Ezekiel Chapter 5 [RVIC]

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1 And thou, son of man, take thee a sharp sword; as a barberís razor shalt thou take it unto thee, and shalt cause it to pass upon thy head and upon thy beard: then take thee balances to weigh, and divide the hair. Son of man – Ezekiel, picturing Pastor Russell.

Barber's razor – This reminds us that those who had taken the Nazarite vow (like Samson) were not to cut their hair nor to shave their beard.

This Nazarite vow pictures consecration.

Cause it to pass upon thine head and upon thy beard – We also remember the instruction to Samson's mother (Judg. 13:5) that no razor would come upon his head.

Br. Fisher noted that a leper was supposed to cut his hair and then, at the appropriate time, present himself to the priest, indicating that this seemed to be the actions of someone who was inflicted with sin and was in danger of death.

Possible connection found in Isa. 7:20.

In the New Testament we find to accounts of particular interest to us regarding hair.
1. Paul tells us that "if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her." (1 Cor. 11:15)
2. Mary, after she had anointed the feet of Jesus, washed his feet with her hair. (John 11:3) She was giving her best of both possessions (it was "very costly") and of her person (her hair – her "glory.") In both cases it seems to associated with complete consecration. – That is what Christendom was supposed to be demonstrating.

The fact that he is cutting from "thine head" and "thy beard" suggests that this has to do with the type of life that he (Pastor Russell) was living, i.e., as one who claimed consecration to the Lord. Considering what is done with this hair in the following verses, perhaps this is a way of saying that it involves those in Christendom who, while claiming to be "Christians," were to have shown to them what real consecration is. Clearly they are to discover that simply living a life of Sunday church attendance is NOT the life of a True Christian.

?? Could Jer. 7:29 be related to this ??

Take thee balances – This immediately reminds us that Justice is in play here. This hair is going to be both waighed in the balances and divided.

Weigh and divide the hair – Note how similar this is to the God's pronouncement upon ancient Babylon as described in Dan. 5:25-28. How that it was "weighed" and "divided."
2 A third part shalt thou burn in the fire in the midst of the city, when the days of the siege are fulfilled; and thou shalt take a third part, and smite with the sword round about it; and a third part thou shalt scatter to the wind, and I will draw out a sword after them. Burn with fire – Fire always pictures the destruction of that which can be burned. 1 Cor. 3:13-15. Consider also Mal. 3:1-3.

The third part – We remember that under the seventh plague (Rev. 16:19) that "the great city [Babylon, Christendom] was divided into three parts."

In that case the three parts were:
   1. The Dragon (civil power)
   2. The Beast (Papacy)
   3. The False Prophet (Organized Protestantism.)

We also note here that there is nothing, so far as we can determine, that says "one third," but rather "a third." In other words these three parts do NOT have to be equal parts.

Several Brethren have also noted that Babylon was made up of these three parts:
   1. Civil
   2. Social
   3. Ecclesiastical.

In the midst of the city – In the midst of Jerusalem, i.e., Christendom. In other words, it is in the middle of Christendom where the burning (destruction) of this "third part" of the "hair" is to take place.

The following expression seems to indicate that the first part (burning with fire in the midst of the city) takes place before the days of his siege are finished. What class is to be burned in the midst of the city (nominal spiritual Jerusalem, Christendom?) Matt. 13:30

We might also keep in mind that the "Great Company" is not really "burned" in the fire, rather it is their works that are burned (destroyed) – "If any man's work shall be burned.." and "he himself shall be saved (not burned by the fire): yet so as by fire (the fire releasing him.)" 1 Cor. 3:15. Thus we do not think this has reference here to the Great Company.

When the days of thy siege are fulfilled – Since the siege seems to end in either 1914 or 1918 this would indicate that this destruction takes place during or immediately after World War I.

