Ezekiel 11:13
And it came to pass, when I prophesied, that Pelatiah the son of Benaiah died. Then fell I down upon my face, and cried with a loud voice, and said, Ah Lord GOD! wilt thou make a full end of the remnant of Israel?
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(13) Pelatiah . . . died.—This Pelatiah was one of the “princes of the people” mentioned in Ezekiel 11:1-2 as “those that devise mischief and give wicked counsel.” The prophet’s mind is greatly affected by his sudden death, and he earnestly intercedes that in the judgments God will not “make a full end of the remnant.”

Ezekiel 11:13. And when I prophesied, Pelatiah died — Mentioned Ezekiel 11:1, a principal man among the twenty-five princes, who made all the mischief in Jerusalem: see note on Ezekiel 11:2. It seems this was done only in vision now, (as the slaying of the ancient men, Ezekiel 9:6,) but it was an assurance, that when this prophecy was published it would be done in fact. And the death of Pelatiah was a pledge of the complete accomplishment of the prophecy. Then fell I down upon my face, and cried — The prophet thought this an earnest of the common destruction which was coming upon all the inhabitants of the city, and thereupon he earnestly deprecated so severe a judgment. See chap. Ezekiel 9:8.

11:1-13 Where Satan cannot persuade men to look upon the judgment to come as uncertain, he gains his point by persuading them to look upon it as at a distance. These wretched rulers dare to say, We are as safe in this city as flesh in a boiling pot; the walls of the city shall be to us as walls of brass, we shall receive no more damage from the besiegers than the caldron does from the fire. When sinners flatter themselves to their own ruin, it is time to tell them they shall have no peace if they go on. None shall remain in possession of the city but those who are buried in it. Those are least safe who are most secure. God is often pleased to single out some sinners for warning to others. Whether Pelatiah died at that time in Jerusalem, or when the fulfilment of the prophecy drew near, is uncertain. Like Ezekiel, we ought to be much affected with the sudden death of others, and we should still plead with the Lord to have mercy on those who remain.The death of Pelatiah was communicated in this vision, which represented ideally the idolatry in which Pelatiah had actually been foremost. 13. Pelaliah—probably the ringleader of the scorners (Eze 11:1); his being stricken dead (like Ananias, Acts 5. 5) was an earnest of the destruction of the rest of the twenty-five, as Ezekiel had foretold, as also of the general ruin.

fell … upon … face—(See on [1032]Eze 9:8).

wilt thou make a full end of the remnant—Is Pelatiah's destruction to be the token of the destruction of all, even of the remnant? The people regarded Pelatiah as a mainstay of the city. His name (derived from a Hebrew root, "a remnant," or else "God delivers") suggested hope. Is that hope, asks Ezekiel, to be disappointed?

Either this refers to some’ particular prediction of the death of this man; as Jeremiah did of Hananiah’s death, Jeremiah 28:17; though I do not remember that Ezekiel had spoken of it before, and therefore I take the words for a usual transition. If you suppose the first guess at the meaning of,

it came to pass, then this will be best interpreted by

according to, or

even as; if you adhere to the latter, then this when is

whilst, or

as, I was prophesying.

Died; and so was a pledge or presage of the following death of the other twenty-four.

Then; immediately, in the most humble manner, as that people were used to do, Joshua 7:10 2 Chronicles 20:18. He fell down upon his face, in order to pray.

Cried; with intense and earnest mind he prayed, as well as with a loud voice: see Ezekiel 9:8. Much like phrase is that in Esther 4:1.

Ah Lord God! an expression of his tender compassions for them.

Wilt thou make, & c.? a very usual way of interceding, and so common in Scripture, that it is a wonder any should find fault with it who know the Scripture.

Make a full end, by slaying all as this man is cut off. This man’s name implieth one that escaped, or was delivered by God’s good hand; and perhaps the prophet alludes to it; however, he is very solicitous, as others were, for the remnant, which was ever least, 2 Kings 19:30,31 Isa 10:21,22 Jer 23:3 31:7; and in this manner does Ezekiel 9:8, intercede for the Jews.

