Christian Churches of God
Commentary on Chapters 9-12.
Commentary on Ezekiel Part 3
1Then he cried in my ears with a loud voice, saying, "Draw near, you executioners of the city, each with his destroying weapon in his hand." 2And lo, six men came from the direction of the upper gate, which faces north, every man with his weapon for slaughter in his hand, and with them was a man clothed in linen, with a writing case at his side. And they went in and stood beside the bronze altar. 3Now the glory of the God of Israel had gone up from the cherubim on which it rested to the threshold of the house; and he called to the man clothed in linen, who had the writing case at his side. 4And the LORD said to him, "Go through the city, through Jerusalem, and put a mark upon the foreheads of the men who sigh and groan over all the abominations that are committed in it." 5And to the others he said in my hearing, "Pass through the city after him, and smite; your eye shall not spare, and you shall show no pity; 6slay old men outright, young men and maidens, little children and women, but touch no one upon whom is the mark. And begin at my sanctuary." So they began with the elders who were before the house. 7Then he said to them, "Defile the house, and fill the courts with the slain. Go forth." So they went forth, and smote in the city. 8And while they were smiting, and I was left alone, I fell upon my face, and cried, "Ah Lord GOD! wilt thou destroy all that remains of Israel in the outpouring of thy wrath upon Jerusalem?" 9Then he said to me, "The guilt of the house of Israel and Judah is exceedingly great; the land is full of blood, and the city full of injustice; for they say, 'The LORD has forsaken the land, and the LORD does not see.' 10As for me, my eye will not spare, nor will I have pity, but I will requite their deeds upon their heads." 11And lo, the man clothed in linen, with the writing case at his side, brought back word, saying, "I have done as thou didst command me."
Intent of Chapter 9
9:1-11 The punishment of the guilty in Judah and Israel
vv. 1-2 The divine executioners came from the north. They are sent from the seat of God as per 1:4. (See also the Temple guards or watchmen in 2Kgs.11:18 designated by the same Hebrew word.) and man clothed in linen functioning as the Lord’s scribe (so also as per Nabu on the Babylonian pantheon AORSV n). Linen was ritually clean fabric worn by priests (Lev. 6:10; and by angels Dan. 10:5 (F027x).
v. 4 The mark was the Hebrew letter tau made like an X (see also Rev. 7:3-4). These are the Lord’s elect among the people.
v. 6 The elders are those of 8:16
v. 8 All that remains refers to those remaining in Palestine after 597 BCE according to many scholars. However, the prophecies cover the nations on through the end of the Day of the Lord as seen in previous sections.
1Then I looked, and behold, on the firmament that was over the heads of the cherubim there appeared above them something like a sapphire, in form resembling a throne. 2And he said to the man clothed in linen, "Go in among the whirling wheels underneath the cherubim; fill your hands with burning coals from between the cherubim, and scatter them over the city." And he went in before my eyes. 3Now the cherubim were standing on the south side of the house, when the man went in; and a cloud filled the inner court. 4And the glory of the LORD went up from the cherubim to the threshold of the house; and the house was filled with the cloud, and the court was full of the brightness of the glory of the LORD. 5And the sound of the wings of the cherubim was heard as far as the outer court, like the voice of God Almighty when he speaks. 6And when he commanded the man clothed in linen, "Take fire from between the whirling wheels, from between the cherubim," he went in and stood beside a wheel. 7And a cherub stretched forth his hand from between the cherubim to the fire that was between the cherubim, and took some of it, and put it into the hands of the man clothed in linen, who took it and went out. 8The cherubim appeared to have the form of a human hand under their wings. 9And I looked, and behold, there were four wheels beside the cherubim, one beside each cherub; and the appearance of the wheels was like sparkling chrysolite. 10And as for their appearance, the four had the same likeness, as if a wheel were within a wheel. 11When they went, they went in any of their four directions without turning as they went, but in whatever direction the front wheel faced the others followed without turning as they went. 12And their rims, and their spokes, and the wheels were full of eyes round about--the wheels that the four of them had. 13As for the wheels, they were called in my hearing the whirling wheels. 14And every one had four faces: the first face was the face of the cherub, and the second face was the face of a man, and the third the face of a lion, and the fourth the face of an eagle. 15And the cherubim mounted up. These were the living creatures that I saw by the river Chebar. 16And when the cherubim went, the wheels went beside them; and when the cherubim lifted up their wings to mount up from the earth, the wheels did not turn from beside them. 17When they stood still, these stood still, and when they mounted up, these mounted up with them; for the spirit of the living creatures was in them. 18Then the glory of the LORD went forth from the threshold of the house, and stood over the cherubim. 19And the cherubim lifted up their wings and mounted up from the earth in my sight as they went forth, with the wheels beside them; and they stood at the door of the east gate of the house of the LORD; and the glory of the God of Israel was over them. 20These were the living creatures that I saw underneath the God of Israel by the river Chebar; and I knew that they were cherubim. 21Each had four faces, and each four wings, and underneath their wings the semblance of human hands. 22And as for the likeness of their faces, they were the very faces whose appearance I had seen by the river Chebar. They went every one straight forward.
