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awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt' (Dan. 12:1-2). This revelation by the hand of Daniel proves that this unprecedented time of trouble in Israel's history that Ezekiel, Jeremiah, and Jesus spake of, transpires in connection with the resurrection of many of the dead at the last day.
We have cited these instances to prove that the prophet Ezekiel, in that portion of his writings which we are interpreting, is treating of those great events in the history of Israel and the nations which cluster around the resurrection of the dead, and the knowledge of this fact invests his prophecy with double importance to all honest readers and inquirers after the truth.
But what are the evils, the tribulations, and the nature of the sorrows that are to befall the people of Israel in those days?“ Therefore the fathers shall eat the sons in the midst of thee, and the sons shall eat the fathers; and I will execute judgments in the midst of thee, and the whole remnant of thee will I scatter into all winds" (Ezek. 5: 10). Thus the Lord reproduces here by the hand of the prophet Ezekiel what he had before said to Moses in giving to Israel the second law, and also what he said in the first part of the law, in the last of the four series of sevens, of plagues, which are also manifest under the seven vials of the seven last plagues as appears in the Revelation, saying, “And ye shall eat the flesh of your sons, and the flesh of your daughters shall ye eat, and I will destroy your high places, and cut down your images, and cast your carcases upon the carcases of your idols, and my soul shall abhor you" (Lev. 26: 29-30).
It is during these terrible sieges that the idolatrous Israelites are driven to such extremities that they eat one another, for the Lord says in this same connection (verse 25), “And I will bring a sword upon you, which shall avenge the quarrel of my covenant: and when ye are gathered together in your cities, I will send the pestilence among you; and ye shall be delivered into the hand of your enemies. And when I have broken the staff of your bread, ten women shall bake your bread in one oven, and they shall deliver your bread by weight, and ye shall not be satisfied." These are the extremities and the distresses to which the rebellious house will be reduced when the Lord shall judge his people; and Moses also testifies (Deut. 28: 50) that the nation of fierce countenance shall distress them and besiege them in all their cities till they shall eat their sons and daughters, and till their high walls come down wherein they trusted, and until they are delivered into the enemies' hands for destruction. (Verse 64) “ The Lord shall scatter you among all people from the one end of the earth even unto the other, and there thou shalt serve other gods which neither thou nor thy fathers have known.”
Now all these things the testimony of Ezekiel confirms, both as to their idolatry and wickedness, and the punishment that they will be subjected to for all their transgressions, saying (5:11), “Wherefore, as I live, saith the Lord God, Surely, because thou hast defiled my sanctuary with all thy detestable things, and with all thine abominations, therefore will I also diminish thee, neither shall mine eye spare, neither will I have any pity. A third part of thee shall die with the pestilence, and with famine shall they be consumed in the midst of thee; and a third part shall fall by the sword round about
thee: and I will scatter a third part into all winds, and I will draw out a sword after them."
Now what does the Lord here charge against his people as the procuring cause why he visits them with such deadly destruction ? He says, “As I live, saith the Lord God, Surely, because thou hast defiled my sanctuary with all thy detestable things, and with all thine abominations." This is what the Lord charges against them; they have done worse than their fathers, for Manasseh king of Judah," reared up altars for Baalam, and made groves, and worshipped all the host of heaven, and served them. Also he built altars in the house of the Lord, whereof the Lord had said, In Jerusalem shall my name be forever, and he built altars for all the hosts of heaven in the courts of the house of the Lord, and he caused his children to pass through the fire in the valley of the son of Hinnom. Also he observed times, and used enchantments, and used witchcrafts, and dealt with a familiar spirit, and with wizards. He wrought much evil in the sight of the Lord to provoke him to anger (II Chron. 33: 1-7). And to complete his iniquity," he set a carved image, the
. idol which he had made, in the house of the Lord, of which God had said to David, and to Solomon his son, In this house, and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen before all the tribes of Israel, will I put my name for ever.”
