Ezekiel Part 1: The Prophetic Call of Ezekiel (Chapters 1-3)
Ezek. 1:1 ¶ Now it came about in the thirtieth year, on the fifth day of the fourth month, while I was by the river Chebar among the exiles, the heavens were opened and I saw visions of God.
Ezek. 1:2 (On the fifth of the month in the fifth year of King Jehoiachin¹s exile,
Ezek. 1:3 the word of the LORD came expressly to Ezekiel the priest, son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans by the river Chebar; and there the hand of the LORD came upon him.)
Ezek. 1:4 ¶ As I looked, behold, a storm wind was coming from the north, a great cloud with fire flashing forth continually and a bright light around it, and in its midst something like glowing metal in the midst of the fire.
Ezek. 1:5 Within it there were figures resembling four living beings. And this was their appearance: they had human form.
Ezek. 1:6 Each of them had four faces and four wings.
Ezek. 1:7 Their legs were straight and their feet were like a calf¹s hoof, and they gleamed like burnished bronze.
Ezek. 1:8 Under their wings on their four sides were human hands. As for the faces and wings of the four of them,
Ezek. 1:9 their wings touched one another; their faces did not turn when they moved, each went straight forward.
Ezek. 1:10 As for the form of their faces, each had the face of a man; all four had the face of a lion on the right and the face of a bull on the left, and all four had the face of an eagle.
Ezek. 1:11 Such were their faces. Their wings were spread out above; each had two touching another being, and two covering their bodies.
Ezek. 1:12 And each went straight forward; wherever the spirit was about to go, they would go, without turning as they went.
Ezek. 1:13 In the midst of the living beings there was something that looked like burning coals of fire, like torches darting back and forth among the living beings. The fire was bright, and lightning was flashing from the fire.
Ezek. 1:14 And the living beings ran to and fro like bolts of lightning.
Ezek. 1:15 ¶ Now as I looked at the living beings, behold, there was one wheel on the earth beside the living beings, for each of the four of them.
Ezek. 1:16 The appearance of the wheels and their workmanship was like sparkling beryl, and all four of them had the same form, their appearance and workmanship being as if one wheel were within another.
Ezek. 1:17 Whenever they moved, they moved in any of their four directions without turning as they moved.
Ezek. 1:18 As for their rims they were lofty and awesome, and the rims of all four of them were full of eyes round about.
Ezek. 1:19 Whenever the living beings moved, the wheels moved with them. And whenever the living beings rose from the earth, the wheels rose also.
Ezek. 1:20 Wherever the spirit was about to go, they would go in that direction. And the wheels rose close beside them; for the spirit of the living beings was in the wheels.
Ezek. 1:21 Whenever those went, these went; and whenever those stood still, these stood still. And whenever those rose from the earth, the wheels rose close beside them; for the spirit of the living beings was in the wheels.
Ezek. 1:22 ¶ Now over the heads of the living beings there was something like an expanse, like the awesome gleam of crystal, spread out over their heads.
Ezek. 1:23 Under the expanse their wings were stretched out straight, one toward the other; each one also had two wings covering its body on the one side and on the other.
Ezek. 1:24 I also heard the sound of their wings like the sound of abundant waters as they went, like the voice of the Almighty, a sound of tumult like the sound of an army camp; whenever they stood still, they dropped their wings.
Ezek. 1:25 And there came a voice from above the expanse that was over their heads; whenever they stood still, they dropped their wings.
Ezek. 1:26 ¶ Now above the expanse that was over their heads there was something resembling a throne, like lapis lazuli in appearance; and on that which resembled a throne, high up, was a figure with the appearance of a man.
Ezek. 1:27 Then I noticed from the appearance of His loins and upward something like glowing metal that looked like fire all around within it, and from the appearance of His loins and downward I saw something like fire; and there was a radiance around Him.
Ezek. 1:28 As the appearance of the rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day, so was the appearance of the surrounding radiance. Such was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. And when I saw it, I fell on my face and heard a voice speaking.
Ezek. 2:1 ¶ Then He said to me, ³Son of man, stand on your feet that I may speak with you!²
Ezek. 2:2 As He spoke to me the Spirit entered me and set me on my feet; and I heard Him speaking to me.
Ezek. 2:3 Then He said to me, ³Son of man, I am sending you to the sons of Israel, to a rebellious people who have rebelled against Me; they and their fathers have transgressed against Me to this very day.
Ezek. 2:4 ³I am sending you to them who are stubborn and obstinate children, and you shall say to them, Thus says the Lord GOD.¹
Ezek. 2:5 ³As for them, whether they listen or notfor they are a rebellious housethey will know that a prophet has been among them.
Ezek. 2:6 ³And you, son of man, neither fear them nor fear their words, though thistles and thorns are with you and you sit on scorpions; neither fear their words nor be dismayed at their presence, for they are a rebellious house.
Ezek. 2:7 ³But you shall speak My words to them whether they listen or not, for they are rebellious.
Ezek. 2:8 ¶ ³Now you, son of man, listen to what I am speaking to you; do not be rebellious like that rebellious house. Open your mouth and eat what I am giving you.²
Ezek. 2:9 Then I looked, and behold, a hand was extended to me; and lo, a scroll was in it.
Ezek. 2:10 When He spread it out before me, it was written on the front and back, and written on it were lamentations, mourning and woe.
Ezek. 3:1 ¶ Then He said to me, ³Son of man, eat what you find; eat this scroll, and go, speak to the house of Israel.²
Ezek. 3:2 So I opened my mouth, and He fed me this scroll.
Ezek. 3:3 He said to me, ³Son of man, feed your stomach and fill your body with this scroll which I am giving you.² Then I ate it, and it was sweet as honey in my mouth.
Ezek. 3:4 ¶ Then He said to me, ³Son of man, go to the house of Israel and speak with My words to them.
Ezek. 3:5 ³For you are not being sent to a people of unintelligible speech or difficult language, but to the house of Israel,
Ezek. 3:6 nor to many peoples of unintelligible speech or difficult language, whose words you cannot understand. But I have sent you to them who should listen to you;
Ezek. 3:7 yet the house of Israel will not be willing to listen to you, since they are not willing to listen to Me. Surely the whole house of Israel is stubborn and obstinate.
Ezek. 3:8 ³Behold, I have made your face as hard as their faces and your forehead as hard as their foreheads.
Ezek. 3:9 ³Like emery harder than flint I have made your forehead. Do not be afraid of them or be dismayed before them, though they are a rebellious house.²
Ezek. 3:10 Moreover, He said to me, ³Son of man, take into your heart all My words which I will speak to you and listen closely.
Ezek. 3:11 ³Go to the exiles, to the sons of your people, and speak to them and tell them, whether they listen or not, Thus says the Lord GOD.¹²
Ezek. 3:12 ¶ Then the Spirit lifted me up, and I heard a great rumbling sound behind me, ³Blessed be the glory of the LORD in His place.²
Ezek. 3:13 And I heard the sound of the wings of the living beings touching one another and the sound of the wheels beside them, even a great rumbling sound.
Ezek. 3:14 So the Spirit lifted me up and took me away; and I went embittered in the rage of my spirit, and the hand of the LORD was strong on me.
Ezek. 3:15 Then I came to the exiles who lived beside the river Chebar at Tel-abib, and I sat there seven days where they were living, causing consternation among them.
Ezek. 3:16 ¶ At the end of seven days the word of the LORD came to me, saying,
Ezek. 3:17 ³Son of man, I have appointed you a watchman to the house of Israel; whenever you hear a word from My mouth, warn them from Me.
Ezek. 3:18 ³When I say to the wicked, You will surely die,¹ and you do not warn him or speak out to warn the wicked from his wicked way that he may live, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand.
Ezek. 3:19 ³Yet if you have warned the wicked and he does not turn from his wickedness or from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered yourself.
Ezek. 3:20 ³Again, when a righteous man turns away from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and I place an obstacle before him, he will die; since you have not warned him, he shall die in his sin, and his righteous deeds which he has done shall not be remembered; but his blood I will require at your hand.
Ezek. 3:21 ³However, if you have warned the righteous man that the righteous should not sin and he does not sin, he shall surely live because he took warning; and you have delivered yourself.²
Ezek. 3:22 ¶ The hand of the LORD was on me there, and He said to me, ³Get up, go out to the plain, and there I will speak to you.²
Ezek. 3:23 So I got up and went out to the plain; and behold, the glory of the LORD was standing there, like the glory which I saw by the river Chebar, and I fell on my face.
Ezek. 3:24 The Spirit then entered me and made me stand on my feet, and He spoke with me and said to me, ³Go, shut yourself up in your house.
Ezek. 3:25 ³As for you, son of man, they will put ropes on you and bind you with them so that you cannot go out among them.
Ezek. 3:26 ³Moreover, I will make your tongue stick to the roof of your mouth so that you will be mute and cannot be a man who rebukes them, for they are a rebellious house.
Ezek. 3:27 ³But when I speak to you, I will open your mouth and you will say to them, Thus says the Lord GOD.¹ He who hears, let him hear; and he who refuses, let him refuse; for they are a rebellious house.
