Atlanta Bible Students

The Book of Ezekiel

Chapter 21
Go To Verse 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32
Overall Chapter Breakdown:

The entire chapter appears to be speaking about Both nominal Fleshly Israel and nominal Spiritual Israel. The sections in the chapter appear to be focused as follows:

Verses 1-7, primarily aimed at nominal Spiritual Israel during Pastor Russell's ministry.

Verses 8-17, still aimed mostly at nominal Spiritual Israel but beginning to focus (to a lesser degree) on nominal Fleshly Israel just prior to the 70 years desolation.

Verses 18-27, mostly aimed at nominal Fleshly Israel (especially verses 25-27.)

Verses 28-32 aimed primarily at nominal Fleshly Israel but clearly some fits better when applied to nominal Spiritual Israel.

[1] And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, [2] Son of man, set thy face toward Jerusalem, and drop thy word toward the holy places, and prophesy against the land of Israel, [3] And say to the land of Israel, Thus saith the LORD; Behold, I am against thee, and will draw forth my sword out of his sheath, and will cut off from thee the righteous and the wicked. [4] Seeing then that I will cut off from thee the righteous and the wicked, therefore shall my sword go forth out of his sheath against all flesh from the south to the north: [5] That all flesh may know that I the LORD have drawn forth my sword out of his sheath: it shall not return any more. [6] Sigh therefore, thou son of man, with the breaking of thy loins; and with bitterness sigh before their eyes. [7] And it shall be, when they say unto thee, Wherefore sighest thou? that thou shalt answer, For the tidings; because it cometh: and every heart shall melt, and all hands shall be feeble, and every spirit shall faint, and all knees shall be weak as water: behold, it cometh, and shall be brought to pass, saith the Lord GOD.

Verses 1-2  Expanded Bible Comments

And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, [2] Son of man, set thy face toward Jerusalem, and drop thy word toward the holy places, and prophesy against the land of Israel,
QuestionSuggested Answer
To whom did "the word of the LORD" come? "To me" Ezekiel; Son of Man.
What is pictured by Jerusalem? Christendom.
What does it mean for "Son of man" to "set thy face toward Jerusalem?" It means to take a stand in opposition to, as opposed to turning ones face away or hiding.
What is pictured by "drop thy word?"
Strong's H5197
נָטַף
nâṭaph
naw-taf'
A primitive root; to ooze, that is, distil gradually; by implication to fall in drops; figuratively to speak by inspiration: - drop (-ping), prophesy (-et).
Tell them the truth, but in a logical manner, not all at once but "precept upon precept, line upon line." Isa. 28:9-10 – We might also notice in the definition the thought of "distilled," i.e., pure truth.
What are "the holy places?" Here we need to remember the time setting. It is the "Son of man" being instructed here, thus it is in the days of Pastor Russell's ministry.
With that in mind, Christendom (Jerusalem) still contained both wheat and tares. We think that is why the reference is to "the holy places." Many of the saints (holy places) are (at that time) still in her. T13 footnote.
Who is this prophecy aimed at? "Prophesy against the land of Israel." The word "land" is Strong's H127
Strong's H127
אֲדָמָה
'ădâmâh
ad-aw-maw'
From H119; soil (from its general redness): - country, earth, ground, husband [-man] (-ry), land.
It is against "the land" of Israel, i.e., the territory of Christendom.

Verse 3  Expanded Bible Comments

And say to the land of Israel, Thus saith the LORD; Behold, I am against thee, and will draw forth my sword out of his sheath, and will cut off from thee the righteous and the wicked.
QuestionSuggested Answer
What is "the land of Israel?" The territory of Christendom (primarily Europe.)
From the context, does their immediate future appear to be a good one? No! "Thus saith the LORD; Behold, I am against thee."
What weapon does the LORD say He will use against them? His Sword.
What is pictured by His "sword", and what is pictured by "his sheath?" Sword: Eph. 6:17; Heb. 4:12.
Sheath: The place from where the sword is kept. This may have reference to the Bible, or to the Lord's people who have both His Word and His spirit within them.
"I.. will cut off from thee the righteous and the wicked." Who are "the righteous" and who are "the wicked?" First we need to remember that He said "I.. will cut off from thee.." that "thee" is "the land of Israel," i.e., the territory of Christendom (primarily Europe and western Russia.)
Now the question becomes who are the "righteous" still in Christendom at the time for the fulfillment of this prophecy?
Our suggestion is that the "righteous" in Christendom were the saints who were at that time hearing of the Truth and being "sealed in their foreheads" by it. These were "cut off" from Babylon by obeying the command to "come out of her my people." – C166:1
"The wicked" would likely be the "q" class on the Chart of the ages.

