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Bible Commentaries

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Ezekiel 11

 

 

Verse 1

Ezekiel 11:1 Moreover the spirit lifted me up, and brought me unto the east gate of the LORD’S house, which looketh eastward: and behold at the door of the gate five and twenty men; among whom I saw Jaazaniah the son of Azur, and Pelatiah the son of Benaiah, princes of the people.

Ver. 1. Moreover the Spirit lifted me up.] The same Spirit of God that lifted up and acted the living weights and the wheels; like as the same breath causeth the diverse sounds in the organs.

Unto the east gate.] Of the outward court. [Ezekiel 10:19]

Five and twenty men.] Proceres populi, the senators of the city, with their prefect or president. The like number is now at Rome, and likewise at London; an alderman in each of the twenty-four wards, and a mayor. See Revelation 4:4.

Among whom I saw Jaazaniah.] I saw them, and knew them by name; but for no good.

Iudex locusta civitatis est malus. ” - Scaliger.


Verse 2

Ezekiel 11:2 Then said he unto me, Son of man, these [are] the men that devise mischief, and give wicked counsel in this city:

Ver. 2. These are the men that devise mischief.] That whet their wits and beat their brains about it; the politicians of the time, who, like children, are ever standing on their heads, and shaking their heels against heaven.

And give wicked counsel.] As Balaam and Ahithophel did of old, as Machiavel did at Florence, and Gondamor here did of later times. The prophet here nameth a couple, and taketh the same liberty to reprove them that they took to do amiss.


Verse 3

Ezekiel 11:3 Which say, [It is] not near; let us build houses: this [city is] the caldron, and we [be] the flesh.

Ver. 3. Which say, It is not near,] sc., The evil day is not. The vision that he seeth is for many days to come; and he prophesieth of the times that are far off. [Ezekiel 12:22; Ezekiel 12:27] See Amos 6:3, Isaiah 29:1, 2 Peter 3:4. And this was likely the evil counsel they gave the king and people, lulling them asleep in the cradle of carnal security.

Let us build houses.] Though Jeremiah hath counselled us to the contrary, [Jeremiah 29:5] though he, with all the wit he hath, hath told us that this city is the caldron, and we are the flesh. [Jeremiah 1:13] Some such thing Jeremiah had indeed foretold, and these profane scoffers made a jeer at it. Captant argutias quibus elevant omnem fidem doctrinae coelestis. This made good Jeremiah complain heavily: Jeremiah 20:7-8, "I am in derision daily, every one mocketh me," &c. Our prophet Ezekiel, though he name him not, yet confirmeth his holy sayings, and threateneth his scurrilous adversaries. Ministers should stand by and for one another.


Verse 4

Ezekiel 11:4 Therefore prophesy against them, prophesy, O son of man.

Ver. 4. Therefore prophesy against them, prophesy.] Urger et repetit, ne cunctetur. Out of greatest indignation against these pests, he pricketh him on to prophesy, as having vengeance "in a readiness for the disobedient." [2 Corinthians 10:6] Mockers shall be sure to have their "bands increased." [Isaiah 28:22]


Verse 5

Ezekiel 11:5 And the Spirit of the LORD fell upon me, and said unto me, Speak; Thus saith the LORD Thus have ye said, O house of Israel: for I know the things that come into your mind, [every one of] them.

Ver. 5. And the Spirit of the Lord fell upon me.] Et irruit in me Spiritus Iehovae; with force and power. It was a mighty lapse from a God much offended.

Thus have ye said.] As Ezekiel 11:3; but better ye had held your peace. Or, Thus have ye thought, and as good ye might have spake out.

For I know the things that came into your mind.] Heb., And the ascensions of your spirit, I know it; i.e., I know them every one, as if they had all been but one. I understand your ironies, your sly jeers and will deal with you accordingly. See Luke 24:38, Deuteronomy 31:21.


Verse 6

Ezekiel 11:6 Ye have multiplied your slain in this city, and ye have filled the streets thereof with the slain.

Ver. 6. Ye have multiplied your slain in this city.] Called therefore a bloody city, [Ezekiel 22:2; Ezekiel 9:9; Ezekiel 7:23] and it shall therefore despume you; Vos sicut spumae eieciemini. Evil counsellors are cruel and bloody-minded; their craft is never but accompanied with cruelty, and their cruelty seldom without craft. "None of them wanteth their mate," as the Scripture speaks of those birds of prey and desolation. [Isaiah 34:16]


Verse 7

Ezekiel 11:7 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD Your slain whom ye have laid in the midst of it, they [are] the flesh, and this [city is] the caldron: but I will bring you forth out of the midst of it.

Ver. 7. Your slain.] Whether ye have slain them outright, or have laid them bleeding and dying by your oppressions; for a poor man’s livelihood is his life. [Mark 12:44 Luke 8:43] He is in his house like a snail in his shell, crush that, and you kill him.

And this city is the caldron.] (a) Thus their own words, spoken in mockery, are wittily retorted upon them, and driven back again down their throats as it were.