Intent of Chapter 10
Significance of the form of the Cherubim
To understand the sequence of events in this last Jubilee, it is necessary first to explain the meaning of the four Cherubim or Cherubs of Ezekiel. Ezekiel's vision came out of the north and this orientation is important to the relevance of the form. The Temple of God is on the sides of the north (Ps. 48:2 KJV).
Psalm 48:2 Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King. (KJV)
Traditionally, the sides of the north was the direction of the Throne of God (Isa. 14:13).
Isaiah 14:13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: (KJV)
Lucifer chose to ascend and be like the Most High (see The First Commandment: the Sin of Satan (No. 153)).
The cloud and fire is similar to that of the Exodus where the Spirit of the Lord led and established Israel to be a separate and holy people. The fire was the colour of amber or bronze, which was derived from the body of the Spirit. Fire enfolding itself symbolised the containment of the Spirit within bounds and order. The enfolding symbolised the Law of God from which the Cherubim were regulated, even as the Spirit itself was regulated and enfolded because the Law emanated from the very nature of God of which we partake (2Pet. 1:4).
The enfolding of the fire also signified that the time sequence of the four Cherubim was enfolded to enable their appearance together. The throne above the Cherubim symbolised the Throne of God from which their judge, The Elohim and El, reigns. He hovers above the Cherubim in protection of them, and as the centre of the Tabernacle. The Throne is the “mercy seat” and was placed within the physical Tabernacle itself, symbolising the ultimate spiritual creation of the eternal spiritual Temple. Yahovah speaks for Yahovah of Hosts in this structure. They stand at the east gate and the glory of the Lord is above them (Ezek. 10:18-19).
Ezekiel 10:18-19 Then the glory of the LORD departed from off the threshold of the house, and stood over the cherubims. 19And the cherubims lifted up their wings, and mounted up from the earth in my sight: when they went out, the wheels also were beside them, and every one stood at the door of the east gate of the LORD'S house; and the glory of the God of Israel was over them above. (KJV)
In Numbers 9 we see that the keeping of the Passover is the statute that identifies the holy people and the sojourners in their midst. From Exodus 13:6-9, we find that the Passover (and the Feast of Unleavened Bread) is the seal of God as a sign on our hand and as a memorial or sign between our eyes (i.e. on our forehead). This is the sign or mark of the Lord, which identifies the holy people "so that the law of the Lord may be in your mouth" (Ex. 13:9 RSV). In other words, the seal of God is in our minds and hearts signified by the mark or frontlet between our eyes, and the mark on our hands signifies that our actions are in accordance with our words. The keeping of the Passover and Unleavened Bread, with the weekly Sabbath, is the specific identification of the congregation of the Lord. The keeping of the other Sabbaths of Leviticus 23 follows on automatically from the Passover seal. Atonement itself also becomes a sign of the Lord’s people (cf. the paper The Role of the Fourth Commandment in the Historical Sabbath-keeping Churches of God (No. 170)).
Isaiah 66:23-24 shows that the Sabbaths and the New Moons is the Seal of God and failure to keep it is punishable by death.
The Mark of the Beast is derived also from this concept with its own law and feasts. These were extant from the time of the Exodus as Easter and Sunday worship, and the festivals of 25 December follow from this satanic feast and seal or mark (cf. the papers The Origins of Christmas and Easter (No. 235); God’s Calendar (No. 156); The Quartodeciman Disputes (No. 277); and Mark of the Beast (No. 025)).