Verse 4  Expanded Bible Comments

Seeing then that I will cut off from thee the righteous and the wicked, therefore shall my sword go forth out of his sheath against all flesh from the south to the north:
QuestionSuggested Answer
Having declared His intent in verse 3, the Lord has "the son of man" reiterate this in verse 4. He then declares that his sword would go forth against all flesh. What does that mean? His sword: Eph. 6:17; Heb. 4:12; 1 Cor. 4:5.
What is indicated by this being "from the south to the north?" See last question for verse 3 above. Our thought is that this is shown on the Chart of the Ages. Within Christendom this would be the n, m, p and q classes - in reverse order. Outside of Christendom it would be similar. Those on plane R would be "the south" and "the north" would be those tentatively justified ones who were not a part of Christendom.

Verse 5  Expanded Bible Comments

That all flesh may know that I the LORD have drawn forth my sword out of his sheath: it shall not return any more.
QuestionSuggested Answer
"All flesh may know.." Since the time setting is during the ministry of Pastor Russell, does this indicate that all will know the Lord has done this during Pastor Russell's day? "All flesh may [at some time] know.." There are at least two ways of answering this.
1. Prior to 1914 hardly anyone understood that this was true.
2. After the war had been under way for a time, many realized the hypocrisy of "Christian Nations" fighting against each other (R5829.) What appears to be in the future is the fact that God is the one doing all this.
What is the purpose for someone to "draw forth" their sword? To use in battle. In this case, the battle of Armageddon.
Does the LORD put away His sword? "It shall not return any more."

Verse 6  Expanded Bible Comments

Sigh therefore, thou son of man, with the breaking of thy loins; and with bitterness sigh before their eyes.
QuestionSuggested Answer
What is meant by "the breaking of thy loins?" These other translations may help:

(BBE) Make sounds of grief, son of man; with body bent and a bitter heart make sounds of grief before their eyes.
(CEV) Ezekiel, groan in sorrow and despair so that everyone can hear you.
(ERV) "Son of man, make sad sounds like a sad person with a broken heart. Make these sad sounds in front of the people.
(ESV) As for you, son of man, groan; with breaking heart and bitter grief, groan before their eyes.

In other words the heart of the "son of man" hurt.
Why would the "son of man.. with bitterness sigh?" Because many of the Lord's people are still (during the Pastor's ministry) in Babylon. Jer. 51:9

Verse 7  Expanded Bible Comments

And it shall be, when they say unto thee, Wherefore sighest thou? that thou shalt answer, For the tidings; because it cometh: and every heart shall melt, and all hands shall be feeble, and every spirit shall faint, and all knees shall be weak as water: behold, it cometh, and shall be brought to pass, saith the Lord GOD.
QuestionSuggested Answer
When asked why he sighs, what reasons are given?
  • every heart shall melt
  • all hands shall be feeble
  • every spirit shall faint
  • all knees shall be week as water
In other words, Pastor Russell had a heart. – Compare with Jesus' attitude in Luke 19:41-42.
Was it really coming? Absolutely.
How certain was it that it "shall be brought to pass?" "Saith the Lord GOD."

[8] Again the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, [9] Son of man, prophesy, and say, Thus saith the LORD; Say, A sword, a sword is sharpened, and also furbished: [10] It is sharpened to make a sore slaughter; it is furbished that it may glitter: should we then make mirth? it contemneth the rod of my son, as every tree. [11] And he hath given it to be furbished, that it may be handled: this sword is sharpened, and it is furbished, to give it into the hand of the slayer. [12] Cry and howl, son of man: for it shall be upon my people, it shall be upon all the princes of Israel: terrors by reason of the sword shall be upon my people: smite therefore upon thy thigh. [13] Because it is a trial, and what if the sword contemn even the rod? it shall be no more, saith the Lord GOD. [14] Thou therefore, son of man, prophesy, and smite thine hands together, and let the sword be doubled the third time, the sword of the slain: it is the sword of the great men that are slain, which entereth into their privy chambers. [15] I have set the point of the sword against all their gates, that their heart may faint, and their ruins be multiplied: ah! it is made bright, it is wrapped up for the slaughter. [16] Go thee one way or other, either on the right hand, or on the left, whithersoever thy face is set. [17] I will also smite mine hands together, and I will cause my fury to rest: I the LORD have said it.

Verses 8-9  Expanded Bible Comments

Again the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, [9] Son of man, prophesy, and say, Thus saith the LORD; Say, A sword, a sword is sharpened, and also furbished:
QuestionSuggested Answer
To whom does the word of the LORD come? "To me." Literally to the prophet Ezekiel, symbolically to the 7th Messenger. Son of Man.
What was the "Son of man" told to do? To "prophesy."
What does it mean to "furbish?"
Strong's H4803
מָרַט
mâraṭ
maw-rat'
A primitive root; to polish; by implication to make bald (the head), to gall (the shoulder); also, to sharpen: - bright, furbish, (have his) hair (be) fallen off, peeled, pluck off (hair.)
What is to be "furbished?" "A sword." – The Word of God.
Besides being "furbished" (polished,) what else is done to this "sword" and what does that indicate? It is being "sharpened." This clearly indicates it is ready for use in battle.