But I will bring you forth out of the midst of it.] As rotten flesh, to be cast out; or as filthy scum, to boil over.


Verse 8

Ezekiel 11:8 Ye have feared the sword; and I will bring a sword upon you, saith the Lord GOD.

Ver. 8. Ye have feared the sword.] And yet they made as if they feared nothing; they doubted not but to die in their nest; but all guilt hath fear, and all such fear hath torment.

And I will bring a sword upon you.] Such as all your craft can never keep off. Ineluctabilis vis fatorum, cuius fortunam mutare canstituit, consilia corrumpit. (a) See Proverbs 10:24. {See Trapp on "Proverbs 10:24"}


Verse 9

Ezekiel 11:9 And I will bring you out of the midst thereof, and deliver you into the hands of strangers, and will execute judgments among you.

Ver. 9. And I will bring you out of the midst thereof.] The same again, for better assurance. We use to do so oft when we threaten aught.


Verse 10

Ezekiel 11:10 Ye shall fall by the sword; I will judge you in the border of Israel; and ye shall know that I [am] the LORD.

Ver. 10. I will judge you in the border of Israel.] In the northern border, even at Riblah. [2 Kings 25:6; 2 Kings 25:21 Jeremiah 52:10; Jeremiah 52:24; Jeremiah 52:27]


Verse 11

Ezekiel 11:11 This [city] shall not be your caldron, neither shall ye be the flesh in the midst thereof; [but] I will judge you in the border of Israel:

Ver. 11. This city shall not be your caldron.] Ye shall not be so happy as to die in your own native country, atque ante ora patrum (a) but elsewhere, at Riblah or Antiochia.


Verse 12

Ezekiel 11:12 And ye shall know that I [am] the LORD: for ye have not walked in my statutes, neither executed my judgments, but have done after the manners of the heathen that [are] round about you.

Ver. 12. And ye shall know that I am the Lord.] That which ye would not take knowledge of by the words of your prophets, ye shall now be made to know by the swords of your enemies.

For ye have not walked in my statutes.] When God is about to proceed in judgment against evildoers, there is ever a cause for it, and they shall know it.


Verse 13

Ezekiel 11:13 And it came to pass, when I prophesied, that Pelatiah the son of Benaiah died. Then fell I down upon my face, and cried with a loud voice, and said, Ah Lord GOD! wilt thou make a full end of the remnant of Israel?

Ver. 13. And it came to pass that when I prophesied.] God heweth men by his prophets, and slayeth them by the words of his mouth, and his judgments are as the light, or lightning, that goeth forth. [Hosea 6:5] Elisha hath his sword as well as Jehu and Hazael. [1 Kings 19:17] See Jeremiah 1:10, 2 Corinthians 10:6.

Pelatiah the son of Benaiah died.] Suddenly, (a) and before his time, in Solomon’s sense. [Ecclesiastes 7:17] Driven away he was in his iniquity Cerinthus, Arius so were Ananias and Sapphira, Cerinthus, Arius, Stephen Gardiner, Cardinal Pool, Dick of Dover, as they called the persecuting suffragan (b) there; Nightingale, parson of Becking, &c. See Proverbs 6:14-15.

Then fell I down upon my face.] Out of a holy solicitude about God’s elect, lest they also should have perished, as Petaliah had done, whose very name might seem somewhat ominous, for it signifieth "the escaped one of the Lord"; and therefore his sudden death might portend destruction to the remnant of Israel.

And cried with a loud voice.] Sudden or singular judgments put saints upon humble, earnest, and argumentative prayer.


Verse 14

Ezekiel 11:14 Again the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,

Ver. 14. Again the word of the Lord came unto me.] In answer to my prayer, though there was something in it of unbelief and human frailty. See Psalms 31:22. {See Trapp on "Psalms 31:22"}


Verse 15

Ezekiel 11:15 Son of man, thy brethren, [even] thy brethren, the men of thy kindred, and all the house of Israel wholly, [are] they unto whom the inhabitants of Jerusalem have said, Get you far from the LORD: unto us is this land given in possession.

Ver. 15. Thy brethren, even thy brethren,] i.e., Thine unbrotherly brethren of Jerusalem seek to unbrother and to unchurch thee and the rest of thy fellow captives. See Isaiah 65:5. Papists and sectaries deal so by us.

The men of thy kindred.] Viri vindiciarum tuarum, or they that have the right of redemption.

And all the house of Israel.] Tota domus Israelis, quanta quanta est. The Jerusalemites challenged the Lord, and the land, and all therein, to be theirs, excluding, and as it were excommunicating, the captives at Babylon, who were dear to God. So dealt the scribes and Pharisees by the Christians; [John 16:2 Acts 26:9-11] so did the Rogatian heretics and the Donatists, who gave themselves out, as now the Papists do, to be the only Catholics. The Arians called the orthodox, by way of scorn and contempt, Ambrosians, Athanasians, Homousians, &c.

Get ye far from the Lord.] Gressus removete, profani: Ita in malam crucem: εις κορακας. Ye are cut off from the people of God, and may go whither you will; we are heirs and owners of the promises, ye are outcasts and abjects.


