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Old and New Testament.
said to me,
stand on your
feet that I may
KJV: And he said unto me, Son
of man, stand upon thy feet, and I will speak unto thee.
It is the appearance of the likeness of the honour of Jehovah, and I see,
and fall on my face, and I hear a voice speaking, and He saith unto me, 'Son
of man, stand on thy feet, and I speak with thee.'
Ezekiel had received his initial "job training", a vision
of the glory of God, the single most important aspect of his preparation for
his difficult task. Speaking truth to rebellious
people is not an easy task but the key is doing so not in our power but
God's power. In Acts we see the early church facing intense opposition and
yet Luke records that as the Jewish leaders
"observed the confidence of
Peter and John, and understood that they were uneducated and untrained men,
they were marveling, and began to recognize them as having been with
Jesus." (Acts 4:13)
Would they say the same about me?
Son of man:
(Ezek 2:3,6,8; 3:1,4,10,17; 4:1; 5:1; 7:2; 12:3; 13:2; 14:3,13; 15:2; 16:2;
17:2; 20:3; 37:3; Ps 8:4; Da 8:17; Mt 16:13, 14, 15, 16; Jn 3:13,16) It is noticeable that
the phrase (ben adam), as addressed to a prophet, occurs only
in Ezekiel, in whom we find it not less than eighty times, and in Daniel
8:17. As used elsewhere, e.g. in Nu 23:19; Psalm 8:4; Job 25:6; Isaiah
51:12; 56:2,and in Ezekiel's use of it, it is probably connected with the
history of Adam, as created from the ground (adamah) in Genesis 2:7; 3:19.
the Gospels "Son of man" refers to Jesus
over 80 times where it most
often emphasizes His humanity and His dependence on God’s Holy Spirit.
Son of Man (Jesus) - Matt
8:20; 9:6; 10:23; 11:19; 12:8, 32, 40; 13:37, 41; 16:13, 27f; 17:9, 12, 22;
18:11; 19:28; 20:18, 28; 24:27, 30, 37, 39, 44; 25:31; 26:2, 24, 45, 64;
Mark 2:10, 28; 8:31, 38; 9:9, 12, 31; 10:33, 45; 13:26; 14:21, 41, 62; Luke
5:24; 6:5, 22; 7:34; 9:22, 26, 44, 56, 58; 11:30; 12:8, 10, 40; 17:22, 24,
26, 30; 18:8, 31; 19:10; 21:27, 36; 22:22, 48, 69; 24:7; John 1:51; 3:13f;
5:27; 6:27, 53, 62; 8:28; 9:35; 12:23, 34; 13:31; Acts 7:56; Heb 2:6; Rev
JFB adds that
"as applied to Messiah, implies...His
lowliness (Ps 8:4-8; Mt 16:13; 20:18) and His exaltation (Da 7:13,
14, Mt 26:64; Jn 5:27)...at His first and second
This designation "son
of man" emphasizes Ezekiel's
human frailty and ultimately his need to depend on God's vision, Spirit and
message for the ability to carry out his commission.
The prophet is reminded, in the very moment of his highest inspiration, of
his Adam nature with all its infirmity and limitations. In the use of a like
phrase (bar enosh, instead of ben adam) in
Daniel 7:13 we have the same
truth implied. There one like unto man in all things is called to share the
sovereignty of the "Ancient of Days," the Eternal One. Here the prophet
Ezekiel, nothing in himself, is called to be the messenger of God to other
sons of men. It is in many ways suggestive that our Lord should have chosen
the same formula for constant use when speaking of himself.
"though God had here a splendid retinue of holy angles about
His throne, who were ready to go on His errands, yet He passes them all by,
and pitches on Ezekiel, a
son of man, to be His
messenger to the house of Israel"
an interesting note on "son
of man" on the translation
of this phrase in the New RSV noting that this version
of man” as “mortal” to avoid the “masculine-oriented” words son and man;
this obscures the link with Daniel and our Lord’s usage."
He goes on to
quote Taylor's comment that
first words that God addresses to Ezekiel appropriately put the prophet in
his rightful place before the majesty which he has been seeing in his
vision. The phrase son of man
is a Hebraism which emphasizes Ezekiel’s insignificance or mere humanity. “Son
of” indicates “partaking of the nature of” and so when combined with ’adãm,
“man,” it means nothing more than “human being.” In the plural it is a
common phrase for “mankind”.
The Bible knowledge Commentary
adds that "son of man"
"seems to stress the distance that separates man from God. The word ”son“
expresses family and hereditary relationships, but often moves beyond the
mere biological to denote association or identification with someone or
something (cf ”sons of God,“ Ge 6:2, 6:4 ”son of the
dawn,“ Isa 14:12).
By this title God was stressing Ezekiel’s association with the human race."
Stand upon thy feet:
(Ezek 1:28; Da10:11,19; Mt 17:7; Acts 9:6; 26:16) The attitude of adoration is changed, by the
Divine command, into that of expectant service, that of awe and dread for
the courage of a soldier of the Lord of hosts (compare the parallels of
Ezekiel 3:24; 43:3, 5; Daniel 8:18).
JFB adds that
"Humiliation on our part
is followed by exaltation on God's part (Ezek 3:23, 24; Job 22:29; Jas
4:6; 1Pe 5:5)" and that "On thy
feet" "was the fitting attitude when he was called on to walk and work
for God" (Eph 5:8; 6:15).
Calvin comments that
prostrates his people so as to leave them lying upon the earth, but
continually raises them afterwards....This
work of the Spirit, then, is joined with the word of God. But a distinction
is made, that we may know that the external word is of no avail by itself,
unless animated by the power of the Spirit."
Compare Ezekiel's experience with that of
Paul Who fell to the ground upon seeing "the glory of the LORD"
Who then commanded him to
"arise, and stand on your feet; for this purpose I have
appeared to you, to appoint you a minister and a witness not only to the
things which you have seen, but also to the things in which I will appear to
you; delivering you from the Jewish people and from the Gentiles, to whom
I am sending you, to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness
to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, in order that they may
receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been
sanctified by faith in Me." ( Acts 26:16-18)
2:2 As He
spoke to me the
entered me and
set me on my
feet; and I
KJV: And the spirit entered into
me when he spake unto me, and set me upon my feet, that I heard him that
spake unto me.
And there doth come into me a spirit, when He hath spoken unto me, and it
causeth me to stand on my feet, and I hear Him who is speaking unto me.