Verse 10  Expanded Bible Comments

It is sharpened to make a sore slaughter; it is furbished that it may glitter: should we then make mirth? it contemneth the rod of my son, as every tree.
QuestionSuggested Answer
Why is the sword "sharpened?" "To make a sore slaughter."

The Strong's words for "sore slaughter" are H2873 and H2874 – practically the same word. This is like the same word repeating in Hebrew which indicates making it very strong.
Why is it "furbished" (polished,) and what does that mean? "It is furbished (polished) that it may glitter." It is polished to make it stand out, so that all may see that this sword (Truth of God's word) is different than the Babylonish swords.
"Should we then make mirth?" Who is "we" and what does it mean to "make mirth?"
Strong's H7797
שִׂישׂ שׂוּשׂ
śûś śı̂yś
soos, sece
A primitive root; to be bright, that is, cheerful: - be glad, X greatly, joy, make mirth, rejoice.
What is meant by "contemneth?"
Strong's H3988
מָאַס
mâ'as
maw-as'
A primitive root; to spurn; also (intransitively) to disappear: - abhor, cast away (off), contemn, despise, disdain, (become) loathe (-some), melt away, refuse, reject, reprobate, X utterly, vile person.
What do "trees" represent? Righteous men – Isa. 61:3; Psa. 1:2-3
Nations – Luke 21:29
"It contemneth the rod of my son, as every tree." What does this mean? By replacing "it" with "the sword," and adjusting the English translation to fit better with modern English, verse 10 would read:
The sword (of the Spirit, the Bible) disdained the sceptre (right to rule) of my son, as (it does with) every [other] tree (nation.)
So how do we understand this? Our suggestion is that the reason the sword (Bible) spurns or disdains our Lord's right to rule is that this sword is being wielded by Christendom and they have so corrupted Bible truth that their use of it is in complete opposition to our Lord's right to rule. Remember, their claim is that they are the kingdom of Christ. They are firmly holding to the "three unclean spirits" and demanding that all accept this as being from God. [Three Unclean Spirits like FrogsRev. 16:13]
While the true sword (the Harvest Message) is now polished and easily understood by Truth seekers, it forces Christendom to "dig in" and attempt to shore up their false arrangement.
They spurn all rule other than their own, thus they attempt to use the (corrupted) sword that they are wielding for the purpose of maintaining their positions.

Verse 11  Expanded Bible Comments

And he hath given it to be furbished, that it may be handled: this sword is sharpened, and it is furbished, to give it into the hand of the slayer.
QuestionSuggested Answer
Why is this sword "to be furbished?" "That it may be handled."
What is the purpose for this sword being both "sharpened" and "furbished?" "To give it into the hand of the slayer."
Who (or what) is "the slayer?" In the standard version (KJV) the cities of refuge were where "the slayer may flee thither, which killeth any person at unawares." – This would suggest that "the slayer" may be the Lord's people (as described in Eze. 9:2,5,6.) While it is not the intent of the brethren to "slay" anyone, they did "slay" many who were good people but not saints. – It might be more accurate to say they "slew" their false beliefs.

Verse 12  Expanded Bible Comments

Cry and howl, son of man: for it shall be upon my people, it shall be upon all the princes of Israel: terrors by reason of the sword shall be upon my people: smite therefore upon thy thigh.
QuestionSuggested Answer
What is the "son of man" to do? "Cry and howl."
Why is he to do this? "For [because] it shall be upon my people." It will be on those who claim to be God's people, i.e., nominal Christendom. – Matt. 23:37-38
In this context, who would be "the princes of Israel?" The leaders of the religious element of Christendom.
What is meant by "terrors by reason of the sword shall be upon my people?" This sounds like the "terrors" would be the plagues (truths) which come upon the nominal Christians because of His sharpened and polished sword – His Word.
What is meant by "smite therefore upon thy thigh?" It appears to be an expression of contrition. Compare with Jer. 31:19.

Verse 13  Expanded Bible Comments

Because it is a trial, and what if the sword contemn even the rod? it shall be no more, saith the Lord GOD.
QuestionSuggested Answer
Who is this "trial" upon? Upon "my people," i.e., upon nominal spiritual Israel (which, at that time, included saints – Eze. 9.)
Explain "What if the sword contemn even the rod?" See comments on verse 10.
"It shall be no more." What "it" is being spoken of here and why will it "be no more?" It appears that "it" is referring to either "the sword" or to "the rod."
If it is "the sword," this would indicate that Christendom is no longer able to make the people to believe their errors, especially the "three unclean spirits like frogs."
If it refers to "the rod," the same principle would apply. They can no longer fool the people by telling them that they have the "right to rule" and that they are the Kingdom of Christ – especially since they went to war against themselves. – Talk about being schizophrenic!
Just how sure can we be that "it shall be no more?" "Saith the Lord GOD!!"

