Ezekiel 7:23-27 Commentary


Michelangelo's Ezekiel on the Sistine Chapel

Click chart to enlarge

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Chart from recommended resource Jensen's Survey of the OT - used by permission
Click Chart from Charles Swindoll


The LORD is not there

The LORD is There


Before the Siege

During the Siege

After the Siege

593-588 BC






Ezekiel 1:1-3:27
Ezekiel Sees the Glory & Receives the Call
Ezekiel 4:1-24:27
Against Judah
Ezekiel 25:1-32:32
Judgments Against the Gloating Nations
Ezekiel 33:1-39:29
Restoration of Israel to the LORD
Ezekiel 40:1-48:35
Visions of the Temple
Jehovah Shammah

Outline of the Book of Ezekiel from Dr John MacArthur - The book can be largely divided into sections about condemnation/retribution and then consolation/restoration. A more detailed look divides the book into 4 sections. First, are prophecies on the ruin of Jerusalem (Ezekiel 1:1–24:27). Second, are prophecies of retribution on nearby nations (Ezekiel 25:1–32:32), with a glimpse at God’s future restoration of Israel (Ezekiel 28:25,26). Thirdly, there is a transition chapter (Ezekiel 33:1-33) which gives instruction concerning a last call for Israel to repent. Finally, the fourth division includes rich expectations involving God’s future restoration of Israel (Ezekiel 34:1–48:35). (Reference)

I. Prophecies of Jerusalem’s Ruin (Ezekiel 1:1–24:27)

A. Preparation and Commission of Ezekiel (Ezekiel 1:1–3:27)

1. Divine appearance to Ezekiel (Ezekiel 1:1–28)|
2. Divine assignment to Ezekiel (Ezekiel 2:1–3:27)

B. Proclamation of Jerusalem’s Condemnation (Ezekiel 4:1–24:27)

1. Signs of coming judgment (Ezekiel 4:1–5:4)
2. Messages concerning judgment (Ezekiel 5:5–7:27)
3. Visions concerning abomination in the city and temple (Ezekiel 8:1–11:25)
4. Explanations of judgment (Ezekiel 12:1–24:27)

II. Prophecies of Retribution to the Nations (Ezekiel 25:1–32:32)

A. Ammon (Ezekiel 25:1–7)
B. Moab (Ezekiel 25:8–11)
C. Edom (Ezekiel 25:12–14)
D. Philistia (Ezekiel 25:15–17)
E. Tyre (Ezekiel 26:1–28:19)
F. Sidon (Ezekiel 28:20–24)
Excursus: The Restoration of Israel (Ezekiel 28:25, 26)
G. Egypt (Ezekiel 29:1–32:32)

III. Provision for Israel’s Repentance (Ezekiel 33:1–33)

IV. Prophecies of Israel’s Restoration (Ezekiel 34:1–48:35)

A. Regathering of Israel to the Land (Ezekiel 34:1–37:28)

1. Promise of a True Shepherd (Ezekiel 34:1–31)
2. Punishment of the nations (Ezekiel 35:1–36:7)
3. Purposes of restoration (Ezekiel 36:8–38)
4. Pictures of restoration—dry bones and two sticks (Ezekiel 37:1–28)

B. Removal of Israel’s Enemies from the Land (Ezekiel 38:1–39:29)

1. Invasion of Gog to plunder Israel (Ezekiel 38:1–16)
2. Intervention of God to protect Israel (Ezekiel 38:17–39:29)

C. Reinstatement of True Worship in Israel (Ezekiel 40:1–46:24)

1. New temple (Ezekiel 40:1–43:12)
2. New worship (Ezekiel 43:13–46:24)

D. Redistribution of the Land in Israel (Ezekiel 47:1–48:35)

1. Position of the river (Ezekiel 47:1–12)
2. Portions for the tribes (Ezekiel 47:13–48:35)

Ezekiel 7:23 'Make the chain, for the land is full of bloody crimes and the city is full of violence.

