|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
3:1-11 Ezekiel was to receive the truths of God as the food for his soul, and to feed upon them by faith, and he would be strengthened. Gracious souls can receive those truths of God with delight, which speak terror to the wicked. He must speak all that, and that only, which God spake to him. How can we better speak God's mind than with his words? If disappointed as to his people, he must not be offended. The Ninevites were wrought upon by Jonah's preaching, when Israel was unhumbled and unreformed. We must leave this unto the Divine sovereignty, and say, Lord, thy judgments are a great deep. They will not regard the word of the prophet, for they will not regard the rod of God. Christ promises to strengthen him. He must continue earnest in preaching, whatever the success might be.
Verse 5. - Of a strange speech and of a hard language, etc.; literally, as in margin, both of Authorized Version and Revised Version, to a people deep of lip and heavy of tongue; i.e. to a barbarous people outside the covenant, Chaldeans, Assyrians, Scythians: not speaking the familiar sacred speech of Israel (compare the "stammering lips and another tongue" of Isaiah 28:11; Isaiah 33:19). The thought implied is that Ezekiel's mission, as to "the lost sheep of the house of Israel" (Matthew 15:24), was outwardly easier than if he had been sent to the heathen. With Israel there was at least the medium of a speech common both to the prophet and his hearers. In ver. 6 the thought is enlarged by the use of "many peoples."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
For thou art not sent to a people of a strange speech,.... "Deep of lip" (g), or "speech"; difficult to be got at and understood:
and of a hard language: or "heavy of tongue" (h) of a barbarous and unknown language, whom he could not understand, nor they him; and so would have been barbarians to one another; and consequently it could not be thought his prophesying among them, could have been of any use. This may be considered, either by way of encouragement to the prophet to go on his errand to such a people; since as he could understand them, and they him he might hope to meet with success; or, however he could deliver his message so as to be understood: or as an aggravation of the impiety perverseness and stupidity of the Israelites; that though the prophet spoke to them in their own language, yet they would not hear nor receive his words:
but to the house of Israel; who were a people of the same speech and language with the prophet; all spoke and understood the language of Canaan; nor were the things he delivered such as they were altogether strangers to being the same, for substance, which Moses, and the other prophets, had ever taught.
(g) "profundi labii", Vatablus; "profundorum labio", Polanus, Cocceius; "profundi sermonis", Starkius. (h) "graves linguae", Montanus; "gravium lingua", Polanus.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
5. See Margin, Hebrew, "deep of lip, and heavy of tongue," that is, men speaking an obscure and unintelligible tongue. Even they would have listened to the prophet; but the Jews, though addressed in their own tongue, will not hear him.
Ezekiel 3:5 Parallel Commentaries
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