The pillar of cloud and fire encompasses the Host of the holy people, firstly from Exodus 14:19, and in Numbers 9:15 we find that the cloud covered the Tabernacle on the day that it was set up. The Tabernacle of the Lord was covered continually as cloud by day and fire by night, as a sign that the Spirit of the Lord dwelt over the Tent of Testimony and was with the Host of the holy people because they had been chosen as the priesthood. When the cloud and fire were taken up then the Tabernacle was taken up and moved (Num. 9:21-23).
The Living Creatures represent the four stages of the history of the priesthood and Israel. The first stage was the Tabernacle of the wilderness and the Judges. The second stage or Cherub was as the first Temple from Solomon to the captivity. The third stage was from the re-establishment after the return from captivity to the destruction in 70 CE, and the fourth stage was as the era of the seven Churches until the return of the Messiah (cf. the papers The Ark of the Covenant (No. 196); and Pentecost at Sinai (No. 115)).
Each stage is as a Covering Cherub that protects the Throne of God, and by human hands (under the wings) accomplishes His purpose on Earth. The Living Creatures have been described elsewhere in the Bible, but the symbolism of the form has a much deeper meaning than that of a created oddity with four different faces. In Revelation 4:6-8 we see the same faces, but separate as four Living Creatures, each with one of the faces but with six wings.
Revelation 4:6-8 And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind. 7And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle. 8And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come. (KJV)
The significance of the four faces can be deduced from the placement and battle standards of Israel from its original system of encampment. The ‘order of march’ of Israel first took effect from the 20th of the Second month of Ziv, in the second year of the Exodus, and as derived from Numbers 10 and other sections was as follows.
The advance guard was comprised of Judah, Issachar and Zebulun, who marched under the battle standard of Judah, which was a lion. The Tabernacle under its guard followed the advance guard. The third group was comprised of Reuben and the supporting tribes of Simeon and Gad who marched under the battle standard of Reuben, which was a man.
The fourth group and last segment of the main body was preceded by the Holy Artefacts of the Tabernacle. The Tabernacle was always set up before their arrival at the new encampment. This fourth group was comprised of Ephraim together with the half-tribe of Manasseh and the tribe of Benjamin. These marched under the standard of Ephraim, which was a bull, but it was also later sometimes depicted as a unicorn.
The rear guard was comprised of Dan followed by Asher and then Napthali. This marched behind the battle standard of Dan, which was an eagle (although the serpent or a poisonous reptile is also symbolic of this tribe – they were the ‘sting in the tail’). The party of the Ark of the Covenant preceded the Host as a clearing party.
When the Host made camp the Levites encamped around the Tabernacle and the tribes encamped outside them, according to their divisions. From Numbers 2 we establish that: in the east was Judah and then Issachar and Zebulun; in the south was Reuben and next to him Simeon and then Gad; in the west was Ephraim, next Manasseh and then Benjamin; in the north was Dan and then Asher and then Napthali.
This encampment organisation never varied, and it is for this reason that Ezekiel saw the vision coming from the north with the face of a man in front (Ezek. 1:10), i.e. Reuben in the south. The face of a lion on the right side was Judah in the east. The face of an ox on the left was Ephraim in the west, and the face of an eagle at the back was Dan in the north looking forward to the direction from which they had come.
The orientation of the nation around the Tabernacle did not vary, and for this reason Ezekiel states that they each went straight forward without turning. "As each went straight forward wherever the Spirit would go they went without turning as they went" (Ezek. 1:12).
This orientation also reflects the celestial system around the Throne of God, which we see in Revelation 4:1 to 5:14. There are twenty-four Elders or priests allocated to twelve systems, represented by the tribes within four administrative divisions.
In the midst of the Host were the Tabernacle and the Spirit of God "like burning coals of fire, like torches moving to and fro among the living creatures". The burning coals are as purification of the Host in the way that Isaiah was cleansed by the burning coal, and this was also symbolic of the sacrifice and later Spirit from Pentecost.
Each of these had four wings and two of these wings touched one another, performing the role of defensive perimeter of the encampment and symbolising unity and physical protection of the nation and the Tabernacle. The two wings covering the bodies symbolised the spiritual protection of the individual perfected as a servant of God.
The four Cherubim are depicted as having a wheel upon the Earth, one for each, and the construction was as it were a wheel within a wheel. The rims and spokes and the eyes of the wheels are the functions of the holy people essential to the continued Plan of Salvation, progressing with each wheel closer to the presence of the Lord. The spokes symbolise the unity of the Spirit to the centre Tabernacle or Throne of God, and the rim symbolises unity of the Hosts. It should be remembered that the seven Churches, represented by the fourth Cherub, are in fact the spiritual building blocks of the Temple of God. It is for this reason that Ezekiel states twice that the Spirit of the Living Creatures is in the wheels. The Holy Spirit (No. 117) was the means by which the Host has to accomplish this state.
