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Eze 24:1-27. VISION OF THE BOILING CALDRON, AND OF THE DEATH OF EZEKIEL'S WIFE.
1, 2. Ezekiel proves his divine mission by announcing the very day, ("this same day") of the beginning of the investment of the city by Nebuchadnezzar; "the ninth year," namely, of Jehoiachin's captivity, "the tenth day of the tenth month"; though he was three hundred miles away from Jerusalem among the captives at the Chebar (2Ki 25:1; Jer 39:1).
2. set himself--laid siege; "lay against."
3. pot--caldron. Alluding to the self-confident proverb used among the people, Eze 11:3 (see on Eze 11:3), "This city is the caldron and we be the flesh"; your proverb shall prove awfully true, but in a different sense from what you intend. So far from the city proving an iron, caldron-like defense from the fire, it shall be as a caldron set on the fire, and the people as so many pieces of meat subjected to boiling heat. See Jer 1:13.
4. pieces thereof--those which properly belong to it, as its
5. burn . . . bones--rather, "pile the bones." Literally, "Let
there be a round pile of the bones."
6. scum--not ordinary, but poisonous scum, that is, the people's
7. upon the top of a rock--or, "the dry, bare, exposed rock," so as to be conspicuous to all. Blood poured on a rock is not so soon absorbed as blood poured on the earth. The law ordered the blood even of a beast or fowl to be "covered with the dust" (Le 17:13); but Jerusalem was so shameless as to be at no pains to cover up the blood of innocent men slain in her. Blood, as the consummation of all sin, presupposes every other form of guilt.
8. That it might cause--God purposely let her so shamelessly pour
the blood on the bare rock, "that it might" the more loudly and
openly cry for vengeance from on high; and that the connection between
the guilt and the punishment might be the more palpable. The blood of
Abel, though the ground received it, still cries to heaven for vengeance
(Ge 4:10, 11);
much more blood shamelessly exposed on the bare rock.
9. the pile for fire--the hostile materials for the city's destruction.
10. spice it well--that the meat may be the more palatable, that is, I will make the foe delight in its destruction as much as one delights in well-seasoned, savory meat. GROTIUS, needlessly departing from the obvious sense, translates, "Let it be boiled down to a compound."
11. set it empty . . . that . . . brass . . . may burn, . . . that . . . scum . . . may be consumed--Even the consumption of the contents is not enough; the caldron itself which is infected by the poisonous scum must be destroyed, that is, the city itself must be destroyed, not merely the inhabitants, just as the very house infected with leprosy was to be destroyed (Le 14:34-45).
12. herself--rather, "she hath wearied Me out with lies"; or rather, "with vain labors" on My part to purify her without being obliged to have recourse to judgments (compare Isa 43:24; Mal 2:17) [MAURER]. However, English Version gives a good sense (compare Isa 47:13; 57:10).
13. lewdness--determined, deliberate wickedness; from a Hebrew root, "to purpose."
14. go back--desist; relax [FAIRBAIRN].
15. Second part of the vision; announcement of the death of Ezekiel's wife, and prohibition of the usual signs of mourning.
16. desire of . . . eyes--his wife: representing the
in which the Jews so much gloried. The energy and subordination of
Ezekiel's whole life to his prophetic office is strikingly displayed in
this narrative of his wife's death. It is the only memorable event of
his personal history which he records, and this only in reference to
his soul-absorbing work. His natural tenderness is shown by that
graphic touch, "the desire of thine eyes." What amazing subjection,
then, of his individual feeling to his prophetic duty is manifested in
the simple statement
"So I spake . . . in the morning; and at even my wife died;
and I did in the morning as I was commanded."
17. Forbear to cry--or, "Lament in silence"; not forbidding sorrow,
but the loud expression of it [GROTIUS].
19. what these things are to us--The people perceive that Ezekiel's strange conduct has a symbolical meaning as to themselves; they ask, "What is that meaning?"
21. excellency of your strength--(compare
The object of your pride and confidence
(Jer 7:4, 10, 14).
23. ye shall not mourn . . . but . . . pine away for your iniquities--The Jews' not mourning was to be not the result of insensibility, any more than Ezekiel's not mourning for his wife was not from want of feeling. They could not in their exile manifest publicly their lamentation, but they would privately "mourn one to another." Their "iniquities" would then be their chief sorrow ("pining away"), as feeling that these were the cause of their sufferings (compare Le 26:39; La 3:39). The fullest fulfilment is still future (Zec 12:10-14).
24. sign--a typical representative in his own person of what was to
25, 26. "The day" referred to in these verses is the day of the overthrow of the temple, when the fugitive "escapes." But "that day," in Eze 24:27, is the day on which the fugitive brings the sad news to Ezekiel, at the Chebar. In the interval the prophet suspended his prophecies as to the Jews, as was foretold. Afterwards his mouth was "opened," and no more "dumb" (Eze 3:26, 27; compare Eze 24:27; 33:21, 22).