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Friday, June 21st, 2024
the Week of Proper 6 / Ordinary 11
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Bible Commentaries
Ezekiel 3

Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New TestamentZerr's N.T. Commentary

Verse 1

Eze 3:1. See the comments at 1Ki 20:35 in volume 2 of this Commentary on the subject of prophets performing or acting. In Rev 10:8-11 John does the same thing that Ezekiel does here. The physical act (marie possible by the miraculous help of God) was to symbolize a spiritual circumstance. Since this roll contained the words of God, the eating of it would denote the eating of spiritual food and it would inspire the prophet to speak the truth of God to the house of Israel.

Verse 2

Eze 3:2. Caused me to eof was a miracle and it is explained in the preceding verse.

Verse 3

Eze 3:3. In the case of John (Rev 10:8-11) the eating of the book had a twofold effect on him, sweet and bitter, but nothing is said about the bitterness in that of Ezekiel, because the personal attitude of the prophet toward the words is the only feature of it that was to be considered in the act, In the ease of John in Revelation that of both the speaker and the people were symbolized, hence the bitterness. It was agreeable with Ezekiel to carry the message to Israel because he was a faithful servant of God the same as John. Belly and bowels are used to denote the body as a whole, and when used figuratively it denotes that Ezekiel was to be completely possessed by the article. Since the act was a symbol of his being inspired of God it made a circumstance like that of the aposiles who were “filled with the Holy Ghost” (Act 2:4).

Verse 4

Eze 3:4. The Lord's purpose in the preceding verses is made known in this one. Ezekiel was to approach the house of Israel and speak the words He gave him.

Verse 5

Eze 3:5, Strange means foreign and hard means difficult, and the people to whom Ezekiel was told to speak did not use that kind of language, but they naturally spoke the same tongue that the prophet used since they both were Jews.

Verse 6

Eze 3:6. Ezekiel was not even asked to speak to a number of peoples; only to the one, whose native tongue he could understand without any special help from God. There is no difficulty for an inspired man to speak to any number or kinds of nationalities; that is not the point. On the other hand, a foreign nation might have more pretext for not receiving the words because they would not understand the language; and yet even they would have been more willing to receive the warning than were the Jews who were of a rebellious disposition.

Verse 7

Eze 3:7. It should be noted that in the frequent statements on the stubbornness of those to whom the prophet was sent, the idea is held out that it is the house of Israel or the people. This does not prevent any individual in the group from taking a different attitude, and that is largely the explanation of why the Lord insisted on giving them the truth regardless of the general rebellion. There were usually some exceptional instances when certain individuals would accept the admonitions and be profited. The value of this small minority was great enough to justify the work of presenting the word of the Lord though it might bring persecution upon the bearer of the words. It is about time again for the reader to see the long note that was offered in connection with 2Ki 22:17 in volume 2 of this Commentary.

Verse 8

Eze 3:8. This verse means that God was to give Ezekiel the boldness necessary to face the threatening looks of the people who would diBlike the warnings offered.

Verse 9

Eze 3:9. An adamant is one of the hardest of stones such as the diamond. It is harder than a flint rock and the term is used figuratively for the firmness that God promised to give Ezekiel in his dealing with the hardfaced people of Israel. See a similar assurance given to the prophet Jeremiah (Jer, 1: 18, 19).

Verse 10

Eze 3:10, God communicated with Jeremiah for the purpose of inspiration in the form of speaking as well as by giving him the sense of it in his mind.

Verse 11

Eze 3:11. Them of the captivity had direct reference to the people of Israel who were then in Babylon. Ezekiel could appear to them because be was in that land also. There were some of the Israelites still in Palestine because the "3rd captivity” had not yet taken place. And again the prophet was commanded to speak the word regardless of their attitude toward it. This instruction that was repeated so frequently was to the end that Ezekiel need not conclude that be had made a failure just because he could not bring his people to accept the teaching. This subject of the respective responsibility of the speaker and hearer will be treated more thoroughly in a bracket of verses yet in this chapter.

Verse 12

Eze 3:12. Spirit took me up denotes that the Spirit took charge of the prophet and conducted him to a more suitable place where he could speak to the people. At the same time he heard a strong voice giving his evi-dence of the presence of God.

Verse 13

Eze 3:13. These creatures and wheels are the same that were described in chapter one. applying to the four world empires that succeeded each other.

Verse 14

Eze 3:14. Spirit lifted me up has the same meaning as “spirit took me up” in verse 12. These sentiments which the prophet expressed were because of the unfortunate situation of his people. The bitterness would be increased by the knowledge that their own stubbornness had brought these misfortunes upon them, and he had to be the bearer of the unwelcome message from the Lord.