v®d$OjAl hDÚvImSjA;b ÐyIoyIbr`D;b hGÎnDv MyIv ølVvI;b yIh×yÅw Ezek. 1:1
hRarRaÎw My$AmDÚvAh ÐwjV;tVpn r¡DbV;k_rAh×n_lAo hDlwøgAh_JKwáøtVb y¶InSaÅw
twälÎgVl ty$IvyImSjAh hDnDÚvAh ayIh£ v®dóOjAl hDÚvImSjA;b Ezek. 1:2
N¢EhO;kAh yªIzw;b_NR;b la°éq×zRj×y_lRa hÎwh×yþ_rAbd hDyDh hâOyDh Ezek. 1:3
:h`Dwh×y_dÅy MDv wy¢DlDo y¶IhV;tÅw r¡DbV;k_rAh×n_lAo Myäî;dVcA;k X®r¶RaV;b
N§DnDo Nw#øpDxAh_NIm hDaD;b h%rDoVs Ajw°r ·h´nIh×w a®r&EaÎw Ezek. 1:4
Ny¶EoV;k ;h$Dkwø;t°Imw by¡IbDs wäøl ;h`AgñOn×w tAj$å;qAlVtIm vEa×w Ð lwødÎg
:v`EaDh JKwñø;tIm lAmVvAjAh
twñm;d N$Rhy`EarAm Ðhz×w twóø¥yAj oA;brAa twäm;d ;h$Dkwø;t°Imw Ezek. 1:5
t¶AjAaVl MyApÎnV;k o¶A;brAa×w t¡DjRaVl MyInDp h¶DoD;brAa×w Ezek. 1:6
lgâ®r ÐPAkV;k M#RhyEl×går PAk×w hórDv×y lgâ®r MRhyEl×går×w Ezek. 1:7
:l`Dlq tRvñOj×n NyEoV;k My$IxVxâOn×w lg$Eo
tAoA;brAa lAo M$RhyEp×nA;k ÐtAjÐA;tIm M#dDa [yâédy][w] wødÎy×w Ezek. 1:8
:M`D;tVoA;brAaVl MRhyEp×nAk×w M¶Rhy´nVpw M¡RhyEoVbîr
w;bA;sy_aøl M¡RhyEp×nA;k ;hDtwøjSa_lRa h¶DÚvIa tÿOrVbáOj Ezek. 1:9
:wk`El´y wyDnDÚp rRb¶Eo_lRa vy¢Ia N$D;tVkRlVb
ÐNyImÎ¥yAh_lRa h§EyrAa y½´nVpw ~MdDa yEnVÚp ¤MRhy´nVÚp twâmdw Ezek. 1:10
rRvRn_y´nVpw N¡D;tVoA;brAaVl lwaäømVÚcAh`Em rwñøv_y´nVpw M$D;tVoA;brAaVl
vy#IaVl hDlVo¡DmVlIm twëødürVÚp M¶RhyEp×nAk×w MðRhy´nVpw Ezek. 1:11
:hÎn`RhyEtOyw×g tEa tw$ø;sAkVm MyA;tVvw vy$Ia twêørVbOj MyA;tVv£
hD;m°Dv_hyVh`Iy ·rRvSa lRa wk¡El´y wyDnDÚp rRb¶Eo_lRa vy¢Ia×w Ezek. 1:12
:N`D;tVkRlV;b w;bA;sy añøl wk$El´y ÐtRkÐRlDl AjwûrDh
ÐtwørSoáO;b v#Ea_yElSjÅgV;k MRhyEarAm twø¥yAjAh tw°mdw Ezek. 1:13
v$EaDl ;hÅgâOn×w twóø¥yAjAh NyE;b tRkR;lAhVtIm ayðIh My$îdIÚpA;lAh hEarAmV;k
:qárDb a¶Exwøy vEaDh_NImw
:q`DzD;bAh hEarAmV;k bwóøvÎw awâøxr twäø¥yAjAh×w Ezek. 1:14
lRx¶Ea X®r¢DaD;b d¶DjRa N°Apwøa ·h´nIh×w twóø¥yAjAh a®rEaÎw Ezek. 1:15
:wy`DnDÚp tAo¶A;brAaVl twäø¥yAjAh
twñmdw vy$IvrA;t NyEoV;k ÐMRhyEcSoAmw My§InApwøaDh h°EarAm Ezek. 1:16
NApwøaDh h¶RyVhy r¢RvSaA;k M$RhyEcSoAmw ÐMRhyEarAmw N¡D;tVoA;brAaVl dDjRa
w;bA;sy añøl wk¡El´y MD;tVkRlV;b NRhyEoVbîr tAo¶A;brAa_lAo Ezek. 1:17
tñOaElVm M#DtO;bÅg×w M¡RhDl hDary×w MRhDl ;hAbñOg×w N$RhyE;b½Åg×w Ezek. 1:18
:N`D;tVoA;brAaVl byIbDs My¢AnyEo
a§EcÎnIhVbw M¡DlVxRa MyInApwøaDh wñkVl´y twYø¥yAj`Ah ÐtRkÐRlVbw Ezek. 1:19
:My`InApwøaDh wäaVcÎny X®r$DaDh lAoEm Ðtwø¥yAj`Ah
hD;m¶Dv wk$El´y ÐtRkÐRlDl AjwûrDh M°DÚv_hyVh`Iy ·rRvSa lAo Ezek. 1:20
hD¥yAjAh Ajwõr y¢I;k M$DtD;mUoVl ÐwaVcÎny MyGnApwøaDh×w tRk¡RlDl AjwërDh
lAoEm MÞDaVcÎnIhVbáw wdóOmSoìÅy MädVmDoVbw wk$El´y MD;tVkRlV;b Ezek. 1:21
:My`InApwøaD;b hD¥yAjAh Ajwõr y¢I;k M$DtD;mUoVl ÐMynApwáøaDh wôaVcÎny X®r#DaDh
jårâ®;qAh NyEoV;k Aoy$Iqr ÐhÎ¥yAjAh y§Evar_lAo twÞmdw Ezek. 1:22
:hDlVo`DmVlIm MRhyEvar_lAo ywñfÎn aórwønAh
hDÚvIa tw$ørDv×y MRhyEp×nA;k Aoy$IqrDh ÐtAjÐAt×w Ezek. 1:23
My§A;tVv vy#IaVlw hÎn$EhDl Ðtwø;sAkVm My§A;tVv vy#IaVl ;h¡DtwøjSa_lRa
:M`RhyEtO¥yw×g tEa hÎn$EhDl Ðtwø;sAkVm
My§I;bår My°Am · lwøqV;k M&RhyEp×nA;k lwêøq_tRa oAmVvRaÎw Ezek. 1:24
MädVmDoV;b h¡RnSjAm lwêøqV;k hD;lUmSh lwõøq M$D;tVkRlV;b Ðyå;dAv_lwøqV;k
M¡Dvaør_lAo rRvSa AoyäîqrDl lðAoEm lwðøq_yIh×yÅw Ezek. 1:25
:N`RhyEp×nAk hÎny¶RÚpårV;t MädVmDoV;b
h¶EarAmV;k M$Dvaør_lAo rRvSa ÐAoyÐIqrDl lAo#A;mImw Ezek. 1:26
h¶EarAmV;k twÞm;d a$E;sI;kAh twâm;d Ð lAo×w a¡E;sI;k twâm;d ryIÚpAs_NRb`Ra
:hDlVo`DmVlIm wyDlDo MödDa
by$IbDs Ð;hDl_ty`E;b v§Ea_hEarAmV;k l#AmVvAj NyEoV;k a®rEaÎw Ezek. 1:27
ÐyItyÐIar hDÚf$AmVlw ÐwyÎnVtDm h§EarA;mImw hDlVo¡DmVlw wyDnVtDm h¶EarA;mIm
:by`IbDs wäøl ;h`AgñOn×w v$Ea_hEarAmV;k
NE;k MRvGgAh MwâøyV;b NÎnDoRb h½yVh`Iy ·rRvSa tRv&®;qAh hEarAmV;k Ezek. 1:28
h¡Dwh×y_dwøbV;k twâm;d hEarAm awðh by$IbDs Ð;hÅgOnAh h§EarAm
s :r`E;bådVm lwõøq oAmVvRaÎw yYÅnDÚp_lAo lâOÚpRaÎw ÐhRarRa`Dw
rE;bådSaÅw ÔKy$Rl×går_lAo dâOmSo ÐMdDa_NR;b y¡DlEa rRmaäø¥yÅw Ezek. 2:1
ynäédImSoA;tÅw y$AlEa rR;bî;d ÐrRvSa`A;k Ajw#r yIb aøbªD;tÅw Ezek. 2:2
p :y`DlEa r¶E;bå;dIm tEa oðAmVvRaÎw y¡Dl×går_lAo
yEnV;b_lRa ÐÔKVtwáøa y§InSa Aj°Elwøv ÐMdDa_NR;b y#AlEa rRmaâø¥yÅw Ezek. 2:3
ÐMDtwøbSaÅw hD;m§Eh y¡Ib_wdrDm rRvSa Myäîdrwø;mAh M¶Iywøg_lRa l$EarVcy
:h`RzAh Mwñø¥yAh MRxRo_dAo y$Ib woVvDÚp
äÔKVtwøa Aj¶Elwøv y¢InSa b$El_yéq×zIj×w ÐMynDp y§EvVq MyGnD;bAh×w Ezek. 2:4
:h`Iwøh×y y¶DnOdSa rAmDa hñO;k M$RhyElSa D;trAmDa×w M¡RhyElSa
hD;m¡Eh yäîrVm ty¶E;b y¢I;k wl$;dVjy_MIa×w wâoVmVvy_MIa ÐhD;mÐEh×w Ezek. 2:5
p :M`DkwøtVb h¶DyDh ayIbÎn y¶I;k w$odDy×w
MRhyérVbî;dImw M%RhEm a°ryI;t_lAa MdDaþ_NRb hD;tAa×w Ezek. 2:6
hD;tAa MyI;bårVqAo_lRa×w JK$Dtwøa ÐMynwø;lAs×w My§IbrDs yI;k a#ryI;t_lAa
ty¶E;b y¢I;k t$DjE;t_lAa MRhy´nVÚpImw ÐaryI;t_lAa M§RhyérVbî;dIm b¡Evwøy
wäoVmVvy_M`Ia M$RhyElSa ÐyårDb;d_tRa §D;trA;bîd×w Ezek. 2:7
p :hD;m`Eh yäîrVm y¶I;k wló;dVjy_MIa×w
ÔKy$RlEa rE;bådVm ÐynSa_rRvSa t§Ea ÐoAmVv M#dDa_NRb hD;tAa×w Ezek. 2:8
t¶Ea lðOkTaw ÔKy$Ip hExVÚp yîr¡R;mAh tyEbV;k yîrRm_yIhV;t_lAa
:ÔKy`RlEa N¶EtOn yInSa_rRvSa
wäøb_h´nIh×w y¡DlEa hDjwlVv dDy_h´nIh×w hðRarRaÎw Ezek. 2:9
rwóøjDa×w MyInDÚp hDbwtVk ay¶Ih×w yYÅnDpVl Ð;hDtwøa cûOrVp¥yÅw Ezek. 2:10
s :y`IhÎw hgRhÎw My¶InIq Dhy$RlEa bwâtDk×w
lwóøkTa aDxVmI;t_rRvSa t¶Ea MðdDa_NR;b y$AlEa rRmaâø¥yÅw Ezek. 3:1
:l`EarVcy ty¶E;b_lRa rE;bå;d JK¶El×w taYøzAh hD;lgV;mAh_tRa Ð lwøkTa
:taáøzAh h¶D;lgV;mAh tEa yn$ElIkSaA¥yÅw y¡IÚp_tRa jA;tVpRaÎw Ezek. 3:2
a$E;lAmVt ÔKyRoEmw Ð lEkSa`At ôÔK×nVfI;b ÐMdDa_NR;b y#AlEa rRmaâø¥yÅw Ezek. 3:3
yIpV;b y¶IhV;tÅw h$DlVkâOaÎw ÔKy¡RlEa NEtOn yInSa r¶RvSa taYøzAh hD;lgV;mAh tEa£
p :qwáøtDmVl v¶AbdI;k
l$EarVcy tyE;b_lRa Ðaø;b_JKRl M#dDa_NR;b y¡DlEa rRmaäø¥yÅw Ezek. 3:4
:M`RhyElSa yäårDbdIb ¶D;trA;bîd×w
hD;tAa NwäøvDl yñédVbIk×w h¢DpDc yñéqVmIo M°Ao_lRa ·aøl y&I;k Ezek. 3:5
:l`EarVcy tyE;b_lRa AjwólDv
Nw$øvDl yâédVbIk×w ÐhDpDc yôéqVmIo My#I;bår MyI;mAo_lRa aâøl Ezek. 3:6
hD;mEh ÔKy$I;tVjAlVv ÐMRhyElSa aôøl_MIa M¡RhyérVbî;d oAmVvIt_aáøl r¶RvSa
M¶DnyEa_y`I;k ÔKy$RlEa AoâOmVvIl Ðwbaøy aôøl l#EarVcy tyEbw Ezek. 3:7
jAx¶Em_yéq×zIj l$EarVcy tyE;b_lD;k yI;k£ y¡DlEa AoâOmVvIl MyIbOa
M¡Rhy´nVÚp tA;mUoVl MyäîqÎzSj ÔKy¢RnDÚp_tRa yI;tªAtÎn h½´nIh Ezek. 3:8
:M`DjVxIm t¶A;mUoVl qDzDj ñÔKSjVxIm_t`Ra×w
ÐMDtwøa aôryIt_aáøl ÔK¡RjVxIm yI;tAtÎn räOxIm q¶DzDj ry¢ImDvV;k Ezek. 3:9
p :hD;m`Eh yäîrVm_ty`E;b y¢I;k M$Rhy´nVÚpIm tAjEt_aøl×w
rE;bådSa rRvSa ÐyårDb;d_lD;k_tRa MðdDa_NR;b y¡DlEa rRmaäø¥yÅw Ezek. 3:10
:o`DmVv ÔKy¶Rn×zDaVbw äÔKVbDbVl`I;b jñåq ÔKy$RlEa
§D;trA;bîd×w ÔK$R;mAo yEnV;b_lRa ÐhDlwøgAh_lRa aôø;b JK°El×w Ezek. 3:11
wäoVmVvy_M`Ia h¡Iwøh×y yDnOdSa rAmDa hñO;k M$RhyElSa D;trAmDa×w ÐMRhyElSa
