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Ezekiel prophesies against


the elders of Israel. creatures went, they went.' This shows that, in the the Jewish people, whom he was about to visit in his government of the world, all the living creatures are anger, but only its correction and amendment. This subject to Providence; and that God subordinates the is signified by the precious metal,' which the prophet creatures one to another. He directs what those holy found unmelted in the midst of the fiery cloud. This intelligences ought to do, who serve him as ministers, cloud of fire, urged on by a whirlwind, and involving and are here represented by the four animals. And on all sides the metal, represented the judgments of these intelligences, enlightened and supported by the God which were about to fall upon this rebellious naSupreme Wisdom; contribute, as far as is suitable, to tion, not to destroy, but to humble and purify it. No. all that happens to mankind. The angels whom Eze- thing is more proper than afflictions to bring men back kiel saw were in number four, in reference to the four to their duty. As fire purifies metals, so the patemal cardinal points of the world ; to show that their minis- chastisements of God have a tendency to purify the try extends every where, and that there is no part of soul and heart, if the man be not entirely incorrigible. the universe which the Providence of God does not The people upon whom God was about to pour the vials govern in an immediate manner, or by the means of of his anger, were not worthy of his lenity. But that his ministers. The extraordinary shape of these an- great God, who is firm in his promises, remembers the gels, which appeared to the prophet in vision, is sym- covenant of peace he had made with the patriarchs. bolical ; for it is not to be supposed that those heavenly This covenant is made sensible to the prophet under ministers are really thus formed. The 'four faces, the image of a rainbow, which was round about him wings, and arms of a man,' denote the sublime quali- who appeared upon the throne. Every one knows, ties of these immediate ministers of the Deity; quali- that this splendid phenomenon, which seems to join ties entirely essential to fill up the extent of their duty. heaven and earth together, was given to Noah and his The face of a man denotes their intelligence; of a posterity as a symbol of the covenant which God then lion, their intrepid courage ; of an or, their patience made with mankind, and by which he declared to them and perseverance in labour , and of an eagle, their that the earth should undergo a deluge no more. Thus, great penetration, their sublime sight into heavenly the Pagans considered the Iris as the messenger of things, and their readiness to rise up into all that is the gods. See Virgil, Æn. lib. iv. ver. 694. But great and Divine. The wings being stretched out,' whereas the rainbow to the Jews was a symbol of signifies that they are always ready to set forward, and peace, the Iris of the Pagans was a messenger of run with rapidity wherever the commands of their great trouble. On the sight of this bow, the symbol of grace, Master call them. The 'wings bent down,' are a sym- Ezekiel was to be encouraged ; and persuaded that his bol of that profound respect in which these heavenly people were not threatened with an utter destruction. ministers stand before the Lord of the universe. Un- The event fully justified all that the prophet had conder the wings there were men's arms, to show that zeal templated, with surprise, in this enigmatical picture. produces application and labour. Labour, without zoal, The Chaldeans, the rod of the Lord's just severity, can never be supported; and zeal, without application, ravaged Judea ; the people were carried away captive; is only a hypocritical ardour, which amounts to nothing they groaned for seventy years in a foreign land ; but with that supreme Master who requires sincere homage they were protected in a miraculous manner against from those who serve him.If God chose to make the bloody designs of the cruel Haman; and at length, known to Ezekiel that his providence 'extends to all favoured with various decrees of the kings of Persia, things, and that even in this life it often takes up the they had permission, not only to return to their own rod to chastise nations and individuals, he would also country, but also to rebuild Jerusalem and the temple.” show beforehand that he wished not the destruction of See Dr. Dodd's notes on this place.