Verse 15

Eze 3:15. Astonished is from SHAMEM and Strong defines it, "To stun (or intransitively grow numb), i.e, devastate Dr (figuratively) stupefy (both usually fn a passive sense),’1 The thought is that when Ezekiel saw his brethren and beheld their condition, he was so overcome that he bad nothing to say for seven dayB. A like circumstance Is recorded in Job 2:13.

Verse 16

Eze 3:16. The special message from the Lord came to Ezekiel at the end of the seven days mentioned in the preceding verse. The Lord seems to have respected the feelings of his prophet and did not disturb him for a period.

Verse 17

Eze 3:17. The subject of the special message was then stated to Ezekiel. He was to he placed in a very important position of responsibility with reference lo the house of Israel in that he was to act as a watchman. That word is from TSAPHAH, which Strong defines, "A primitive root; properly to lean forward, i.e. to peer into the distance; by implication to observe, await.” This definition agrees with the actual work of a man who occupied the walls of ancient cities to watch for any danger that might threaten the city. If he saw an army or other hostile force approaching he was to announce it to the citizens and give them the opportunity to escape if possible or defend themselves otherwise.

Verse 18

Eze 3:18. From this verse through 21 the subject is the respective responsibilities of a watchman and those over whom he has been appointed. The principles involved in this situation have been stated frequently and they have always been in force wherever man’s conduct toward others was involved. If a watchman fails to warn a wicked man of his danger it will not shield him from the effects of his wickedness. Yet his own death will not atone for the negligence of the watchman; he must die also.

Verse 19

Eze 3:19. A watchman might not be able to induce a wicked man to turn from his sinful course and the guilty one would have to suffer. But if the watchman has done what he could to turn the unrighteous man from his great error, the entire blame will be placed on his head and not on that of the watchman.

Verse 20

Eze 3:20. God does not desire that any man shall sin nor does He actually tempt him with evil in order to induce him to go wrong (James 1: 131. But the Lord subjects his servants to tests of faith and such things are meant by stumblingblocks, If a servant of God yields to this test and does wrong because the watchman did not warn him, then both the backsliding servant and unfaithful watchman will have to die.

Verse 21

Eze 3:21. The principle regarding the responsibility of a teacher as set forth in this verse is the same as the Lord has always maintained. The success of a would-be reformer will have nothing to do with his personal reward. It might be possible for him to achieve what would appear as a success and yet he would be condemned because he did not operate according to the truth. On the other hand, a man could fail to accomplish the desired result even when offering the word of God faithfully, because the hearer would not accept the teaching. In such a case the hearer alone would be condemned while the teacher would be blessed. How wonderful it is, then, when the teachings offered is right and the hearer accepts and obeys it; both will be blessed.

Verse 22

Eze 3:22. The foregoing speech was made to the prophet while he was in the midst of his people near the river Cliebar. Now the Lord wishes him to go away into a plain for further inspired communications. Plain Is from niQAH and Strong defines it, "Properly a split, i.e. a wide level valley between mountains." It would be a place secluded and thus a suitable one for a private conversation between the prophet and God,

Verse 23

Eze 3:23. Ezekiel obeyed the instructions given him and went forth into the secluded spot. After arriving there the Lord appeared in the form of a glorious halo that overcame the prophet and he fell prostrated to the earth.

Verse 24

Eze 3:24, The spirit entered denotes that the prophet was rallied from his prostrated frame of mind. After regaining his strength he was told to go to his own house. It was not the time for him to be abroad among the people, for the Lord was going to give him very much information upon his work with the nation.

Verse 25

Eze 3:25. These hands were not literal but were the hindrances that the rebellious Jews would put against the work of the prophet.

Verse 26

Eze 3:26. Tongue cleave to roof of mouth was not to be a physical obstruction in every case. It was virtually the same kind of restriction that was placed on Jeremiah (Jeremiah 7; Jeremiah 16, 27). No use to waste words on the stubborn people, but when the proper time comes the Lord will inform him of it.

Verse 27

Eze 3:27. Doubtless the Lord had in mind some future date when a shall number of the Jews would listen to instruction. When that tithe came He would open the mouth of the prophet, which means he would au- thrize him to speak. When that was done there would be some who would hear and profit thereby. But before such an event occurs the prophet was to be given a serieB of revelations, some of which would be in the form of personal acting; see the comments oifered on that interesting subject at 1Ki 20:35 in volume 2 of this Commentary.
Bibliographical Information
Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on Ezekiel 3". Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/znt/ezekiel-3.html. 1952.
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