Ezekiel 2:9
And when I looked, behold, an hand was sent to me; and, see, a roll of a book was therein;
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(9) Was sent unto me.—Better, was put forth, as the same word is translated in Genesis 3:22; Genesis 19:10; Ezekiel 8:3. In Ezekiel 10:7 it is rendered stretched forth, with the marginal sent forth, and the corresponding Chaldee word in Daniel 5:24 is translated “sent.” It is not that a hand by itself containing the roll was sent to the prophet, but a hand, either of one of the cherubim,. or from the throne above, was stretched forth to him. In the corresponding vision in Revelation 10:8-9, it is handed to the seer by the angel.

A roll of a book.—Books were anciently written upon skins sewed together, or upon papyrus in long strips, which were rolled up, one hand unrolling and the other rolling up from the other end as the contents were read. These were ordinarily written on one side only, as it would have been inconvenient to read the other; but in this case it was written on both sides,” within and without,” to denote the fullness of the message.

Ezekiel 2:9-10. Behold a hand was sent unto me — I saw a hand stretched out toward me, as from that divine person who appeared to me in the shape of a man. And lo, a roll of a book was therein — Wherein were contained the contents of the following prophecy. And he spread it before me — That I might understand the contents of it. And it was written within and without — The ancient books were rolled on cylinders of wood or ivory, and usually the writing was only on the inside; but this was written on both sides, both that which was innermost when it was rolled up, and on the outside also, which signified that the prophecy contained a long series of events. And there was written therein lamentations, and mourning, and wo — It contained predictions and revelations of impending calamities, and divers terrible judgments coming on the Jewish nation, and giving great cause for bitter sorrow and lamentation. 2:6-10 Those who will do any thing to purpose in the service of God, must not fear men. Wicked men are as briers and thorns; but they are nigh unto cursing, and their end is to be burned. The prophet must be faithful to the souls of those to whom he was sent. All who speak from God to others, must obey his voice. The discoveries of sin, and the warnings of wrath, should be matter of lamentation. And those acquainted with the word of God, will clearly perceive it is filled with woe to impenitent sinners; and that all the precious promises of the gospel are for the repenting, believing servants of the Lord.Was sent - Rather, was put forth.

A roll of a book - The book was one of the ancient kind written on skins rolled up together. Hence, our English volume Psalm 40:7. The writing was usually on one side, but in this case it was written within and without, on both sides, the writing as it were running over, to express the abundance of the calamities in store for the devoted people. To eat the book signifies to be thoroughly possessed with its contents (compare Ezekiel 3:10; Jeremiah 15:16). There should be no break between Ezekiel 2:10 and Ezekiel 3.

9. roll—the form in which ancient books were made. The prophet, newly come out of that astonishing trance wherein he lay, and gotten upon his feet, hearing what was spoken, and possibly looking if he might see who spake, he discovers a hand; either of one of those angels which ministered before the Lord, or the hand of God, or of Christ. This might fortify the prophet; when he saw a hand so soon with him as he was ready to hear and obey, power and skill to defend and guide him will ever be as ready.

Behold, an hand was sent unto me; an Eastern idiom of speech.

A roll of a book; their books were not of that fashion and make as ours now are, but written in parchment, and in the length of it, and so one piece fastened to other, till the whole would contain what was to be written, and then was it wrapped or rolled about a round piece of wood, fashioned for that purpose: hence books are called volumes. And when I looked, behold, an hand was sent unto me,.... Not of an angel, but of Christ himself, in a visionary way; for this was not a real hand, but the likeness of one, as in Ezekiel 8:3; and so the Targum here,

"and I saw, and behold, the likeness of a hand stretched out on the side to me.''

This symbol was to show that his prophecy, that he was sent to deliver, was from heaven and came from Christ; and that hand that delivered it to him would protect and defend him:

and, lo a roll of a book was therein; held in it, and held forth by it, to the prophet. Books were frequently written on parchment or vellum, and rolled about a stick, in form of a cylinder; and hence they were called volumes or rolls, Psalm 40:7. This roll was a symbol of the prophecy of this book.

And when I looked, behold, an hand was sent unto me; and, lo, a roll of a book was therein;
Verse 9. - An hand was sent (put forth, Revised Version) unto me, etc. Apparently the hand was not that of the human form seated on the throne (Ezekiel 1:26), nor of one of the four living creatures (Ezekiel 1:8), but one appearing mysteriously by itself, as in the history of Belshazzar's feast (Daniel 5:5). The words connect themselves with the use of the hand stretched out of a cloud as the symbols of the Divine energy both in Jewish and Christian art. The writer has in his possession a Jewish brass tablet, probably of the sixteenth century, commemorating the legend of the miraculous supply of oil at the Feast of the Dedication, in which such a hand appears as pouring oil into the seven-branched candlestick, or lamp, of the temple. Lo, a roll of a book, etc. The words remind us of the volume, or roll, in Psalm 40:7; Jeremiah 36:2; Zechariah 5:1; like those which are still used in Jewish synagogues.
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