Ezekiel 33:22
Now the hand of the LORD was on me in the evening, before he that was escaped came; and had opened my mouth, until he came to me in the morning; and my mouth was opened, and I was no more dumb.
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(22) Was upon me.—The sentence becomes clearer by translating this in the pluperf.: The hand of the Lord had been (already) upon me.

Ezekiel 33:22. Now the hand of the Lord was upon me in the evening — I felt a sensible impulse of the prophetic spirit: see Ezekiel 1:3. And had opened my mouth, until he came to me in the morning — Had so influenced my mind, that I found myself disposed and prepared to speak freely and with authority. Not that he had been utterly dumb before: for he had probably “been able to converse with the Jews concerning the predictions formerly delivered to them, and perhaps spake, or delivered in writing to them, the prophecies which he uttered concerning other nations; but he had received no further revelation from God respecting their affairs: in this sense he had been dumb.” — Scott. But now the Spirit moved him to speak, and continued so to do till the messenger came, whose information concerning the taking and burning of Jerusalem, which had been repeatedly and clearly foretold by the prophet, would give an indisputable authority and credit to all his predictions, and prepare the people’s minds to receive, with faith and a due regard, every future message which he was commissioned to deliver to them.33:21-29 Those are unteachable indeed, who do not learn their dependence upon God, when all creature-comforts fail. Many claim an interest in the peculiar blessings to true believers, while their conduct proves them enemies of God. They call this groundless presumption strong faith, when God's testimony declares them entitled to his threatenings, and nothing else.Was upon me ... was opened - For was read "had been." The prophet was under the hand of God in ecstatic trance on the evening preceding the arrival of the messenger, and continued in this state until his arrival. 22. in the evening—(see on [1075]Eze 33:2). Thus the capture of Jerusalem was known to Ezekiel by revelation before the messenger came.

my mouth … no more dumb—that is, to my countrymen; as foretold (Eze 24:27), He spake (Eze 33:2-20) in the evening before the tidings came.

The hand of the Lord was upon me; the powerful influence of the prophetic Spirit inspired me, and prepared me for what followed.

Had opened my mouth; not that the prophet was dumb through impotence and inability to speak, for he had prophesied against many nations, but he was forbidden to say any thing of the Jews, to threaten, warn, counsel, or command, Ezekiel 24:25-27 29:21; but now the Spirit moved me to speak, and continued his motion till the messenger came, and ever after, for God did not command him silence any more. Now the hand of the Lord was upon me in the evening, afore he that was escaped came,.... The prophet felt a divine impulse on his mind; he was under the influence of a spirit of prophecy, and knew before the messenger came to him what his message was, and was prepared to receive it, and to prophesy upon it; for this is to be understood of prophecy, as the Targum,

"prophecy from before the Lord was with me in the evening (k);''

see Isaiah 8:11,

and had opened my mouth, until he came to me in the morning; the hand of the Lord, or the power of the Lord, had done it, as he promised he would, Ezekiel 3:27 so that he spoke freely and boldly, and continued to do so from the evening, to the time the messenger came to him in the morning, to all those that were with him:

and my mouth was opened, and I was no more dumb: as he had been for three years past; for though he had been prophesying against several nations, yet these prophecies were not delivered, it is very likely, by word of mouth, but by writing, and sent into those countries by proper messengers; but now the prophet's mouth is opened by the Spirit of God, as it was said it should, when this messenger should come to him, Ezekiel 24:27 and from this time he was not silent, but prophesied to his people, the Jews, verbally, as he was bid to do by the Lord.

(k) So R. Sol. Urbin. Ohel Moed, fol. 54. 2.

Now the {k} hand of the LORD was upon me in the evening, before he that had escaped came; and had opened my mouth, until he came to me in the morning; and my {l} mouth was opened, and I was no more dumb.

(k) I was endued with the Spirit of prophecy, Eze 3:22.

(l) By which is signified that the ministers of God cannot give them courage and open their mouths, Eze 24:27,29:21, Eph 6:19.

