Ezekiel 12:17
Moreover the word of the LORD came to me, saying,
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Ezekiel 12:17-19. Moreover, &c. — As he was a sign to them in digging through the wall and carrying out his stuff, so he must now be a sign to them in another way. Eat thy bread with quaking, &c. — Show all the signs of anxiety and consternation when thou takest thy common sustenance. This he was to do that he might express the calamitous condition of those that should be in Jerusalem during the siege. And say unto the people — Thy fellow-captives; Thus saith the Lord of the inhabitants of Jerusalem — This was designed to inform the captives that they were not in a worse condition than those that were left behind in Judea. They shall eat their bread with carefulness, &c. — See note on Ezekiel 4:16-17. That her land may be desolate — Rather, because her land shall be desolate, namely, the land of Jerusalem, or the country, of which it was the head city, which was shortly to be laid waste, emptied of its inhabitants, wealth, and plenty. Because of the violence, &c. — The injustice, oppression, and tyranny of the Jews toward one another. 12:17-20 The prophet must eat and drink in care and fear, with trembling, that he might express the condition of those in Jerusalem during the siege. When ministers speak of the ruin coming upon sinners, they must speak as those that know the terrors of the Lord. Afflictions are happy ones, however grievous to flesh and blood, that improve us in the knowledge of God.Few - literally, as in the margin; so few, that they can easily be counted Isaiah 10:19. The few who should escape destruction should make known to all among whom they should dwell how great had been the wickedness of the people, how just their punishment. 16. I will leave a few … that they may declare … abominations—God's purpose in scattering a remnant of Jews among the Gentiles; namely, not only that they themselves should be weaned from idolatry (see Eze 12:15), but that by their own word, as also by their whole state as exiles, they should make God's righteousness manifest among the Gentiles, as vindicated in their punishment for their sins (compare Isa 43:10; Zec 8:13). He was a sign to them in digging and bearing his stuff, now he must be a sign to them in another manner. Moreover the word of the Lord came to me, saying. Here follows another sign of the desolation of the Jews, which the prophet was unto them; as the former signified their going into captivity, this their famine and distress at the siege of Jerusalem, and the dreadful calamities attending and following that. Moreover the word of the LORD came to me, saying,
17–20. A new symbol of the terror and violence and desolation about to come upon the land.Verse 17. - The opening words, The worn of the Lord came to me, imply an interval of passivity and silence. One conscious burst of inspiration came to an end, and was followed, after a time, by another. Symbol of the Emigration

Ezekiel 12:1. And the word of Jehovah came to me, saying, Ezekiel 12:2. Son of man, thou dwellest amidst the refractory generation, who have eyes to see, and see not; and have ears to hear, and hear not; for they are a refractory generation. Ezekiel 12:3. And thou, son of man, make thyself an outfit for exile, and depart by day before their eyes; and depart from thy place to another place before their eyes: perhaps they might see, for they are a refractory generation. Ezekiel 12:4. And carry out thy things like an outfit for exile by day before their eyes; but do thou go out in the evening before their eyes, as when going out to exile. Ezekiel 12:5. Before their eyes break through the wall, and carry it out there. Ezekiel 12:6. Before their eyes take it upon thy shoulder, carry it out in the darkness; cover thy face, and look not upon the land; for I have set thee as a sign to the house of Israel. Ezekiel 12:7. And I did so as I was commanded: I carried out my things like an outfit for exile by day, and in the evening I broke through the wall with my hand; I carried it out in the darkness; I took it upon my shoulder before their eyes. - In Ezekiel 12:2 the reason is assigned for the command to perform the symbolical action, namely, the hard-heartedness of the people. Because the generation in the midst of which Ezekiel dwelt was blind, with seeing eyes, and deaf, with hearing ears, the prophet was to depict before its eyes, by means of the sign that followed, the judgment which was approaching; in the hope, as is added in Ezekiel 12:3, that they might possibly observe and lay the sign to heart. The refractoriness (בּית מרי, as in Ezekiel 2:5-6; Ezekiel 3:26, etc.) is described as obduracy, viz., having eyes, and not seeing; having ears, and not hearing, after Deuteronomy 29:3 (cf. Jeremiah 5:21; Isaiah 6:9; Matthew 13:14-15). The root of this mental blindness and deafness was to be found in obstinacy, i.e., in not willing; "in that presumptuous insolence," as Michaelis says, "through which divine light can obtain no admission." כּלי גולה, the goods (or outfit) of exile, were a pilgrim's staff and traveller's wallet, with the provisions and utensils necessary for a journey. Ezekiel was to carry these out of the house into the street in the day-time, that the people might see them and have their attention called to them. Then in the evening, after dark, he was to go out himself, not by the door of the house, but through a hole which he had broken in the wall. He was also to take the travelling outfit upon his shoulder and carry it through the hole and out of the place, covering his face all the while, that he might not see the land to which he was going. "Thy place" is thy dwelling-place. כּמוצאי : as the departures of exiles generally take place, i.e., as exiles are accustomed to depart, not "at the usual time of departure into exile," as Hהvernick proposes. For מוחא, see the comm. on Micah 5:1. בּעלטה differs from בּערב, and signifies the darkness of the depth of night (cf. Genesis 15:17); not, however, "darkness artificially produced, equivalent to, with the eyes shut, or the face covered; so that the words which follow are simply explanatory of בּעלטה," as Schmieder imagines. Such an assumption would be at variance not only with Ezekiel 12:7, but also with Ezekiel 12:12, where the covering or concealing of the face is expressly distinguished from the carrying out "in the dark." The order was to be as follows: In the day-time Ezekiel was to take the travelling outfit and carry it out into the road; then in the evening he was to go out himself, having first of all broken a hole through the wall as evening was coming on; and in the darkness of night he was to place upon his shoulders whatever he was about to carry with him, and take his departure. This he was to do, because God had made him a mōphēth for Israel: in other words, by doing this he was to show himself to be a marvellous sign to Israel. For mōphēth, see the comm. on Exodus 4:21. In Ezekiel 12:7, the execution of the command, which evidently took place in the strictness of the letter, is fully described. There was nothing impracticable in the action, for breaking through the wall did not preclude the use of a hammer or some other tool.

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