Ezekiel 3:8
Behold, I have made thy face strong against their faces, and thy forehead strong against their foreheads.
Jump to: BarnesBensonBICalvinCambridgeClarkeDarbyEllicottExpositor'sExp DctGaebeleinGSBGillGrayGuzikHaydockHastingsHomileticsJFBKDKellyKingLangeMacLarenMHCMHCWParkerPoolePulpitSermonSCOTTBWESTSK
(8) Thy face strong against their faces.—The word strong is the same here as that rendered impudent (marg. stiff) in Ezekiel 3:7. Of course it must have a different shade of meaning in its application to the rebellious people and to the prophet; but the main thought is taken from the figure of horned animals in their contests, and God promises Ezekiel to make him in the struggle stronger than those who oppose him. The same thing is expressed by another figure in Ezekiel 3:9.

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.I have made ... thy forehead strong - I have given thee a strength superior to theirs; a metaphor taken from horned animals. 8. Ezekiel means one "strengthened by God." Such he was in godly firmness, in spite of his people's opposition, according to the divine command to the priest tribe to which he belonged (De 33:9). This may be to remove the objection of the prophet, who might plead the softness of his own metal, and pretend shameless sinners will scoff a young prophet out of countenance. Behold, says God, consider.

I have made; given. They have given themselves this impudent countenance; I have given thee true courage, constancy, and manly carriage.

Thy forehead strong; the same answer in words very little varying. God will qualify and gift him for this work among this people, and edge his own tools to cut into the hardest metal. So Isaiah 1:7 Jeremiah 1:18 Micah 3:8.

Behold, I have made the, face strong against their faces,.... Not that the prophet should have the same sort of impudence and confidence they had; but that God would "give" (n) him such a face, as it is in the Hebrew text, such spirit and courage, that he should neither be ashamed of the words of the Lord, nor afraid to speak them to this people; so that he should be a match for them; they should not be able to outface him, or look him out of countenance; he should behave with an undaunted spirit, and with great intrepidity, amidst all opposition made to him: the Lord fits his ministers for the people he sends them to, and gives them courage and strength proportionate to the opposition they meet with; as their day is, their strength is; and all that invincible courage, boldness, and strength, with which they are endowed, it is all from the Lord, and a gift of his:

and thy forehead strong against their foreheads; which is the same thing in different words.

(n) "dedi faciem tuam", V. L. Vatablus, Cocceius, Starckius.

Behold, I have made thy {b} face strong against their faces, and thy forehead strong against their foreheads.

(b) God promises his assistance to his ministers, and that he will give them boldness and constancy in their calling, Isa 50:7, Jer 1:18, Mic 3:8.

Verse 8. - I have made thy face strong; literally, as in the Revised Version, hard. Ezekiel's name was at once nomen et omen. Hard as Israel might be, he could be made harder, i.e. stronger, than they, end should prevail against them (compare the parallels of Isaiah 1:7; Jeremiah 1:18; Jeremiah 15:20). The boldness of God's prophets is a strictly supernatural gift. Whatever persistency there may be in evil, they will be able to meet it, perhaps to overcome it, by a greater persistency in good. Ezekiel 3:8After 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.
Ezekiel 3:8 Interlinear
Ezekiel 3:8 Parallel Texts

Ezekiel 3:8 NIV
Ezekiel 3:8 NLT
Ezekiel 3:8 ESV
Ezekiel 3:8 NASB
Ezekiel 3:8 KJV

Ezekiel 3:8 Bible Apps
Ezekiel 3:8 Parallel
Ezekiel 3:8 Biblia Paralela
Ezekiel 3:8 Chinese Bible
Ezekiel 3:8 French Bible
Ezekiel 3:8 German Bible

Bible Hub

Ezekiel 3:7
Top of Page
Top of Page