Scripture reading – Ezekiel 21


In chapter 20, we found that “certain of the elders of Israel” came to the prophet Ezekiel and desired him “to inquire of the LORD” (Ezekiel 20:1). What were they inquiring about? I believe it was news of their brethren living in Judah and an update on Babylon’s siege of Jerusalem.

Remembering the words of the prophets, it was difficult for the captives living in Babylon to grasp that their beloved city and its Temple were to be destroyed, and thousands would perish. We learned the LORD was offended that those idolatrous, unfaithful elders dared to inquire of Him. He commanded Ezekiel to speak to those men and say, “As I live, saith the LORD God, I will not be inquired of by you” (Ezekiel 20:3, 31). So, the elders of Israel complained about (if not ridiculed) Ezekiel at the close of chapter 20 and asked, “Doth he[Ezekiel] not speak parables?” (Ezekiel 20:49)


Ezekiel 21

Preach Against Jerusalem (Ezekiel 21:1-7)

The LORD answered the elders’ inquiry and said plainly to Ezekiel, “Son of man, set thy face toward Jerusalem, and drop thy word toward the holy places, and prophesy against the land of Israel” (Ezekiel 21:2). The message Ezekiel was commanded to deliver was clear: “Say to the land of Israel, Thus saith the Lord; Behold, I am against thee, and will draw forth my sword out of his sheath, and will cut off from thee the righteous and the wicked” (Ezekiel 21:3).

Preach Against Jerusalem

The LORD’s judgment was imminent, for He was ready to draw His sword and judge “the righteous and the wicked” (Ezekiel 21:3). “All flesh,” man, woman, boy, and girl, would know it was the LORD who executed judgment (Ezekiel 21:4-5). Ezekiel was commanded to sigh, indicating the pain and sorrow the people would suffer (Ezekiel 21:6). The prophet was told to answer the people when they asked, “Wherefore sighest thou?” and say, “For the tidings; because it cometh: and every heart shall melt, and all hands shall be feeble, and every spirit shall faint, and all knees shall be weak as water: behold, it cometh, and shall be brought to pass, saith the Lord God” (Ezekiel 21:7).


Prepare to Face God’s Judgment (Ezekiel 21:8-17)

The LORD warned that His sword of judgment was sharpened, and it would be borne by Nebuchadnezzar, the executioner of His will (Ezekiel 21:8-11). The LORD directed Ezekiel to dramatize the sufferings of Jerusalem, saying, “Cry and howl, son of man: for it shall be upon my people” (Ezekiel 21:12).

Ezekiel 21:14 described the swift violence that would come upon Jerusalem and the great slaughter that would befall the people. None would escape (Ezekiel 21:15), and all who fled the destruction would be slain (Ezekiel 24:16-17).

Babylon was God’s Agent of Judgment (Ezekiel 21:18-24)

Here, we find a great spiritual lesson for nations that know the LORD and reject Him. The LORD left no doubt that He would employ “the sword of the king of Babylon” (18:18-19). Babylon’s sword was described as going forth “two ways” (Ezekiel 21:19). Ezekiel 21:20 foretold that Nebuchadnezzar’s sword would “come to Rabbath of the Ammonites, and to Judah in Jerusalem” Ezekiel 21:20).  

Though he consulted with his idols (Ezekiel 21:22), the LORD used Nebuchadnezzar’s superstitious ways to draw him to Jerusalem and to do His bidding (Ezekiel 21:23). Describing Babylon’s siege of Jerusalem, we read that Nebuchadnezzar would “appoint battering rams against the gates” and build a mound to assault the city walls (Ezekiel 21:22).

With the mounds laid up against the city walls and battering rams at the gates, the people would remember the warnings of the faithful prophets, who prophesied, “ye shall be taken with the hand [i.e., of the enemy]” (Ezekiel 21:24).

Zedekiah’s Defeat Assured

Zedekiah’s Defeat Assured (Ezekiel 21:25-27)

The LORD foretold through Ezekiel that King Zedekiah, described as the “profane wicked prince of Israel, whose day is come,” would be expelled from Judah’s throne (Ezekiel 21:25). With the command, “Remove the diadem, and take off the crown” (Ezekiel 21:26), the fate of the high priest (a “diadem” was the turban worn by the high priest), and the king was sealed.

The words, “I will overturn, overturn, overturn, it: and it shall be no more,” foretold the imminent overthrow of Zedekiah and Jerusalem (Ezekiel 21:27a). However, that same verse ended with an exciting prophesy: “Until he come whose right it is; and I will give it him (Ezekiel 21:27b). 


The Ammonites Defeat Foretold (Ezekiel 21:28-32)

Our study closes with God’s assurance that, unlike the children of Israel who would return to their land, the judgment of the Ammonites would be final, and they would “be no more remembered” (Ezekiel 21:32).


Closing thoughts –  

Though Jerusalem would be destroyed and Judah defeated, the LORD foretold one was coming who would claim the throne, and the LORD would “give it him” (Ezekiel 21:27b). Who was this one whose right was to claim both the diadem and Israel’s crown?

Jesus Christ alone has the right and authority to claim the roles of priest and king. Jacob, the father of the Twelve Tribes of Israel, foretold, “The sceptre shall not depart from Judah” (Genesis 49:10a).

The author of Hebrews wrote concerning Jesus Christ: “25Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. 26For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; 27Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people’s: for this he did once, when he offered up himself. 28For the law maketh men high priests which have infirmity; but the word of the oath, which was since the law, maketh the Son, who is consecrated for evermore” (Hebrews 7:25–28).

Copyright © 2024 – Travis D. Smith 

* Please subscribe to the Heart of a Shepherd daily devotionals by entering your name and email address at the bottom of today’s devotion.

The Internal Revenue Service recognizes Heart of A Shepherd Inc as a 501c3 public charitable organization. Your donation is welcome and supports the worldwide ministry outreach of

Mailing address:

Heart of A Shepherd Inc

7853 Gunn Hwy


Tampa, FL 33626-1611