Verse 14  Expanded Bible Comments

Thou therefore, son of man, prophesy, and smite thine hands together, and let the sword be doubled the third time, the sword of the slain: it is the sword of the great men that are slain, which entereth into their privy chambers.
QuestionSuggested Answer
In verse 14 the "son of man" is instructed to prophesy and do other things. The verse begins with "Thou therefore.." To what is the "therefore" referring to? This likely refers to the sword (word of God, bible) being being corrupted by Babylon to tell the people that they (Christendom) are "The Kingdom of Christ." By so saying, they were despising the right (Sceptre) of the True King (Christ) to rule.
Why is the "son of man" told to "smite thine hands together?" This sounds like clapping the hands. Perhaps to get someone's attention, or in applause (at the magnificent Divine Plan now opened up to him.)
"Let the sword be doubled the third time."
What is meant by "Let the sword be doubled?"
Strong's H3717
כָּפַל
kâphal
kaw-fal'
A primitive root; to fold together; figuratively to repeat: - double.
Perhaps to be compared to when Elijah wrapped his mantle – 2 Kings 2:8. While not the same Hebrew word, it does mean "folded."
¿¿ Gaining greater understanding due to the Lord's return. ??
What then is indicated by the sword being "doubled the third time?" ¿¿ Now add the clearer understanding of seeing type and antitype. ??
Is this the sword of the Lord? What sword is it, and what does that mean? "The sword of the slain: it is the sword of the great men that are slain." See Isa. 34:2-3,8,12
What are "their privy chambers?" Eze. 8:11-12

Verse 15  Expanded Bible Comments

I have set the point of the sword against all their gates, that their heart may faint, and their ruins be multiplied: ah! it is made bright, it is wrapped up for the slaughter.
QuestionSuggested Answer
What is meant by "the point of the sword?" This is the part that does the most damage, it does the stabbing into the enemy. This is normally the part that kills.
"The point of the sword against all their gates." What are "their gates?" The entrances to the city (Jerusalem, Christendom.)
Why would this cause "their heart to faint?" This is what happens to a city under siege, especially if they are not really prepared.
What would cause them to have "ruins" and then have those "ruins" to "be multiplied?" Christendom (the counterfeit of the kingdom of Christ) was made up of two parts: iron (civil power of the Roman empire) and clay (man-made religion,) Dan. 2:41-44. The man-made religion had been falling since 1799. The civil was being weakened by the Lord's great army (especially from 1881-1914.)
"It is made bright." (1) What is "it?"
(2) What is meant by "it is made bright?"
(1) The sword (of Truth, the Word of God.)
(2) Various translations indicate it is like lightening, flashing, glittering. – The Truth at that time is made glittering (especially compared to the errors of that day.)
What is indicated by "it is wrapped up for the slaughter?"
Strong's H123
אֱדוֹם אֱדֹם
'ĕdôm 'ĕdôm
ed-ome', ed-ome'
From H122; red (see Gen_25:25); Edom, the elder twin-brother of Jacob; hence the region (Idumaea) occupied by him: - Edom, Edomites, Idumea.
Isa. 34:6 – Idumea is Esau who pictures Christendom – D14:4; D17:1 – Esau is Edom Gen. 25:30; 36:1,8

Verse 16  Expanded Bible Comments

Go thee one way or other, either on the right hand, or on the left, whithersoever thy face is set.
QuestionSuggested Answer
What does this verse mean? The Lord had given him a special mission (Eze. 3; 9) and the promise that The Lord would always be with him.

Verse 17  Expanded Bible Comments

I will also smite mine hands together, and I will cause my fury to rest: I the LORD have said it.
QuestionSuggested Answer
What does it mean for the Lord to "smite mine hands together?" In other words, clap His hands. Clapping among men is usually in the form of applause, but there are other uses, primarily to get people's attention. It is often used among the brethren as a way to let the brethren know that it is time for meeting to begin. We think it is in this manner that the Lord does this. He is getting man's attention.
What is the Lord's "fury?" In this verse "fury" is Strong's H2534
Strong's H2534
חֵמָא חֵמָה
chêmâh chêmâ'
khay-maw', khay-maw'
From H3179; heat; figuratively anger, poison (from its fever): - anger, bottles, hot displeasure, furious (-ly, -ry), heat, indignation, poison, rage, wrath (-ful). See H2529.
See the first four times it is used: Gen. 27:44; Lev. 26:28; Num. 25:11; Deut. 9:19
This is how the Lord describes the seven last plagues: Rev. 15:1.
"I will cause my fury to rest." What does that say about what takes place just prior to that? This suggests that the first six of the seven last plagues will have been poured out. The pouring out of the seventh (last) plague will complete his fury (wrath.) How long the 7th plague will last is unknown. It would appear that it brings the world to the point where the New Covenant begins.
Will this really take place? "I the LORD have said it."

