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Bible Commentaries

Expositor's Dictionary of Texts

Ezekiel 43

Verses 1-27

Ezekiel 43:2

Mr. Augustus Hare, in Memorials of a Quiet Life, quotes a passage from his mother's diary, in which, after writing down this verse, she adds: 'Yes, with the glory of the God of Israel. In itself it was dark and lifeless; but when the glory of the God of Israel arose out of the East, even as the Sun of Righteousness, then the earth reflected His bright shining, and became glorious through His light resting upon it. So have I seen on a bright sunshiny morning at Hurstmonceaux, the line of the sea lit up by the beams of the morning sun, and shining with an almost dazzling brightness in a glory not its own.... There is no holiness, no loveliness in man of himself no, not in regenerate man. His beauty is a beauty wrought in him, and shining over him, through means of the Blessed Fountain of Light.'

References. XLIII. 2. Newman Smith, Christian World Pulpit, vol. xlv. 1894, p. 243. Bishop Welldon, ibid. vol. xlviii. 1895, p. 250.

Ezekiel 43:10-11

'My very dear brother,' wrote Samuel Rutherford to a young correspondent, 'ye are heartily welcome to my world of suffering, and heartily welcome to my Master's house. God give you much joy of your new Master. If I have been in the house before you, I were not faithful to give the house an ill name, or to speak evil of the Lord of the family; I rather wish God's Holy Spirit (O Lord, breathe upon me with that Spirit!) to tell you the fashions of the house. One thing I can say, that by our waiting, ye will grow a great man with the Lord of the house.'

'The great deeds of philosophers,' says Huxley, 'have been less the fruit of their intellect than of the direction of that intellect by an eminently religious tone of mind. Truth has yielded itself rather to their patience, their love, their single-heartedness, and their self-denial, than to their logical acumen.'

'Mere culture of the intellect (and education as usually conducted amounts to little more) is hardly at all operative upon conduct Intellect is not a power, but an instrument not a thing which itself moves and works, but a thing which is moved and worked by forces behind it. To say that men are ruled by reason is as irrational as to say that men are ruled by their eyes. Reason is an eye the eye through which the desires see their way to gratification, and educating it only makes it a better eye gives it a vision more accurate and comprehensive does not at all alter the desires subserved by it. However far-seeing you make it, the passion will still determine the directions in which it shall be turned the objects on which it shall dwell.'

Spencer.

Ezekiel 43:11

The idea of a spiritual society could not unfold itself to them while they were living in a heartless, divided, self-righteous state. They must be humbled before they could feel the possibility of such a society; still more before they could confess it to be real. The hindrance to the discernment of it was not an intellectual one; it was not that they wanted the intuition and the foresight of the Prophet; it was wholly moral.

F. D. Maurice.

Insight, sound, clear vision of the truth, wisdom at once piercing and comprehensive, the noblest and divinest achievements of the reason, demand serenity of soul as their imperative condition. Passion clouds the mental eye; emotion disturbs the organ of discovery; as the astronomer can only rely upon his nicest and loftiest observations when the air is still and the telescope is isolated from all the tremulous movements of terrestrial surroundings, so the thinker can only see justly and penetrate far, when all that could agitate his spirit is buried deep, or put quite away, or laid eternally to rest. The conscience must slumber either in conscious innocence or in recognized forgiveness; the aspirations and desires must be calm, simple, and chastened.

W. Rathbone Greg.

Ezekiel 43:12

The once wealthy captives by the River Chebar were desiring to restore a society in which they should have the full swing of their tastes and appetites, and plenty of slaves to minister to them. And the false priests and false prophets were ready enough to encourage this opinion. They would have the fat of their sacrifices, they would have their obedient troop of female devotees to help them to hunt souls. All should come back again just as it was before; the same vanity, insolence, falsehood, devilry. That would be their mode of reviving a Divine society. But Ezekiel tells them it shall not be so at all.

F. D. Maurice.

Compare Prof. Royce's satirical description ( The Spirit of Modern Philosophy, p. 446) of a certain other type of mind to which 'there are no evils in society except competition and poverty, which will both cease so soon as we by chance fall to loving one another, and to owning the property of the nation in common. Crime is not a result of anything deep in human nature; selfishness is a mere incident of a defective social system.... Satan is mainly an invention of false theories of political economy. A single tax system, or a nationalized labour army, would end the sorrows of mankind.'

References. XLIII. 12. H. W. Webb-Peploe, Calls to Holiness, p. 75. W. L. Watkinson, Christian World Pulpit, vol. lii. 1897, p. 49. Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. xxvii. No. 1618. XLIII. 13. J. Parker, Christian World Pulpit, vol. xliv. 1893, p. 225; see also vol. liv. 1898, p. 262.

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Bibliographical Information
Nicoll, William Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Ezekiel 43". Expositor's Dictionary of Text. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/edt/ezekiel-43.html. 1910.