|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
2:6-10 Those who will do any thing to purpose in the service of God, must not fear men. Wicked men are as briers and thorns; but they are nigh unto cursing, and their end is to be burned. The prophet must be faithful to the souls of those to whom he was sent. All who speak from God to others, must obey his voice. The discoveries of sin, and the warnings of wrath, should be matter of lamentation. And those acquainted with the word of God, will clearly perceive it is filled with woe to impenitent sinners; and that all the precious promises of the gospel are for the repenting, believing servants of the Lord.
Verse 10. - It was written within and without. Commonly such rolls, whether of vellum or papyrus, were written on one side only. This, like the tables of stone (Exodus 32:15), was written, as a symbol of the fulness of its message, on both sides. And as he looked at the roll thus "spread before" him, he saw that it was no evangel, no glad tidings, that he had thus to identify with his work, but one from first to last of lamentations, and mourning, and woe. Jeremiah had been known as the prophet of weeping, and was about this time (probably a little later) writing his own Lamentations (the Hebrew title of the book, however, is simply its first words) over the fall of Jerusalem. Ezekiel's work was to be of a like nature. The word meets us again (Ezekiel 19:1, 14; Ezekiel 26:17; Ezekiel 27:2, 32; Ezekiel 28:12; Ezekiel 32:2, 16) as the keynote of his writings. Out of such a book, though the glad tidings were to come afterwards, his own prophetic work was to be evolved.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And he spread it before me,.... Unrolled it, that what was written in it might he seen and read; that so, understanding it, he might deliver the contents of it to the people: thus the Gospel, and the mysteries of it, must be explained by Christ to his ministers; and their understandings must be opened before they will be capable of making them known to others: and
it was written within and without; on the back, of the vellum or parchment as well as inside; and such writings were called "opisthographa"; of this kind was the book John saw Revelation 5:1. It was usual only to write on the inside; but when they had a great deal to write, then they wrote on the backside also (d); so that this roll being thus written denotes the largeness and abundance of the prophecies contained in this book; some respecting the Jews, and others the nations of the world. The Targum is,
"it was written before and behind, what was from the beginning, and what shall be in the end:''
and there were written therein lamentations, and mourning, and woe; afflictions, chastisements, and punishments, that should be inflicted upon the Jews, and other nations of the world; which, when made known to them, and especially when inflicted on them, would occasion sorrow and distress among them. In the Talmud, "lamentations" are interpreted of the punishments of the righteous in this world; "mourning" of the gift of reward to the righteous in the world to come; and "woe" of the punishments of the wicked in the world to come (e). The Targum is,
"if the house of Israel transgress the law, the people shall rule over them; but, if they keep the law, lamentation, and mourning, and sorrow, shall cease from them.''
(d) "----Aut summi plena tam margine libri Scriptus, et in tergo, nec dum finitus Orestes". Juvenal. Satyr. 1.((e) T. Bab. Erubin, fol. 21. 1.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
10. within and without—on the face and the back. Usually the parchment was written only on its inside when rolled up; but so full was God's message of impending woes that it was written also on the back.
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