22. Though the date is inserted here, it is probably to be understood as applicable to the whole chapter, for Ezekiel 33:1-2 the prophet is commanded to speak publicly to the children of his people. In the evening he felt the hand of the Lord upon him, he fell into an excitation. Thoughts such as those in Ezekiel 33:1-20 of the new Israel that God would create and of the conditions of belonging to it filled his mind. He was well aware that the city’s fall was inevitable, to him it was as good as fallen. And full of the new thoughts of the future he felt himself standing before his fellow exiles with an impulse strong upon him to speak to them of this future in the name of the Lord. In the morning the fugitives arrived with the confirmation of all his past predictions.

until he came to me] should come: against his coming, Exodus 7:15.

no more dumb] i.e. silent, Psalm 39:2; Isaiah 53:7.Verse 22. - Now the hand of the Lord. When the messenger arrived he found the prophet in a state of ecstasy. This was in the evening. In that prophetic ecstasy his mouth was opened, and the long silence broken, and though he had not heard the message with his outward ears, he had taken, as it were, that message as his text. It was not till his discourse was ended, and the morning came, that he himself heard the terrible tidings from the lips of the messenger. Then a change came over him. He was no more dumb. The long silence was broken. Had the silence lasted, we ask, from Ezekiel 3:26 onward? Had the whole intervening period been one of simply symbolic action, and of written but unspoken prophecies? The words at first suggest that conclusion; but it is traveled by the facts; by the commands of Ezekiel 12:10, 23; by the order to "prophesy" in Ezekiel 13:2; by the message to speak unto the elders in Ezekiel 14:4; by the question, "Doth he not speak parables?" of Ezekiel 20:49. I infer, therefore, that, though the silence had been dominant, it had not been unbroken. To some, at least, a message had been spoken. Others may have been allowed to read the written prophecies. The death of the prophet's wife tended, probably, to the continuance of the silence, and it seems a legitimate inference from Ezekiel 24:27 that it had continued from that date onward. Introduction and first strophe. - Ezekiel 32:18. Son of man, lament over the tumult of Egypt, and hurl it down, her, like the daughters of glorious nations, into the nether world, to those who go into the pit! Ezekiel 32:19. Whom dost thou surpass in loveliness? Go down and lay thyself with the uncircumcised. Ezekiel 32:20. Among those slain with the sword will they fall; the sword is handed, draw her down and all her tumult. Ezekiel 32:21. The strong ones of the heroes say of it out of the midst of hell with its helpers: they are gone down, they lie there, the uncircumcised, slain with the sword. - נהה, utter a lamentation, and והורדהוּ, thrust it (the tumult of Egypt) down, are co-ordinate. With the lamentation, or by means thereof, is Ezekiel to thrust down the tumult of Egypt into hell. The lamentation is God's word; and as such it has the power to accomplish what it utters. אותהּ is not intended as a repetition of the suffix ־הוּ, but resumes the principal idea contained in the object already named, viz., מצרים, Egypt, i.e., its population. אותהּ and the daughters of glorious nations are co-ordinate. בּנות, as in the expression, daughter of Tyre, daughter Babel, denotes the population of powerful heathen nations. The גּוים אדּרם can only be the nations enumerated in Ezekiel 32:22, Ezekiel 32:24., which, according to these verses, are already in Sheol, not about to be thrust down, but thrust down already. Consequently the copula ו before בּנות is to be taken in the sense of a comparison, as in 1 Samuel 12:15 (cf. Ewald, 340b). All these glorious nations have also been hurled down by the word of God; and Egypt is to be associated with them. By thus placing Egypt on a level with all the fallen nations, the enumeration of which fills the middle strophes of the ode, the lamentation over Egypt is extended into a funeral-dirge on the fall of all the heathen powers of the world. For ארץ תּחתּיּות and יורדי , compare Ezekiel 276:20. The ode itself commences in Ezekiel 32:19, by giving prominence to the glory of the falling kingdom. But this prominence consists in the brief inquiry ממּי נעמתּ, before whom art thou lovely? i.e., art thou more lovely than any one else? The words are addressed either to המון מצרים (Ezekiel 32:18), or what is more probable, to Pharaoh with all his tumult (cf. Ezekiel 32:32), i.e., to the world-power, Egypt, as embodied in the person of Pharaoh; and the meaning of the question is the following: - Thou, Egypt, art indeed lovely; but thou art not better or more lovely than other mighty heathen nations; therefore thou canst not expect any better fate than to go down into Sheol, and there lie with the uncircumcised. ערלים, as in Ezekiel 31:18. This is carried out still further in Ezekiel 32:20, and the ground thereof assigned. The subject to יפּלוּ is the Egyptians, or Pharaoh and his tumult. They fall in the midst of those pierced with the sword. The sword is already handed to the executor of the judgment, the king of Babel (Ezekiel 31:11). Their destruction is so certain, that the words are addressed to the bearers of the sword: "Draw Egypt and all its tumult down into Sheol" (משׁכוּ is imperative for משׁכוּ in Exodus 12:21), and, according to Ezekiel 32:21, the heathen already in Sheol are speaking of his destruction. ידבּרוּ לו is rendered by many, "there speak to him, address him, greet him," with an allusion to Isaiah 14:9., where the king of Babel, when descending into Sheol, is greeted with malicious pleasure by the kings already there. But however obvious the fact may be that Ezekiel has this passage in mind, there is no address in the verse before us as in Isaiah 14:10, but simply a statement concerning the Egyptians, made in the third person. Moreover, את־עזריו could hardly be made to harmonize with ידבּרוּ לו, if לו signified ad eum. For it is not allowable to connect עת־עזריו (taken in the sense of along with their helpers) with אלי גבּורים as a noun in apposition, for the simple reason that the two are separated by מתּוך שׁאול. Consequently את־עזריו can only belong to ידבּרוּ: they talk (of him) with his helpers. עזריו, his (Pharaoh's) helpers are his allies, who have already gone down before him into hell (cf. Ezekiel 30:8). The singular suffix, which has offended Hitzig, is quite in order as corresponding to לו. The words, "they have gone down, lie there," etc., point once more to the fact that the same fate has happened to the Egyptians as to all the rest of the rulers and nations of the world whom God has judged. For אלי גבּורים, strong ones of the heroes, compare the comm. on Ezekiel 31:11. שׁאול, hell equals the nether world, the gathering-place of the dead; not the place of punishment for the damned. חללי without the article is a predicate, and not in apposition to הערלים. On the application of this epithet to the Egyptians, Kliefoth has correctly observed that "the question whether the Egyptians received circumcision is one that has no bearing upon this passage; for in the sense in which Ezekiel understands circumcision, the Egyptians were uncircumcised, even if they were accustomed to circumcise their flesh."

