Ezekiel 3:7
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.
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(7) 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.

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.To many people - To various nations using diverse languages.

Surely - The thought is that expressed by our Saviour Himself (margin reference). Some render it: "but I have sent thee unto these; they can hearken" etc.

7. will not hearken unto thee: for … not … me—(Joh 15:20). Take patiently their rejection of thee, for I thy Lord bear it along with thee. 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?

But the house of Israel would not hearken unto thee,.... "They are not willing" (l); they have no desire, no inclination, to hear and hearken; but the reverse; they were capable of hearing and understanding his speech and language, and though he was sent unto them by the Lord: and indeed the reason why they did not hearken to him was not because they rejected him and his words, but because they rejected the Lord and his words; they were the words of the Lord, and his reproofs; and therefore they would not hearken to them as follows:

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.

(l) "non cupient", Montanus; "non volunt", Cocceius; "non illi volentes", Starckius. (m) "obfirmati fronte et duri corde", Polanus, Starckius; "obfirmati frontis et duri cordis", Piscator.

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.
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 3:7After 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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