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This chapter denounces the judgments of God against those wicked persons who remained in Jerusalem, and

made a mock of the types and predictions of the prophets, 1-13; compare ver. 3 with Jer. i. 13. God
promises to favour those who were gone into captivity, and intimates their restoration from the Babylonish
yoke, 14-21. Then the shechinah, or symbol of the Divine Presence, is represented forsaking the city,
as in the foregoing chapter it did the temple, 22, 23; and the prophet returns in vision to the place from
which he set oul, (chap. viii. 1, &c.,) in order to communicate his instructions to his brethren of the cap
tivity, 24, 25.
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A. M. 3410.
MOREOVER - the spirit lifted house, which tooketh eastward :
B. C. 594.

B. C. 594.
OL XLVI. 3. me up, and brought me unto land behold c at the door of the Ol. XLVI. 3.
Tarquinii Prisci,

b the east gate of the Lord's gate five and twenty men; among Tarquinii Prisci, R. Roman., 23.

R. Roman., 23.
Chap. iii. 12, 14; viji. 3 ; ver. 24.

Chap. x. 19.- See chap. viii. 16.

Jaazaniah the son of Azur] In chap. viii. 16 Verse 1. At the door of the gate five and twenty we find a Jaazaniah the son of Shaphan, If men] The same persons, no doubt, who appear, chap. Shaphan was also called Azur, they may be the viii. 16, worshipping the sun.

same person. But it is most likely that there were



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B. C. 594.

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Prophecy against the


Israelitish elders. A. M. 3410.

whom I saw Jaazaniah the son you in the border of Israel ; OL. XLVI. 3. of Azur, and Pelatiah the son and ye shall know that I am Tarquinii Prisci, of Benaiah, princes of the peo- the Lord.

Tarquinii Prisci, R. Roman., 23. ple.

11 + This city shall not be R. Roman., 23. 2 Then said he unto me, Son of man, these your caldron, neither shall ye be the flesh in are the men that devise mischief, and give the midst thereof; but I will judge you in the wicked counsel in this city :

border of Israel : 3 Which say, " It is not o near; let us build 12 And " ye shall know that I am the Lord: houses : { this city is the caldron, and we be for ye have not walked in my statutes, neithe flesh.

ther executed my judgments, but shave done 4 Therefore prophesy against them, pro- after the manners of the heathen that are phesy, O son of man.

round about you. 5 And 6 the Spirit of the Lord fell upon me, 13 And it came to pass, when I prophesied, and said unto me, Speak; Thus saith the that. Pelatiah the son of Benaiah died. Then LORD; Thas have ye said, 0 house of Israel: fell I down upon my face, and cried with a for I know the things that come into your loud voice, and said, Ah, Lord God! wilt thou mind, every one of them.

make a full end of the remnant of Israel ? 6 Ye have multiplied your slain in this 14 Again the word of the Lord came unto city, and ye have filled the streets thereof me, saying, with the slain.

15 Son of man, thy brethren, even thy 7 Therefore thus saith the Lord God; Your brethren, the men of thy kindred, and all the slain whom ye have laid in the midst of it, house of Israel wholly, are they unto whom they are the flesh, and this city is the caldron : the inhabitants of Jerusalem have said, Get } but I will bring you forth out of the midst you far from the LORD: unto us is this land of it.

given in possession. 8 Ye have feared the sword, and I will bring 16 Therefore

say, Thus saith the Lord a sword upon you, saith the Lord God. God; Although I have cast them far off

9. And I will bring you out of the midst among the heathen, and although I have thereof, and deliver you into the hands of scattered them among the countries, 'yet will strangers, and will execute judgments among I be to them as a little sanctuary in the you.

countries where they shall come. 10 - Ye shall fall by the sword; I will judge 17 Therefore say, Thus saith the Lord

a Or, It is not for us to build houses near. - Chap. xii, 22, 27; a 1 Kings viii. 65; 2 Kings xiv. 25.0 Psa. ix. 16; chap. vi. 2 Pet. üi. 4. - See Jer. i. 13; chap. xxiv. 3, &c.- Chap. 7; xii. 9, 14, 21, 23. —P See ver. 3.- Ver. 10.-i Or, ii. 2; 111. 24. — Chap. vii. 23; xxii. 3, 4.-_i Chap. xxiv. 3, which have not walked. *Lev. xviii. 3, 24, &c.; Deut. xii. 30, 6, 10, 11 ; Mic. iii. 3.- Ver. 9. - Chap. v. 8. (m 2 Kings 31; chap. viii. 10, 14, 16. — Ver. 1 ; Acts v. 5. Chap. ix. Ixv. 19, 20, 21; Jer. xxxix. 6; lii. 10.

