Ezekiel 21:22 MEANING

Ezekiel 21:22
(22) At his right hand was.--This is too exactly literal. The sense is, into his right hand came the divination which determined his course towards Jerusalem. "Captains" should be as in the margin, battering. rams (see Ezekiel 4:2), for the siege of Jerusalem; the same word is so translated farther on in this verse. The remaining clauses portray the operations of the attack.

Verse 22. - At his right hand was, etc.; better, into his right hand came, etc.; sc. the arrow marked for Jerusalem was that which came into the king's hand as the quiver was shaken. To appoint captains; better, battering rams, in both clauses. The same Hebrew word is used in both (see note on Ezekiel 4:2). The verse paints the engineering operations of the besiegers, following on the issue of the divination. (For the mount, comp. Isaiah 37:33.)

21:18-27 By the Spirit of prophecy Ezekiel foresaw Nebuchadnezzar's march from Babylon, which he would determine by divination. The Lord would overturn the government of Judah, till the coming of Him whose right it is. This seems to foretell the overturnings of the Jewish nation to the present day, and the troubles of states and kingdoms, which shall make way for establishing the Messiah's kingdom throughout the earth. The Lord secretly leads all to adopt his wise designs. And in the midst of the most tremendous warnings of wrath, we still hear of mercy, and some mention of Him through whom mercy is shown to sinful men.At his right hand was the divination for Jerusalem,.... All his divinations, whether by arrows, or by images, or by liver, all directed him to his right hand, to turn to that which led to Jerusalem; and thus what appeared to him to be the effect of divination was overruled by the providence of God, to direct him to go and do what he designed he should:

to appoint captains to open the mouth in the slaughter; upon which he appointed his several captains and officers their distinct bodies of men they were to lead on to the siege of Jerusalem; and give them the word of command when to attack the place, scale the walls, or make breaches in it, and fall upon the enemy, and make a slaughter of them. The word for "captains" signifies "rams"; and Joseph Kimchi interprets it of battering rams, to beat down walls; but these are after mentioned; and is both by Jarchi and David Kimchi explained of general officers of the army; and so the Targum,

"to appoint generals to open the gates, that the slayer may enter by them:''

to lift up the voice with shouting; which is usually done in sieges, when a shout is made, and a place is stormed; both to animate the besiegers, and to terrify the besieged:

to appoint battering rams against the gates; to break them down, or break through them, and so make way for the army to enter in; these were engines used in sieges, to beat down walls, and make breaches in them, that the besiegers might enter; so called from the iron heads of them, which resembled rams; and are thus described by Josephus (o),

"the ram is a huge beam, not unlike the mast of a ship; the top of it is capped with a thick piece of iron, in the form of a ram's head, from whence it has its name: this is hung by the middle with ropes to another beam, which lies across, supported by a couple of posts; and thus hanging equally balanced, is, by a great number of men violently thrust backwards and forwards, and so beats the wall with its iron head; nor is there any tower so strong, or wall so broad, as to resist its repeated strokes.''

Vitruvius (p) says it was invented by the Carthaginians at the siege of Cadiz; but Pliny (q) affirms it was invented by Epeus at the siege of Troy; but the first mention of them is made by Ezekiel here, and in Ezekiel 4:2, and Diodorus Siculus (r) affirms they were not known in the times of Sardanapalus, when Nineveh was taken by Arbaces. The Targum interprets it of officers set at the gates, as before; and so Jarchi:

to cast a mount; made up of earth, to raise their batteries upon: and

to build a fort; to cast out their arrows from thence, and protect the besiegers; See Gill on Ezekiel 4:1.

(o) De Bello Jud. l. 3. c. 7. sect. 19. Vid. Valtrinum de Re Militari Roman. l. 5. c. 6. p. 526. (p) De Architectura, l. 10. c. 19. (q) Nat. Hist. l. 7. c. 56. (r) Bibliothec. l. 2. p. 113.

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