Eze. 5:2 Eze. 5:12
Burn with fire in midst of city Die with the pestilence and consumed with famine
Smite with a knife Fall by sword
Scatter in the wind Scatter into all the winds

 In both vs 2 and 12 the above is followed by "and I will draw out a sword after them."

For clarification: the words translated as "knife" and "sword" in this chapter are actually the same Hebrew word.
H2719 חרב
From H2717; drought; also a cutting instrument (from its destructive effect), as a knife, sword, or other sharp implement: - axe, dagger, knife, mattock, sword, tool.

Take a third part and smite it with a knife – So here he is to smite a third part with a knife or sword (in vs. 12 – "Fall by the sword.")

A third part shalt thou scatter to the wind – This is just what the Lord does to the Gentile governments when the stone strikes the image on the feet. Dan. 2:35

And I will draw out a sword after them – The above dealing with the three parts into which the "hair" was divided was all done by the "son of man" (vs. 1). This work is specifically being done by the Lord. .. Perhaps because the one pictured by "the son of man" (Br. Russell, as the primary earthly representative at that time of the true "Son of Man" – our Returned Lord Jesus) has, at the time of this action, finished his earthly course.
3 And thou shalt take thereof a few in number, and bind them in thy skirts. Thou – From vs 1, "Thou, son of man.."

Take thereof a few in number – A small number, a "little flock," of the hairs (those of Christendom who claimed to be true Christians.)

Bind them – As we are bound to Christ. True, we are all made free in Christ. But that is freedom from the law and freedom from the world. But we are also, by our own choice, bound to Christ. 1 Cor. 7:22-23.

In thy skirts – The word "skirt" here is Strong's 3671
From H3670; an edge or extremity; specifically (of a bird or army) a wing, (of a garment or bed clothing) a flap, (of the earth) a quarter, (of a building) a pinnacle: - + bird, border, corner, end, feather [-ed], X flying, + (one an-) other, overspreading, X quarters, skirt, X sort, uttermost part, wing ([-ed]).
The thought seems to be "down to the hem" of his garment.

This suggests the picture found in Psa. 133 where Aaron pictures The Christ, head and body. In that picture the Holy Spirit is described as being first poured out on the head (our Lord Jesus Christ at his baptism in 33 A.D.) and then running down to the hem of His garment, picturing the same Holy Spirit given to all the members of the Body of Christ.

When we see a reference to the hem or skirt of a garment, we should be looking for an application applicable especially to the "feet" members of the Body of Christ. – Isa. 52:7
4 And of these again shalt thou take, and cast them into the midst of the fire, and burn them in the fire; therefrom shall a fire come forth into all the house of Israel.

Then take of them again – Take of those described in verse 2 and deal with them 'again,' i.e., now do something different with them.

Cast them into the midst of the fire – It sounds as if these are to be twice burned. We can see two possibilities here.

1. Some came out of Babylon, but not all the way. These were with the Lord's people but apparently, like Lot's wife, turned back. With these the old adage may well fit,
   "A man convinced against is will
   Is of the same opinion still."

2. Since these are those who were bound in the skirts (showing closeness to the Lord's representative, the "Son of man") these may have been those who had come out of Babylon (those described in verse 3) but did not maintain their steadfastness and wound up as great company. Remember the great company is being described as being "saved; yet so as by fire." 1 Cor. 3:15. – (site editor favors #1.)

(Remember. Fire symbolizes destruction. – A318)

Burn them in the fire – This would seem to indicate the destruction of those represented by this group. It would seem to indicate second death (Jude 12,) but it may indicate great company.

Shall a fire come forth into all the house of Israel – Babylon, that confused mixture of church and state is to be completely destroyed, both mother and daughters.

The way this is worded certainly agrees with history. The fire (destruction) is described as coming "into all the house of Israel (Christendom.)" The "Great War" (A.K.A. World War I) did not simply impact Christendom, but it "came into" and completely destroyed that unholy mixture of church and state. Dan. 2:33-35,41-45
5 Thus saith the Lord Jehovah: This is Jerusalem; I have set her in the midst of the nations, and countries are round about her. Thus saith the Lord GOD – When the Almighty speaks, we all do well to take heed.

