Ezekiel 3:10
Moreover he said unto me, Son of man, all my words that I shall speak unto thee receive in thine heart, and hear with thine ears.
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3:1-11 Ezekiel was to receive the truths of God as the food for his soul, and to feed upon them by faith, and he would be strengthened. Gracious souls can receive those truths of God with delight, which speak terror to the wicked. He must speak all that, and that only, which God spake to him. How can we better speak God's mind than with his words? If disappointed as to his people, he must not be offended. The Ninevites were wrought upon by Jonah's preaching, when Israel was unhumbled and unreformed. We must leave this unto the Divine sovereignty, and say, Lord, thy judgments are a great deep. They will not regard the word of the prophet, for they will not regard the rod of God. Christ promises to strengthen him. He must continue earnest in preaching, whatever the success might be.Adamant - Or, diamond Jeremiah 17:1, which was employed to cut flint. Ezekiel's firmness being that of a diamond, he should cut a stroke home to the hardened hearts of a rebellious people. For "though" read "for." 10. receive in … heart … ears—The transposition from the natural order, namely, first receiving with the ears, then in the heart, is designed. The preparation of the heart for God's message should precede the reception of it with the ears (compare Pr 16:1; Ps 10:17). This verse is a repetition of the charge given to the prophet, to deal faithfully and undauntedly in the delivering his message, to deliver always what God should speak, to speak nothing else, and to speak all that. These repetitions in the abundance of the same words, are from the usage and custom of the people of those countries in which the Jews were now captive.

Receive in thine heart: this explains the visionary eating, of which Ezekiel 3:3. Hearing is first, and receiving into the heart follows; but with the Jews such transpositions are very usual.

Moreover he said unto me, son of man,.... The same glorious Person as before continued speaking to him, and added, as follows:

all my words that I shall speak unto thee; not only what he had spoken to him, but what he should hereafter; for he did not tell all at once what he should say, but gradually, revealing his mind to him by little and little; but then he was to receive all that he should say, and reject nothing, nor shun to declare the whole counsel of God:

receive in thine heart, and hear with thine ears; what the Lord says should not only be diligently attended to, and heard with eagerness, but should be received, in the love of it, into the heart, and laid, up in the mind and memory, in order to be delivered out to others at a proper time.

Moreover he said to me, Son of man, all my words that I shall speak to thee {c} receive in thy heart, and hear with thy ears.

(c) He shows what is meant by the eating of the book, which is that the ministers of God may speak nothing from themselves, but only that which they have received from the Lord.

10–15. The Prophet’s Particular Mission to the Exiles at Tel Abib

Though Ezekiel’s mission, like that of all the prophets, was to the house of Israel as a whole (Ezekiel 3:5), yet immediately his work lay among the captives in the midst of whom he lived. It is remarkable, however, how little reference is made in his prophecies to the particular circumstances of the exiles. The attention of the prophet, as well as those around him in captivity, seems to have been engrossed by the events occurring in Palestine, and especially in the capital. And the truths spoken by him, though uttered in the ears of the exiles, bear reference to all Israel. Though he occasionally draws a distinction between those left in the land and the exiles carried away with Jehoiachin, of whom he was one (ch. Ezekiel 11:15), in general he regards the exiles as representatives of Israel, and feels when addressing them that he is speaking to the whole house of Israel. In the gradual defining of his task more clearly these exiles are now referred to. He is bidden go to them of the captivity (Ezekiel 3:11), and he came to them of the captivity to Tel Abib. And now that he is entering upon his ministry there comes to him: (1) the command anew to hear and receive into his heart the words that God shall speak to him (Ezekiel 3:10). (2) next the command to announce himself as a prophet of the Lord: thus saith the Lord (Ezekiel 3:11). And (3) with this command comes the sense of the divine impulse carrying him forward to his service: then the spirit lifted me up … and I came to them of the captivity (Ezekiel 3:12; Ezekiel 3:14-15).

Verse 10. - All my words, etc. The stress lies on the first word. The prophet was not to pick and choose out of the message, but was to deliver "all the counsel of God" (Acts 20:27). Take into thine heart, etc. An inverted order of the two commands would, perhaps, have seemed more natural. What we actually find, however, is sufficiently suggestive. The message of Jehovah is first received into the inner depths of the soul, but in that stage it is vague, undefined, incommunicable. It needs to be clothed in articulate speech before it can be heard with the mental ear and passed on to others. The mouth speaks out of the fulness of the heart. Ezekiel 3:10After the Lord had pointed out to the prophet the difficulties of the call laid upon him, He prepared him for the performance of his office, by inspiring him with the divine word which he is to announce. - Ezekiel 2:8. And thou, son of man, hear what I say to thee, Be not stiff-necked like the stiff-necked race; open thy mouth, and eat what I give unto thee. Ezekiel 2:9. Then I saw, and, lo, a hand outstretched towards me; and, lo, in the same a roll of a book. Ezekiel 2:10. And He spread it out before me; the same was written upon the front and back: and there were written upon it lamentations, and sighing, and woe. Ezekiel 3:1. And He said to me: Son of man, what thou findest eat; eat the roll, and go and speak to the house of Israel. Ezekiel 3:2. Then opened I my mouth, and He gave me this roll to eat. Ezekiel 3:3. And said to me: Son of man, feed thy belly, and fill thy body with this roll which I give thee. And I ate it, and it was in my mouth as honey and sweetness. - The prophet is to announce to the people of Israel only that which the Lord inspires him to announce. This thought is embodied in symbol, in such a way that an outstretched hand reaches to him a book, which he is to swallow, and which also, at God's command, he does swallow; cf. Revelation 10:9. This roll was inscribed on both sides with lamentations, sighing, and woe (הי is either abbreviated from נהי, not equals אי, or as Ewald, 101c, thinks, is only a more distinct form of הוי or הו). The meaning is not, that upon the roll was inscribed a multitude of mournful expressions of every kind, but that there was written upon it all that the prophet was to announce, and what we now read in his book. These contents were of a mournful nature, for they related to the destruction of the kingdom, the destruction of Jerusalem and of the temple. That Ezekiel may look over the contents, the roll is spread out before his eyes, and then handed to him to be eaten, with the words, "Go and speak to the children of Israel," i.e., announce to the children of Israel what you have received into yourself, or as it is termed in Ezekiel 3:4, דּברי, "my words." The words in Ezekiel 3:3 were spoken by God while handing to the prophet the roll to be eaten. He is not merely to eat, i.e., take it into his mouth, but he is to fill his body and belly therewith, i.e., he is to receive into his innermost being the word of God presented to him, to change it, as it were, into sap and blood. Whilst eating it, it was sweet in his mouth. The sweet taste must not, with Kliefoth, be explained away into a sweet "after-taste," and made to bear this reference, that the destruction of Jerusalem would be followed by a more glorious restoration. The roll, inscribed with lamentation, sorrow, and woe, tasted to him sweetly, because its contents was God's word, which sufficed for the joy and gladness of his heart (Jeremiah 15:16); for it is "infinitely sweet and lovely to be the organ and spokesman of the Omnipotent," and even the most painful of divine truths possess to a spiritually-minded man a joyful and quickening side (Hengstenberg on Revelation 10:9). To this it is added, that the divine penal judgments reveal not only the holiness and righteousness of God, but also prepare the way for the revelation of salvation, and minister to the saving of the soul.
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