In that day will I cause the horn of the house of Israel to bud forth, and I will give you the opening of the mouth in the middle of them; and they shall know that I am the LORD.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)In that day.—The tenses here change to the future, indicating that if the conquest of Egypt had already taken place, its consequences to Israel were to be only gradually developed. These consequences were primarily the conviction of the futility of trust in any earthly aid, and hence a turning to their neglected God, and, as a result of this, the giving up of their long cherished idolatries. The prophet speaks of this as only in germ, but looking on to its further development, under the figure of making a horn to bud forth, that is, to sprout or grow. (Comp. Psalm 132:17.) Israel’s reviving prosperity should date from the destruction of its trust in earthly aid.
The opening of the mouth.—This is elsewhere (Ezekiel 24:27) promised to the prophet as a consequence of the fall of Jerusalem, of which he had heard (Ezekiel 33:21-22) more than fourteen years before. There is no recorded prophecy of Ezekiel’s of later date; the expression must therefore be understood of those encouraging and helpful instructions of the prophet, as the people improved under the discipline of the captivity, which it was not seen fitting to put on permanent record.Ezekiel 29:21. In that day — The phrase frequently denotes, in the prophets, not the same time which was last mentioned, but an extraordinary season, remarkable for some signal events of providence: in this sense it is to be understood here. I will cause the horn of the house of Israel to bud forth — The horns being the token of strength in beasts, and that in which their power chiefly consists; therefore the word is put to signify strength, or dominion, or a flourishing condition; and therefore to say, that the horn of Israel should bud forth, was as much as to say, that the Jewish nation should grow prosperous, and come to a flourishing condition again. This seems to be spoken of the return of the Jews from their captivity, and settling again in Judea. I will give thee the opening of the mouth in the midst of them — When thy prophecies are made good by the event, this shall add a new authority to what thou speakest: see Ezekiel 24:27.
The horn ... - Or, "an horn to bud forth to the house of Israel."
I will give thee the opening of the mouth - When these things should begin to come to pass the prophet's mouth should be opened to declare their meaning, and to make known the end to which all was tending.
I cause the horn of … Israel to bud—(Ps 132:17). I will cause its ancient glory to revive: an earnest of Israel's full glory under Messiah, the son of David (Lu 1:69). Even in Babylon an earnest was given of this in Daniel (Da 6:2) and Jeconiah (Jer 52:31).
I will give thee … opening of … mouth—When thy predictions shall have come to pass, thy words henceforth shall be more heeded (compare Eze 24:27).In that day; about that time, when Egypt was spoiled, Nebuchadnezzar returned to Babylon, his wars first, and soon after his life, ended, about four or five years after his return out of Egypt into Babylon; for about the thirty-seventh or thirty-eighth of his reign he finished his conquest of Egypt, and in the forty-third year he died at Babylon.
The horn; Jehoiachin by Evil-merodach was advanced, Jeremiah 52:31-33; beside dignities given to Daniel, the three children, and many others, under whose authority and favour the affairs of the Jews began, as a root that hath life in it, to spring and flourish; and whatever was the more immediate visible cause that prevailed with Evil-merodach, we are sure the principal cause was this, God’s mercy and veracity, who had promised he would do it, and foretold the time when he would begin to do it.
The opening of the mouth; thou shalt with greater authority be heard speaking, when the sorrows thou foretoldest, and the joys thou promisedst, both come to pass; and both Jews and Babylonians shall see and own it; or, thou shalt have liberty and freedom, as well as will and cause to speak, to open thy mouth in comforting the good among them, and to give praise to God, who revived their hopes, and made them know him as the Lord their God. Psalm 132:17. The Targum is,
"in that day will I bring redemption to the house of Israel.''
And I will give thee the opening of the mouth in the midst of them; in prophecy among them, as the Targum; who after this, might deliver other prophecies, though we have no account of them; or he should have boldness and courage when he and they should see his prophecies fulfilled, by which it would appear that he was a true prophet of the Lord:In that day will I cause the horn of the house of Israel to bud forth, and I will give thee the opening of the mouth in the midst of them; and they shall know that I am the LORD.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)21. The passage concludes with a promise to Israel.
In that day] An indefinite term common in all the prophets. The ref. is to the general time when Neb. shall have humbled Egypt. After that shall the time of Israel’s prosperity come in. Cf. Isaiah 4:2; Isaiah 11:10; Isaiah 19:18-19.
the horn of the house] I will cause a horn to bud forth to the house of Israel. The “horn” is the symbol of power (Lamentations 4:3); with the budding of the horn power waxes or is exhibited. The ref. is general, to the restoration of Israel to prosperity and influence, hardly particularly to the raising up of the personal Messiah (Psalm 132:17). On figure cf. 1 Kings 22:11; Amos 6:13; Jeremiah 48:25; 1 Samuel 2:1.
the opening] opening of. The prophet felt his mouth closed by the incredulity of the people, and the improbability, as it seemed to them, of his predictions. His mouth was opened and he had boldness of speech when his anticipations were verified. It is the causing of a horn to bud to Israel that will give the prophet opening of the mouth. All his prophecies since the exile had been prophecies of Israel’s restoration, and Israel’s restored felicity will fulfil them. The phrase give thee opening of the mouth means little more than give verification to thy words. The idea of the prophet’s own presence when this occurs is hardly to be pressed.Verse 21. - The horn of the house of Israel. The "horn" is, as always (1 Samuel 2:1; Psalm 92:10; Psalm 112:9; Psalm 132:17), the symbol of power. Jeremiah's use of it (Lamentations 2:3) may well have been present to Ezekiel's thoughts. That horn had been cut off, but it should begin to sprout again, and the prophet himself should resume his work as the teacher of his people, which had apparently been suspended for many years after the closing vision of the restoration of the temple and of Israel. The words justify the conclusion that Ezekiel resumed his labors after B.C. 572. Was he watching the growth of Saiathiel or Zerubbabel?
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