22 March 2010

God kills Ezekiel's wife and tells him not to mourn her death

I guess God was trying to make some kind of point in this killing. Maybe you can help me figure out what it was.

God had just revealed some important stuff to Ezekiel.
Thus saith the Lord GOD ... Woe to the bloody city, to the pot whose scum is therein, and whose scum is not gone out of it! ... That it might cause fury to come up to take vengeance; I have set her blood upon the top of a rock, that it should not be covered. ... Woe to the bloody city! ... Heap on wood, kindle the fire, consume the flesh, and spice it well, and let the bones be burned ... that the filthiness of it may be molten in it, that the scum of it may be consumed. She hath wearied herself with lies, and her great scum went not forth out of her: her scum shall be in the fire. ... I the LORD have spoken it: it shall come to pass, and I will do it; I will not go back, neither will I spare. Ezekiel 24:3-14
So there you have it. God is going to make a bloody, scum-filled soup using human blood, bones, and body parts. It will come to pass and God will spare no one.

Then in the next verse he announces his next killing: Ezekiel's wife.
Also the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, behold, I take away from thee the desire of thine eyes with a stroke. Ezekiel 24:15-16aa
Now, I don't think God meant to say here that he was going to kill Ezekiel's wife "with a stroke." Here's how the Revised Standard Version puts it.
Son of Man, behold, I am about to take the delight of your eyes away from you at a stroke." Ezekiel 24:16a (SRV)
So although we don't know how, we do know he's going to kill her right away, "in a stroke."

And when he does, God doesn't want Ezekiel to mourn her death in any way. He's not allowed to cry, take his shoes off, cover his lips, bind the tire of his head, or eat the bread of men.
Yet neither shalt thou mourn nor weep, neither shall thy tears run down. Forbear to cry, make no mourning for the dead, bind the tire of thine head upon thee, and put on thy shoes upon thy feet, and cover not thy lips, and eat not the bread of men. Ezekiel 24:16a-17
And that's what happens. God killed Ezekiel's wife and Ezekiel didn't give a shit.
My wife died; and I did in the morning as I was commanded. Ezekiel 24:16
Then God and Ezekiel explain the whole point of this killing to everyone in Israel. God will kill their sons and daughters, and no one is allowed to mourn them after they die, like Ezekiel didn't mourn his wife when God killed her. (At least I think that's the point here. Let me know if you think I'm wrong.)

Here's what Ezekiel told the people after God killed his wife.
The word of the LORD came unto me, saying ... your sons and your daughters ... shall fall by the sword. And ye shall do as I have done: ye shall not cover your lips, nor eat the bread of men. And your tires shall be upon your heads, and your shoes upon your feet: ye shall not mourn nor weep ... Thus Ezekiel is unto you a sign: according to all that he hath done shall ye do. Ezekiel 24:20-24
Well, now, that's a point worth killing for, isn't it?

God's next killing: Judith is blessed above all women (for cutting off a sleeping man's head)


busterggi said...

According to Yahweh anything is an excuse for killing.

teavee said...

It seems that the biggest and final point God wants to make is at the end of Ezekiel 24:24 "... and when this cometh, ye shall know that I am the Lord GOD." (Also Ezekiel 24:27). God always seems to be doing something to make sure everyone knows he's boss.

But I fail to see how the remaining sons and daughters dieing by the sword would be attributed to God rather than whoever is wielding the sword. Wouldn't it be more effective to kill the sons and daughters with "a stroke" as well?

Also, Ezekiel 24:24 seems circular. If people agree to suppress weeping and mourning as directed by God don't they already accept "I am the Lord GOD".

And does anyone know how "I will profane my sanctuary" in Ezekial 24:21 relates to the rest of the verse?

Matthew Blanchette said...

Wow; God sure does love allegorical killing...

Cross revealed said...

If one starts with naturalism as a worldview, religion can only be viewed as the refuge for the weak. However, if you don't see any reason to begin with naturalistic philosophy, and are willing to examine the evidence, it points to a Creator. And if we are created, we are therefore accountable to that Creator, and He may do with us as He pleases. If He would send a flood to judge the world, we cannot say He is wrong. If He sends His Son not to judge the world, but that through him the world might be saved, we cannot say He is wrong. If He created man, rather than man "creating" Him, His law is binding on man, whether or not man chooses to obey.

wjanoch said...

The city was already bloody, that is, full of murder and violence. And it was full of scum. That is why God was going to destroy it. The prophet's wife was that type of person,wretched and unwilling to change. Killing her is something our governments today would probably do, though we're not given specific details about her crimes. She was not worthy to be mourned, that's why she was chosen as the example for what was going to happen to the wicked people of the city.