Spirit entered me" (Ezek
3:12, 3:14 3:24; 36:27; Nu11:25, 11:26; Jdg 13:25; 1Sa16:13; Neh 9:30; Joel
2:28, 2:29; Rev11:11). Did you notice the sequence? First, God told Ezekiel
to stand, but then He Himself provided the enablement to stand by the power
of His Spirit. God's commands always include His enablement to carry out the
command. (cf Php 2:12, 2:13) This is undoubtedly the same Spirit Who
directed the movement of the living creatures in Ezek 1:12, 20, 21.
"The divine Word is ever accompanied by
the Spirit." (Ge 1:2,
The Lxx has "the Spirit came upon
me" rather than "entered
me" but the idea is still
the same. "The Spirit" that came upon Ezekiel was to equip and empower
him to address the people. Whatever task God calls you to, He will also
enable you to complete it.
In Old Testament times the Holy Spirit
did not indwell all believers but indwelt selected persons temporarily for
divine service. David's prayer of contrition "do not take Thy Holy Spirit
from me" (Ps 51:11) reflects the temporary indwelling by the Spirit in the Old
Covenant. Obviously in the New Covenant believer's "body is a temple of the
Holy Spirit Who is in you Whom you have from God" (1Cor 6:19) and have
therefore been "sealed in (Christ) with the Holy Spirit of promise Who is
given as a pledge of our inheritance" (Eph 1:13, 14) but we can still "quench
the Spirit" (1Th 5:19) or "grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by Whom (we)
were sealed for the day of redemption." (Eph 4:30)
Samuel speaking to Saul who is to be
Israel's first king tells him
"the Spirit of the LORD will come upon you
mightily, and you shall prophesy with them (a group of prophets) and be
changed into another man." (1Sa 10:6)
"It’s ironic, when you compare
Ezekiel’s experience with what happens in a charismatic service today. In a
Benny Hinn meeting supposedly it’s the Holy Spirit who knocks you down -
while it’s man who helps you up. But that’s not what happens to Ezekiel. The
Spirit doesn’t knock him down, but helps him up. Ezekiel humbles himself and
falls on his face, then the Spirit lifts him up! Guys, don’t be mistaken,
the Holy Spirit doesn’t slay us - He stands us up again, after we’ve humbled
said to me,
man, I am
sending you to the
Israel, to a
rebelled against Me;
they and their
KJV: And he said unto me, Son
of man, I send thee to the children of Israel, to a rebellious nation that
hath rebelled against me: they and their fathers have transgressed against
me, even unto this very day.
And He saith unto Me, 'Son of man, I am sending thee unto the sons of
Israel, unto nations who are rebels, who have rebelled against Me; they and
their fathers have transgressed against Me, unto this self-same day.
am sending you" (Ezek
3:4, 5, 6, 7, 8; 2Chr 36:15,16; Is 6:8, 9, 10; Jer 1:7; 7:2; 25:3, 4, 5, 6,
7; 26:2, 3, 4, 5, 6; 36:2; Mk 12:2, 3, 4, 5; Lk 24:47,48; Jn 20:21,22; Ro
The LORD now explains the purpose of the vision and the Spirit's enablement,
namely, that being armed with authority he might more freely discharge his
duty as Prophet among the rebellious people.
(Hebrew marad) (Ezek 16:1-63; 20:1-49; 23:1-49) (Ezek
20:18-30; Nu 20:10; 32:13,14; Dt 9:24,27; 1Sa 8:7,8; 2Ki 17:17-20; Ezra 9:7;
Neh 9:16-18,26,33-35; Ps 106:16-21,28,32-40; Jer 3:25; Jer 16:11,12; 44:21;
Da 9:5-13; Acts 7:51)
See Torrey's Topic
Rebellion Against God
God's chosen people were rebels from
their "birth" and had repeatedly demonstrated opposition to the God's
Webster adds that "rebellion"
implies an "open formidable resistance that is often unsuccessful"!
in the phrase "Rebellious
people" is the Hebrew word
"goyim" which elsewhere refers to the Gentile heathen and that
may be Ezekiel's sense here.
JFB comments that
"the word (goyim)
is usually applied to the heathen or Gentiles (but) here to the
Jews, as being altogether heathenized with idolatries. So in Isa 1:10, they are named "Sodom" and "Gomorrah." They were now
become "Lo-ammi," not the people of God (Ho 1:9)."
Calvin agrees commenting that
"among the Jews (goyim) is a word of reproach; for they
often call “Gentiles” "goyim" as if...“profane,”
“rejected,” and altogether alienated from God. Lastly..."goyim"
means with them “pollution” and “abomination”. In ancient days
Gentiles were "to the Jews like dung, and the off-scouring of the world"
because they were "goyim". And there is no doubt
that this pride filled the minds of the people in the days of the Prophet.
God therefore calls them"
which would be the ultimate affront.
The Hebrew word for
rebel is used in the following passages:
For example in Nu 14:9, 10 God had
clearly warned "Only do not
rebel against the LORD; and do not fear the
people of the land, for they shall be our prey. Their protection has been
removed from them, and the LORD is with us; do not fear them. But all the
congregation said to stone them
(Moses and Aaron) with stones. Then
the glory of the LORD appeared in the tent of meeting to all the sons of
Their rebellion was not against Moses' leadership but
ultimately was against the LORD. Later God says that they had
"rebelled against My command at the
waters of Meribah."
after having entering the Promised Land under the leadership of Joshua, the congregation makes what would prove to be a
"Far be it from us that we should
rebel against the LORD
and turn away from following the LORD this day, by building an altar for
burnt offering, for grain offering or for sacrifice, besides the altar of
the LORD our God which is before His tabernacle." (Josh 22:29)
prayer in chapter 9 he specifically addresses the rebellion of Israel, even
including himself in his confession:
"And I prayed to the LORD my God and
confessed and said, "Alas, O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps His
covenant and lovingkindness for those who love Him and keep His
commandments,5 we have sinned, committed iniquity, acted wickedly, and
rebelled, even turning aside from Thy commandments and ordinances.6
"Moreover, we have not listened to Thy servants the prophets, who spoke in
Thy name to our kings, our princes, our fathers, and all the people of the
land....9 "To the Lord our God belong compassion and forgiveness, for we
have rebelled against Him;10 nor have we obeyed the voice of the LORD
our God, to walk in His teachings which He set before us through His
servants the prophets."
