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Bible Commentaries

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Ezekiel 12

 

 

Verse 1

Ezekiel 12:1 The word of the LORD also came unto me, saying,

Ver. 1. The word of the Lord also came unto me.] This variety of visions shows the great unbelief of the people, whose captivity and calamity is here further described and assured by a new type, which is set out in Ezekiel 12:1-6 :, and then applied in Ezekiel 12:7-16. One sermon pegs in another, and the man of God must stick to his work, and επιστηθι, stand over it. [2 Timothy 4:2]


Verse 2

Ezekiel 12:2 Son of man, thou dwellest in the midst of a rebellious house, which have eyes to see, and see not; they have ears to hear, and hear not: for they [are] a rebellious house.

Ver. 2. A rebellious house.] Heb., A house of rebellion, domus perduellis, that hath cast down the gauntlet of defiance against me.

Which have eyes to see, and see not,] sc., To any good purpose. They will not see, [Isaiah 26:11] and who so blind as such? They wink wilfully, which is no small aggravation of their sin. [John 9:4 Ephesians 4:18]

Which have ears to hear, and hear not,] i.e., Castigatiores non evadunt. They are not a button the better for what they hear. They draw not up the ears of their minds to the ears of their bodies, that one sound might pierce both.


Verse 3

Ezekiel 12:3 Therefore, thou son of man, prepare thee stuff for removing, and remove by day in their sight; and thou shalt remove from thy place to another place in their sight: it may be they will consider, though they [be] a rebellious house.

Ver. 3. Therefore, thou son of man,] i.e., Nevertheless do thou as thou art bidden, and let what thou doest and sayest be for a testimony against them, stick in their souls and flesh, as the envenomed arrows of the Almighty throughout eternity.

Prepare thee stuff for removing.] Heb., Instruments, or vessels. Convasa res tuas, collae sarcinas, pack up and away. See if this way thou canst work upon them.

It may be they will consider,] sc., By this express sign, though they profit not by thy plain preaching. Ministers must study their people’s souls; turn themselves into all forms and shapes, of spirit and of speech, to win upon them.


Verse 4

Ezekiel 12:4 Then shalt thou bring forth thy stuff by day in their sight, as stuff for removing: and thou shalt go forth at even in their sight, as they that go forth into captivity.

Ver. 4. Thou shalt bring forth thy stuff.] Arma viatoria; travelling bags for an ocular demonstration. What surer than sight?

Go forth at even.] The king and his men of war were glad to do so, [2 Kings 25:4] but it would not do.


Verse 5

Ezekiel 12:5 Dig thou through the wall in their sight, and carry out thereby.

Ver. 5. Dig through the wall.] Make any shift. Necessitas magnum telum. He that digged Mortimer’s hole, as they call it, at Nottingham Castle, earned his liberty dearly. God might have said to the prophet at once, Get thee gone out of thy country - how sad a thing that is Ovid when banished setteth forth in many elegant elegies, sed cuncta per partes digerit - but he must do it piecemeal and by degrees, that it may the more affect them.


Verse 6

Ezekiel 12:6 In their sight shalt thou bear [it] upon [thy] shoulders, [and] carry [it] forth in the twilight: thou shalt cover thy face, that thou see not the ground: for I have set thee [for] a sign unto the house of Israel.

Ver. 6. In their sight shalt thou bear it upon thy shoulders.] To show that King Zedekiah himself should carry out some of his most precious things upon his shoulders when he fled. See Ezekiel 12:12. This was a base thing for a king to do. King Alphonsus indeed is renowned for drawing a poor perishing man out of a ditch, and bearing him on his back to a place of relief.

Thou shalt cover thy face.] In token that Zedekiah should be made blind. A just hand of God upon him who had eyes and saw not, [Ezekiel 12:2] like as it was upon Muleasses King of Tunis, who had those eyes of his dug out which had been inlets of lust, and which he oft covered with his hat pulled over them, that he might listen the better to wanton ditties and profane music.

For I have set thee for a sign.] Portentum, a sign portending their going into captivity.


Verse 7

Ezekiel 12:7 And I did so as I was commanded: I brought forth my stuff by day, as stuff for captivity, and in the even I digged through the wall with mine hand; I brought [it] forth in the twilight, [and] I bare [it] upon [my] shoulder in their sight.

