Ezekiel 22

1 Moreover the LORD’s word came to me, saying, 2 You, son of man, will you judge, will you judge the bloody city? then cause her to know all her abominations. 3 You shall say, Thus says the Lord GOD: A city that sheds blood within herself, that her time may come, and that makes idols against herself to defile her! 4 You have become guilty in your blood that you have shed, and are defiled in your idols which you have made; and you have caused your days to draw near, and have come even to your years: therefore have I made you a reproach to the nations, and a mocking to all the countries. 5 Those who are near, and those who are far from you, shall mock you, you infamous one, full of tumult. 6 Behold, the princes of Israel, everyone according to his power, have been in you to shed blood. 7 In you have they set light by father and mother; amongst you they have dealt by oppression with the foreigner; in you they have wronged the fatherless and the widow. 8 You have despised my holy things, and have profaned my Sabbaths. 9 Slanderous men have been in you to shed blood; and in you they have eaten on the mountains: they have committed lewdness amongst you. 10 In you have they uncovered their fathers’ nakedness; in you have they humbled her who was unclean in her impurity. 11 One has committed abomination with his neighbor’s wife; and another has lewdly defiled his daughter-in-law; and another in you has humbled his sister, his father’s daughter. 12 In you have they taken bribes to shed blood; you have taken interest and increase, and you have greedily gained of your neighbors by oppression, and have forgotten me, says the Lord GOD. 13 Behold, therefore, I have struck my hand at your dishonest gain which you have made, and at your blood which has been within you. 14 Can your heart endure, or can your hands be strong, in the days that I shall deal with you? I, the LORD, have spoken it, and will do it. 15 I will scatter you amongst the nations, and disperse you through the countries; and I will consume your filthiness out of you. 16 You shall be profaned in yourself, in the sight of the nations; and you shall know that I am the LORD. 17 the LORD’s word came to me, saying, 18 Son of man, the house of Israel has become dross to me: all of them are brass and tin and iron and lead, in the middle of the furnace; they are the dross of silver. 19 Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: Because you have all become dross, therefore, behold, I will gather you into the middle of Jerusalem. 20 As they gather silver and brass and iron and lead and tin into the middle of the furnace, to blow the fire on it, to melt it; so will I gather you in my anger and in my wrath, and I will lay you there, and melt you. 21 Yes, I will gather you, and blow on you with the fire of my wrath, and you shall be melted in the middle of it. 22 As silver is melted in the middle of the furnace, so you will be melted in the middle of it; and you will know that I, the LORD, have poured out my wrath on you. 23 the LORD’s word came to me, saying, 24 Son of man, tell her, You are a land that is not cleansed, nor rained on in the day of indignation. 25 There is a conspiracy of her prophets within it, like a roaring lion ravening the prey: they have devoured souls; they take treasure and precious things; they have made her widows many within it. 26 Her priests have done violence to my law, and have profaned my holy things: they have made no distinction between the holy and the common, neither have they caused men to discern between the unclean and the clean, and have hidden their eyes from my Sabbaths, and I am profaned amongst them. 27 Her princes within it are like wolves ravening the prey, to shed blood, and to destroy souls, that they may get dishonest gain. 28 Her prophets have plastered for them with whitewash, seeing false visions, and divining lies to them, saying, thus says the Lord GOD, when the LORD has not spoken. 29 The people of the land have used oppression, and exercised robbery; yes, they have troubled the poor and needy, and have oppressed the foreigner wrongfully. 30 I sought for a man amongst them, who should build up the wall, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one. 31 Therefore have I poured out my indignation on them; I have consumed them with the fire of my wrath: their own way have I brought on their heads, says the Lord GOD.

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Questions about today’s reading? See if Matthew Henry can help.
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, 1706

Verses 1-16

The prophet is to judge the bloody city; the city of bloods. Jerusalem is so called, because of her crimes. The sins which Jerusalem stands charged with, are exceeding sinful. Murder, idolatry, disobedience to parents, oppression and extortion, profanation of the sabbath and holy things, seventh commandment sins, lewdness and adultery. Unmindfulness of God was at the bottom of all this wickedness. Sinners provoke God because they forget him. Jerusalem has filled the measure of her sins. Those who give up themselves to be ruled by their lusts, will justly be given up to be portioned by them. Those who resolve to be their own masters, let them expect no other happiness than their own hands can furnish; and a miserable portion it will prove.

Verses 17-22

Israel, compared with other nations, had been as the gold and silver compared with baser metals. But they were now as the refuse that is consumed in the furnace, or thrown away when the silver is refined. Sinners, especially backsliding professors, are, in God’s account, useless and fit for nothing. When God brings his own people into the furnace, he sits by them as the refiner by his gold, to see that they are not continued there any longer than is fitting and needful. The dross shall be wholly separated, and the good metal purified. Let those who suffer pains, or lingering sickness, and find that their hearts can scarcely bear these light and momentary afflictions, take warning to flee from the wrath to come; for if these trials are not sanctified by the power of the Holy Spirit, to the cleansing their hearts and hands from sin, far worse things will come upon them.

Verses 23-31

All orders and degrees of men had helped to fill the measure of the nation’s guilt. The people that had any power abused it, and even the buyers and sellers find some way to oppress one another. It bodes ill to a people when judgments are breaking in upon them, and the spirit of prayer is restrained. Let all who fear God, unite to promote his truth and righteousness; as wicked men of every rank and profession plot together to run them down.

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