Ezekiel 24: Jerusalem
as a cooking pot, Ezekiel's wife dies, Jerusalem's impending fall
Comment: This chapter takes us up to the last two years
of Jerusalem as Nebuchadnezzar comes and lays siege to Jerusalem.
A parable/allegory is given showing Jerusalem as a cooking point
that is so marked by blood that nothing but intense heat will
cleanse it. In the final Part Ezekiel is warned his wife is about
to die and his required lack of mourning is to act as a sign to
the people that the coming destruction will be so great it will
be beyond mourning.]
ONE: v.1-14: The End is Near – a warning of cleansing by fire
A new word comes as Nebuchadnezzar lays siege to Jerusalem
in the tenth month on the tenth day, the
word of the Lord came to me:
of man, record this date, this very date, because the
king of Babylon has laid siege to Jerusalem this very day.
end is near; Jerusalem is now under siege.]
Communicate a parable of a cooking pot
this rebellious people a parable and say to them: “This is what
the Sovereign Lord says:
on the cooking pot; put it on
and pour water into it.
Put into it
the pieces of meat,
all the choice pieces – the leg and
Fill it with the best of these bones;
the pick of the flock.
Pile wood beneath it for the bones;
bring it to the boil
and cook the bones in it.
is to convey a parable to the people of a cooking pot.
Like a filthy pot Jerusalem is covered with blood
this is what the Sovereign Lord says:
to the city of bloodshed,
to the pot now encrusted,
whose deposit will not go away!
Take the meat out piece by piece
in whatever order it comes.
‘“For the blood
she shed is in her midst:
she poured it on the bare rock;
she did not pour it on the ground,
where the dust would cover it.
To stir up
wrath and take revenge
I put her blood on the bare rock,
so that it would not be covered.
the pot is Jerusalem and the pot is so encrusted with dirt or
rust that normal cleaning won't work. Jerusalem is a pot that
is ‘encrusted' with the blood that has been shed within her. Only
fire will cleanse her.]
As fire cleans the pot so it will cleanse Jerusalem
this is what the Sovereign Lord says:
to the city of bloodshed!
I, too, will pile the wood high.
heap on the wood
and kindle the fire.
Cook the meat well,
mixing in the spices;
and let the bones be charred.
set the empty pot on the coals
till it becomes hot and its copper glows,
so that its impurities may be melted
and its deposit burned away.
has frustrated all efforts;
its heavy deposit has not been removed,
not even by fire.
cooking is finished and so the pot is available for cleaning and
the only way to clean it is by intense heat – fire.]
You refused to be cleansed, so fire is the only way (implied)
your impurity is lewdness. Because I tried to cleanse you but
you would not be cleansed from your impurity, you will not be
clean again until my wrath against you has subsided.
the Lord have spoken. The time has come for me to act. I will
not hold back; I will not have pity, nor will I relent. You will
be judged according to your conduct and your actions, declares
the Sovereign Lord.”'
people of Jerusalem had refused to listen to the Lord and come
in cleansing repentance to Him, so all that is left is for Jerusalem
to be ‘cleansed' by fire. i.e. destroyed by the invaders.]
TWO: v.15-27: Ezekiel's required response when his wife dies,
to act as a sign
God warns Ezekiel his wife is about to die
The word of
the Lord came to me:
of man, with one blow I am about to take away from you the delight
of your eyes. Yet do not lament or weep or shed any tears.
quietly; do not mourn for the dead. Keep your turban fastened
and your sandals on your feet; do not cover your moustache and
beard or eat the customary food of mourners.'
is warned his wife is about to die but he is not to show any signs
of mourning, except he will be permitted a gentle groaning.]
When he doesn't mourn he's asked why
I spoke to the people in the morning, and in the evening my wife
died. The next morning I did as I had been commanded.
the people asked me, ‘Won't you tell us what these things have
to do with us? Why are you acting like this?'
continues talking with the people and when his wife dies he makes
no sign of grief and the people question why not?]
When the Temple falls you will be so shocked you won't mourn
I said to them, ‘The word of the Lord came to me:
to the people of Israel, “This is what the Sovereign Lord says:
I am about to desecrate my sanctuary – the stronghold in
which you take pride, the delight of your eyes, the object of
your affection. The sons and daughters you left behind will fall
by the sword.
you will do as I have done. You will not cover your moustache
and beard or eat the customary food of mourners.
will keep your turbans on your heads and your sandals on your
feet. You will not mourn or weep but will waste away because of
your sins and groan among yourselves.
Lord gives him his answer: they still delight in the Temple back
in Jerusalem but when it is destroyed they will be so shocked
they will be beyond grief.]
Ezekiel will be silent until news of the fall of the city comes
will be a sign to you; you will do just as he has done. When this
happens, you will know that I am the Sovereign Lord.”
you, son of man, on the day I take away their stronghold, their
joy and glory, the delight of their eyes, their heart's desire,
and their sons and daughters as well –
that day a fugitive will come to tell you the news.
that time your mouth will be opened; you will speak with him and
will no longer be silent. So you will be a sign to them, and they
will know that I am the Lord.'
will remain silent until a messenger comes with the news of the
fall of Jerusalem and then he may speak again and the people will
realise he's just been in mourning waiting for the inevitable
This concludes the present Part of the last warnings of the impending
fall of Jerusalem. It is followed by a number of prophecies to
other peoples in the regions until the actual fall is announced
in 33:21 in the following Part.]
to Chapter 25