Two things stand out within chapter 22.
First are the sins of Jerusalem, once called the “Holy City,” now, in Ezekiel, called the “City of Blood” and (because of vss. 17-22) as we might refer to it, the “Junk Yard.” The sins are many: disrespect for parents, taking advantage of the naive, oppression of the weak, slander and sexual immorality and finally, murder. It may seem improper to equate the seriousness of murder with idolatry or forsaking the Sabbath. But in the prophets, they are inter-related. Moral behavior flows from a healthy faith. You cannot have one without the other – a point we’d do well to remember.
Murder gets a lot of space in this chapter. Was there really that much going on? Perhaps so, or perhaps, God was holding the city accountable for the blood that would be shed in the punishment of her sins.
Second, the failure of the people is tied directly to the failure of their leaders. If their punishment seems excessive, remember that God holds them responsible for the example they set and the behavior they govern. When leaders are guilty of bribery, oppression, and materialism, the people will not be far behind. Are the leaders corrupt because the people are corrupt, or are the people corrupt because the leaders are? Leaders may come from corrupt people, but once leaders, God expects better of them.