These abominations of Manasseh will be exceeded by the kings of Israel in the latter days, for they will set up again in the temple of the Lord in Jerusalem the "abomination that maketh desolate," and they will also admit strangers into the Lord's house, as it is said (Ezek. 7:22), “My face will I also turn from them, and they shall pollute my secret place (the holy of holies): for the robbers shall enter into it, and defile it."
It is because they will be guilty of such abominations as these that the Lord has declared that he will reduce the populous house of Israel, who will then be as the stars of the sky and as the sand of the sea for multitude, down to a remnant, by famine, by the pestilence, and by the sword, and the nation will be destroyed, save a small remnant. Then the Lord says (verse 13), “ Thus shall mine anger be accomplished, and I will cause my fury to rest upon them, and I will be comforted, and they shall know that I, the Lord, have spoken it in my zeal, when I have accomplished my fury in them. Moreover I will make thee waste, and a reproach among the nations that are round about thee, in the sight of all that pass by. So it shall be a reproach and a taunt, an instruction and an astonishment unto the nations that are round about thee, when I shall execute judgments in thee, in anger and in fury, and in furious rebukes. I the Lord have spoken it. When I shall send upon them the evil arrows of famine, which shall be for their destruction, and which I will send to destroy you, and I will increase the famine upon you, and will break your staff of bread. So will I send upon you famine and evil beasts, and they shall bereave thee; and pestilence and blood shall pass through thee; and I will bring the sword upon thee. I the Lord have spoken it."
A LIST OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF ISRAEL IN THE LATTER DAYS These things were shown to the prophet Ezekiel in vision, in the spirit, to see and describe what the rebellious house will do in those times which are yet to come to pass, as follows (8: 1-18), “And it came to pass in the sixth year, in the sixth month, in the fifth day of the month, as I sat in mine house, and the elders of Judah sat before me, that the hand of the Lord fell there upon me. Then I beheld, and lo, a likeness as the appearance of fire: from the appearance of his loins even downward, fire; and from his loins even upward, as the appearance of brightness, as the colour of amber. forth the form of an hand, and took me by a lock of mine head; and the spirit lifted me up between the earth and the heaven, and brought me in the visions of God to Jerusalem, to the door of the inner gate that looketh toward the north, where was the seat of the image of jealousy, which provoketh to jealousy. And, behold, the glory of the God of Israel was there, according to the vision that I saw in the plain.
“Then said he unto me, Son of man, lift up thine eyes now the way toward the north. So I lifted up mine eyes the way toward the north, and behold, northward at the gate of the altar, this image of jealousy in the entry. He said furthermore unto me, Son of man, seest thou what they do? even the great abominations that the house of Israel committeth here, that I should go far off from my sanctuary? But turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations.
"And he brought me to the door of the court: and when I looked, behold a hole in the wall. Then said he unto me, Son of man, dig now in the wall: And when I had digged in the wall, behold a door. And he said unto me, Go in, and behold the wicked abominations that they do here. So I went in and saw; and behold every form of creeping things, and abominable beasts, and all the idols of the house of Israel, portrayed upon the wall round about. And there stood before them seventy men of the ancients of the house of Israel, and in the midst of them stood Jaazaniah the son of Shaphan, with every man his censer in his hand; and a thick cloud of incense went up. Then said he unto me, Son of man, hast thou seen what the ancients of the house of Israel do in the dark, every man in the chambers of his imagery? for they say, The Lord seeth us not; the Lord hath forsaken the earth. He said also unto me, Turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations that they do.
“ Then he brought me to the door of the gate of the Lord's house which was toward the north; and behold there sat women weeping for Tammuz. Then said he unto me, Hast thou seen this, O son of man? Turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations than these. And he brought me into the inner court of the Lord's house, and, behold, at the door of the temple of the Lord, between the porch and the altar, were about five and twenty men, with their backs toward the temple of the Lord, and their faces toward the east; and they worshipped the sun toward the east.
“And he said unto me, Hast thou seen this, O son of man? Is it a light thing to the house of Judah that they commit the abominations which they commit here? for they have filled the land with violence, and have returned to provoke me to anger; and, lo, they put the branch to their nose. Therefore will I also deal with them in fury: mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity; and though they cry in mine ears with a loud voice, yet will I not hear them.”