lwúødÎg vAoâår lwëøq y$årSjAa oAmVvRaÎw Ajw$r ynEaDÚcI;tÅw Ezek. 3:12
:wáømwøqV;mIm hDwh×y_dwøbV;k JKwõrD;b
;h$DtwøjSa_lRa hDÚvIa ÐtwøqyIÚvAm twGø¥yAjAh yEp×nA;k lwêøq×w Ezek. 3:13
:lwíødÎg vAoñår lwëøq×w M¡DtD;mUoVl MyInApwøaDh lwõøq×w
y$Ijwr tAmSjA;b ÐrAm JK¶ElEaÎw yn¡Ej;qI;tÅw ynVtAaDc×n Ajwõr×w Ezek. 3:14
:hq`DzDj yAlDo h¶Dwh×y_dÅy×w
My§IbVvO¥yAh byIbDaþ lE;t h%DlwøgAh_lRa aw°øbDaÎw Ezek. 3:15
b¶EvEaÎw M¡Dv MyIbVvwøy hD;mEh [b$EvEa][`Dw] rRvSaÎw ÐrDbV;k_rAh×n_l`Ra
:M`DkwøtV;b My¶ImVvAm MyImÎy t¶AoVbIv M¢Dv
hDwh×y_rAbd y¶Ih×yÅw p My¡ImÎy tAoVbIv hExVqIm yðIh×yÅw Ezek. 3:16
§D;tVoAmDv×w l¡EarVcy tyEbVl ÔKyI;tAt×n h¶RpOx MðdDa_NR;b Ezek. 3:17
:yn`R;mIm MDtwøa ¶D;trAh×zIh×w r$Db;d ÐyIÚpIm
añøl×w w#ø;trAh×zIh aâøl×w tw$mD;t twâøm ÐoDvr`Dl yôîrVmDaV;b Ezek. 3:18
ÐoDvr awôh wóøtO¥yAjVl hDoDvrDh wñø;krå;dIm o¢Dvr ry¶Ih×zAhVl D;tr¢A;bîd
:váé;qAbSa ñÔKdÎ¥yIm wäømd×w tw$mÎy wâønOwSoA;b
w$øoVvîr`Em ÐbDv_aøl×w o$Dvr D;trAh×zIh_y`I;k ÐhD;tAa×w Ezek. 3:19
ñÔKVvVpÅn_t`Ra hD;tAa×w tw$mÎy wâønOwSoA;b awh£ h¡DoDvrDh wäø;krå;dImw
lwöøvVkIm y¶I;tAtÎn×w lw$Do hDcDo×w ÐwøqdIxIm qyôî;dAx bw°vVbw Ezek. 3:20
aâøl×w tw$mÎy wâøtaDÚfAjV;b Ðwø;trAh×zIh aôøl yI;k twómÎy awâh wyDnDpVl
:váé;qAbSa ñÔKdÎ¥yIm wäømd×w h$DcDo rRvSa ÐwDtOqdIx Î Nr#AkÎzIt
qyäî;dAx aöøfSj y¶I;tVlIbVl qy#î;dAx wâø;trAh×zIh yªI;k hÞD;tAa×w Ezek. 3:21
ñÔKVvVpÅn_t`Ra hD;tAa×w r$Dh×zn yI;k ÐhyVj`Iy wôøyDj a¡DfDj_aøl awâh×w
ÐaEx Mwõq y#AlEa rRmaâø¥yÅw h¡Dwh×y_dÅy MDv y¢AlDo y¶IhV;tÅw Ezek. 3:22
:JK`Dtwøa r¶E;bådSa MDv×w h$DoVqI;bAh_lRa
ÐhÎwh×y_dwøbV;k M§Dv_h´nIh×w ~hDoVqI;bAh_lRa aExEaÎw ¤MwqDaÎw Ezek. 3:23
:y`DnDÚp_lAo läOÚpRaÎw r¡DbV;k_rAh×n_lAo yItyIar r¶RvSa dwðøbD;kA;k d$EmOo
ÐyItOa r§E;båd×yÅw y¡Dl×går_lAo ynäédImSoA;tÅw Ajw$r yIb_aøbD;tÅw Ezek. 3:24
:ÔK`RtyE;b JKwñøtV;b rEgD;sIh añø;b y$AlEa rRmaâø¥yÅw
My$ItwøbSo ÐÔKyÐRlDo wônVtÎn h½´nIh M#dDa_NRb hD;tAa×w Ezek. 3:25
:M`DkwøtV;b aExEt añøl×w M¡RhD;b ÔKwërDsSa`Aw
h¶RyVh`It_aøl×w D;tVm$AlTa`Rn×w ÔK$R;kIj_lRa qyI;bdAa ÐÔK×nwáøvVlw Ezek. 3:26
:hD;m`Eh yäîrVm ty¶E;b y¢I;k Ajy¡Ikwøm vyIaVl MRhDl
M$RhyElSa D;trAmDa×w ÔKy$IÚp_tRa jA;tVpRa ÐÔKVtwáøa yôîrV;bådVbáw Ezek. 3:27
y¢I;k l$;dVjy lâédDjRh×w ÐoDmVvy Ao§EmOÚvAh h¡Iwøh×y yDnOdSa rAmDa hñO;k
s :hD;m`Eh yäîrVm ty¶E;b
I. Ezekiel's calling and commission, Chapters 13
A. The vision of God's glory ch. 1
1. The setting of the vision 1:1-3
2. The vision proper 1:4-28
B. The Lord's charge to Ezekiel chs. 23
1. The recipients of Ezekiel's ministry 2:1-5
2. The encouragement in Ezekiel's ministry 2:6-7
3. The nature of Ezekiel's ministry 2:83:11
4. The conclusion of the vision 3:12-15
5. Ezekiel's role in Israel 3:16-21
6. Ezekiel's muteness 3:22-27
1:3. exilic community. The exilic community, of which Ezekiel was a member, was a relatively small group in 593 B.C.perhaps ten thousand persons. However, looking at Nebuchadnezzar¹s list of deportees in 2 Kings 24:1416, it would appear that they comprised the military, political and religious leaders as well as craftsmen who could be employed in the Babylonian king¹s numerous building projects. The trained soldiers were also probably pressed into service in the Babylonian army. It was only after 587 that a large portion of Judah¹s population joined their fellows in Mesopotamia. This policy of deporting hostages and large segments of a rebellious nation was widely used by both the Assyrians and the Babylonians. The Babylonian practice of settling the exiles in self-contained villages is demonstrated in texts from Nippur. While it was a traumatic event for the people of Judah, they were encouraged to settle into their new situation (see Jer 29:423). Textual evidence from the Persian period (fifth century B.C. Murashu texts) suggests that they followed this advice, starting businesses, working farms and creating an identity for themselves in exile.
1:4. elements of theophany. A theophany consists of a manifestation of God¹s presence to a human (see the classic example in the Sinai theophany of Moses in Ex 3). This may occur in person, although God¹s person is never actually described in any detail, and there is always a great sense of dread on the part of the human involved (see Gen 28:1617; 32:2430). Fear is generated by the power evidenced in God¹s ³glory² (kabod), a divine attribute also found in Mesopotamian epics (there called melammu). The purpose of a theophany is often to call a human to serve the deity. Thus Elijah, although already serving Yahweh as a prophet, is called to greater tasks during his meeting with God on Mount Horeb (1 Kings 19). The major prophets each have a theophany that marks the beginning of their ministry. For instance, Isaiah¹s vision (Is 6) encompasses the Jerusalem temple and harks back to Moses¹ experience, and Jeremiah¹s call narrative has coronation overtones (Jer 1). In Ezekiel¹s case the appearance of God is described as overwhelming and mysterious. There are symbols of God¹s power implicit in the divine chariot, the accompanying creatures and the dominance of all of nature¹s forces. Naturally, once chosen, prophets must ultimately accept their mission, although they generally try to provide excuses.
1:5. winged, upright creatures as throne guardians in ancient Near East. There are numerous examples from ancient Near Eastern art of winged creatures with human faces, especially from the Assyrian palaces and temples of Nimrud and Nineveh, but most of these are quadrupeds. Among these are the massive guardian figures uncovered in the remains of the Nimrud palace of the Assyrian king Sennacherib. One is a winged bull with a human head, and the other has the body of a lion with a human face. Ashurnasirpal¹s palace at Kalhu contains figures of this type strategically placed at the entrance to palaces and temples and in throne rooms. Their huge size (eight feet high) was designed to intimidate all who entered. Syro-Phoenician art contains similar images of winged sphinxes (lion¹s body, eagle¹s wings and human head). Upright (biped) composites are less attested. Four-winged, eagle-headed human figures are portrayed in the Ninurta temple at Nimrud. Achaemenid Persian iconography depicts upright creatures that have four wings, human heads and bull legs and hooves.