This spiritual redemption of the Host was symbolised by the loaves at Pentecost. After the Passover had expiated sin and the Feast of Unleavened Bread had served as a symbol of a sinless purification (as a body guarded by the wings of the Cherub), then a new leaven was placed into the two loaves at Pentecost, symbolising the new leaven of sincerity and truth – leaven of the Holy Spirit. The two loaves symbolised the duality of salvation to Israel and Judah, to Israelite and Gentile, under the Messiah of Aaron and of Israel.
This salvation was depicted by Zechariah as the two olive trees standing on the right and left of the lamp stand (of the seven eras of the last Cherub) – the Messiah of Aaron at the beginning, and the Messiah of Israel at the end pouring out the Spirit of the Eternal onto the Earth through the two golden pipes. The duality of this symbol is also in the repetition of the accompanying prophets.
The four Cherubim or stages of the holy people have twenty-four facets symbolised by the twenty-four Elders at Revelation 4:9. These twenty-four are the symbols of the twenty-four divisions of the ministering priesthood detailed at 1Chronicles 24:1-6, and in the order as detailed from verses 7-18.
The allocation or order of the priesthood is on a basis of two per tribe. There are also two elohim allotted per tribe or division. We can deduce that this is reflected also by the numbering of the Judges and the Apostles on the basis of one per tribe, being twelve in each type.
In addition to the twenty-four divisions of the Temple, i.e. of the second and third Cherubim, there were also twenty-four Judges; twelve Judges holding office under the first Tabernacle or Cherub as the period of Judges and twelve Apostles appointed as judges for the restoration of the Millennium, thus providing the symbolic twenty-four Elders of the twenty-four divisions who cast their crowns before the Lord of Hosts, as their periods of office were combined under the Lord. At this time the four Cherubim or Creatures obtain six wings, gaining the last two wings of spiritual immortality with the Lord of Hosts. This status is equated with that of the Seraphim or the higher ranks of the angels. Thus, the elect have elohim or theoi status conferred upon them.
Zechariah 12:8 In that day shall the LORD defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the LORD before them. (KJV)
Thus, the feeble shall be as David and the house of David shall be as Elohim as the Angel of Yahovah before them. This text establishes a phased sequence. The Angel of Yahovah was the Elohim of Israel, from Psalm 45:6-7. This Elohim was Christ from Hebrews 1:8-9. The House of David or the elect will become elohim as Christ himself was and is. They will strengthen the feeble of the restoration of the Messiah at the end of days (cf. the papers The Elect as Elohim (No. 001); The Angel of YHVH (No. 024); and The Pre-Existence of Jesus Christ (No. 243)).
The last period of the Host shows the four Living Creatures around the Throne of God, but the order of the Host for this fifth period has been changed. The placement of the tribes involving the movements of Judah, Reuben, Ephraim and Dan is a subject in its own right. The location of the tribes in Ezekiel 48:31ff. by gates also varies the positioning both by gates and lands (Ezek. 48:1-29).
The allocation of the tribes for the 144,000 is also related to these concepts. Dan is merged with Ephraim as the tribe of Joseph, and Manasseh becomes a tribe in its own right for this allocation, as does Levi. The allocation is for the purpose of the new priesthood (Rev. 7:4-8) (see also the paper The City of God (No. 180)).
Revelation 7:4-8 And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel. 5Of the tribe of Judah were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Reuben were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Gad were sealed twelve thousand. 6Of the tribe of Aser were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Napthali were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Manasses were sealed twelve thousand. 7Of the tribe of Simeon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Levi were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Issachar were sealed twelve thousand. 8Of the tribe of Zebulun were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Joseph were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Benjamin were sealed twelve thousand. (KJV)
In this allocation Dan is joined to Ephraim as the composite tribe of Joseph so that Levi can take its place among the priesthood of Melchisedek in the Last Days – but Dan proceeds to take its birthright in the physical system as Judge of Israel.
The Cherubim are one with Messiah in this final phase also. This aspect of the millennial system is dealt with elsewhere.