Ver. 7. And [did as I was commanded.] Though well laughed at for my labour by the mad world, ever beside itself in point of salvation, and looking upon God’s Jordans as Naaman did, with Syrian eyes. The outward signs in our sacraments are in themselves mean and ordinary matters; yet the minister is to make use of them, and the people to climb up to heaven by them as ladders of life Hence even in the ancient church liturgy they had their Sursum corda, Lift up your hearts. Rideant athei et ringantur.


Verse 8

Ezekiel 12:8 And in the morning came the word of the LORD unto me, saying,

Ver. 8. And in the morning came the word of the Lord.] Mane, id est, mature. God not only betime, but timeously, admonished his people; but they refused to be reformed - would have none of his counsel.


Verse 9

Ezekiel 12:9 Son of man, hath not the house of Israel, the rebellious house, said unto thee, What doest thou?

Ver. 9. Hath not the house of Israel … said unto thee, What doest thou?] (a) q.d., Nothing less. So stupid they are, or so stubborn, that they never once asked any such question; or if they did, it was in a jeer, as who should say, You are a wise man to trouble yourself and us in this foolish and childish manner; a great deal of gravity sure you show therewhile.


Verse 10

Ezekiel 12:10 Say thou unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD This burden [concerneth] the prince in Jerusalem, and all the house of Israel that [are] among them.

Ver. 10. This burden concerneth the princes in Jerusalem.] There is an elegance in the original. Princes who overburden their people shall one day have their back burden of miseries. Potentes potenter torquebuntur.


Verse 11

Ezekiel 12:11 Say, I [am] your sign: like as I have done, so shall it be done unto them: they shall remove [and] go into captivity.

Ver. 11. I am your sign.] And so it pleases you to make me your mocking stock. Sed risus hic est Sardonius. Of such mirth one may safely say, "It is mad; and of such laughter, What doeth it?" [Ecclesiastes 2:2]

Like as I have done.] My removal is mira, nova inimica, et ludicra; a marvel, newly hostile, and a show; but upon you it will fall heavily and horridly. That which hath befallen me in type only, shall befall you in truth and reality.


Verse 12

Ezekiel 12:12 And the prince that [is] among them shall bear upon [his] shoulder in the twilight, and shall go forth: they shall dig through the wall to carry out thereby: he shall cover his face, that he see not the ground with [his] eyes.

Ver. 12. And the prince that is among them.] Zedekiah, that profane, wicked prince. [Ezekiel 21:25]

Shall bear upon his shoulders in the twilight.] His precious things (see on Ezekiel 12:6). This, though it be not recorded in the holy history, yet that it was so, we are assured by this scripture. Great men in exigents stoop to low offices. This load upon his shoulders might hinder his flight and further his surprise, as it did Bajazet’s, when he was beaten out of the field by Tamerlane, that he stayed to water his horse. The Vulgate rendereth it, but not well, in humeris portabitur, he shall be carried on men’s shoulders. The Pope, indeed, is ordinarily so carried; but he was glad to foot it when forced by the German and Spanish soldiers; A.D. 1527, he was glad to secure himself in his castle St Angelo.

They shall dig through the wall.] The door haply, or inlet of some underground passage.

He shall cover his face.] See on Ezekiel 12:6. This he did haply through fear, or shame, or for a disguise; but his sin found him out.


Verse 13

Ezekiel 12:13 My net also will I spread upon him, and he shall be taken in my snare: and I will bring him to Babylon [to] the land of the Chaldeans; yet shall he not see it, though he shall die there.

Ver. 13. My net also will I spread upon him.] Princes usually love hunting and fowling. Lo, the Chaldees shall hunt him and overcatch him.

And he shall be taken in my snare.] Snares are set secretly, catch suddenly, hold certainly. A stronghold the Hebrew word here used doth also signify. (a)

Yet shall he not see it.] For his eyes were put out at Riblah. [2 Kings 25:7] And yet, behold, a greater blindness that befell him than this. Josephus (b) testifieth that Zedekiah not understanding these words of Ezekiel, and thinking them to be contrary to Jeremiah’s words, he resolved to believe neither of them.


Verse 14

Ezekiel 12:14 And I will scatter toward every wind all that [are] about him to help him, and all his bands; and I will draw out the sword after them.

Ver. 14. And I will scatter toward every wind.] His bodyguard, σοματοφυλακες. Esquires of his body, auxiliaries. I will put him into a helpless condition. [Psalms 146:3] If the Lord do not help thee, whence shall I help thee? said that king to her that cried to him for help. [2 Kings 6:27]


Verse 15

Ezekiel 12:15 And they shall know that I [am] the LORD, when I shall scatter them among the nations, and disperse them in the countries.

