The Berean Expositor
Volume 9 - Page 114 of 138
Index | Zoom
Let us now turn to the prophet Ezekiel to see whether we can obtain any light from his
prophecy. The first twelve chapters of Ezekiel are taken up with the desolateness of
Jerusalem and Israel, even as the concluding thirteen are taken up with the restoration.
Chapter 1: is full of teaching concerning four living creatures (the very same name as the
four beasts, or living ones, of Revelation). Ezekiel receives his commission to go to the
rebellious house of Israel, and in chapter 4: he prophesies, by means of a symbol, the
siege of Jerusalem; there we find a parallel with the third seal:--
"I will break the staff of bread in Jerusalem: and they shall eat bread by weight and
with care, and they shall drink water by measure and with astonishment" (Ezek. 4: 16).
In chapter 5: Ezekiel is bidden to take a sharp sword, "as a barber's razor shalt thou take
it", and with it used in this fashion he is told to cut off some of his hair and beard. The
hair was divided into three parts, one third to be burned in the city, one third to be smitten
with the sword, and the remaining third scattered to the wind, and the Lord said, "I will
draw out a sword after them". A few in number were to be taken and bound in the
prophet's skirts. These signs are interpreted in verse 12:--
"A third part of thee shall die with pestilence, and with famine shall they be consumed
in the midst of thee (see the first four seals of Rev. 6:), and a third part shall fall by the
sword round about thee; and I will scatter a third part into all the winds, and I will draw
out a sword after them" (this emphasis upon the third part is also found in Rev. 8:).
No mention is made in this passage of those typified by the small portion of hair bound in
the prophet's skirt; in chapters 6: and 7:, however, a hint is given by the reference to
a "remnant" that "escape" (6: 8, 7: 16). Chapters 8: - 11: are taken up with the sins
of Israel with reference to the temple, and a series of "abominations" are shown to the
prophet. In chapter 9: 4-6 the Lord commanded:--
"Go through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men
that sigh and cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof, and to the
others He said in mine hearing, Go ye after him through the city, and smite; let not your
eye spare, neither have pity: slay utterly old and young, both maids and little children,
and women; but come not near any man upon whom is the mark: and begin at My
Without pursuing this section further, it will be seen that we have a close parallel to the
sealing of the 144,000 in the book of Revelation. We cannot but feel that they too will be
marked off as ones that sigh and that cry because of THE abomination that maketh
desolate. The sealing of these saints of God is in direct contrast with the branding of the
beast (13: 16-18, 14: 9-11, 16: 2, 19: 20). God's own are "sealed", the devil's own
are "marked" or "branded". John tells us that he "heard the number of the sealed", and
the 144,000 (12,000 for each tribe) must be taken literally. Again in 9: 16 a far more
"figurative" sounding number is given, viz., "two hundred thousand thousand"! yet the
apostle solemnly declares, "I heard the number of them". When the number is beyond
computation the apostle has said so, e.g., "whose number is AS the sand of the sea"
(20: 8), or even more to the point, in the very next vision to the 144,000 he sees a
multitude "that no man could number". Moses Stuart says, "That the number in this case
is symbolical, and not to be literally taken, seems scarcely necessary to remark"; the same