[Ezekiel 3:1] MOREOVER HE SAID UNTO ME, SON OF MAN, EAT THAT THOU FINDEST; EAT THIS ROLL, AND GO SPEAK UNTO THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL.
[Ezekiel 3:2] SO I OPENED MY MOUTH, AND HE CAUSED ME TO EAT THAT ROLL.
[Ezekiel 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.
On the one hand Ezekiel (as we shall see) was bitter and distraught
about the impending destruction of the Temple and about the disasters he
would have to predict concerning Judah. One the other hand he was being revealed
the truth. He was also to prophecy concerning the future redemption and
reconciliation. The spirit of the Almighty entered into him and he felt a
great strength. This was the sweetness.The Commentator "Metzudot David" says
that the commandment to eat the scroll should not be understood literally.
Ezekiel was commanded to study and absorb it and make it part of himself.
[Ezekiel 3:4] AND HE SAID UNTO ME, SON OF MAN, GO, GET THEE UNTO THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL, AND SPEAK WITH MY WORDS UNTO THEM.
[Ezekiel 3:5] FOR THOU ART NOT SENT TO A PEOPLE OF A STRANGE SPEECH AND OF AN HARD LANGUAGE, BUT TO THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL;
[Ezekiel 3:6] 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.
If there had been a willingness to listen and understand the message would have beeen received.
[Ezekiel 3:7] 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.
[Ezekiel 3:8] BEHOLD, I HAVE MADE THY FACE STRONG AGAINST THEIR FACES, AND THY FOREHEAD STRONG AGAINST THEIR FOREHEADS.
[Ezekiel 3:9] AS AN ADAMANT HARDER THAN FLINT HAVE I MADE THY FOREHEAD:
FEAR THEM NOT, NEITHER BE DISMAYED AT THEIR LOOKS, THOUGH THEY BE A REBELLIOUS
[Ezekiel 3:10] MOREOVER HE SAID UNTO ME, SON OF
MAN, ALL MY WORDS THAT I SHALL SPEAK UNTO THEE RECEIVE IN THINE HEART, AND
HEAR WITH THINE EARS.
[Ezekiel 3:11] 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.
[Ezekiel 3:12] 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.
[Ezekiel 3:13] 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.
It was as if he had a flashback to his previous vision about the Divine Chariot and was once more in the presence of angels.
[Ezekiel 3:14] 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.
"I WENT IN BITTERNESS": Ezekiel was upset abut the situation. He may have
been depressed. Maimonides once quoted Aristotle to the effect that all great
men have a tendency towards depression. Even the bad qualities that we have
are often good ones that we are not utilizing properly.
[Ezekiel 3:15] 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.
"TELABIB" pronounced as Tel Aviv. The name literally means "The Hill of Spring". Theodore Herzl (1860-1904)
was one of the primary founders of the Zionist Movement in its modern form.
He wrote a book called Altneuland (Old New Land, 1902). This was translated
into Hebrew as "Tell Aviv". Later the name was given to a Jewish settlement
besides the Port of Jaffa. The settlement later became the largest city in
the State of Israel. When I first came to Israel I used to enjoy visiting
Tel Aviv. Nowadays I keep away or make my visits short. It is still a nice
sea-side city and worth visiting but I prefer other parts of Israel.
See the article on Herzl in the accompanying "Brit-Am Now" 56 Post. It is
worth reading and has an important message for the Brit-Am movement.
[Ezekiel 3:16] AND IT CAME TO PASS AT THE END OF SEVEN DAYS, THAT THE WORD OF THE LORD CAME UNTO ME, SAYING,
[Ezekiel 3:17] SON OF MAN, I HAVE MADE THEE A WATCHMAN UNTO THE HOUSE OF
ISRAEL: THEREFORE HEAR THE WORD AT MY MOUTH, AND GIVE THEM WARNING FROM ME.
[Ezekiel 3:18] WHEN I SAY UNTO THE WICKED, THOU SHALT SURELY DIE; AND THOU
GIVEST HIM NOT WARNING, NOR SPEAKEST 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 THINE HAND.
The person who sins will be punished for his sin.If however you have
the wherewithal to effectually rebuke the sinner and perhaps cause him to
repent and you do not use this gift then you too will be punished. We are
to be held accountable not only for the bad we did but also for the good
we could have done and did not do it.
[Ezekiel 3:19] YET IF THOU WARN THE WICKED, AND
HE TURN NOT FROM HIS WICKEDNESS, NOR FROM HIS WICKED WAY, HE SHALL DIE IN
HIS INIQUITY; BUT THOU HAST DELIVERED THY SOUL.
You may not be successful in trying to help others reform themselves but
at least you will have fulfilled your duty. It will not be your fault in
[Ezekiel 3:20] AGAIN, WHEN A RIGHTEOUS MAN DOTH
TURN FROM HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS, AND COMMIT INIQUITY, AND I LAY A STUMBLING-BLOCK
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.
"HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS WHICH HE HATH DONE SHALL NOT BE REMEMBERED": The Sages
said that according to its plain meaning this is not exactly so. They say
that a person gets rewarded for his good deeds and punished for his bad ones.
One does not exactly wipe out the other though good deeds can cause the punishment
for bad ones to be mitigated, changed for the better, or put aside. When
therefore does the above verse apply? When a person regrets the good deeds
he has done, then his righteousness will not be remembered.
[Ezekiel 3:21] NEVERTHELESS IF THOU WARN THE RIGHTEOUS
MAN, THAT THE RIGHTEOUS SIN NOT, AND HE DOTH NOT SIN, HE SHALL SURELY LIVE,
BECAUSE HE IS WARNED; ALSO THOU HAST DELIVERED THY SOUL.
Even righteous people can slip up and need to be constantly warned to look out for themselves.
[Ezekiel 3:22] 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.
[Ezekiel 3:23] 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.
"WENT FORTH INTO THE PLAIN": The Radak (Kimchi)suggests that this was the same plain mentioned in Genesis 11:
<<AND THE WHOLE EARTH WAS OF ONE LANGUAGE, AND OF ONE SPEECH.<<
AND IT CAME TO PASS, AS THEY JOURNEYED FROM THE EAST, THAT THEY FOUND A PLAIN
IN THE LAND OF SHINAR; AND THEY DWELT THERE>> [Genesis 11:1-2]. They
then built the Tower of Babylon (Babel) and consequently had their languages
confused and were scattered over the fact of the earth. Something similar
was about to happen to the Children of Israel (especially to Judah) and Ezekiel
was about to prophesy about it.
"AS THE GLORY WHICH I SAW BY THE RIVER
OF CHEBAR": Once more he saw the vision of the Divine Chariot as he had done
by the River Chebar. The Divine presence was leaving Jerusalem and going
[Ezekiel 3:24] 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.
[Ezekiel 3:25] 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:
[Ezekiel 3:26] 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.
Ezekiel was commanded to go into his house and regard himself as if
he was a prisoner who could not leave and a dumb person who could not speak,
until God would give him the message and send him to speak.
[Ezekiel 3:27] 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.
Ezekiel Index Page
Chapter Four of Ezekiel