Thus we see that Israel had been a "rebellious people" from before they
entered the Promised Land after being freed from Egyptian bondage to the
time of Daniel taken captive in 605BC ("to
this very day")
Could Israel blame their fate on the
transgressions of their fathers? God says both
fathers have transgressed"
against Me. This statement clearly teaches (they...their
fathers) that each individual is responsible for his or her
own sin. This sin problem is not something that has just developed but has
been "festering" and necessitates a holy God's righteous judgment. Like
father like son --The "children" are walking in their "father's'" footsteps.
is the Hebrew word "pasha" which is the strongest word
available for expressing a covenant violation or one who breaks away from
authority. The word is used in the diplomatic arena to express treaty
violation (2Ki 1:1; 3:5, 7).
Pasha conveys the fundamental
idea of a breach of relationships (civil or religious) between two parties.
It means to be in open defiance of
an authority or standard of an agreement. Israel stood condemned of
rebelling against her King and His covenant (cf Isa1:28; 48:8; Hos 8:1).
Webster adds that "transgress" means to
go beyond set or prescribed limits (in this case the "limits" set by the
The International Standard Bible
Encyclopedia explains that
"An act of “going beyond” or violating a duty, command,
or law. Thus the term connotes lawlessness, iniquity, fault, ungodliness,
unrighteousness, and wrongdoing...it
has to do with the violation of a relationship...The
Bible warns that the person who
transgresses is under the
power of that act. Bildad the Shuhite wondered aloud whether Job’s children
had been destroyed because God had delivered them into the power of their
(Job 8:4). More commonly
expressed is the warning that repeated
ensnares those who engage in it (Pr 12:13; 29:6) and (figuratively)
weighs them down (Isa 24:20).
transgression reinforces an
attitude of defiance toward God, for there is no longer any fear in the
heart of the transgressor
prophesied that the Servant of Yahweh would be stricken for the
transgression of Yahweh’s people (Isa. 53:8), and he promised
redemption for those of Jacob who turned from their transgression (Isa
In conclusion, could individual Jews
even though in exile in Babylon be forgiven? David answers
is he whose
transgression is forgiven,
whose sin is covered! How blessed is the man to whom the LORD does not
impute iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no
deceit!" (Ps 32:1, 2)
"The idolatry which
Ezekiel saw as Judah's blight before he left Jerusalem was the same
condition he faced inn the settlements of Jewish exiles in Babylonia. The
judgment of captivity did not stir the first contingents of exiles to
repentance. In fact, they found it very hard to believe, as Ezekiel was
prophesying, that Jerusalem would actually be destroyed by the Babylonians.
They were loath to believe that Jehovah had given world dominion to Babylon,
and that His will was for Judah to submit to this enemy. Hence, it was
necessary for Ezekiel in Babylon -- and Jeremiah in Jerusalem -- to show the
people how unfounded were any expectations of immediate deliverance." (Irving Jensen, Jensen's Survey of the Old Testament, 360).
attention to the principle that
"when God wishes to stir us up to
obedience, He does not always promise a happy result of our labor:
but sometimes He so puts our obedience to the test, that He wishes us to be
content with His command, even if our labor should be deemed ridiculous
before men....He sometimes proves His people...providing that
whatever be the result of their labors, it is sufficient for them to obey
Even as the LORD was giving Ezekiel a difficult charge, In
a similar way the LORD also warned Isaiah of the futility of much of his
preaching, a telling him to
"Go, and tell this people: 'Keep on
listening, but do not perceive. Keep on looking, but do not understand.'
"Render the hearts of this people insensitive, their ears dull, and their
eyes dim, lest they see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand
with their hearts, and return and be healed. Then I said, "Lord, how long?"
And He answered, "Until cities are devastated and without inhabitant, houses
are without people, and the land is utterly desolate..." (Isa 6:9-11)
And so the Lord told Isaiah (and later Ezekiel) that his message would not
result in national revival for the people had not listened before and they
would not listen now and that in fact upon hearing Isaiah’s message, Israel
would become even more hardened against the Lord. How would you respond if
God told you the ministry you are doing today would be viewed as a failure
in men's eyes! This is a
difficult word, but the point is not to seek to be fruitful but to submit
and be faithful! How are you
doing? Has God called you into a difficult field where you are seeing little
if any fruit? If God has called you and you are certain of that, as the 1956
Greyhound bus commercial used to say "It's such a comfort to travel by
bus and leave the driving to us!" Leave the "driving" to God. You
"confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in
you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus." (Phil 1:6)
Calvin goes on
"For some who seem
to be sufficiently ready to obey, yet when difficulties and obstacles occur,
desist in the middle of their course, and many recede altogether; and some
we see who have renounced their vocation, because they had conceived great
and excessive hopes of success, but when the event does not answer their
expectations, they think themselves discharged from duty, and even murmur
against God, and reject the burden, or rather shake off what had been
imposed upon them. Because, then, many retreat from the course they had
undertaken, because they do not experience the success they had imagined, or
had presumed upon in their minds, therefore before Ezekiel begins to speak,
God sets before him trials of this kind, and informs him that he would have
to deal with a
sending you to them
children, and you
say to them,
KJV: For they are impudent
children and stiff hearted. I do send thee unto them; and thou shalt say
unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD.
And they to
whom I send thee are children of a hard face, and of an obstinate heart: and
thou shalt say to them: Thus saith the Lord God:
And the sons are brazen-faced and hard-hearted to whom I am sending thee,
and thou hast said unto them: Thus said the Lord Jehovah:
am sending you": God's
"jobs" are initiated by God. Listen to what even our Lord Jesus said
centuries later (also sent to a "stubborn and obstinate people"):
can do nothing on My own initiative. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment
is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent
Me." (Jn 5:30)
This is a good pattern for all God's servants to follow. To
whom is Ezekiel sent? To Jews already in exile, Jews who have already felt
the sting of God's wrath and yet who are still not broken. What does God
ultimately desire for these exiles to do? Surely he would be pleased if they
confessed and repented. Would He forgive them? Obviously he would. Would
they be returned to Jerusalem? No the consequences of the rebellion had
sealed the fate of the holy city and holy temple. God in the midst of wrath
is remembering mercy and sending a warning to those already punished. The
point is that if you have breathe in your lungs, no matter how heinous your
rebellion against God, He still desires your repentance rather than your
destruction. Peter affirms the Father's heart writing that
"the Lord is
not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward
you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance."
(2 Pet 3:9)
Compare God's commission to that of
Isaiah (Isa. 6:9, 10, 11, 12) and Jeremiah (Jer. 1:17, 18, 19), both of whom were also
sent to a rebellious people.
