Ezekiel 3:9
As an adamant harder than flint have I made thy forehead: fear them not, neither be dismayed at their looks, though they be a rebellious house.
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(9) An adamant harder than flint.Adamant is the diamond, as it is translated (Jeremiah 17:1). The people were as hard as flint, but as the diamond cuts flint, so Ezekiel’s words should be made by the Divine power to cut through all their resistance. Armed with this strength, he need not fear their obduracy, however great.

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." 9. As … flint—so Messiah the antitype (Isa 50:7; compare Jer 1:8, 17). If their foreheads be hard and cutting as the flint, if they wound the soft and tender, if they sparkle with fire against those of harder metal; yet be not afraid, I have made thee as the adamant, harder than flint, able to cut and to break it. But what if there should be allusion to the Talmudic rabbinical tradition about their supposed worm

shamir, the word here used; if the tradition be as old as Ezekiel’s time, it will carry some probability with it. This

schamir they say was a worm, which by secret virtue would, when applied, cut or form hard stones, and divide the greatest; that Moses used it to prepare the precious stones for the breastplate, and Solomon, they say, used it to fit the stones without hammer for the temple. Well then, Ezekiel, fear not, thou shalt be a

schamir to the Jews in captivity, and fit some of them to be either rich ornaments in the breastplate, or beautiful stones in the temple; go about thy work, it shall not be, though it seem, successless.

Fear them not; let no prevailing fear take thee quite off from thy work; let not any lesser surprises and sudden discomposures of mind, when thou appearest before them, unfit thee for this work I set thee about.

A rebellious house; as a house that is rebellion itself.

As an adamant harder than flint have I made thy forehead,.... Or, "than a rock" (o); the "adamant" has its name in Greek, because it cannot be conquered or subdued, neither by the hammer, nor by fire; the one cannot break, nor this other consume it; land it is called "shamir" in Hebrew, from its preserving itself from both; it will cut iron in pieces, which is harder than stone, and therefore must be harder than that. Bochart takes it to be the same with "smiris", a hard stone, which jewellers use to polish their gems with; see Jeremiah 17:1. The design of the simile is to set forth the courage and fortitude of mind the prophet was endowed with, in order to face an impudent and hardhearted people;

fear them not, neither be dismayed at their looks, though they be a rebellious house; See Gill on Ezekiel 2:6.

(o) "rupe", Junius & Tremellius, Polanus, Piscator; "prae rupe", Cocceius; "ex rupe", Starckius; "prae petra", Montanus.

As an adamant harder than flint have I made thy forehead: fear them not, neither be dismayed at their looks, though they be a rebellious house.
9. harder than flint] Cf. Jeremiah 5:3, “they have made their faces harder than a rock; they have refused to return.”

though they be a rebellious] Rather: for they are. See ch. Ezekiel 2:6. What gave the prophet invincible courage in the face of the opposition of the people was in the main the assurance that he was sent of God, that God was with him, and that his word was given him to speak. Comp. Isaiah 50:7, “For the Lord Jehovah will help me, therefore shall I not be confounded; therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed.”

Verse 9. - Adamant. The Hebrew word shemir is used in Jeremiah 17:1 (where the Authorized Version gives "diamond" for a stone used in engraving on gems. In Zechariah 7:12 it appears, as it does here, as a type of exceeding hardness. It is not found elsewhere in the Old Testament. It is commonly identified with the stone known as corundum, which appears in some of its forms as the sapphire and the Oriental ruby, and also as the stone the powder of which is used as emery. The special point of the comparison is, of course, that the adamant was actually used to cut either flint itself or stones as hard as flint. Neither be dismayed at their looks. The words indicate the extreme sensitiveness of the prophet's natural temperament. He had shrunk not only from the threats and revilings of the rebellious house, but even from their scowls of hatred. Ezekiel 3:9After 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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