Ezekiel 33:6
But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman's hand.
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33:1-9 The prophet is a watchman to the house of Israel. His business is to warn sinners of their misery and danger. He must warn the wicked to turn from their way, that they may live. If souls perish through his neglect of duty, he brings guilt upon himself. See what those have to answer for, who make excuses for sin, flatter sinners, and encourage them to believe they shall have peace, though they go on. How much wiser are men in their temporal than in their spiritual concerns! They set watchmen to guard their houses, and sentinels to warn of the enemies' approach, but where the everlasting happiness or misery of the soul is at stake, they are offended if ministers obey their Master's command, and give a faithful warning; they would rather perish, listening to smooth things.Again - And. For Ezekiel 33:1-20, compare Ezekiel 18 notes. 6. his iniquity—his negligence in not maintaining constant watchfulness, as they who are in warfare ought to do. The thing signified here appears from under the image. Blow not the trumpet; neglect his charge, which is to give the alarm.

Be not warned; but, unwarned, are surprised by the enemy.

Taken away in his iniquity; punished by the Lord for his sins and trespasses formerly done, and he is destroyed under the present fault of not watching, which is a fault in every one that is so secure in time of war.

His blood; the guilt of that blood.

Require at the watchman’s hand; charge upon and for it punish the watchman, who sinned in not giving warning.

But if the watchman see the sword come,.... Or those that kill with the sword, as the Targum is; so far doing the duty of his office as to be in the watchtower, and not asleep:

and yet blow not the trumpet: to give the people notice of the enemy, and of their danger:

and the people be not warned; but in the utmost security, not apprehending themselves to be in any danger at all:

if the sword come and take any person from among them; even though but a single person:

he is taken away in his iniquity: having had no time to have it set before him, and to be convinced, and to repent of it, and seek for pardoning mercy for it; it is a dreadful thing thus to be taken out of the world, and snatched into hell at once:

but his blood will I require at the watchman's hands; he shall be punished for not doing his duty, for not giving the due warning of danger, on which account the man was surprised with the enemy, and taken away unawares; and therefore his death shall be laid to the watchman, and he must be answerable for it.

But if the watchman shall see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword shall come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his {b} iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman's hand.

(b) Signifying that the wicked will not escape punishment though the watchman is negligent: but if the watchman blows the trumpet, and then he will not obey, he will deserve double punishment.

6. Although in Ezekiel 33:2 Jehovah is said to bring the sword upon the people (Ezekiel 14:17), and presumably for their sin, the language of the present verse leads over from the illustration to the thing meant to be illustrated.

Verses 6-9. - But if the watchman: etc. The words imply what we might almost call the agony of self-accusation. The prophet asks himself whether he has acted on the warning which was borne in on his mind at the very beginning of his mission. Has he sounded the trumpet? Has he warned the people of the destruction that is coming on them? The outward imagery vanishes in Ver. 7. It is of no Chaldean invader that the prophet had to give personal and direct warning, but of each man's own special sin which was Bringing ruin on himself and on his country. Ezekiel 33:6Calling of the Prophet for the Future - Ezekiel 33:1-20

The prophet's office of watchman. Ezekiel 33:1. And the word of Jehovah came to me, saying, Ezekiel 33:2. Son of man, speak to the sons of thy people, and say to them, When I bring the sword upon a land, and the people of the land take a man from their company and set him for a watchman, Ezekiel 33:3. And he seeth the sword come upon the land, and bloweth the trumpet, and warneth the people; Ezekiel 33:4. If, then, one should hear the blast of the trumpet and not take warning, so that the sword should come and take him away, his blood would come upon his own head. Ezekiel 33:5. He heard the blast of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood will come upon him: whereas, if he had taken warning, he would have delivered his soul. Ezekiel 33:6. But if the watchman seeth the sword come, and bloweth not the trumpet, and the people is not warned; and the sword should come and take away a soul from them, he is taken away through his guilt; but his blood will I demand from the watchman's hand. Ezekiel 33:7. Thou, then, son of man, I have set thee for the watchman to the house of Israel; thou shalt hear the word from my mouth, and warn them for me. Ezekiel 33:8. If I say to the sinner, Sinner, thou wilt die the death; and thou speakest not to warn the sinner from his way, he, the sinner, will die for his iniquity, and his blood I will demand from thy hand. Ezekiel 33:9. But if thou hast warned the sinner from his way, to turn from it, and he does not turn from his way, he will die for his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul. - Ezekiel 33:7-9, with the exception of slight deviations which have little influence upon the sense, are repeated verbatim from Ezekiel 3:17-19. The repetition of the duty binding upon the prophet, and of the responsibility connected therewith, is introduced, however, in Ezekiel 33:2-6, by an example taken from life, and made so plain that every one who heard the words must see that Ezekiel was obliged to call the attention of the people to the judgment awaiting them, and to warn them of the threatening danger, and that this obligation rested upon him still. In this respect the expansion, which is wanting in Ezekiel 3, serves to connect the following prophecies of Ezekiel with the threats of judgment contained in the first part. The meaning of it is the following: As it is the duty of the appointed watchman of a land to announce to the people the approach of the enemy, and if he fail to do this he is deserving of death; so Ezekiel also, as the watchman of Israel appointed by God, not only is bound to warn the people of the approaching judgment, in order to fulfil his duty, but has already warned them of it, so that whoever has not taken warning has been overtaken by the sword because of his sin. As, then, Ezekiel has only discharged his duty and obligation by so doing, so has he the same duty still further to perform. - In Ezekiel 33:2 ארץ is placed at the head in an absolute form; and 'כּי אביא וגו, "if I bring the sword upon a land," is to be understood with this restriction: "so that the enemy is on the way and an attack may be expected" (Hitzig). מקציהם, from the end of the people of the land, i.e., one taken from the whole body of the people, as in Genesis 47:2 (see the comm. on Genesis 19:4). Blowing the trumpet is a signal of alarm on the approach of an enemy (compare Amos 3:6; Jeremiah 4:5). נזהר in Ezekiel 33:5 is a participle; on the other hand, both before and afterwards it is a perfect, pointed with Kametz on account of the tone. For Ezekiel 33:7-9, see the exposition of Ezekiel 3:17-19.

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