This is a very notable thing here. From this point forward to the end of the chapter, the "son of man" is not instructed to do anything. From here on it is always God doing it – "I will."

This is Jerusalem – This reminds of two things.
1) This prophetic picture has a secondary application to natural Israel, whose capital city and the place of her temple, was Jerusalem.
2) The primary application is to nominal Spiritual Israel or Christendom (falsely so-called.)

I have set it in the midst of the nations – The word here used for "nations" is the same elsewhere translated "Gentiles."

גּי גּוי
gôy gôy
go'ee, go'-ee
Apparently from the same root as H1465 (in the sense of massing); a foreign nation; hence a Gentile; also (figuratively) a troop of animals, or a flight of locusts: – Gentile, heathen, nation, people.

God has placed Christendom in the midst of the "Gentile" nations in order that the world's attention may be upon it. The whole world will be watching what the Lord is about to do.

Remember that it was God who declared that He had chosen Jerusalem "to put MY NAME there." 1 Kings 11:36 – This was true for nominal fleshly Israel and the literal city of Jerusalem and it is true for nominal Spiritual Israel. – "You only have I known of all the families of the earth; therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities." Amos 3:2 – Certainly this applies to BOTH the houses of Israel (fleshly and spiritual.)

And the countries that are round about her – The word "countries" (Strong's 776) is a much more general word which is more often translated as "lands."

From an unused root probably meaning to be firm; the earth (at large, or partitively a land): - X common, country, earth, field, ground, land, X nations, way, + wilderness, world.

We often hear the phrase "Eretz Israel" which simply means "the Land of Israel." Thus, "erets" round about her would seem to include the territories immediately around the territory (or land) of Christendom.

This may also have reference to those further outside the territory of Christendom, i.e., the rest of the world (like, for example, the United States.)
6 And she hath rebelled against mine ordinances in doing wickedness more than the nations, and against my statutes more than the countries that are round about her; for they have rejected mine ordinances, and as for my statutes, they have not walked in them. She hath rebelled against my judgments – Just like her counterpart from the previous age (nominal fleshly Israel) Christendom has rejected the principles of Christ. – Rom. 3:1-2. Remember, we have already been told that "they are a rebellious house." Eze. 2:5,6,8; 3:9,26,27

The word "judgments" is Strong's H4941.
From H8199; properly a verdict (favorable or unfavorable) pronounced judicially, especially a sentence or formal decree (human or (particularly) divine law, individual or collectively), including the act, the place, the suit, the crime, and the penalty; abstractly justice, including a particular right, or privilege (statutory or customary), or even a style: - + adversary, ceremony, charge, X crime, custom, desert, determination, discretion, disposing, due, fashion, form, to be judged, judgment, just (-ice, -ly), (manner of) law (-ful), manner, measure, (due) order, ordinance, right, sentence, usest, X worthy, + wrong.

In doing wickedness – The practices of so-called Christendom have been wicked in the extreme, especially in the persecution of the saints.

More than the nations – More than the Gentiles (H1471). This is supposed to be spiritual Israel and, as in the type, "You only have I known of all the families of the earth," and just like what the Lord said to Israel, the same is true of nominal Spiritual Israel, "Therefore will I punish you for all your iniquities." Amos 3:2

My statutes –
Feminine of H2706, and meaning substantially the same: - appointed, custom, manner, ordinance, site, statute.

More than the countries that are round about her – More than the "lands" around her. In the case of natural Israel this would have indeed been those lands or territories around them. In the case of nominal Spiritual Israel, this would seem to be those lands nearest Europe where Christendom was based.

They – Christendom.

