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Tuesday, June 18th, 2024
the Week of Proper 6 / Ordinary 11
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Bible Commentaries
Ezekiel 12

Smith's Bible CommentarySmith's Commentary

Verses 1-28

Chapter 12

The word of the LORD also came unto me, saying, Son of man, you dwell in the midst of a rebellious house, which have eyes to see, and they do not see; they have ears to hear, and they do not hear: for they are a rebellious house ( Ezekiel 12:1-2 ).

Now, you remember, Isaiah said the same thing, "Having eyes to see, they see not; ears to hear, they hear not; least at any time they see with their eyes and hear with their ears and be saved" ( Isaiah 6:10 ). Jeremiah accused them of the same thing, "You don't see, you don't hear." David said, "They that are worshipping the idols have become like unto the idols, which cannot see, which cannot move, which cannot hear." So, Jesus said, "Well saith Isaiah the prophet concerning this generation having eyes to see they will not see, ears to hear, they will not hear."

Now, the Lord is saying, "You're in a rebellious house." The interesting thing is that as the Jews look back upon their fathers and upon their history, they always do it with extremely great pride. They really honor their fathers; they honor the dead; they honor their heritage.

And that's where Stephen got into trouble. For as Stephen was standing before the Sanhedrin and he was rehearsing their history to them, telling them all that God had done, relating to them the illustrious history of their fathers, he finally said, "Which of the prophets of God did not your fathers kill? You know, you'd say, 'Oh our fathers, our fathers, so honor.' Hey, they killed every prophet God sent to them. And now you are even worse than they are, because you've killed the One that they all prophesied concerning." That was when they got so angry that they began to gnash their teeth; they grabbed rocks and began to throw them at him and they stoned him to death. Paul the apostle was right there holding their coats, encouraging them on.

Now here is God saying to Ezekiel, "Look, you're dwelling in the midst of a rebellious people. They have eyes but they will not see, ears but they will not hear, for they are rebellious."

Therefore, thou son of man, prepare thee stuff for removing [prepare your stuff for moving], and remove by day in their sight; and thou shalt remove from thy place to another place in their sight: that they will consider, even though they are a rebellious house ( Ezekiel 12:3 ).

Now, they're rebelling; they're thinking that they are going to go back right away from this captivity. They've listened to the false prophets, but you just move your stuff from one place to another, you know, just pack up your duds, pack your suitcases and just move around with your suitcases, because maybe they will hear even though they are rebellious.

Then you shall bring forth your stuff by day in their sight, the stuff as though you're moving: and you shall go forth even in their sight, as they did go forth into captivity. Now dig a hole through the wall in their sight, and carry your stuff out [by this hole in the wall that you dig]. And in their sight, bear your stuff on your shoulders, and carry it forth in the twilight: and cover your face, so that you can't see the ground: for I have set you for a sign to the house of Israel ( Ezekiel 12:4-6 ).

Now, this is going to be a little illustrated message, Ezekiel, that you're going to carry to the house of Israel. Pack your suitcases, dig a hole in the wall, and crawl out with your suitcases. Carry them on your shoulders and just walk around from one place to another. Move out from your house.

And so I did as I was commanded: and I brought forth my stuff by day, the stuff for captivity, even I digged through the wall with my hands; and brought it forth in the twilight, and I bare it on my shoulder in their sight. And in the morning the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, has not the house of Israel, the rebellious house, said unto you, What are you doing? ( Ezekiel 12:7-9 )

And that was, of course, the purpose--to create a question. Doing this, he wasn't saying anything, covered his face, and carrying his stuff around after having dug the hole through the wall and said, "What in the world are you doing?"

[So, you go and] say unto them, Thus saith Jehovah GOD [or the Lord God, Adonai]; This burden concerning the prince in Jerusalem, and the house of Israel that are among them. Say, I am your sign: and like as I have done, so shall it be done unto them: they shall remove and go into captivity ( Ezekiel 12:10-11 ).

And now, what you've seen me do is what's happening to the princes back in Jerusalem. They are going to dig a hole in the wall and they are going to try to escape with their stuff.

And the prince [that would be Zedekiah] that is among them shall bear upon his shoulder in the twilight, and shall go forth: they shall dig through the wall to carry out their stuff: and he shall cover his face, that he not see the ground with his eyes. My net also will I spread upon him, and he shall be taken in my snare: and I will bring him to Babylon to the land of the Chaldeans; yet shall he not see it, though he shall die there ( Ezekiel 12:12-13 ).