[18] The word of the LORD came unto me again, saying, [19] Also, thou son of man, appoint thee two ways, that the sword of the king of Babylon may come: both twain shall come forth out of one land: and choose thou a place, choose it at the head of the way to the city. [20] Appoint a way, that the sword may come to Rabbath of the Ammonites, and to Judah in Jerusalem the defenced. [21] For the king of Babylon stood at the parting of the way, at the head of the two ways, to use divination: he made his arrows bright, he consulted with images, he looked in the liver. [22] At his right hand was the divination for Jerusalem, to appoint captains, to open the mouth in the slaughter, to lift up the voice with shouting, to appoint battering rams against the gates, to cast a mount, and to build a fort. [23] And it shall be unto them as a false divination in their sight, to them that have sworn oaths: but he will call to remembrance the iniquity, that they may be taken.

Verses 18-19  Expanded Bible Comments

The word of the LORD came unto me again, saying, [19] Also, thou son of man, appoint thee two ways, that the sword of the king of Babylon may come: both twain shall come forth out of one land: and choose thou a place, choose it at the head of the way to the city.
QuestionSuggested Answer
"The word of the LORD came unto me again." What does this tell us? That a new vision or instruction is being delivered.
Who is "thou son of man?" Pastor Russell (Son of Man), and in the literal sense, Ezekiel.
Who was "the king of Babylon?" Literally, Nebuchadnezzar. Symbolically – Satan.
In verse 19, why does it say "the sword of the king of Babylon may come?" Why not simply say "the king of Babylon?" Clearly the emphasis is placed upon the sword.
From how many directions was it to come? Two directions from one land.
Was "the son of man" really to "appoint thee two ways?" The thought here seems to be that "the son of man" was pointing out two ways that the city (Christendom) was to be destroyed.
We found Br. Fisher's comments interesting. In his commentary he mentions "Riblah." This is where King Nebuchadnezzar was when Jerusalem fell. See Jer. 39:5-6; 52:9-10; 52:26-27. Riblah was in the land of "Hamath." Hamath means "walled." The ancient city of Babylon was famous for its walls.
There were two ways that the weapons of war, revolution and anarchy might strike; in either way the blow would come from Satan, the king of anarchy. It was to come from Riblah, the fork of the roads. Riblah means "desolate." Since 1878 the worldly churches, and since 1914 the worldly governments, have been "left desolate" (Matt. 23:38) and subject, the one to desolation by the Sword of the Spirit, the other to desolation by carnal weapons. FM466
"Both twain shall come forth out of one land." What are the two? This refers not to the king and his sword, but rather to "the two ways."
What is the "one land" from which they come? Mystic Babylon.

Verse 20  Expanded Bible Comments

Appoint a way, that the sword may come to Rabbath of the Ammonites, and to Judah in Jerusalem the defenced.
QuestionSuggested Answer
Rabbath-AmmonRabbath-Ammon is modern day Amman, Jordan.
This image was found at Wikipedia Ammon
According to verse 20, what are the two ways "the sword may come?" 1. "Rabbath of the Ammonites" and
2. "Judah in Jerusalem the defenced."
Why "Rabbath of the Ammonites?" Rabbath means "great." Ammonites means "sons of Ammon [tribal or inbred]." Benammi, father of the Ammonites, was the son of Lot by way of his second daughter. Gen. 19:30-38. These became giants. See Deut. 3:11 (convert cubits to feet and inches to get an idea of size.)
Symbolically this is what Christendom appeared to be, i.e., giants.
Why does the scripture say "to Judah in Jerusalem," when Jerusalem was located within the tribe of Judah? Because this is symbolic language. Judah usually refers to Protestantism. Jerusalem refers to Christendom. Thus the reference is to "Protestantism within Christendom."
So, what about Catholicism? That destruction began in earnest in 1799. As far as Protestantism is concerned, their destruction began in earnest in 1878 ("spue thee out of my mouth," "come out of her my people") - 1881 (plagues begin to be poured out.)

A suggested point of view: This appears to be similar to Rev. 12:15 where the Dragon sent out a flood of water (truths) in an attempt to overwhelm the true church. In that case (by the Lord's overruling) it backfired. The symbolic earth swallowed the truths about the rights of man and the Dragon's target (the true church) was spared.

Verse 21  Expanded Bible Comments

For the king of Babylon stood at the parting of the way, at the head of the two ways, to use divination: he made his arrows bright, he consulted with images, he looked in the liver.
QuestionSuggested Answer
What does it mean "to use divination?" Sorcery, consulting with the fallen angels.
What are "his arrows bright?" See Psa. 64:2-3
What is meant by "consulted with images?" Idols, man-made false gods to be worshipped. This would include the worshiping of false doctrines.
"He looked in the liver." What is this about? "A form of divination called haruspicy, the inspection of the entrails of sacrificed animals, especially the livers of sacrificed sheep and poultry. The reading of omens specifically from the liver is also known by the Greek term hepatoscopy."Wikipedia "Haruspex"

