no pity!
Message:
 I listened as he went on to address the executioners: “Follow him through the city and kill. Feel sorry for no one. Show no compassion.

BUT TO THE OTHERS HE SAID IN MY HEARING, "GO THROUGH THE CITY AFTER HIM AND STRIKE; DO NOT LET YOUR EYE HAVE PITY, AND DO NOT SPARE: (1Samuel 9:15; Isaiah 5:9; 22:14) (Ezek 9:10; 5:11; 7:4,9; 8:18; 24:14; Exodus 32:27; Numbers 25:7,8; Deuteronomy 32:39-42; 1Kings 18:40)

 

Ezekiel 9:6 "Utterly slay old men, young men, maidens, little children, and women, but do not touch any man on whom is the mark; and you shall start from My sanctuary." So they started with the elders who were before the temple.
Young's Literal: And they begin among the aged men who are before the house, and He saith unto them, ‘Defile the house, and fill the courts with the wounded, go forth.’ And they have gone forth and have smitten in the city
GWT:Kill old men, young men, old women, young women, and children. But don't come near anyone who has a mark on him. Start with my holy place." So they started with the old men in front of the temple.
WBC:
You are to assassinate and destroy the old together with young people of both sexes, and women together with children. But do not go near anyone marked with a cross. Begin at my sanctuary.” They began with the menb in front of the temple. 
NLT:Kill them all--old and young, girls and women and little children. But do not touch anyone with the mark. Begin your task right here at the Temple." So they began by killing the seventy leaders.
Message:
Kill old men and women, young men and women, mothers and children. But don’t lay a hand on anyone with the mark. Start at my Temple.” They started with the leaders in front of the Temple.

UTTERLY SLAY OLD MEN, YOUNG MEN, MAIDENS, LITTLE CHILDREN, AND WOMEN (Numbers 31:15, 16, 17; Deuteronomy 2:34; 3:6; Joshua 6:17, 18, 19, 20, 21; 1Samuel 15:3; 2Chronicles 36:17)

BUT DO NOT TOUCH ANY MAN ON WHOM IS THE MARK (Exodus 12:23; Joshua 2:18,19; 6:22, 23, 24,25; 2Timothy 2:19; Revelation 7:3; 9:4; 14:4)

AND YOU SHALL START FROM MY SANCTUARY." SO THEY STARTED WITH THE ELDERS WHO WERE BEFORE THE TEMPLE: (Ezek 8:5-16; Jeremiah 25:29; Amos 3:2; Luke 12:47; 1Peter 4:17,18)

 

Ezekiel 9:7 And He said to them, "Defile the temple and fill the courts with the slain. Go out!" Thus they went out and struck down the people in the city.
Young's Literal: And they begin among the aged men who are before the house, and He saith unto them, ‘Defile the house, and fill the courts with the wounded, go forth.’ And they have gone forth and have smitten in the city.
GWT: He said to them, "Dishonor the temple! Fill its courtyards with dead people, and then leave." So they went out and killed the people in the city.
WBC:
“Desecrate the temple,” he told them, “filling the courts with the dead. Go out and start killingb in the city.”
NLT: "Defile the Temple!" the LORD commanded. "Fill its courtyards with the bodies of those you kill! Go!" So they went throughout the city and did as they were told.
Message:
He told the executioners, “Desecrate the Temple. Fill it with corpses. Then go out and continue the killing.”

AND HE SAID TO THEM, "DEFILE THE TEMPLE AND FILL THE COURTS WITH THE SLAIN. GO OUT!" THUS THEY WENT OUT AND STRUCK DOWN THE PEOPLE IN THE CITY: (Ezek 7:20, 21, 22; 2Chronicles 36:17; Psalms 79:1, 2, 3; Lamentations 2:4, 5, 6, 7; Luke 13:1)

 

Ezekiel 9:8 As they were striking the people and I alone was left, I fell on my face and cried out saying, "Alas, Lord GOD! Are You destroying the whole remnant of Israel by pouring out Your wrath on Jerusalem?"
Young's Literal: and it cometh to pass, as they are smiting, and I—I am left—that I fall on my face, and cry, and say, ‘Ah, Lord Jehovah, art Thou destroying all the remnant of Israel, in Thy pouring out Thy wrath on Jerusalem?’
GWT:s they were killing people, I was left alone. So I immediately bowed down. I cried, "Almighty LORD, will you destroy everyone who is left in Israel while you pour out your anger on Jerusalem?"
WBC:
During the latter killing, while I was left alone, I threw myself down on my face and shouted out, “Oh no, Lord Yahweh! Do you mean to destroy all Israel who are left, while you drench Jerusalem with your fury?”
NLT: While they were carrying out their orders, I was all alone. I fell face down in the dust and cried out, "O Sovereign LORD! Will your fury against Jerusalem wipe out everyone left in Israel?"
Message:
So they went out and struck the city. While the massacre went forward, I was left alone. I fell on my face in prayer: “Oh, oh, God, my Master! Are you going to kill everyone left in Israel in this pouring out of your anger on Jerusalem?”

