Ezekiel Lesson 6
2:9 The phrase “scroll of a book” refers to a scroll or rolled manuscript. The codex or leaflet format was not used for books until the first century C.E. This particular scroll was inscribed on both front and back, indicating an extensive message. The nature of that message was judgment.
3:1 “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.”
Commentary: Ezekiel was commanded to eat the scroll, i.e., G-d’s message, which he found to be as sweet as honey (Ps.119:103: Jer.15:16)). John the apostle had a similar vision (Rev. 10:9-11). The lesson in both instances is the same. No one is ready or qualified to speak for G-d until he has consumed His Word (v.4; Rev. 10:11). This assimilation of the message of G-d makes it a part of the life of the prophet.
4 “And he said unto me, Son of man, go, get thee to the house of Israel, and speak with my words unto them. 5 For thou art not sent to a people of 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 understand.”
Commentary: “Unfamiliar speech,” literally “deep lip and heavy tongue,” refers to a foreign language. Ezekiel was commissioned to speak to his people in their own language.
6 “Surely, had I sent thee unto them, they would have hearkened unto thee. 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.” 9As 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.”
Commentary: “Adamant stone” is the Hebrew shamed and is translated as .
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. 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 thy 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. 20 Again, when a righteous man doth turn from his righteousness, and commit iniquity, and I lay a stumbling block 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 I will 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.”
Commentary: Both the wicked and the righteous must accept responsibility for their sins and the consequences thereof. The phrase “he shall die in his sin” as referring to the righteous man, means that he shall die “by” or “because of” his sin. The death described is physical and the emphasis is upon the physical consequences of sin. These physical consequences are the same for saved and lost. However, note that the wicked man dies “in” or “by” his iniquity or perverseness.
Ezekiel’s unique ministry to Israel was to be a divinely appointed “watchman,” one who not only warned the nation, but issued direct warnings to individuals. Every walled city had a watchman to insure its safety and security. It was the duty of the watchman to scan the horizon and sound the alarm for any impending danger. A man measures his responsibility by his knowledge and opportunities. Thus, the “watchman” carried an awesome responsibility. The warning was not only of physical death, but of spiritual doom. The duties of the spiritual watchman are presented in 33:1-9 to be covered in the next lesson.
Rabbi Tamah Davis
Ezekiel Lesson 6