10:1-22 and 11:22-25 The Lord Leaves His Temple and instructs the scribe to get coals from the fire between the cherubim (1:13) and to scatter them over the city (compare this with Gen. 19:1-29; Rev. 8:5).
vv. 3-4 The cloud of the glory of the Lord occurs previously in Ex. 16:10; Num. 10:34. The expression Glory of the Lord occurs nineteen times in Ezekiel in the sense of overpowering majesty of God not as an attribute but as an expression of His Presence as in John 1-18 (see Lev. 9:23; Num. 20:6).
v. 12 Full of Eyes symbolic of God’s all seeing nature (Rev. 4:8).
v. 19 East Gate is the main processional gate into the Temple precinct (Ps. 118:19-20; 24:7,9). Here we see God is portrayed as pausing a moment and then forsook the sanctuary, as it was desecrated by pagan rites and false worship (the departure continues in 11:22-25).
This desecration happened on a number of occasions in its history under pagan occupations.
1The Spirit lifted me up, and brought me to the east gate of the house of the LORD, which faces east. And behold, at the door of the gateway there were twenty-five men; and I saw among them Ja-azani'ah the son of Azzur, and Pelati'ah the son of Benai'ah, princes of the people. 2And he said to me, "Son of man, these are the men who devise iniquity and who give wicked counsel in this city; 3who say, 'The time is not near to build houses; this city is the caldron, and we are the flesh.' 4Therefore prophesy against them, prophesy, O son of man." 5And the Spirit of the LORD fell upon me, and he said to me, "Say, Thus says the LORD: So you think, O house of Israel; for I know the things that come into your mind. 6You have multiplied your slain in this city, and have filled its streets with the slain. 7Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: Your slain whom you have laid in the midst of it, they are the flesh, and this city is the caldron; but you shall be brought forth out of the midst of it. 8You have feared the sword; and I will bring the sword upon you, says the Lord GOD. 9And I will bring you forth out of the midst of it, and give you into the hands of foreigners, and execute judgments upon you. 10You shall fall by the sword; I will judge you at the border of Israel; and you shall know that I am the LORD. 11This city shall not be your caldron, nor shall you be the flesh in the midst of it; I will judge you at the border of Israel; 12and you shall know that I am the LORD; for you have not walked in my statutes, nor executed my ordinances, but have acted according to the ordinances of the nations that are round about you." 13And it came to pass, while I was prophesying, that Pelati'ah the son of Benai'ah died. Then I fell down upon my face, and cried with a loud voice, and said, "Ah Lord GOD! wilt thou make a full end of the remnant of Israel?" 14And the word of the LORD came to me: 15"Son of man, your brethren, even your brethren, your fellow exiles, the whole house of Israel, all of them, are those of whom the inhabitants of Jerusalem have said, 'They have gone far from the LORD; to us this land is given for a possession.' 16Therefore say, 'Thus says the Lord GOD: Though I removed them far off among the nations, and though I scattered them among the countries, yet I have been a sanctuary to them for a while in the countries where they have gone.' 17Therefore say, 'Thus says the Lord GOD: I will gather you from the peoples, and assemble you out of the countries where you have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel.' 18And when they come there, they will remove from it all its detestable things and all its abominations. 19And I will give them one heart, and put a new spirit within them; I will take the stony heart out of their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, 20that they may walk in my statutes and keep my ordinances and obey them; and they shall be my people, and I will be their God. 21But as for those whose heart goes after their detestable things and their abominations, I will requite their deeds upon their own heads, says the Lord GOD." 22Then the cherubim lifted up their wings, with the wheels beside them; and the glory of the God of Israel was over them. 23And the glory of the LORD went up from the midst of the city, and stood upon the mountain which is on the east side of the city. 24And the Spirit lifted me up and brought me in the vision by the Spirit of God into Chalde'a, to the exiles. Then the vision that I had seen went up from me. 25And I told the exiles all the things that the LORD had showed me.
Intent of Chapter 11
Judgment and Punishments and Promise
11:1-13 Some scholars think these verses should follow 8:18.
v. 1 Jaazaniah (From the original Yaho (Ginsberg) rendered by J.M. Ward as “Yahu hears” Interp. Dict. Vol. 2. P.777) son of Azzur is not otherwise known in the texts. It is a fairly common name of the time: J. Son of Tob-Shillem is mentioned in Lachish Ostracon 1 in early 6th cent. BCE.
