Commentary on
Ezekiel 9:1-2

The Vision of Slaughter 

9:1  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.
9:2  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 brasen altar.

Commentary on 9:1
[22 September 2007]:     What a strange translation! “Cause them that have charge over the city to draw near, even every man with his destroying weapon in his hand,” which leaves the impression that the governmental leaders, who should be “them that have charge over the city” are its destroyers. While the decisions they have made indeed lead to its destruction, nonetheless, it is not Israel’s government officials who wield weapons against the city.
        Furthermore, this is not what the Hebrew reads. The Hebrew word rendered
“them that have charge” is entry H6486: pequddah, simply meaning “visitation (in many senses, chiefly official),” which comes from a primary root, entry H6485: paqad, meaning “to visit (with friendly or hostile intent); by analysis to oversee, muster, charge, care for, miss, deposit, etc.” The Scriptures read a little more appropriately: “Let the punishers of the city draw near, each with his weapon of destruction in his hand.”

Commentary on 9:2 [22 September 2007]: This verse demands examination in the Hebrew.
        Does the Hebrew read
“six men” or something else? As in Ezekiel 8:11, men are mortals and this plural word could indicate individuals or groups of men. Given past and current situations in the Middle East, it is likely this refers to six national armies, probably including Syrian, Lebanon, Iran, Turkey, Afghanistan, and potentially North Korea, considering the alliances being developed among the various nations right now.
        These destroyers
“came from the way of the higher gate,” which in Hebrew is simply “the entrance or opening” “higher or above,” easily referring to northern borders, as confirmed by the following phrase, “which lieth toward the north.”
        Each of these six individuals or
groups of men [armies, potentially] come with “a slaughter weapon in his hand.” The Hebrew word for weapon is entry H3627: keliy, meaning “something prepared, any apparatus (as an implement, utensil, dress, vessel or weapon),” from entry H3615: kalah, a primary root meaning “to end, to cease, be finished, to perish; or to complete, to prepare, to consume.” Slaughter comes from entry H4660: mappats, meaning “a smiting to pieces,” from entry H5310: naphats, a primary root meaning “to dash to pieces or scatter.” Together, these words are quite graphic. The Hebrew Interlinear Bible reads “weapons shattering,” The Tanakh, the Hebrew Scriptures, renders these words “clubs,” and The Scriptures reads “battle-axes.” With modern technology, bombs and missiles with explosive warheads would certainly dash to pieces and finish a city, thus either would be an appropriate translation.
Commentary on Ezekiel 9:2 continued . . . .]

Gael Bataman
Originally Written:            
22 September 2007
Latest Update:                   22 September 2007                                            

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