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FRAMEWORKS: Ezekiel

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FRAMEWORKS: Ezekiel 3: Ezekiel sent to the Exiles

 

[Preliminary Comment: The development of Ezekiel's call, still in the vision, continues up until v.14 after which he joins the other exiles where stays for a week before being commanded to distance himself from them to receive further instructions. Finally he is allowed to return to his own house [v.24] where he will receive further instructions and the start of a number of prophetic action pieces.]

 

v.1-3 He eats the scroll

v.4-9 He is warned & encouraged in his sending

v.10,11 He is to take God's word to the people in exile

v.12-15 He is taken to the exiles

v.16-21 Ezekiel's Responsibility

v.22,23 He sees the glory again

v.24-27 He is made inactive in his house

 

 

v.1-3 He eats the scroll

 

v.1   And he said to me, “Son of man, eat what is before you, eat this scroll; then go and speak to the people of Israel.” 

v.2   So I opened my mouth, and he gave me the scroll to eat. 

v.3   Then he said to me, “Son of man, eat this scroll I am giving you and fill your stomach with it.” So I ate it, and it tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth. 

 

[Notes: Remember, this is still all part of the vision. Ezekiel eats the scroll he's been handed and it tastes sweet, which is strange in the light of what we've been told about its nature, and so perhaps this signifies the goodness of our service to God when He provides.]

 

 

v.4-9 He is warned & encouraged in his sending

 

v.4 He then said to me: “Son of man, go now to the people of Israel and speak my words to them. 

v.5  You are not being sent to a people of obscure speech and strange language, but to the people of Israel— 

v.6 not to many peoples of obscure speech and strange language, whose words you cannot understand. Surely if I had sent you to them, they would have listened to you. 

v.7 But the people of Israel are not willing to listen to you because they are not willing to listen to me, for all the Israelites are hardened and obstinate. 

v.8 But I will make you as unyielding and hardened as they are. 

v.9  I will make your forehead like the hardest stone, harder than flint. Do not be afraid of them or terrified by them, though they are a rebellious people.” 

 

[Notes: The task will be easy in that it is to his own people who speak his own language, but difficult in that they will not be willing to listen. So the Lord will give him a stubbornness or endurance that will cope with their resistance. Thus he need not fear them.]

 

 

v.10,11 He is to take God's word to the people in exile

 

v.10 And he said to me, “Son of man, listen carefully and take to heart all the words I speak to you. 

v.11 Go now to your people in exile and speak to them. Say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says,' whether they listen or fail to listen.” 

 

[Notes: The task is focused – it is to the Jews in exile in Babylon.]

 

 

v.12-15 He is taken to the exiles

 

v.12 Then the Spirit lifted me up, and I heard behind me a loud rumbling sound as the glory of the LORD rose from the place where it was standing. 

v.13 It was the sound of the wings of the living creatures brushing against each other and the sound of the wheels beside them, a loud rumbling sound. 

v.14 The Spirit then lifted me up and took me away, and I went in bitterness and in the anger of my spirit, with the strong hand of the LORD on me. 

v.15  I came to the exiles who lived at Tel Aviv near the Kebar River. And there, where they were living, I sat among them for seven days—deeply distressed.

 

[Notes: Still in the vision [v.12-14] the Spirit empowers Ezekiel and as the whole heavenly visions starts to move he is carried away in the Spirit. As the vision subsides he makes his way to the exiles and sat in silence with them for a week.]

 

 

v.16-21 Ezekiel's Responsibility

 

v.16   At the end of seven days the word of the LORD came to me

v.17   “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the people of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me. 

v.18   [i] When I say to a wicked person, ‘You will surely die,' and you do not warn them or speak out to dissuade them from their evil ways in order to save their life, that wicked person will die for their sin, and I will hold you accountable for their blood. 

v.19 [ii] But if you do warn the wicked person and they do not turn from their wickedness or from their evil ways, they will die for their sin; but you will have saved yourself. 

v.20 [iii] “Again, when a righteous person turns from their righteousness and does evil, and I put a stumbling block before them, they will die. Since you did not warn them, they will die for their sin. The righteous things that person did will not be remembered, and I will hold you accountable for their blood. 

v.21  [iv] But if you do warn the righteous person not to sin and they do not sin, they will surely live because they took warning, and you will have saved yourself.” 

 

[Notes: At the end of the week the Lord clarifies his responsibility which is great: if he fails to warn he will be held accountable, if he warns and they ignore him, that's down to them. Righteousness only counts for as long as it remains.]

 

 

v.22,23 He sees the glory again

 

v.22   The hand of the LORD was on me there, and he said to me , “Get up and go out to the plain, and there I will speak to you.” 

v.23   So I got up and went out to the plain. And the glory of the LORD was standing there, like the glory I had seen by the Kebar River, and I fell facedown. 

 

[Notes: The Lord then takes him away and he sees the vision again.]

 

 

v.24-27 He is made inactive in his house

 

v.24   Then the Spirit came into me and raised me to my feet. He spoke to me and said: “Go, shut yourself inside your house

v.25   And you, son of man, they will tie with ropes; you will be bound so that you cannot go out among the people. 

v.26   I will make your tongue stick to the roof of your mouth so that you will be silent and unable to rebuke them, for they are a rebellious people. 

v.27   But when I speak to you, I will open your mouth and you shall say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says.' Whoever will listen let them listen, and whoever will refuse let them refuse; for they are a rebellious people.

 

[Notes: He is told to stay in his house and it will be like he is tied up [paralyzed?] and silenced until God gives him the word for the people.]

 

[Concluding Note: So far he hasn't actually had a word to speak to the people. In summary all that has happened is

•  he's had the heavenly vision [ch.1]

•  he's been told he's going to his own people and warned what they're like [ch.2]

•  he goes and sits with the exiles for a week then retreats to his house [v.3]

These closing words basically end the first Part, the calling of Ezekiel, and pave the way for the divine instructions that follow for Ezekiel to carry out a number of prophetic portrayals of what is about to happen. Note however, that initially Ezekiel will remain silent [v.26] until a point in time when the Lord will command him to speak out [v.27] His words of rebuke.]

   

    

Continue to Chapter 4