Have refused my judgments and my statutes, they have not walked in them – "You are not as good as your book." D97:1

Noting that they have "refused" (or as Strong's indicates, "spurned") makes this all the stronger against them. It is not simply that they ignored God's judgments and His word but they were (at least to some degree) aware of His will and still refused to do it, even though they claimed to be "Christ's Kingdom (Christendom.)" – Compare their attitude with Isa. 14:12-14.

The "judgments" would seem to be just what it sounds like in English. The "statutes" would seem to refer to the ordinances, or rather the doctrines and principles derived therefrom.

They have not walked in them – Oh how true!
7 Therefore thus saith the Lord Jehovah: Because ye are turbulent more than the nations that are round about you, and have not walked in my statutes, neither have kept mine ordinances, neither have done after the ordinances of the nations that are round about you; Therefore – This is what might be styled a "pay attention word." We should always ask ourselves "What's it there for?" In this case it is clear. It means "as a consequence of them (Christendom) refusing God's judgments and statutes .." – God is about to tell us what He is going to do because of the actions of Christendom described in verse 6.

Thus saith the Lord GOD – Jehovah is about to declare His judgment upon Christendom.

Because ye multiplied more than the nations that are round about you – How had Christendom "multiplied more than the nations?" The word "multiplied" is Strong's 1995 which carries the thought of many, large in number. It is translated several times as "tumult," apparently the thought is that if there is much of something (water, people, etc.) it sounds like a tumult.

המן המון
hâmôn hâmôn
haw-mone', haw-mone'
From H1993; a noise, tumult, crowd; also disquietude, wealth: - abundance, company, many, multitude, multiply, noise, riches, rumbling, sounding, store, tumult.

So what was it that Christendom had that was "multiplied" or made to be like a "tumult" as compared to the nations around her? – Our suggestion is that they, like natural Israel before them, had "the oracles of God." – Rom. 3:1-2 (Remember that Christendom sprang up from among the True church – Acts 20:29-31; 2 Thes. 2:7) It was the Truth of God's Holy Word which developed and kept the saints that were within her.
  Because she had greater light she had greater responsibility and instead of treating and using that light as a priviledge, she misused it and became even more corrupt than those around her who had less light.

Have not walked in my statutes – Like the Jews during the Jewish Age, were given "the oracles of God." Rom. 3:2

Neither have kept my judgments – They should have learned the principles of righteousness from the judgments of God. Remember, He was dealing with them and not the other nations. Amos 3:2

Note: The word used for "judgments" throughout this chapter is Strong's H4941 (see vs. 5)

The following reference also uses H4941 for "judgments" and permits us see both the favorable and unfavorable results of God's judgments:

Isa 26:9,10 "With my soul have I desired thee in the night; yea, with my spirit within me will I seek thee early: for when thy judgments [H4941] are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness. [10] Let favour be shewed to the wicked, yet will he not learn righteousness: in the land of uprightness will he deal unjustly, and will not behold the majesty of the LORD."

Christendom (nominal Spiritual Israel) like their counterpart of the Jewish Age (nominal Fleshly Israel) had the advantage of being dealt with by God. But, like nominal Fleshly Israel, did not learn and therefore are due to receive greater condemnation. Matt. 11:20-24

Neither have done according to the judgments of the nations – It would seem that even the nations around Christendom learned to exercise better judgment than Christendom.
8 therefore thus saith the Lord Jehovah: Behold, I, even I, am against thee; and I will execute judgments in the midst of thee in the sight of the nations. Thus saith the Lord GOD – A pronouncement from the Almighty is a serious thing.

I, even I, am against thee – God here emphasizes that, no matter what methods are used and no matter what His agencies are brought to play, what is about to happen is done at God's command.

And will execute judgments in the midst of thee – What a terrible position to be in! It is worth noting that these judgments are to come "in the midst of" Christendom. This reminds us of the pouring out of the seven last plagues (her judgments – in response to the cries of the saints who were being persecuted by her – Rev. 6:9-11). These plagues were poured out upon the symbolic earth (Rev. 16:1; R498:3.)