1:6, 10. . four-faced creatures. There does not seem to be any exact Near Eastern parallels to these multifaced creatures. Though eagle, bull and lion faces are all common on composite creatures (in fact, these are the only beasts so featured in Mesopotamian art), there are few examples of multiple faces on the same creature. One example exists that has a lion head with a human head perched on top of it. Only the far-removed Roman god Janus provides an attenuated model, with one face looking forward and one backward. The purpose of these creatures is also multifaceted. By being able to look in all four directions, the creatures serve the same function as the wheels of the chariot (v. 17), which could travel in any of the four directions. Both represent the power of the deity to be present anyway and to be aware of all events on earth. In addition, the animal bodies represented here (lion, eagle, bull/ox) all have parallels in Near Eastern art, and each symbolizes specific powers or attributes that signify the omnipotence of God: the lion indicates strength (2 Sam 1:23); the eagle indicates speed and gracefulness (Is 40:31); the ox indicates fertility (Ps 106:1920).
1:15-18. wheel technology. Naturally a chariot with wheels facing all four directions could not travel effectively in any direction. However, the purpose of the image is found in its symbolic value of attention to all of the corners of the worldGod¹s omnipresence. In addition, the chariot is actually upheld on the outstretched wings of God¹s four-faced creatures and flies through the air. There is, however, a sense of motion implicit in having the wheels in place. This is based on a comparison with the winged-bull figures that guarded entranceways in Assyrian palaces. Many of them have a fifth leg to suggest that though the figure is frozen in the relief, it is actually dynamic and in motion. Assyrian art also provides examples of wheeled chariots with high rims and multiple spokes that may be the origin of this image in Ezekiel. The wheels sometimes feature thick rims made up of concentric bands, as well as spokes. The depiction of a ³wheel within a wheel² may thus represent greater stability for the chariot, as multiple axles and tires do for modern trucks. The description of ³eyes² within the wheels finds its explanation in Babylonian terminology where the word ³eyes² is used for oval gems. Semiprecious stones were embedded in the rims to sparkle and dazzle onlookers.
1:22. expanse over the heads. Above the heads of the four creatures is a platform sparkling like crystal or ice. Ancient Near Eastern glyptic art and sculpture contain images of winged creatures holding up a pillar, a throne or a platform. For instance, in the seventh-century Assyrian palace at Nineveh, miniature sphinxes served as column bases. Similarly, a twelfth-century Phoenician wheeled cult stand depicts a human-faced, lion-bodied, winged figure. Its wings and head appear to be holding up one side of the stand. More significantly, first-millennium Mesopotamian texts speak of three levels of the heavens, each of which feature pavements of different colored stone. The lower heavens are said to have a platform of jasper, usually associated with a glassy, translucent or opaque appearance. In these texts the pavement of the middle heavens is lapis lazuli (see comment on Ex 24:10) and holds up the dais of the god Bel (Marduk).
1:26. throne chariot. Since the gods in the ancient Near East often participated in processions, there were vehicles used for their transport. Engraved cylinder seals from the end of the third millennium show a deity standing in a four-wheeled chariot/cart drawn by a composite quadruped with a lion¹s head and wings. Assyrian reliefs show wheeled thrones for both kings and gods that also feature poles for bearers to use to carry the throne.
1:26-28. appearance of throne and figure. The dazzling character of this vision can only be compared to a rainbow or a fiery visage. This would be in keeping with the Mesopotamian concept of melammu (³clothed with power²) as it regularly appears in the description of Mesopotamian gods (for instance, Marduk in the Enuma Elish creation story). In Mesopotamian texts of this general period, a platform in the middle heavens made of lapis lazuli (a better interpretation of the word translated sapphire in v. 26) supports a cella and dais of Bel. The cella is said to shine with the appearance of glass and crystal. The description of the elements of this vision conform to the conventions of the motifs familiar in Mesopotamia.
2:6. briers, thorns and scorpions. Call narratives for prophets generally follow a set pattern. When the chosen prophet makes excuses and shows apprehension, God provides reassurances (see Jer 1:78). In Ezekiel¹s case the use of unusual terms (these particular words translated briers and thorns appear only in Ezekiel) is somewhat confusing. However, what may be implied is that God is building a protective wall around the prophet made of stinging thorns. It has been plausibly suggested that ³scorpion² here refers to a type of bush rather than the stinging creature.
3:1-3. eating a scroll. The imagery associated with Ezekiel eating the scroll presented to him by God is part of his call narrative and his acceptance of his mission. The words on the scroll must be internalized. They are also empowering in much the same way that God¹s touching Jeremiah¹s mouth empowered him to speak his prophecies (Jer 1:9). There are no direct ancient Near Eastern parallels. It is possible that consuming a piece of parchment or papyrus with an incantation or the name of a god was part of the ritual practices of either Egypt or Mesopotamia. The term asakku, meaning ³set aside for the gods² or taboo, is used in the Mari texts and other Old Babylonian texts in reference to not ³consuming² what belongs to the gods.
3:9. imagery of hard forehead. Comparison with Akkadian usage of the same term suggests that Ezekiel¹s forehead is being compared with the hardest of stones. It is unlikely to be a diamond since there is no attestation of diamonds in the ancient Near East for another century after Ezekiel.
3:14. transported by the spirit. In Hebrew the word for spirit can also mean wind. As early as Sumerian usage the word for wind/spirit was also used in connection with dreams and visions. The god of dreams was named ³the winds.² In Akkadian the name of the god who brought dreams was Zaqiqu, which is derived from the word for wind/spirit. Additionally, in a dream or vision, it was believed that the ³spirit² of the person arises and may move around. In later literature the pseudepigraphal book of 1 Enoch describes the antediluvian patriarch being transported by angels to the garden of Eden, where he served as a ³watcher² of the doings of humanity and recorded them in a book.
3:15. Tel Abib. Technically, the name Tel Abib (Babylonian til abubi) means a place created by the flotsam and jetsam of a flood. A ³tell² is the term used for any ruined city site. Thus the exiled families of Judah might have been set in a place that had been destroyed, either by war or flood, and expected to rebuild it and bring the Nippur area on the canal Kebar back into production. There is also an excellent dual meaning, since the people of Judah had been swept here by the tide of Babylonia¹s military victory.
Ezekiel the Watchman
3:22-26. results of Yahweh¹s hand (mute). Some have suggested physical ailments, from aphasia to schizophrenia, as the cause of Ezekiel¹s problems. Several commentators have also suggested either a conscious decision on Ezekiel¹s part to limit his role as mediator between the people and God, or a divine restriction on his speech (either one being divinely imposed). Ezekiel¹s experience is comparable to that described in Akkadian incantation texts, which speak of being ³touched by a god² and struck dumb. This material would have been familiar to the prophet and provided him with an excellent parallel to the nature of his prophetic state rather than a physical diagnosis. The sense of paralysis (cf. 4:8) and the inability to speak were well-known symptoms of supernatural overpowerment in the ancient world. Incantations sought to impose such conditions, and demonic oppression was characterized by them. In one piece of Babylonian wisdom literature (Ludlul Bel Nemeqi), an individual who cannot understand why he is suffering describes his condition as including his lips being struck dumb and his arms and legs being stiff and paralyzed. His suffering is all attributed to the ³heavy hand of Marduk.²
1:1-3 Ezekiel, son of Buzi, experiences vissions sent from God.
1:4-14 He sees a great, radiant cloud, the centre of which glows like molten metal. Four creatures can be seen in its fiery centre. They have a human form, but each has four faces and two sets of wings. The faces are like those of a man, lion, ox and eagle. The creatures dash back and forth like flashes of lightning.
1:15-21 Each of them is accompanied by something glittering and round like a wheel. The wheels go wherever the creatures go. The sound of the creatures¹ wings is like a great roar.
1:22-28 Above the cherubim lies what looks like a spread of glittering crystal. On top of this there seems to be a sapphire throne, which bears a glowing, radiant figure. The radiance is like a rainbow. It is the glory of the Lord.
2:1-8 Ezekiel is told by a voice that he will be sent to the Israelites, a stubborn people in constant rebellion against God. He is to prophesy to them, regardless of whether they listen or not. He is not to be afraid or to rebel. 2:9-3:3 Ezekiel is given a scroll containing words of lament and mourning. He is commanded to eat the scroll. Upon doing so he discovers that it tastes as sweet as honey.
3:4-11 He is warned that the Israelites will not want to listen to him. Accordingly he will be given the strength of will for the task. He is told to go immediately to his compatriots in exile and to relay God¹s message to them.
3:12-15 Tranported back to be with the exiles, he sits stunned for seven days.
Notes. 1.1 In the thirtieth year¹we are not told what this date refers to. One possibility is that it was the prophet¹s age. The Kebar River¹ was a canal of the Euphrates which lay to the southeast of Babylon.
2 Fifth year¹ of the exile593 BC.
5 The four living creatures¹ are the throne attendants. They are called cherubim¹ in ch. 10.
15-21 Wheels¹the ancient interpreters took the text to be describing a kind of chariot. The nature of its wheels enabled it to travel effortlessly in any direction.
16 Chrysolite¹a type of rock.
22 expanse¹the same word is used in Gn. 1:6-8. The idea here is of a firm platform which separates the cherubim from the throne.
28 Appearance of the likeness¹Ezekiel is careful not to say that he saw God.
2:1 Son of man¹this expression occurs over 90 times in Ezekiel. In this book it is a reference to the fact that Ezekiel is a mere humanmortal¹.
10 Scrolls were normally written on one side only. The fact that this scroll was written on both sides¹ may indicate the fullness or completeness of the message.
3:1 Eat this scroll¹Ezekiel was to absorb the message he was to receive. He was not just a transmitter of divine signals. God¹s words were for him as well.
11 In exile¹Ezekiel¹s immediate audience would be his fellow exiles in Babylon.
14 Bitterness and... anger¹these intense emotions were probably stirred by the sense of the obstinacy of Israel (cf. 3:5-8).
15 Tel Abib¹a tel¹ is a hill or a mound. The name is identical to the modern Tel Aviv, though the two places are very far apart.
3:16-21 The accountability of the watchman
After spending several days recovering from the trauma of his initial vision, Ezekiel receives a second, brief message. This time his responsibilities are outlined, together with the penalties for shirking his duties (cf. 33:1-9). The privilege of being called to be a servant of God brings with it responsibilities. The faithful execution of these responsibilities is more important than whether they seem to succeed or not.
