Ezekiel 3 Bible Commentary

John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes

(Read all of Ezekiel 3)

Verse 1

[1] Moreover he said unto me, Son of man, eat that thou findest; eat this roll, and go speak unto the house of Israel.

Eat — This was done in a vision.

Findeth — In the hand which was sent to him.

Verse 3

[3] And he said unto me, Son of man, cause thy belly to eat, and fill thy bowels with this roll that I give thee. Then did I eat it; and it was in my mouth as honey for sweetness.

Belly — The mouth is the proper instrument of eating, but when meat is digested, the belly is said to eat.

Fill thy bowels — This denotes the fulness of the measure wherewith we should read, meditate, and digest the word of God.

Honey — It was sweet to receive things by revelation from God, and so to converse with God. And usually the first part of the ministerial work is pleasant.

Verse 4

[4] And he said unto me, Son of man, go, get thee unto the house of Israel, and speak with my words unto them.

Speak — What things I shall shew thee, and in what words I shall declare them to thee.

Verse 6

[6] Not to many people of a strange speech and of an hard language, whose words thou canst not understand. Surely, had I sent thee to them, they would have hearkened unto thee.

Many people — Divers nations, that thou shouldest need divers tongues, to speak to them all in their own language.

Verse 7

[7] But the house of Israel will not hearken unto thee; for they will not hearken unto me: for all the house of Israel are impudent and hardhearted.

All — The far greater part, tho' not every particular person.

Verse 8

[8] Behold, I have made thy face strong against their faces, and thy forehead strong against their foreheads.

I have — I have given thee, constancy, and manly carriage. The more impudent wicked people are in their opposition to religion, the more openly and resolutely should God's people appear in the practice and defence of it.

Verse 11

[11] And go, get thee to them of the captivity, unto the children of thy people, and speak unto them, and tell them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear.

Captivity — Of the first captivity under Jeconiah's reign, who succeeded his father Jehoiakim, slain for his conspiracy with Egypt against Nebuchadnezzar.

Verse 12

[12] Then the spirit took me up, and I heard behind me a voice of a great rushing, saying, Blessed be the glory of the LORD from his place.

A voice — An articulate sound, of many angels, attended with the rushing of the wheels, added to the noise of their wings.

Blessed — Praised be the gloriously holy and just God.

His place — Coming down from heaven.

Verse 13

[13] I heard also the noise of the wings of the living creatures that touched one another, and the noise of the wheels over against them, and a noise of a great rushing.

Rushing — The wheels of providence moved over against the angels, and in concert with them.

Verse 14

[14] So the spirit lifted me up, and took me away, and I went in bitterness, in the heat of my spirit; but the hand of the LORD was strong upon me.

Spirit — Caught him up into the air.

Took — Carried me to the place where the captive Jews were crowded together.

Bitterness — Not at all pleased with my work. He went in the heat of his spirit; because of the discouragements he foresaw he should meet with. But the hand of the Lord was strong upon him, not only to compel him to the work, but to fit him for it.

Verse 15

[15] Then I came to them of the captivity at Telabib, that dwelt by the river of Chebar, and I sat where they sat, and remained there astonished among them seven days.

Tel-abib — A part of Mesopotamia, which was shut up within Chebar westward, and Saocora eastward.

By — On that part of the river Chebar, which runs west-ward of Tel-abib.

Where — Where I found them sitting astonished, at the sight of their change from freedom and honour to servitude and shame.

Seven days — Mourning no doubt all that while, and waiting 'till the spirit of prophecy should open his mouth.

Verse 20

[20] Again, When a righteous man doth turn from his righteousness, and commit iniquity, and I lay a stumblingblock before him, he shall die: because thou hast not given him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he hath done shall not be remembered; but his blood will I require at thine hand.

I Lay — Permit it to be laid before him.

He shall — Perish in his sin.

Remembered — Shall not be profitable to him; "he that apostatizes is the worst of men, because he falls from known ways of goodness and holiness."

Verse 22

[22] And the hand of the LORD was there upon me; and he said unto me, Arise, go forth into the plain, and I will there talk with thee.

There — At Tel-abib.

Go forth — Withdraw from the multitude.

Verse 23

[23] Then I arose, and went forth into the plain: and, behold, the glory of the LORD stood there, as the glory which I saw by the river of Chebar: and I fell on my face.

As the glory — We are not now to expect such visions. But we have a favour done us nothing inferior, if we by faith behold the glory of the Lord, so as to be changed into the same image. And this honour have all his saints.

Verse 24

[24] Then the spirit entered into me, and set me upon my feet, and spake with me, and said unto me, Go, shut thyself within thine house.

Shut — To foresignify the shutting up of the Jews in Jerusalem.

Verse 25

[25] But thou, O son of man, behold, they shall put bands upon thee, and shall bind thee with them, and thou shalt not go out among them:

Not go — Thou shalt be straitly confined.

Verse 26

[26] And I will make thy tongue cleave to the roof of thy mouth, that thou shalt be dumb, and shalt not be to them a reprover: for they are a rebellious house.

I — I will make thee as dumb as if thy tongue clave to the roof of thy mouth.

Verse 27

[27] But when I speak with thee, I will open thy mouth, and thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; He that heareth, let him hear; and he that forbeareth, let him forbear: for they are a rebellious house.

But — When ever I shall reveal any thing to thee.

Open — I will give thee power to speak.

Let — 'Tis his duty and safety.

Forbear — 'Tis at his own peril.