Ezekiel 11:3
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
They say, 'Haven't our houses been recently rebuilt? This city is a pot, and we are the meat in it.'

New Living Translation
They say to the people, 'Is it not a good time to build houses? This city is like an iron pot. We are safe inside it like meat in a pot.'

English Standard Version
who say, ‘The time is not near to build houses. This city is the cauldron, and we are the meat.’

Berean Study Bible
They are saying, ‘Is not the time near to build houses? The city is a cooking pot, and we are the meat.’

New American Standard Bible
who say, 'Is not the time near to build houses? This city is the pot and we are the flesh.'

King James Bible
Which say, It is not near; let us build houses: this city is the caldron, and we be the flesh.

Christian Standard Bible
They are saying, 'Isn't the time near to build houses? The city is the pot, and we are the meat.'

Contemporary English Version
They say things like, 'Let's build more houses. This city is like a cooking pot over a fire, and we are the meat, but at least the pot keeps us from being burned in the fire.'

Good News Translation
They say, 'We will soon be building houses again. The city is like a cooking pot, and we are like the meat in it, but at least it protects us from the fire.'

Holman Christian Standard Bible
They are saying, 'Isn't the time near to build houses? The city is the pot, and we are the meat.'

International Standard Version
They keep saying, 'The right time to build families hasn't yet arrived. The city is the pot and we are the meat.'

NET Bible
They say, 'The time is not near to build houses; the city is a cooking pot and we are the meat in it.'

New Heart English Bible
who say, 'The time is not near to build houses: this is the caldron, and we are the meat.'

GOD'S WORD® Translation
They say, 'It's almost time to rebuild homes. This city is a cooking pot, and we're the meat.'

JPS Tanakh 1917
that say: The time is not near to build houses! this city is the caldron, and we are the flesh.

New American Standard 1977
who say, ‘Is not the time near to build houses? This city is the pot and we are the flesh.’

Jubilee Bible 2000
who say, It is not near; let us build houses; these shall be the caldron, and we the flesh.

King James 2000 Bible
Who say, It is not near for us to build houses: this city is the caldron, and we are the flesh.

American King James Version
Which say, It is not near; let us build houses: this city is the caldron, and we be the flesh.

American Standard Version
that say, The time is not near to build houses: this city is the caldron, and we are the flesh.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Saying: Were not houses lately built? This city is the caldron, and we the flesh.

Darby Bible Translation
who say, It is not the time to build houses: this is the cauldron, and we are the flesh.

English Revised Version
which say, The time is not near to build houses: this city is the caldron, and we be the flesh.

Webster's Bible Translation
Who say, It is not near; let us build houses: this city is the caldron, and we are the flesh.

World English Bible
who say, [The time] is not near to build houses: this [city] is the caldron, and we are the flesh.

Young's Literal Translation
who are saying, It is not near -- to build houses, it is the pot, and we the flesh.
Study Bible
Evil in High Places
2And the LORD said to me, “Son of man, these are the men who plot evil and give wicked counsel in this city. 3They are saying, ‘Is not the time near to build houses? The city is a cooking pot, and we are the meat.’ 4Therefore prophesy against them; prophesy, O son of man!”…
Cross References
2 Peter 3:4
"Where is the promise of His coming?" they will ask. "Ever since our fathers fell asleep, everything continues as it has from the beginning of creation."

2 Kings 4:38
When Elisha returned to Gilgal, there was a famine in the land. As the sons of the prophets were sitting at his feet, he said to his attendant, "Put on the large pot and boil some stew for the sons of the prophets."

Jeremiah 1:13
Again the word of the LORD came to me, inquiring, "What do you see?" "I see a boiling pot," I replied, "and it is tilting away from the north."

Ezekiel 11:7
Therefore this is what the Lord GOD says: The slain you have laid within this city are the meat, and the city is the pot; but I will remove you from it.

Ezekiel 11:11
The city will not be a pot for you, nor will you be the meat within it. I will judge you even to the borders of Israel.

Ezekiel 12:22
"Son of man, what is this proverb that you have in the land of Israel: 'The days go by, and every vision fails'?

Ezekiel 24:3
Now speak a parable to this rebellious house and tell them that this is what the Lord GOD says: 'Put the pot on the fire; put it on and pour in the water.

Ezekiel 24:6
Therefore this is what the Lord GOD says: 'Woe to the city of bloodshed, to the pot now rusted, whose rust will not come off! Empty it piece by piece; cast no lots for its contents.