God had prepared
Ezekiel for this commission by giving him a vision of His glory which
changed him forever. We may not see visions like Ezekiel but God still
desires to reveal Himself to His saints that we might be prepared (changed
forever) for His service for His glory. Consider boldly praying like Moses'
"I pray Thee, show me Thy glory!" (Ex 33:18) and then wait
expectantly to see and hear His answer as you commune with Him in His word,
through meditation and prayer.
Stubborn and obstinate
Rebellion Against God
National Sins) "defiant and
stubborn children" (GWT), "sons are brazen-faced and hard-hearted" (YLT),
"impudent and stubborn children" (NKJV), "children of a hard
face, and of an obstinate heart:" (DRA), "the children are
brazen-faced and stiff-hearted," (JPS)
is actually two Hebrew words which are literally "stiff faced".
This implies they were callous to their shame! Jeremiah had accused the
people of Jerusalem of no longer even being able to blush! This reminds one
of Paul's description of the lost describing them as "having become
callous, have given themselves over to sensuality, for the practice of every
kind of impurity with greediness." (Eph 4:19)
The word for "stiff" (hard, cruel, stubborn) is derived from a
Hebrew root that apparently arose from an agricultural milieu and which
emphasizes the effect exerted by an overly heavy yoke, which is hard to
bear, and secondarily, the rebellious resistance of oxen to the yoke! God's
chosen children were acting like dumb resisting oxen!
Calvin sees in
this word picture an emphasis on the countenance of the Jews writing
the Jews were not only rebellious against God and puffed up with proud
contempt, but their impiety was so desperate that they opposed themselves
to God without disguise, as if they had been horned oxen or furious
bulls. We know that hypocrisy often lies hid in the mind, and although men
swell with malice, yet they do not betray what they inwardly nourish. But
the Prophet here signifies that the Israelites were so immersed in impiety
(irreverence, ungodliness), that they displayed themselves as the
open enemies of God in their very countenances. The result is, that the
Prophet, while he applied himself to perform the commands of God, ought so
to determine with himself, when he approaches the people, that his teaching
would be not only useless as to them, because it would not be received with
the reverence which it deserves, but would be even exposed to many
reproaches: since the Israelites were not only filled with a hidden contempt
of God, but they openly showed their ferocity, so to speak," since they were
of so brazen a front that they would without doubt purposely reject the
in this verse is two Hebrew words, one meaning hard or firm and the other word meaning
heart and thus describes these children as "hard-hearted".
"Heart" (leb) in Scripture is the part of our being where we desire,
deliberate, and decide. It has been described as "the place of conscious and
decisive spiritual activity," "the comprehensive term for a person as a
whole; his feelings, desires, passions, thought, understanding and will,"
and "the center of a person. The place to which God turns" and in the
present context the place which is turned against the Lord God. Instead of
confessing their sins and seeking repentance, they hardened their hearts and
refused to accept God's Word as subsequent chapters reveal.
Elwell adds that “obstinate”
"describes the people on the outside—their passive,
emotionless faces. The second and (stubborn)
describes the people on the inside—hardhearted. Obviously these are not
upbeat, encouraging words for this exilic pastor. But they are accurate, and
they delineate precisely the enormity of the task before the prophet. His
congregation is not a promising one." (Evangelical
Commentary on the Bible. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Book House)
God declared to Moses shortly after
their liberation from Egypt
"I have seen this people, and behold, they
are an obstinate
people" (Ex 32:9)
God went on
to add tell Moses
"Now then let Me alone, that My anger may burn against
them, and that I may destroy them; and I will make of you a great nation."
Then Moses entreated the LORD his God, and said, "O LORD, why doth Thine
anger burn against Thy people whom Thou hast brought out from the land of
Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand? (Ex 32:10-11)
says the LORD This exact
phrase occurs 418 times in the Old Testament (in the NASB). It is
interesting that the first 9 uses in Scripture are in declarations by God's
prophet Moses to Pharaoh who hardened his heart to the message even as did
the children of Israel.
Clarke adds that
Every preacher of
God’s word should take heed that it is God’s message he delivers to the
people. Let him not suppose, because it is according to his own creed or
confession of faith, that therefore it is God’s word. False doctrines and
fallacies without end are foisted on the world in this way. Bring the creed
first to the Word of God, and scrupulously try whether it be right; and when
this is done, leave it where you please; take the Bible, and warn them from
God’s word recorded there.
God is the Hebrew 'adonay
yehovah translated by the NIV and NLT as "the Sovereign LORD"
Ezekiel used this title of God 211 times
(see uses below). Elsewhere in the Old Testament it occurs
only 103 times. This name stresses both God’s sovereign authority and His
Lord God in
Ezekiel - Ezek 2:4; 3:11, 27; 4:14; 5:5, 7f, 11; 6:3, 11; 7:2, 5; 8:1; 9:8;
11:7f, 13, 16f, 21; 12:10, 19, 23, 25, 28; 13:3, 8f, 13, 16, 18, 20; 14:4,
6, 11, 14, 16, 18, 20f, 23; 15:6, 8; 16:3, 8, 14, 19, 23, 30, 36, 43, 48,
59, 63; 17:3, 9, 16, 19, 22; 18:3, 9, 23, 30, 32; 20:3, 5, 27, 30f, 33, 36,
39f, 44, 47, 49; 21:7, 13, 24, 26, 28; 22:3, 12, 19, 28, 31; 23:22, 28, 32,
34f, 46, 49; 24:3, 6, 9, 14, 21, 24; 25:3, 6, 8, 12ff; 26:3, 5, 7, 14f, 19,
21; 27:3; 28:2, 6, 10, 12, 22, 24f; 29:3, 8, 13, 16, 19f; 30:2, 6, 10, 13,
22; 31:10, 15, 18; 32:3, 8, 11, 14, 16, 31f; 33:11, 25, 27; 34:2, 8, 10f,
15, 17, 20, 30f; 35:3, 6, 11, 14; 36:2ff, 13ff, 22f, 32f, 37; 37:3, 5, 9,
12, 19, 21; 38:3, 10, 14, 17f, 21; 39:1, 5, 8, 10, 13, 17, 20, 25, 29;
43:18f, 27; 44:2, 6, 9, 12, 15, 27; 45:9, 15, 18; 46:1, 16; 47:13, 23;
Judah's sin of
had become so entrenched that her fate was sealed: exile in Babylon. God
sent the prophet Ezekiel to proclaim the message of judgment upon Judah.
