The Lord tells Ezekiel that his wife, “the desire of your eyes”, is going to die and He instructs Ezekiel not to mourn her death. This is another effort to get the attention of the people in captivity and it is an illustration of the destruction coming upon the temple, the desire of their eyes – ”Behold, I will profane My sanctuary, your arrogant boast, the desire of your eyes, the delight of your soul; and your sons and daughters whom you left behind shall fall by the sword. And you shall do as I have done; you shall not cover your lips nor eat man’s bread of sorrow.”
The Lord gives a word of judgment against Ammon, Moab, Edom and Philistia and He gives a warning to Zedekiah, king of Judah – “Behold, I will give this city into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall burn it with fire. And you shall not escape from his hand, but shall surely be taken and delivered into his hand; your eyes shall see the eyes of the king of Babylon, he shall speak with you face to face, and you shall go to Babylon.”
Jeremiah rebukes the people in Jerusalem for not releasing their slaves after seven years as the Lord had commanded them to do back in the wilderness (Exodus 21:2). “Now when all the princes and all the people, who had entered into the covenant, heard that everyone should set free his male and female slaves, that no one should keep them in bondage anymore, they obeyed and let them go. But afterward they changed their minds and made the male and female slaves return, whom they had set free, and brought them into subjection as male and female slaves.”
Since the people disobeyed the Lord by making their slaves return, the Lord promises to deliver them “to trouble among all the kingdoms of the earth.” The Lord says there will be no deliverance from the hand of the Babylonians; therefore, it is futile to try to escape the coming judgment – “Behold, I set before you the way of life and the way of death. He who remains in this city shall die by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence; but he who goes out and defects to the Chaldeans who besiege you, he shall live, and his life shall be as a prize to him. For I have set My face against this city for adversity and not for good…It shall be given into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall burn it with fire.”
The Lord also pronounces judgment upon Egypt. He says, like Assyria, they will be destroyed because of their pride. And Egypt “shall be the lowliest of kingdoms; it shall never again exalt itself above the nations, for I will diminish them so that they will not rule over the nations anymore.”
Disaster is quickly approaching Jerusalem. However, the Lord gives the people a word of hope tomorrow, so keep reading.
(Ezekiel 24:15-25:17, Jeremiah 34:1-22, Jeremiah 21:1-14, Ezekiel 29:1-16, Ezekiel 30:20-31:18)