Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Ezekiel 21:12

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Smite - upon thy thigh - See on Jeremiah 31:19; (note). So Homer, Il. 15 ver. 113: -

Ὡς εφατ '· αυταρ Αρης θαλερω πεπληγετο μηρω<-144 Χερσι καταπρηνεσσολοφυρομενος δε προσηυδαπ .

"She spake; and, with expanded arms his thighs

Smiting, thus sorrowful the god exclaimed."


Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible
Verses 8-17

The second word of judgment: the glittering and destroying sword. The passage may be called the “Lay of the Sword;” it is written in the form of Hebrew poetry, with its characteristic parallelism.

Ezekiel 21:10

It contemneth the rod of my son, as every tree - The rod is the scepter of dominion, assigned to Judah Genesis 49:10. The destroying sword of Babylon despises the scepter of Judah; it despises every tree. Others render the verse, “Shall we make mirth” (saying), “the rod of my son,” (the rod which corrects my people) “contemneth” (treats with scorn, utterly confounds) “every tree” (every other nation); or, the scepter of my people “contemneth” (proudly despises) every other nation. Proud as the people are, they shall be brought to sorrow.

Ezekiel 21:12

Terrors - Better as in the margin.

Smite upon thy thigh - A token of mourning (compare the marginal reference note).

Ezekiel 21:13


For it is put to the proof, and if it contemneth even the rod, What shall not be? saith the Lord

i. e., What horrors will not arise when the sword shall cut down without regard the ruling scepter of Judah!

Ezekiel 21:14

Doubled the third time - i. e., “thrice doubled” to express its violence and force.

The sword of the slain - The sword whereby men are to be slain.

Of the great men … - Or, The sword of the mighty slain, which presseth hard upon them.

Ezekiel 21:15

The point of the sword - The threatening sword or terror; as in Genesis 3:24, “the flaming sword.”

And their ruins be multiplied - literally, “to the multiplication of stumblingblocks,” that is, so that the causes of their fall may be more numerous. Compare Jeremiah 46:16.

Made bright … - Or,

Ah! It is prepared for a lightning-flash, Drawn for slaughter.

Ezekiel 21:16

The prophet addresses the sword,

Gather thyself up, O sword, to the right or to the left.

Another rendering is: “Turn thee backwards! get thee to the right! Set thee forwards (?)!get thee to the left! O whither is thy face appointed?

Ezekiel 21:17

The Lord smites together His hands in anger (marginal reference), man in consternation.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Here is an explanation of the parable in the last chapter. It is declared that the Lord was about to cut off Jerusalem and the whole land, that all might know it was his decree against a wicked and rebellious people. It behoves those who denounce the awful wrath of God against sinners, to show that they do not desire the woful day. The example of Christ teaches us to lament over those whose ruin we declare. Whatever instruments God uses in executing his judgments, he will strengthen them according to the service they are employed in. The sword glitters to the terror of those against whom it is drawn. It is a sword to others, a rod to the people of the Lord. God is in earnest in pronouncing this sentence, and the prophet must show himself in earnest in publishing it.
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