Even when God's people become hopeless rebels, He does not leave them
without a prophetic word of warning and hope. The parallel expression
revolt (Hebrew marad) comes from Near Eastern laws and covenant
treaties. It refers to mutiny against a legally-established vassal
relationship. Sin is agreeing to be God's servant and then actively backing
out of and refusing to abide by the agreement. Only an obstinate and
stubborn people (literally stiff of face and firm of heart) would dare
mutiny against God."
(Disciple's Study Bible)
The major part of the
first half of the Book of Ezekiel is spent in presenting the stubbornness of
the people known by His name and God’s wrath against them because of their
obstinacy. Moses wrote has a parallel thought
You spread out our
sins before you-- our secret sins--and you see them all.” (NLT, Ps 90:8).
The emphasis in the New Testament is upon the love and grace of God. Today
we don't talk much about God's holiness and wrath. It is because of
the wrath of God that we need the grace of God. The tendency in the church
today is to give the “good” news and to minimize the bad news. The fact is
that the good news is "good" only in the context of "bad news". In our
efforts to be consumer friendly, many pulpits refrain from preaching the
wrath of God lest they frighten away the “seekers! And the tragic result is
that we have produced a milk toast gospel and a "soft" Christianity that
talks mainly about the promises of God, without mentioning our need for
commitment to God. The result is God has been lowered to the level of a
cosmic vending machine.
Packer in "Knowing God" has this to say about God’s wrath
habit throughout the Christian church is to play the subject down. Those who
still believe in the wrath of God (not all do) say little about it; perhaps
they do not think much about it. To an age which has unashamedly sold itself
to the gods of greed, pride, sex and self-will, the church mumbles about
God’s kindness, but virtually says nothing about God’s judgment.
There is no other book in the whole Bible that presents the sins of God’s
people in as much detail as the Book of Ezekiel. Do you want to get the full
picture of the sinfulness of man? Do you want to get the full picture of the
hopeless situation of man? Do you want to get the full picture of the
awesome character of God and His holiness? Do you want to get the full
picture of the wrath of God? Study the Book of Ezekiel, and your life will
Grant, O Almighty God, since
thou hast counted us worthy of enjoying the privilege of daily
listening to thy word, that it may not find our hearts of stone and
our minds of iron, but may we so submit ourselves to thee with all due
docility, that we may truly perceive thee to be our Father, and may be
confirmed in the confidence of our adoption, as long as thou
perseverest to address us, until at length we enjoy not merely thy
voice, but also the aspect of thy glory in thy heavenly kingdom, which
thine only-begotten Son has acquired for us by his blood. — Amen.
or not--for they are
house --they will
know that a
And they, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear, (for they
are a rebellious house,) yet shall know that there hath been a prophet among
NLT: And whether they
listen or not--for remember, they are rebels--at least they will know they
have had a prophet among them.
And thou, son of man, fear them not, nor be dismayed at their face; (for
they will madden and will rise up against thee round about, and thou
dwellest in the midst of scorpions): be not afraid of their words, nor be
dismayed at their countenance, for it is a provoking house.
and they --
whether they hear, or whether they forbear, for a rebellious house they are
-- have known that a prophet hath been in their midst.
"Among them" is more literally right in the middle (Young's
Literal "a prophet hath been in their midst" and the Greek Lxx
has mesos = middle or in the middle) of the rebellious people, people
who reserve the right to make the final decisions in their life independent
of what would please and/or honor God. Thus positioned he would be able to
reach the maximum number of rebels.
they listen or not" (Ezek
2:7; 3:10,11,27; Mt 10:12, 13, 14, 15; Acts 13:46; Ro3:3; 2Co 2:15, 16, 17)
And so we see that Ezekiel was warned
that his ministry would not necessarily be well received. Things have not
changed much in almost 2500 years since Ezekiel's time. Believers today are
forewarned that a true presentation of the gospel will be offensive to
unsaved rebels for the cross is a "stumbling block" (Gal5:11)
and "the word of the Cross is to those who are perishing foolishness, but
to us who are being saved it is the power of God" (1Cor 1:18)
As we go
forth with God's message in His authority we will be
"a fragrance of
Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are
perishing, to the one an aroma from death to death, to the other an aroma
from life to life." (2Cor 2:15 16)
How would like to go to work next week
and you receive your assignment with the "guarantee" that you are being given
"mission impossible" and you will almost certainly fail to achieve the hoped
for results? That's essentially the message that God was giving to Ezekiel.
But read the comment below regarding what would ultimately determine the
"success" of Ezekiel's mission!
so hard for us to realize. It is so easy to become discouraged when others
do not respond to our sharing of God’s Word. Yet the Lord told Ezekiel, and
through him us, not to measure the importance of our ministry by how
others respond. God’s people are called to faithfully communicate God’s
Word. It is faithfulness, not success, that is the measure of our worth
as His servants." (The Bible reader's companion.
Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books)
They will know that a
prophet has been among them
(Ezek 3:19; 33:9,33; Lk 10:10, 11, 12; Jn 15:22)
How would they know? Obviously in time the message that Ezekiel spoke to
them would come to pass and validate his credentials as a true prophet of
the Sovereign Lord.
And so we see in chapter 33 the declaration that "when
it comes to pass-- as surely it will-- then they will know that a prophet
has been in their midst." (Ezek 33:33). The clear implication of this statement are that God in
His longsuffering and lovingkindness has given rebellious Israel due warning
and that the rebellious house is without excuse for not receiving and
responding to the warnings.
(More detailed discussion of prophets in Int'l Std Bible Encyclopedia
Pt 4)is the Hebrew word for
prophet is nabi/nabiy', derived from a verb
signifying "to bubble forth" like a fountain or boil forth and hence means
one who announces or pours forth the declarations of God or who speaks with
fervor of mind under divine inspiration.
The primary idea of a prophet, therefore, is a declarer, announcer, one who
utters a communication.
Nelson's New Christian Dictionary describes a "prophet"
"spokesperson for or messenger of God who foretells events that God
in his foreknowledge has transmitted to him or her or declares the oracles
of God for...edification.... The message may be one of admonition or one of
consolation and comfort. In contrast to teaching which is bound by
tradition, prophecy has the character of a revelation."
