The word of the LORD
also came unto me, saying,
The prophet proceeds, by a variety of types and parables, to
convince those of the captivity that their brethren who were
left behind to sustain the miseries of a seige and the insults
of a conqueror, would be in a much worse condition than they
who were already settled in a foreign land. In the beginning of
this chapter he foretells the approaching captivity of Judah by
action instead of words, 1-7.
He predicts particularly the flight, capture, captivity, and
sufferings of Zedekiah and his followers, 8-16,
compared with Jer 52:11.
He is to eat his food with trembling and signs of terror, as an
emblem of the consternation of the Jews when surrounded by
their enemies, 17-20;
and then he answers the objections and bywords of scoffers and
infidels, who either disbelieved his threatening or supposed
the accomplishment of them very distant, 21-28.
Josephus (Antiq. xi. 10) tells us that Zedekiah thought the
prophecy of Ezekiel in the thirteenth verse inconsistent with
that of Jeremiah, (Jer 34:3,)
and resolved to believe neither. Both, however, were literary
fulfilled; and the event convinced him that they were not
irreconcilable. Thus, blinded by infidelity, sinners rush on to
that detruction against which they are sufficiently warned.
NOTES ON CHAP. XII
Son of man, thou dwellest in the midst of a rebellious house, which have eyes to see, and see not; they have ears to hear, and hear not: for they are
a rebellious house.
Verse 2. Which have eyes to see, and see not
] It is not want of grace
that brings them to destruction. They have eyes to see
but they will not use
them. No man is lost because he had not sufficient grace to save him
, but because he abused that grace.
Therefore, thou son of man, prepare thee stuff for removing, and remove by day in their sight; and thou shalt remove from thy place to another place in their sight: it may be they will consider, though they be
a rebellious house.a
Verse 3. Prepare thee stuff for removing
] Get carriages to
transport thy goods to another place; signifying by this the captivity
that was at hand.
Then shalt thou bring forth thy stuff by day in their sight, as stuff for removing: and thou shalt go forth at even in their sight, as they that go forth into captivity.b
Dig thou through the wall in their sight, and carry out thereby.c
Verse 5. Dig thou through the wall
] This refers to the manner in
which Zedekiah and his family would escape from the city. They
escaped by night through a breach in the wall
. See Jer 39:2-4
and 2Ki 25:4
In their sight shalt thou bear it
forth in the twilight: thou shalt cover thy face, that thou see not the ground: for I have set thee for
a sign unto the house of Israel.
Verse 6. Thou shalt cover thy face, that thou see not the ground
] Referring to the blinding of Zedekiah: even the covering of the face
might be intended to signify that in this way Zedekiah
should be carried to Babylon on men's shoulders
in some sort of palanquin
, with a cloth tied over his eyes
, because of the
recent wounds made by extracting them. All the prophecies from
this to the twentieth
chapter are supposed to have been delivered
in the sixth
year of Zedekiah, five
years before the taking of
Jerusalem. How accurate the prediction! and how exactly fulfilled!
And I did so as I was commanded: I brought forth my stuff by day, as stuff for captivity, and in the even I digged through the wall with mine hand; I brought it
forth in the twilight, and
I bare it
shoulder in their sight.d
¶ And in the morning came the word of the LORD
unto me, saying,
Son of man, hath not the house of Israel, the rebellious house, said unto thee, What doest thou?
Say thou unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD
; This burden concerneth
the prince in Jerusalem, and all the house of Israel that are
Verse 10. This burden
] This prediction concerning the prince
this I point out the capture, misery, and ruin of Zedekiah
Say, I am
your sign: like as I have done, so shall it be done unto them: they shall remove and
go into captivity.e
And the prince that is
among them shall bear upon his
shoulder in the twilight, and shall go forth: they shall dig through the wall to carry out thereby: he shall cover his face, that he see not the ground with his
My net also will I spread upon him, and he shall be taken in my snare: and I will bring him to Babylon to
the land of the Chaldeans; yet shall he not see it, though he shall die there.
Verse 13. I will bring-him to Babylon-yet shall he not see it
Because Nebuchadnezzar caused him to have his eyes put out at Riblah
. To Babylon he was carried in his blind state, and there
he died. In saying, My net also will I spread upon him
, there is
probably a reference to an ancient manner of fighting. One, who
was called the retiarius
, had a small casting net, which if he
could throw over his antagonist's head, he then despatched him
with his sword; if he missed his throw, he was obliged to run in
order to get his net once more adjusted for another throw. In the
mean time the other pursued him with all his speed to prevent
this, and to despatch him
; hence he was called secutor
: the first
, the second
And I will scatter toward every wind all that are
about him to help him, and all his bands; and I will draw out the sword after them.
And they shall know that I am
, when I shall scatter them among the nations, and disperse them in the countries.
But I will leave a few men of them from the sword, from the famine, and from the pestilence; that they may declare all their abominations among the heathen whither they come; and they shall know that I am
¶ Moreover the word of the LORD
came to me, saying,
Son of man, eat thy bread with quaking, and drink thy water with trembling and with carefulness;
Verse 18. Eat thy bread with quaking
] Assume the manner of a
person who is every moment afraid of his life, who has nothing but
a morsel of bread to eat, and a little water to drink. Thus
signifying the siege
, and the straits
to which they should be
reduced. See this explained, Eze 12:19
And say unto the people of the land, Thus saith the Lord GOD
of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and
of the land of Israel; They shall eat their bread with carefulness, and drink their water with astonishment, that her land may be desolate from all that is therein, because of the violence of all them that dwell therein.g
And the cities that are inhabited shall be laid waste, and the land shall be desolate; and ye shall know that I am
¶ And the word of the LORD
came unto me, saying,
Son of man, what is
that proverb that
ye have in the land of Israel, saying, The days are prolonged, and every vision faileth?
Verse 22. The days are prolonged, and every vision faileth?
These are the words of the infidels and scoffers, who, because
vengeance was not speedily executed on an evil work, set their
heart to do iniquity. "These predictions either will not come in
our days, or will wholly fail; why then should we
ourselves about them?" Strange, that the very means used by the
most gracious God to bring sinners to repentance, should be made
by them the very instruments of their own destruction! See 2Pe 3:4
Tell them therefore, Thus saith the Lord GOD
; I will make this proverb to cease, and they shall no more use it as a proverb in Israel; but say unto them, The days are at hand, and the effect of every vision.
Verse 23. The days are at hand
] Far from failing
or being prolonged
, time is posting on, and the destruction threatened is
at the door.
For there shall be no more any vain vision nor flattering divination within the house of Israel.
For I am
: I will speak, and the word that I shall speak shall come to pass; it shall be no more prolonged: for in your days, O rebellious house, will I say the word, and will perform it, saith the Lord GOD
Verse 25. In your days-will I say the word, and will perform it
Even these mockers shall live
to see and feel this desolation.
This is more particularly intimated in the following verses.
¶ Again the word of the LORD
came to me, saying,
Son of man, behold, they of
the house of Israel say, The vision that he seeth is
for many days to come
, and he prophesieth of the times that are
Therefore say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD
; There shall none of my words be prolonged any more, but the word which I have spoken shall be done, saith the Lord GOD
Verse 28. There shall none of my words be prolonged any more
had waited to be gracious; they abused his mercy; and at last the
protracted wrath rushed upon them with irresistible force.