Ezekiel 3:10
Moreover he said to me, Son of man, all my words that I shall speak to you receive in your heart, and hear with your 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. The calling of the prophet begins with the Lord describing to Ezekiel the people to whom He is sending him, in order to make him acquainted with the difficulties of his vocation, and to encourage him for the discharge of the same. Ezekiel 2:3. And He said to me, Son of man, I send thee to the children of Israel, to the rebels who have rebelled against me: they and their fathers have fallen away from me, even until this very day. Ezekiel 2:4. And the children are of hard face, and hardened heart. To them I send thee; and to them shalt thou speak: Thus says the Lord Jehovah. Ezekiel 2:5. And they - they may hear thee or fail (to do so); for they are a stiff-necked race - they shall experience that a prophet has been in their midst. Ezekiel 2:6. But thou, son of man, fear not before them, and be not afraid of their words, if thistles and thorns are found about thee, and thou sittest upon scorpions; fear not before their words, and tremble not before their face; for they are a stiff-necked race. Ezekiel 2:7. And speak my words to them, whether they may hear or fail (to do so); for they are stiff-necked.

The children of Israel have become heathen, no longer a people of God, not even a heathen nation (גּוי, Isaiah 1:4), but גּוים, "heathens," that is, as being rebels against God. המּורדים (with the article) is not to be joined as an adjective to גּוים, which is without the article, but is employed substantively in the form of an apposition. They have rebelled against God in this, that they, like their fathers, have separated themselves from Jehovah down to this day (as regards פּשׁע בּ, see on Isaiah 1:2; and עצם היּום הזּה, as in the Pentateuch; cf. Leviticus 23:14; Genesis 7:13; Genesis 17:23, etc.). Like their fathers, the sons are rebellious, and, in addition, they are קשׁי פנים, of hard countenance" equals חזקי, "of hard brow" (Ezekiel 3:7), i.e., impudent, without hiding the face, or lowering the look for shame. This shamelessness springs from hardness of heart. To these hardened sinners Ezekiel is to announce the word of the Lord. Whether they hear it or not (אם־ואם, sive-sive, as in Joshua 24:15; Ecclesiastes 11:3; Ecclesiastes 12:14), they shall in any case experience that a prophet has been amongst them. That they will neglect to hear is very probable, because they are a stiff-necked race (בּית, "house" equals family). The Vau before ידעוּ (Ezekiel 2:5) introduces the apodosis. היה is perfect, not present. This is demanded by the usus loquendi and the connection of the thought. The meaning is not: they shall now from his testimony that a prophet is there; but they shall experience from the result, viz., when the word announced by him will have been fulfilled, that a prophet has been amongst them. Ezekiel, therefore, is not to be prevented by fear of them and their words from delivering a testimony against their sins. The ἁπάξ λεγόμενα, סרבים and סלּונים, are not, with the older expositors, to be explained adjectively: "rebelles et renuentes," but are substantives. As regards סלּון, the signification "thorn" is placed beyond doubt by סלּון in Ezekiel 28:24, and סרב in Aramaic does indeed denote "refractarius;" but this signification is a derived one, and inappropriate here. סרב is related to צרב, "to burn, to singe," and means "urtica," "stinging-nettle, thistle," as Donasch in Raschi has already explained it. אותך is, according to the later usage, for אתּך, expressing the "by and with of association," and occurs frequently in Ezekiel. Thistles and thorns are emblems of dangerous, hostile men. The thought is strengthened by the words "to sit on (אל for על) scorpions," as these animals inflict a painful and dangerous wound. For the similitude of dangerous men to scorpions, cf. Sir. 26:10, and other proof passages in Bochart, Hierozoic. III. p. 551f., ed. Rosenmll.

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