Sword Against Jerusalem, Ezek 21:1-17

Prophecy of God’s Sword Against Jerusalem

2 In Ezekiel’s prophecy of God’s sword against Jerusalem, he prophesied toward Jerusalem, the holy places, and against the land of Israel.  In other words, God’s sword was going to clear out the land entirely.

3 God’s sword was going to cut off the righteous and the wicked.  Notice that he said “cut off”.  This is different than Gen 18:23-25, where Abraham was concerned about the Lord “destroying” the righteous and the wicked.  For example, Nebuchadnezzar took some people like Daniel, who was righteous, captive; he didn’t slaughter them.  But the sword did cut them off.

4 The sword would go forth against all flesh from the south to north, like Ezek 20:47.  So, the prophecy is not just against Jerusalem.  It’s against the country.

5 The Lord would draw out the sword and not put it back up until he finished.  He wouldn’t stop till it rests, v.17.  Consequently, they’ll know I the Lord have drawn it.  He won’t have to return any more.

Ezekiel’s Sign of Sighing

6 The Lord instructed Ezekiel to sigh.  The expression “breaking of the loins” is like our expression broken heart.  He was doubled over with pain in his grief and crying.  Jeremiah wept with tears, Jer 9:1, 13:17.  Jesus wept with tears over Jerusalem, Lk 19:41-44.  Daniel was astonied at the interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, Dan 4:19.  Ezekiel sighed with bitterness.

We must remember that when we see the coming judgment against our own country, we should likewise sigh.  We are more apt to condemn.  

7 The people will ask why Ezekiel is sighing.  And God instructed him to say “it’s coming”.  Other prophets were saying the opposite.  And when they hear it, their hearts will melt, etc.  This is what Ezekiel’s breaking of his loins pictured.

Gods Sword Given to Babylon

8-9 The sword is furbished and sharpened.  To furbish is to rub or scour to brightness.  And it’s sharpened and made ready for slaughter.

10 The Jews ask, “should we make mirth”? No way.  The sword contemneth the rod of my son.  Israel is “my son, my firstborn”, Ex 4:22.  And in Jer 10:16, 51:19 Israel is the rod of his inheritance.  The sword considers that Israel is just like all other nations… as every tree.

11 The Lord gave the sword “into the hands of the slayer”.  So, the Lord gives it to someone else.  Ezek 30:24-5, he gave his sword into the hand Babylon to destroy Egypt.  He gave his sword into Nebuchadnezzar’s hand.

12 Ezekiel was to cry and howl, like 6.  He said it shall be upon my people, like 10.  And upon all the princes.  So, the sword is against Zedekiah and his sons.  It causes terrors upon my people. That’s what this kind of destruction causes.  And so Ezekiel smites upon his thigh.

Complete Destruction by the Sword Against Jerusalem

13 The trial of the sword is to see just what the sword can do.  It contemns (disdains) the rod and it shall be no more.  The sword against Jerusalem, therefore, would utterly destroy the city.

14 The sword is doubled the third time.  To double is to multiply by two.  This makes the sword twice as great or twice as bad.  The third time is the third siege against Jerusalem in Zedekiah’s reign.  So, the third time Nebuchadnezzar came to Jerusalem, the sword was twice as bad. First time, 2 Ki 24:1-4 606 BC.  Second time, 2 Ki 24:10-16 598 BC.  Third time, 2 Ki 25:2-12, 18-21, 25-26 586 BC.  Great men hide in privy chambers and the sword gets them there, as well.  

15 Not only does the sword kill and scatter people but multiplies the ruins.  Nebuchadnezzar and Nebuzaradan destroyed Jerusalem, 2 Ki 25:9-10.  The temple, the king’s house, the houses of the great men, and the wall were all burned and destroyed.

16 Ezekiel says, “go thee one way or other”.  It makes no difference which way they run; the sword is against all gates, 15.  It gets them all.  And it got Zedekiah and his sons when they ran out of the gate.

God’s Fury will Finally Rest

17 The Lord says, “I will cause my fury to rest”, like Ezek 5:13.  It rests because it is finished.  We need to remember that the Lord takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked.  We shouldn’t either.