Biblically the references are of:
1. A Judean son of Maacathi (2Kgs. 25:23; Jer. 40:8) who remained under Gedaliah after the Exile. If Hoshaiah (Jer. 42:1) was a Maacathite then his son was the same Jezaniah mentioned on Jer. 40:8 (alt. Azariah son of Hoshiah (cf. 43:2 as the LXX shows).
2. J son of Jeremiah (not the prophet), tested by the prophet Jeremiah in Jehoiakim’s reign (Jer. 35:3).
3. J. son of Shaphan appearing in the earlier vision of Ezekiel in 8:11.
4. J. son of Azzur here in 11:1.
So also is Pelatiah otherwise unknown.
Wicked counsel is thought to refer to the plot between Egypt and Zedekiah’s pro-Egyptian counselors against Nebuchadrezzar (Jer. 27:1-3; 37:5,7,11). Deceived by the negotiations, they assure the populace of the city’s security and to keep building.
Twenty-five men The twenty-five leaders of Judah here refer to the two princes and the twenty-three that constitute the minimum core of the Sanhedrin that can deal with a capital charge. This signifies the corruption of its leaders and down to the entry to the sanctuary for worship. When referred back to 8:16 we see that it was all based on the worship of the Sun god Baal and Ashoreth, Ishtar or Easter, which is the same corrupt worship in Israel today on Sundays and at Christmas and Easter (see # 235). Jerusalem is rife with the heresy even now. Christ and the Host will wipe it out in these Last Days. None of these people will be left by the Millennium.
Accusing the leaders of gross violence (ch. 22; Jer. 34:8-16), Ezekiel tells them that the city walls (the cauldron of 24:1-14) will not protect them, and they will be taken to Israel’s borders, there to be judged (perhaps at Riblah; Jer. 52:24-27).
v. 13 Ezekiel added this note when these oracles were transcribed (1:1) (see also OARSV n.).
11:14-21 Here in the text Ezekiel condemns the attitude which held that the exiles had born God’s punishment and their property now belonged to those who remained. God warns them through Ezekiel that God is still with His exiled people, and will restore them while the presumptious idolaters will be punished (see Jer. 24:1-10).
New heart (Jer. 32:37-41).
vv. 22-25 (see 10:1-22)
v. 23 The mountain to the East is the Mount of Olives. This area has great significance for the structure of Jerusalem and the new configuration at the Return of the King (No. 282E) (see also No. 141E)).
1The word of the LORD came to me: 2"Son of man, you dwell in the midst of a rebellious house, who have eyes to see, but see not, who have ears to hear, but hear not; 3for they are a rebellious house. Therefore, son of man, prepare for yourself an exile's baggage, and go into exile by day in their sight; you shall go like an exile from your place to another place in their sight. Perhaps they will understand, though they are a rebellious house. 4You shall bring out your baggage by day in their sight, as baggage for exile; and you shall go forth yourself at evening in their sight, as men do who must go into exile. 5Dig through the wall in their sight, and go out through it. 6In their sight you shall lift the baggage upon your shoulder, and carry it out in the dark; you shall cover your face, that you may not see the land; for I have made you a sign for the house of Israel." 7And I did as I was commanded. I brought out my baggage by day, as baggage for exile, and in the evening I dug through the wall with my own hands; I went forth in the dark, carrying my outfit upon my shoulder in their sight. 8In the morning the word of the LORD came to me: 9"Son of man, has not the house of Israel, the rebellious house, said to you, 'What are you doing?' 10Say to them, 'Thus says the Lord GOD: This oracle concerns the prince in Jerusalem and all the house of Israel who are in it.' 11Say, 'I am a sign for you: as I have done, so shall it be done to them; they shall go into exile, into captivity.' 12And the prince who is among them shall lift his baggage upon his shoulder in the dark, and shall go forth; he shall dig through the wall and go out through it; he shall cover his face, that he may not see the land with his eyes. 13And I will spread my net over him, and he shall be taken in my snare; and I will bring him to Babylon in the land of the Chalde'ans, yet he shall not see it; and he shall die there. 14And I will scatter toward every wind all who are round about him, his helpers and all his troops; and I will unsheathe the sword after them. 15And they shall know that I am the LORD, when I disperse them among the nations and scatter them through the countries. 16But I will let a few of them escape from the sword, from famine and pestilence, that they may confess all their abominations among the nations where they go, and may know that I am the LORD." 17Moreover the word of the LORD came to me: 18"Son of man, eat your bread with quaking, and drink water with trembling and with fearfulness; 19and say of the people of the land, Thus says the Lord GOD concerning the inhabitants of Jerusalem in the land of Israel: They shall eat their bread with fearfulness, and drink water in dismay, because their land will be stripped of all it contains, on account of the violence of all those who dwell in it. 20And the inhabited cities shall be laid waste, and the land shall become a desolation; and you shall know that I am the LORD." 21And the word of the LORD came to me: 22"Son of man, what is this proverb that you have about the land of Israel, saying, 'The days grow long, and every vision comes to nought'? 23Tell them therefore, 'Thus says the Lord GOD: I will put an end to this proverb, and they shall no more use it as a proverb in Israel.' But say to them, The days are at hand, and the fulfilment of every vision. 24For there shall be no more any false vision or flattering divination within the house of Israel. 25But I the LORD will speak the word which I will speak, and it will be performed. It will no longer be delayed, but in your days, O rebellious house, I will speak the word and perform it, says the Lord GOD." 26Again the word of the LORD came to me: 27"Son of man, behold, they of the house of Israel say, 'The vision that he sees is for many days hence, and he prophesies of times far off.' 28Therefore say to them, Thus says the Lord GOD: None of my words will be delayed any longer, but the word which I speak will be performed, says the Lord GOD."