GWT: Get the chains ready! The land is filled with murder, and the city is filled with violence.

WBC: and cause havoc For the land is full of bloodshed, and the capital is full of violence.

Young's Literal: Make the chain; for the land Hath been full of bloody judgments, And the city hath been full of violence.

MAKE THE CHAIN: (Ezek 19:3-6; Jer 27:2; 40:1; La 3:7; Na 3:10)

Ezekiel is to perform another sign act that symbolizes Judah's coming captivity. The verb "make" is a command and thus this is a dramatic way of saying that fetters and captivity await the perpetrators of bloody, violent crimes. Judah had sown violence and bloodshed and was now reaping this captivity as its harvest. God's law of reaping and sowing is sure - it was proved true for Judah and is also true in our lives. Gal 6:7 Do not be deceived (command to stop being deceived! cp Heb 3:13), God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. 8 For (always study this strategic term of explanation.) the one who sows to his own flesh shall from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit shall from the Spirit reap eternal life. 9 And let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time (kairos - word study) we shall reap if we do not grow weary. 10 So then (term of conclusion), while we have opportunity (kairos), let us do good to all men, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith. (Galatians 6:7-10 Commentary)

Billy Graham - Life is a glorious opportunity, if it is used to condition us for eternity. If we fail in this, though we succeed in everything else, our life will have been a failure. (Let us do good to all people - Read about Billy Graham's "missed opportunity" with President John F Kennedy - Billy Graham)

See also LIVE WISELY- REDEEM THE TIME - preceptaustin

Tempus Fugit
Carpe Diem
Coram Deo


Time Flies
Seize the Day
Before the Face of God

Jer 27:2 thus says the LORD to me–“Make for yourself bonds and yokes and put them on your neck,

Jer 40:1 The 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.

Lam 3:7 He has walled [me] in so that I cannot go out; He has made my chain heavy.

FOR THE LAND IS FULL OF BLOODY CRIMES AND THE CITY IS FULL OF VIOLENCE: (Ezek 9:9; 11:6; 22:3, 4, 5, 6,9,13,27; 2Ki 21:16; 24:4; Is 1:15; 59:3,7; Jer 2:34; 7:6; 22:17; Hos 4:2; Mic 2:2; 7:2; Zep 3:3,4)

For - Discipline yourself to pause and ponder this small but often very strategic term of explanation.

Ezek 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!’

Ezek 11:6 “You have multiplied your slain in this city, filling its streets with them.”

Ezek 22:3 “And you shall say, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD, “A city shedding blood in her midst, so that her time will come, and that makes idols, contrary to her [interest,] for defilement!

Ezek 22:4 “You have become guilty by the blood which you have shed, and defiled by your idols which you have made. Thus you have brought your day near and have come to your years; therefore I have made you a reproach to the nations, and a mocking to all the lands.

Ezekiel 7:24 'Therefore, I will bring the worst of the nations, and they will possess their houses. I will also make the pride of the strong ones cease, and their holy places will be profaned.

GWT: So I will send the most evil nation, and it will take possession of people's houses. I will stop those who are strong from feeling proud, and their holy places will be dishonored.
WBC: I will send in the worst of the nations, who will occupy their houses. I will put an end to their source of pride and power, and their sanctuariesc will be desecrated.
Young's Literal: And I have brought in the wicked of the nations, And they have possessed their houses, And I have caused to cease the excellency of the strong, And polluted have been those sanctifying them.

THEREFORE, I WILL BRING THE WORST OF THE NATIONS AND THEY WILL POSSESS THEIR HOUSES: (Ezek 21:31; 28:7; Ps 106:41; Jeremiah 4:7; 12:12; Habakkuk 1:6-10) (Jer 6:12; La 5:)

Therefore - Always pause to ponder this term of conclusion, asking what is the writer concluding? Why now?, etc.