Easton's Dictionary adds that a
"in God's name and by his authority (Ex 7:1). He is the mouth by which God speaks to men (Jer
1:9; Is 51:16), and hence what the prophet
says is not of man but of God (2Pe 1:20,21; cf Heb 3:7; Acts 4:25; 28:25). Prophets were the immediate
organs of God for the communication of His mind and will to men (Dt
The whole Word of God may in this general sense be spoken of as prophetic,
inasmuch as it was written by men who received the revelation they
communicated from God, no matter what its nature might be. The foretelling
of future events was not a necessary but only an incidental part of the
prophetic office. The great task assigned to the prophets whom God raised up
among the people was "to correct moral and religious abuses, to proclaim the
great moral and religious truths which are connected with the character of
God, and which lie at the foundation of his government."
Locke adds that
three things: prediction; singing by the dictate of the Spirit; and
understanding and explaining the mysterious, hidden sense of Scripture by an
immediate illumination and motion of the Spirit."
During the later years
of the monarchy in Judah, before the Nebuchadnezzar laid his first siege
against Jerusalem (605BC), the Jews in Judah had taken Him for granted. They
assumed that God’s covenant with their forefathers was irrevocable (which is
true), the ownership of the land was permanent (which is true), and that
they were immune to any foreign captivity as long as God was in their midst
because of the temple in Jerusalem (this was true in one sense but as
described in chapters 8-11 the glory departs and He is no longer in their
midst). To their dismay and shock, Jerusalem was captured in 605BC, then
again in 597BC when Ezekiel was taken with 10,000 into exile. Can you not
see the mindset of the Jews in Ezekiel's audience? They were asking "How
could this happen? Is our God impotent before the Babylonian gods? Has He
forgotten us? Why has He abandoned us?" And thus they were likely angry,
disillusioned, bitter, and cynical much like Jews we have heard describe the
horrible events of the Holocaust in Nazi Germany -- "Where was God when
Hitler killed so many?" To these people, Ezekiel
is called to bring God’s message to the people who have constantly rebelled
thorns are with you
dismayed at their
presence, for they
KJV: And thou, son of man, be
not afraid of them, neither be afraid of their words, though briers and
thorns be with thee, and thou dost dwell among scorpions: be not afraid of
their words, nor be dismayed at their looks, though they be a rebellious
Son of man, do not fear them. Don't be afraid even though
their threats are sharp as thorns and barbed like briers, and they sting
like scorpions. Do not be dismayed by their dark scowls. For remember, they
And you, son of man, do not be afraid of them or
their words. Do not be afraid, though briers and thorns are all around you
and you live among scorpions. Do not be afraid of what they say or terrified
by them, though they are a rebellious house.
'And thou, son of man, thou art not afraid of them, yea, of their words thou
art not afraid, for briers and thorns are with thee, and near scorpions thou
art dwelling, of their words thou art not afraid, and of their faces thou
art not affrighted, for they are a rebellious house,
fear them nor fear their words"
(Ezek 3:8,9; 2Ki1:15; Is 51:12; Jer 1:8,17; Mic 3:8; Mt 10:28; Lk 12:4; Acts
4:13,19,29; Ep 6:19; Php 1:28; 2Ti 1:7 1Pe 3:14).)
What does God repeat to Ezekiel? Why? Three times he tells Ezekiel not to
fear, implying circumstances will occur that could cause him to shrink back
in fear. His hearers will mistreat him because of his message; but he is not
to let the apprehension of this persuade him to desist from speaking the
It is interesting that the most frequent command by Jesus to His
disciples was "do not fear". (KJV has "fear not" 13 times-
Matt 1:20; 10:28; 28:5; Luke 1:13, 30; 2:10; 5:10; 8:50; 12:7, 32; 18:4;
John 12:15; Rev 1:17) The subsequent chapters reveal that
Ezekiel learned his lesson well. Nowhere is there even a hint that became
dismayed, cowered in fear or hesitated to proclaim God’s message.
(Hebrew = chathath) has the basic meaning of "to be
here transferred to the mind, and is to be metaphorically understood for
being broken in spirit".
Calvin goes on
to add that
"this passage teaches us that none are fit to undertake the
prophetic office, unless those who are armed with fortitude and perseverance
whatever may happen, so that they do not fear any threats, nor hesitate or
vacillate when oppressed by unjust calamities. So Paul says, (2Cor6:8)
that he persevered through both evil report and good report, although he
was unworthily slandered by the wicked. Whoever, therefore, wishes to
prepare himself faithfully for undertaking the office of a teacher, should
be endued with such constancy that he may oppose, as it were, an iron front
to all calumnies and curses, threats and terrors."
Webster says that "dismayed"
means to be
"deprived of courage, resolution, and initiative through the
pressure of sudden fear or anxiety or great perplexity...unnerved
or deterred by arousing fear, apprehension, or aversion with the implication
that one is disconcerted and at a loss as to how to deal with something."
This man filled with a vision of God's glory, empowered by His Spirit
and nourished by His sweet word would not be deterred by the resistance of
the rebels. He lived up to his name which means "God my strength." May his
God had given Jeremiah a similar warning to "gird up your
loins, and arise, and speak to them all which I command you.
(compare this latter phrase to God's next instruction to Ezekiel) Do not
be dismayed before them, lest I dismay you before them." (Jer 1:17)
Larry Richards comments that
Ezekiel had to face was simply harsh and hostile words. Angry words, yes.
Ridiculing words, yes. But just words. It’s like this in our day. Fear of
witnessing to others isn’t quite rational when we stop to think about it.
We’re not likely to be beaten for speaking about Jesus. We’re not likely to
be fired from our jobs or lose our homes or be imprisoned. The worst that’s
likely to happen is that someone may hurl a few hostile words at us, or talk
about us behind our backs. And yet so many Christians are literally afraid
to speak out. God didn’t ridicule Ezekiel’s fears, and He doesn’t ridicule
ours. He simply told the prophet, whose society was far more hardened than
our own, “Do not be afraid of what they say or be terrified by them.” And
then God reminded Ezekiel of the obligation which was his because of his own
personal experience of the Lord: “You must speak My words.” How people
respond to our sharing of the Gospel is irrelevant. God’s command to speak
is not." (The 365 day devotional commentary. Wheaton,
Ill.: Victor Books)
& thorns...scorpions (2Sa
23:6,7; Is 9:18; Jer 6:28; Mic 7:4)
God warns Ezekiel that his job description will not be the proverbial "bed
JFB adds that
The Hebrew (of
is from a root meaning "to sting" as nettles do. The wicked are often so
called" (2Sa 23:6; Song 2:2; Is 9:18).
