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Bible Commentaries

Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible

Ezekiel 11

 

 

Verses 1-13

Ezekiel 11. The Departure of Yahweh.

Ezekiel 11:1-13. Another Guilty Group.—The doom has been executed with grim thoroughness, the guilty are all slain (Ezekiel 11:9); it is therefore surprising to come here upon another guilty group. Clearly this passage presupposes a slightly different time, but it admirably serves to strengthen the reasons for Yahweh's departure from the city. Besides the idolatry already described (Ezekiel 11:8), another type of guilt is illustrated by this group of twenty-five (probably twenty-four and a president) who give "wicked counsel" in the city. Apparently these were statesmen who favoured the policy (condemned by Jeremiah) of revolt from Babylon. In proverbial language they compare the city to a caldron, and themselves to the flesh within it: the fire may blaze round the pot, but the flesh within it is protected. The sense of security which they thus express is rudely shattered by the prophet, who is inspired to announce that the only people safe within the city would be those whom their wicked policy had already slain—grim irony!—while they themselves would be thrown from the pot into the fire, driven out of their fancied security by the sword which they fear towards the cruel destiny reserved for them by the Babylonians away on the distant northern borders of ancient Israel; and then they would be compelled by the logic of fact to acknowledge the power and the character of Yahweh who punishes those who ignore His law. In point of fact, after the fall of Jerusalem the Hebrew prisoners were taken to Riblah (Ezekiel 6:14) and there put to death (2 Kings 25:21). Immediately after this announcement one of the leaders of the guilty group fell dead—this Ezekiel may have seen in virtue of his gift of second sight—and the prophet, horrified, uttered a piercing prayer for the remnant, like that which he had offered before when the angels were slaying the wicked people (Ezekiel 9:8).

(The meaning of the first clause of Ezekiel 11:3 is not clear: perhaps it should be read as a question—"have houses not recently been built?"—and taken to indicate a sense of returning prosperity and confidence: so LXX.)


Verses 14-25

Ezekiel 11:14-25. A Glimmer of Hope.—The people who, at the first deportation (597 B.C.), were allowed to remain in the land, clearly thought themselves superior to those who, like Ezekiel, had been taken to Babylon—far from Yahweh's land and therefore far from Yahweh (Ezekiel 11:15, read they are far). Ezekiel undeceives them: the future lies with the exiles, not with them. True, Yahweh had been (see mg.) to the exiles "but little of a sanctuary"—i.e. their religious privileges had been inevitably curtailed—but some day they would come back to the land, and establish upon it the true worship of Yahweh. First they would sweep it clean of every idolatrous thing, and then for their callous obstinate hearts God would give them soft impressionable hearts on which His laws would be easily written (Ezekiel 36:25-27). (It is worth noting here how great prophetic thought is crossed by ritual interests.) In Ezekiel 11:19 for "one" read, with LXX, another."

Then, in good earnest, the Divine chariot begins to move (Ezekiel 11:22-25): it passes away from the guilty city across the Kidron to the Mount of Olives, away—we are not told where; and we hear no more of it till we reach the reconstruction sketched at the end of the book (Ezekiel 44:1-3). Then Ezekiel awoke from his trance.

 


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Bibliography Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on Ezekiel 11:4". "Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/pfc/ezekiel-11.html. 1919.

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