The worst of the nations - The Babylonians

Hab 1:6 “For behold, I am raising up the Chaldeans, That fierce and impetuous people Who march throughout the earth To seize dwelling places which are not theirs. 7 “They are dreaded and feared. Their justice and authority originate with themselves. 8 “Their horses are swifter than leopards And keener than wolves in the evening. Their horsemen come galloping, Their horsemen come from afar; They fly like an eagle swooping [down] to devour. 9 “All of them come for violence. Their horde of faces [moves] forward. They collect captives like sand. 10 “They mock at kings, And rulers are a laughing matter to them. They laugh at every fortress, And heap up rubble to capture it. (see Habakkuk 1 Commentary)


Ezek 33:28 “And I shall make the land a desolation and a waste, and the pride of her power will cease; and the mountains of Israel will be desolate, so that no one will pass through.

Their holy place will be profaned - What irony! God will profane these places which were holy to men but not holy to Him! What men call religion is often a stench in God's nostrils!

God gave Solomon this prophecy - 2Chr 7:19 “But if you turn away and forsake My statutes and My commandments which I have set before you and shall go and serve other gods and worship them,"

Ezekiel 7:25 'When anguish comes, they will seek peace, but there will be none. GWT: Anguish is coming. People will look for peace, but there will be none.

WBC: Anguish is coming, and they will try to find safety, to no avail.

Young's Literal: Destruction hath come, And they have sought peace, and there is none.

WHEN ANGUISH COMES, THEY WILL SEEK PEACE, BUT THERE WILL BE NONE: (Isaiah 57:21; 59:8-12; Jeremiah 8:15,16; Jer 14:19 Lamentations 4:17,18; Micah 1:12)

When - Not "if" but "when" - anguish will come - in this life for rebels and worst of all in the life to come where there will be weeping and mourning and gnashing of teeth. Enabled by the God's Spirit, let us share the Gospel of Jesus Christ while today is still called "today!"

Peace...none - The divine formula is simple - Know God, know peace! No God, no peace!

Isa 57:21 “There is no peace,” says my God, “for the wicked.”

Isa 59:8 They do not know the way of peace, And there is no justice in their tracks; They have made their paths crooked; Whoever treads on them does not know peace. 9 Therefore, justice is far from us, And righteousness does not overtake us; We hope for light, but behold, darkness; For brightness, but we walk in gloom. 10 We grope along the wall like blind men, We grope like those who have no eyes; We stumble at midday as in the twilight, Among those who are vigorous we are like dead men. 11 All of us growl like bears, And moan sadly like doves; We hope for justice, but there is none, For salvation, [but] it is far from us.12 For our transgressions are multiplied before Thee, And our sins testify against us; For our transgressions are with us, And we know our iniquities:

Jer 8:15 [We] waited for peace, but no good [came;] For a time of healing, but behold, terror! 16 From Dan is heard the snorting of his horses; At the sound of the neighing of his stallions The whole land quakes; For they come and devour the land and its fulness, The city and its inhabitants.

Jer 14:19 Hast Thou completely rejected Judah? Or hast Thou loathed Zion? Why hast Thou stricken us so that we are beyond healing? [We] waited for peace, but nothing good [came;] And for a time of healing, but behold, terror!

Ezekiel 7:26 'Disaster will come upon disaster and rumor will be added to rumor; then they will seek a vision from a prophet, but the law will be lost from the priest and counsel from the elders.

GWT: One disaster will happen after another. One rumor will follow another. People will ask for a vision from a prophet. The teachings of priests and the advice of leaders will disappear.

WBC: Disaster will come on the heels of disaster; bad news will echo bad news. They will try to get a revelation from the prophet, while a ruling will elude the priest, and counsel the elders.

Young's Literal: Mischief on mischief cometh, and report is on report, And they have sought a vision from a prophet, And law doth perish from the priest, And counsel from the elders,

DISASTER WILL COME UPON DISASTER AND RUMOR WILL BE ADDED TO RUMOR: (Leviticus 26:18,21,24,28; Deuteronomy 32:23; Jeremiah 4:20)

The frightening words were echoed by Jeremiah who preached to the nation of Judah before and during the defeat by Babylon. His words were fulfilled in the destruction of the Temple and the city.

