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Ezekiel 5:1

    Ezekiel 5:1 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    And thou, son of man, take thee a sharp knife, take thee a barber's razor, and cause it to pass upon thine head and upon thy beard: then take thee balances to weigh, and divide the hair.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    And you, son of man, take you a sharp knife, take you a barber's razor, and cause it to pass on your head and on your beard: then take you balances to weigh, and divide the hair.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    And thou, son of man, take thee a sharp sword; as a barber's razor shalt thou take it unto thee, and shalt cause it to pass upon thy head and upon thy beard: then take thee balances to weigh, and divide the hair.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    And you, son of man, take a sharp sword, using it like a haircutter's blade, and making it go over your head and the hair of your chin: and take scales for separating the hair by weight.

    Webster's Revision

    And thou, son of man, take thee a sharp sword; as a barber's razor shalt thou take it unto thee, and shalt cause it to pass upon thy head and upon thy beard: then take thee balances to weigh, and divide the hair.

    World English Bible

    You, son of man, take a sharp sword; You shall take it as a barber's razor to you, and shall cause it to pass on your head and on your beard: then take balances to weigh, and divide the hair.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    And thou, son of man, take thee a sharp sword, as a barber's razor shalt thou take it unto thee, and shalt cause it to pass upon thine head and upon thy beard: then take thee balances to weigh, and divide the hair.

    Clarke's Commentary on Ezekiel 5:1

    Take thee a sharp knife - Among the Israelites, and indeed among most ancient nations, there were very few edge-tools. The sword was the chief; and this was used as a knife, a razor, etc., according to its different length and sharpness. It is likely that only one kind of instrument is here intended; a knife or short sword, to be employed as a razor.

    Here is a new emblem produced, in order to mark out the coming evils.

    1. The prophet represents the Jewish nation.

    2. His hair, the people.

    3. The razor, the Chaldeans.

    4. The cutting the beard and hair, the calamities, sorrows, and disgrace coming upon the people. Cutting off the hair was a sign of mourning; see on Jeremiah 45:5 (note); Jeremiah 48:37 (note); and also a sign of great disgrace; see 2 Samuel 10:4.

    5. He is ordered to divide the hair, 2 Samuel 10:2, into three equal parts, to intimate the different degrees and kinds of punishment which should fall upon the people.

    6. The balances, 2 Samuel 10:1, were to represent the Divine justice, and the exactness with which God's judgments should be distributed among the offenders.

    7. This hair, divided into three parts, is to be disposed of thus:

    1. A third part is to be burnt in the midst of the city, to show that so many should perish by famine and pestilence during the siege.

    2. Another third part he was to cut in small portions about the city, (that figure which he had pourtrayed upon the brick), to signify those who should perish in different sorties, and in defending the walls.

    3. And the remaining third part he was to scatter in the wind, to point out those who should be driven into captivity. And,

    4. The sword following them was intended to show that their lives should be at the will of their captors, and that many of them should perish by the sword in their dispersions.

    5. The few hairs which he was to take in his skirts, 2 Samuel 10:3, was intended to represent those few Jews that should be left in the land under Gedaliah, after the taking of the city.

    continued...

    Barnes' Notes on Ezekiel 5:1

    Translate it: take thee a sharp sword, for a barber's razor thou shalt take it thee. Even if the action were literal, the use of an actual sword would best enforce the symbolic meaning. The "head" represents the chief city, the "hair" the inhabitants - its ornament and glory - the "hair cut from the head" the exiles cast forth from their homes. It adds to the force of the representation that "to shave the head" was a token of mourning Job 1:20, and was forbidden to the priests Leviticus 21:5. Thus, in many ways, this action of Ezekiel "the priest" is significant of calamity and ruin. The sword indicates the avenging power; the shaving of the head the removal of grace and glory; the scales and weights the determination of divine justice. Compare Zechariah 13:8-9.

    Wesley's Notes on Ezekiel 5:1

    5:1 Take - Thus foretel the mourning, reproach, and deformity that are coming, for all this is signified by shaving the head and beard.