New European Version: Old Testament

Deeper commentary on this chapter

Audio talks on this chapter:


Video presentations on this chapter:


Other material relevant to this chapter:


Hear this chapter read:



About | PDFs | Mobile formats | Word formats | Other languages | Contact Us | What is the Gospel? | Support the work | Carelinks Ministries | | The Real Christ | The Real Devil | "Bible Companion" Daily Bible reading plan

CHAPTER 21 Sep. 25 
The Sword of Babylon
The word of Yahweh came to me saying, 2Son of man, set your face toward Jerusalem, and drop your word toward the sanctuaries and prophesy against the land of Israel; 3and tell the land of Israel, Thus says Yahweh: Behold, I am against you, and will draw forth My sword out of its sheath, and will cut off from you the righteous and the wicked. 4Seeing then that I will cut off from you the righteous and the wicked, therefore shall My sword go forth out of its sheath against all flesh from the south to the north: 5and all flesh shall know that I, Yahweh, have drawn forth My sword out of its sheath; it shall not return any more. 6Sigh therefore, you son of man; with the breaking of your thighs and with bitterness you will sigh before their eyes. 7It shall be, when they tell you, ‘Why do you sigh?’ that you shall say, Because of the news, for it is coming. Every heart shall melt, and all hands shall be feeble, every spirit shall faint and all knees shall be weak as water. It is coming, and it shall be done, says the Lord Yahweh. 8The word of Yahweh came to me saying, 9Son of man, prophesy, and say, Thus says Yahweh: Say, A sword, a sword, it is sharpened, and also polished. 10It is sharpened that it may make a slaughter; it is polished that it may be as lightning. Shall we then laugh? The rod of My son condemns every tree. 11It is given to be polished, that it may be ready for use: the sword, it is sharpened, yes, it is polished, to give it into the hand of the killer. 12Cry and wail, son of man; for it is on My people, it is on all the princes of Israel: they are delivered over to the sword with My people; strike therefore on your thigh. 13For I am putting My people to the test, and if they refuse to repent, all these things will happen to them, says the Lord Yahweh. 14You therefore, son of man, prophesy and strike your hands together; and let the sword be doubled the third time, the sword of the deadly wounded: it is the sword of the great slaughter which surrounds them. 15I have set the threatening sword against all their gates, that their hearts may tremble, and their ruins be multiplied: ah! it is made as lightning, it is pointed for slaughter. 16Gather yourselves together, go to the right, set yourselves in array, go to the left, wherever your face is set. 17I will also strike My hands together, and I will cause My wrath to rest: I, Yahweh, have spoken it. 18The word of Yahweh came to me again saying, 19Also, you son of man, appoint two ways, that the sword of the king of Babylon may come; they both shall come forth out of one land. Mark out a place, mark it out at the head of the way to the city. 20You shall appoint a way for the sword to come to Rabbah of the Ammonites, and to Judah in Jerusalem the fortified. 21For the king of Babylon stood at the parting of the way, at the head of the two ways, to use fortune telling. He shook the arrows back and forth, he consulted the images, he looked in the liver. 22In his right hand was the forecast for Jerusalem, to set battering rams, to open the mouth in the slaughter, to lift up the battle cry, to set battering rams against the gates, to cast up mounds, to build forts. 23It shall seem to them as a false forecast in their opinion. They have sworn solemn oaths, but he brings their guilt to remembrance, that they may be caught. 24Therefore thus says the Lord Yahweh: Because you have made your wickedness to be remembered, in that your transgressions are uncovered so that in all your doings your sins appear; because you have come to memory, you shall be taken with the hand. 25You, deadly wounded wicked one, the prince of Israel, whose day has come, in the time of the iniquity of the end, 26thus says the Lord Yahweh: Remove the mitre and take off the crown; this shall be no more the same; exalt that which is low, and abase that which is high. 27I will overturn, overturn, overturn it. This also shall be no more, until he come whose right it is; and I will give it him. 
Against Ammon
28You, son of man, prophesy, and say, Thus says the Lord Yahweh concerning the children of Ammon, and concerning their reproach; and say, A sword, a sword is drawn, for the slaughter it is polished, to cause it to devour, that it may be as lightning; 29while they see for you false visions, while they forecast lies to you, to lay you on the necks of the wicked who are deadly wounded, whose day has come in the time of the iniquity of the end. 30Cause it to return into its sheath. In the place where you were created, in the land of your birth, will I judge you. 31I will pour out My indignation on you; I will blow on you with the fire of My wrath; and I will deliver you into the hand of cruel men, skilful to destroy. 32You shall be for fuel to the fire; your blood shall be in the midst of the land; you shall be remembered no more: for I, Yahweh, have spoken it.


21:26 The mitre… the crown- The implication is that the King to be deposed was a King-Priest, as if the priestly and kingly lines had crossed in his genealogy. This points forward to the Lord Jesus. 
 Mary understood that through her conception, God had put down the mighty from their thrones and exalted them of low station in this life (Lk. 1:52). This clearly alludes to Ez. 21:26, where the princes are to be put down and him that is low is to be exalted, i.e. Messiah. But Mary felt that she had been exalted; thus she shared Messiah’s exaltation because He was in her and she in Him. We too are in Him, and we should feel something of the pride and joy, along with the suffering, that comes from that identification. She parallels her lowly estate with them of low station in this life (Lk. 1:48,52)- perhaps referring to her and Jesus? Yet despite all her undoubted spiritual perception in her song of praise, she didn’t have totally pure understanding. It seems from her allusion in Lk. 1:52 to Ez. 21:26 [the mighty being put down from their thrones and the humble one exalted] that she thought that Ezekiel’s prophesy about Messiah’s restoration of the Kingdom had already been fulfilled in her conception of Jesus. It could be that she was so sure that her child would one day do this that she saw the time of the coming of “Him whose right it is” as being right there and then; and yet we know that it is in fact still future.
21:27 The throne of the kings of Judah was to be no more until Christ, the rightful King of Israel, returns. He is the One who was low who has been exalted on high (:26). The triple ‘overturning’ could refer to the Babylonian destruction of Jerusalem, the Roman destruction in AD70, and a final overturning of the city in our times, just prior to Christ’s return as King of Israel. Alternatively, the triple 'overturning' refers to the three invasions of Judah made by Babylon. The future Kingdom of Christ is to be a re-establishment of the Kingdom of God as it once was, based around Jerusalem. The return of Christ is spoken of as the restoration of that Kingdom in Acts 1:6, where the disciples are basically asking when this prophecy of Ez. 21:27 will be fulfilled.