And the prince that is among them shall bear on his shoulder in the twilight, and shall go forth: they shall dig through the wall to carry out thereby: he shall cover his face, that he see not the ground with his eyes.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)They shall dig through the wall.—This circumstance is not mentioned in the history of Zedekiah’s flight; yet it is not necessary to understand it figuratively, since such a breach in the walls at a place unwatched by the enemy might easily be arranged to secure secrecy, and as easily be passed over in the brevity of the historical account. (See Note on Ezekiel 12:6.)
Shall cover his face,—This he would naturally do to avoid recognition; but the words were doubtless meant also as an intimation of what is more plainly hinted in the following verse.Isaiah 13:1 note). Ezekiel, bearing his "stuff" on his shoulder was a sign of the weight of calamity coming upon king and people.
shall bear—namely, his "stuff for removing"; his equipments for his journey.
cover his face, that he see not the ground—See on Eze 12:6; the symbol in Eze 12:6 is explained in this verse. He shall muffle his face so as not to be recognized: a humiliation for a king!The prince; Zedekiah.
Among them; in Jerusalem.
Shall bear upon his shoulder; disguised no doubt as a common ordinary servant, in hope so to escape; but to conceal himself he flees in a disguise, and chooseth the twilight as the time that would best favour his design; so 2 Kings 25:4.
They shall dig through the wall; fulfilled when they broke down the wall to flee, as Jeremiah 39:4: probably they had built up some slight wall to blind the enemy, which now they break to flee through.
He shall cover his face; partly out of grief, partly out of shame, partly prefiguring Zedekiah’s future loss of his eyes, and his blindness which the insolency of Nebuchadnezzar afflicted him with; but Zedekiah did by this chiefly aim at concealing himself in disguise and covering his face.
shall bear upon his shoulder in the twilight, and shall go forth; out of Jerusalem, where his palace and throne were, leaving the main of his riches behind him; only should carry away what he could on his shoulder, a bundle of his most valuable effects, or provisions for his flight: or, as Kimchi and Ben Melech think, his clothes, for lighter march, and more speedy haste:
they shall dig through the wall to carry out thereby; it seems by this, that when the king, and his nobles and servants, made their escape, they not only went forth between two walls, but broke through one, in order to get away; which was done, not by the king himself, but by his servants; so the Targum,
"in a wall shall they dig to bring him out by it;''
and therefore the number is changed, not "he", but "they, shall dig", &c. though in the following words the singular is again used:
he shall cover his face, that he see not the ground with his eyes; either through shame at leaving the city, his palace, and all his grandeur. The Targum is,
"he shall cover his face because he hath sinned:''
or that he might not be known and be discovered who he was; and so it was through fear of being betrayed by a false friend, or taken by the enemy: or else this may respect his having his eyes put out at Riblah, so that he could not see with them the land he was carried into; though it rather seems to refer to his first escape out of Jerusalem with a mask or vizor on him, which might hinder his seeing the ground he went upon; and which, in his fright, he could not attend to, looking out here and there, not being able to keep his eye long upon any place. The Septuagint, Vulgate Latin, and Arabic versions, render it, "that he may not be seen with the eye, and he shall not see the land".And the prince that is among them shall bear upon his shoulder in the twilight, and shall go forth: they shall dig through the wall to carry out thereby: he shall cover his face, that he see not the ground with his eyes.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)12. shoulder in the twilight, and shall] The balance of clauses requires: shall bear upon his shoulder; in the darkness shall he go forth (or, carry forth—a slight change of reading, which obviates the unnatural and).
that he see not the ground] Rather as R.V., because he shall not see the land.
with his eyes] Lit. by eyesight himself. The language is unnatural. LXX. “that he may not be seen by eye, and he himself shall not see the land.” Whether original or not this rendering combines the two ideas expressed by “covering the face,” viz. that of disguise (Job 24:15), and that of inability to see (Job 9:24). The prophet clearly foresaw the fall of the city and the captivity of the king, and he may have threatened the king with a chastisement for his rebellion which, though barbarous, was not unusual in that age. If he did so it is still probable that afterwards when composing his Book he made the references to the putting out of the king’s eyes more distinct (Ezekiel 12:13).Verse 12. - For that he see not, read, with the Revised Version, because be shall not see. 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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