Verse 22  Expanded Bible Comments

At his right hand was the divination for Jerusalem, to appoint captains, to open the mouth in the slaughter, to lift up the voice with shouting, to appoint battering rams against the gates, to cast a mount, and to build a fort.
QuestionSuggested Answer
His right hand Place of strength
The divination for Jerusalem His conjured up plan to destroy the Lord's people. – Remember, literally the king of Babylon sent his army to destroy the city and take captives (mostly as slaves) to work in Babylon. -- In symbolic language the Lord is using the means at hand to destroy Christendom (Jerusalem.)
What is indicated by "to appoint captains?" This tells us that the attack against the city of Jerusalem (Christendom) is, in spite of some appearances to the contrary, a well organized attack.
To open the mouth in the slaughter Giving the command to begin the slaughter.
To lift up the voice with shouting Rally the troops by verbally working them into a frenzy.
To appoint battering rams against the gates Words, ideas designed to break down the entrance to the city.
To cast a mount Build up the ramparts (for a siege.)
Build a fort Fort
Strong's H1785
דָּיֵק
dâyêq
daw-yake'
From a root corresponding to H1751; a battering tower: - fort.

Build battering rams to break the walls (protections) of the city.

Verse 23  Expanded Bible Comments

And it shall be unto them as a false divination in their sight, to them that have sworn oaths: but he will call to remembrance the iniquity, that they may be taken.
QuestionSuggested Answer
"It shall be unto them.." Who is "them?" "Them that have sworn oaths," i.e., the inhabitants of Jerusalem (Christendom.) This includes the leaders (both ecclesiastical and civil) as well as the people who have sworn their loyalty to the nominal church-state systems.
Do we have evidence of this "divination" (prediction of doom) being given to Christendom? Please see R1619.
Those "that have sworn oaths" would appear to be the same group defined in Revelation as those who "dwell on the earth." See topical study Earth Dwellers.
"He will call to remembrance." Who is "He?" Since the attack appears to be aimed at the saints remaining in Christendom at that time, "He" likely refers to the Lord who overrules in such a way as to release the remnant of His people from the then crumbling city-state.
What does "He" "call to remembrance" and to what purpose? He remembers "the iniquity." "That they may be taken."

[24] Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Because ye have made your iniquity to be remembered, in that your transgressions are discovered, so that in all your doings your sins do appear; because, I say, that ye are come to remembrance, ye shall be taken with the hand. [25] And thou, profane wicked prince of Israel, whose day is come, when iniquity shall have an end, [26] Thus saith the Lord GOD; Remove the diadem, and take off the crown: this shall not be the same: exalt him that is low, and abase him that is high. [27] I will overturn, overturn, overturn, it: and it shall be no more, until he come whose right it is; and I will give it him.

Verse 24  Expanded Bible Comments

Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Because ye have made your iniquity to be remembered, in that your transgressions are discovered, so that in all your doings your sins do appear; because, I say, that ye are come to remembrance, ye shall be taken with the hand.
QuestionSuggested Answer
"Therefore." What's it there for? The Lord is explaining WHY He is taking the action that He is about to declare, and, as usual, it is based upon Justice, cause and effect.
How had they "made your iniquity to be remembered?" "In that your transgressions are discovered, so that in all your doings your sins do appear." Christendom could no long keep her evil doings hidden as in past times. The knowledge of Present Truth was showing up their false doctrines. The people had been educated enough to follow the news and to use libraries to discover societal truths to a degree which permitted them to see how illegitimate was the claim that the claims of "we are the Kingdom of Christ" (Christendom) were false.
What does it mean by "ye are come to remembrance?" It indicates that "ye" and "your iniquity" have become inseparable. Consider Rev. 16:19.
What does "ye shall be taken with the hand" mean? It means you will be taken captive or prisoner or that you will be destroyed. Being taken by hand is different from being taken (or taken out, killed) by an earthquake or falling rocks, etc.

Verse 25  Expanded Bible Comments

And thou, profane wicked prince of Israel, whose day is come, when iniquity shall have an end,
QuestionSuggested Answer
Who is this "profane wicked prince of Israel?" King Zedekiah.
Was he king of Israel of king of Judah? King of Judah - Jer. 24:8
Why does the prophet refer to him as the "prince of Israel" and not as the "prince of Judah?" Because the LORD recognized the "twelve tribes of Israel." Gen. 49:28; Exo. 24:4; Eze. 47:13; Matt. 19:28; Luke 22:30; Rev. 21:12
What is meant by "whose day is come?" 1. Zedekiah's day as king was up because Jerusalem was about to fall to the empire of Babylon.
2. The kingdom of Christendom (2520 years later) was about to fall to the king "whose right it is."
"When iniquity shall have an end." Does this really mean the end of all iniquity, forever? 1. It was not the end of all iniquity because it is clear that we still see iniquity to this day (2021.)
2. The iniquity here referred to was the iniquity of the Typical Kingdom of God.
3. This declaration will lead to the elimination of all iniquity. – see next two verses.

