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Bible Commentaries

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

Ezekiel 2

Verse 1

And he said unto me, Son of man, stand upon thy feet, and I will speak unto thee.

Son of man - often applied to Ezekiel; once only to Daniel (Daniel 7:17), and not to any other prophet. The phrase was no doubt taken from Chaldean usage, during the sojourn of Daniel and Ezekiel in Chaldea. But the spirit who sanctioned the words of the prophet, implied by it the lowliness and frailty of the prophet as man, "lower than the angels," though now admitted to the vision of angels and of God Himself, "lest he should be exalted through the abundance of the revelations" (2 Corinthians 12:7). Ezekiel is appropriately so called as being type of the Divine "Son of man," here revealed as "man" (note, Ezekiel 1:26). That title, as applied to Messiah, implies at once His lowliness and His exaltation, in His manifestations as THE REPRESENTATIVE MAN, at His first and second comings respectively (in His humiliation on the one hand, Psalms 8:4-8; Matthew 16:13; Matthew 20:18; and His exaltation on the other hand, Daniel 7:13-14; Matthew 26:64; John 5:27).

Verse 2

And the spirit entered into me when he spake unto me, and set me upon my feet, that I heard him that And the spirit entered into me when he spake unto me, and set me upon my feet, that I heard him that spake unto me.

The spirit entered into me when he spake. The Divine WORD is ever accompanied by the SPIRIT (Genesis 1:2-3).

Set me upon my feet. He had been "upon his face" (Ezekiel 1:28). Humiliation on our part is followed by exaltation on God's (Ezekiel 3:23-24; Job 22:29; James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:5). 'On the feet' was the fitting attitude, when he was called on to walk and work for God (Ephesians 5:8, "Walk as children of light;" Ephesians 6:15).

That I heard - rather, 'then I heard.'

Verse 3

And he said unto me, Son of man, I send thee to the children of Israel, to a rebellious nation that hath rebelled against me: they and their fathers have transgressed against me, even unto this very day.

To ... Israel, to a rebellious nation - rather, as the Hebrew [ gowyim (H1471)], nations; the word usually applied to the pagan or Gentiles; here to the Jews, as being altogether paganized with idolatries. So in Isaiah 1:10 they are named "Sodom" and "Gomorrah." They were now become "Lo-ammi," not the people of God (Hosea 1:9).

Verse 4

For they are impudent children and stiffhearted. I do send thee unto them; and thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD.

They are impudent - literally, hard-faced (Ezekiel 3:7; Ezekiel 3:9).

Children - resumptive of "they" in Ezekiel 2:3; the "children" walk in their "fathers'" steps.

I do send thee unto them - God opposes His command to all obstacles. Duties are ours; events are God's.

Thus saith the Lord God. God opposes His name to the obstinacy of the people.

Verse 5

And they, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear, (for they are a rebellious house,) yet shall know that there hath been a prophet among them.

Whether they will forbear - namely, to hear.

Yet shall know. Even if they will not hear, at least they will not have ignorance to plead as the cause of their perversity (Ezekiel 33:33).

Verse 6

And thou, son of man, be not afraid of them, neither be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns be with thee, and thou dost dwell among scorpions: be not afraid of their words, nor be dismayed at their looks, though they be a rebellious house.

Briers - not as margin, and Gesenius, 'rebels,' which would not correspond so well to "thorns." The Hebrew [ caaraabiym (H5621)] is from a root [caarab] meaning 'to sting' as nettles do. The wicked are often so called (2 Samuel 23:6; Song of Solomon 2:2; Isaiah 9:18).

Scorpions - a reptile about six inches long, with a deadly sting at the end of the tail.

Be not afraid of their words - (Luke 12:4; 1 Peter 3:14).

Verse 7

And thou shalt speak my words unto them, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear: for they are most rebellious.

They are most rebellious - literally, 'rebellion' itself-its very essence.

Verse 8

But thou, son of man, hear what I say unto thee; Be not thou rebellious like that rebellious house: open thy mouth, and eat that I give thee.

Eat that I give thee - (Jeremiah 15:16, note; Revelation 10:9-10). The idea is to possess himself fully of the message, and digest it in the mind; not literal eating, but such an appropriation of its unsavoury contents that they should become as it were part of himself, so as to impart them the more vividly to his hearers.

Verse 9

And when I looked, behold, an hand was sent unto me; and, lo, a roll of a book was therein;

A roll - the form in which ancient books were made up.

Verse 10

And he spread it before me; and it was written within and without: and there was written therein lamentations, and mourning, and woe.

It was written within and without - on the face and the back. Usually the parchment was written only on its inside when rolled up; but so full was God's message of impending woes, it was written also on the back.

Remarks:

(1) When Ezekiel had prostrated himself on his face (Ezekiel 1:28), God lifted him and set him on his feet (Ezekiel 2:1-2). When we abase ourselves, God delights to exalt us. Ezekiel had just seen the Son of Man upon His divine throne: he is now himself honoured with the same title, as being about to be made like to the Son of man in His humiliation, while enduring the contradiction of sinners against Himself first-and in His glory, which is subsequently to be revealed, and which is the reward of His sufferings. If we suffer with Christ now, we shall reign with Christ hereafter.

(2) In contrast to this identification of the prophet with the once suffering and now exalted Son of Man, stands the assimilation of the children of Israel to the Gentile nations (Ezekiel 2:3, note), because of rebellion and transgressions. The professing people of God, when they transgress God's eternal laws, forfeit their privileges, high calling, and even name.

(3) Still, however hardened in countenance and heart the people may be when God sends His messenger to them, the messenger's duty is to go, whether they hear or forbear (Ezekiel 2:4-5). The announcement "Thus saith the Lord God" is a sufficient answer to all objections, and carries: weight for the condemnation, if not for the conversion of sinners. Even if they will not hear at least they cannot say that they did not know the will of God concerning them.

(4) He who would, like Ezekiel, do anything to purpose in the service of God must not be of man. Often the "words" and "looks" of our fellow-men are enough to paralyze us in our good intentions of speaking and acting for God. But we must not yield to this natural fear of man, though the ungodly be dangerous to handle, as is the scratching brier or stinging scorpion (Ezekiel 2:6). Let us rather fear God, and sanctify Him in our hearts, and all lower fears shall cease (1 Peter 3:14).

5. In order to speak the word of God's threatenings and invitations effectually to others, we must first feed on, inwardly digest, and appropriate it ourselves by faith. Though full of lamentations. mourning, and woe (Ezekiel 2:10) to the hardened and impenitent, it is full of love, grace, and joy to the penitent and Believing. Let us seek to have the Spirit of Life, both to set us on our feet for the willing and active discharge of Christian duty, and also to enable us, while trembling at God's threatenings, to make the precious promises of God the daily food of our soul, while we "esteem the words of His mouth more than our necessary food" (Job 23:12).

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Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Ezekiel 2". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jfu/ezekiel-2.html. 1871-8.