Ezekiel 3

Carrying out the call, preaching against wickedness
Children who go wrong, go
Text Comments
.1 ¶ Moreover he said unto me, Son of man, eat that thou findest; eat this roll, and go speak unto the house of Israel.
 2  So I opened my mouth, and he caused me to eat that roll.
..3  And he said unto me, Son of man, cause thy belly to eat, and fill thy bowels with this roll that I give thee. Then did I eat it; and it was in my mouth as honey for sweetness.
  1 - He To see that the Lord, yahweh, is speaking, see ez0128.
  1 - Son of man From ben-'adam God used this term 93 times in addressing Ezekiel.
  1 - Eat that thou findest "eat what you find; eat this scroll, and go, speak to the house of Israel." (NKJV). "Eat ... and speak." For the prophet, and even for all of us who proclaim a message to others, the message is not to be our own ideas but what we find in the Scriptures. Compare je1516, jn0434, re1009.
  3 - Fill thy bowels Literally "... your abdomen."
  3 - Honey The message of reformation would have been pleasant to a young man whose heart was committed to the Lord. See 2co1207.
 4  And he said unto me, Son of man, go, get thee unto the house of Israel, and speak with my words unto them.
 5  For thou art not sent to a people of a strange speech and of an hard language, but to the house of Israel;
 6  Not to many people of a strange speech and of an hard language, whose words thou canst not understand. Surely, had I sent thee to them, they would have hearkened unto thee.
  4 - House of Israel The family of Israel (Jacob) was very large. They were the descendants of Abraham the people who should have been following the path of truth.
  5 - Not sent to people of strange speech Trying to evangelize the heathen. But, notice the next verse. They would have hearkened (listened with a receptive mind). For example see lu0427, mt1521-8, mt1121, mt1241.
 7  But the house of Israel will not hearken unto thee; for they will not hearken unto me: for all the house of Israel are impudent and hardhearted.
 8  Behold, I have made thy face strong against their faces, and thy forehead strong against their foreheads.
.9  As an adamant harder than flint have I made thy forehead: fear them not, neither be dismayed at their looks, though they be a rebellious house.
  7 - Not hearken unto me How often those who claim to be godly cling to their ideas without studying to know truth. It happened in Jesus' time jn0832.
  8 - Forehead Perhaps logic.
  9 - Adamant A hard stone. In modern English the term also means an unyielding or inflexible attitude.
 10  Moreover he said unto me, Son of man, all my words that I shall speak unto thee receive in thine heart, and hear with thine ears.
.11  And go, get thee to them of the captivity, unto the children of thy people, and speak unto them, and tell them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear.
12  Then the spirit took me up, and I heard behind me a voice of a great rushing, saying, Blessed be the glory of the LORD from his place.
 13  I heard also the noise of the wings of the living creatures that touched one another, and the noise of the wheels over against them, and a noise of a great rushing.
.14  So the spirit lifted me up, and took me away, and I went in bitterness, in the heat of my spirit; but the hand of the LORD was strong upon me.
 15  Then I came to them of the captivity at Telabib, that dwelt by the river of Chebar, and I sat where they sat, and remained there astonished among them seven days.
  11 - Go ... to them ... captivity This was Ezekiel's more specific target group as a prophet. Jeremiah was sent to the remnant of Judah, and Daniel was a witness in the court of Babylon.
  11 - All my words Not just part of them. Compare mt0404.
  12 - Took me up This would not be a physical removal but his experience in vision. Compare ez0101, ez0202.
  12 - Blessed be the glory ... The RSV translation reads "and the glory of the Lord arose from its place." A Hebrew word was changed but without support from the source manuscripts.
  14 - Bitterness ... heat What had seemed so sweet in the prophet's call v3, had turned to disappointment. He was unhappy. The word "heat" is from chemah which is frequently translated "wrath" nu2501. Also see ge2744, de0919, ps00601, ps03801. Jeremiah had had a similar experience je2008,9.
.16 ¶ And it came to pass at the end of seven days, that the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
 17  Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me.
   17 - Watchman Thus his job was to warn of coming danger.
.18  When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.
.19  Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.
   18 - Givest not warning Compare pr2411.
   18 - Warning from God When we fail to warn the wicked, God holds us responsible. Of course tact is needed. And we share truth which is, itself, a warning if we go beyond the praises. See note below.
 20  Again, When a righteous man doth turn from his righteousness, and commit iniquity, and I lay a stumblingblock before him, he shall die: because thou hast not given him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he hath done shall not be remembered; but his blood will I require at thine hand.
.21  Nevertheless if thou warn the righteous man, that the righteous sin not, and he doth not sin, he shall surely live, because he is warned; also thou hast delivered thy soul.
   20 - Righteous person who turns They need warning, too. In other words, saved people may lose their righteousness and die the second death. Remember that we may bring truth to people and give our own testimony while it is the work of the Holy Spirit to bring conviction.
.22 ¶ And the hand of the LORD was there upon me; and he said unto me, Arise, go forth into the plain, and I will there talk with thee.
 23  Then I arose, and went forth into the plain: and, behold, the glory of the LORD stood there, as the glory which I saw by the river of Chebar: and I fell on my face.
 24  Then the spirit entered into me, and set me upon my feet, and spake with me, and said unto me, Go, shut thyself within thine house.
 25  But thou, O son of man, behold, they shall put bands upon thee, and shall bind thee with them, and thou shalt not go out among them:
 26  And I will make thy tongue cleave to the roof of thy mouth, that thou shalt be dumb, and shalt not be to them a reprover: for they are a rebellious house.
 27  But when I speak with thee, I will open thy mouth, and thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; He that heareth, let him hear; and he that forbeareth, let him forbear: for they are a rebellious house.
   22 - Hand of the Lord God was in control, whether they would hear or ignore, v.27.
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Note on warning the wicked and wayward children
   Remember is that God does not force us. He put the tree of knowledge in the Garden but He did not put a fence around it. We are free to obey or disobey. Forced obedience is not compatible with love. Satan works by force. God does not. He is our King because we have chosen Him ! 
   Can parents claim the promise, "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it (Prov. 22:6)?. They can claim it as a principle, not as an absolute promise. Notice other principles in the context: Here is verse 4: "By humility and the fear of the LORD are riches, and honour, and life." Some who follow these do not have wealth and honor but they are more apt to have these things because the Lord blesses their humility and fear of Him. The Lord knows the limits of their temptation and withholds the wealth and honor to protect their spiritual success (1co1013). Scroll to top to see Ezekiel Chapter 3.
Study questions - Chapter 3
Sorry we don't have them for the whole commentary.

1.  Ezekiel was to eat the scroll. What other two things was he to have done also mentioned in verse 1.
2.  Why would he need to eat the scroll before speaking to the people? Do you think he literally ate the scroll? Why not?
3.  The scroll was sweet. Did it bring bitterness? What verses indicate that it did?
4.  Why would it be harder for Ezekiel to speak to those of his own language? (verses 4-6). What about your own relatives? How can this chapter bless you in thinking of them?
5.  What verse or verses in the chapter can you claim as a promise for your own witness? Verse 27 looks good to me but there are others.
6.  He was not sent to people of a strange speech. Does this excuse us from reaching out with the good news to people of other cultures? What Bible verse(s) gives us this charge?
7.  Where was He told to go? Jeremiah didn't go and Daniel had a different target mission. The three were contemporaries.
8.  What set of verses carry a very solemn charge? They do not mean that we should ignore tact.
9.  The prophet is told to "go" several times. You can trace his movements. Some, at least, were in vision.