- Judgments are threatened upon all, but the remnant, verse 1-10.
- Mercy is promised, verse 11-14.
The altar - Of burnt-offering before the temple at Jerusalem, this altar and temple Israel had forsaken, and set up others against it; and here God in his jealousy appears prepared to take vengeance. Possibly it may intimate his future departure from Judah too. There Ezekiel, Ezekiel 9:2, saw the slaughter-men stand. The door - The door of the gate that led into the priests court. And cut them - Wound deep, the people who were visionally represented as standing in the court of the temple.
Hell - The center of the earth, or the depth of hell.
The serpent - The crocodile or shark.
Set my eyes - I will perpetually watch over them.
Toucheth - He needs not take great pains therein, a touch of his finger will do this. Shall melt - As snow before the sun.
His stories - The celestial orbs one over another, as so many stories in an high and stately palace. And he hath founded his troop in the earth: all the creatures, which are one army, one body; so closely are they connected, and so harmoniously do they all act for the accomplishing of their creator's purposes. Calleth for the waters - Either in judgment to drown, or in mercy to give rain.
The Arabians - A wild, thievish, and servile nation. Have not I brought - And whereas you boast my kindness to you, bringing you out of Egypt, and thereupon conclude, God cannot leave you whom he hath so redeemed; you argue amiss, for this aggravates your sin. From Kir - Conquered by some potent enemies, and sent away to Kir, a country of Media, yet at last delivered. Should these nations, argue themselves to be out of danger of divine justice, because I had done this for them.
The sinful kingdom - Every sinful kingdom.
The least grain - Though tumbled and tossed with the great violence, yet the smallest, good grain, shall not be lost or destroyed.
All the sinners - The great, notorious sinners. The evil - Is far off, we shall die first, and be safe in the grave.
In that day - In the set time which I have fixt. Raise up - Bring back out of captivity, and re-establish in their own land, the house of David, and those that adhere to his family. Fallen - By the revolt of the ten tribes. The breaches - Which are in it by that long division.
They - Literally the Jews. Possess - Both the lands of Edom, and some of the posterity of Edom; these as servants, the other as their propriety. The remnant - Left by Nebuchadnezzar. All the heathen - That is, round about. That doth this - But this is also a prophecy of setting up the kingdom of the Messiah, and bringing in the Gentiles.
Behold the days come - Here is another promise literally of abundant plenty to the returned captives, and mystically of abundant grace poured forth in gospel-days. The plowman - Who breaks up the ground, and prepares it for sowing, shall be ready to tread on the heels of the reaper who shall have a harvest so large, that before he can gather it all in, it shall be time to plow the ground again. The treader of grapes - So great shall their vintage be that e'er the treaders of grapes can have finished their work, the seeds-man shall be sowing his seed against the next season. Shall drop - The vineyards shall be so fruitful, and new wine so plentiful as if it ran down from the mountains. Shall melt - Or, as if whole hills were melted into such liquors. If any object, it never was so: I answer, the sins of the returned captives prevented these blessings, which are promised under a tacit condition.
Pulled up - On condition that they seek the Lord. This was on God's part with admirable constancy performed through six hundred years, perhaps the longest time of freedom from captivity they ever knew.