Ezekiel 3

1 He said to me, Son of man, eat that which you find. Eat this scroll, and go, speak to the house of Israel. 2 So I opened my mouth, and he caused me to eat the scroll. 3 He said to me, Son of man, cause your belly to eat, and fill your bowels with this scroll that I give you. Then I ate it; and it was as sweet as honey in my mouth. 4 He said to me, Son of man, go to the house of Israel, and speak my words to them. 5 For you are not sent to a people of a strange speech and of a hard language, but to the house of Israel; 6 not to many peoples of a strange speech and of a hard language, whose words you can not understand. Surely, if I sent you to them, they would listen to you. 7 But the house of Israel will not listen to you; for they will not listen to me: for all the house of Israel are obstinate and hard-hearted. 8 Behold, I have made your face hard against their faces, and your forehead hard against their foreheads. 9 As an adamant harder than flint have I made your forehead: don’t be afraid of them, neither be dismayed at their looks, though they are a rebellious house. 10 Moreover he said to me, Son of man, all my words that I shall speak to you receive in your heart, and hear with your ears. 11 Go to them of the captivity, to the children of your people, and speak to them, and tell them, Thus says the Lord GOD; whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear. 12 Then the Spirit lifted me up, and I heard behind me the voice of a great rushing, saying, Blessed be the LORD’s glory from his place. 13 I heard the noise of the wings of the living creatures as they touched one another, and the noise of the wheels beside them, even the noise of a great rushing. 14 So the Spirit lifted me up, and took me away; and I went in bitterness, in the heat of my spirit; and the LORD’s hand was strong on me. 15 Then I came to them of the captivity at Tel Aviv, that lived by the river Chebar, and to where they lived; and I sat there overwhelmed amongst them seven days. 16 At the end of seven days, the LORD’s word came to me, saying, 17 Son of man, I have made you a watchman to the house of Israel: therefore hear the word from my mouth, and give them warning from me. 18 When I tell the wicked, You shall surely die; and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at your hand. 19 Yet if you warn the wicked, and he doesn’t turn from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul. 20 Again, when a righteous man does turn from his righteousness, and commit iniquity, and I lay a stumbling block before him, he shall die: because you have not given him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteous deeds which he has done shall not be remembered; but his blood will I require at your hand. 21 Nevertheless if you warn the righteous man, that the righteous not sin, and he does not sin, he shall surely live, because he took warning; and you have delivered your soul. 22 the LORD’s hand was there on me; and he said to me, Arise, go out into the plain, and I will there talk with you. 23 Then I arose, and went out into the plain: and behold, the LORD’s glory stood there, as the glory which I saw by the river Chebar; and I fell on my face. 24 Then the Spirit entered into me, and set me on my feet; and he spoke with me, and said to me, Go, shut yourself inside your house. 25 But you, son of man, behold, they shall lay bands on you, and shall bind you with them, and you shall not go out amongst them: 26 and I will make your tongue stick to the roof of your mouth, that you shall be mute, and shall not be to them a reprover; for they are a rebellious house. 27 But when I speak with you, I will open your mouth, and you shall tell them, Thus says the Lord GOD: He who hears, let him hear; and he who forbears, let him forbear: for they are a rebellious house.

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Questions about today’s reading? See if Matthew Henry can help.
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, 1706

Verses 1-11

Ezekiel was to receive the truths of God as the food for his soul, and to feed upon them by faith, and he would be strengthened. Gracious souls can receive those truths of God with delight, which speak terror to the wicked. He must speak all that, and that only, which God spake to him. How can we better speak God’s mind than with his words? If disappointed as to his people, he must not be offended. The Ninevites were wrought upon by Jonah’s preaching, when Israel was unhumbled and unreformed. We must leave this unto the Divine sovereignty, and say, Lord, thy judgments are a great deep. They will not regard the word of the prophet, for they will not regard the rod of God. Christ promises to strengthen him. He must continue earnest in preaching, whatever the success might be.

Verses 12-21

This mission made the holy angels rejoice. All this was to convince Ezekiel, that the God who sent him had power to bear him out in his work. He was overwhelmed with grief for the sins and miseries of his people, and overpowered by the glory of the vision he had seen. And however retirement, meditation, and communion with God may be sweet, the servant of the Lord must prepare to serve his generation. The Lord told the prophet he had appointed him a watchman to the house of Israel. If we warn the wicked, we are not chargeable with their ruin. Though such passages refer to the national covenant made with Israel, they are equally to be applied to the final state of all men under every dispensation. We are not only to encourage and comfort those who appear to be righteous, but they are to be warned, for many have grown high-minded and secure, have fallen, and even died in their sins. Surely then the hearers of the gospel should desire warnings, and even reproofs.

Verses 22-27

Let us own ourselves for ever indebted to the mediation of Christ, for the blessed intercourse between God and man; and a true believer will say, I am never less alone than when thus alone. When the Lord opened Ezekiel’s mouth, he was to deliver his message boldly, to place life and death, the blessing and the curse, before the people, and leave them to their choice.

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