Bible Commentaries
Ezekiel 14

Barnes' Notes on the Whole BibleBarnes' Notes


This prophecy Ezekiel 14:1-11 is a reproof of those who consult the false prophets. Some of the chief exiles come to Ezekiel as to one who has authority; but he, endowed with the genuine prophetic spirit, sees deep into their hearts, and finds the idols of self-will and unsubmissiveness set up therein. The prophet warns them that God will not be inquired of in such a spirit as this.

Verse 1

Elders of Israel - Some of the fellow-exiles of Ezekiel, among whom he ministered.

Verse 4

Omit “that cometh.”

According to the multitiude of his idols - i. e., I will give him an answer as delusive as the idols which he serves. Compare Micaiah’s answer to Ahab 1 Kings 22:15.

Verse 5

That I may take ... - i. e., that I may take them, as in a snare, deceived by their own heart.

Verse 7

The stranger - They who sojourned among Israel, though they were not of Israel, were bound to abstain from idol-worship Leviticus 17:10; Leviticus 20:2.

By myself - Or, as in Ezekiel 14:4, “according to” Myself. He who comes to inquire with a heart full of idolatry shall have his answer,

(1) “according to the multitude of his idols” - in delusion,

(2) “according to the holiness of God” - in punishment.

The inquiry was hypocritical and unreal - but God will answer not by the mouth, but by the hand, not by word but by deed, not by speech but by a scourge.

Verse 8

Will make him - Or, I will make him amazed Ezekiel 32:10; or, astonished, so as to be a sign and a proverb.

Verse 9

I the Lord hare deceived that prophet - A deep truth lies beneath these words, namely, that evil as well as good is under God’s direction. He turns it as He will, employing it to test the sincerity of men, and thus making it ultimately contribute to the purification of His people, to the confirmation of the righteous, to the increase of their glory and felicity. The case of the false prophets who deceived Ahab 1 Kings 22:0 is a striking representation of this principle. The Lord sends forth an evil spirit to persuade Ahab to his ruin. Toward the close of the kingdom of Judah false prophets were especially rife. The thoughts of men’s hearts were revealed, the good separated from the bad, and the remnant of the people purged from the sins by which of late years the whole nation had been defiled.

Verse 11

“God,” it has been said, “punishes sins by means of sins,” but the end is the re-establishment of righteousness.

Verses 12-23

Ye shall be comforted ... - By a truer estimate of the dispensations of the Almighty. This visitation will be recognized as inevitable and just.

Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Ezekiel 14". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". 1870.