Ezekiel 3:5
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
You are not being sent to a people of obscure speech and strange language, but to the people of Israel--

New Living Translation
I am not sending you to a foreign people whose language you cannot understand.

English Standard Version
For you are not sent to a people of foreign speech and a hard language, but to the house of Israel—

New American Standard Bible
"For you are not being sent to a people of unintelligible speech or difficult language, but to the house of Israel,

King James Bible
For thou art not sent to a people of a strange speech and of an hard language, but to the house of Israel;

Holman Christian Standard Bible
For you are not being sent to a people of unintelligible speech or difficult language but to the house of Israel.

International Standard Version
because you're not going to a people whose speech you cannot understand or whose language is difficult to speak. Instead, you're going to the house of Israel.

NET Bible
For you are not being sent to a people of unintelligible speech and difficult language, but to the house of Israel--

New Heart English Bible
For you are not sent to a people of a strange speech and of a hard language, but to the house of Israel;

GOD'S WORD® Translation
I am not sending you to people whose language is hard to understand or difficult to speak. I am sending you to Israel.

JPS Tanakh 1917
For thou art not sent to a people of an unintelligible speech and of a slow tongue, but to the house of Israel;

New American Standard 1977
“For you are not being sent to a people of unintelligible speech or difficult language, but to the house of Israel,

Jubilee Bible 2000
For thou art not sent to a people of a profound speech nor of a hard language, but to the house of Israel;

King James 2000 Bible
For you are not sent to a people of foreign speech and of a hard language, but to the house of Israel;

American King James Version
For you are not sent to a people of a strange speech and of an hard language, but to the house of Israel;

American Standard Version
For thou art not sent to a people of a strange speech and of a hard language, but to the house of Israel;

Douay-Rheims Bible
For thou art not sent to a people of a profound speech, and of an unknown tongue, but to the house of Israel:

Darby Bible Translation
For thou art not sent to a people of strange language, and of difficult speech, [but] to the house of Israel;

English Revised Version
For thou art not sent to a people of a strange speech and of an hard language, but to the house of Israel;

Webster's Bible Translation
For thou art not sent to a people of a strange speech and of a hard language, but to the house of Israel;

World English Bible
For you are not sent to a people of a strange speech and of a hard language, but to the house of Israel;

Young's Literal Translation
For, not unto a people deep of lip and heavy of tongue art thou sent -- unto the house of Israel;
Study Bible
Ezekiel Eats the Scroll
4Then He said to me, "Son of man, go to the house of Israel and speak with My words to them. 5"For you are not being sent to a people of unintelligible speech or difficult language, but to the house of Israel, 6nor to many peoples of unintelligible speech or difficult language, whose words you cannot understand. But I have sent you to them who should listen to you;…
Cross References
Acts 14:11
When the crowds saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voices in the Lycaonian language: "The gods have come down to us in human form!"

Acts 26:17
I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles. I am sending you to them

Isaiah 28:11
Indeed, He will speak to this people Through stammering lips and a foreign tongue,

Isaiah 33:19
You will no longer see a fierce people, A people of unintelligible speech which no one comprehends, Of a stammering tongue which no one understands.

Ezekiel 3:4
Then He said to me, "Son of man, go to the house of Israel and speak with My words to them.

Ezekiel 3:6
nor to many peoples of unintelligible speech or difficult language, whose words you cannot understand. But I have sent you to them who should listen to you;

Jonah 1:2
"Arise, go to Nineveh the great city and cry against it, for their wickedness has come up before Me."
Treasury of Scripture

For you are not sent to a people of a strange speech and of an hard language, but to the house of Israel;

thou

Jonah 1:2 Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their …

Jonah 3:2-4 Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and preach to it the preaching …

Acts 26:17,18 Delivering you from the people, and from the Gentiles, to whom now I send you…

of a strange speech and of an hard language [HEB] deep of lip and heavy of tongue:

and so

Ezekiel 3:6 Not to many people of a strange speech and of an hard language, whose …

Psalm 81:5 This he ordained in Joseph for a testimony, when he went out through …

Isaiah 33:19 You shall not see a fierce people, a people of a deeper speech than …

(5) To a people of a strange speech.--In Ezekiel 3:4-7 it is emphasised that Ezekiel's immediate mission is to be, like that of his great Antitype, to "the lost sheep of the house of Israel; "and yet that they would not give the heed to him which men far below them in spiritual privilege would have gladly yielded. Similar facts are continually encountered in the Scriptures, whether in its histories, as in those of Naaman the Syrian, of the faith of the Syro-Phnician woman (Matthew 15:21-28), and of the Roman centurion (Matthew 8:10-12), or in the express declarations of our Lord that the teaching and signs given to Chorazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum in vain would have been more than sufficient for the conversion of Tyre, or Sidon, or even of Sodom (Matthew 11:21; Matthew 11:23; Matthew 12:41-42). If it be asked, Why then should so much of the Divine compassion be expended upon a nation which so generally refused to avail itself of its blessings? the answer must be that only thus could even a few be raised at all above the very lowest spiritual plane, and that the raising of these few leads ultimately to the elevation of many. As an accountable being, man must be left free to neglect the proffered grace; and, as in the case of the Israelites to whom Ezekiel was sent, there would always be many who choose to do so. The consequence of this neglect must be such a hardening of the heart as was now shown by these people, and every man is warned by their example of the responsibility attached to the enjoyment of religious privilege. But the same thing would have happened with any other nation; and that God's faithfulness should not fail, and that His purposes for man's salvation should be accomplished, more grace must yet be given and His people must still be pleaded with, that at least a remnant of them might be led to repentance and be saved from the impending ruin. Theodoret calls attention to the contrast between the restriction of the grace of the Old Dispensation to a single people, and the universal diffusion of the preaching of the Gospel.

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." 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. 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.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.
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