In the sight of the nations – This is to be a world wide spectacle. This is likely why "mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone," i.e., held it up for the nations to view it. – Rev. 18:21

Babylon's lifting up "in the sight of the nations" has already been fulfilled. That is what Volume 4 [published 1897] Study IV - VI (D75 - D268) was all about.
9 And I will do in thee that which I have not done, and whereunto I will not do any more the like, because of all thine abominations. I will do in thee – Again comes this reminder that it is God who is doing this.

I have not done .. I will not do any more the like – Compare Matt. 24:21. In other words, God will do this once and never again.

Because of all thine abominations – While this surely includes "the abomination which maketh desolate" (Dan. 12:11,) yet this must include more. It includes all those things mentioned in verse 6.
10 Therefore the fathers shall eat the sons in the midst of thee, and the sons shall eat their fathers; and I will execute judgments on thee; and the whole remnant of thee will I scatter unto all the winds. The fathers shall eat the sons – This terrible thing was done literally in Jerusalem 70 A.D. and apparently the same happened in places in Europe during and immediately after WWI.

However, we believe the main focus of this prophecy is during the time of the our Lord's Second Presence. Therefore we should look at Nominal Spiritual Jerusalem for fulfillment.

In the midst of thee – This takes place not outside of Jerusalem (literal Jerusalem in 70 A.D. and symbolic Jerusalem, Mystic Babylon at the end of the Gospel Age) but from within her.

The sons shall eat their fathers – Who would be the 'fathers' and 'sons' of mystic Babylon?

There seems to be a two-fold way of looking at this. While the primary seems to be from the ecclesiastical element of Christendom, there may also be an application to the civil element.

First, the ecclesiastical:

We suggest that the "fathers" would be those who take on the role of father, head of household, life-giver, protector, provider, the one the children (sons) turn to for loving guidance. The "sons" would be their parishioners, the symbolic "earth" class.

The "fathers ate their sons" by abandoning them. Consider their actions at the Parliament of Religions in Chicago in 1893. Br. Russell referred to this as "a grand compromise of Christianity with everything unchristian." D180:4 – In their effort to fill the pews (and line their pocket-books) they seemingly went all out in their attempts to compromise with the world and to water down what little truth they still had.

The "sons ate their fathers" by noting the hypocrisy of their religious teachers, challenging them with the reasonings of the increasing light of the day, and by leaving the state churches – drying up the waters of the Euphrates. Rev. 16:12; R5449:9

Second, the civil:

The whole Christendom system had no regard for the common man other than as tools to do their bidding. Yet the common man still had a certain amount of respect for them, largely because of the false doctrine of "the divine right of kings." Meantime the royal powers claimed to be protecting the people. But as the Jubilee sounded louder and louder this arrangement began to fall apart.

The sons began to eat the fathers by rejecting entirely the "divine right of kings."

I will execute judgments in thee – No matter what may appear to be the agents which bring all this about, God is here declaring that He is the one making it happen.

The whole remnant of thee – So who would constitute the "remnant?" The word "remnant" here used is:
From H7604; a remainder or residual (surviving, final) portion: - that had escaped, be left, posterity, remain (-der), remnant, residue, rest.

By tracing every usage of this word in the Old Testament it is clear that this always refers strictly to people and not other things.

Our suggestion is that this refers to those who were of "household of faith" (on plane n) because this seems to take place after the 4 winds (loosed in 1914) have done their immediate work. The Great Company (it would appear) having already come out during the 1914-18 period.

Will I scatter into all the winds – The 4 winds which continue to blow (as evidenced by the next violent outbreak, i.e., WWII.) Once again we see that it is God who scatters these. – See "Loosing the Four Winds" in "Bible Topics" on this site.
11 Wherefore, as I live, saith the Lord Jehovah, surely, because thou hast defiled my sanctuary with all thy detestable things, and with all thine abominations, therefore will I also diminish thee; neither shall mine eye spare, and I also will have no pity. Wherefore – This is the same word (Strong's H3651) as "therefore" (see 5:7) and basically means "because of, or as a consequence of." In other words this is the effect part of "cause and effect."

