James Gray - Concise Bible Commentary
The word of the LORD also came unto me, saying,Ezekiel 12:1-15:8
DISTRIBUTING THE RESPONSIBILITY
While these visions and prophecies may be new as to the particular occasions for them, yet they are in substance the same as the preceding.
“THE PRINCE IN JERUSALEM” (Ezekiel 12:1-16)
In chapter 10 we had a vision of the judgment upon the city of Jerusalem, in chapter 11, upon the princes, and in this upon the king himself (v. 10). The explanation of the action commanded the prophet in Ezekiel 12:1-7 is given in Ezekiel 12:8-16. It is thought that this was performed by him in vision only and not outwardly, but if so, its effect could hardly have been intended for those he was instructing but only for himself, which we doubt (Ezekiel 12:9). The whole thing typifies Zedekiah’s flight by night. (Compare Jeremiah 39:4.) He went out furtively as digging through a wall, and covered his face so as not to be recognized.
THE NEARNESS OF THE EVENT (Ezekiel 12:17-28)
The infidels scoffingly said that because the threatened judgment was long in coming, it would never come (Ezekiel 12:22), but they are to be taught otherwise (Ezekiel 12:23-25). As a matter of fact it was very near (Ezekiel 12:26-28).
THE LYING PROPHETS (Ezekiel 13:1-23)
The city, the princes, the king have each been singled out for judgment, and now come the prophets. Note where they obtained their false messages (Ezekiel 13:2), and the ill effect of them on the people (Ezekiel 13:6). Note the judgments to fall on them (Ezekiel 13:9), which probably means that their names would be erased from the registers like those who had died for their crimes (Jeremiah 17:13; Revelation 3:5; Luke 10:20). Moreover, they never would return from captivity. As teachers they were like men building up a wall with untempered mortar and their work would come to naught (Ezekiel 13:10-16). There were false prophetesses as well as prophets (Ezekiel 13:17-23). They “sew pillows to all armholes” might be rendered “to elbows and wrists,” and the reference is thought to be the cushions which the prophetesses made to lean upon as typifying the tranquility they foretold to them who consulted them. “Kerchiefs on the head of every stature” might be rendered on “mean of every age,” though its significance is doubtful. The prophetesses engaged in their wicked work for the paltry fees (Ezekiel 13:19).
THE HYPOCRITICAL PEOPLE (Ezekiel 14:1-11)
The spirit in which some of the people sought the instruction of the prophet is shown in Ezekiel 14:1-5, and it is a judgment upon them that they shall listen to false prophets and be deceived. God will judicially darken the false prophets’ mind to that end, or He will permit Satan to do it. The evil teaching of these false prophets, in other words, will serve the purposes of His just judgment. (Compare 1 Kings 22:23; 2 Thessalonians 2:11-12.)
INTERCESSION USELESS (Ezekiel 14:12-23)
The inevitableness of the coming judgment on Jerusalem is shown in the discouragement of intercession on her behalf. Ezekiel had been pleading, but he might as well desist. Noah, Daniel and Job (Ezekiel 14:14) had prevailed with God on former occasions, but even their petitions would now be helpless. The reference to Daniel is interesting, for although his prophecies were mostly later than Ezekiel, yet his fame for piety and wisdom was already established, and the events recorded in the early chapters of his book had already occurred. But even he, though the Jews may have had their hopes turned towards his influence either in the court of Babylon or that of heaven, could not avert the approaching calamity.
THE BURNING VINE (Ezekiel 15)
The point of this vision seems to be that as the vine is worthless as wood so the people of Jerusalem have ceased to have any value in His eyes. They were once His vine, but now they shall pass from fire to fire until they come to naught.
1. How does this lesson illustrate its theme?
2. What leads to the belief that the prophets “removal” was acted outwardly?
3. What did it typify, and how?
4. What had become the proverb of the scoffers?
5. What judgment would fall on the false prophets?
6. Explain the figure of untempered mortar.
7. Can you quote 2 Thessalonians 2:11-12?
8. Who have divine testimony borne to them as men of power in prayer?