The End is Near!By Rabbi Jack Abramowitz
G-d spoke to Ezekiel, saying that the end was coming to Israel and to the “four corners” of the world. G-d is sending His anger to punish the people for their evil deeds. He will not spare them or have mercy; when the abominations come upon them, they will know that it comes from G-d.
G-d says, “See the evil that comes! The end is coming; it has roused against you. Morning has broken upon you, the day of chaos is close at hand. I will pour my anger out on you and judge you according to your deeds. I will bring your abominations upon you. I will not spare you or have mercy. You will know that I, G-d, have acted.”
Look! The day is coming! The rod with which the people will be punished has blossomed – it will soon bear fruit. Their acts of injustice have borne a rod of evil to destroy them. None will be spared, since not one of them seeks G-d.
The day has come. Normally, when one is forced to sell his field, the buyer rejoices and the seller laments. Neither party should bother becoming that emotionally invested right now, since the exile is imminent and the ownership of the field will soon be moot. Though it means their very lives, the people cling to their sins and refuse to control their impulses.
They blow the trumpets signaling the troops to battle, but everyone is too terrified to fight. G-d’s anger is upon them: the sword outside the city, famine and plague within. Those in the field will be struck down by the enemy, those barricaded behind the city walls will fall to illness and starvation. Fugitives will flee to the mountains, wailing because of their sins. The people will be unable to stand against the onslaught; their legs will melt beneath them. They will show the signs of mourning.
The people will toss their gold and silver away – it’s worthless; they can’t eat it in a famine. Pursuing wealth was what led them to this sorry state. As for the Temple, the pride of the nation, they have placed idols in it, so G-d will allow it to be discarded, as well. He will let it be prey for the invaders, who will further defile it. G-d will turn away from His holy place and let the invaders despoil it.
Forge the chain of Israel’s captivity. The land is full of blood and the city is full of injustice. G-d will bring the most evil of the nations and allow them to take over. He will put an end to the Temple, which the people mistreated.
The time to cut off has arrived. The people will look for peace, but there will be none to be found. There will be one catastrophe after another. The people will seek guidance from the prophets, but they won’t get it. They will turn to the Kohanim (priests), who are supposed to be the spiritual leaders of the people, only to find that they have forgotten their Torah knowledge. The King and the prince (possibly referring to Gedaliah, who was appointed governor of the remnant who stayed behind after the exile) will mourn and the people will be in chaos. G-d will treat the people as they have earned through their actions and they will know that it came from Him.