As I live saith the Lord GOD – This phrase is used sparingly by the Almighty and it always indicates that He is emphasizing the fact that this is what He is about to do. (Num. 14:21,28; Isa. 49:18; Jer. 22:24; 46:18; Zeph. 2:9)

Surely, because thou hast defiled my sanctuary –
A primitive root; to be foul, especially in a ceremonial or moral sense (contaminated): - defile (self), pollute (self), be (make, make self, pronounce) unclean, X utterly.

מקּדשׁ מקדּשׁ
miqdâsh miqqedâsh
mik-dawsh', mik-ked-awsh'
From H6942; a consecrated thing or place, especially a palace, sanctuary (whether of Jehovah or of idols) or asylum: - chapel, hallowed part, holy place, sanctuary.

Thus they corrupted that which was set aside to be holy. – Remember, there were primarily the two classes within Christendom: the sanctuary (the saints) and the host (nominal Christians.) C37:1

Notice here again the Lord adds another "because." – "Because thou hast defiled my sanctuary…" The Lord is showing how the horrible things Christendom has done have accumulated against them.

With thy detestable things – Detestable things
שׁקּץ שׁקּוּץ
shiqqûts shiqqûts
shik-koots', shik-koots'
From H8262; disgusting, that is, filthy; especially idolatrous or (concretely) an idol: - abominable filth (idol, -ation), detestable (thing).

This would include especially the doctrine of the mass. This is the same word used in Dan. 11:31 and 12:11 as "the abomination that maketh desolate."

And with all thine abominations – Abominations
תּעבה תּועבה
tô‛êbah tô‛êbah
to-ay-baw', to-ay-baw'
Feminine active participle of H8581; properly something disgusting (morally), that is, (as noun) an abhorrence; especially idolatry or (concretely) an idol: - abominable (custom, thing), abomination.

This would seem to include the various other doctrines which were perhaps not as disgusting, like "divine right of kings, clergy, etc."

It is here worth noting that before God says what He is going to do, He has brought up again the charges before Christendom and declared that "surely thou (Christendom) .. hast defiled my sanctuary (class.)" If it was true of natural Israel, how much more of Spiritual Israel – Zech. 2:6-8

Since one of God's primary character traits is mercy (Exo. 34:5-7), He has been careful to list above the charges against Christendom. But now here comes God's explanation of what He is about to do in response to the accumulated sins of Christendom.

Therefore – As the legitimate consequence of what you have done.

Will I also diminish thee – Make no mistake. Whatever outward means the Lord used to bring about the "diminishing" of Christendom, this diminishing was from Him and was brought about by their actions.

Neither shall mine eye spare – I will not stop short of full justice.

Neither will I have pity – I will not commiserate or have compassion. This is a matter of justice which must be meted out.
12 A third part of thee shall die with the pestilence, and with famine shall they be consumed in the midst of thee; and a third part shall fall by the sword round about thee; and a third part I will scatter unto all the winds, and will draw out a sword after them.

Comparison from vs. 2
Eze. 5:2 Eze. 5:12
Burn with fire in midst of city Die with the pestilence and consumed with famine
Smite with a knife Fall by sword
Scatter in the wind Scatter into all the winds

 In both vs 2 and 12 the above is followed by "and I will draw out a sword after them."

A third part of thee – Compare with vs. 2.

Shall die with the pestilence – This is the word for plague. This third part dies with the plague. As the three parts here appear to be the same as in verse 2 and appear in the same order, it seems safe to say this is the same part which, in verse 2, is described as being burned with fire. This fits well with them receiving the (7th) plague, the Truth of God's Word. – Psa. 18:13

And with famine shall they be consumed – Starved for lack of spiritual food.