Ver. 15. And they shall know that I am the Lord.] The Lord God of heaven, the great and terrible God. [Nehemiah 1:5] This they shall know magno suo male, his great wrong, who would not take knowledge what was said unto them by the prophets.


Verse 16

Ezekiel 12:16 But I will leave a few men of them from the sword, from the famine, and from the pestilence; that they may declare all their abominations among the heathen whither they come; and they shall know that I [am] the LORD.

Ver. 16. But I will leave a few men.] Heb., Men of number, a company scarce considerable in comparison of the many.

That they may declare all their abominations.] Give glory to God, take shame to themselves, and thereby do much good to those heathens hardened before by their evil behaviour. Vere magnus est Deus Christianorum, Truly, great is the God of the Christians, said one Calocerius, a heathen.


Verse 17

Ezekiel 12:17 Moreover the word of the LORD came to me, saying,

Ver. 17. Moreover the word, &c.] See on Ezekiel 12:1.


Verse 18

Ezekiel 12:18 Son of man, eat thy bread with quaking, and drink thy water with trembling and with carefulness;

Ver. 18. Eat thy bread with quaking.] With tumult and trepidation, as a frightened and perplexed person that eateth his bread in peril of his life.


Verse 19

Ezekiel 12:19 And say unto the people of the land, Thus saith the Lord GOD of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, [and] of the land of Israel; They shall eat their bread with carefulness, and drink their water with astonishment, that her land may be desolate from all that is therein, because of the violence of all them that dwell therein.

Ver. 19. They shall eat their bread with carefulness.] Better fast than feed on such bread. Men may sooner by their carking care add a furlong to their grief, than a cubit to their comfort, saith one.

Because of the violence.] The Jews were ever, and are still, a covetous and cruel people.


Verse 20

Ezekiel 12:20 And the cities that are inhabited shall be laid waste, and the land shall be desolate; and ye shall know that I [am] the LORD.

Ver. 20. And ye shall know.] By woeful experience. [Ezekiel 12:15]


Verse 21

Ezekiel 12:21 And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,

Ver. 21. And the word of the Lord.] See Ezekiel 12:1.


Verse 22

Ezekiel 12:22 Son of man, what [is] that proverb [that] ye have in the land of Israel, saying, The days are prolonged, and every vision faileth?

Ver. 22. What is that proverb.] We have also many profane proverbs common among us, as, Thought is free; Every man for himself, and God for us all; Words are but wind; In space comes grace; Fair and softly goes far, &c. The Greeks had many such ill proverbs, Chrysostom complaineth.

The days are prolonged.] Ludibrium crassum: gross mockery, "Because judgment is not speedily executed," &c.


Verse 23

Ezekiel 12:23 Tell them therefore, Thus saith the Lord GOD I will make this proverb to cease, and they shall no more use it as a proverb in Israel; but say unto them, The days are at hand, and the effect of every vision.

Ver. 23. The days are at hand.] Opponit aliud dictum fere tot syllabarum; a plain and plenary confutation.


Verse 24

Ezekiel 12:24 For there shall be no more any vain vision nor flattering divination within the house of Israel.

Ver. 24. For there shall be no more.] God could have really confuted them by present execution; but he is patient.


Verse 25

Ezekiel 12:25 For I [am] the LORD: I will speak, and the word that I shall speak shall come to pass; it shall be no more prolonged: for in your days, O rebellious house, will I say the word, and will perform it, saith the Lord GOD.

Ver. 25. For I am the Lord.] And that you shall shortly feel to your small comfort. What I have uttered with my mouth, I will perform with my hand without fail.

For in your days.] Within six years.


Verse 26

Ezekiel 12:26 Again the word of the LORD came to me, saying,

Ver. 26. Again the word.] See on Ezekiel 12:1.


Verse 27

Ezekiel 12:27 Son of man, behold, [they of] the house of Israel say, The vision that he seeth [is] for many days [to come], and he prophesieth of the times [that are] far off.

Ver. 27. For many days.] Either it is nothing, or long hence.


Verse 28

Ezekiel 12:28 Therefore say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD There shall none of my words be prolonged any more, but the word which I have spoken shall be done, saith the Lord GOD.

Ver. 28. There shall none of my words be prolonged.] Abused mercy turneth into fury.

 


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Bibliography Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Ezekiel 12:4". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/ezekiel-12.html. 1865-1868.

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