Jer 4:20 Disaster on disaster is proclaimed, For the whole land is devastated; Suddenly my tents are devastated, My curtains in an instant.

THEN THEY WILL SEEK A VISION FROM A PROPHET: (Ezek 14:1; 20:1, 2, 3; 33:31; Jeremiah 21:2; 37:17; 38:14-28)

Jer 21:2 “Please inquire of the LORD on our behalf, for Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon is warring against us; perhaps the LORD will deal with us according to all His wonderful acts, that [the enemy] may withdraw from us.”

Jer 37:17 Now King Zedekiah sent and took him [out;] and in his palace the king secretly asked him and said, “Is there a word from the LORD?” And Jeremiah said, “There is!” Then he said, “You will be given into the hand of the king of Babylon!”

BUT THE LAW WILL BE LOST FROM THE PRIEST AND COUNSEL FROM THE ELDERS: (Ps 74:9; Lamentations 2:9; Amos 8:11,12; Micah 3:6)(Ezek 8:1; 14:1; 20:1; Jeremiah 18:18)

Ps 74:9 We do not see our signs; There is no longer any prophet, Nor is there any among us who knows how long.

Amos 8:11 “Behold, days are coming,” declares the Lord GOD, “When I will send a famine on the land, Not a famine for bread or a thirst for water, But rather for hearing the words of the LORD. 12 “And people will stagger from sea to sea, And from the north even to the east; They will go to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, But they will not find [it.]

Ezekiel 7:27 'The king will mourn, the prince will be clothed with horror, and the hands of the people of the land will tremble. According to their conduct I will deal with them, and by their judgments I will judge them. And they will know that I am the LORD.'

GWT:  Kings will mourn, and princes will give up hope. The common people will lose their courage. I will give them what they deserve and judge them as they have judged others. Then they will know that I am the LORD."

WBC: The head of state will wear the garb of consternation, while the people in the land will be shocked into inactivity. I will make their way of life the basis of my dealing with them and judge them by their own judgment of others. Then they will realize that I am Yahweh.”

Young's Literal: The king doth become a mourner, And a prince putteth on desolation, And the hands of the people of the land are troubled, From their own way I deal with them, And with their own judgments I judge them, And they have known that I am Jehovah!'

THE KING WILL MOURN, THE PRINCE WILL BE CLOTHED WITH HORROR, AND THE HANDS OF THE PEOPLE OF THE LAND WILL TREMBLE: (Ezek 12:10-22; 17:15-21; 21:25; Jeremiah 52:8, 9, 10, 11) (Ezek 7:4-8; 18:30; Isaiah 3:11; Romans 2:5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10)

Isa 3:1 For behold, the Lord GOD of hosts is going to remove from Jerusalem and Judah Both supply and support, the whole supply of bread, And the whole supply of water;


God had judged Israel by her own judgments--by the Mosaic covenant they should have known and followed.

Matt 7:2 “For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.

Jas 2:13 For judgment [will be] merciless to one who has shown no mercy; mercy triumphs over judgment.

AND THEY WILL KNOW THAT I AM THE LORD: (1Kings 20:28; Ps 9:16; Joel 3:17)

Ps 9:16 The LORD has made Himself known; He has executed judgment. In the work of his own hands the wicked is snared. Higgaion Selah.

Will know that I am the LORD occurs three times in this Ezek 7:4, 9, 27. Ezekiel makes frequent use of this “recognition formula” (click for all 63 uses in Ezekiel).

By judging Judah in accordance with the standards and punishments declared to them from the beginning in the Mosaic covenant, the Lord would cause them to recognize him as different from the gods of the nations, a God not to be manipulated or taken for granted, but rather obeyed and trusted wholeheartedly.