In this chapter, which forms a distinct section, the prophet denounces the judgments of God against the Jews for their idolatry, 1-7; but tells them that a remnant shall be saved, and brought to a sense of their sins by their severe afflictions, 8-14.
Notes on Chapter 6
Set thy face toward the mountains of Israel
This is a new prophecy, and was most probably given after the four hundred and thirty days of his lying on his left and right side were accomplished. By Israel here, Judea is simply meant; not the ten tribes, who had long before been carried into captivity. Ezekiel uses this term in reference to the Jews only.
The mountains may be addressed here particularly, because it was on them the chief scenes of idolatry were exhibited.
Your images shall be broken
Literally, your sun images; representations of the sun, which they worshipped. See the margin.
Will scatter your bones round about your altars.
This was literally fulfilled by the Chaldeans. According to Baruch, Baruch 2:24,25, they opened the sepulchres of the principal people, and threw the bones about on every side.
They that escape of you shall remember me
Those that escape the sword, the pestilence, and the famine, and shall be led into captivity, shall plainly see that it is God who has done this, and shall humble themselves on account of their abominations, leave their idolatry, and worship me alone. And this they have done from the Babylonish captivity to the present day.
Smite with thine hand, and stamp with thy foot
Show the utmost marks of thy astonishment and indignation, and dread of the evils that are coming upon them. Some have contended for the propriety of clapping and stamping in public worship from these words! It is scarcely a breach of charity to think that such persons are themselves incapable either of attending on or conducting the worship of God. To be consistent, they should copy the prophet in his other typical actions as well as these; and then we shall hear of their lying on their left side for three hundred and ninety days, and on their right side for forty days; shaving their heads, burning their hair, baking their bread with dung, commanded, were proper in the prophet: in such persons as the above they would be evidences of insanity. Such extravagant acts are no part of God's worship.
And make the land-more desolate than the wilderness toward Diblath
Diblath or Diblathayim is situated in the land of Moab. It is mentioned Numbers 33:46, Almon-Diblathaim; and in Jeremiah 48:22, Beth-Diblathaim. It was a part of that horrible wilderness mentioned by Moses, Deuteronomy 8:15, "wherein were fiery serpents, and scorpions, and drought." The precise reason why it is mentioned here is not very evident. Some think it is the same as Riblah, where Nebuchadnezzar slew the princes of Israel, and put out Zedekiah's eyes; the principal difference lying between the daleth and the resh, which in MSS. is often scarcely discernible; and hence vast multitudes of various readings. Five, probably six, of Kennicott's MSS. have riblathah, as likewise two of my oldest MSS.; though in the margin of one a later hand directs the word to be read bedaleth, with daleth. But all the Versions read the word with a D. This may appear a matter of little importance, but we should take pains to recover even one lost letter of the word of God.