Unknown said...

God only lets people who reject Him suffer so long wallowing in their own sin. It is an act of mercy and there is not a life that is extinguished that God does not cry over. God is ready to judge Israel in this scenario in like manner. Also God will resurrect all people in the white throne judgment. Those who constantly reject His love and mercy and wallow in their own self-righteousness and sin and evil will be raised in corruption for judgment. Their consistent constant rejection of God was fully their choice and they would not be happy in heaven with a God of Love. Those who Love God enough to put away the evil and be transformed by Love and grace will live forever with their Savior GOD who HIMSELF died to save them. God Himself Died! Who can judge HIM!

Unknown said...

I love how we give wonderful explanations for why God kills people. Isn't it convenient to say everyone who is killed was somehow wrong and deserving? What if I were to be insensitive and say the same thing about everyone who died in the twin towers? Right! You get the point I'm sure. The truth is, unless it is clarified exactly why, then all we have is a speculation and a prejudice. Also, ^^ GOD NEVER DIED! Jesus, in whom the spirit of God was manifest to it's greatest degree, died. But God did not die. And don't try to carve God up into three's. God said he is one. Know that the Lord your God is ONE! And it is no such thing as God, the son and God, the Holy spirit. Jesus was not talking to himself when he was crying out in agony on the cross. The point of that ramble is...If we cant explain that simple "mystery", how can we ever explain God's reasons for doing anything unless He says why...

Sam said...

I think we have to consider the notion that this story was not intended to be read literally. Ezekiel is full of symbols and allegories, and perhaps this is one of them, not a record of actual events.

Also, husband-wife relationships were very different than they are today. Ezekiel's seemingly indifferent reaction to his wife's death would not necessarily be as surprising then as it would be now.

G said...

The Death of Ezekiel's Wife is a sign that reveals how far Israel had fallen and how deep its depravity had become. For under normal circumstances, Ezekiel would surely have mourned as was the custom for the death of a precious loved one, but instead he was commanded by the LORD to be indifferent. This is the spiritual condition of the nation of Israel. The word of the Lord is clear that the nation would not mourn or weep at the loss of the Sanctuary of the Lord, although it was the joy of their pride, the delight of their eyes and their heart's delight; their sons and daughters. The LORD then proclaims to the nation because of these thing, "you will rot away in your iniquities and you will groan to one another".

ben said...

I understand your frustration and anger. As some of the commentors already pointed out, if you believe in a Creator, then you realize that your existence depends on that Creator, so its "His way or the highway", so to speak. Actually, God's true laws are beneficial to us, help us live the best we can in a world we still know little about, and teach us how to get along. Many have misunderstood or misrepresented His words, so unless you study for yourself you can't get near the truth. Yes, so much of what happens is unbelievably harsh! But then, look at man's justice system over the millenia-criminals have been treated unbelievable harshly, and have commited unbelievably horrific crimes. If you were a Creator, wouldn't you do some "smiting" yourself when you saw your creatures doing horrible things to other creatures? Well, that's what the Israelites did. They were given everything, yet they kept deciding to say, "Hell with that, I'm gonna do what I wanna do". And that included robbing the poor, killing people who tried to stop them, sacrificing their own babies to "gods", murdering, etc., etc. As the Jewish writers even say, "they brought it on themselves". And besides all that, there are some things in this life we will never understand, whether we believe in a Creator or not. You say you are an "unbeliever", but no one creates an entire blog based on something they don't believe in. You're struggling to understand. I admire you for that, and hope you find your way. It isn't easy, and believers don't have all the answers either. We just have hope, and a guidebook. And not everyone who says they believe or are of this or that religion are telling the truth. You have to use discernment with each individual instead of blaming an entire group. All the best to you.

Nicole Emry said...

If you read the entire book up to that point, God is having Ezekiel tell the people that the city will come under siege and all the sons and daughters ( and all the loved ones really) will die by the sword, and that they shouldn't mourn the deaths because 1) Ezekiel is forewarning them of it and 2) the people continued to sin over and over again without any fear of consequence. Well, now they must face those consequences. Essentially, they shouldn't be surprised.

Also, the reference to the verse about "profane his name," The who reason that God is letting Jerusalem fall is because they are supposed to be Gods people and they are giving him a bad (profane) reputation (his name). And so he is going to risk further damaging his reputation by letting his people, who are sinners, die