THEN IT CAME ABOUT AS THEY WERE STRIKING AND I ALONE WAS LEFT, THAT I FELL ON MY FACE AND CRIED OUT SAYING, "ALAS, LORD GOD! ART THOU DESTROYING THE WHOLE REMNANT OF ISRAEL BY POURING OUT THY WRATH ON JERUSALEM: (Numbers 14:5; 16:4,21,22,45; Deuteronomy 9:18; Joshua 7:6; 1Chronicles 21:16; Ezra 9:5) (Ezek 4:14; 11:13; Genesis 18:23; Jeremiah 4:10; 14:13,19; Amos 7:2, 3, 4, 5)

 

Ezekiel 9:9 Then He said to me, "The iniquity of the house of Israel and Judah is very, very great, and the land is filled with blood and the city is full of perversion; for they say, 'The LORD has forsaken the land, and the LORD does not see!'
Young's Literal: And He saith unto me, ‘The iniquity of the house of Israel and Judah is very very great, and the land is full of blood, and the city hath been full of perverseness, for they have said: Jehovah hath forsaken the land, and Jehovah is not seeing.
GWT: He answered me, "The wickedness of the nations of Israel and Judah is terrible. The land is filled with murder, and the city is filled with wrongdoing. They think that the LORD has abandoned the land and that he doesn't see.
WBC:
He answered me, “The guilt of the community of Israel is quite considerable. The country has been filled with bloodshed, and the city is full of injustice. They have excused such behavior with the sentiments that Yahweh has left the country and so cannot see. 
NLT: Then he said to me, "The sins of the people of Israel and Judah are very great. The entire land is full of murder; the city is filled with injustice. They are saying, 'The LORD doesn't see it! The LORD has forsaken the land!'
Message:
He said, “The guilt of Israel and Judah is enormous. The land is swollen with murder. The city is bloated with injustice. They all say, ‘God has forsaken the country. He doesn’t see anything we do.’

THEN HE SAID TO ME, "THE INIQUITY OF THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL AND JUDAH IS VERY, VERY GREAT (Ezek 7:23; 22:2-12,25-31; Deuteronomy 31:29; 32:5,15-22; 2Kings 17:7-23; 2Chronicles 36:14, 15, 16; Isaiah 1:4; 59:2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8,12, 13, 14, 15; Jeremiah 5:1-9; 7:8,9; Micah 3:9, 10, 11, 12; Zephaniah 3:1, 2, 3, 4)

(See Spurgeon's Sermon "The Evil & The Remedy")

AND THE LAND IS FILLED WITH BLOOD (Ezek 8:17; 2Kings 21:16; 24:4; Jeremiah 2:34; 22:17; Lamentations 4:13,14; Matthew 23:35-37; Luke 11:50)

AND THE CITY IS FULL OF PERVERSION (Ezek 22:27-29; Micah 3:1-3; 7:3,4)

FOR THEY SAY, 'THE LORD HAS FORSAKEN THE LAND, AND THE LORD DOES NOT SEE: (Ezek 8:12; Job 22:13; Psalms 10:11; 94:7; Isaiah 29:15)

 

Ezekiel 9:10 "But as for Me, My eye will have no pity nor will I spare, but I will bring their conduct upon their heads."
Young's Literal: And He saith unto me, ‘The iniquity of the house of Israel and Judah is very very great, and the land is full of blood, and the city hath been full of perverseness, for they have said: Jehovah hath forsaken the land, and Jehovah is not seeing.
GWT: But I will not have compassion or feel sorry. I will do to them what they have done to others."
WBC:
My reaction will be that I shall lack any look of pity and show no compassion. I rule them accountable for their conduct.” 
NLT: So I will not spare them or have any pity on them. I will fully repay them for all they have done."
Message: Well, I do see, and I’m not feeling sorry for any of them. They’re going to pay for what they’ve done.”

BUT AS FOR ME, MY EYE WILL HAVE NO PITY NOR SHALL I SPARE (Ezekiel 9:5; 5:11; 7:4; 8:18; 21:31,32)

BUT I SHALL BRING THEIR CONDUCT UPON THEIR HEADS: (Ezek 7:8,9; 11:21; 22:31; Deuteronomy 32:41; 2Chronicles 6:23; Isaiah 65:6; Hosea 9:7; Joel 3:4; Hebrews 10:30)

 

Ezekiel 9:11 Then behold, the man clothed in linen at whose loins was the writing case reported *, saying, "I have done just as You have commanded me."
Young's Literal:  And lo, the man clothed with linen, at whose loins is the inkhorn, is bringing back word, saying, ‘I have done as Thou hast commanded me.’
GWT: Then the person dressed in linen who was carrying paper and pen reported, "I did everything you commanded."
WBC:
Then I noticed the man who was clothed in linen and had the writing kit at his waist, reporting back. “I have acted in accord witha your command,” he said.
NLT: Then the man in linen clothing, who carried the writer's case, reported back and said, "I have finished the work you gave me to do."
Message: Just then, the man dressed in linen and carrying the writing case came back and reported, “I’ve done what you told me.”

THEN BEHOLD, THE MAN CLOTHED IN LINEN AT WHOSE LOINS WAS THE WRITING CASE REPORTED, SAYING, "I HAVE DONE JUST AS THOU HAST COMMANDED ME.": (Psalms 103:20; Isaiah 46:10,11; Zechariah 1:10,11; 6:7,8; Revelation 16:2,17)


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