Verse 16

Ezekiel 11:16 Therefore say, Thus saith the Lord GOD Although I have cast them far off among the heathen, and although I have scattered them among the countries, yet will I be to them as a little sanctuary in the countries where they shall come.

Ver. 16. Although I have cast them.] What a cornucopia of comfort may this promise be to poor prisoners, forlorn exiles, and such as by sickness or otherwise are necessitated to keep from public ordinances, that they shall have God’s presence and protection, the comfort and conduct of his Spirit, &c.

Yet I will be to them as a little sanctuary.] Sanctuarium modicum. By heating their prayers, sanctifying their natures, bringing to their remembrance what things they have heard and learned touching me and my will, themselves and their duties. They should in Babylon worship God in spirit and in truth; and in the life to come the Lord God Almighty and his Lamb should be their temple. [Revelation 21:22]


Verse 17

Ezekiel 11:17 Therefore say, Thus saith the Lord GOD I will even gather you from the people, and assemble you out of the countries where ye have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel.

Ver. 17. I will even gather you from the people.] How impossible or improbable soever you may think it, and those of Jerusalem pronounce it. The prophet Isaiah in many chapters of his gospel, which beginneth at Ezekiel 40:1-49, setteth himself to cheer up these poor captives with good hopes of a return, after a little while, paulisper, as some render the word megnat in the foregoing Ezekiel 11:16.


Verse 18

Ezekiel 11:18 And they shall come thither, and they shall take away all the detestable things thereof and all the abominations thereof from thence.

Ver. 18. And they shall take away all the detestable things.] So God calleth their idols and monuments of idolatry, not deigning to call them by their usual names. After the captivity the Jews would never endure idols. They chose rather to die than to suffer Caligula’s statue to be set up in their temple by Petronins. To this day they say that there is an ounce of the golden calf in all their sufferings.


Verse 19

Ezekiel 11:19 And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh:

Ver. 19. And I will give them one heart.] Opposed to a "divided heart," such as the Paphlagonian partridges are said to have; [Hosea 10:2] that is, partly for God, and partly for the world. [Ezekiel 33:31] This oneness of heart truly and entirely cleaving to God alone, is that boon that David so dearly beggeth, [Psalms 86:11] that he might attend upon God without distraction. [1 Corinthians 7:35] And as the visible beams are wholly bent upon the thing that is beheld by the eye, and as it were concentred in it, (a) so might his desires and endeavours be entirely carried toward God, and firmly fixed upon him.

And I will put a new spirit within you.] The same soul for substance, but altered in the frame, renewed in the qualities thereof. [Mark 16:17] They shall "speak with new tongues"; so we read of a "new song"; the strings are the same, but the tune is changed. See Psalms 51:12, Ephesians 4:23, 2 Corinthians 5:17.

And I will take away the stony heart.] Extraham, say the Septuagint. I will draw or pull it out, which none can do but the hand of Heaven. God only can make the flinty heart fleshly, that is, sensible, soft, pliant, penetrable, buxom, and obedient to his holy will.


Verse 20

Ezekiel 11:20 That they may walk in my statutes, and keep mine ordinances, and do them: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God.

Ver. 20. That they may walk in my statutes.] The covenant of grace is suited to all the exigencies and indigencies of a poor saint. It is "ordered in all things." [2 Samuel 23:5]


Verse 21

Ezekiel 11:21 But [as for them] whose heart walketh after the heart of their detestable things and their abominations, I will recompense their way upon their own heads, saith the Lord GOD.

Ver. 21. But as for them.] This is added lest any wicked men should misapply the promises, as they do qui sperando praesumunt et praesumendo pereunt.


Verse 22

Ezekiel 11:22 Then did the cherubims lift up their wings, and the wheels beside them; and the glory of the God of Israel [was] over them above.

Ver. 22. Then did the cherubims.] Now God is utterly leaving the refractory Jews. He did so much more after their rejection of Christ and his gospel.


Verse 23

Ezekiel 11:23 And the glory of the LORD went up from the midst of the city, and stood upon the mountain which [is] on the east side of the city.

Ver. 23. From the midst of the city.] From the east gate.

And stood upon the mountain.] Mount Olivet. There he made his last stand, to see if they would meet him with entreaties of peace, that he might stop or step back. Here it was that Christ wept over the city, and hence he went up to heaven; after which came the Romans and destroyed it.


Verse 24

Ezekiel 11:24 Afterwards the spirit took me up, and brought me in a vision by the Spirit of God into Chaldea, to them of the captivity. So the vision that I had seen went up from me.

Ver. 24. By the Spirit of God,] i.e., In a supernatural rapture.


Verse 25

Ezekiel 11:25 Then I spake unto them of the captivity all the things that the LORD had shewed me.

Ver. 25. Then I spake unto them of the captivity.] These were his proper charge, and now God’s chiefest care. To them therefore he delivered the whole counsel of God, which he had seen and heard for their better settlement.

 


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Bibliography Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Ezekiel 11:4". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/ezekiel-11.html. 1865-1868.

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