Ezekiel 3:9
As an adamant harder than flint have I made your forehead: fear them not, neither be dismayed at their looks, though they be a rebellious house.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(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.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
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. The calling of the prophet begins with the Lord describing to Ezekiel the people to whom He is sending him, in order to make him acquainted with the difficulties of his vocation, and to encourage him for the discharge of the same. 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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