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Pictures of exile (12:1-16)
It appears that many of the exiles were rebellious against God because of his message of doom, and were still hoping for an early return to Jerusalem (12:1-2). God therefore commanded Ezekiel to act another message for them. He was to show that the exiles had no chance of returning to Jerusalem. On the contrary, the Jerusalemites would come to join the exiles in Babylon. Ezekiel’s daytime act was to gather a few belongings that an exile could carry with him and set off into the country. His nighttime act was a little different. He dug through the wall of his home, then tried to escape with his bundle of belongings into the night (3-7).
Next morning Ezekiel explained his actions to the people. His daytime act pictured the people of Jerusalem going into exile (8-11). His nighttime act pictured King Zedekiah’s attempt, at the time of Babylon’s last great siege of Jerusalem, to escape from the city by night. But he was captured, blinded and taken into exile (12-13; see 2 Kings 25:2-7). His leading officials were killed and the common people taken into captivity (14-15).
Out of this catastrophe, however, God would preserve the repentant minority. These would assure the people among whom they lived that Jerusalem’s destruction was not because Babylon’s gods were more powerful than Jerusalem’s God, Yahweh. It was because Yahweh himself commanded it. God would destroy Jerusalem as a punishment upon his people for their sins (16).
Messages to be heeded (12:17-28)
Ezekiel’s starvation diet symbolized the shortage of food in Jerusalem during the last great siege (see 4:9-17). He was now told that, when he ate, he was to act as if he were stricken with terror, to emphasize the horror of the events about to overtake Jerusalem (17-20).
Many of the exiles doubted the truth of the messages that Ezekiel announced. They argued that days, months, and even years passed, but they did not see his prophecies fulfilled (21-22). God’s reply was that the prophecies were now about to be fulfilled, and false prophecies of an early return to Jerusalem would cease (23-25). Others did not doubt the truth of Ezekiel’s message, but claimed that the events he foresaw would all happen in the distant future. Again God said that the prophesied events were about to happen (26-28).
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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Flemming, Donald C. "Commentary on Ezekiel 12". "Fleming's Bridgeway Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
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