—Pșa. xc. 1 ; xci. 9; Isa. vix. 14.

two of this name, and both chiefs among the gers] This seems to refer chiefly to Zedekiah and people.

his family. Verse 3. It is not near] That is, the threatened Verse 11. I will judge you in the border of Israel.] invasion.

Though Riblah was in Syria, yet it was on the very This city is the caldron, and we be the flesh.} See frontiers of Israel ; and it was here that Zedekiah's the vision of the seething pot, Jer. i. 13. These infi- sons were slain, and his own eyes put out.' dels seem to say:

“We will run all risks, we will abide Verse 13. Pelatiah the son of Benaiah died.] Most in the city. Though it be the caldron, and we the probably he was struck dead the very hour in which flesh, yet we will share its fate : if it perish, we will Ezekiel prophesied against him. His death appears perish with it.” Or they may allude to the above pre- to have resembled that of Ananias and Sapphira, Acts diction of Jeremiah, in order to ridicule it: “We were v. 1, &c. to have been boiled long ago : but the fulfilment of that Verse 15. Get you far from the Lord] These are prediction is not near yet.”

the words of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, against thoso Verse 7. Your slainthey are the flesh] Jerusalem of Israel who had been carried away to Babylon with is the caldron, and those who have been slain in it, Jeconiah. Go ye far from the Lord: but as for us, they are the flesh; and though ye purpose to stay and the land of Israel is given to us for a possession ; we share its fate, ye shall not be permitted to do so ; ye shall never be removed from it, and they shall never shall be carried into captivity.

return to it. Verse 9. And deliver you into the hands of stran- Verse 16. Yet will I be to them as a little sanc

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The cherubim remove, and the

EZEKIEL. prophet is brought to Chaldea. A. M. 3410.


* I will even gather you after the heart of their detestable A. M. 3410. 01. XLVI. 3. from the people, and assemble things and their abominations, d I Tarquinii Prisci, you out of the countries where will recompense their way upon Tarquinii Prisci, R. Roman., 23.

ye have been scattered, and I will their own heads, saith the Lord R. Roman, 23. give you the land of Israel.

GOD. 18 And they shall come thither, and they 22 Then did the cherubims lift up their shall take away all the detestable things wings, and the wheels beside them; and the thereof and all the abominations thereof from glory of the God of Israel was over them above. thence.

23 And the glory of the LORD went up 19 And y I will give them one heart, and I from the midst of the city, and stood & upon will put z a new spirit within you; and I will the mountain a which is on the east side of take « the stony heart out of their flesh, and the city. will give them a heart of flesh:

24 Afterwards i the spirit took me up, and 20 • That they may walk in my statutes, brought me in a vision by the Spirit of God and keep mine ordinances, and do them : into Chaldea, to them of the captivity. So

and they shall be my people, and I will be the vision that I had seen went up from me. their God.

25 Then I spake unto them of the captivity 21 But as for them whose heart walketh all the things that the LORD had showed me.

w Jer. xxiv. 5; chap. xxviii. 25; xxxiv. 13; xxxvi. 24. b Psa. cv. 45.— Jer. xxiv. 7; chap. xiv. 11; xxxvi. 28; * Chap. xxxvii, 23.y Jer. xxxii. 39; chap. xxxvi. 26, 27; see xxxvii. 27. & Chap. ix. 10; xxii. 31.- Chap. i. 19; a. 19. Zeph. iii. 9. -2 Psa. li. 10; Jer. xxxi. 33; xxxii. 39; chap. Chap. vin. 4; ix. 3.; x. 4, 18; xliii. 4. See Zech. xiv. 4. xviii. 31. 1 Zech. vii. 12.

