|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 6. - Surely, if I sent thee to them, etc. The "surely" represents the Hebrew "if not" taken as a strong affirmation, just as "if" in Psalm 95:11 represents a strong negation; compare the use of the fuller formula jurandi in 1 Samuel 3:17; 2 Samuel 3:35; 2 Samuel 19:13; and of the same in Deuteronomy 1:35; Isaiah 62:8; and in Ezekiel himself (Ezekiel 17:19). The margin of the Authorized Version, If I had sent thee to them, would they not have hearkened, etc.? expresses the same meaning, but is less tenable as a translation. The thought in either case finds its analogue in our Lord's reference to Sodom and Gomorrah, to Tyre and Sidon (Matthew 11:21-24; Luke 10:12-14). Israel was more hardened than the worst of the nations round her.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Not to many people of a strange speech and of an hard language,.... The prophet was sent, not to different nations, of different languages; but to one nation of the same language; indeed several of his prophecies concern other nations, as the Ammonites, Moabites, Edomites, Tyrians, Philistines, Egyptians, and Assyrians; but then these had a relation to the, people of Israel, and were chiefly on their account; and therefore he was not sent to those nations to deliver his prophecies unto them, but to the people of Israel only; and so had no difficulty on his part concerning their language, which he would have had, had he been sent to the barbarous nations;
whose words, thou canst not understand: the prophet being, only used to the language of the Jews and not having the gift of speaking with and understanding divers tongues; as the apostles of Christ had, when they were sent to many people of different languages, and which is here tacitly intimates:
surely, had I sent thee to them, they would have hearkened unto thee; which is an aggravation of the obstinacy and disobedience of the people of Israel; that had the barbarous nations been favoured with the same means of instruction they were they would have been obedient; see Matthew 11:21; for though they could not understand the prophet's language, nor he theirs; yet, as Kimchi observes, they would have sought for an interpreter to have explained the prophecy to them. The thing is very strongly affirmed, "surely", verily, "of a truth"; as the same Jewish writer interprets ; and both he and Jarchi take it to be the form of an oath. Some render the words, "if I had not sent thee to them, they would have hearkened unto thee" (i); and the sense is, either that if the Lord had not sent him to the Israelites, but to the peopled a strange speech, they, the people, would have hearkened to him: or, if the Lord had not sent the prophet, but he had gone of himself, as the false prophets in their own name, the Israelites would have hearkened to him; such was their perverseness and rebellion: others render the words, "if not", or had it not been for their strange speech and hard language, "I would have sent thee to them" (k), the barbarous nation, and "they would have hearkened unto thee"; but the first sense seems best; which is confirmed by the Targum, Septuagint, Vulgate Latin, and the Oriental versions.
(i) "si non ad eos misissem te", Vatablus; "si non misero te", Montanus; "si non mitterem", Pagninus. (k) "Si non misissem te ad eos", Calvin.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
6. many people—It would have increased the difficulty had he been sent, not merely to one, but to "many people" differing in tongues, so that the missionary would have needed to acquire a new tongue for addressing each. The after mission of the apostles to many peoples, and the gift of tongues for that end, are foreshadowed (compare 1Co 14:21 with Isa 28:11).
had I sent thee to them, they would have hearkened—(Mt 11:21, 23).
Ezekiel 3:6 Parallel Commentaries
Ezekiel 3:6 NIV
Ezekiel 3:6 NLT
Ezekiel 3:6 ESV
Ezekiel 3:6 NASB
Ezekiel 3:6 KJV
Bible Hub: Online Parallel Bible