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Bible Commentaries

Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments

Ezekiel 11

 

 

Verses 1-25

Ezekiel 11:2. These are the men that devise mischief, and give wicked counsel in this city. These twenty five men, with two princes at their head, Jaazaniah and Pelatiah, were the infidel club of the temple. They determined on having Jeremiah’s life with a storm of violence. They thwarted all his ministry, they advised the king to break the fealty he had sworn to the king of Babylon, they brought destruction upon their country, and then upon themselves.

Where shall we find their fellows in the present age, but in the illuminati of Europe; in L’ Academie Françoise, to whom Voltaire and Diderot are the two Hebrew culprits. Where shall we find their successors, but in the socinian, alias, the unitarian clubs of our seats of letters; of whom John Berridge writes, “I withdrew myself from them, because I found that lowering the Son was lowering the Father—I had almost given over prayer.” Where shall we find their equals in dignity, but in the learned and new translators of the prophets, and of the christian scriptures, in whose notes we find no trace of the preëxistence of Christ, or of the ομοουσιον Hòmoóusion faith, that the Son is one substance with the Father?

Ezekiel 11:3. This city is the caldron, and we are the flesh. The infidels spoke these words in contempt of Jeremiah, who had used the phrase in Jeremiah 1:13. They also showed their infidelity by building houses, as in the most flourishing times. Caldrons were long boilers, used at the foot of mount Olivet and other places, to cook the peace-offerings of the temple.

Ezekiel 11:11. This city shall not be your caldron— I will judge you in the border of Israel. Nebuchadnezzar judged the rebels at Riblah in the land of Hamath, where he put sixty six to death. He then slew Zedekiah’s children, all young, and put out the father’s eyes. These predictions, all lumuinous and tragic, were revealed to Ezekiel to support the faith of the exiles.

Ezekiel 11:13. It came to pass when I prophesied, that Pelatiah died. So also Hananiel died. Jeremiah 28. Such was likewise the case in the new- testament church. Acts 5:5. There is a sin unto death. These are punishments which the great Judge keeps in his own hands. Because of the schisms and gnostic desecrations at Corinth, some slept, and others were sickly. What can mortals say? God standeth in the congregation of the righteous, the Judge of quick and dead.

Ezekiel 11:16. Yet will I be to them as a little sanctuary in the countries where they shall come. The wicked in Jerusalem gladly occupied the lands of former captives, in hopes that they would never return; they bade them go far enough from the Lord. Such is the heart, the unregenerate heart of man. Now, on the contrary, the Lord, more compassionate than man, says, I will spread my wing over them. I will be to them as a little sanctuary, and I will renew my covenant with them, in all its promises and grace.

This text was much used by the French protestants in exile, whenever they opened a little temple, as in London, Bristol, Cork; in Holland and other countries. Here they grew rich, and prospered, and rewarded England with the silk trade.

Ezekiel 11:23. The glory of the Lord went up from the midst of the city, and stood upon the mountain. The critics all say mount Olivet, which is on the east; and so the Chaldaic reads. As our Saviour, passing the foot of mount Olivet, wept over Jerusalem, so the glory seemed to leave the once holy but now polluted sanctuary with reluctance. Oh Jerusalem, Jerusalem, oh that thou hadst known, at least in this thy day, the things that belong to thy peace.

REFLECTIONS.

When impious men sway the secular and religious affairs of a nation, it may be reckoned among the last of their calamities. Jaazaniah and Pelatiah, noble by birth, high in office, and infidel in principle, devoted their extraordinary talents to misguide the rulers, and to despise religion. They mocked at Jeremiah’s words in calling the city a caldron, and said in derision, it is not near; let us build houses, and prepare to live; yet the city was not the pot to them, for about seventy rulers were slain at Riblah. Note reader, and note it well, that this is the usual spirit which goes before destruction. God sends strong delusion on the men who artfully obey not the truth.

They destroy a multitude of souls besides their own. These two princes led their sovereign to rebellion against the conqueror of Asia, when there was no prospect of national defence; yet they retained the fame of wisdom! They filled Jerusalem with infants slain to Moloch, with good men unjustly condemned at their tribunals, and with men massacred who wished Zedekiah to adhere to his league with Nebuchadnezzar. What do ministers, consummately hardened, care for the life of man?

Vengeance sometimes falls from the Lord on one sinner, that all may fear. While Ezekiel saw Jerusalem in the visions of God, he saw Pelatiah die suddenly; for the church has sometimes prayed against an oppressor, and then his case is awful in the extreme. But Ezekiel was permitted to see him die, that the elders of the captivity, being possessed of the knowledge of the prince’s death by prophecy, and finding it confirmed by letters, they might revere Ezekiel as inspired of God, and patiently wait in the district of Chebar till Jerusalem drank the cup; and not destroy themselves by insurrection—an ill-advised effort to regain their devoted country. Thus divine providence, by making one wicked man a fearful example, conveys manifold comfort to the church, and instruction to the world.

God farther endeavours to reconcile Jeconiah’s people to their captivity by promising to build them a little Zion, and to give them every promise of the new covenant; for inspired men in comforting the righteous did always slide into the Messiah’s times. They had been sorely divided in sentiment; but henceforth he would give them one mind and one heart joined to himself, and they should no more be divided between him and idols. He would give them a new and regenerate spirit or temper of mind, which should lead them to love him with all the powers of the soul and affections of the heart, as illustrated more largely in the thirty sixth chapter. But here we should carefully notice that these promises were very imperfectly fulfilled on the return of the jews from the Babylonian captivity, as appears from the corrupt state of religion in Malachi’s time; and they were fulfilled only to a small number in the primitive church; the great completion is consequently reserved for the glory of the latter day.

 


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Bibliography Information
Sutcliffe, Joseph. "Commentary on Ezekiel 11:4". Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jsc/ezekiel-11.html. 1835.

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