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FRAMEWORKS: Ezekiel

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FRAMEWORKS: Ezekiel 24: Jerusalem as a cooking pot, Ezekiel's wife dies, Jerusalem's impending fall

 

[Preliminary 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.]

 

 

PART ONE: v.1-14: The End is Near – a warning of cleansing by fire

 

 

v.1,2 A new word comes as Nebuchadnezzar lays siege to Jerusalem

 

v.1  In the ninth year , in the tenth month on the tenth day, the word of the Lord came to me:

v.2  ‘Son of man, record this date, this very date, because the king of Babylon has laid siege to Jerusalem this very day.

 

[Notes: The end is near; Jerusalem is now under siege.]

 

 

v.3-5 Communicate a parable of a cooking pot

 

v.3  Tell this rebellious people a parable and say to them: “This is what the Sovereign Lord says:

‘“Put on the cooking pot; put it on
    and pour water into it.
v.4   Put into it the pieces of meat,
    all the choice pieces – the leg and the shoulder.
Fill it with the best of these bones;
v.5  take the pick of the flock.
Pile wood beneath it for the bones;
    bring it to the boil
    and cook the bones in it.

 

[Notes: Ezekiel is to convey a parable to the people of a cooking pot.

 

 

v.6-8 Like a filthy pot Jerusalem is covered with blood

 

v.6  ‘“For this is what the Sovereign Lord says:

‘“Woe 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.

v.7   ‘“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.
v.8   To stir up wrath and take revenge
    I put her blood on the bare rock,
    so that it would not be covered.

 

[Notes: Actually, 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.]

 

 

v.9-12 As fire cleans the pot so it will cleanse Jerusalem

 

v.9  ‘“Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says:

‘“Woe to the city of bloodshed!
    I, too, will pile the wood high.
v.10  So heap on the wood
    and kindle the fire.
Cook the meat well,
    mixing in the spices;
    and let the bones be charred.
v.11  Then 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.
v.12  It has frustrated all efforts;
    its heavy deposit has not been removed,
    not even by fire.

 

[Notes: The cooking is finished and so the pot is available for cleaning and the only way to clean it is by intense heat – fire.]

 

 

v.13,14 You refused to be cleansed, so fire is the only way (implied)

 

v.13 ‘“Now 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.

v.14  ‘“I 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.”'

 

[Notes: The 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.]

 

 

PART TWO: v.15-27: Ezekiel's required response when his wife dies, to act as a sign

   

v.15-17 God warns Ezekiel his wife is about to die

 

v.15   The word of the Lord came to me:

v.16  ‘Son 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.

v.17  Groan 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.'

 

[Notes: Ezekiel 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.]

 

 

v.18,19 When he doesn't mourn he's asked why

    

v.18  So 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.

v.19  Then the people asked me, ‘Won't you tell us what these things have to do with us? Why are you acting like this?'

 

[Notes: He continues talking with the people and when his wife dies he makes no sign of grief and the people question why not?]

 

 

v.20-23 When the Temple falls you will be so shocked you won't mourn

 

v.20  So I said to them, ‘The word of the Lord came to me:

v.21  say 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.

v.22  And you will do as I have done. You will not cover your moustache and beard or eat the customary food of mourners.

v.23  You 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.

 

[Notes: The 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.]

 

 

v.24-27 Ezekiel will be silent until news of the fall of the city comes

 

v.24 Ezekiel 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.”

v.25 ‘And 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 –

v.26  on that day a fugitive will come to tell you the news.

v.27  At 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.'

 

[Notes: Ezekiel 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 to come.]

   

[Concluding Note: 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.]

   

       

Continue to Chapter 25