Now, an interesting prophecy concerning Zedekiah the king. He is going to, in the evening twilight hours, dig a hole through the wall and try to escape. But he's going to get caught in the snare, in the net, and he is going to be brought to Babylon, but he won't see it. We have the record of the scriptures that Zedekiah one night tried to escape from Jerusalem, from the siege of the Babylonian army, and he got as far as the plains, down near Jericho, where the Chaldeans caught up with him and captured him. And they took him to Nebuchadnezzar, that was at Riblah, and Nebuchadnezzar there took his sons who tried to escape with him and he killed him in the eyes of Zedekiah (Zedekiah was watching) and then he put out Zedekiah's eyes. And he was taken to Babylon. And so, as Ezekiel predicted, so it happened. He came to Babylon, but he never saw Babylon, because his eyes were put out. Again, God's amazing prophetic word, as God speaks of events and those servants of God speak of events, which it would be impossible to do with such accuracy, unless they spoke as they were inspired by the Holy Spirit.

The Lord said,

And I will scatter toward every wind all that are about him to help him, and all of the bands [the armies]; and I will draw out a sword after them. And they shall know that I am the LORD, when I shall scatter them among the nations, and disperse them in the countries. But I will leave a few men of them from the sword, from the famine, and from the pestilence; that they may declare all their abominations among the heathen whither they come; and they shall know that I am the LORD ( Ezekiel 12:14-16 ).

God again promises to leave a few of them, but they are going to be slain, most of them.

Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, eat your bread with quaking, and drink your water with trembling and with carefulness ( Ezekiel 12:17-18 );

In other words, just drink a little, measure your swallows. Drink it with carefulness and shake as you eat your bread, and drink your water like you're frightened.

And say unto the people of the land ( Ezekiel 12:19 ),

You know, these prophets must have been extremely colorful people. But, God is seeking to get the attention of the people. Now, they won't listen to God anymore, so God has these prophets do these colorful things to draw the attention of the people. "Now, what's Ezekiel doing now? Look at the way he's drinking his water and eating his bread, you know. What's he got up his sleeve this time?" And they become curious as they see these bazaar kind of actions. But, all planned of God in order to get the attention, so He can still speak. Now that, to me, is amazing. God still desires to give the message though they're not listening anymore. But He still wants them to receive the message. Long after a person has closed his heart to God, closed his ear to God, God continues to speak in different ways. If you won't listen directly then God will speak to you subtly through the things around your life, circumstances, events and all, but God will get His message across, one way or the other.

Now, say to the people as you're eating and drinking your water and eating your bread this way,

Say to the people of the land, Thus saith the Lord GOD of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and of the land of Israel; They shall eat their bread with carefulness [there's going to be a tremendous famine], they'll drink their water with astonishment, that her land may be desolate from all that is therein, because of the violence of all of them that dwell therein. And the cities that are inhabited shall be laid waste, and the land shall be desolate; and ye shall know that I am the LORD. And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, what is that proverb that ye have in the land of Israel, saying, The days are prolonged, and every vision faileth? ( Ezekiel 12:19-22 )

This is what they were going around saying, "Aha, you know, not in our time. The days are prolonged, every vision fails. You know, you've heard that for a long time. What do you mean the Lord is coming? What do you mean we're getting close to the end? The days are prolonged; we're going to be here for another thousand years. Life is going to go on, man is going to continue. What do you mean we're getting close to the end?" That's what they were saying in Jerusalem at this time. Destruction was right on them. It was days away, and yet the proverb was, "Aw, the days are prolonged, every vision fails. It's not going to happen in our lifetime." As Peter said, "In the last days scoffers will come saying, 'Where is the promise of His coming? Since our fathers have fallen asleep, everything continues as they were from the beginning" ( 2 Peter 3:3-4 ). But Peter said, "The day of the Lord will come."

And God is saying to Ezekiel, this proverb that they are using,

Tell them therefore, Thus saith the Lord GOD; I will make this proverb to cease, and they will no more use it as a proverb in Israel; but say unto them, The days are at hand, and the fulfillment of every vision. For there shall be no more any vain vision nor flattering divination within the house of Israel. For I am the LORD: and I will speak, and the word that I shall speak shall come to pass; it shall be no more prolonged; for in your days, O rebellious house ( Ezekiel 12:23-25 ),

Not in the days of your grandchildren or great grandchildren or whatever, but in your days.

will I say the word, and will perform it, saith the Lord GOD. Again the word of the LORD came to me, saying, Son of man, behold, they of the house of Israel say, The vision that he sees is [a long time off] for many days to come [not going to happen for a long time], and he prophesies of the times that are way off. Therefore say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; There shall none of my words be prolonged any more, but the word which I have spoken shall be done, saith the Lord GOD ( Ezekiel 12:25-28 ).

And within a year, it was. "

Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Ezekiel 12". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/csc/ezekiel-12.html. 2014.
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