Verse 26  Expanded Bible Comments

Thus saith the Lord GOD; Remove the diadem, and take off the crown: this shall not be the same: exalt him that is low, and abase him that is high.
QuestionSuggested Answer
What is "the diadem" and what is the significance of removing it?
Strong's H4701
מִצְנֶפֶת
mitsnepheth
mits-neh'-feth'
From H6801; a tiara, that is, official turban (of a king or high priest): - diadem, mitre.
Of the 12 times this word occurs, this verse is the only one where KJV translates it as "diadem." In every other place it is "mitre." The mitre was the white linen band on the head of the high priest to which the golden crown was placed. Israel was supposed to be a kingdom of priests. Here we have the declaration that their role as priests is removed. Please see T29:5
What is indicated by "take off the crown?" Taking off the crown shows the end of the Typical Kingdom with the overthrow of king Zedekiah at the fall of Jerusalem.
"This shall not be the same." What is "this?" The typical Kingdom of God which He set up with the nation of Israel. Not only is the typical Kingdom ended but later the counterfeit kingdom of Christendom was to be terminated.
How does "Exalt him that is low, and abase him that is high" fit into this picture? The kingdom was to be continued in the line of David. David's son Nathan is the line where the Messiah would come, not from the (higher) line of Solomon. Consider the words of Mary in Luke 1:46-55.

Verse 27  Expanded Bible Comments

I will overturn, overturn, overturn, it: and it shall be no more, until he come whose right it is; and I will give it him.
QuestionSuggested Answer
"And it shall be no more." What is "it?" "It" refers to the Kingdom of God. R166
"Until he come whose right it is." Who is "he?" Jesus and His body, The Christ.
Why did the Lord say that He would "overturn" it three times? In the previous verse we read: "Remove the diadem, and take off the crown." Therefore we understand that the crown had been with Israel. Then the LORD removes it from Israel (from King Zedekiah,) so Zedekiah no longer has it. Where did it go? It went to the king of Babylon. Then the LORD overturns it 3 times.
1. From Babylon to Medo-Persia.
2. From Medo-Persia to Greece.
3. From Greece to Rome.
The wording here is a perfect description of what took place in history. In 1914 the gentile kingdoms were thrown out of power and the crown was given to him "whose right it is," our returned Lord Jesus.
"I will give it him." Who is speaking here? See verse 26. God is speaking.
How well does this fit with the doctrine of the trinity? If that were a valid teaching, wouldn't this read something like: 'I will give it to myself?'

[28] And thou, son of man, prophesy and say, Thus saith the Lord GOD concerning the Ammonites, and concerning their reproach; even say thou, The sword, the sword is drawn: for the slaughter it is furbished, to consume because of the glittering: [29] While they see vanity unto thee, while they divine a lie unto thee, to bring thee upon the necks of them that are slain, of the wicked, whose day is come, when their iniquity shall have an end. [30] Shall I cause it to return into his sheath? I will judge thee in the place where thou wast created, in the land of thy nativity. [31] And I will pour out mine indignation upon thee, I will blow against thee in the fire of my wrath, and deliver thee into the hand of brutish men, and skilful to destroy. [32] Thou shalt be for fuel to the fire; thy blood shall be in the midst of the land; thou shalt be no more remembered: for I the LORD have spoken it.

Verse 28  Expanded Bible Comments

And thou, son of man, prophesy and say, Thus saith the Lord GOD concerning the Ammonites, and concerning their reproach; even say thou, The sword, the sword is drawn: for the slaughter it is furbished, to consume because of the glittering:
QuestionSuggested Answer
"And thou, son of man, prophesy.." What does this tell us? That this section begins a new prophecy. – At this point we need to be careful. While it does indicate a new prophecy, it is clearly related to the above prophecy. This becomes clear as we see terms and phrases repeated.
Who were the "Ammonites?" [Copied from verse 20 suggested answer] Ammonites means "sons of Ammon [tribal or inbred]." Benammi, father of the Ammonites, was the son of Lot by way of his second daughter. Gen. 19:30-38. These became giants. See Deut. 3:11 (convert cubits to feet and inches to get an idea of size.)
Symbolically this is what Christendom appeared to be, i.e., giants.
What is the reproach of the Ammonites? Thinking symbolically, their origin was the result of an incestuous relationship. Sounds a great deal like Christendom. That attitude of the 2 daughters of Lot, namely, not trusting that the Lord would provide for the continuation of Lot's seed, appears to have continued down to the Ammonites. [i.e., a lack of faith.]
Why does it say "The sword, the sword is drawn?" Why not simply say "The sword is drawn?" Why double up on "the sword?" In both Hebrew and Greek when a word is repeated it indicates special emphasis on that word.
In this case what we see is the sword (God's Word, the Bible) being drawn, polished and ready for battle. Both the Lord's true people, and those who falsely claim to be His people are using it. Only one is using it properly.
This could also refer to the civil and the ecclesiastical sides of Christendom.
Why is the sword furbished (polished)? To make it glitter. see vs. 10
"To consume because of the glittering." What does this mean? Glittering is Strong's H3100
Strong's H1300
בָּרָק
bârâq
baw-rawk'
From H1299; lightning; by analogy a gleam; concretely a flashing sword: - bright, glitter (-ing, sword), lightning.
See also Psa. 18:13-14.

