III His eating the roll, ver. 1-3. Farther instructions and encouragements given him, ver. 4-11. He is carried to the captive Jews, ver. 12-15. An illustration of his office by that of a watchman, ver. 16-21. The restraining and restoring of his liberty of speech, ver. 22-27.
Verse 1. Eat - This was done in a vision. Findeth - In the hand which was sent to him.
Verse 3. Belly - The mouth is the proper instrument of eating, but when meat is digested, the belly is said to eat. Fill thy bowels - This denotes the fulness of the measure wherewith we should read, meditate, and digest the word of God. Honey - It was sweet to receive things by Revelation from God, and so to converse with God. And usually the first part of the ministerial work is pleasant.
Verse 4. Speak - What things I shall shew thee, and in what words I shall declare them to thee.
Verse 6. Many people - Divers nations, that thou shouldest need divers tongues, to speak to them all in their own language.
Verse 7. All - The far greater part, tho' not every particular person.
Verse 8. I have - I have given thee, constancy, and manly carriage. The more impudent wicked people are in their opposition to religion, the more openly and resolutely should God's people appear in the practice and defense of it.
Verse 11. Captivity - Of the first captivity under Jeconiah's reign, who succeeded his father Jehoiakim, slain for his conspiracy with Egypt against Nebuchadnezzar.
Verse 12. A voice - An articulate sound, of many angels, attended with the rushing of the wheels, added to the noise of their wings. Blessed - Praised be the gloriously holy and just God. His place - Coming down from heaven.
Verse 13. Rushing - The wheels of providence moved over against the angels, and in concert with them.
Verse 14. Spirit - Caught him up into the air. Took - Carried me to the place where the captive Jews were crowded together. Bitterness - Not at all pleased with my work. He went in the heat of his spirit; because of the discouragements he foresaw he should meet with. But the hand of the Lord was strong upon him, not only to compel him to the work, but to fit him for it.
15. Tel-abib - A part of Mesopotamia, which was shut up within Chebar westward, and Saocora eastward. By - On that part of the river Chebar, which runs west-ward of Tel-abib. Where - Where I found them sitting astonished, at the sight of their change from freedom and honour to servitude and shame. Seven days - Mourning no doubt all that while, and waiting 'till the spirit of prophecy should open his mouth.
Verse 20. I Lay - Permit it to be laid before him. He shall - Perish in his sin. Remembered - Shall not be profitable to him; "he that apostatizes is the worst of men, because he falls from known ways of goodness and holiness."
Verse 22. There - At Tel-abib. Go forth - Withdraw from the multitude.
Verse 23. As the glory - We are not now to expect such visions. But we have a favour done us nothing inferior, if we by faith behold the glory of the Lord, so as to be changed into the same image. And this honour have all his saints.
Verse 24. Shut - To foresignify the shutting up of the Jews in Jerusalem.
Verse 25. Not go - Thou shalt be straitly confined.
Verse 26. I - I will make thee as dumb as if thy tongue clave to the roof of thy mouth.
Verse 27. But - When ever I shall reveal any thing to thee. Open - I will give thee power to speak. Let - 'Tis his duty and safety. Forbear - 'Tis at his own peril.