Ezekiel 3:17
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
"Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the people of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me.

New Living Translation
"Son of man, I have appointed you as a watchman for Israel. Whenever you receive a message from me, warn people immediately.

English Standard Version
“Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel. Whenever you hear a word from my mouth, you shall give them warning from me.

New American Standard Bible
"Son of man, I have appointed you a watchman to the house of Israel; whenever you hear a word from My mouth, warn them from Me.

King James Bible
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.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Son of man, I have made you a watchman over the house of Israel. When you hear a word from My mouth, give them a warning from Me.

International Standard Version
"Son of Man," he said, "I've appointed you to be a watchman over the house of Israel. Therefore when you hear a message that comes from me, you are to warn them for me.

NET Bible
"Son of man, I have appointed you a watchman for the house of Israel. Whenever you hear a word from my mouth, you must give them a warning from me.

New Heart English Bible
"Son of man, I have made you a watchman to the house of Israel: therefore hear the word from my mouth, and give them warning from me.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
"Son of man, I have made you a watchman over the people of Israel. Listen to what I say, and warn them for me.

JPS Tanakh 1917
Son of man, I have appointed thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; and when thou shalt hear a word at My mouth, thou shalt give them warning from Me.

New American Standard 1977
“Son of man, I have appointed you a watchman to the house of Israel; whenever you hear a word from My mouth, warn them from Me.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Son of man, I have placed thee as a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth and give them warning from me.

King James 2000 Bible
Son of man, I have made you a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me.

American King James Version
Son of man, I have made you a watchman to the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me.

American Standard Version
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.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Son of man, I have made thee a watchman to the house of Israel: and thou shalt hear the word out of my mouth, and shalt tell it them from me.

Darby Bible Translation
Son of man, I have appointed thee a watchman unto the house of Israel, and thou shalt hear the word from my mouth, and give them warning from me.

English Revised Version
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.

Webster's Bible Translation
Son of man, I have made thee a watchman to the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me.

World English Bible
Son of man, I have made you a watchman to the house of Israel: therefore hear the word from my mouth, and give them warning from me.

Young's Literal Translation
that there is a word of Jehovah unto me, saying, 'Son of man, a watchman I have given thee to the house of Israel, and thou hast heard from My mouth a word, and hast warned them from Me.
Study Bible
A Watchman for Israel
16At the end of seven days the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 17"Son of man, I have appointed you a watchman to the house of Israel; whenever you hear a word from My mouth, warn them from Me. 18"When I say to the wicked, 'You will surely die,' and you do not warn him or speak out to warn the wicked from his wicked way that he may live, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand.…
Cross References
Hebrews 13:17
Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they watch over your souls as those who must give an account. To this end, allow them to lead with joy and not with grief, for that would be of no advantage to you.

2 Chronicles 19:10
"Whenever any dispute comes to you from your brethren who live in their cities, between blood and blood, between law and commandment, statutes and ordinances, you shall warn them so that they may not be guilty before the LORD, and wrath may not come on you and your brethren. Thus you shall do and you will not be guilty.

Isaiah 52:8
Listen! Your watchmen lift up their voices, They shout joyfully together; For they will see with their own eyes When the LORD restores Zion.

Isaiah 56:10
His watchmen are blind, All of them know nothing. All of them are mute dogs unable to bark, Dreamers lying down, who love to slumber;

Isaiah 58:1
"Cry loudly, do not hold back; Raise your voice like a trumpet, And declare to My people their transgression And to the house of Jacob their sins.

Isaiah 62:6
On your walls, O Jerusalem, I have appointed watchmen; All day and all night they will never keep silent. You who remind the LORD, take no rest for yourselves;

Jeremiah 6:17
"And I set watchmen over you, saying, 'Listen to the sound of the trumpet!' But they said, 'We will not listen.'

Ezekiel 2:7
"But you shall speak My words to them whether they listen or not, for they are rebellious.

Ezekiel 11:4
"Therefore, prophesy against them, son of man, prophesy!"

Ezekiel 11:25
Then I told the exiles all the things that the LORD had shown me.
Treasury of Scripture

Son of man, I have made you a watchman to the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me.

I have

Ezekiel 33:2-9 Son of man, speak to the children of your people, and say to them, …

1 Corinthians 12:28 And God has set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, …

a watchman

Songs 3:3 The watchmen that go about the city found me: to whom I said, Saw …

Songs 5:7 The watchmen that went about the city found me, they smote me, they …

Isaiah 21:6,8,11,12 For thus has the LORD said to me, Go, set a watchman, let him declare …

Isaiah 52:8 Your watchmen shall lift up the voice; with the voice together shall …

Isaiah 56:10 His watchmen are blind: they are all ignorant, they are all dumb …

Isaiah 62:6 I have set watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem, which shall never …

Jeremiah 6:17 Also I set watchmen over you, saying, Listen to the sound of the …

Jeremiah 31:6 For there shall be a day, that the watchmen on the mount Ephraim …

Acts 20:28-31 Take heed therefore to yourselves, and to all the flock, over the …

Hebrews 13:17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for …

hear

Ezekiel 33:6-8 But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, …

2 Chronicles 19:10 And what cause soever shall come to you of your brothers that dwell …

Isaiah 58:1 Cry aloud, spare not, lift up your voice like a trumpet, and show …

Jeremiah 6:10 To whom shall I speak, and give warning, that they may hear? behold, …