In the four following strophes (Ezekiel 32:22-30) a series of heathen nations is enumerated, whom the Egyptian finds already in hell, and with whom he will share the same fate. There are six of these - namely, Asshur, Elam, Meshech-Tubal, Edom, the princes of the north, and Sidon. The six are divisible into two classes - three great and remote world-powers, and three smaller neighbouring nations. In this no regard is paid to the time of destruction. With the empire of Asshur, which had already fallen, there are associated Elam and Meshech-Tubal, two nations, which only rose to the rank of world-powers in the more immediate and more remote future; and among the neighbouring nations, the Sidonians and princes of the north, i.e., The Syrian kings, are grouped with Edom, although the Sidonians had long ago given up their supremacy to Tyre, and the Aramean kings, who had once so grievously oppressed the kingdom of Israel, had already been swallowed up in the Assyrian and Chaldean empire. It may, indeed, be said that "in any case, at the time when Ezekiel prophesied, princes enough had already descended into Sheol both of the Assyrians and Elamites, etc., to welcome the Egyptians as soon as they came" (Kliefoth); but with the same justice may it also be said that many of the rulers and countrymen of Egypt had also descended into Sheol already, at the time when Pharaoh, reigning in Ezekiel's day, was to share the same fate. It is evident, therefore, that "any such reflection upon chronological relations is out of place in connection with our text, the intention of which is merely to furnish an exemplification" (Kliefoth), and that Ezekiel looks upon Egypt more in the light of a world-power, discerning in its fall the overthrow of all the heathen power of the world, and predicting it under the prophetic picture, that Pharaoh and his tumult are expected and welcomed by the princes and nations that have already descended into Sheol, as coming to share their fate with them.

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