In the midst of thee – There is spiritual food available, but not within Christendom. Within her is famine.

And a third part shall fall by the sword – Sword = Word of God (Heb. 4:12.) It is by Present Truth (especially the Truth which demonstrates that the claims of the so-called "Kingdoms of Christ" are not Christ's Kingdom, else why would they be at war with each other?) that this part "falls." Compare to Isa. 34:3.

Round about thee – The countries (land, territory) round about the territory of Christendom. Please see Additional Comment Verse 5.

And I will scatter a third part into all the winds – The "four winds" (of war, trouble, strife – see Bible Topics, "Loosing the Four Winds") which were loosed in 1914. The third part here would seem to be whatever remained of believers (at any level.) Remember how on the Chart, even those once on plane 'N' fall away from that position.

And I will draw out a sword after them – The last "third" just mentioned. These too will eventually loose all faith in the old false church arrangement.
13 Thus shall mine anger be accomplished, and I will cause my wrath toward them to rest, and I shall be comforted: and they shall know that I, Jehovah, have spoken in my zeal, when I have accomplished my wrath upon them. Thus shall mine anger be accomplished – His anger is demonstrated in the pouring out of the 7 last plagues. By saying that it is "accomplished" He seems to be saying "It is done," i.e., I have poured out the last of the 7 plagues. – Rev. 16:17

And I will cause my fury to rest upon them – His fury (shown in the plagues, especially the 7th) is to "rest upon them," i.e., it's work is not over in a moment. No, it will take time for the entire matter to do it's work. Compare with Dan. 2:35 and notice that a process (taking time) is what is described. The word "fury" here is often translated "wrath." It is in the pouring out of the seven last plagues that God's wrath (fury) is executed. Rev. 15:1
חמא חמה
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.

In other words this passage might as well read "I will cause my plagues to rest (remain) upon then," thus validating the understanding of many that the plagues, when once poured out, continue until their work is completely done.

This same thought (plagues continuing or "resting" upon them) is expressed by Isaiah "Therefore is the anger of the LORD kindled against his people.. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still."

And they shall know that I the LORD have spoken it in my zeal – This will be after the true church has gone to their heavenly reward. God did this "in my zeal."
From H7065; jealousy or envy: - envy (-ied), jealousy, X sake, zeal.

When I have accomplished my fury in them – When the entire work of tearing down the nations is finished.
14 Moreover I will make thee a desolation and a reproach among the nations that are round about thee, in the sight of all that pass by. Moreover I will – Again we see that it is God who is doing this, whatever the means He employs for its accomplishment.

Make thee waste – "Waste" here is Strong's H2723
Feminine of H2721; properly drought, that is, (by implication) a desolation: - decayed place, desolate (place, -tion), destruction, (laid) waste (place).

Used in Jer. 44:22 where it adds "without an inhabitant."

And I will be comforted – When the scales of Divine Justice have been brought into balance.

And a reproach among the nations that are round about thee – This is easy enough to see. "We are the Lord's people, we are the gateway to God. If any one wants to be close to God they must come to us, after all, we are Christ's Kingdom." – This was the claim of Christendom, "Christ's Kingdom." Then the nations of "Christ's Kingdom" went to war against each other and their entire false arrangement (church united with state, the iron mixed with miry clay Dan. 2:43) came crashing down.

In the sight of all that pass by – Of nominal fleshly Israel (type of Christendom, nominal Spiritual Israel) 1 Kings 9:6-9; and more directly of Christendom: Zeph. 2:15. Note that the Zephaniah text points to city "that said in her heart, I am, and there is none beside me."
15 So it shall be a reproach and a taunt, an instruction and an astonishment, unto the nations that are round about thee, when I shall execute judgments on thee in anger and in wrath, and in wrathful rebukes; (I, Jehovah, have spoken it;) So it shall be a reproach and a taunt – Christendom has indeed become a reproach and a taunt. Consider the attitude expressed by those who now inhabit what used to be her territories, i.e., Europe. – Consider the last 2 scriptures from the previous verse.

