Ezekiel Chapter 9
Ezekiel 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.“
In the last lesson, God had gone into detail with Ezekiel, to make him fully understand why He judged Jerusalem and Judah. He gave over-abundant proof that they were guilty of the worst kind of sin. This cry is against Israel, and specifically, Judah and Jerusalem.
A slaughter weapon suggests the massive destruction of human life that was impending.
It appears, these that have charge over the city are superhuman beings under the direct orders of God. These angelic executioners came equipped with weapons of destruction (see Daniel 4:13, 17 and 23 for a comparison, a watcher, a holy one who did God’s bidding).
These could be angels that God had stationed to protect His holy city. Now, they are set to destroy. These are similar to the angels in Revelation, which bring woe upon the sinful earth at the direction of God.
Ezekiel 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 brazen altar.“
There are many symbols in this verse. The number 6 is the number of man, or mankind. This judgment then is against man. The way of the higher gate to the north has to do with God. “Linen” symbolizes the righteousness of Christ. The “brazen altar” is the altar of judgment. This writer’s inkhorn has the power (horn), to mark and save the repentant.
“Horn”: Can anyone hear this horn? Just what is an inkhorn?
The Hebrew word so rendered means simply a round vessel or cup for containing ink, which was generally worn by writers in the girdle. The word “inkhorn” was used by the translators, because in former times in this country horns were used for containing ink.
Ezekiel 9:3 “And the glory of the God of Israel was gone up from the cherub, whereupon he was, to the threshold of the house. And he called to the man clothed with linen, which [had] the writer’s inkhorn by his side;“
The glory of God departs before the destruction of the city and temple. The gradual departure of God from His temple is depicted in stages: the glory resides in the temple’s Most Holy Place, between the wings of the cherubs on each side of the Ark of the covenant over the mercy seat, then leaves to the front door, later to the East gate by the outer wall, and finally to the Mount of Olives to the East, having fully departed. The glory will return in the future kingdom of Messiah.
It is God who knows who is to be marked, and who is not. God knows the heart of man. He, also, knows whose names are written in the book of life. Just as the Hebrews in Egypt, whose doors were covered with the blood of the lamb, were saved, God will separate the judgment here. This is last minute instructions from God.
Ezekiel 9:4 “And the LORD said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof.”
God will mark His remnant here. These are that remnant who has not bowed their knee to these false gods. They are saddened by the things going on. They love God and Him alone. They have not been involved in this sensuous worship of false gods. They are very similar to the 144,000 that are sealed in Revelation.
Revelation 7:2-4 “And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea,” “Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.” “And I heard the number of them which were sealed: [and there were] sealed a hundred [and] forty [and] four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.”
God always has a remnant, who has not worshipped false gods. God protects those who worship Him in Truth.
Ezekiel 9:5 “And to the others he said in mine hearing, Go ye after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity:“
All of those who did not have the seal of God on their foreheads were to be utterly destroyed. The others, with their weapon drawn, were to follow the one with the seal. They destroyed all who were not sealed.
Ezekiel 9:6 “Slay utterly old [and] young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom [is] the mark; and begin at my sanctuary. Then they began at the ancient men which [were] before the house.”
True worshippers of God, who despised idolatry, would be protected. The rest would be destroyed. This seems cruel, but it is really God wiping out those unfaithful. The children were killed also, so the next generation would not worship false gods. This was a beginning again, as God did with Noah and his family.
The ancient men before the houses had been involved in this worship of false gods also. Judgment begins at the house of God. This was no exception.
1 Peter 4:17 “For the time [is come] that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if [it] first [begin] at us, what shall the end [be] of them that obey not the gospel of God?”
Ezekiel 9:7 “And he said unto them, Defile the house, and fill the courts with the slain: go ye forth. And they went forth, and slew in the city.”
The house means “the temple”.
Remember, this is a vision. This really does occur, when the temple and the people in it are destroyed. Their dead bodies were left lying everywhere. They were not even buried. Their bones were scattered on the altars of their false gods. The house was defiled by the worship of the false gods. Now, God does not even regard this house as holy. He wants it destroyed along with the worshippers of the false gods.
The city here, is Jerusalem.
Ezekiel 9:8 “And it came to pass, while they were slaying them, and I was left, that I fell upon my face, and cried, and said, Ah Lord GOD! wilt thou destroy all the residue of Israel in thy pouring out of thy fury upon Jerusalem?”
Ezekiel is fearfully aroused in prayer because the judgment on Jerusalem and Israel is so vast.
God replies that pervasive sin demands thorough judgment, yet comforts him by the report that the faithful had been marked to be spared.
Ezekiel 9:9 “Then said he unto me, The iniquity of the house of Israel and Judah [is] exceeding great, and the land is full of blood, and the city full of perverseness: for they say, The LORD hath forsaken the earth, and the LORD seeth not.”
God answers Ezekiel, by telling him why He is destroying them. “Perverseness”, here, is iniquity of the worst sort. They are evil and the hearts within them are evil. They kill, lie, and cheat. They are even unfaithful to the God who created them. This iniquity is so great, that God must judge them. There comes a time when God will wait no longer for them to repent. This is that time for them.
Ezekiel 9:10 “And as for me also, mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity, [but] I will recompense their way upon their head.“
What you sow, you will reap. They have sinned so greatly, that God will have no pity on them. Judgment day is here. The wrath of God is poured out upon them. He will not stop, until everyone has paid their wages for their sin.
Romans 3:23: “The wages of sin is death but the gift of God is life eternal through Jesus Christ the Lord.”
Ezekiel 9:11 “And, behold, the man clothed with linen, which [had] the inkhorn by his side, reported the matter, saying, I have done as thou hast commanded me.”
This man clothed in linen is like all other beings upon the earth, and in heaven, and under the earth in that he is subject to God.
He reports back, that he has done as God requested him to do. If the six were angels, then this being seems to be the one in charge.
Ezekiel Chapter 9 Questions
1. What does God do to Ezekiel in verse 1.
2. Who are these that have charge over the city?
3. Who are these that have charge over the city like, in Revelation?
4. How many came from the way of the higher gate?
5. What did they have in their hands?
6. What does “linen” symbolize?
7. The “brazen altar” is the altar of __________.
8. What does the writer’s inkhorn have power to do?
9. Where had the glory of the God of Israel been?
10. Who is directing the one dressed in linen?
11. What was this one with the inkhorn to do?
12. What made them different from the other Israelites?
13. Who are these that are to be marked in their foreheads similar to in the book of Revelation?
14. What were the others to do?
15. Who were they to slay?
16. Where did they begin with their destruction?
17. This beginning again was similar to ________.
18. Where were the dead bodies left?
19. What did Ezekiel do, when he found he was left?
20. What question does he ask God?
21. What is “perverseness” in verse 9?
22. What you sow, you will _______.
23. When will He stop?
24. When the man in linen finished marking, what did he do?