Micah 3:3
You eat the flesh of my people after stripping off their skin and breaking their bones. You chop them up like meat for the cooking pot, like meat in a kettle."

Treasury of Scripture

Which say, It is not near; let us build houses: this city is the caldron, and we be the flesh.

It is not, etc. or, It is not for us to build houses near

Ezekiel 7:7 The morning is come to you, O you that dwell in the land: the time …

Ezekiel 12:22,27 Son of man, what is that proverb that you have in the land of Israel, …

Isaiah 5:19 That say, Let him make speed, and hasten his work, that we may see …

Jeremiah 1:11,12 Moreover the word of the LORD came to me, saying, Jeremiah, what …

Amos 6:5 That chant to the sound of the viol, and invent to themselves instruments …

2 Peter 3:4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers …

this city

Ezekiel 11:7-11 Therefore thus said the Lord GOD; Your slain whom you have laid in …

Ezekiel 24:3-14 And utter a parable to the rebellious house, and say to them, Thus …

Jeremiah 1:13 And the word of the LORD came to me the second time, saying, What …







(3) It is not near; let us build houses. -Neither the text nor the marginal reading of the Authorised Version quite accurately represent the original. The expression is literally not near to build houses; and it is to be explained by the prophecy and narrative of Jeremiah 29. After the 10,000 (among whom was Ezekiel) had been carried captive--and apparently shortly after--Jeremiah had sent word to the captives to build houses and make themselves comfortable. because the captivity would be long (Ezekiel 11:5-10). This greatly offended the captives; and Shemaiah, a false prophet among them, had consequently sent letters to Jerusalem asking that Jeremiah might be punished for thus prophesying (Ezekiel 11:24-25). The princes of the people now appear in Ezekiel's vision as taking up this prophecy of Jeremiah's and contradicting it: "this need of building houses for a long captivity is not near!" In Ezekiel 7:2-3; Ezekiel 7:12; Ezekiel 12:23, Ezekiel expressly declares that it is very near. The princes further confirmed the people in their fancied security by comparing the city to a caldron, the strong walls of which should protect the flesh within it, i.e., the people, from the fire of all hostile attack. In the prophecy of Ezekiel 24:6 this figure is taken up, and a very different application given to it; it is also turned against them immediately in Ezekiel 11:7. In consequence of this attitude and these sayings of the princes, the prophecy of Ezekiel 11:5-12 is now directed against them.

Verse 3. - It is not near, etc. The words take their place among the popular, half-proverbial sayings of which we have other examples in Ezekiel 8:12; Ezekiel 9:9; and Ezekiel 18:2. As in most proverbs of this kind, the thought is condensed to the very verge of obscurity, and the words have received very different interpretations.

(1) That suggested by the Authorized Version. "It (the judgment of which the true prophets spoke) is not near. Let us build houses, not, as Jeremiah bids (Jeremiah 39:5), in the land of exile, but here in Jerusalem, where we shall remain in safety. Are we threatened with the imagery of the 'seething pot' (Jeremiah 1:13)? Let us remember that the caldron protects the meat in it from the fire. The walls of the city will protect us from the army of the Chaldeans." The temper which clothed itself in this language was that of the self-confident boastful security of Jeremiah 28:3; and the death of Hananiah, the son of Azur, in that history presents a parallel to that of Pelatiah in this.

(2) Grammatically, however, the rendering of the Revised Version is preferable: The time is not near for building houses; probably, as before, with a reference to Jeremiah's advice. "We," they seem to say, "are not come to that plaint yet. We will trust, as in (1), in our interpretation of the caldron."

(3) On the whole, I incline, while adopting the Revised Version rendering, to interpret the words, as Smend takes them, as the defiant utterance of despair: "It is no time for building houses, here or elsewhere. We are doomed. We are destined (I borrow the nearest analogue of modern proverbial speech) 'to stew in our own juice.' Well, let us meet it as we best may." I find what suggests this view

(1) in the improbability that the thought of the caldron could ever have been received as a message of safety (comp. Ezekiel 24:3, 6); and