Chap. xliii. 2.- -i Chap. viii. 3.

tuary} Though thus exiled from their own land, yet Them whose affections are attached to idolatry, they not forgotten by their God. - While in their captivity, shall have such reward as their idols can give them, I will dispense many blessings to them; and I will and such a recompense as Divine justice shall award restore them to their own land, ver. 17, from which them. they shall put away all idolatry, ver. 18.

Verse 23. The glory of the Lord went up from the Verse 19. And I will give them one hearl] A midst of the city] This vision is no mean proof of whole system of renewed affections.

the long-suffering of God. He did not abandon this And I will put a new spirit within you] To direct people all at once; he departed by little and little. and influence these new affections.

First, he left the temple. SECONDLY, he stopped a And I will take the stony heart out of their flesh) little at the gate of the city. THIRDLY, he departed That which would not receive the impressions of my entirely from the city and went to the Mount of Olives, Spirit.

which lay on the east side of the city. Having tarAnd will give them a heart of flesh] One that is ca- ried there for some time to see if they would repent pable of receiving and retaining these impressions. and turn to him,-FOURTHLY, he departed to heaven.

Verse 20.' That they may walk in my statutes] The The vision being now concluded, the prophet is taken holiness of their lives shall prove the work of God away by the Spirit of God into. Chaldea, and there upon their hearts.

Then it shall appear that I am announces to the captive Israelites what God had their God, because I have done such things in them showed him in the preceding visions, and the good and for them; and their holy conduct shall show that that he had spoken concerning them ; who at first did they are my people. See on chap. xxxvi. 25, &c. not seem to profit much by them, which the prophet

Verse 21. But as for them whose heart walketh] | severely reproves.

CHAPTER XII. The prophet proceeds, by a variety of types and parables, to convince those of the captivity that their brethren

who were left behind to sustain the miseries of a siege and the insults of a conqueror, would be in a much worse condition than they who were already settled in a foreign land. In the beginning of this chapter he foretells the approaching captivity of Judah by action instead of words, 1-7. He predicts particularly the flight, capture, captivity, and sufferings of Zedekiah and his followers, 8–16, compared with Jer. lii. 11. He is to eat his food with trembling and signs of terror, as an emblem of the consternation of the Jews when surrounded by their enemies, 17–20; and then he answers the objections and bywords of scoffers and infidels, who either disbelieved his threatenings, or supposed the accomplishment of them very distant, 21-28. Josephus (Antiq. xi. 10) tells us that Zedekiah thought the prophecy of Ezekiel in the thirteenth verse inconsistent with that of Jeremiah, (chap. xxxiv. 3,) and resolved to believe neither. Both, however, were literally fulfilled ; and the event convinced him that they were not irreconcilable. Thus, blinded by infidelity, sinners rush on to that destruction against which they are sufficiently warned,

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The prophet points out


the approaching captivity. A. M. 3410.

THE word of the LORD also 8 And in the morning came
came unto me, saying,

the word of the LORD unto me,
Tarquinii Prisci,
2 Son of man, thou dwellest in saying,

Tarquinii Prisci,
R. Roman., 23. the midst of a a rebellious house, 9 Son of man, hath not the
which have eyes to see, and see not; they house of Israel, the rebellious house, said
have ears to hear, and hear not : ° for they unto thee, k What doest thou ?
are a rebellious house.

10 Say thou unto them, Thus saith the Lord 3 Therefore, thou son of man, prepare thee God; This burden concerneth the prince in d stuff for removing, and remove by day in Jerusalem, and all the house of Israel that their sight; and thou shalt remove from thy are among them. place to another place in their sight: it may 11 Say, I am your sign: like as I have be they will consider, though they be a re- done, so shall it be done unto them : they bellious house.

shall remove and go into captivity. 4 Then shalt thou bring forth thy stuff by 12 And P the prince that is among them shall day in their sight, as stuff for removing: and bear upon his shoulder in the twilight, and thou shalt go forth at even in their sight, e as shall go forth; they shall dig through the they that go forth into captivity.

wall to carry out thereby : he shall cover his 5 f Dig thou through the wall in their sight, face, that he see not the ground with his eyes. and carry out thereby.

