Ezekiel 21:12 MEANING

Ezekiel 21:12
(12) Smite therefore upon thy thigh.--A mark of extreme grief, see Jeremiah 31:19. The connection of Ezekiel 21:11-12 with the objection in Ezekiel 21:10 is this: you think there is security for you in the promise to Judah; do not deceive yourselves, but prepare for sorrow and desolation.

Verse 12. - Terrors by reason of the sword; better, as in the Revised Version and margin of the Authorized Version, They (the princes of Judah, corresponding to the "rod" of ver. 10) are delivered over to the sword with my people. At this stage, in contemplating the destruction alike of princes and of people, the prophet is bidden to make his gestures of lamentation yet more expressive, "crying, howling, smiting on his thigh" (Jeremiah 31:19).

21:1-17 Here is an explanation of the parable in the last chapter. It is declared that the Lord was about to cut off Jerusalem and the whole land, that all might know it was his decree against a wicked and rebellious people. It behoves those who denounce the awful wrath of God against sinners, to show that they do not desire the woful day. The example of Christ teaches us to lament over those whose ruin we declare. Whatever instruments God uses in executing his judgments, he will strengthen them according to the service they are employed in. The sword glitters to the terror of those against whom it is drawn. It is a sword to others, a rod to the people of the Lord. God is in earnest in pronouncing this sentence, and the prophet must show himself in earnest in publishing it.Cry, howl, son of man,.... Not only sigh, but cry; and not cry only, but howl; signifying hereby that this would be the case of the Jews when these calamities should come upon them; and, in order to affect them with them before hand, the prophet is ordered to act such a part, as well as to express his sympathy with them:

for it shall be upon my people; that is, the sword, or the calamity signified by it; this should be not upon other nations, but upon the Lord's own people; such who professed themselves to be his people, and whom he had distinguished from all others; this is said, to affect the prophet the more, they being both the Lord's people, and his also:

and it shall be upon all the princes of Israel; who were slain in Riblah by the king of Babylon, Jeremiah 52:10, the sword spared neither people nor princes.

Terrors, by reason of the sword, shall be upon my people; upon the rumour of the invasion, and when besieged in the city, and when attempting to make their escape by flight: or "my people are fallen by the sword" (u), as some:

smite therefore upon thy thigh; as one grieved in spirit, in great distress and anguish; see Jeremiah 31:19.

(u) So R. Sol Urbin. Ohel Moed, fol. 59. 1.

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