(2) in the despairing tone of most of the sayings that Ezekiel records (Ezekiel 18:2; Ezekiel 37:11). Probably there were, as in other like crises in the history of nations (say, e.g., in those of the Franco-German War) rapid alternations between the two moods of boastful security and defiant despair - the galgenhumor, the courage of the gallows, as Smend calls it; and the same words might be uttered now in this temper, and now in that. In either case, there was the root element of the absence of repentance and submission. Which say it is not near, let us build houses,.... Meaning that the destruction of the city was not near, as the prophet had foretold, Ezekiel 7:3; and therefore encourage the people to build houses, and rest themselves secure, as being safe from all danger, and having nothing to fear from the Chaldean army; and so putting away the evil day far from them, which was just at hand: though the words may be rendered, "it is not proper to build houses near" (e); near the city of Jerusalem, in the suburbs of it, since they would be liable to be destroyed by the enemy; but this would not be condemned as wicked counsel, but must be judged very prudent and advisable: and the same may be objected to another rendering of the word, which might be offered, "not in the midst to build houses"; or it is not proper to build houses in the midst of the city, in order to receive the multitude that flock out of the country, through fear of the enemy, to Jerusalem for safety; since by this means, as the number of the inhabitants would be increased, so provisions in time would become scarce, and a famine must ensue, which would oblige to deliver up the city into the hands of the besiegers; wherefore the first sense seems best. The Septuagint and Arabic versions render them, "are not the houses lately built?" and so not easily demolished, and are like to continue long, and we in them;

this city is the cauldron, and we be the flesh; referring to, and laughing at, what one of the prophets, namely Jeremiah, had said of them, comparing them to a boiling pot, Jeremiah 1:13; and it is as if they should say, be it so, that this city is as a cauldron or boiling pot, then we are the flesh in it; and as flesh is not taken out of a pot until it is boiled, no more shall we be removed from hence till we die; we shall live and die in this city; and as it is difficult and dangerous to take hot boiling meat out of a cauldron, so it, is unlikely we should be taken out of this city, and carried captive; what a cauldron or brasen pot is to the flesh, it holds and keeps it from falling into the fire; that the walls of Jerusalem are to us, our safety and preservation; nor need we fear captivity.

(e) "non in propinque aedificandae domus", Junius & Tremellius, Cocceius, Polanus; "non in propinquo aedificare domos", Montanus, Piscator, Starckius. 3. It is not near—namely, the destruction of the city; therefore "let us build houses," as if there was no fear. But the Hebrew opposes English Version, which would require the infinitive absolute. Rather, "Not at hand is the building of houses." They sneer at Jeremiah's letter to the captives, among whom Ezekiel lived (Jer 29:5). "Build ye houses, and dwell in them," that is, do not fancy, as many persuade you, that your sojourn in Babylon is to be short; it will be for seventy years (Jer 25:11, 12; 29:10); therefore build houses and settle quietly there. The scorners in Jerusalem reply, Those far off in exile may build if they please, but it is too remote a concern for us to trouble ourselves about [Fairbairn], (Compare Eze 12:22, 27; 2Pe 3:4).

this city … caldron … we … flesh—sneering at Jer 1:13, when he compared the city to a caldron with its mouth towards the north. "Let Jerusalem be so if you will, and we the flesh, exposed to the raging foe from the north, still its fortifications will secure us from the flame of war outside; the city must stand for our sakes, just as the pot exists for the safety of the flesh in it." In opposition to this God says (Eze 11:11), "This city shall not be your caldron, to defend you in it from the foe outside: nay, ye shall be driven out of your imaginary sanctuary and slain in the border of the land." "But," says God, in Eze 11:7, "your slain are the flesh, and this city the caldron; but (not as you fancy, shall ye be kept safe inside) I will bring you forth out of the midst of it"; and again, in Eze 24:3, "Though not a caldron in your sense, Jerusalem shall be so in the sense of its being exposed to a consuming foe, and you yourselves in it and with it."11:1-13 Where Satan cannot persuade men to look upon the judgment to come as uncertain, he gains his point by persuading them to look upon it as at a distance. These wretched rulers dare to say, We are as safe in this city as flesh in a boiling pot; the walls of the city shall be to us as walls of brass, we shall receive no more damage from the besiegers than the caldron does from the fire. When sinners flatter themselves to their own ruin, it is time to tell them they shall have no peace if they go on. None shall remain in possession of the city but those who are buried in it. Those are least safe who are most secure. God is often pleased to single out some sinners for warning to others. Whether Pelatiah died at that time in Jerusalem, or when the fulfilment of the prophecy drew near, is uncertain. Like Ezekiel, we ought to be much affected with the sudden death of others, and we should still plead with the Lord to have mercy on those who remain.
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