Say you to them, Thus said the Lord GOD; This burden concerns the prince in Jerusalem, and all the house of Israel that are among them.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)All the house of Israel.—The burden (or message of woe) was directed immediately to the king and his princes, but the people were also necessarily involved. Israel is here, as elsewhere, used. for the then existing nation, which was considered as representing the whole, although composed chiefly of the tribe of Judah.Isaiah 13:1 note). Ezekiel, bearing his "stuff" on his shoulder was a sign of the weight of calamity coming upon king and people.
the prince—The very man Zedekiah, in whom they trust for safety, is to be the chief sufferer. Josephus [Antiquities, 10.7] reports that Ezekiel sent a copy of this prophecy to Zedekiah. As Jeremiah had sent a letter to the captives at the Chebar, which was the means of calling forth at first the agency of Ezekiel, so it was natural for Ezekiel to send a message to Jerusalem confirming the warnings of Jeremiah. The prince, however, fancying a contradiction between Eze 12:13; "he shall not see Babylon," and Jer 24:8, 9, declaring he should be carried to Babylon, believed neither. Seeming discrepancies in Scripture on deeper search prove to be hidden harmonies.
Thus saith the Lord God: this to add weight and authority to the word.
This burden; this dreadful prognostic; this prophecy is a burden which the kingdom shall groan under, and your king and the inhabitants of Jerusalem with him.
The prince; Zedekiah.
All the house; none may be excepted.
this burden concerneth the prince in Jerusalem; the present reigning prince in Jerusalem, King Zedekiah. The sense is, either that that burden of goods the prophet carried out on his shoulders had a regard to the king of Judah and his captivity, and was an emblem of it; or rather that the burden of prophecy, or that sorrowful calamity predicted by the above sign or type, had relation to that prince, and would be fulfilled in him; and so the Targum,
"upon the prince is the burden of this prophecy;''
in like manner Jarchi interprets it of prophecy:Say thou unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; This burden concerneth the prince in Jerusalem, and all the house of Israel that are among them.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)10, 11. The general meaning of these verses is clear enough—the prophet’s action is a representation of what shall happen in Jerusalem in the case of prince and people, but Ezekiel 12:10 is very obscure, and probably not in its original form.
This burden concerneth the prince] lit. the prince (is) this burden in Jerusalem. The term “burden” has also the sense of “oracle,” but Ez. does not use it in this sense and there is no reason to find any play upon the word as Jeremiah 23:33. The allusion can only be to the last words of Ezekiel 12:7—I bare it upon my shoulder; and the meaning would be: this bearing or loading has reference to the prince (Ezekiel 12:12). With this sense the following words must run: and all the house of Israel which are in the midst of it (Jerusalem—with a change of one letter). The objection to this that if the relative were subject the pronoun would not be expressed after it (Hitz., Keil) is worthless. But there are other objections more valid: “all the house of Israel” could hardly be used of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the phrase usually refers to the larger Israel, existing in all places. R.V. “this burden concerneth the prince … and all the house of Israel among whom they are;” but concerneth is said of the “prince” and of “all the house of Israel” in different senses. Notwithstanding the objections to it the easiest course is to read: in the midst of it (Jerusalem) as above. Corn. omits the verse as a gloss.Verses 10, 11. - This burden concerneth the prince in Jerusalem; literally, the prince is this burden in Jerusalem. The word "burden," in the sense of "prophecy," so common in Isaiah and Jeremiah and other prophets, as Hosea (Hosea 8:10) and Nahum (Nahum 1:1), is used by Ezekiel here only. Possibly he on the whole avoided it, as having fallen into discredit through its constant use by the false prophets (Jeremiah 23:83-38), and preferred the formula of "the word of Jehovah." As interpreted by Jeremiah 39:4 and 2 Kings 25:4, the "prince" is Zedekiah. Possibly Ezekiel avoided the title "king," as seeing in him one who was a ruler de facto, but not a king de jure. The facts related in Jeremiah 39:4 exactly correspond with the symbolic act. Zedekiah and his men of war escape from the city by night, "by the way of the king's garden, by the gate between the two walls," probably enough with faces covered, as David's was in his flight (2 Samuel 15:30), to avoid detection, or as a sign of mourning, and through some freshly made exit from the palace. The further significance of the covered face is found in the fact that Zedekiah was blinded at Riblah by Nebuchadnezzar's orders, and from that time could not see the ground on which he trod. Those who see in every Old Testament prediction nothing but a prophecy ex eventu infer from this that this section of Ezekiel was written after the destruction of Jerusalem. I do not take that view, and place it in close connection with the preceding chapters. We note in ver. 11 the peculiar phrase," I am your sign." Ezekiel, in what he does in the presence of the exiles, is figuring that which, before long, will come to pass in Jerusalem. They were to go forth into captivity as he had gone. For they shall remove, the Revised. Version gives, they shall go into exile. Ezekiel 11:22. And the cherubim raised their wings, and the wheels beside them; and the glory of the God of Israel was up above them. Ezekiel 11:23. And the glory of Jehovah ascended from the midst of the city, and took its stand upon the mountain which is to the east of the city. Ezekiel 11:24. And wind lifted me up, and brought me to Chaldea to the exiles, in the vision, in the Spirit of God; and the vision ascended away from me, which I had seen. Ezekiel 11:25. And I spoke to the exiles all the words of Jehovah, which He had shown to me. - The manifestation of the glory of the Lord had already left the temple, after the announcement of the burning of Jerusalem, and had taken its stand before the entrance of the eastern gate of the outer court, that is to say, in the city itself (Ezekiel 10:19; Ezekiel 11:1). But now, after the announcement had been made to the representatives of the authorities of their removal from the city, the glory of the God of Israel forsook the devoted city also, as a sign that both temple and city had ceased to be the seats of the gracious presence of the Lord. The mountain on the east of the city is the Mount of Olives, which affords a lofty outlook over the city. There the glory of God remained, to execute the judgment upon Jerusalem. Thus, according to Zechariah 14:4, will Jehovah also appear at the last judgment on the Mount of Olives above Jerusalem, to fight thence against His foes, and prepare a way of escape for those who are to be saved. It was from the Mount of Olives also that the Son of God proclaimed to the degenerate city the second destruction (Luke 19:21; Matthew 24:3); and from the same mountain He made His visible ascension to heaven after His resurrection (Luke 24:50; cf. Acts 1:12); and, as Grotius has observed, "thus did Christ ascend from this mountain into His kingdom, to execute judgment upon the Jews."
After this vision of the judgments of God upon the ancient people of the covenant and the kingdom of God, Ezekiel was carried back in the spirit into Chaldea, to the river Chaboras. The vision then vanished; and he related to the exiles all that he had seen.
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