The reaction of the "rebellious
house" to Ezekiel's
message as well as to that of the other prophets is tragically summarized in
And the LORD, the God of their fathers, sent word to them
again and again by His messengers, because He had compassion on His people
and on His dwelling place; but they continually mocked the messengers of
God, despised His words and scoffed at His prophets, until the wrath of
the LORD arose against His people, until there was no remedy." (2 Chr
Craigie quips that Ezekiel's call is
not like the slogan
"Join the Navy and see the world”... But a poster
would read differently for prophets: “Join the prophets! Be cast among
prickles and thorn bushes! Sit on the scorpions!” (verse 6). It is
hardly enticing. Yet one is not enticed to prophethood, but compelled."
(Ezekiel. The Daily study Bible series )
God says that speaking to his Jewish
brethren will be like sitting on venomous
whose sting can be excruciatingly painful. Although clearly "scorpions"
is used as a metaphor (figure of speech in which a word or phrase literally
denoting one kind of object or idea is used in place of another to suggest a
likeness or analogy between them) to describe the quality or
the reception of Ezekiel's message by the Jewish exiles,
Smith's Bible Dictionary adds that the
"a well known venomous insect of hot climates, shaped much like a
lobster. It is usually not more than two or three inches long, but in
tropical climates is sometimes six inches in length. The wilderness of Sinai
is especially alluded to as being inhabited by
at the time of the exodus, and to this day these animals are common in the
same district, as well as in some parts of Palestine.
are generally found in dry and in dark places, under stones and in ruins.
They are carnivorous in the habits, and move along in a threatening
attitude, with the tail elevated. The sting, which is situated at the end of
the tail, has at its base a gland that secretes a poisonous fluid, which is
discharged into the wound by two minute orifices at its extremity. In hot
climates the sting often occasions much suffering, and sometimes alarming
are a rebellious house (Ezek
3:9,26,27; Pr 30:13,14; Is 51:7; Jer 18:18; Am 7:10-17; Heb11:27)
(See Torrey's Topic
Rebellion Against God)
description" is not an easy one but is one that clearly predicts he will
experience resistance from his audience. The truth is that you and I as
God's ambassadors of reconciliation have been sent to "sons of Adam"
all of whom are rebellious from birth against the Lord God and who will
quite likely resist His message from us His messengers, whether we are
living it before them or whether we are provided an opportunity to speak it
before them. In either case we need not fear, especially if we like Ezekiel
have "had a vision". What does that mean practically? Where do we see the
"glory of the LORD" today? Primarily in His written word of course. So as we
take time to sit at the feet of the Living Word of the Living Lord Jesus we
will be transformed into that same image by His Spirit. And we will begin to
fulfill our purpose on earth even as did Peter and John of whom Luke
documents that as their enemies
observed the confidence of Peter and John,
and understood that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were
marveling, and began to recognize them as having been with Jesus." (Acts
Have you "been with Jesus" today?
Centuries later Peter writes to saints
who were experiencing affliction
"But even if you should suffer for the
sake of righteousness, you are blessed. AND DO NOT FEAR THEIR
INTIMIDATION, AND DO NOT BE TROUBLED" (1Pe 3:14)
Ezekiel 2:7 "But
words to them
or not, for they are
KJV: And thou shalt speak my
words unto them, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear: for
they are most rebellious.
NLT: You must give them my messages whether they listen or not.
But they won't listen, for they are completely rebellious!
But speak my words to them. They
may listen, or they may not, because they turn against me.
And thou hast spoken My words unto them, whether they hear or whether they
forbear, for they are rebellious.
you shall speak My words"
(Ezek 3:10,17; Jer1:7,17;
23:28; 26:2; Jonah 3:2; Matthew 28:20)
Ezekiel has a two-fold message. On the one hand, he brings the message of
judgment. The holiness of God cannot tolerate sin, especially sin in the
life of His own people, people known by His name. So He has to bring
judgment on them. God seems to be saying,
“I have not forgotten you, you have forgotten Me; I have not been unfaithful
to you, you have been unfaithful to Me.”
If God seems far away,
before blaming Him, consider who has moved! The first half of the book,
chapters 1-24, presents this message of judgment. On the other hand, Ezekiel
brings the message of hope. God cannot forsake His people. God cannot forget
Jesus (and I believe that it was the
pre-incarnate Jesus speaking to Ezekiel) gave the same message to His
disciples encouraging them that
"when they deliver you up, do not become
anxious about how or what you will speak; for it shall be given you in that
hour what you are to speak. For it is not you who speak, but it is the
Spirit of your Father who speaks in you." (Mt 10:19-20).
makes the interesting observation
2:7-8 are a bridge between two major sections. The first
section (Ezek 1:4-2:7) reports the visions for the work. The next section
(Ezek 2:8-3:11) gives the message for the work."
they listen or not
repeats God's earlier warning emphasizing as
should not desist in the midst of his course, if he saw
that he did not obtain what he wished and hoped for. For when we apply
ourselves to what God commands, we ought to be of good cheer, and expect
that some fruit of our labor may appear. We may, therefore, indulge both
hopes and wishes, but if it should turn out otherwise than we anticipated,
yet we ought to leave the result in the hands of God, and to proceed even to
the goal in the discharge of our duty.
Ezekiel is responsible
for speaking God's Word, not for how the people responded to it. This
principle is important for all believer's to grasp. We are called to bear
witness with our walk and our words of a glorious God and His eternal gospel
but we are not responsible for the results. Paul writes that he was
not ashamed of the
gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes,
to the Jew first and also to the Greek. (Ro 1:16)
If you have been
faithfully living out or speaking forth the gospel message to a rebellious
person, don't cease and desist! Your very presence in that person's life is
proof that God has not given up on him or her. If you have fear of failure
about speaking the gospel to someone, God's words to Ezekiel should
the Biblical Illustrator says that since the Hebrew is a noun here, the
phrase is more literally translated "they are rebellion or
Ezekiel 2:8 "Now
what I am
speaking to you; do
rebellious like that
what I am
KJV: But thou, son of man, hear
what I say unto thee; Be not thou rebellious like that rebellious house:
open thy mouth, and eat that I give thee.
