Against Sidon (Ezek 28:20-28:23)

“The word of Yahweh

Came to me!

‘Son of man!

Set your face

Toward Sidon!

Prophesy against it!

Say!

Thus says Yahweh God!

I am against you!

O Sidon!

I will gain glory

In your midst.

They shall know

That I am Yahweh,

When I execute

My judgments

In it.

I will manifest

My holiness

In it.

I will send

Pestilence

Into it.

I will send

Bloodshed

Into its streets.

The dead shall fall

In its midst,

By the sword

That is against it

On every side.

Then they will know

That I am Yahweh.’”

Yahweh once again came to Ezekiel, the son of man. Ezekiel was to turn towards Sidon, often mentioned together with Tyre, but less important than Tyre. Sidon itself, now part of Lebanon, was a seacoast town about 25 miles north of Tyre, supposedly named after the son of Canaan, the grandson of Noah. Ezekiel was to prophesy against Sidon. Yahweh was going to be glorified in Sidon. They would learn that Yahweh was able to execute judgments and manifest his holiness there. Yahweh was going to send pestilence and bloodshed to its streets. The dead would fall by the sword all around them. Finally, they would know that Yahweh was God.

The prince of Tyre pretends to be god (Ezek 28:1-28:2)

“The word of Yahweh

Came to me.

‘Son of man!

Say!

To the prince of Tyre!

Thus says Yahweh God!

‘Your heart

Is proud!

You have said.

‘I am a god!  

I sit

In the seat

Of the gods

In the heart

Of the seas.’

Yet you are

But a mortal!

You are no god!

Even though

You compare

Your mind

With the mind

Of a god.”

A usual, the word of Yahweh came to Ezekiel, the son of man. He was to tell the prince of Tyre what Yahweh had said. This Tyre prince had a proud heart. He thought that he was a god. He claimed to sit among the gods in the heart of the sea. However, he was just a mere mortal human. He was no god, even though he compared his own mind to that of a god. Was this King Ittobaal II (760-740 BCE), but that would precede the time frame of Ezekiel by over a 100 years.

Against Tyre (Ezek 26:1-26:2)

“In the eleventh year,

On the first day

Of the month,

The word of Yahweh

Came to me.

‘Son of man!

Tyre said

Concerning Jerusalem.

‘Aha!

Broken is

The gateway

Of the people.

It has swung open

To me.

I shall be replenished,

Now that is wasted.’”

The time for this oracle to Ezekiel, the son of man, was the 11th year of King Zedekiah, which would have been 587 BCE. The Greek translation has a mention of a month that would put it into 586 BCE. Tyre was a Phoenician costal island city that still exists in southern Lebanon, well known for its maritime trade. Actually, it would have been part of the old Israelite territory of Asher. Here, the people of Tyre seemed to have laughed at Jerusalem when the gates of that city fell. Instead of being an ally of Jerusalem, they turned against them. They took advantage of the bad situation in Jerusalem. Isaiah, also, had a long diatribe against both Tyre and Sidon in chapter 23.

 

Against the Ammonites (Ezek 25:1-25:2)

“The word of Yahweh

Came to me.

‘Son of man!

Set your face

Toward the Ammonites,

Prophesy against them.’”

Now there are a series of oracles against the various countries around Israel and Judah. As usual, the word of Yahweh came to Ezekiel, the son of man. He was to set his face against the Ammonites and prophesy against them. Who are the Ammonites? In the biblical sense, they are the descendants of Ammon, the son of Lot from the incest incident with his daughter in Genesis, chapter 19. They seem to have been east of the Jordan and north of Moab, but south of Assyria. The country of Ammon existed from about the 10th century to the 4th century BCE in what would have been the Gad territory as outlined in Joshua, chapter 13. Today it is part of the country of Jordan. Jeremiah, chapter 49, had also spoken out against them. They along with the Moabites were the constant enemies of Judah and Israel. At some point, they became part of the Assyrian empire and eventually ceased to exist. They certainly were related to Canaan and spoke a Semitic language.

Yahweh tells Ezekiel how to act after his wife’s death (Ezek 24:15-24:17)

“The word of Yahweh

Came to me.

‘Son of man!

With one blow

I am about

To take away

The delight of your eyes.

Yet you shall not mourn!

You shall not weep!

Your tears shall not run down!

Sigh!

But not aloud!

Make no mourning

For the dead!

Bind on your turban!

Put your sandals

On your feet!

Do not cover

Your upper lip!

Do not nor eat

The bread of mourners!’”

Yahweh came to Ezekiel, the son of man, as usual. However, this time he had some bad news for Ezekiel. His wife, the delight of his eyes, was going to die. However, instead of the usual mourning, Yahweh told him not to mourn for his wife. He was not to weep or show any tears. He could sigh, but only in private. There would be no public mourning for his dead wife. He was to put on his turban hat and foot sandals as usual. He was not to cover his upper lip or eat the mourner’s bread. This mourner’s bread must have been some special bread for funerals. In fact, in a small town in South Dakota, a church always serves funeral potatoes, cheesy potatoes, after the funeral burial service. Ezekiel was to suffer the loss of his wife in silence, without any of the usual customary mourning ceremonies.

The exact day of the Babylonian siege (Ezek 24:1-24:2)

“In the ninth year,

In the tenth month,

On the tenth day

Of the month,

The word of Yahweh

Came to me.

‘Son of man!

Write down

The name

Of this day!

This very day!

The king of Babylon

Has laid siege

To Jerusalem

This very day.’”

As usual, Ezekiel mentioned an exact date. This was the 10th day, of the 10th month, of the 9th year of the reign of King Zedekiah. This seems to be January 15, 588 BCE. Once again, Yahweh appeared to Ezekiel, the son of man, who was still probably in Babylon. Yahweh wanted him to write this exact date down because it was the day that Babylon began its siege of Jerusalem.

The two daughters (Ezek 23:1-23:3)

“The word of Yahweh
Came to me.
‘Son of man!
There were two women.
They were
The daughters
Of one mother.
They played the whore
In Egypt.
They played the whore
In their youth.
Their breasts
Were caressed there.
Their virgin bosoms
Were fondled.’”
Once again, the word of Yahweh came to Ezekiel, the son of man. This oracle was about two women, the daughters of the same mother. Both of them played the whore in Egypt when they were young. In particular, their young virgin breasts or bosoms were fondled and caressed. Ezekiel and Yahweh loved the theme of the whoring woman to get a point across. Here there was a particular emphasis on the breasts of these two young women.