Ezekiel 24 Bible Commentary

John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes

(Read all of Ezekiel 24)

Verse 1

[1] Again in the ninth year, in the tenth month, in the tenth day of the month, the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,

In the ninth year — Of Zedekiah's reign.

Came unto me — The prophet was now in Babylon.

Verse 2

[2] Son of man, write thee the name of the day, even of this same day: the king of Babylon set himself against Jerusalem this same day.

Set himself — Sat down to besiege.

Verse 4

[4] Gather the pieces thereof into it, even every good piece, the thigh, and the shoulder; fill it with the choice bones.

Every good piece — All the chief of the inhabitants of the land, the wealthiest, who will fly from their country-houses to live in safety in Jerusalem: the most war-like, who will betake themselves to Jerusalem for its defence.

Fill it — With those pieces that are biggest, fullest of marrow, and which are divided according to the bones; these are the principal members of the state, the king, princes, priests, magistrates, and the most wealthy citizens.

Verse 5

[5] Take the choice of the flock, and burn also the bones under it, and make it boil well, and let them seethe the bones of it therein.

The bones — Not of the pieces to be boiled, but of the many innocents murdered in Jerusalem; for their blood crieth for vengeance, and their bones scattered on the face of the earth, will both make and maintain this fire.

Verse 6

[6] Wherefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Woe to the bloody city, to the pot whose scum is therein, and whose scum is not gone out of it! bring it out piece by piece; let no lot fall upon it.

The bloody city — Jerusalem.

Whose scum — Her wickedness is still within her.

Piece by piece — One piece after another 'till all be consumed.

No lot — Lots are for saving some, but here shall be no sparing any.

Verse 7

[7] For her blood is in the midst of her; she set it upon the top of a rock; she poured it not upon the ground, to cover it with dust;

The blood — Innocent blood which she hath shed.

The top of a rock — Where it might be long seen.

To cover it — These butchers of innocent ones leave their blood uncovered.

Verse 8

[8] That it might cause fury to come up to take vengeance; I have set her blood upon the top of a rock, that it should not be covered.

I have set — I will openly punish, and in such a manner as shall not be soon forgotten.

Verse 10

[10] Heap on wood, kindle the fire, consume the flesh, and spice it well, and let the bones be burned.

And spice it well — To express this justice, that is acceptable to God and men.

The bones — The greatest, strongest, and firmest of the Jews shall perish in this fiery indignation.

Verse 11

[11] Then set it empty upon the coals thereof, that the brass of it may be hot, and may burn, and that the filthiness of it may be molten in it, that the scum of it may be consumed.

The filthiness — A type of the unreformed sinfulness of the city.

Molten — That their wickedness may be taken away with their persons, and city.

Verse 12

[12] She hath wearied herself with lies, and her great scum went not forth out of her: her scum shall be in the fire.

She — Jerusalem.

With lies — Her allies, their promises, their forces, and their idols, all prove a lie to the house of Judah.

Her scum — Her unrepented sins shall be punished in the fire that burns their city.

Verse 13

[13] In thy filthiness is lewdness: because I have purged thee, and thou wast not purged, thou shalt not be purged from thy filthiness any more, till I have caused my fury to rest upon thee.

Lewdness — Or obstinacy and boldness.

Purged thee — Used all means to purge thee.

Verse 16

[16] Son of man, behold, I take away from thee the desire of thine eyes with a stroke: yet neither shalt thou mourn nor weep, neither shall thy tears run down.

With a stroke — A sudden stroke, by my own immediate hand. We know not how soon the desire of our eyes may be removed from us. Death is a stroke, which the most pious, the most useful, the most amiable are not exempted from.

Verse 17

[17] Forbear to cry, make no mourning for the dead, bind the tire of thine head upon thee, and put on thy shoes upon thy feet, and cover not thy lips, and eat not the bread of men.

Bind the tire — Adorn thy head, as thou wast used to do; go not bare-headed as a mourner.

Thy shoes — ln great mournings the Jews went bare-footed.

Cover not thy lips — It was a custom among them to cover the upper lip.

Eat not — Of thy neighbours and friends, who were wont to visit their mourning friends, and send in choice provision to their houses.

Verse 18

[18] So I spake unto the people in the morning: and at even my wife died; and I did in the morning as I was commanded.

I spake — Told them what I expected would be.

Verse 21

[21] Speak unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will profane my sanctuary, the excellency of your strength, the desire of your eyes, and that which your soul pitieth; and your sons and your daughters whom ye have left shall fall by the sword.

Profane — Cast off, and put into the hands of Heathens.

The excellency of your strength — So it was while God's presence was there.

The desire — As much your desire, as my wife was mine; most dear to you.

Verse 22

[22] And ye shall do as I have done: ye shall not cover your lips, nor eat the bread of men.

Ye shall do — When you are in captivity, where you may not use your own customs.

Verse 23

[23] And your tires shall be upon your heads, and your shoes upon your feet: ye shall not mourn nor weep; but ye shall pine away for your iniquities, and mourn one toward another.

Pine away — You shall languish with secret sorrow, when you shall not dare to shew it openly.

Verse 25

[25] Also, thou son of man, shall it not be in the day when I take from them their strength, the joy of their glory, the desire of their eyes, and that whereupon they set their minds, their sons and their daughters,

Their strength — Their walls and fortifications.

The joy — All their public and private joys and hopes shall be destroyed in the destruction of the kingdom, and their children.

Verse 26

[26] That he that escapeth in that day shall come unto thee, to cause thee to hear it with thine ears?

To hear it — To give thee a narrative of all he had seen.

Verse 27

[27] In that day shall thy mouth be opened to him which is escaped, and thou shalt speak, and be no more dumb: and thou shalt be a sign unto them; and they shall know that I am the LORD.

No more dumb — From this prophecy for eighteen months during the siege, he does not prophesy of Israel, but of other nations.

Thou shalt be a sign — Until the event shall convince the Jews, thou shalt by sign, signify to them, what is coming.