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Ezekiel 18:10-13

10. If he beget a son that is a robber, a shedder of blood, and that doeth the like to any one of these things,

10. Et genuerit filium praedonem, 213213     Or, “a destroyer:” פרף, pheretz, signifies to corrupt, destroy; whence, פרצין, pher-tzim, means thieves who dig through the walls of houses. But that derivation seems to me forced: I rather interpret the word as “a violent man,” and one who breaks through all rectitude. — Calvin. qui sanguinem effundit, et facit fractri: 214214     So I interpret it: others read “one thing;” but we shall afterwards see that the word brother is better. — Calvin. fratri (ergo) unum ex his. 215215     That is, “any one.” — Calvin. Three manuscripts with the Syriac version omit the word אח, ach, brother; but the Chaldee, and Houbigant, with Archbishop Newcome, all agree with Calvin in inserting it.

11. And that doeth not any of those duties, but even hath eaten upon the mountains, and defiled his neighbour’s wife,

11. Et ipse haec omnia 216216     The precepts of the law, which he had mentioned before. — Calvin. non fecerit, quin potius omnia in montibus comederit, et uxorem proximi sui corruperit. 217217     “Polluted,” as we said yesterday. — Calvin.

12. Hath oppressed the poor and needy, hath spoiled by violence, hath not restored the pledge, and hath lifted up his eyes to the idols, hath committed abomination,

12. Pauperem et egenum oppresserit, praedas rapuerit, pignus non reddiderit, et ad idola oculos suos extulerit, abominationem fecerit.

13. Hath given forth upon usury, and hath taken increase: shall he then live? he shall not live: he hath done all these abominations; he shall surely die; his blood shall be upon him.

13. Cum usura dederit, et incrementum acceperit: et vivet? 218218     That is, “shall he live?” — Calvin. non vivet: abominationes cunctas patravit, moriendo morietur, sanguis ejus in eo erit. 219219     That is, “shall rest upon himself.” — Calvin.


He has oppressed the poor and needy: he had simply said, He has oppressed a man; but now to make the greatness of the crime appear, he speaks of the poor and needy: for cruelty in oppressing them is less tolerable. Whatever the condition of the person whom we treat, with injustice, our wickedness is in itself sufficiently worthy of condemnation; but when we afflict the wretched, whose condition ought to excite our pity, that, inhumanity is, as I have said, far more atrocious. Hence this circumstance exaggerates what Ezekiel had formerly simply expressed. In the phrase for seizing booty, the word for booty is in the plural: in the next phrase he omits the word for debtor, because it is sufficiently understood: in the next, he does not add “of the house of Israel” to the word “idols;” and in the last clause the word “abomination” seems to refer to one kind of grossness only: but if any wish to extend its meaning further, I do not, object; but since he lately used the word in the plural, I rather take this word in its restricted sense. I pass thus rapidly over this second example, as I shall over the third, because Ezekiel preserves the same sentiments, and repeats almost the same words as he had just used. Hitherto he has taught that life is laid up for all the just as the reward of their justice: but he now sets before us a degenerate son, sprung from a just father, running headlong into all kind of wickedness. He says, then, if a man who desires to obey the law beget a son of a perverse disposition, who rejects the discipline of his father, and at the same time violates the whole law of God, shall he surely live? No, says he, he shall die, his blood shall be upon him; that is, he cannot escape God’s judgment;, because his crimes cry out, and are heard. Hence none who turn aside from the right way shall remain unpunished: this is the simple meaning of the Prophet. Let us now come to the third member.

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