But the house of Israel will not listen to you; for they will not listen to me: for all the house of Israel are impudent and hardhearted.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)All the house of Israel—Means, of course, the people generally, as the word all is often used in Scripture and elsewhere. There were even then among them such saints as Jeremiah and Daniel.But, Heb. And, put adversatively, is rightly rendered but.
Will not hearken unto thee; have no mind or will. The original is not here, as mostly it is elsewhere, content to express it by the word in the tense which connoteth the event. But the original first points out their want of a will and inclination, they have no propensity to hear, they are obstinate in their refusal; next adds what it was their wills were obstinately averse to, i.e. hearing and obeying.
For they will not hearken unto me: this passage confirms the prediction, and withal forearms the prophet that he stumble not at their scandalous refusal and abusing of him; so they have used their God and his, and no wonder if they consent as little to him as they have to God.
All the house of Israel, i.e. the far greater part, not every particular person; there were of the captives some few like good figs, &c.
Are impudent; have hardened their faces, they are not ashamed, nor can they blush now, as Jeremiah 3:3. Brazenfaced is no new phrase or Anglicism, but as old as Isaiah 48:4, nay, as old as habitual sin.
Hard-hearted: this the root whence the other springs; and what hope from such whose hearts are as far from relenting as their faces from blushing? How can it be expected they will hear, whose hearts are deafer than their ear?
for they will not hearken unto me; and which is an argument why the prophet should bear with patience their disregard to him and his words, and their neglect and contempt of them; for, seeing they would not hear the Lord, how could he exact they should hear him? and therefore he should not be uneasy at it; see John 15:20;
for all the house of Israel are impudent and hardhearted; or, "strong of front, and hard of heart" (m); they had a whore's forehead, an impudent face, that could not blush and be ashamed; and hearts of stone, like a rock, and harder than the nether millstone, on which no impressions, could be made by all the admonitions and reproofs given them; see Ezekiel 2:4; and this was the case of all of them in general, excepting some very few; which shows the sad degeneracy of this people.But the house of Israel will not hearken unto thee; for they will not hearken unto me: for all the house of Israel are impudent and hardhearted.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)7. impudent and hardhearted] See on ch. Ezekiel 2:4.Verse 7. - For they will not hearken unto me, etc. The words are, as it were, an a fortiori argument. Those who had despised the voice of Jehovah, speaking in his Law, or directly to the hearts of his people, were not likely to listen with a willing ear to his messenger. We are reminded of our Lord's words to his disciples in Matthew 10:24, 25. Impudent and hard-hearted; literally (the word is not the same as in Ezekiel 2:4), in Revised Version, of an hard forehead and of a stiff heart. The word "hard" is the same word as the first half of Ezekiel's name, and is probably used with reference to it as in the next verse. 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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