Ezekiel 2:1-3:21
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Ezekiel: oracle-by-oracle | Session 2 | Ezekiel 2:1- 3:21

Ezekiel 1:1-12:28 | The Desolation

Ezekiel 1:1–3:27 | First Vision (by Chebar)

Ezekiel 2:1-2 | Raised by the Spirit
  • Verse 1 –
    • Ezekiel had fallen on his face upon the voice from the throne, undoubtedly the voice of God (v. 1:28). Now he is immediately told to stand upon thy feet. This speaks volumes about
    • God calls Ezekiel Son of man. The phrase is ben Adam. In the Old Testament it is always with no definite article. In the New Testament, it contains the definite article, and refers to the Messiah, and is only used when the physical reign is in view. In the Old Testament, it is used of Ezekiel 100 times and of Daniel one time. It appears that the reference is given in contrast to the four living creatures that have been described. In the Daniel usage (Dan. 8:17) the contrast is between Gabriel and Daniel, thus also a “non-human to human” comparison.
  • Verse 2 –
    • The spirit is presumably the Holy Spirit, but it cannot be certain (thus the KJV rightly chooses the lower-case “s”).

      Ezekiel 2:3-3:9 | Mission of Ezekiel

  • Verses 2:3-5 – The People and their Reception
    • Since Ezekiel was sent to the children of Israel, we should apply the message to them.
      • Only when a message is general in nature can we give secondary application to ourselves. And, we shall find, few (if any) of the prophecies of Ezekiel are general in nature.
      • Thus we expect, from the beginning, based upon clear and simple words, that Ezekiel is not a prophecy for America or any other modern people.
    • Ezekiel was to deliver the message regardless of the response. In either case, they would know that there hath been a prophet among them.
  • Verses 2:6-8 - Encouragement to Ezekiel
    • It is easy for a man (even a prophet) to be afraid of those to whom he speaks, especially when he knows the message will not be readily accepted. Ezekiel was encouraged to be a stalwart mouthpiece even in the face of difficulties, without regard to response.
    • Ezekiel was also warned to avoid the rebellion of the people, then commanded to eat that I give thee.
  • Verses 2:9-3:3 - Take and Eat
    • Jeremiah had previously been told to take a roll of a book and to write all the words that I have spoken unto thee against Israel(Jer. 36:2).
      • Likely the roll of a book in verse 9 contains the same words.
      • Notice that Jeremiah and Ezekiel seem to be connected in a “prophetic chain” (see note, Ezek. 1:1).
      • This could also be the same scroll as Revelation 5:1, since both are written within and without (v. 10). Ezekiel was to eat that roll (Ezek. 3:2).
    • When he ate it, it was in my mouth as honey for sweetness.
      • John also had this experience in Revelation 10:10.
      • In Psalm 19:10 and Psalm 119:103 the word of God is sweet. This must be true even when the words are lamentations, and mourning, and woe (Ezek. 2:10).
  • Verses 3:4-7 - The people and their reception (corresponding response to Ezek. 2:3-5)
    • The phrase house of Israel (v 4, along with others) is one of the Massorah, or fences that the Jews used to keep the text pure. The scribes knew exactly how many times the phrase occured in the Hebrew Scriptures. The scribes would take a finished scroll and count these occurrences as an audit of the texts perfection.
    • Ezekiel is to speak with my words(v. 4). The Bible was not written by inspired men but with inspired words.
    • Ezekiel is not sent to a foreign people (in fact, he is living amongst a foreign people as an exile). His message is toward God’s people, even though the audience is impudent and hardhearted. Impudence is shamelessness.
    • God says that had I sent thee to them (the people of a strange speech…) they would have hearkened unto thee. Indeed, Nebuchadnezzar, upon hearing the words of Daniel, said, Of a truthit is,that your Godisa God of gods, and a Lord of kings… (Dan. 2:47).
  • Verses 3:8-9 - Encouragement to Ezekiel (corresponding response to Ezekiel 2:6-8).
    • God encourages Ezekiel by reminding him that He had made thy face strong. The word strong is חָזָק [hazak], and is embedded in the name Ezekiel, which means “God is my strength.”
    • Note: Be careful not to want all people to be soft. Sometimes God has given people a forehead harder than flint(v. 9) in order to accomplish His will.

      Ezekiel 3:10-23 | The Cherubim

  • These verses are the corresponding response to Ezekiel 1:1-28 (see graphic).
  • Verses 10-11 - ### The Command
    • Ezekiel was to take all my words. He would indeed be faithful.
    • Much of the church today is guilty of taking from the words of God by neglect (or outright denial), adding to the word of God by assumption of theology that is not actually present in the words, or _changing_the words of God by spiritualizing, allegorizing, or misapplying.
  • Verses 12-13 - The Hand of Jehovah
    • The identity/meaning of the spirit is open to interpretation. This spirit lifted Ezekiel up and must have turned him around, for he heard a behind me a voice. The vision was from the north (Ezek. 1:4), so he presumably now is facing south.
    • From verse 13, it appears that the vision is now departing, and, with Ezekiel’s back turned, he only heard the noise of the departing platform.
    • Ezekiel went in bitterness, in the heat of my spirit, though we are not sure the if he is bitter and angry about being left or about his assignment, or about the stubborn spirit of Israel, or something else.
  • Verses 15-21 - Ezekiel’s Obedience
    • Ezekiel goes to the captives at Tel-abib. This is the source of the name of the modern city Tel Aviv. A tel is a rubbish heap of civilizations and abib (or aviv)is the month of the spring harvest, thus a mix of old and new.
    • For seven days Ezekiel sat where they sat. The word sat is the same as dwelt in the same verse. It does not imply literally sitting for seven days.
    • At the end of this seven day period, Ezekiel was given his famous watchman on the wall instruction. Unfortunately, many preachers have used this to guilt Christians into joining the evangelism ministry. What God requires of Ezekiel is not what He requires of all men. Furthermore, Ezekiel is not sharing the good news but rather the bad news of judgement and the hard news of works based righteousness. The one who sees the Pauline Gospel of by grace through faith not of works in this passage is simply imagining things that are not there.
KJV: Genesis 1