Again in the ninth year, in the tenth month, in the tenth day
of the month, the word of the LORD
came unto me, saying,
The prophet now informs those of the captivity of the very day
on which Nebuchadnezzar was to lay siege to Jerusalem,
(compare Jer 52:4,)
and describes the fate of that city and its inhabitants by a
very apt similitude, 1-14.
As another sign of the greatness of those calamities the
prophet is forbidden to mourn for his wife, of whom he is to be
deprived; intimating thereby that the sufferings of the Jews
should be so astonishing as to surpass all expressions of
grief; and that private sorrow however affectionate and tender
the object, ought to be absorbed in the public calamities,
The prophet, having farther expressed his prediction in plain
terms, intimates that he was to speak to them no more till they
should have the news of these prophecies having been fulfilled,
NOTES ON CHAP. XXIV
Verse 1. The ninth year
] This prophecy was given in the ninth
year of Zedekiah, about Thursday
, the thirtieth
3414; the very day in which the king of Babylon commenced the
siege of Jerusalem.
Son of man, write thee the name of the day, even
of this same day: the king of Babylon set himself against Jerusalem this same day.
And utter a parable unto the rebellious house, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD
; Set on a pot, set it
on, and also pour water into it:
Verse 3. Set on a pot
] The pot
was Jerusalem; the flesh
inhabitants in general; every good piece, the thigh
and the shoulder
, King Zedekiah and his family; the bones
, the soldiers;
and the setting on
, the commencement of the siege. The
prophet was then in Mesopotamia
; and he was told particularly to
mark the day, &c., that it might be seen how precisely the spirit
of prophecy had shown the very day in which the siege took place.
Under the same image of a boiling pot
, Jeremiah had represented
the siege of Jerusalem, Jer 1:13
. Ezekiel was a priest; the
action of boiling pots was familiar to him, as these things were
much in use in the temple service.
Gather the pieces thereof into it, even
every good piece, the thigh, and the shoulder; fill it
with the choice bones.
Take the choice of the flock, and burn also the bones under it, and
make it boil well, and let them seethe the bones of it therein.a
Verse 5. Make it boil well
] Let it boil over, that its own scum
may augment the fire, that the bones
-the soldiers, may be seethed therein
. Let its contentions, divided counsels, and disunion be
the means of increasing its miseries, rattach rethacheyha
, let it bubble its bubbling; something like that of
"Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble:
Fire burn, and cauldron bubble."
Very like the noise made by ebullition, when a pot of thick broth
, "sleek and slab," is set over a fierce fire. Such was that
here represented, in which all the flesh
, the fat
and the bones
were to be boiled, and generally dissolved together.
¶ Wherefore thus saith the Lord GOD
; Woe to the bloody city, to the pot whose scum is
therein, and whose scum is not gone out of it! bring it out piece by piece; let no lot fall upon it.
Verse 6. Let no lot fall upon it.
] Pull out the flesh
indiscriminately; let no piece be chosen
thus showing that all should be involved in one indiscriminate
For her blood is in the midst of her; she set it upon the top of a rock; she poured it not upon the ground, to cover it with dust;
Verse 7. For her blood is in the midst of her
] She gloried in
her idol sacrifices; she offered them upon a rock, where the blood
should remain evident
; and she poured none upon the ground
cover it with dust, in horror of that moral evil that required the
blood of an innocent creature to be shed, in order to the
atonement of the offender's guilt. To "cover the blood of the
victim," was a command of the law, Le 17:13
; De 12:24
That it might cause fury to come up to take vengeance; I have set her blood upon the top of a rock, that it should not be covered.
Verse 8. That it might cause fury
] This very blood shall be
against them, as the blood of Abel
was against Cain
Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD
; Woe to the bloody city! I will even make the pile for fire great.
Heap on wood, kindle the fire, consume the flesh, and spice it well, and let the bones be burned.
Verse 10. Heap on wood
] Let the siege be severe
, the carnage
great, and the ruin and catastrophe complete.
Then set it empty upon the coals thereof, that the brass of it may be hot, and may burn, and that
the filthiness of it may be molten in it, that
the scum of it may be consumed.
She hath wearied herself
with lies, and her great scum went not forth out of her: her scum shall be
in the fire.
In thy filthiness is
lewdness: because I have purged thee, and thou wast not purged, thou shalt not be purged from thy filthiness any more, till I have caused my fury to rest upon thee.
