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Eze 12:1-28. EZEKIEL'S TYPICAL MOVING TO EXILE: PROPHECY OF ZEDEKIAH'S CAPTIVITY AND PRIVATION OF SIGHT: THE JEWS' UNBELIEVING SURMISE AS TO THE DISTANCE OF THE EVENT REPROVED.
1, 2. eyes to see, and see not, . . . ears to hear, and hear not--fulfilling the prophecy of De 29:4, here quoted by Ezekiel (compare Isa 6:9; Jer 5:21). Ezekiel needed often to be reminded of the people's perversity, lest he should be discouraged by the little effect produced by his prophecies. Their "not seeing" is the result of perversity, not incapacity. They are wilfully blind. The persons most interested in this prophecy were those dwelling at Jerusalem; and it is among them that Ezekiel was transported in spirit, and performed in vision, not outwardly, the typical acts. At the same time, the symbolical prophecy was designed to warn the exiles at Chebar against cherishing hopes, as many did in opposition to God's revealed word, of returning to Jerusalem, as if that city was to stand; externally living afar off, their hearts dwelt in that corrupt and doomed capital.
3. stuff for removing--rather, "an exile's outfit," the articles
proper to a person going as an exile, a staff and knapsack, with a
supply of food and clothing; so "instruments of captivity,"
Margin, that is, the needful equipments for it. His simple
announcements having failed, he is symbolically to give them an ocular
demonstration conveyed by a word-painting of actions performed in
4. by day--in broad daylight, when all can see thee.
5. Dig--as Zedekiah was to escape like one digging through a wall,
furtively to effect an escape
6. in . . . twilight--rather, "in the dark." So in
"it" refers to "thy stuff."
9. What doest thou?--They ask not in a docile spirit, but making a jest of his proceedings.
10. burden--that is, weighty oracle.
12. prince . . . among them--literally, "that is in the midst of them,"
that is, on whom the eyes of all are cast, and "under whose shadow" they
hope to live
13. My net--the Chaldean army. He shall be inextricably entangled in
it, as in the meshes of a net. It is God's net
Babylon was God's instrument
Called "a net"
16. I will leave a few . . . that they may declare . . . abominations--God's purpose in scattering a remnant of Jews among the Gentiles; namely, not only that they themselves should be weaned from idolatry (see Eze 12:15), but that by their own word, as also by their whole state as exiles, they should make God's righteousness manifest among the Gentiles, as vindicated in their punishment for their sins (compare Isa 43:10; Zec 8:13).
18. Symbolical representation of the famine and fear with which they should eat their scanty morsel, in their exile, and especially at the siege.
19. people of the land--the Jews "in the land" of Chaldea who thought
themselves miserable as being exiles and envied the Jews left in
Jerusalem as fortunate.
20. the cities--left in Judea after the destruction of Jerusalem.
22. proverb--The infidel scoff, that the threatened judgment was so
long in coming, it would not come at all, had by frequent repetition
come to be a "proverb" with them. This skeptical habit contemporary
prophets testify to
(Jer 17:15; 20:7;
Ezekiel, at the Chebar, thus sympathizes with Jeremiah and strengthens
his testimony at Jerusalem. The tendency to the same scoff
showed itself in earlier times, but had not then developed into a
It shall again be the characteristic of the last times, when "faith"
shall be regarded as an antiquated thing
seeing that it remains stationary, whereas worldly arts and sciences
progress, and when the "continuance of all things from creation" will
be the argument against the possibility of their being suddenly brought
to a standstill by the coming of the Lord
2Pe 3:3, 4).
The very long-suffering of God, which ought to lead men to repentance,
is made an argument against His word
23. effect--literally, "the word," namely, fulfilled; that is, the effective fulfilment of whatever the prophets have spoken is at hand.
24. no more . . . vain vision . . . flattering divination--All those false prophets (La 2:14), who "flattered" the people with promises of peace and safety, shall be detected and confounded by the event itself.
25. word . . . shall come to pass--in opposition to
their scoff "the vision faileth"
The repetition, "I will speak . . . speak," &c. (or as
FAIRBAIRN, "For I, Jehovah, will speak whatever
word I shall speak, and it shall be done") implies that whenever God
speaks, the effect must follow; for God, who speaks, is not divided in
27. Not a mere repetition of the scoff (Eze 12:22); there the scoffers asserted that the evil was so often threatened and postponed, it must have no reality; here formalists do not go so far as to deny that a day of evil is coming, but assert it is still far off (Am 6:3). The transition is easy from this carnal security to the gross infidelity of the former class.