Habakkuk 2:1 I will stand on my watch, and set me on the tower, and will watch …

Matthew 3:7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, …

1 Corinthians 4:14 I write not these things to shame you, but as my beloved sons I warn you.

2 Corinthians 5:11,20 Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we …

Colossians 1:28 Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all …

1 Thessalonians 5:14 Now we exhort you, brothers, warn them that are unruly, comfort the …

Verse 17. - A watchman unto the house of Israel. The seven days' session of amazement came to an end, but even then there was at first no utterance of a message. The word of the Lord came to his own soul, and told him what his special vocation as a prophet was to be. He was to be a "watchman unto the house of Israel." He was, like the watchman of a city on his tower, to be on the look out to warn men against coming dangers, not to slumber on his post. In 2 Samuel 18:24-27 and 2 Kings 9:17-20 we have vivid pictures of such a work. It had already been used figuratively of the prophet's work by Jeremiah (Jeremiah 6:17). The cognate verb, with the image fully developed, meets us in Habakkuk 2:1. Its use in Hosea 9:8 is doubtful as to meaning, and in Isaiah 52:8 and Isaiah 56:10 it may be, if we accept the theory of a Deutero-Isaiah, an echo from Ezekiel. It is reproduced with special emphasis in Ezekiel 33:2-7. More than any word it describes the special characteristic of Ezekiel's work. He is to watch personally over individual souls. So in a like sense, a corresponding word is used of the Christian ministry in Hebrews 13:17 (compare also for the thought, though the word is not the same, Isaiah 21:11, 12; Isaiah 62:6; Psalm 127:1). A vivid picture of the work of such a watchman is found, it may be noted, in the opening speech of the 'Agamemnon' of AEschylus. Give them warning, etc. It is, I think, a legitimate inference that the prophet acted on the command while he was with the exiles and before the departure of ver. 22, not by harangues or sermons addressed to the whole body of the exiles, but by direct warning to individuals. Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel,.... Not in a civil sense, a watchman of a town or city, or of the whole country, but in an ecclesiastical sense. So the Targum renders it by "a teacher"; whose business it was to instruct the people in divine things, to warn them of their evil ways, and of the danger they exposed them to; such were the prophets of old, and such are the ministers of the New Testament: the office is the same with that of bishops or overseers; and lies in watching over the souls of men, as shepherds over their flocks, that they go into right pastures, and not astray, and so preserves them from beasts of prey; and as watchmen of cities, to give the time of night, and, notice of approaching danger; to the discharge of which office are necessary quick sight, diligence in looking out, sobriety and vigilance, courage, constancy, and faithfulness: and they are "sons of men" that are put into this office, and not angels; sons of fallen Adam, sinful men; men subject to infirmity, weak, frail, mortal men, and oftentimes of a mean and low extraction, and greatly unworthy of so high an honour; but Christ counts them faithful, and puts them into this office; they are not made and constituted watchmen or ministers by themselves or by others, but by him; and they are given by him as such to the church of God: "son of man, I have given thee a watchman" (t), &c. they become watchmen through gifts bestowed upon them, qualifying them for this office; and they themselves are gifts to the churches over whom they are placed, signified by "the house of Israel"; for a church is a house of Christ's building, and where he dwells, and a family named of him, which he takes care of, and consists of Israelites indeed;

therefore hear the word at my mouth; for, as the prophets of old, so the ministers of the Gospel are first to hear what Christ says; and then deliver out his doctrine, called the doctrine of Christ, and the wholesome words of our Lord Jesus. So the Targum,

"and thou shalt receive the word from my Word;''

the word of prophecy, or the word of the Gospel, from Christ the essential Word;

and give them warning from me; in his name and stead, and as from his mouth, to take care of sinning against him, dishonouring his name, and wounding their own souls; that they live soberly, righteously, and godly, and adorn the doctrine of God their Saviour; that they avoid all appearances of evil, and shun the company of wicked men; the house of Israel, or church of God, are to be warned to be careful who they take into their communion, and to exclude such that are bad in principle and practice; to beware of innovations in worship, and of false teachers and false doctrines; and that they do not forsake the word, worship, and ordinances of God's house, but fill up their places, and perform all duties incumbent on them. The Targum is,

"and thou shalt warn them from sinning before me.''

(t) "speculatorem dedi", V. L. Polanus, Cocceius, Starckius. So Junius & Tremellius, Piscator. 17. watchman—Ezekiel alone, among the prophets, is called a "watchman," not merely to sympathize, but to give timely warning of danger to his people where none was suspected. Habakkuk (Hab 2:1) speaks of standing upon his "watch," but it was only in order to be on the lookout for the manifestation of God's power (so Isa 52:8; 62:6); not as Ezekiel, to act as a watchman to others.3:12-21 This mission made the holy angels rejoice. All this was to convince Ezekiel, that the God who sent him had power to bear him out in his work. He was overwhelmed with grief for the sins and miseries of his people, and overpowered by the glory of the vision he had seen. And however retirement, meditation, and communion with God may be sweet, the servant of the Lord must prepare to serve his generation. The Lord told the prophet he had appointed him a watchman to the house of Israel. If we warn the wicked, we are not chargeable with their ruin. Though such passages refer to the national covenant made with Israel, they are equally to be applied to the final state of all men under every dispensation. We are not only to encourage and comfort those who appear to be righteous, but they are to be warned, for many have grown high-minded and secure, have fallen, and even died in their sins. Surely then the hearers of the gospel should desire warnings, and even reproofs.
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