Verse 13. In thy filthiness
word that denominates the worst kinds of impurity; adultery, incest
, &c., and the purpose, wish, design
, and ardent desire
do these things. Hers were not accidental
sins, they were abominations by design
, and they were the worse in her, because
God had cleansed her
, had separated the Israelites from idolatry
and idolatrous nations, and by his institutions removed from them
all idolatrous incentives. But they formed alliances
with the heathen
, and adopted all their abominations; therefore God would
not spare them. See Eze 24:14
I the LORD
have spoken it
: it shall come to pass, and I will do it
; I will not go back, neither will I spare, neither will I repent; according to thy ways, and according to thy doings, shall they judge thee, saith the Lord GOD
¶ Also the word of the LORD
came unto me, saying,
Son of man, behold, I take away from thee the desire of thine eyes with a stroke: yet neither shalt thou mourn nor weep, neither shall thy tears run down.b
Verse 16. Behold, I take away from thee the desire of thine eyes
] Here is an intimation that the stroke he was to suffer was
to be above all grief; that it would be so great as to prevent the
relief of tears.
Curae leves loquuntur, graviores silent,
is a well-accredited maxim in such cases. Superficial griefs
affect the more easily moved passions; great ones affect the soul
itself, in its powers of reasoning, reflecting, comparing,
recollecting, &c., when the sufferer feels all the weight of wo. Neither shall thy tears run down.
Tat. lib. 3. c. 11. For this is the case with the eyes in great
calamities: in light misfortunes tears flow freely, but in heavy
afflictions tears fly away, and betray the eyes.
Forbear to cry, make no mourning for the dead, bind the tire of thine head upon thee, and put on thy shoes upon thy feet, and cover not thy
lips, and eat not the bread of men.c, d
Verse 17. Make no mourning
] As a priest
, he could make no public
mourning, Le 21:1
, &c. Bind the tire of thine head
] This seems to refer to the high
priest's bonnet; or perhaps, one worn by the ordinary priests: it
might have been a black veil to cover the head. Put on thy shoes upon thy feet
] Walking barefoot was a sign of
grief. Cover not
] Mourners covered the under part of the face,
from the nose to the bottom of the chin. Eat not the bread of men.
] lechem anashim
bread of miserable men," i.e., mourners
; probably, the funeral
So I spake unto the people in the morning: and at even my wife died; and I did in the morning as I was commanded.
Verse 18. At even my wife died
] The prophet's wife was a type of
the city, which was to him exceedingly dear. The death of his wife
represented the destruction of the city
by the Chaldeans; see Eze 24:21
, where the temple
is represented to be the desire of his eyes
, as his wife
was, Eze 24:16
¶ And the people said unto me, Wilt thou not tell us what these things are
to us, that thou doest so
Verse 19. Wilt thou not tell us
] In the following verses he
explains and applies the whole of what he had done
Then I answered them, The word of the LORD
came unto me, saying,
Speak unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD
; Behold, I will profane my sanctuary, the excellency of your strength, the desire of your eyes, and that which your soul pitieth; and your sons and your daughters whom ye have left shall fall by the sword.e
And ye shall do as I have done: ye shall not cover your
lips, nor eat the bread of men.
And your tires shall be
upon your heads, and your shoes upon your feet: ye shall not mourn nor weep; but ye shall pine away for your iniquities, and mourn one toward another.
Thus Ezekiel is unto you a sign: according to all that he hath done shall ye do: and when this cometh, ye shall know that I am
the Lord GOD
Also, thou son of man, shall it
in the day when I take from them their strength, the joy of their glory, the desire of their eyes, and that whereupon they set their minds, their sons and their daughters,f
he that escapeth in that day shall come unto thee, to cause thee
to hear it
In that day shall thy mouth be opened to him which is escaped, and thou shalt speak, and be no more dumb: and thou shalt be a sign unto them; and they shall know that I am
Verse 27. In that day shall thy mouth be opened
] That is, When
some one who shall have escaped from Jerusalem, having arrived
among the captives, shall inform them of the destruction of the
city, the temple, the royal family, and the people at large; till
then he might suppress his tears and lamentations. And we find
from Eze 33:21
, that one did actually escape from the city, and
informed the prophet and his brethren in captivity that the city was smitten
Thus he was not only a prophet to foretell such things, but he
was also a sign
, shadowing them out by circumstances in
his own person and family; and thus the prediction, agreeing so
perfectly with the event, proved that the previous information was
from the Lord.