An instruction and an astonishment – See March 2004 article: "Is Europe the New ‘Dark Continent’?" for an example of how this has become an instruction and astonishment.

To show the impartial nature of this article, consider where it came from, i.e., CBN News (Christian Broadcasting Network) who also host 700 Club (Pat Robertson.) They believe in world evangelism before Christ can come, i.e., it is their mission to convert the world. — For them to publicly acknowledge such a state of things in Europe, which is exactly opposite of their goals, is a powerful acknowledgment indeed.

Unto the nations that are round about thee – The territories around what once was Christendom.

When I shall execute judgments in thee – When God lets the plagues do their work (with the 7th poured out in 1914.)

In anger and in fury and in furious rebukes – We have seen the horrors of WWI and WWII.

I the LORD have spoken it – Once again, it is God who has done this.

16 when I shall send upon them the evil arrows of famine, that are for destruction, which I will send to destroy you: and I will increase the famine upon you, and will break your staff of bread; When I shall send upon them – Once again is the reminder that all this comes from the LORD Himself.

The evil arrows of famine – The Word of the Lord, the Present Truth, is food to nourish those in the right heart condition to receive it, but to those who are not His Words are as a bitter plague. – Psa. 64:3; Isa. 28:9-13
  Since it is to them a bitter plague, they cannot "stomach" it, thus the famine.

Which I will send – It matters little where these "evil arrows" (bitter words, the Truths which expose their false teachings) come from, the fact is that these are, in reality, from God.

To destroy you – The Word of the Lord is designed to "accomplish that which I please." (Isa. 55:11) In this case it is sent out to destroy Christendom (Jerusalem.)

Consider from beginning of this verse to here is very similar to Deu. 32:23-24.

I will increase the famine – The Lord has just told us that He will send "arrows of famine" upon them. So how is this different?
 Here He is indicating that the famine will be even greater than before.

Upon you – This famine comes especially on Christendom (The feet of iron and clay – Dan. 2:41-44.)

And will break your staff of bread – See additional comments Eze. 4:16
17 and I will send upon you famine and evil beasts, and they shall bereave thee; and pestilence and blood shall pass through thee; and I will bring the sword upon thee; I, Jehovah, have spoken it. As reminder of the proper perspective concerning these verses the following references were brought up in our study: D164:1; Div:4; A307:2

I will send you famine – The famine (discussed above) continues to get deeper. – Amos 8:11

And evil beasts – Non-"Christian" nations. In God's promise to Natural Israel (Lev. 26:6) He promises to rid the land of these. Here He is telling them they shall be overrun by them because of their unfaithfulness.

In the Mediatorial phase of the Kingdom no "ravenous beast shall go up" on the "highway of holiness." – Isa. 35:8-9

They shall bereave thee – The word "bereave" in this verse is Strong's 7921
A primitive root; properly to miscarry, that is, suffer abortion; by analogy to bereave (literally or figuratively): - bereave (of children), barren, cast calf (fruit, young), be (make) childless, deprive, destroy, X expect, lose children, miscarry, rob of children, spoil.

As it refers to being made "childless," and it is these other nations (evil or wild beasts) that do this, we need to look and see how this comes about. It appears that these nations seem to be saying:
"You told us that you were Christ's Kingdom on earth. Just look at you now!"
What remains of the now broken apart Christendom (Rev. 16:19) cannot give answer to why Christ's Kingdom would go to war against and destroy itself. No wonder they became childless!

Pestilence – Please see additional comments verse 12.

Blood shall pass through thee – Shed blood, life poured out. Christendom's former believers continue to 'die' to any belief in the religious element of her. – Applies to nominal church (primarily in Europe.)

And I will bring the sword upon thee – Heb. 4:12

Why is the LORD causing all this to come about? – See vs. 6.

I the LORD have spoken it – Amen!
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