Ezekiel 24

CHAPTER XXIV

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,

15-18.

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,

19-27.

NOTES ON CHAP. XXIV

Verse 1. The ninth year] This prophecy was given in the ninth

year of Zedekiah, about Thursday, the thirtieth of January, A.M.

3414; the very day in which the king of Babylon commenced the

siege of Jerusalem.

Verse 3. Set on a pot] The pot was Jerusalem; the flesh, the

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 pot, 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.

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

the poet:-

"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.

Verse 6. Let no lot fall upon it.] Pull out the flesh

indiscriminately; let no piece be chosen for king or priest;

thus showing that all should be involved in one indiscriminate

ruin.

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 to

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.

Verse 8. That it might cause fury] This very blood shall be

against them, as the blood of Abel was against Cain.

Verse 10. Heap on wood] Let the siege be severe, the carnage

great, and the ruin and catastrophe complete.

Verse 13. In thy filthiness is lewdness] zimmah, a

word that denominates the worst kinds of impurity; adultery,

incest, &c., and the purpose, wish, design, and ardent desire to

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.

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.] τουτογαριδιοντωνοφθαλμων

εντοιςμεγαλοιςκακοιςενμενγαρταιςμετριαιςσυμφοραις

αφθονωςταδακρυακαταρρειενδετοιςυπερβαλλουσιδεινοις

φευγεικαιταδακρυακαιπροδιδωσικαιτουςαφθαλμους Achill.

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.

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 thy lips] 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, "the

bread of miserable men," i.e., mourners; probably, the funeral

banquet.

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.

Verse 19. Wilt thou not tell us] In the following verses he

explains and applies the whole of what he had done and said.

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 or portent, 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.

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