17 Ezekiel is made a watchman for Israel, to relay God¹s messages to them.
18, 20 If he does not convey God¹s warnings to someone, he will be held responsible for that person¹s fate.
19-21 By conveying the message he will have done his duty, even if the recipient of the message ignores it.
Note. 14 Watchman¹the watchman¹s task was to keep a lookout for any danger which was threatening the city.
3:22-24:27 Warnings about the coming destruction of Jerusalem
3:22-5:17 Enacted messages: the siege of Jerusalem foretold
Ezekiel¹s first set of prophetic acts were as much visual as verbal. He had an uncomfortable message to bring to the people of Jerusalem: they were to come under siege. Furthermore, the siege would be so long that food would become scarce. A third of the people would die of starvation or disease. Another third would die in fighting around the city. Most of the remainder would be dispersed and only a few would remain.
In order to convey this grim message Ezekiel was to use a striking method. He was to symbolize the siege. It seems that he lost the power of normal speech at this stage, and would only be able to speak when he had an oracle to declare (3:26-27). This partial loss of speech continued until news of the fall of Jerusalem reached him (33:22; cf. 24:27). There would be [p. 720] other enacted messages too (12:1-16; 17-20; 24:15-27), but this first one must have established his reputation as one of the odder prophets of Israel.
We might find Ezekiel¹s method of conveying his message unorthodox, even amusing or embarrassing. However, it is more important to communicate the message than to preserve the popular image of the speaker.
3:22-23 Ezekiel is told to go out to the plain. When he does so, he sees the glory of the Lord, and collapses.
3:24-27 He is then instructed to go and restrict himself to his own house. He is also informed that he will become incapable of speechexcept when he is delivering a message from God.
Ezekiel was one of the priests; he was carried captive to Chaldea with Jehoiachin. All his prophecies appear to have been delivered in that country, at some place north of Babylon. Their chief object appears to have been to comfort his brethren in captivity. He is directed to warn of the dreadful calamities coming upon Judea, particularly upon the false prophets, and the neighbouring nations. Also to announce the future restoration of Israel and Judah from their several dispersions, and their happy state in their latter days, under the Messiah. Much of Christ will be found in this book, especially in the conclusion.
Ezekiel¹s vision of God, and of the angelic host. (1-14) The conduct of Divine Providence. (15-25) A revelation of the Son of man upon his heavenly throne. (26-28)
Ezekiel 1:1-14 It is a mercy to have the word of God brought to us, and a duty to attend to it diligently, when we are in affliction. The voice of God came in the fulness of light and power, by the Holy Spirit. These visions seem to have been sent to possess the prophet¹s mind with great and high thoughts of God. To strike terror upon sinners. To speak comfort to those that feared God, and humbled themselves. In ver. 4-14, is the first part of the vision, which represents God as attended and served by a vast company of angels, who are all his messengers, his ministers, doing his commandments. This vision would impress the mind with solemn awe and fear of the Divine displeasure, yet raise expectations of blessings. The fire is surrounded with a glory. Though we cannot by searching find out God to perfection, yet we see the brightness round about it. The likeness of the living creatures came out of the midst of the fire; angels derive their being and power from God. They have the understanding of a man, and far more. A lion excels in strength and boldness. An ox excels in diligence and patience, and unwearied discharge of the work he has to do. An eagle excels in quickness and piercing sight, and in soaring high; and the angels, who excel man in all these respects, put on these appearances. The angels have wings; and whatever business God sends them upon, they lose no time. They stood straight, and firm, and steady. They had not only wings for motion, but hands for action. Many persons are quick, who are not active; they hurry about, but do nothing to purpose; they have wings, but no hands. But wherever the angels¹ wings carried them, they carried hands with them, to be doing what duty required. Whatever service they went about, they went every one straight forward. When we go straight, we go forward; when we serve God with one heart, we perform work. They turned not when they went. They made no mistakes; and their work needed not to be gone over again. They turned not from their business to trifle with any thing. They went whithersoever the Spirit of God would have them go. The prophet saw these living creatures by their own light, for their appearance was like burning coals of fire; they are seraphim, or ³burners;² denoting the ardour of their love to God, and fervent zeal in his service. We may learn profitable lessons from subjects we cannot fully enter into or understand. But let us attend to the things which relate to our peace and duty, and leave secret things to the Lord, to whom alone they belong.
Ezekiel 1:15-25 Providence, represented by the wheels, produces changes. Sometimes one spoke of the wheel is uppermost, sometimes another; but the motion of the wheel on its own axletree is regular and steady. We need not despond in adversity; the wheels are turning round and will raise us in due time, while those who presume in prosperity know not how soon they may be cast down. The wheel is near the living creatures; the angels are employed as ministers of God¹s providence. The spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels; the same wisdom, power, and holiness of God, that guide and govern the angels, by them order all events in this lower world. The wheel had four faces, denoting that the providence of God exerts itself in all parts. Look every way upon the wheel of providence, it has a face toward you. Their appearance and work were as a wheel in the middle of a wheel. The disposals of Providence seem to us dark, perplexed, and unaccountable, yet are all wisely ordered for the best. The motion of these wheels was steady, regular, and constant. They went as the Spirit directed, therefore returned not. We should not have to undo that by repentance which we have done amiss, if we followed the guidance of the Spirit. The rings, or rims of the wheels were so vast, that when put in motion the prophet was afraid to look upon them. The consideration of the height and depth of God¹s counsel should awe us. They were full of eyes round about. The motions of Providence are all directed by infinite Wisdom. All events are determined by the eyes of the Lord, which are in every place beholding the evil and the good; for there is no such thing as chance or fortune. The firmament above was a crystal, glorious, but terribly so. That which we take to be a dark cloud, is to God clear as crystal, through which he looks upon all the inhabitants of the earth. When the angels had roused a careless world, they let down their wings, that God¹s voice might be plainly heard. The voice of Providence is to open men¹s ears to the voice of the word. Sounds on earth should awaken our attention to the voice from heaven; for how shall we escape, if we turn away from Him that speaks from thence.
Ezekiel 1:26-28 The eternal Son, the second Person in the Trinity, who afterwards took the human nature, is here denoted. The first thing observed was a throne. It is a throne of glory, a throne of grace, a throne of triumph, a throne of government, a throne of judgment. It is good news to men, that the throne above the firmament is filled with One who appears, even there, in the likeness of a man. The throne is surrounded with a rainbow, the well-known emblem of the covenant, representing God¹s mercy and covenanted love to his people. The fire of God¹s wrath was breaking out against Jerusalem, but bounds should be set to it; he would look upon the bow, and remember the covenant. All the prophet saw was only to prepare him for what he was to hear. When he fell on his face, he heard the voice of One that spake. God delights to teach the humble. Let sinners, then, humble themselves before him. And let believers think upon his glory, that they may be gradually changed into his image by the Spirit of the Lord.
The prophet is directed what he is to do. (1-5) And encouraged to be resolute, faithful, and devoted. (6-10)
Ezekiel 2:1-5 Lest Ezekiel should be lifted up with the abundance of the revelations, he is put in mind that still he is a son of man, a weak, mortal creature. As Christ usually called himself the Son of man, it was also an honourable distinction. Ezekiel¹s posture showed reverence, but his standing up would be a posture of greater readiness and fitness for business. God will speak to us, when we stand ready to do what he commands us. As Ezekiel had not strength of his own, the Spirit entered into him. God is graciously pleased to work in us whatever he requires of us. The Holy Spirit sets us upon our feet, by inclining our wills to our duty. Thus, when the Lord calls upon the sinner to awake, and attend to the concerns of his soul, the Spirit of life and grace comes with the call. Ezekiel is sent with a message to the children of Israel. Many might treat his message with contempt, yet they should know by the event that a prophet had been sent to them. God will be glorified, and his word made honourable, whether it be a savour of life unto life, or of death unto death.
Ezekiel 2:6-10 Those who will do any thing to purpose in the service of God, must not fear men. Wicked men are as briers and thorns; but they are nigh unto cursing, and their end is to be burned. The prophet must be faithful to the souls of those to whom he was sent. All who speak from God to others, must obey his voice. The discoveries of sin, and the warnings of wrath, should be matter of lamentation. And those acquainted with the word of God, will clearly perceive it is filled with woe to impenitent sinners; and that all the precious promises of the gospel are for the repenting, believing servants of the Lord.
The preparation of the prophet for his work. (1-11) His office, as that of a watchman. (12-2) The restraining and restoring his speech. (22-27)
Ezekiel 3:1-11 Ezekiel was to receive the truths of God as the food for his soul, and to feed upon them by faith, and he would be strengthened. Gracious souls can receive those truths of God with delight, which speak terror to the wicked. He must speak all that, and that only, which God spake to him. How can we better speak God¹s mind than with his words? If disappointed as to his people, he must not be offended. The Ninevites were wrought upon by Jonah¹s preaching, when Israel was unhumbled and unreformed. We must leave this unto the Divine sovereignty, and say, Lord, thy judgments are a great deep. They will not regard the word of the prophet, for they will not regard the rod of God. Christ promises to strengthen him. He must continue earnest in preaching, whatever the success might be.
Ezekiel 3:12-21 This mission made the holy angels rejoice. All this was to convince Ezekiel, that the God who sent him had power to bear him out in his work. He was overwhelmed with grief for the sins and miseries of his people, and overpowered by the glory of the vision he had seen. And however retirement, meditation, and communion with God may be sweet, the servant of the Lord must prepare to serve his generation. The Lord told the prophet he had appointed him a watchman to the house of Israel. If we warn the wicked, we are not chargeable with their ruin. Though such passages refer to the national covenant made with Israel, they are equally to be applied to the final state of all men under every dispensation. We are not only to encourage and comfort those who appear to be righteous, but they are to be warned, for many have grown high-minded and secure, have fallen, and even died in their sins. Surely then the hearers of the gospel should desire warnings, and even reproofs.
Ezekiel 3:22-27 Let us own ourselves for ever indebted to the mediation of Christ, for the blessed intercourse between God and man; and a true believer will say, I am never less alone than when thus alone. When the Lord opened Ezekiel¹s mouth, he was to deliver his message boldly, to place life and death, the blessing and the curse, before the people, and leave them to their choice.
Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown¹s Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible
Robert Jamieson, A. R. Fausset and David Brown
Electronic text graciously provided by Mr. Ernie Stefanik and the Woodside Bible Fellowship.
Hypertexted and formatted by OakTree Software, Inc.
Ezekiel 1:1-28. EZEKIEL¹S VISION BY THE CHEBAR. FOUR CHERUBIM AND WHEELS.
