And he said to me, Son of man, go, get you to the house of Israel, and speak with my words to them.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Revelation 10:8 ff), but there that is expressed, which is here left to be inferred, namely, that "as soon as he had eaten it his belly was bitter." The sweetness in the mouth denoted that it was good to be a messenger of the Lord (compare the margin reference), but the bitterness which accompanied it, denoted that the commission brought with it much sorrow. Song of Solomon of man: see Ezekiel 3:1, and Ezekiel 2:1. Go; either the first word, go, intimates the awakening and rousing him, and the latter,
get thee, directs him whither to go when on his legs, or else it is an idiom of the Hebrew language, or a hendyadis, an ingemination of the same command.
The house of Israel: see Ezekiel 2:3.
Speak with my words; see Ezekiel 3:1; in my name and authority, so some, but then it would have been in the singular number, not plural. Better and fuller it is by others thus, What things I shall show thee, and in what words I shall declare them to thee, these declare to the captives in Babylon. They perhaps do expect to hear somewhat else, and their flattering false prophets suggest other matters; but look to it, thou goest on my errand, speak therefore in my words, as the Hebrew.
get thee unto the house of Israel; to whom he was to prophesy:
and speak with my words unto them: not with his own words; nor with the words of men, the enticing words of man's wisdom; but with the words of Christ; with the taught words of the Holy Ghost; with what is written in the roll; the words of this prophecy are meant. So the Targum,
"and thou shalt prophesy the words of my prophecy unto them;''
in like manner John after he had eaten the little book, is told that he must prophesy before many people, nations, tongues, and kings, Revelation 10:9; though Ezekiel was only sent to one nation, as follows:And he said unto me, Son of man, go, get thee unto the house of Israel, and speak with my words unto them.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)4–9. The prophet shall be strengthened to perform his hard task
Having taken in the “words” of the Lord (Ezekiel 3:4) there opens up before the prophet a general view of the mission he is sent upon. It is an arduous one. The difficulties are not of a superficial kind. He is not sent to foreign nations, who would not understand his words, but to Israel. They can well understand, but they will not listen. Their refusal to listen unto him is but an example of their life-long refusal to listen unto God. They are resolute and obstinate in their disobedience, but the prophet shall be made more resolute than they.Ezekiel 2:1 and Ezekiel 2:2. Upon the manifestation of the Lord follows the word of vocation. Having, in the feeling of his weakness and sinfulness, fallen to the ground before the terrible revelation of Jehovah's glory, Ezekiel is first of all raised up again by the voice of God, to hear the word which calls him to the prophetic function. - Ezekiel 2:1. And He said to me, Son of man, stand upon thy feet, I will speak with thee. Ezekiel 2:2. Then came spirit unto me as He spake unto me, and it placed me on my feet, and I heard Him speaking unto me. - The address בּן־אדם occurs so frequently in Ezekiel, that it must be regarded as one of the peculiarities of his prophecies. Elsewhere it occurs only once, Daniel 8:17. That it is significant, is generally recognised, although its meaning is variously given. Most expositors take it as a reminder of the weakness and frailness of human nature; Coccejus and Kliefoth, on the contrary, connect it with the circumstance that God appears to Ezekiel in human form, and find in it a τεκμήριον amicitiae, that God speaks in him as man to man, converses with him as a man with his friend. This last interpretation, however, has against it the usus loquendi. As בּן־אדם denotes man according to his natural condition, it is used throughout as a synonym with אנושׁ, denoting the weakness and fragility of man in opposition to God; cf. Psalm 8:5; Job 25:6; Isaiah 51:12; Isaiah 56:2; and Numbers 23:19. This is the meaning also of בּן־אדם in the address, as may be distinctly seen from the various addresses in Daniel. Daniel is addressed, where comfort is to be imparted to him, as אישׁׁ חמדות, "man greatly beloved," Daniel 10:11, Daniel 10:19, cf. Daniel 9:23; but, on the contrary, in Ezekiel 8:17, where he has fallen on his face in terror before the appearance of Gabriel, with the words, "Understand, O son of man," in order to remind him of his human weakness. This is also the case in our verse, where Ezekiel, too, had fallen upon his face, and by God's word spoken to him, is again raised to his feet. It is only in Ezekiel that this address is constantly employed to mark the distance between the human weakness of his nature and the divine power which gives him the capacity and the impulse to speak. Not, however, with the design, mentioned by Jerome on Daniel 8:17, "that he may not be elated on account of his high calling," because, as Hvernick subjoins, Ezekiel's extremely powerful and forcible nature may have needed to be perpetually reminded of what it is in reality before God. If this were the meaning and object of this address, it would also probably occur in the writings of several of the other prophets, as the supposition that the nature of Ezekiel was more powerful and forcible than that of the other prophets is altogether without foundation. The constant use of this form of address in Ezekiel is connected rather with the manner and fashion in which most of the revelations were imparted to him, that is, with the prevalence of "vision," in which the distinction between God and man comes out more prominently than in ordinary inspiration or revelation, effected by means of an impression upon the inner faculties of man. The bringing prominently forward, however, of the distance between God and men is to remind the prophet, as well as the people to whom he communicated his revelations, not merely of the weakness of humanity, but to show them, at the same time, how powerfully the word of God operates in feeble man, and also that God, who has selected the prophet as the organ of His will, possesses also the power to redeem the people, that were lying powerless under the oppression of the heathen, from their misery, and to raise them up again. - At the word of the Lord, "Stand upon thy feet," came רוּח into the prophet, which raised him to his feet. רוּח here is not "life consciousness" (Hitzig), but the spirit-power which proceeds from God, and which is conveyed through the word which imparted to him the strength to stand before the face of God, and to undertake His command. מדּבּר, partic. Hithpa., properly "collocutor," occurs here and in Ezekiel 43:6, and in Numbers 7:89; elsewhere, only in 2 Samuel 14:13.
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