The Two Ways, Ezek 21:18-32

The Two Ways

The reason we’re studying Ezekiel is just to help you understand what you’re reading when you read it.  We’re not approaching this study as an effort to look for wild, new, or strange interpretations of prophecy.  The lesson today is on the two ways Nebuchadnezzar could make his attack on Jerusalem.

The Two Ways For Nebuchadnezzar to Come to Judah

In Ezek 21:19-20 the two ways historically were the paths Nebuchadnezzar could take as he came to destroy Jerusalem.  He would have traveled up the Euphrates to Haran.  From there he would travel south through Damascus to Galilee.  Here is the “one land” from which he would come forth.  He had two choices.  He could proceed west down the coastline, or east of the Jordan river to Rabbath of the Ammonites and cross over Jordan.  You can see significant events at this place in the river in Gen 28:10-19, Jacob’s escape from Esau; Jos 4:19 Israel crossing into the land of Canaan; 2 Sam 19:39-40, David’s exile from Absalom; and 2 Ki 2:7-12, Elijah’s ascent into heaven by a whirlwind.

In Ezek 21:21, Nebuchadnezzar used divination to determine which of the two ways he should choose.  His divination involved three things.  Arrows.  The names of cities were written on the arrows and then the arrows were placed in a sheath. A man drew out one in a blind draw.  They attacked the city they chose.  Images.  He consulted with images, which is very common in pagan religions.  Liver.  And he looked in the liver.  Apparently, they cut the liver and a diviner “read” the markings.  

Jerusalem, One of the Two Ways

In Ezek 21:22, he’s facing south.  So, at his right is hand is the divination for Jerusalem.  This verse discloses his war strategy.  He divided his forces among captains.  The yell, reminds us of the fall of Jericho and of the rebel yell.  They used battering rams to break down the gates in the wall.  He cast a mount and built a fort, for the siege.  

In Ezek 21:23-24, it appeared to the king and his princes who had sworn oaths to God (2 Chr 36:11-13) that this was a false divination.  They didn’t believe that Nebuchadnezzar was going to attack them.  For example, Hananiah prophesied in Jer 28:1-4 that the captives would return in two years.  And in Jer 37:3-5, when Pharaoh’s army came, the Chaldeans departed.  But they (the Chaldeans) call to remembrance the iniquity (Zedekiah’s rebellion).  So, they were going to take Jerusalem.  God made sure of that.  “Ye shall be taken with the hand”, he said.

The Future Application of this Historical Event

Concerning the Antichrist

Just as Nebuchadnezzar attacked Zedekiah in the past and took him captive, even so the antichrist (the profane wicked prince of Israel, Ezek 21:25) will be attacked in Israel and dethroned when iniquity shall have an end.  This is the end as in Matt 24:3, 13.  

In Ezek 21:25, the profane wicked prince is the Antichrist, Dan 11:36-38, Rev 13:1-8.  In Ezek 21:26, the Lord will exalt him that is low.  The crown will be placed on Jesus at his second coming.  He will abase him that is high (2 Thes 2:4).  The devil will be chained in the bottomless pit for a thousand years, Rev 20.  In Ezek 21:27, the diadem is rightfully Jesus’s. 

Concerning the Ammonites

Ezek 21:28 is a historical reference to Nebuchadnezzar’s attack on Ammon.  Five years after Nebuchadnezzar destroyed Jerusalem, the Chaldeans destroyed Ammon.  They rejoiced to see Jerusalem fall, not realizing that they would fall next, probably because Ishmael murdered Gedaliah, Jer 40-41.

In Ezek 21:29-32, this historical event is prophetic for Ammon like it is for Jerusalem, Jer 49:2-3.  You can see the second advent references:  

  • The necks of them slain, as in Jos 10:24 in the day of battle, also in Ps 18:40.  
  • Notice the drawn sword, Rev 19:15.  
  • The fire of his wrath, 2 Thes 1:7-9, 
  • And fuel for the fire, Matt 3:11-12.