|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
12:1-16 By the preparation for removal, and his breaking through the wall of his house at evening, as one desirous to escape from the enemy, the prophet signified the conduct and fate of Zedekiah. When God has delivered us, we must glorify him and edify others, by acknowledging our sins. Those who by afflictions are brought to this, are made to know that God is the Lord, and may help to bring others to know him.
Verses 10, 11. - This burden concerneth the prince in Jerusalem; literally, the prince is this burden in Jerusalem. The word "burden," in the sense of "prophecy," so common in Isaiah and Jeremiah and other prophets, as Hosea (Hosea 8:10) and Nahum (Nahum 1:1), is used by Ezekiel here only. Possibly he on the whole avoided it, as having fallen into discredit through its constant use by the false prophets (Jeremiah 23:83-38), and preferred the formula of "the word of Jehovah." As interpreted by Jeremiah 39:4 and 2 Kings 25:4, the "prince" is Zedekiah. Possibly Ezekiel avoided the title "king," as seeing in him one who was a ruler de facto, but not a king de jure. The facts related in Jeremiah 39:4 exactly correspond with the symbolic act. Zedekiah and his men of war escape from the city by night, "by the way of the king's garden, by the gate between the two walls," probably enough with faces covered, as David's was in his flight (2 Samuel 15:30), to avoid detection, or as a sign of mourning, and through some freshly made exit from the palace. The further significance of the covered face is found in the fact that Zedekiah was blinded at Riblah by Nebuchadnezzar's orders, and from that time could not see the ground on which he trod. Those who see in every Old Testament prediction nothing but a prophecy ex eventu infer from this that this section of Ezekiel was written after the destruction of Jerusalem. I do not take that view, and place it in close connection with the preceding chapters. We note in ver. 11 the peculiar phrase," I am your sign." Ezekiel, in what he does in the presence of the exiles, is figuring that which, before long, will come to pass in Jerusalem. They were to go forth into captivity as he had gone. For they shall remove, the Revised. Version gives, they shall go into exile.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Say thou unto them, thus saith the Lord God,.... In answer to their sneering question; or notwithstanding their stupidity and indolence, and in order to awaken them out of it:
this burden concerneth the prince in Jerusalem; the present reigning prince in Jerusalem, King Zedekiah. The sense is, either that that burden of goods the prophet carried out on his shoulders had a regard to the king of Judah and his captivity, and was an emblem of it; or rather that the burden of prophecy, or that sorrowful calamity predicted by the above sign or type, had relation to that prince, and would be fulfilled in him; and so the Targum,
"upon the prince is the burden of this prophecy;''
in like manner Jarchi interprets it of prophecy:
and all the house of Israel which are among them; they were also concerned in it, and would be carried captive with their prince.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
10. burden—that is, weighty oracle.
the prince—The very man Zedekiah, in whom they trust for safety, is to be the chief sufferer. Josephus [Antiquities, 10.7] reports that Ezekiel sent a copy of this prophecy to Zedekiah. As Jeremiah had sent a letter to the captives at the Chebar, which was the means of calling forth at first the agency of Ezekiel, so it was natural for Ezekiel to send a message to Jerusalem confirming the warnings of Jeremiah. The prince, however, fancying a contradiction between Eze 12:13; "he shall not see Babylon," and Jer 24:8, 9, declaring he should be carried to Babylon, believed neither. Seeming discrepancies in Scripture on deeper search prove to be hidden harmonies.
Ezekiel 12:10 Parallel Commentaries
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