Chapter 9, to the end: "He cried also in mine ears with a loud voice, saying, Cause them that have charge over the city to draw near, even every man with his destroying weapon in his hand. 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 brazen altar. And the glory of the God of Israel was gone up from the cherub, whereupon he was, to the threshold of the house: and he called to the man clothed with linen, which had the writer's inkhorn by his side;
"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. 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 pity: slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women, but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at my sanctuary. Then they began at the ancient men which were before the house. 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.
“ And it came to pass, while they were slaying them, and I was left, that I fell on 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? 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. And as for me also, mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity; but I will recompense their way upon their head. 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.”
In this remarkable prophecy (for it is the more remarkable to us in this age of the world, and the more interesting, seeing the time is yet future when these things are to be fulfilled) the thing worthy of special attention is the fact that the two houses of Israel and Judah will be identified together and allied to each other, and will be gathered together in the city of Jerusalem, and be besieged there by the enemy, in the day of their destruction. This is a feature that has never been manifested in the past, but will be in the latter days. This we will refer to again when we consider the same things as shown in the Revelation.
"The Mountains of Israel” In view of all these abominations that the houses of Israel and Judah will commit in their land and in the holy city where the Lord recorded his name, the Lord addresses them by the hand of Ezekiel in chapter six and two as follows, “Son of man, Set thy face toward the mountains of Israel, and prophesy against them, and say, Ye mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord God, Thus saith the Lord God to the mountains, and to the hills, to the rivers, and to the valleys, Behold, I, even I, will bring a sword upon you, and I will destroy your high places; and your altars shall be desolate, and your images shall be broken ; and I will cast down your slain men before your idols. And I will lay the dead carcases of the children of Israel before their idols; and I will scatter your bones round about your altars. In all your dwelling places the cities shall be laid waste, and the high places shall be desolate; that your
may be laid waste and made desolate, and your idols may be broken and cease, and your images may be cut down, and your works may be abolished.
And the slain shall fall in the midst of you, and ye shall know that I am the Lord.”
These words are addressed to the mountains and hills, to the rivers and valleys of the house of Israel, that is, to their kings, princes, prophets, and people of the land, to high and low, rich and poor together; and unless things like these are observed, how shall a man be able to interpret a book of symbols where you read of a mountain burning with fire which was cast into the sea, and of a vial which is poured out upon the rivers and fountains of waters? If no attention is paid to such figures as these, how can the book of symbols ever be scripturally interpreted?
Again the Lord continues saying, “Yet will I leave a remnant, that ye may have some that shall escape the sword among the nations, when ye shall be scattered through the countries. And they that escape of you shall remember me among the nations whither they shall be carried captives, because I am broken with their whorish heart, which had departed from me, and with their eyes, which go a whoring after their idols, and they shall loath themselves for the evils which they have committed in all their abominations. And they shall know that I am the Lord, and that I have not said in vain that I would do this evil unto them.
“Thus saith the Lord God, Smite with thine hand, and stamp with thy foot, and say, Alas, for all the evil abominations of the house of Israel for they shall fall by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence. He that is far off shall die of the pestilence; and he that is near shall fall by the sword; and he that remaineth and is besieged shall die by the famine: thus will I accomplish my fury upon them.
“ Then shall ye know that I am the Lord, when their slain men shall be among their idols round about their altars, upon every high hill, in all the tops of the mountains, and under every green tree, and under every thick oak, the place where they did offer sweet savour to all their idols. So will I stretch out my hand upon them, and make the land desolate, yea, more desolate than the wilderness toward Diblath, in all their habitations; and they shall know that I am the Lord.”
Moreover, after the Lord has described by the hand of Ezekiel the different forms of idolatry and the abominations of the house of Israel and Judah, and how they will defile the courts of his Temple, and how he will punish and destroy his proud and haughty people by the sword, the famine, and the pestilence, he further emphasizes these terrible things, as it is written in the seventh chapter, as follows: “Moreover, the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Also, thou son of man, thus saith the Lord God unto the land of Israel, An end, the end is come upon the four corners of the land. Now is