*13 My 9 net also will I spread upon him, 6 In their sight shalt thou bear it upon thy and he shall be taken in my snare : and "I shoulders, and carry it forth in the twilight : will bring him to Babylon to the land of the thou shalt cover thy face, that thou see not Chaldeans; yet shall he not see it, though he the ground : & for I have set thee for a sign shall die there. unto the house of Israel.

14 And I will scatter toward every wind 7 And I did so as I was commanded : I all that are about him to help him, and all brought forth my stuff by day, as stuff for his bands; and I will draw out the sword captivity, and in the even I h digged through after them. the wall with mine hand; I brought it forth 15 " And they shall know that I am the in the twilight, and I bare it upon my shoulder Lord, when I shall scatter them among the in their sight.

nations, and disperse them in the countries.

* Chap. č. 3, 6, 7, 8; iii. 26, 27.—b Isa. vi. 9; xlii. 20; Jer. v. m Ver. 6. Heb. by removing go into captivity:- -02 Kings 21; Matt. xiii. 13, 14.- Chap. ii. 5.- Or, instruments. XXV. 4, 5, 7. -p Jer. xxxix. 4. -4 Job xix. 6; Lam. i. 13; Jer. • Heb. as the goings forth of captivity.- Heb. Dig for thee. lii. 9; chap. xvii. 20.- -- 2 Kings xxv. 7; Jer. lii. 11; chap. Essa. vii. 18 : chap. iv. 3 ; xxiv. 24; ver, 11. Heb. digged xvii, 16.- --- 2 Kings xxv. 4, 5; chap. v. 10.- Chap. v. 2, for me. Chap. 11.5.- Chap. xvii. 12; xxiv. 19.—Mal. i. 1. 12. -- Psa. ix. 16; chap. vi. 7, 14 ; xi. 10; ver. 16, 20.


prophecies from this to the twentieth chapter are supVerse 2. Which have eyes to see, and see not] It is posed to have been delivered in the sixth year of Zenot want of grace that brings thein to destruction. dekiah, five years before the taking of Jerusalem. They have eyes to see, but they will not use them. How accurate the prediction! and how exactly fulNo man is lost because he had not sufficient grace to filled ! save him, but because he abused that grace.

Verse 10. This burden] This prediction concernVerse 3. Prepare thee stuff for removing] Get car- ing the prince. By this I point out the capture, miriages to transport thy goods to another place; signi- sery, and ruin of Zedekiah. fying by this the captivity that was at hand.

Verse 13. I will bring him to Babylonyet shall he Verse 5. Dig thou through the wall] This refers not see it] Because Nebuchadnezzar caused him to to the manner in which Zedekiah and his family have his eyes put out at Riblah. To Babylon he was would escape from the city. They escaped by night carried in his blind state, and there he died. through a breach in the wall. See Jer. xxxix. 2–4; ing, My net also will I spread upon him, there is proand 2 Kings xxv. 4.

bably a reference to an ancient manner of fighting. Verse 6. Thou shalt cover thy face, that thou see One, who was called the retiarius, had a small castnot the ground] Referring to the blinding of Zede- ing net, which if he could throw over his antagonist's kiah : even the covering of the face might be intended head, he then despatched him with his sword; if he to signify that in this way Zedekiah should be carried missed his throw, he was obliged to run in order to to Babylon on men's shoulders in some sort of palan- get his nei once more adjusted for another throw. In quin, with a cloth tied over his eyes, because of the the mean time the other pursued him with all his recent wounds made by extracting them. All the speed to prevent this, and to despatch him ; hence he