Verse 29  Expanded Bible Comments

While they see vanity unto thee, while they divine a lie unto thee, to bring thee upon the necks of them that are slain, of the wicked, whose day is come, when their iniquity shall have an end.
QuestionSuggested Answer
"While they see vanity.." Who are "they?" The Ammonites, Christendom. – see vs. 20
"While they see vanity unto thee.." Who is "thee?" The beginning of vs. 28 tells us the answer: "And thou, son of man, prophesy and say.." This refers primarily to Pastor Russell.
While Pastor Russell was the one speaking, as the LORD commanded him in vs. 28, Eze. 9 reminds us that the living members of the church in the flesh during his ministry (the six men) follow after him through the city (Jerusalem, Christendom) doing a work of smiting.
What does it mean that "they see vanity unto thee?" The leaders of Babylonish thought claimed that the truth being presented by the "son of man" [Pastor Russell, the earthly voice of the true "son of man," our returned Lord] was his personal interpretation of the Bible. It, they claimed, was his vanity that had him in defiance of their exalted wisdom and understanding of the Bible. After all, he had rejected their "divine right of the clergy."
How did "they divine a lie unto thee?" "You are not a part of Christendom. We have 'The Divine Right of the Clergy.' You do not. Therefore you are a heretic." – That's the lie.
To what purpose is this lie being used? Self preservation.
Who are "them that are slain?" Compare Jer. 25:29-33; Isa. 34:2-3,8. See earth dwellers.
Who are "the wicked?" Primarily the leaders of Christendom but also those who give their support to them, thus both the princes and those who dwell (make their abode) in Christendom (Christ's Kingdom, falsely so-called.)
Specifically, who is being referred to by "whose day is come?" – Is there a clue in the phrase "when their iniquity shall have an end?" Please note this phrase being used in verse 25. This was used concerning Zedekiah, the last king of Judah (ending the typical kingdom of Israel,) thus suggesting that the elimination or removal of Christendom is part of the removal of "iniquity."

Begin Here March 9, 2021

Verse 30  Expanded Bible Comments

Shall I cause it to return into his sheath? I will judge thee in the place where thou wast created, in the land of thy nativity.
QuestionSuggested Answer
What is returned "into his sheath?" The sword (vs. 26).
Who is "thee?" Christendom.
Who will "judge thee?" "I" the LORD.
To what is the Lord referring to by: "The place where thou wast created, in the land of thy nativity?" This is speaking of Christendom. Where is the land of Christendom's nativity (birth)?

In one sense it is in France. The "Council of Arles" (Arles is in southern France.) "Constantine summoned a council of bishops from the western provinces of the empire at Arles on Aug. 1, 314." - Encyclopedia Britannica - Donatists. This is where "the vine of the earth" (church-state union, i.e., Christendom) began.

The bulk of the fighting during WWI took place along the "Western front" which was almost entirely in France.

Please see also "All intelligent people.. now perceive.." – R5829

Verse 31  Expanded Bible Comments

And I will pour out mine indignation upon thee, I will blow against thee in the fire of my wrath, and deliver thee into the hand of brutish men, and skilful to destroy.
QuestionSuggested Answer
"I will pour out mine indignation upon thee." To whom does this apply? To the symbolic Ammonites, Christendom. Zeph. 3:8
What is meant by "I will blow against thee in the fire of my wrath?" Basically the same as above. We remember that the three things that Elijah saw prior to hearing "the still small voice" were: wind, earthquake and fire. 1 Kings 19:11-12
What are "brutish men?" Please see Psa. 92:5-6; Pro. 12:1; Jer. 10:7-8,12-15,21

Verse 32  Expanded Bible Comments

Thou shalt be for fuel to the fire; thy blood shall be in the midst of the land; thou shalt be no more remembered: for I the LORD have spoken it.
QuestionSuggested Answer
Who is "thou?" The symbolic Ammonites, Christendom.
Why does it say "thou shalt be for fuel to the fire?" When we remember that none of the kingdoms of Christendom wanted to be drawn into this Armageddon battle (beginning with WWI) it helps us to understand this. Christendom was burning itself up. It was its own fuel.
What was pictured by "thy blood?" How many times have we heard countries bemoan that they have spent their own blood in wars. This usually has reference to that countries youth that was lost in battle.
How was their blood "in the midst of the land?" The land or territory of Christendom was primarily Europe and western Russia. While World War I was indeed a World War, the center of the fighting was in what was once called "The Holy Roman Empire."
"Thou shalt be no more remembered." Is that true? To a large degree this is true today (2021.) Eventually Christendom will become a distant memory. Its only purpose will be a reminder to never allow sin again to exist.
Just how certain are we of this? "For I the LORD have spoken it."