Ezekiel 12 Bible Commentary

John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes

(Read all of Ezekiel 12)

Verse 2

[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.

Eyes to see — They have capacity, if they would, to understand, but they will not understand, what thou speakest.

Verse 3

[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.

Stuff — Vessels or instruments, wherein thou mayest put what is portable.

Verse 4

[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.

In their sight — Before 'tis quite night, that they, who should learn by this sign, may see and consider it.

Verse 5

[5] Dig thou through the wall in their sight, and carry out thereby.

Dig — Come not through the door, but as one who knows there is a guard upon the door, get to some back part of thy house, and dig there thyself, either to make the greater haste, or to keep all secret; for all will be little enough for them that must act what thou dost represent.

Carry out — Through the hole thou hast dug.

Verse 6

[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.

Bare it — In testimony of the servitude they shall be reduced to, who then must do what servants or beasts were wont to be employed in.

Cover thy face — As unwilling to be seen or known.

For — I have set thee for a sign to them, and thou shalt tell them the meaning of these things in due time.

Verse 7

[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.

I brought forth — Here is a transposing of his actions, and rehearsal of that in the first place, which was acted in the second place.

Verse 10

[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.

Say — Though they enquire not, yet tell them what I mean hereby, that this prophecy is a burden which the kingdom shall groan under.

The prince — Zedekiah.

Verse 11

[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.

I am your sign — My person is the emblem of yours, and my actions of that you shall do. And the like shall be done to you, O inhabitants of Jerusalem. We cannot say concerning our dwelling place, that it is our resting place. For how far we may be tossed from it before we die, we cannot foresee.

Verse 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.

The prince — Zedekiah.

Shall bear — Disguised, as a servant, in hope to conceal himself, chuses the twilight as the time that would best favour his design.

They shall dig — This was fulfilled when they broke down the wall to fly, Jeremiah 39:4.

Cover his face — Zedekiah did by this aim at concealing himself.

Verse 13

[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.

It — Neither the land nor the city; for his eyes will be put out at Riblah.

Verse 16

[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.

Declare — By relating those sins, for which God was justly angry, and for which he punished them, though they were his own people.

Thy — The Chaldeans. See how God brings good out of evil! The dispersion of sinners, who had done God much dishonour and disservice in their own country, proves the dispersion of penitents, who shall do him much honour and service in other countries!

Verse 19

[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.

The people — Thy fellow captives.

And of the land — Those that dwell in the countries round about Jerusalem.

Her land — Jerusalem's land, so called because it was the head city thereof.

Desolate — Because it shortly shall be laid waste, emptied of inhabitants, wealth and plenty.

Violence — Injustice, oppression and tyranny of the Jews toward one another.

Verse 22

[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?

That proverb — That short saying commonly used.

Days — Of wrath and vengeance, are to come a great while hence.

Every vision — Threatening vision, which Jeremiah and Ezekiel would fright us with, comes to nothing.

Verse 25

[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.

I will speak — There has been and shall be a succession of God's ministers, by whom he will speak, to the end of the world. Even in the worst times, God left not himself without witness, but raised up men that spoke for him, and spoke from him.