The prophecy described the coming destruction of Jerusalem. It symbolizes the apostasy and punishment at the end of time.
¶ He cried also in mine ears with a loud voice, saying, Cause them
that have charge ["You who punish" NASB, margin]
over the city to draw near, even every man with his destroying weapon in
Notes in the bar above help clarify this chapter.
cried also Ezekiel addresses the speaker as the Lord God in
8. The Lord's cry with a loud voice in Ezekiel's ear indicates a contrast
from His predicted refusal to hear the loud cries in His ear in the previous
Cause them that have charge In vision, the prophet is told to call those who are responsible – perhaps "guards" as in the NIV. We see them as "officers" in is6017. At the end of time when wickedness has reached a hopeless state, the righteous will understand. They will call for God to do His work of punishment ps119126.
|.2 And, behold, six men came from the way of the higher gate, which lieth toward the north, and every man a slaughter weapon in his hand; and one man among them was clothed with linen, with a writer's inkhorn by his side: and they went in, and stood beside the brasen altar.|| Six
men These are ready to carry out the sentence
of judgment following what the prophet was shown in chapter 8 ez0817.
Why six? Consider pr0616.
Higher gate Mentioned in 2ki1535. The guards may have been assigned to watch the place of punishment.
Man among ... linen A priest or the high priest on the day of atonement le1604. These represent the glorified Christ da1005, ez0818, v11.
Went in ... brazen altar The bronze altar was in the sanctuary courtyard. There the sacrifical animals were slain. Jesus died in our place in the courtyard – the earth. Those who refuse the grace He offers to put away intentional sin bear the penalty of their own sins in the final punishment of the wicked.
|.3 And the glory of the God of Israel was gone up from the cherub, whereupon he was, to the threshold [entrance] of the house. And he called to the man clothed with linen, which had the writer's inkhorn by his side;|| Glory
gone up The shekinah glory of the temple. See ex4034.
It's arising from the entrance would indicate that sinners could no longer
enter for forgiveness (through their agents, the priests). We call this
the close of probation.
To the threshold At the end of the day-of-atonement judgment, the priest went to the door of the tabernacle several times. When he finally came out from the glorious presence of the Lord, those who had not humbled their their hearts were cut off le2329.
Writer's inkhorn From qeseth. The Hebrew word appears only here and apparently means a case of writing tools. The KJV word seems to be a good choice. He had made a record. The scene is connected with judgment re0803-5ez. re1308b.
|.4 And the LORD said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof.|| Jerusalem
This punishment is for the professed people of God, following their judgment,
implied by the inkhorn.
Mark The Hebrew letter taw which was written as an X in the time of Ezekiel. At the end of time before Jesus comes, the righteous are marked with the seal of God in preparation to stand during the time of trouble. re07a.
As they are sealed, they go forth with the glory of God as part of a final appeal calling others to join them. This amplified call is seen in chapter 43, especially the first part ez43.
|.5 ¶ And to the others he said in mine hearing, Go ye after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity:||Let not your eye spare Because the decision of guilt will already have been made.|
.6 Slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man [person] upon whom is the mark; and begin at my sanctuary. Then they began at the ancient men which were before the house.
... but come not near ... mark In the day-of-atonement judgment,
those who did not humble themselves completely before the Lord were cut
off from the people of God le2327-32.
They were not ready to receive the seal (mark) re0701-3.
It is seen as a time of shaking re0612c-li.
Begin at my sanctuary Compare 1pe0417. Notice that this judgment has a beginning. It starts at a specific point in time as well as with a specific group. John wrote of the hour of judgment that "has come" re1407. da0814. The first period of judgment is for those who claim to be followers of Christ da0709, jn0318.
With the ancient men These are the spiritual leaders ez0811.
|7 And he said unto them, Defile the house, and fill the courts with the slain: go ye forth. And they went forth, and slew in the city.||Defile the house The temple, soon to be destroyed, was no longer the place of the divine presence. See the first comment on v3. The temple would again be desolate mt2338. Now the temple of divine grace is in heaven he08.|
|.8 And it came to pass, while they were slaying them, and I was left, that I fell upon my face, and cried, and said, Ah Lord GOD! wilt thou destroy all the residue of Israel in thy pouring out of thy fury upon Jerusalem?||Wilt thou destroy all We saw that the sealed ones would not be slain, but the overall picture is that their number will be very small in comparison with the slain ones lu1323. mt0713,14.|
Then said he unto me, The iniquity of the house of Israel and Judah is
exceeding great, and the land is full of blood, and the city full of perverseness:
for they say, The LORD hath forsaken the earth, and the LORD seeth not.
10 And as for me also, mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity, but I will recompense their way upon their head.
.11 And, behold, the man clothed with linen, which had the inkhorn by his side, reported the matter, saying, I have done as thou hast commanded me.
- For they say ... Lord hath forsaken . mal0314,
9 The Lord seeth not The attitude noted in ez0812.
10 - Recompense Blood for blood re1420b-bl.
11 - Man ... linen ... reported Christ is the judge jn0527 while His Father, the ancient of days in Daniel 7, presides da0709.
11 - Reported Ezekiel, experiencing the role of judge, had appointed the man in linen him v3.
Sorry we don't have them for the whole commentary.
2. Those who had charge over the city (v1)
3. Why did one person have an ink horn or writing tools? What does the linen garment tell us about him?
4. How does this story relate to the scene of the destroying angel of the 10th plague? (Ex. 11; 12:21-30)
5. Does this chapter describe a pre-advent judgment? How do you know from the text above? Also consider Rev. 14:1; 7:1-4; Malachi.; re2211-4; mt2210-14; mt1324-30.
6. What verse above gives the idea that relatively few will be saved?