1. Now it came to pass rather, ³And it came,² etc. As this formula in Joshua 1:1 has reference to the written history of previous times, so here (and in Ruth 1:1, and Esther 1:1), it refers to the unwritten history which was before the mind of the writer. The prophet by it, as it were, continues the history of the preceding times. In the fourth year of Zedekiah¹s reign (Jeremiah 51:59), Jeremiah sent by Seraiah a message to the captives (Jeremiah 29:1-32) to submit themselves to God and lay aside their flattering hopes of a speedy restoration. This communication was in the next year, the fifth, and the fourth month of the same king (for Jehoiachin¹s captivity and Zedekiah¹s accession coincide in time), followed up by a prophet raised up among the captives themselves, the energetic Ezekiel. thirtieth year that is, counting from the beginning of the reign of Nabopolassar, father of Nebuchadnezzar, the era. of the Babylonian empire, 625 B.C., which epoch coincides with the eighteenth year of Josiah, that in which the book of the law was found, and the consequent reformation began [SCALIGER]; or the thirtieth year of Ezekiel¹s life. As the Lord was about to be a ³little sanctuary² (Ezekiel 11:16) to the exiles on the Chebar, so Ezekiel was to be the ministering priest; therefore he marks his priestly relation to God and the people at the outset; the close, which describes the future temple, thus answering to the beginning. By designating himself expressly as ³the priest² (Ezekiel 1:3), and as having reached his thirtieth year (the regular year of priests commencing their office), he marks his office as the priest among the prophets. Thus the opening vision follows naturally as the formal institution of that spiritual temple in which he was to minister [FAIRBAIRN]. Chebar the same as Chabor or Habor, whither the ten tribes had been transported by Tiglath-pileser and Shalmaneser (2 Kings 17:6; 1 Chronicles 5:26). It flows into the Euphrates near Carchemish or Circesium, two hundred miles north of Babylon. visions of God Four expressions are used as to the revelation granted to Ezekiel, the three first having respect to what was presented from without, to assure him of its reality, the fourth to his being internally made fit to receive the revelation; ³the heavens were opened² (so Matthew 3:16; Acts 7:56; 10:11; Revelation 19:11); ³he saw visions of God²; ³the word of Jehovah came verily (as the meaning is rather than expressly, English Version, Ezekiel 1:3) unto him² (it was no unreal hallucination); and ³the hand of Jehovah was upon him² (Isaiah 8:11; Daniel 10:10, 18; Revelation 1:17; the Lord by His touch strengthening him for his high and arduous ministry, that he might be able to witness and report aright the revelations made to him).
2. Jehoiachin¹s captivity In the third or fourth year of Jehoiakim, father of Jehoiachin, the first carrying away of Jewish captives to Babylon took place, and among them was Daniel. The second was under Jehoiachin, when Ezekiel was carried away. The third and final one was at the taking of Jerusalem under Zedekiah.
4. whirlwind emblematic of God¹s judgments (Jeremiah 23:19; 25:32). out of the north that is, from Chaldea, whose hostile forces would invade Judea from a northerly direction. The prophet conceives himself in the temple. fire infolding itself laying hold on whatever surrounds it, drawing it to itself, and devouring it. Literally, ³catching itself,² that is, kindling itself [FAIRBAIRN]. The same Hebrew occurs in Exodus 9:24, as to the ³fire mingled with the hail.² brightness . . . about it that is, about the ³cloud.² out of the midst thereof that is, out of the midst of the ³fire.² colour of amber rather, ³the glancing brightness (literally, the eye¹, and so the glancing appearance ) of polished brass. The Hebrew, chasmal, is from two roots, ³smooth² and ³brass² (compare Ezekiel 1:7; Revelation 1:15) [GESENIUS]. The Septuagint and Vulgate translate it, ³electrum ³; a brilliant metal compounded of gold and silver.
5. Ezekiel was himself of a ³gigantic nature, and thereby suited to counteract the Babylonish spirit of the times, which loved to manifest itself in gigantic, grotesque forms² [HENGSTENBERG]. living creatures So the Greek ought to have been translated in the parallel passage, Revelation 4:6, not as English Version, ³beasts²; for one of the ³four² is a man, and man cannot be termed ³beast.² Ezekiel 10:20 shows that it is the cherubim that are meant. likeness of a man Man, the noblest of the four, is the ideal model after which they are fashioned (Ezekiel 1:10; Ezekiel 10:14). The point of comparison between him and them is the erect posture of their bodies, though doubtless including also the general mien. Also the hands (Ezekiel 10:21).
6. Not only were there four distinct living creatures, but each of the four had four faces, making sixteen in all. The four living creatures of the cherubim answer by contrast to the four world monarchies represented by four beasts, Assyria, Persia, Greece, and Rome (Daniel 7:1-28). The Fathers identified them with the four Gospels: Matthew the lion, Mark the ox, Luke the man, John the eagle. Two cherubim only stood over the ark in the temple; two more are now added, to imply that, while the law is retained as the basis, a new form is needed to be added to impart new life to it. The number four may have respect to the four quarters of the world, to imply that God¹s angels execute His commands everywhere. Each head in front had the face of a man as the primary and prominent one: on the right the face of a lion, on the left the face of an ox, above from behind the face of an eagle. The Mosaic cherubim were similar, only that the human faces were put looking towards each other, and towards the mercy seat between, being formed out of the same mass of pure gold as the latter (Exodus 25:19, 20). In Isaiah 6:2 two wings are added to cover their countenances; because there they stand by the throne, here under the throne; there God deigns to consult them, and His condescension calls forth their humility, so that they veil their faces before Him; here they execute His commands. The face expresses their intelligence; the wings, their rapidity in fulfilling God¹s will. The Shekinah or flame, that signified God¹s presence, and the written name, JEHOVAH, occupied the intervening space between the cherubim Genesis 4:14, 16; 3:24 (³placed²; properly, ³to place in a tabernacle ³), imply that the cherubim were appointed at the fall as symbols of God¹s presence in a consecrated place, and that man was to worship there. In the patriarchal dispensation when the flood had caused the removal of the cherubim from Eden, seraphim or teraphim (Chaldean dialect) were made as models of them for domestic use (Genesis 31:19, Margin; Genesis 31:30). The silence of the twenty-fifth and twenty-sixth chapters of Exodus to their configuration, whereas everything else is minutely described, is because their form was so well-known already to Bezaleel and all Israel by tradition as to need no detailed description. Hence Ezekiel (Ezekiel 10:20) at once knows them, for he had seen them repeatedly in the carved work of the outer sanctuary of Solomon¹s temple (1 Kings 6:23-29). He therefore consoles the exiles with the hope of having the same cherubim in the renovated temple which should be reared; and he assures them that the same God who dwelt between the cherubim of the temple would be still with His people by the Chebar. But they were not in Zerubbabel¹s temple; therefore Ezekiel¹s foretold temple, if literal, is yet future. The ox is selected as chief of the tame animals, the lion among the wild, the eagle among birds, and man the head of all, in his ideal, realized by the Lord Jesus, combining all the excellencies of the animal kingdom. The cherubim probably represent the ruling powers by which God acts in the natural and moral world. Hence they sometimes answer to the ministering angels; elsewhere, to the redeemed saints (the elect Church) through whom, as by the angels, God shall hereafter rule the world and proclaim the manifold wisdom of God (Matthew 19:28; 1 Corinthians 6:2; Ephesians 3:10; Revelation 3:21; 4:6-8). The ³lions² and ³oxen,² amidst ³palms² and ³open flowers² carved in the temple, were the four-faced cherubim which, being traced on a flat surface, presented only one aspect of the four. The human-headed winged bulls and eagle-headed gods found in Nineveh, sculptured amidst palms and tulip-shaped flowers, were borrowed by corrupted tradition from the cherubim placed in Eden near its fruits and flowers. So the Aaronic calf (Exodus 32:4, 5) and Jeroboam¹s calves at Dan and Beth-el, a schismatic imitation of the sacred symbols in the temple at Jerusalem. So the ox figures of Apis on the sacred arks of Egypt.
7. straight feet that is, straight legs. Not protruding in any part as the legs of an ox, but straight like a man¹s [GROTIUS]. Or, like solid pillars; not bending, as man¹s, at the knee. They glided along, rather than walked. Their movements were all sure, right, and without effort [KITTO, Cyclopedia ]. sole . . . calf¹s foot HENDERSON hence supposes that ³straight feet² implies that they did not project horizontally like men¹s feet, but vertically as calves¹ feet. The solid firmness of the round foot of a calf seems to be the point of comparison. colour the glittering appearance, indicating God¹s purity.
8. The hands of each were the hands of a man. The hand is the symbol of active power, guided by skilfulness (Psalms 78:72). under their wings signifying their operations are hidden from our too curious prying; and as the ³wings² signify something more than human, namely, the secret prompting of God, it is also implied that they are moved by it and not by their own power, so that they do nothing at random, but all with divine wisdom. they four had . . . faces and . . . wings He returns to what he had stated already in Ezekiel 1:6; this gives a reason why they had hands on their four sides, namely, because they had faces and wings on the four sides. They moved whithersoever they would, not by active energy merely, but also by knowledge (expressed by their faces ) and divine guidance (expressed by their ³wings²).
9. they had no occasion to turn themselves round when changing their direction, for they had a face (Ezekiel 1:6) looking to each of the four quarters of heaven. They made no mistakes; and their work needed not be gone over again. Their wings were joined above in pairs (see Ezekiel 1:11).
10. they . . . had the face of a man namely, in front. The human face was the primary and prominent one and the fundamental part of the composite whole. On its right was the lion¹s face; on the left, the ox¹s (called ³cherub,² Ezekiel 10:14); at the back from above was the eagle¹s.
11. The tips of the two outstretched wings reached to one another, while the other two, in token of humble awe, formed a veil for the lower parts of the body. stretched upward rather, ³were parted from above² (compare Margin; see note on Isaiah 6:2). The joining together of their wings above implies that, though the movements of Providence on earth may seem conflicting and confused, yet if one lift up his eyes to heaven, he will see that they admirably conspire towards the one end at last.
12. The same idea as in Ezekiel 1:9. The repetition is because we men are so hard to be brought to acknowledge the wisdom of God¹s doings; they seem tortuous and confused to us, but they are all tending steadily to one aim. the spirit the secret impulse whereby God moves His angels to the end designed. They do not turn back or aside till they have fulfilled the office assigned them.
13. likeness . . . appearance not tautology. ³Likeness² expresses the general form; ³appearance,² the particular aspect. coals of fire denoting the intensely pure and burning justice wherewith God punishes by His angels those who, like Israel, have hardened themselves against His long-suffering. So in Isaiah 6:2, 6, instead of cherubim, the name ³seraphim,² the burning ones, is applied, indicating God¹s consuming righteousness; whence their cry to Him is, ³Holy! holy! holy!² and the burning coal is applied to his lips, for the message through his mouth was to be one of judicial severance of the godly from the ungodly, to the ruin of the latter. lamps torches. The fire emitted sparks and flashes of light, as torches do. went up and down expressing the marvellous vigor of God¹s Spirit, in all His movements never resting, never wearied. fire . . . bright indicating the glory of God. out of the fire . . . lightning God¹s righteousness will at last cause the bolt of His wrath to fall on the guilty; as now, on Jerusalem.
