Ezekiel 2

CHAPTER II

The prophet, having been overwhelmed with the glorious vision in

the preceding chapter, is here strengthened and comforted, 1, 2;

and then commissioned to declare to the rebellious house of

Israel the terrible judgments that would very shortly come upon

the whole land, if they repented not; with a gracious assurance

to Ezekiel that God would be constantly with him while executing

the duties of his office, 3-5.

The prophet is also commanded to be fearless, resolute, and

faithful in the discharge of it. 6-8,

as he must be the messenger of very unpleasing tidings, which

well expose him to great persecution, 9, 10.

NOTES ON CHAP. II

Verse 1. And he said unto me] In the last verse of the preceding

chapter we find that the prophet was so penetrated with awe at the

sight of the glory of God in the mystical chariot, that "he fell

upon his face;" and, while he was in this posture of adoration, he

heard the voice mentioned here. It is evident, therefore, that the

present division of these chapters is wrong. Either the first

should end with the words, "This was the appearance of the

likeness of the glory of the Lord," Eze 1:28; or the

first verse of this chapter should be added to the preceding,

and this begin with the second verse.

Verse 2. And the spirit entered into me] This spirit was

different to that mentioned above, by which the wheels, &c., were

moved. The spirit of prophecy is here intended; whose office was

not merely to enable him to foresee and foretell future events,

but to purify and refine his heart, and qualify him to be a

successful preacher of the word of life.

He who is sent by the God of all grace to convert sinners must

be influenced by the Holy Ghost; otherwise he can neither be saved

himself, nor become the instrument of salvation to others.

And set me upon my feet] That he might stand as a servant before

his master, to receive his orders.

Verse 3. Son of man] This appellative, so often mentioned in

this book, seems to have been given first to this prophet;

afterwards to Daniel; and after that to the MAN Christ Jesus.

Perhaps it was given to the two former to remind them of their

frailty, and that they should not be exalted in their own minds by

the extraordinary revelations granted to them; and that they

should feel themselves of the same nature with those to whom they

were sent; and, from the common principle of humanity, deeply

interest themselves in the welfare of their unhappy countrymen. To

the latter it might have been appropriated merely to show that

though all his actions demonstrated him to be GOD, yet that he was

also really MAN; and that in the man Christ Jesus dwelt all the

fulness of the Godhead bodily. When the acts of Christ are

considered, it is more easy to believe his eternal Godhead, than

to be convinced that the person we hear speaking, and see working,

is also a man like unto ourselves.

I send thee to the children of Israel] To those who were now in

captivity, in Chaldea particularly; and to the Jews in general,

both far and near.

Verse 4. Thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the Lord] Let them

know that what thou hast to declare is the message of the LORD,

that they may receive it with reverence.

Every preacher of God's word should take heed that it is God's

message he delivers to the people. Let him not suppose, because it

is according to his own creed or confession of faith, that

therefore it is God's word. False doctrines and fallacies without

end are foisted on the world in this way. Bring the creed first to

the Word of God, and scrupulously try whether it be right; and

when this is done, leave it where you please; take the Bible, and

warn them from God's word recorded there.

Verse 5. Yet shall know that there hath been a prophet among

them.] By this they shall be assured of two things: 1. That God in

his mercy had given them due warning. 2. That themselves were

inexcusable, for not taking it.

Verse 6. Be not afraid of them] They will maltreat thee for thy

message; but let not the apprehension of this induce thee to

suppress it. Though they be rebels, fear them not; I will sustain

and preserve thee.

Verse 7. Whether they will hear] Whether they receive the

message, or persecute thee for it, declare it to them, that they

may be without excuse.

Verse 8. Open thy mouth and eat that I give thee.] Take my word

as thou wouldst take thy proper food; receive it into thy heart;

ponder it there, that it may be the means of strengthening and

preserving thy soul, as proper nourishment will strengthen the

body, and preserve from death. And the people to whom such

messages of God may come should so hear it read, mark, learn, and

inwardly digest it, that it may become efficient nourishment to

their souls.

Verse 9. A hand was sent] Here the hand signifies not only the

instrument of conveyance, but an emblem of the Divine power, which

the hand of God always signifies.

A roll of a book] megillath sepher. All ancient books

were written so as to be rolled up; hence volumen, a volume,

from volvo, I roll.

Verse 10. It was written within and without] Contrary to the

state of rolls in general, which are written on the inside only.

The Hebrew rolls are generally written in this way. There are

several of such Hebrew rolls before me, all written on the inside

only, consisting of skins of vellum, or parchment, or basil, a

sort of half-tanned sheep or goat skin, sewed together, extending

to several yards in length. Other Asiatic books were written in

the same way. A Sanscrit roll of sixty feet in length, also before

me, is written all on the inside; and a Koran, written in

exceedingly small characters, about two inches broad and twelve

feet long, and weighing but about half an ounce. But the roll

presented to the prophet was written on both sides, because the

prophecy was long, and to the same effect; that they might see the

mind of God wherever they looked.

There was written therein lamentations, and mourning, and wo.]

What an awful assemblage! kinim, vahegeh, vehi,

lamentations, and a groan, and alas! Lamentations on all

hands; a groan from the dying; and alas, or Wo is me! from the

survivors. It was the letter that killeth, and is the ministration

of death. What a mercy to have that which is emphatically called

τοευαγγελιον, The glad tidings, the good news! Christ Jesus

is come into the world to save sinners; and he wills that all men

should be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth. Here are

rejoicings, thanksgivings, and exultation.

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