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What the Bible says about Hair Metaphor in Ezekiel 5
(From Forerunner Commentary)

Jeremiah 31:1-5

After God performs the intents of His heart, as it says at the end of the previous chapter, and His wrath has consumed those He will consume, then peace in the relationship between Israel and God becomes possible because all of those who declared war on God through their conduct are dead. God does not believe in "peace at any price." He works toward repentance, but if there is no repentance, the only solution is to destroy those in rebellion against Him. Yet, after the destruction, He promises once again to be the God of all of Israel, and Israel will again be His people.

Verse 2 provides the qualifier that the remnant will be those who have survived the sword. Ezekiel 5:1-4 illustrates this time:

And you, son of man, take a sharp sword, take it as a barber's razor, and pass it over your head and your beard; then take scales to weigh and divide the hair. You shall burn with fire one-third in the midst of the city, when the days of the siege are finished; then you shall take one-third and strike around it with the sword, and one-third you shall scatter in the wind: I will draw out a sword after them. You shall also take a small number of them and bind them in the edge of your garment. Then take some of them again and throw them into the midst of the fire, and burn them in the fire. From there a fire will go out into all the house of Israel.

From these verses and the remainder of Ezekiel 5, it is evident that a great deal of violence will be done to the peoples of Israel, but when it is over, God will give them rest (Jeremiah 31:2). The people who survive the sword will find grace. God begins to demonstrate His lovingkindness and to rebuild and restore Israel. Jeremiah 31:4 contains the imagery of a festive occasion with dancing, something that the Israelites probably will not have felt like doing for quite some time. There will be food in abundance, and the time of famine will be over (verse 5). On all counts, Israel's outlook is brightening.

David C. Grabbe
The Second Exodus (Part Two)

Ezekiel 5:1-5

The prophecy in this passage, explained in verse 12, seems to confirm that Israel is tithed, but what about the pinch of hair bound in the edge of the garment? It is an even smaller fraction of the whole—an almost insignificant number. More intriguing is that nothing further is mentioned of them. They are a small remnant of people in Israel—possibly the spiritual remnant?—who are protected in God's hip pocket. If these hairs do represent the spiritual remnant, then it is a very small number indeed.

Richard T. Ritenbaugh
The Remnant

Ezekiel 5:1

God's instruction to Ezekiel is that he was to shave his head and beard, and then the hair was to be precisely divided. It was not a matter of, "Well, divide it into three piles." No, He told Ezekiel to use balances, and what He wanted was for each of the piles to weigh exactly the same amount. So we have a very precise division or separation of the hairs of his head, which represent the population of the nations of Israel.

John W. Ritenbaugh
A Place of Safety? (Part 1)

Ezekiel 5:1-4

The hair represents the people of the nations of Israel. Most of the church is in the nations of Israel, primarily the United States and Canada. The church is represented in the "small number"—represented by the hair that he puts into his pocket—taken from the third group, which goes into captivity and is thrown to the "four winds," showing a measure of protection. However, he then takes a part from that group and throws it into the fire. Now hair is the most flammable part of the body, and surely, the fire must indicate death.

This can be connected with the fifth seal of Revelation 6: the martyrdom of the saints. One can also connect it with Revelation 3:10 and the "Philadelphians" who are kept from the hour of trial that comes upon the whole earth. The group that he took out of his pocket and threw into the fire (and are therefore consumed in the fires of tribulation) represents the Laodicean church. It surely seems to indicate that very few, if any, of them will survive through the Tribulation. Five separations are indicated here in Ezekiel 5, but only one very small amount is protected in the fold of his skirt.

John W. Ritenbaugh
A Place of Safety? (Part 1)

Ezekiel 5:2-3

The "them" has to be the last of the third, those that he is to scatter in the wind. So we have three separate, distinct piles. He takes the third pile and throws it. However, before doing so, he just takes a small number of hairs from that pile and puts them into the folds of his garment, or as we might say, into his pocket. Then what remains he throws up into the air, and it just gets blown away. We understand this means people will be blown into all nations, that is, scattered and likely in captivity.

John W. Ritenbaugh
A Place of Safety? (Part 1)


 




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