14. ran and returned Incessant, restless motion indicates the plenitude of life in these cherubim; so in Revelation 4:8, ³they rest not day or night² (Zechariah 4:10). flash of lightning rather, as distinct from ³lightning² (Ezekiel 1:13), ³the meteor flash,² or sheet lightning [FAIRBAIRN].
15. one wheel The ³dreadful height² of the wheel (Ezekiel 1:18) indicates the gigantic, terrible energy of the complicated revolutions of God¹s providence, bringing about His purposes with unerring certainty. One wheel appeared traversely within another, so that the movement might be without turning, whithersoever the living creatures might advance (Ezekiel 1:17). Thus each wheel was composed of two circles cutting one another at right angles, ³one² only of which appeared to touch the ground (³upon the earth²), according to the direction the cherubim desired to move in. with his four faces rather, ³according to its four faces² or sides; as there.was a side or direction to each of the four creatures, so there was a wheel for each of the sides [FAIRBAIRN]. The four sides or semicircles of each composite wheel pointed, as the four faces of each of the living creatures, to the four quarters of heaven. HAVERNICK refers ³his² or ³its² to the wheels. The cherubim and their wings and wheels stood in contrast to the symbolical figures, somewhat similar, then existing in Chaldea, and found in the remains of Assyria. The latter, though derived from the original revelation by tradition, came by corruption to symbolize the astronomical zodiac, or the sun and celestial sphere, by a circle with wings or irradiations. But Ezekiel¹s cherubim rise above natural objects, the gods of the heathen, to the representation of the one true God, who made and continually upholds them.
16. appearance . . . work their form and the material of their work. beryl rather, ³the glancing appearance of the Tarshish stone²; the chrysolite or topaz, brought from Tarshish or Tartessus in Spain. It was one of the gems in the breastplate of the high priest (Exodus 28:20; Song Of Songs 5:14; Daniel 10:6). four had one likeness The similarity of the wheels to one another implies that there is no inequality in all God¹s works, that all have a beautiful analogy and proportion.
17. went upon their four sides Those faces or sides of the four wheels moved which answered to the direction in which the cherubim desired to move; while the transverse circles in each of the four composite wheels remained suspended from the ground, so as not to impede the movements of the others.
18. rings that is, felloes or circumferences of the wheels. eyes The multiplicity of eyes here in the wheels. and Ezekiel 10:12, in the cherubim themselves, symbolizes the plenitude of intelligent life, the eye being the window through which ³the spirit of the living creatures² in the wheels (Ezekiel 1:20) looks forth (compare Zechariah 4:10). As the wheels signify the providence of God, so the eyes imply that He sees all the circumstances of each case, and does nothing by blind impulse.
19. went by them went beside them.
20. the spirit was to go that is, their will was for going whithersoever the Spirit was for going. over against them rather, beside or in conjunction with them. spirit of the living creature put collectively for ³the living creatures ³; the cherubim. Having first viewed them separately, he next views them in the aggregate as the composite living creature in which the Spirit resided. The life intended is that connected with God, holy, spiritual life, in the plenitude of its active power.
21. over against rather, ³along with² [HENDERSON]; or, ³beside² [FAIRBAIRN].
22. upon the heads rather, ³above the heads² [FAIRBAIRN]. colour glitter. terrible crystal dazzling the spectator by its brightness.
23. straight erect [FAIRBAIRN], expanded upright. two . . . two . . . covered . . . bodies not, as it might seem, contradicting Ezekiel 1:11. The two wings expanded upwards, though chiefly used for flying, yet up to the summit of the figure where they were parted from each other, covered the upper part of the body, while the other two wings covered the lower parts.
24. voice of . . . Almighty the thunder (Psalms 29:3, 4). voice of speech rather, ³the voice² or ³sound of tumult,² as in Jeremiah 11:16. From an Arabic root, meaning the ³impetuous rush of heavy rain.² noise of . . . host (Isaiah 13:4; Daniel 10:6).
25. let down . . . wings While the Almighty gave forth His voice, they reverently let their wings fall, to listen stilly to His communication.
26. The Godhead appears in the likeness of enthroned humanity, as in Exodus 24:10. Besides the ³paved work of a sapphire stone, as it were the body of heaven in clearness,² there, we have here the ³throne,² and God ³as a man,² with the ³appearance of fire round about.² This last was a prelude of the incarnation of Messiah, but in His character as Saviour and as Judge (Revelation 19:11-16). The azure sapphire answers to the color of the sky. As others are called ³sons of God,² but He ³the Son of God,² so others are called ³sons of man² (Ezekiel 2:1, 3), but He ³the Son of man² (Matthew 16:13), being the embodied representative of humanity and the whole human race; as, on the other hand, He is the representative of ³the fulness of the Godhead² (Colossians 2:9). While the cherubim are movable, the throne above, and Jehovah who moves them, are firmly fixed. It is good news to man, that the throne above is filled by One who even there appears as ³a man.²
27. colour of amber ³the glitter of chasmal² [FAIRBAIRN]. See note on Ezekiel 1:4; rather, ³polished brass² [HENDERSON]. Messiah is described here as in Daniel 10:5, 6; Revelation 1:14, 15.
28. the bow . . . in . . . rain the symbol of the sure covenant of mercy to God¹s children remembered amidst judgments on the wicked; as in the flood in Noah¹s days (Revelation 4:3). ³Like hanging out from the throne of the Eternal a fing of peace, assuring all that the purpose of Heaven was to preserve rather than to destroy. Even if the divine work should require a deluge of wrath, still the faithfulness of God would only shine forth the more brightly at last to the children of promise, in consequence of the tribulations needed to prepare for the ultimate good² [FAIRBAIRN]. (Isaiah 54:8-10). I fell upon . . . face the right attitude, spiritually, before we enter on any active work for God (Ezekiel 2:2; 3:23, 24; Revelation 1:17). In this first chapter God gathered into one vision the substance of all that was to occupy the prophetic agency of Ezekiel; as was done afterwards in the opening vision of the Revelation of Saint John.
Ezekiel 2:1-10. EZEKIEL¹S COMMISSION.
1. Son of man often applied to Ezekiel; once only to Daniel (Daniel 8:17), and not to any other prophet. The phrase was no doubt taken from Chaldean usage during the sojourn of Daniel and Ezekiel in Chaldea. But the spirit who sanctioned the words of the prophet implied by it the lowliness and frailty of the prophet as man ³lower than the angels,² though now admitted to the vision of angels and of God Himself, ³lest he should be exalted through the abundance of the revelations² (2 Corinthians 12:7). He is appropriately so called as being type of the divine ³Son of man² here revealed as ³man² (see note on Ezekiel 1:26). That title, as applied to Messiah, implies at once His lowliness and His exaltation, in His manifestations as the Representative man, at His first and second comings respectively (Psalms 8:4-8; Matthew 16:13; 20:18; and on the other hand, Daniel 7:13, 14; Matthew 26:64; John 5:27).
2. spirit entered . . . when he spake The divine word is ever accompanied by the Spirit (Genesis 1:2, 3). set . . . upon . . . feet He had been ³upon his face² (Ezekiel 1:28). Humiliation on our part is followed by exaltation on God¹s part (Ezekiel 3:23, 24; Job 22:29; James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:5). ³On the feet² was the fitting attitude when he was called on to walk and work for God (Ephesians 5:8; 6:15). that I heard rather, ³then I heard.²
3. nation rather, ³nations²; the word usually applied to the heathen or Gentiles; here to the Jews, as being altogether heathenized with idolatries. So in Isaiah 1:10, they are named ³Sodom² and ³Gomorrah.² They were now become ³Lo-ammi,² not the people of God (Hosea 1:9).
4. impudent literally, ³hard-faced² (Ezekiel 3:7, 9). children resumptive of ³they² (Ezekiel 2:3); the ³children² walk in their ³fathers¹² steps. I . . . send thee God opposes His command to all obstacles. Duties are ours; events are God¹s. Thus saith the Lord God God opposes His name to the obstinacy of the people.
5. forbear namely, to hear. yet shall know Even if they will not hear, at least they will not have ignorance to plead as the cause of their perversity (Ezekiel 33:33).
6. briers not as the Margin and GESENIUS, ³rebels,² which would not correspond so well to ³thorns.² The Hebrew is from a root meaning ³to sting² as nettles do. The wicked are often so called (2 Samuel 23:6; Song Of Songs 2:2; Isaiah 9:18). scorpions a reptile about six inches long with a deadly sting at the end of the tail. be not afraid (Luke 12:4; 1 Peter 3:14).
7. most rebellious literally, ³rebellion² itself: its very essence.
8. eat (See note on Jeremiah 15:16; Revelation 10:9, 10). The idea is to possess himself fully of the message and digest it in the mind; not literal eating, but such an appropriation of its unsavory contents that they should become, as it were, part of himself, so as to impart them the more vividly to his hearers.
9. roll the form in which ancient books were made.
10. within and without on the face and the back. Usually the parchment was written only on its inside when rolled up; but so full was God¹s message of impending woes that it was written also on the back.
Ezekiel 3:1-27. EZEKIEL EATS THE ROLL. IS COMMISSIONED TO GO TO THEM OF THE CAPTIVITY AND GOES TO TEL-ABIB BY THE CHEBAR: AGAIN BEHOLDS THE SHEKINAH GLORY: IS TOLD TO RETIRE TO HIS HOUSE, AND ONLY SPEAK WHEN GOD OPENS HIS MOUTH.
1. eat . . . and . . . speak God¹s messenger must first inwardly appropriate God¹s truth himself, before he ³speaks² it to others (see note on Ezekiel 2:8). Symbolic actions were, when possible and proper, performed outwardly; otherwise, internally and in spiritual vision, the action so narrated making the naked statement more intuitive and impressive by presenting the subject in a concentrated, embodied form.
3. honey for sweetness Compare Psalms 19:10; 119:103; Revelation 10:9, where, as here in Ezekiel 3:14, the ³sweetness² is followed by ³bitterness.² The former being due to the painful nature of the message; the latter because it was the Lord¹s service which he was engaged in; and his eating the roll and finding it sweet, implied that, divesting himself of carnal feeling, he made God¹s will his will, however painful the message that God might require him to announce. The fact that God would be glorified was his greatest pleasure.