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Only a few shall


be left in Judea. But I will leave "a few days are prolonged, and every

men of them from the sword, vision faileth? Targuinii Prisci, from the famine, and from the 23 Tell them, therefore, Thus Tarquinii Prisci, R. Roman., 23. pestilence ; that they may declare saith the Lord God; I will make R. Roman., 23. all their abominations among the heathen this proverb to cease, and they shall no more whither they come; and they shall know that use it as a proverb in Israel ; but say unto I am the LORD.

them, . The days are at hand, and the effect 17 Moreover the word of the LORD came to of every

vision. me, saying,

24 For there shall be no more any vain 18 Son of man, * eat thy bread with quaking, vision nor flattering divination within the and drink thy water with trembling and with house of Israel. carefulness;

25 For I am the LORD: I will speak, and 19 And say unto the people of the land, the word that I shall speak shall come to Thus saith the Lord God of the inhabitants pass; it shall be no more prolonged : for in of Jerusalem, and of the land of Israel; They your days, O rebellious house, will I say the shall eat their bread with carefulness, and word, and will perform it, saith the Lord God. drink their water with astonishment, that her 26

26 Again the word of the LORD came to land may be desolate from ? all that is therein, me, saying, a because of the violence of all them that 27 & Son of man, behold, they of the house dwell therein.

of Israel say, The vision that he seeth is b for 20 And the cities that are inhabited shall be many days to come, and he prophesieth of the laid waste, and the land shall be desolate ; times that are far off. and ye

shall know that I am the LORD. 28 i Therefore say unto them, Thus saith 21 And the word of the Lord came unto the Lord GOD; There shall none of my words me, saying,

be prolonged any more, but the word which 22 Son of man, what is that proverb that I have spoken shall be done, saith the Lord ye have in the land of Israel, saying, "The God.

Chap. vi. 8, 9, 10.- -w Heb. men of number.- * Chap. iv. 16. c Joel ii. 1.-Zeph. i. 14.- d Chap. xiii. 23.—Lam. ii. y Zech. vii. 14. Heb. the fulness thereof.- Psa. cvii. 34. 14. - Isa. lv. 11; ver. 28; Dan. ix. 12; Luke xxi. 33. b Ver. 27; chap. xi. 3; Amos vi. 3 ; 2 Pet. iii. 4.

& Ver. 22. - 52 Pet. iii. 4.- Ver. 23, 25. was called secutor : the first the netman, the second means used by the most gracious God to bring the pursuer.

sinners to repentance, should be made by them the Verse 18. Eat thy bread with quaking] Assume very instruments of their own destruction! See 2 the manner of a person who is every moment afraid Pet. üi. 4. of his life, who has nothing but a morsel of bread to Verse 23. The days are at hand] Far from failing eat, and a little water to drink. Thus signifying the or being prolonged, time is posting on, and the desiege, and the straits to which they should be reduced. struction threatened is at the door. See this explained, ver. 19.

Verse 25. In your dayswill I say the word, and Verse 22. The days are prolonged, and every vision will perform it] Even these mockers shall live to see faileth ?] · These are the words of the infidels and and feel this desolation. This is more particularly inscoffers, who, because vengeance was not speedily exe- timated in the following verses. cuted on an evil work, set their heart to do iniquity. Verse 28. There shall none of my words be pro“ These predictions either will not come in our days, longed any more] He had waited to be gracious ; they or will wholly fail; why then should we disquiet abused his mercy; and at last the protracted wrath ourselves about them ?" Strange, that the very rushed upon them with irresistible force,


This chapter denounces heavy judgments against the lying prophets who flattered the people, in the midst

of their sin and danger, with false hopes of peace and security, 18. The work of these deceivers is beautifully compared to a frail and insufficient piece of building, which can never stand against the battering elements of heaven, (the Chaldean forces,) which God will commission against it, 10-16. In the remaining part of the chapter woes are denounced against false prophetesses who practised vain rites and divinations, with the view of promoting their own gain by deceiving the people, 17-23.

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