Ezekiel 21 Commentary

No possibility of escape (21:18-32)

In another acted message, the prophet drew a map on the ground, showing a road out of Babylon that branched in two directions. One led to Jerusalem, the other to Rabbah, capital of Ammon. By means of markings on the map, Ezekiel indicated that the king of Babylon had arrived at the road junction and was trying to decide whether to go and attack Rabbah or go and besiege Jerusalem. The king used three superstitious methods to determine which way to go: drawing lots (using arrows for lots), consulting idols, and looking into the liver of a sacrificed animal (18-21).

The decision of the Babylonian king was to besiege Jerusalem (22). The Jerusalemites, however, were not worried by this news. They took no notice of what they considered to be Babylonian superstitions. They trusted instead in their treaty with Egypt. But it would make no difference to the outcome; Jerusalem would be captured (23).

Jerusalem was doomed because of its sin; so was Zedekiah, and for the same reason. The proud king would suffer the greatest humiliation. There would not be another king over Israel till the Messiah came, to whom the throne rightly belonged (24-27).

Meanwhile the Ammonites, having escaped the Babylonian attack, took the opportunity to join in crushing Jerusalem. They were encouraged in this by lying prophets who assured them they were doing God’s work. The true prophet Ezekiel told them they were only making certain their own punishment (28- 29). The Ammonites were not God’s instrument for punishing Jerusalem. When they returned to their own country, God would punish them (by means of a Babylonian attack) for their unprovoked attack on his people (30-32).

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