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Bible Commentaries

Bridgeway Bible Commentary
Ezekiel 3

 

 

Verses 1-15

Sent to a stubborn people (2:1-3:15)

In contrast to the glorious and almighty God, Ezekiel is addressed merely as 'son of man'. This was a Hebrew phrase which here simply means 'man' (GNB: mortal man) and which is used consistently throughout the book when Ezekiel is addressed (2:1-2). God was going to send Ezekiel with his message to his rebellious people (3). Ezekiel was warned that he might suffer cruel treatment at the hands of his countrymen, but he had to persevere. Whether they heeded his words or not, they would at least know that he was God's prophet, because the power of God would be at work in him (4-7).

Ezekiel was not to share the stubborn attitude of the people. He had to declare all that God told him to declare, even when the message was one of 'lamentation, mourning and woe'. He had to eat the scroll containing God's message, thereby signifying that he made God's message his own before giving it to others (8-10). When, in obedience to God, Ezekiel ate the scroll, he unexpectedly found it a sweetly satisfying experience (3:1-3).

God reminded Ezekiel, however, that the exiles would not listen to him. Foreign nations might heed God's word, but not Israel (4-7). God gave Ezekiel a special toughness, so that he would not give in when he came against the hardened opposition of Israel (8-11).

The vision now ended. Ezekiel felt God's power upon him and heard the sound of God's chariot-throne as it departed. God's word within him was changing his attitude as he began to see Israel's sin from God's viewpoint. His heart became heavy as he returned to the camp (12-14). He waited seven days for God's word to have its full effect on him before he began to pass it on to the exiles (15).


Verses 16-27

A faithful watchman (3:16-27)

As a watchman warns people in the city of a coming attack, so Ezekiel was to warn the exiles, so that they might turn away from sin and be saved from further calamity (16-17). If Ezekiel gave a warning and people ignored it, those people would bear the responsibility for their own death. But if Ezekiel failed to give the warning, Ezekiel would be held responsible for their death, and would himself suffer the death penalty (18-21).

Before Ezekiel began his ministry, God had one further instruction for him (22-23). Ezekiel was shown that he must speak God's message only when God directed him. To emphasize this, God required Ezekiel not to speak or leave his house until God allowed him. In a dramatic demonstration of this restriction, God may have caused Ezekiel to suffer some sort of illness. Alternatively, Ezekiel may have voluntarily acted dumb and allowed someone to bind him with ropes. When God's time came for Ezekiel to be released, he was to go and announce God's message to the rebellious people (24-27).

 


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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Flemming, Donald C. "Commentary on Ezekiel 3:4". "Brideway Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bbc/ezekiel-3.html. 2005.

Lectionary Calendar
Sunday, August 25th, 2019
the Week of Proper 16 / Ordinary 21
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