5. See Margin, Hebrew, ³deep of lip, and heavy of tongue,² that is, men speaking an obscure and unintelligible tongue. Even they would have listened to the prophet; but the Jews, though addressed in their own tongue, will not hear him.
6. many people It would have increased the difficulty had he been sent, not merely to one, but to ³many people² differing in tongues, so that the missionary would have needed to acquire a new tongue for addressing each. The after mission of the apostles to many peoples, and the gift of tongues for that end, are foreshadowed (compare 1 Corinthians 14:21 with Isaiah 28:11). had I sent thee to them, they would have hearkened (Matthew 11:21, 23).
7. will not hearken unto thee: for . . . not . . . me (John 15:20). Take patiently their rejection of thee, for I thy Lord bear it along with thee.
8. Ezekiel means one ³strengthened by God.² Such he was in godly firmness, in spite of his people¹s opposition, according to the divine command to the priest tribe to which he belonged (Deuteronomy 33:9).
9. As . . . flint so Messiah the antitype (Isaiah 50:7; compare Jeremiah 1:8, 17).
10. receive in . . . heart . . . ears The transposition from the natural order, namely, first receiving with the ears, then in the heart, is designed. The preparation of the heart for God¹s message should precede the reception of it with the ears (compare Proverbs 16:1; Psalms 10:17).
11. thy people who ought to be better disposed to hearken to thee, their fellow countryman, than hadst thou been a foreigner (Ezekiel 3:5, 6).
12. (Acts 8:39). Ezekiel¹s abode heretofore had not been the most suitable for his work. He, therefore, is guided by the Spirit to Tel-Abib, the chief town of the Jewish colony of captives: there he sat on the ground, ³the throne of the miserable² (Ezra 9:3; Lamentations 1:1-3), seven days, the usual period for manifesting deep grief (Job 2:13; see Psalms 137:1), thus winning their confidence by sympathy in their sorrow. He is accompanied by the cherubim which had been manifested at Chebar (Ezekiel 1:3, 4), after their departure from Jerusalem. They now are heard moving with the ³voice of a great rushing (compare Acts 2:2), saying, Blessed be the glory of the Lord from His place,² that is, moving from the place in which it had been at Chebar, to accompany Ezekiel to his new destination (Ezekiel 9:3); or, ³from His place² may rather mean, in His place and manifested ³from² it. Though God may seem to have forsaken His temple, He is still in it and will restore His people to it. His glory is ³blessed,² in opposition to those Jews who spoke evil of Him, as if He had been unjustly rigorous towards their nation [CALVIN].
13. touched literally, ³kissed,² that is, closely embraced. noise of a great rushing typical of great disasters impending over the Jews.
14. bitterness sadness on account of the impending calamities of which I was required to be the unwelcome messenger. But the ³hand,² or powerful impulse of Jehovah, urged me forward.
15. Tel-Abib Tel means an ³elevation.² It is identified by MICHAELIS with Thallaba on the Chabor. Perhaps the name expressed the Jew¹s hopes of restoration, or else the fertility of the region. Abib means the green ears of corn which appeared in the month Nisan, the pledge of the harvest. I sat, etc. This is the Hebrew Margin reading. The text is rather, ³I beheld them sitting there² [GESENIUS]; or, ³And those that were settled there,² namely, the older settlers, as distinguished from the more recent ones alluded to in the previous clause. The ten tribes had been long since settled on the Chabor or Habor (2 Kings 17:6) [HAVERNICK].
17. watchman Ezekiel alone, among the prophets, is called a ³watchman,² not merely to sympathize, but to give timely warning of danger to his people where none was suspected. Habakkuk (Habakkuk 2:1) speaks of standing upon his ³watch,² but it was only in order to be on the lookout for the manifestation of God¹s power (so Isaiah 52:8; 62:6); not as Ezekiel, to act as a watchman to others.
18. warning . . . speakest to warn The repetition implies that it is not enough to warn once in passing, but that the warning is to be inculcated continually (2 Timothy 4:2, ³in season, out of season²; Acts 20:31, ³night and day with tears²). save Ezekiel 2:5 had seemingly taken away all hope of salvation; but the reference there was to the mass of the people whose case was hopeless; a few individuals, however, were reclaimable. die in . . . iniquity (John 8:21, 24). Men are not to flatter themselves that their ignorance, owing to the negligence of their teachers, will save them (Romans 2:12, ³As many as have sinned without law, shall also perish without law²).
19. wickedness . . . wicked way internal wickedness of heart, and external of the life, respectively. delivered thy soul (Isaiah 49:4, 5; Acts 20:26).
20. righteous . . . turn from . . . righteousness not one ³righteous² as to the root and spirit of regeneration (Psalms 89:33; 138:8; Isaiah 26:12; 27:3; John 10:28; Philippians 1:6), but as to its outward appearance and performances. So the ³righteous² (Proverbs 18:17; Matthew 9:13). As in Ezekiel 3:19 the minister is required to lead the wicked to good, so in Ezekiel 3:20 he is to confirm the well-disposed in their duty. commit iniquity that is, give himself up wholly to it (1 John 3:8, 9), for even the best often fall, but not wilfully and habitually. I lay a stumbling-block not that God tempts to sin (James 1:13, 14), but God gives men over to judicial blindness, and to their own corruptions (Psalms 9:16, 17; 94:23) when they ³like not to retain God in their knowledge² (Romans 1:24, 26); just as, on the contrary, God makes ³the way of the righteous plain² (Proverbs 4:11, 12; 15:19), so that they do ³not stumble.² CALVIN refers ³stumbling-block² not to the guilt, but to its punishment; ³I bring ruin on him.² The former is best. Ahab, after a kind of righteousness (1 Kings 21:27-29), relapsed and consulted lying spirits in false prophets; so God permitted one of these to be his ³stumbling-block,² both to sin and its corresponding punishment (1 Kings 22:21-23). his blood will I require (Hebrews 13:17).
22. hand of the Lord (Ezekiel 1:3). go . . . into the plain in order that he might there, in a place secluded from unbelieving men, receive a fresh manifestation of the divine glory, to inspirit him for his trying work.
23. glory of the Lord (Ezekiel 1:28).
24. set me upon my feet having been previously prostrate and unable to rise until raised by the divine power. shut thyself within . . . house implying that in the work he had to do, he must look for no sympathy from man but must be often alone with God and draw his strength from Him [FAIRBAIRN]. ³Do not go out of thy house till I reveal the future to thee by signs and words,² which God does in the following chapters, down to the eleventh. Thus a representation was given of the city shut up by siege [GROTIUS]. Thereby God proved the obedience of His servant, and Ezekiel showed the reality of His call by proceeding, not through rash impulse, but by the directions of God [CALVIN].
25. put bands upon thee not literally, but spiritually, the binding, depressing influence which their rebellious conduct would exert on his spirit. Their perversity, like bands, would repress his freedom in preaching; as in 2 Corinthians 6:12, Paul calls himself ³straitened² because his teaching did not find easy access to them. Or else, it is said to console the prophet for being shut up; if thou wert now at once to announce God¹s message, they would rush on thee and bind them with ³bands² [CALVIN].
26. I will make my tongue . . . dumb Israel had rejected the prophets; therefore God deprives Israel of the prophets and of His word God¹s sorest judgment (1 Samuel 7:2; Amos 8:11, 12).
27. when I speak . . . I will open thy mouth opposed to the silence imposed on the prophet, to punish the people (Ezekiel 3:26). After the interval of silence has awakened their attention to the cause of it, namely, their sins, they may then hearken to the prophecies which they would not do before. He that heareth, let him hear . . . forbear that is, thou hast done thy part, whether they hear or forbear. He who shall forbear to hear, it shall be at his own peril; he who hears, it shall be to his own eternal good (compare Revelation 22:11).
(the textbook I am using for the NOBTS class of the same name)
William Sanford LA Sor, David Allan Hubbard, Frederic William Bush, Leslie C. Allen, William Sanford Lasor. Old Testament Survey: The Message, Form, and Background of the Old Testament. (Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1996). Pages 360-364.
Features of Ezekiel ' s Prophesying
Allegories and Sign Acts . The book of Ezekiel includes a number of allegories : Jerusalem as a vine ( ch . 15 ) and Yahweh ' s wife ( 16 : 1-43 ), imperial eagles ( 17 : 1-21 ), the Davidic dynasty as a lioness ( 19 : 1-9 ) and a vineyard ( 19 : 10-14 ), the sword of judgment ( 21 : 1-17 ), Oholah and Oholibah representing the two corrupt capitals , Samaria and Jerusalem ( 23 : 1-35 ), and the caldron of destruction ( 24 : 1-14 ).
The prophecy also includes a series of symbolic or dramatic actions ( sometimes called " enacted prophecy "); see the chart on page 361 .
Allegories were a constant feature of Ezekiel ' s prophesying , to which the exiles once objected ( 20 : 49 ). They were an attempt to represent in a " theatrical " form the plain truth of the coming fall of Jerusalem and the end of the nation of Judah . His hearers were not inclined to listen : only the hope of imminent return kept them going . To break through this natural resistance , the prophet resorted to picture after picture . The sign acts had the same purpose . The coming catastrophe was acted out in dramatic form , to reinforce the oracles of judgment . In 37 : 15-23 the message of restoration and reunion of the divided kingdom was dramatized by a sign act , in which two sticks were permanently joined as one .
" Son of Man ." This title , rendered " Mortal " in the NRSV , is used some ninety times in Ezekiel , always by Yahweh when addressing Ezekiel . As a form of address it appears elsewhere in the Old Testament only in Dan . 8 : 17 . 12 The phrase occurs throughout Ezekiel , often preceded by the formula for receiving a message , " The word of the LORD came to me ." It occurs in commissioning contexts ( e . g ., 2 : 3 : " Son of man , I send you to the people of Israel . . ."; cf . 2 : 1 ;
Hermeneia: Ezekiel I and Ezekiel II, Walther Zimmerli
The New American Commentary: Ezekiel, Lamar Eugene Cooper, Sr.
Word Biblical Commentary: Ezekiel 1-19 & 20-48, Leslie C. Allen
The Book of Ezekiel: Chapters 1-24 and The Book of Ezekiel: Chapter 25-48: The New International Commentary on the Old Testament, Damiel I. Block
Shepherd¹s Notes: Ezekiel
Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries: Ezekiel, John B. Taylor
The Preacher¹s Commentary: Ezekiel, Douglas Stuart
Dr. Constable¹s Notes on Ezekiel, Dr. Thomas L. Constable, Dallas Theological Seminary (his class notes)
Old Testament Survey: The Message, Form, and Background of the Old Testament, Lasor, Hubbard, and Bush
Intervarsity Press¹ Old Testament Commentary
Intervarsity Press¹ New Bible Commentary
Intervarsity Press¹ Hard Sayings of the Bible
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