'And thou, son of man, hear that which I am speaking unto thee: Thou art not
rebellious like the rebellious house, open thy mouth, and eat that which I
am giving unto thee.'
not be rebellious" conveys
a warning against our natural weakness and tendency to shrink away from
conflict and dissension. Ezekiel must not lower himself to the people’s
God continues to confirm his servant, but he advises him of a cause
of stumbling which might break his spirit; for when he perceived the great
obstinacy of the house of Israel, he might refuse the office of their
teacher a hundred times over....For we know that a multitude has much
influence over us to disturb us: for the consent of a whole people is like a
violent tempest, where all conspire together, and even those who are not
wicked yet are carried forward with the crowd. Since, therefore, the,
multitude sometimes carries away even the servants of God, here God meets
his Prophet and puts a bridle upon him, that thou be not rebellious, says
he, like the house of Israel."
house (Lv 10:3; Nu 20:10,
11, 12, 13,24; 1Ki 13:21,22; Is 50:5; 1Pe 5:3):
note God calls the chosen privileged people, a "rebellious people (nation)",
"stubborn and obstinate children", and a "rebellious house".
your mouth (Ezek 3:1, 2,
3,10; Je 15:16; 1Ti 4:14, 15, 16; Rev 10:9)
This message was not to be some superficial pabulum for infants but was to
enter so intimately into the prophet's innermost life as to nourish his
soul, invigorating him for the difficulties that lie ahead. Are you
regularly taking in a diet of "solid food" (Heb5:14)
and "sound (hygienic, healthy, health giving) doctrine"
(Titus 1:9) that you might "may be adequate, equipped for
every good work"? (2Ti 3:17)
Jeremiah had a similar experience in a difficult chapter writing
words were found and I ate them, And Thy words became for me a joy and the
delight of my heart; For I have been called by Thy name, O LORD God of hosts."
Social Stomachs -
Honey ants survive in difficult times by depending on certain members
of their group, known as "honey pots." They take in so much nectar
that they swell into "little round berries" hardly able to move. When
food and water become scarce, they act as "social stomachs" and
sustain the entire ant colony by dispensing what they have stored in
their own bodies.
Similarly, the messenger of God
must fill his heart and mind with the truths of Scripture. Only as he
is faithful to apply the Word of God to his own life can he honestly
give its nourishing encouragement and exhortation to help others.
The Lord told the prophet
Ezekiel to eat a scroll that contained a message full of "lamentations
and mourning and woe" (Ezek. 2:10). Because he was submissive to the
Lord and applied the lesson to his own heart first, he could boldly
present the life-giving message to all who would listen.
As believers, we too must
develop a "social stomach" by digesting the truths of the Bible and
allowing the Spirit of God to make them a part of our lives. Then,
filled with God's Word, we can speak effectively to others in need. --M R De
Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by
permission. All rights reserved)
After I have eaten, Lord,
And on Your Word have fed,
Help me share with others from
Your precious, living bread. --DJD
Before we can serve the Bread
of Life to others,
we must feast on it ourselves.
Ezekiel 2:9 Then
extended to me; and
* was in it.
KJV: And when I looked, behold,
an hand was sent unto me; and, lo, a roll of a book was therein;
And I look, and lo, a hand is sent forth unto me, and lo, in it a roll of a
|"a hand was
extended" (Ezek 8:3;
Je 1:9; Da 5:5; 10:10,16-18)
(Hebrew = meghillah) from the root galal = to roll) was a
rolled manuscript (Ezek 3:1; Heb 10:7; Rev 5:1, 2, 3, 4, 5; 10:8, 9, 10, 11)
usually inscribed on only one side. This particular
was inscribed on both back and front, indicating an extensive message, one
of judgment. God had much to say. Scrolls were used before the development
of the codex in the first or second century AD (codex = writing done
on flat surfaces such as boards, vellum, or parchment, which were sometimes
folded once and bound or sewn). A papyrus scroll (without writing) was found
in an Egyptian tomb dating to circa 3000BC.
dictionary adds that
To make a papyrus scroll even strips cut from the pith of the
papyrus plant were laid side by side in horizontal and vertical rows,
forming the front and back side of the sheet, respectively. Water and
pressure were applied to make the strips adhere. After drying, the sheets
were rubbed smooth with shells or stones. Leather scrolls were made of
sheep, goat, or calf skin that had been dehaired, scraped, washed, stretched
on a frame, and dried. The hair side, on which the writing was done, was
scraped smooth and rubbed with a pumice stone. Rectangles of prepared
leather were stitched together to make a scroll. Vertical and horizontal
guide lines were traced with a dry point and a straight edge. Black ink was
made from carbon soot mixed with water and gum, red ink from red ocher or
iron oxide. While writing could be erased from papyrus with water (Nu 5:23),
errors on leather had to be marked out or scraped off. Scribes wrote with
pens made from rushes, frayed at the end, and from the Hellenistic period on
(after 63 b.c.), with pointed reed pens split at the end. Equipment was
carried in a case tied to the scribe’s waist (Ezek 9:2). Whether papyrus or
leather scrolls were customarily used for writing biblical books in the
pre-exilic period (prior to 586 b.c.) is disputed, but at least by the
Hellenistic period leather was the preferred material (e.g., the Dead Sea
Scrolls), and was required by rabbinic tradition."
Ezekiel 2:10 When
spread it out
before me, it was
written on the
written on it were
KJV: And he spread it before
me; and it was written within and without: and there was written therein
lamentations, and mourning, and woe.
He unrolled it, and I saw that both sides were
covered with funeral songs, other words of sorrow, and pronouncements of
He spread the scroll
in front of me. There was writing on the front and back. There were funeral
songs, songs of mourning, and horrible things written on it.
ICB: The Lord opened the scroll in
front of me. The scroll was written on the front and back. Funeral songs,
sad writings and troubles were written on the scroll.
and He spreadeth it before me, and it is written in front and behind, and
written on it are lamentations, and mourning, and woe!
He spread it out before me
(Isaiah 30:8, 9, 10, 11; Habakkuk 2:2)
was written on the front and back
contrary to the state of rolls in general, which are written on the inside
only. Zech 5:3 and Rev 5:1 for the
same description. It was as if its
divine author had so much to say that the conventional space was
insufficient; the writing must be squeezed into every blank space!
(qiynah) (Is 3:11; Jer 36:29, 30, 31, 32; Rev 8:13; 9:12;
11:14) refers to a funeral dirge with beating of breasts or
instruments, indicating the activity of mourners intoned. It might be sung
during the mourning rites. Used by the prophets it speaks of impending death
and/or destruction (Jer 7:19).
is a key word in this book, being found 9 times (Ezek 2:10; 31:15, 19:1, 14;
26:17; 27:2, 32; 28:12; 32:2, 16). The meaning is not so much that the message as such was
mournful; rather, its effect on those who read, or heard, it would be to
create misery and woe.