Verse 1 – And the word of the Lord came to me, saying,
Verse 2 – “Son of man, set your face toward Jerusalem, preach against the holy places, and prophesy against the land of Israel;
Verse 3 – “and say to the land of Israel, ‘Thus says the Lord: “Behold, I am against you, and I will draw My sword out of its sheath and cut off both righteous and wicked from you.
Every time the phrase son of man, turn your face towards, it is a judgment. History would prove that God’s drawn sword was King Nebuchadnezzar and his armies. The sword refers to divine judgment.
Verse 4 – “Because I will cut off both righteous and wicked from you, therefore My sword shall go out of its sheath against all flesh from south to north,
From one end of the holy land to the other, the righteous and the wicked are going to be consumed and destroyed by the Babylonian army. Do the righteous get swept up sometimes when God calls judgment on a nation? Yes, but the difference being, the righteous end up with Him throughout all eternity.
Verse 5 – “that all flesh may know that I the Lord, have drawn My sword out of its sheath, it shall not return anymore.” ‘
The same thing happened in the Exodus story when God declared that He would destroy Pharaoh and his army so that the Egyptians would know that He was the Lord God. This time around, God was going to totally destroy the nation with the Babylonian army, not just a partial, like when Ezekiel was exiled.
Verse 6 – “Sigh therefore, son of man, with a breaking heart, and sigh with bitterness before your eyes.
Verse 7 – “And it shall be when they say to you, ‘Why are you sighing?’ that you shall answer, ‘Because of the news; when it comes, every heart will melt, all hands will be feeble, every spirit will faint, and all knees will be weak as water. Behold, it is coming and shall be brought to pass,’ says the Lord God.”
Verse 8 – Again the word of the Lord came to me saying,
Verse 9 – “Son of man, prophesy and say, ‘Thus says the Lord! “Say: ‘A sword, a sword is sharpened and also polished!
Verse 10 – Sharpen to make a dreadful slaughter, polished to flash like lightning! Should we then make mirth? It despises the scepter My son, as it does all wood.
The scepter symbolizes the Lord’s covenant promise to David that his house would have eternal title to the throne of Jerusalem. This promise was rooted in the blessing spoken to Jacob, which said that the scepter would never pass from Judah (Genesis 49:10). Judah’s hope in the midst of judgment was the ultimate “scepter” of Judah, the Messiah, would never be extinguished.
Verse 11 – And He has given it to be polished, that it may be handled; this sword is sharpened, and it is polished to be given into the hand of the slayer.’
Verse 12 – “Cry and wail, son of man; for it will be against My people, against all the princes of Israel. Terrors including the sword will be against My people; therefore strike your thigh.
Verse 13 – “Because it is a testing, and what if the sword despises even the scepter? The scepter shall be no more,” says the Lord God.
In other words: If the king and the kingdom of Judah despise this trial, testing, then both shall be destroyed and be no more.
Verse 14 – “You therefore, son of man, prophesy, and strike your hands together. The third time let the sword do double damage. It is the sword that slays, the sword that slays the great men, that enters their private chambers.
Striking the hands together is clapping the hands in anger. The mention of three strikes of the sword may refer to the three attacks and deportations that the Babylonians launched against Jerusalem in 605, 597, and 588-586 B.C.
Verse 15 – I have set the point of the sword against all their gates, that the heart may melt and many may stumble. Ah! It is made bright; it is grasped for slaughter:
Verse 16 – “Swords at the ready! Thrust right! Set your blade! Thrust left – wherever your edge is ordered!
“All their gates” – both cities, palaces, and private homes would be destroyed. Their ruin would be multiplied like never before.
Verse 17 – “I also will beat My fists together, and I will cause My fury to rest; I, the Lord have spoken.”
Verse 18 – The word of the Lord came to me again saying:
Verse 19 – “And son of man, appoint yourself two ways for the sword of the king of Babylon to go; both of them shall go from the same land. Make a sign; put it at the head of the road to the city.
The sword of judgment is not just for Judah, but on the neighboring tribe, the Ammonites. (The third word of judgment)
Verse 20 – “Appoint a road for the sword to go to Rabbah of the Ammonites, and to Judah, into fortified Jerusalem.
Verse 21 – “For the king of Babylon stands at the parting of the road, at the fork of the two roads, to use divination: he shakes the arrows, he consults the images, he looks at the liver.
The practice of shaking the arrows in a quiver, letting them fall to the ground or shooting them into the distance and then interpreting the pattern, was known as belomancy (2 Kings 13:15-19). It was a form of casting lots.
Verse 22 – “In his right hand is the divination for Jerusalem: to set up battering rams, to call for slaughter, to lift the voice with shouting, to set battering rams against the gates, to heap up a siege mound, and to build a wall.
Verse 23 – “And it will be to them like a false divination in the eyes of those who have sworn oaths with them; but he will bring their iniquity to remembrance, that they may be taken;.
Ammon evidently rebelled against Babylon about the same time as King Zedekiah of Judah. Ezekiel gave this message to the exiles who had hope of returning to their homeland soon. Nebuchadnezzar would come to a fork in the road and decide whether to go to Ammon or Jerusalem. Just as Ezekiel predicted, he went to Jerusalem.
Verse 24 – “Therefore thus says the Lord God: ‘Because you have made your iniquity to be remembered, in that your transgressions are uncovered, so that in all your doings your sins appear – because you have come to remembrance, you shall be taken in hand.
Verse 25 – ‘Now to you, O profane, wicked prince of Israel, whose day has come, whose iniquity shall end,
Verse 26 – ‘thus says the Lord God: “Remove the turban, and take off the crown; nothing shall remain the same. Exalt the lowly, and abase the exalted.
The turban was worn by the priests, but it also served as a setting for the crown. Removal of these were a sign of the removal of the high priests and the king’s crown.
Verse 27 – Overthrown, overthrown, I will make it overthrown! It shall be no longer, until He comes whose right it is, and I will give it to Him.” ‘
Until the coming of the Son of David, the Lord Jesus Christ; who, in a majestic and spiritual sense, shall have the throne of Israel, whose right it is.
Genesis 49:10, and Luke 1:32, 33 – “He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. (verse 33) “And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.”
Verse 28 – “And you son of man, prophesy and say, ‘Thus says the Lord God concerning the Ammonites and concerning their reproach,’ and say, ‘A sword, a sword is drawn, polished for slaughter, for consuming, for flashing –
The Ammonites and the Israelites were usually fighting with each other, but they had joined together to fight Babylon. Ammon would now be destroyed, not for joining forces with Judah, but because as Jerusalem was attacked they watched and were delighted at their destruction.
Proverbs 17:5 says, He who mocks the poor reproaches his Maker, he who is glad at calamity will not go unpunished. So, we don’t laugh at other people’s hardships or next time that could be us. This is what happened to the Ammonites.
Verse 29 – While they see vain visions of you, while they divine a lie to you, to bring you on the necks of the wicked, the slain whose day has come, whose iniquity shall end.
Verse 30 – ‘Return it to its sheath. I will judge you in the place where you were created, in the land of your nativity.
Verse 31 – I will pour out My indignation on you; I will blow against you with fire of My wrath, and deliver you into the hands of brutal men who are skillful to destroy.
Verse 32 – You shall be fuel for the fire; your blood shall be in the midst of the land. You shall not be remembered, for I the Lord have spoken.’ ”
So, where are the Ammonites today? Some historians believe that the Arameans and the Amorites are one and the same people and are located in the land of Syria. However, the Ammonites were destroyed, just as Ezekiel predicted!