The mourning (Ezek 21:12-21:13)

“‘Cry!

Wail!

Son of man!

It is against

My people!

It is against

All Israel’s princes!

They are thrown

To the sword,

Together with my people.

Ah!

Strike the thigh!

Consider!

What!

If you despise the rod,

Will it not happen?’

Says Yahweh God.”

Yahweh wanted Ezekiel, the son of man, to mourn, cry, and wail. The sword was going to come against the people of Yahweh, all of Israel’s princes. They were all going to be thrown to the sword. Ezekiel was to strike his thigh as a sign of mourning. They had despised the rod. Now see what was going to happen.

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The chant of the sharpened sword (Ezek 21:8-21:11)

“The word of Yahweh

Came to me.

‘Son of man!

Prophesy!

Say!

Thus says Yahweh!

Say!

‘A sword!

A sword is sharpened!

A sword is also polished!

It is sharpened

For slaughter!

It is polished

To flash

Like lightning!

How can we make merry?

You have despised

The rod.

You have despised

All discipline.

The sword is given

To be polished,

To be grasped

In the hand.

It is sharpened.

The sword is polished.

It is to be placed

In the killer’s hand.’”

This oracle of Yahweh is often called the song of the sword. Yahweh told Ezekiel to prophesize this chant about the importance of the sword. A sword should be sharpened and polished for the slaughter to come. The sword should be polished so that it flashes like lightning. How can they be happy and merry? They had despised the rod and all discipline. They should have a polished sword that can be easily grasped. It should be sharpened and polished before it was placed in the killer’s hand.

Watch how people say things (Prov 29:18-29:20)

“Where there is no prophecy

The people cast off restraint.

But happy are those who keep the law.

By mere words,

Servants are not disciplined.

Even though they understand,

They will not give heed.

Do you see someone who is hasty in speech?

There is more hope for a fool

Than for anyone like that.”

Without the words of a prophet to guide people, they do not have restraint. The happy people are those that follow the law. It is not good enough to discipline servants with words. Even though they understand, they still do not follow. Therefore you may need the rod. Those who speak too fast are worse than a fool.

The descendants of David (Ps 89:29-89:37)

“I will establish his line forever.

I will establish his throne as long as the heavens endure.

If his children forsake my law,

If they do not walk according to my ordinances,

If they violate my statutes,

If they do not keep my commandments,

Then I will punish their transgression with the rod.

I will punish their iniquity with scourges.

But I will not remove from him my steadfast love.

I will not be false to my faithfulness.

I will not violate my covenant.

I will not alter the word that went forth from my lips.

Once and for all

I have sworn by my holiness.

I will not lie to David.

His line shall continue forever.

His throne shall endure before me like the sun.

It shall be established forever like the moon.

It shall be an enduring witness in the skies.”

Selah

The throne of David is not just for him, but his descendants. His line of descendants will last until the heavens disappear. However, this is not an unconditional gift. There are conditions. If his children do certain things they will receive the rod and be scourged. They should not forsake God’s law. They have to walk according to his ordinances. They cannot violate his statutes. They should keep his commandments. This punishment to those who do not follow the laws and ordinances will not be permanent. They will always have the steadfast love of God and his covenant. God would keep his word that he gave to David. He would not lie. The line of David will continue forever just like the sun and the moon in the skies. This section ends with the musical interlude meditative pause of Selah.