Ezekiel 5 Commentary
Ezekiel is already in exile yet is talking about exile. Is there another exile on the horizon for Judah? Yes, more than the word itself. Mothers will cook their own children!
This period saw Jerusalem ransacked time and time again.
Three months after Josiah’s death, Egypt attacked and exiled King Jehoahaz and installed Eliakim in his place. His name was changed to Jehoiakim.
11 years into Jehoiakim’s reign, Nebuchadnezzar attacked and exiled Jehoiakim to Babylon. An eighteen-year-old Jeconiah, son of Jehoiakim took over but his reign lasted 3 months. He too was exiled to Babylon and Mattaniah, Jeconiah’s uncle, and Josiah’s son took over.
Jeconiah is the Jehoiachin of Ezekial Chapter 1. Mattaniah is the Zedekiah with whom Jeremiah fought ministry battles. Read Deuteronomy 28 for detailed consequences of rebellion. It is a full package for Israel! And for Judah, all of it in just under 22 years!
Zedekiah’s fate was yet another exile which came with a near total destruction of Jerusalem. This is probably the exile and destruction that Ezekiel is referring to. Ezekiel was himself a victim of earlier deportation, either with Jehoiakim or his son Jehoiachin.
Ezekiel’s hair is the subject of Chapter 5. He has to shave and weigh his hair on the scale. It represents Israel’s numbers – a nation once so full of people would be reduced to nothing in a series of ‘judgments’ from the LORD.
Ezekiel keeps a small portion of his hair but that too is subjected to fire. Let the exiles know the LORD’s sword isn’t done yet. From the Book of Esther, we know the Jews didn’t always have it easy. Babylon wasn’t a holiday camp!
We are here because of rebellion. Ezekiel preaches to the exiles in an effort to draw them to repentance. In the background is the thought that if rebellion is the problem, then obedience would be the solution. But who is listening?
Indeed, who is listening? Don’t we convene world conferences and embark on massive humanitarian projects in order to solve world problems? Who is looking at the real cause of crises? Who is listening to Ezekiel?
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