And it came to pass when I prophesied,.... Or, "as I prophesied" (i); that is, while he was prophesying, or declaring the above things from the mouth of the Lord, concerning the slaughter of the Jews by the sword, and the captivity of the rest:

that Pelatiah the son of Benaiah died; one of the princes of the people, and was among the five and twenty men the prophet saw at the door of the east gate of the temple, Ezekiel 11:1; this man dropped down dead on a sudden, just as Ananias and Sapphira at the feet of Peter, Acts 5:5. It was in a vision Ezekiel saw this, and in the temple; but no doubt at the same time this prince died at his own house, whose death was notified to the prophet in this way;

then fell I down upon my face; as greatly surprised at the event, and filled with concern at what would be the issue of this providence; looking upon it as a pledge and earnest, a token and forerunner, of the utter destruction of the people:

and cried with a loud voice; expressing the vehemency of his affection, and the earnestness of his supplication:

and said, ah, Lord God! wilt thou make a full end of the remnant of Israel? or, "art thou making?" (k) the ten tribes had been carried captive many years ago, and a large number of the other two tribes in Jeconiah's captivity, so that there were but a remnant left in the land; and, upon the sudden and awful death of this prince, the prophet feared the Lord was going to make an utter end of them at once; which he deprecates.

(i) "me prophetante", Junius & Tremellius, Polanus. (k) "tu faciem", Montanus, Starckius.

And it came to pass, when I prophesied, that Pelatiah the son of {f} Benaiah died. Then I fell down upon my face, and cried with a loud voice, and said, Ah Lord GOD! wilt thou make a full end of the remnant of Israel?

(f) It seems that this noble man died of some terrible death, and therefore the prophet feared some strange judgment of God toward the rest of the people.

13. While Ezekiel was uttering this prophecy Pelatiah fell down dead, and the prophet seemed to see in the event the coming destruction of all the remnant of Israel before the wrath of God, and fell on his face to intercede for them. This incident is exceedingly difficult to estimate. The prophet tells us that all the occurrences in ch. 8–11 were done in vision. Unfortunately this does not justify us in assuming that the death of Pelatiah was a mere symbolical death, and no reality. For the “vision” is in great measure a mere schema under which the prophet groups much that had reality, such as his own thoughts, his discourses to the people, and probably actual events happening in Jerusalem. But in grouping the events under the schema of the vision he idealises them, making them expressive of general conceptions and principles, and it is impossible to distinguish between things which were actual but are idealised, and things which are purely creations of the symbolizing imagination. It is possible that Ezekiel prophesied against these princes in Jerusalem (ch. Ezekiel 11:4), as Jeremiah did against the false prophets in Babylon, whom a horrible fate overtook (Jeremiah 29:21), and against Hananiah (Jeremiah 28:15. seq.), and it is possible that soon afterwards Pelatiah suddenly died, and that these real occurrences have been drawn by the prophet under his schema of the vision. On the other hand the death of Pelatiah may be merely symbolical, to shew with what certainty the word of God takes effect, the symbol being modelled on Jeremiah’s prophecy against Hananiah.

a full end] See on ch. Ezekiel 9:8.

14 seq. The answer of the Lord to the prophet’s intercession. The destruction of the inhabitants of Jerusalem is not the end of Israel. The Israel in exile is the Israel whom the Lord regards and will yet restore.

Verse 13. - Pelatiah the son of Benaiah. We must remember that this a as part of the vision, but it may be assumed, in the nature of the case, that it represented what then or afterwards was a fact in history. Had Pelatiah died suddenly during a council meeting? Compare the death of Hananiah in Jeremiah 28:17. As it was, even in the vision, the death so startled and horrified the prophet, that he burst out again into a prayer like that of ch. 9:8. Was the "residue," the "remnant" of Israel, represented by one of the chief counsellors of the city, to be thus cut off? Ezekiel 11:13And it came to pass, as I was prophesying, that Pelatiah the son of Benaiah died: then I fell upon my face, and cried with a loud voice, and said: Alas! Lord Jehovah, dost Thou make an end of the remnant of Israel? - The sudden death of one of the princes of the nation, while Ezekiel was prophesying, was intended to assure the house of Israel of the certain fulfilment of this word of God. So far, however, as the fact itself is concerned, we must bear in mind, that as it was only in spirit that Ezekiel was at Jerusalem, and prophesied to the men whom he saw in spirit there, so the death of Pelatiah was simply a part of the vision, and in all probability was actually realized by the sudden death of this prince during or immediately after the publication of the vision. But the occurrence, even when the prophet saw it in spirit, made such an impression upon his mind, that with trembling and despair he once more made an importunate appeal to God, as in Ezekiel 9:8, and inquired whether He meant to destroy the whole of the remnant of Israel. עשׂה כלה, to put an end to a thing, with את before the object, as in Zephaniah 1:18 (see the comm. on Nahum 1:8). The Lord then gives him the comforting assurance in Ezekiel 11:14-21, that He will preserve a remnant among the exiles, and make them His people once more.
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