Lectionary Calendar
Monday, May 27th, 2024
the Week of Proper 3 / Ordinary 8
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Bible Commentaries
Ezekiel 2

Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New TestamentsSutcliffe's Commentary

Verses 1-10

Ezekiel 2:1 . Son of man. Here the Messiah, speaking from the throne of glory, gives his servant a humble title, but a title which he himself assumed after his incarnation, being meek and lowly in heart. This title reminded Ezekiel that though he saw the divine glory, communed with his Maker, and stood before angels, yet he was but a frail mortal. Thus St. Paul, after a sight of the same glory in the third heaven, had to labour under the thorn of infirmity. But the appellation was attended with honour. Son of man, stand upon thy feet, and I will speak to thee.

Ezekiel 2:2 . The Spirit entered into me. I was revived by his voice. I was renovated by his presence, and inspired to preach and to prophesy. I stood up upon my feet, ready and willing to do all the work of the Lord.

Ezekiel 2:3 . I send thee to the children of Israel, the scattered wanderers of the twelve tribes, rebellious of old, and now rebellious still. Ministers must know the character of the people they address, and like physicians who consult on the critical case of a patient, they must study and devise the best means of reclaiming and converting their souls. The question should often be put, Can these dry bones live?

Ezekiel 2:6 . Son of man, be not afraid of them. In reading ancient history we are astonished at the courage of certain ambassadors, addressing hostile princes at the head of invading armies. And if they were so bold, (and if otherwise, both their own sovereigns and the enemies they addressed would have despised them) how bold should ministers be who have the omnipotent arm for their defence? Yet we must be prudent, like our divine Master, who said to the woman of Samaria, “go call thy husband.” Harsh language is the last resource, as it was with our Lord. Matthew 23:0.

Thou dost dwell among scorpions, a creeping insect of brown colour, having a sting in its tail, and proper as a metaphor to designate the race that sought Jeremiah’s life, and despised Ezekiel’s ministry.

Ezekiel 2:9-10 . Lo, a roll of a book written within and without. Isaiah 34:4. Vellum being scarce was used with care; the manuscripts were neatly rolled, and the finer copies were rolled on a staff. The Egyptians, the Chaldeans, and the Hebrews read from the right to the left. We, on the contrary, like the Greeks, read from the left to the right. The Jew held the staff, or the soft scroll in his left hand; and as he read, coiled it up in his right hand. Of course some inconvenience attended it, when the manuscript was written on both sides. But such indeed was the roll handed to Ezekiel. The heart of the apostate Jews was full of sin, and all their life one continuous revolt. The punishments superinduced by these revolts were lamentations for the country they had lost, mournings for their slaughtered relations, and woes yet to come.


The Messiah having awed and sanctified the prophet by a sight of his glory, now graciously raised him from the earth, by an absolute assurance that his mission was from heaven. God gives extraordinary support and comfort to men when they have extraordinary work to do. Ezekiel had now to go among thorns and briers, and to prophesy in the midst of scorpions.

Judgments not sanctified by humiliation, render men more hardened and atrocious. So it was partly with the jews in captivity, and more so with the jews left in Judea; for Ezekiel’s mission bears obvious marks of being addressed, probably by letter, to the people in Jerusalem, as well as to the people in captivity. These were still rebellious men, impudent and hardened, and like briers and scorpions when disturbed by the faithful ministry of a prophet.

The mercy of God is unspeakable, inasmuch as he did not destroy them at once, but continued his ministry among them, whether they would hear or forbear. Surely this should encourage ministers to preach on, even when there seems no hope. Who can tell but the wild and briery wastes may yet become the garden of the Lord.

By the parchment handed to Ezekiel, written on both sides with lamentations, mourning and woe, we learn that ministers must read their bible, and get well acquainted with the miseries which are coming on the ungodly throng, that they may preach with vehemence, and save the wicked with fear, pulling them out of the fire. The indictment preferred against the sinner is written within and without, full of grievous impeachments. When therefore the sins and punishment of nations are considered, it is not a time for rioting and drunkenness, for crowding theatres, and living solely for dissipation and folly.

Bibliographical Information
Sutcliffe, Joseph. "Commentary on Ezekiel 2". Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jsc/ezekiel-2.html. 1835.
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