Intent of Chapter 12
12:1-20 Signs of the Exile
vv. 1-16 This oracle is directed at the leadership and most probably directly at Zedekiah the prince who left by night through its breached wall. Ezekiel is here directed to compile the goods that an exile could carry (Jer. 10:17) and leave by night as an example to the inhabitants who see but cannot perceive and hear but do not understand. Zedekiah was captured (17:20) and taken to Riblah and blinded, hence may not see (vv. 6, 12; Jer. 39:1-10).
v. 14 seems to reflect 5:2,10, 12.
v. 15-16 14:21-23.
vv. 17-20 reflect the people’s terror at the approaching invasion (4:9-11, 16-17; Jer. 4:19-21).
12:21-14:23 Of Prophets and People
vv. 21-28 This is a condemnation of the ever popular attitude that prophetic visions could be safely ignored (Hos. 12:10; Jer. 14:14-15; 23:28-29). Also it was sharp reminder that the fulfilment of prophecies of Destruction such as those of Jeremiah was not so distant (Jer. 5:12-13; 17:15), although those of Ezekiel were both immediate and also far distant over the age and must be linked to the prophecies of Daniel as we will see below.
v. 27 Comp. Isa. 22:13; 1Cor. 15:32.
v. 28 The prophecy would thus be implemented and will be enacted over the future both immediate and distant by links to the immediate in consequence. It is important that we realise that God does nothing except that he warns the people through his servants the prophets (Amos 3:7). This capacity has been transferred to the Churches of God after the Christ from 30 CE.
Bullinger’s Notes on Ezekiel Chs. 9-12 (for KJV)
He cried , &c. Contrast "though they cry", &c. (Ezekiel 8:18 )
every man . Hebrew. 'ish. App-14 .
destroying = dashing (in pieces).
weapon . A various reading called Sevir . ( App-34 ), with some codices, four early printed editions, Septuagint, and Syriac, reads "weapons" (plural)
behold. Figure of speech Asterismos. App-6 .
six men. Evidently supernatural. Angels are often called "men".
men. Heb, plural of enosh. App-14 .
man. Hebrew. 'ish . App-14 .
weapon . A various reading called Sevir, with some codices, one early printed edition, and Syriac, reads weapons (plural)
a writer's inkhorn . See Eze 9:41 . Seen in use in the East to this day.
the glory, &c. See note on Ezekiel 1:28 .
the God of Israel . See note on Isaiah 29:23 .
God . Hebrew. Elohin, App-4 .
cherub . Singular, as in Ezekiel 1:20 .
He: or, It. the house: i.e. the Temple building.
the LORD. Hebrew. Jehovah. App-4 .
mark. Hebrew Occurs elsewhere only in Job 31:35 .
spare = shield.
ancient = elders.
I fell upon my face. See note on Ezekiel 1:28 .
Ah. Figure of speech Ecphonesis. App-6 .
