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Bible Commentaries

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Ezekiel 2

 

 

Verse 1-2

Ezekiel 2:1-2. And he — Who sat upon the throne, the Son of God, whose messenger Ezekiel is here appointed to be to the Jewish captives now in Chaldea; said unto me, Son of man — A title ninety-five times, at least, given to Ezekiel, in this prophecy, in order, as most commentators suppose, to put him in mind of his frailty and mortality, and to keep him humble, amidst so many divine visions and revelations vouchsafed him from God: see Psalms 8:4. Stand upon thy feet — Arise, fear not, and put thyself into a posture of attending to what I shall say to thee. And with this command God sent forth a power, enabling him to arise and stand. And the spirit entered into me — The same spirit which actuated the living creatures and the wheels; when he spake unto me — While he was speaking the words, or, as soon as they were spoken.


Verses 3-5

Ezekiel 2:3-5. I send thee to the children of Israel — God had for many ages been sending to them his servants the prophets, but to little purpose: they were now sent into captivity for abusing God’s messengers; and yet even there God raises up and sends a prophet among them, to try if their ears were open to receive instruction, now they were holden in the cords of affliction. To a rebellious nation — Hebrew, גוים, nations, the prophet’s commission extending to the dispersed Israelites, as well as the captive Jews, as also to the Jews still in Judea, to whom most of his predictions and reproofs related, and whom his writings would reach, in the order of Divine Providence. They and their fathers have transgressed against me — From age to age they had rebelled against him, and were now as much inclined to do so as ever. They are impudent children, and stiff-hearted — The Hebrew, קשׁי פנים וחזקי לב, may be more significantly rendered, They are children impudent in their countenance, and hardened in their hearts. “They are so far hardened in their wickedness as to have cast off all shame, and even the very outward show of modesty.” And whether they will hear, &c. — Whether they will regard what is said by thee or not, they shall know that there hath been a prophet, &c. — They that obey shall know by the good I will do them; those that will not, by the evil which I will bring upon them. So that the event, answering to thy predictions, shall render thy authority unquestionable, and them inexcusable for not hearkening to the warnings thou hast given them.


Verses 6-8

Ezekiel 2:6-8. And thou, be not afraid of them — “The prophets and messengers of God are often exhorted to take courage, and are promised a proportionable assistance in the discharge of their office, without fearing any man’s person, or standing in awe of any man’s greatness.” — Lowth. Neither be afraid of their words — Their accusations, threats, or whatever else a malicious heart can suggest to the tongue. Though briers and thorns be with thee — Though thou art among such as study to vex and torment thee. Briers, usually running up among thorns, are a very fit emblem of the frowardness and keenness of sinners against God and his prophets, and therefore wicked and persecuting men are often denoted by this expression in the prophetical writings. And thou dost dwell among scorpions — Among men that are malicious and revengeful, and as dangerous and hurtful as the worst of serpents. Nor be dismayed at their looks — Wherewith they would brow-beat thee. They that would do any thing to purpose in the service of God, must not fear the faces of men. And thou shalt speak my words unto them — Do not forbear or desist from speaking to them what I have given thee in charge to speak, let them threaten and behave as they will, for thou shalt not receive any hurt from them, whether they pay regard to thee as a prophet or not. But thou, hear what I say unto thee — Obey when thou hearest. Those that would speak from God to their fellow-creatures, must be sure first to hear from God themselves, and then must be obedient to his voice. Be not thou rebellious, &c. — That is, do not refuse to go on this errand, or to deliver the message wherewith I send thee; do not fly off, as Jonah did, for fear of offending thy countrymen. If ministers, whose office it is to reprove sinners, connive at sin, and gratify sinners, either not showing them their wickedness, or not setting before them the fatal consequences of it, for fear of displeasing them, and exposing themselves to their ill will, they hereby make themselves partakers of their guilt, and are rebellious like them. If people will not do their duty in reforming, yet let ministers do theirs in reproving, and this will yield them comfort on reflection, whatever the success may be. Open thy mouth, and eat that I give thee — Receive into thy mind and heart, meditate upon, and digest the things which I reveal to thee. God’s words were to sink into him, that he might faithfully deliver them to others. The knowledge of divine truths is often expressed in Scripture by the metaphors of eating, digesting, and being nourished by bodily food: see Isaiah 55:1-2; John 6:27.


Verse 9-10

Ezekiel 2:9-10. Behold a hand was sent unto me — I saw a hand stretched out toward me, as from that divine person who appeared to me in the shape of a man. And lo, a roll of a book was therein — Wherein were contained the contents of the following prophecy. And he spread it before me — That I might understand the contents of it. And it was written within and without — The ancient books were rolled on cylinders of wood or ivory, and usually the writing was only on the inside; but this was written on both sides, both that which was innermost when it was rolled up, and on the outside also, which signified that the prophecy contained a long series of events. And there was written therein lamentations, and mourning, and wo — It contained predictions and revelations of impending calamities, and divers terrible judgments coming on the Jewish nation, and giving great cause for bitter sorrow and lamentation.

 


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Bibliography Information
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Ezekiel 2:4". Joseph Benson's Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/ezekiel-2.html. 1857.

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