Lord GOD . Hebrew. Adonai Jehovah . App-4 . See note on Ezekiel 2:4 .
iniquity . Hebrew `avnh, App-44 .
exceeding great. Figure of speech Epizeuxis. App-6 . Hebrew = "great, by degree, degree",
Hath forsaken . See Ezekiel 8:12 .
according as . Some codices, with three early printed editions, read "according to all which".
behold. Figure of speech Asterismos. App-8 .
firmament = expanse. Compare Ezekiel 1:22 .
between = amid.
the wheels = the whirling [wheels]. The word here and in verses: Ezekiel 10:6-13 is galgal. Not the same word as in verses: Ezekiel 10:6 , Ezekiel 10:9 , Ezekiel 10:10 , Ezekiel 10:12 , Ezekiel 10:19; Ezekiel 10:19 , and chs. Ezekiel 1:15 and Ezekiel 11:22 . In these it is orphan, from aphan, to turn round: as in Exodus 14:25 , &c. Galgal occurs in Psalms 77:18 (in the heaven); Eze 83:13 .Ecclesiastes 12:6 . Isaiah 5:28 ; Isaiah 17:13 .Jeremiah 47:3 ; and Ezekiel 23:24 ; Ezekiel 26:10 . Daniel 7:9 (Chaldean).
scatter = toss.
the glory , &c. See note on Ezekiel 1:28 .
the LORD. Hebrew. Jehovah. App-4 .
filled, he. As in 1 Kings 8:10 ,
sound : i.e. their movement, as though about to depart in flight. Compare Ezekiel 10:18 .
ALMIGHTY GOD . Hebrew. 'El Shaddai. App-4 .
the wheels = the wheel. Hebrew 'ophan. See note on Ezekiel 10:2
one: or, the.
beryl stone stone of Tarshish,
the head = one head (singular),
even the wheels, &c.: or, to the four of them belonged their wheels.
O wheel : or, Roll, roll; as implying urgency and celerity for the accomplishment of all that was sym bolized by the imagery of this chapter. Same word as in Ezekiel 10:2 . See note.
a cherub the cherub, identifying it with that of Ezekiel 10:7 .
cherubims, Hebrew. shervbim, plural; Eng. plural = cherubs. lifted up. To bear away the symbol of the Divine presence. living creature, Singular.
spirit . Hebrew. ruach. App-9 .
departed . This is what is signified by this chapter. in Ezekiel 43:1-7 , &c., it is seen to return when Israel shall again be restored. The latter will be as literal as the former.
off = over.
every one: or [the whole].
the God of Israel . See note on Isaiah 29:23 .
God. Hebrew. Elohim, App-4 .
the cherubims : i.e. which he had seen in Ezekiel 1:0 .
the east gate . Compare Ezekiel 43:1 .
the LORD'S. Hebrew. Jehovah. s. App-4 .
door = entrance.
five and twenty men . These are not the same as in Ezekiel 8:16 , but were princes of the People, a title never given to priests, who were called "princes of the sanctuary" (Isaiah 43:28 ). They were probably those referred to in Jeremiah 38:4 .
men. Hebrew Ish App-14 .
Jaazaniah . Not the same as in Ezekiel 8:11 .
Son of man. See note on Ezekiel 2:1 .
men . Plural of Hebrew. 'enosh . App-14 .
mischief = vanity. Hebrew. 'amen. App-44 .
wicked = evil. Hebrew ra'a'. App-44 .
prophesy . . . prophesy. Figure of speech Epizeuxis ( App-6 ), for emphasis.
mind = spirit. Hebrew. ruach . App-9 .
the Lord GOD . Hebrew. Adonai Jehovah . See note on Ezekiel 2:4 .
but I will bring you forth . A special various reading called Sevir ( App-34 ), with some codices and two early printed editions (one Rabbinic), read "when I take you".
Ye have feared , &c. Compare Jeremiah 42:16 .
I will bring a sword , &c. See note on Ezekiel 5:17 .
saith the LORD = [is] Adonai Jehovah's oracle.
strangers = foreigners.
ye shall know, &c. See note on Ezekiel 6:7 .
statutes . . . judgments . See note on Deuteronomy 4:1 . have
heathen = nations.
fell I down , Re. See note on Ezekiel 1:28 .
Ah. Figure of speech Epchonesis. App-6 .
the remnant of Israel . Compare Ezekiel 9:8 .
thy brethren . . . thy brethren. Figure of speech Epizeuxis. App-6 .
kindred = redemption.
will I be = will become.
as a little sanctuary = a sanctuary for a little while.
sanctuary = as a holy place, or asylum, as in Isaiah 8:14 .
people = peoples.
the land of Israel. Here, "the land", in Hebrew is 'admath (adamah) = the soil of Israel, This expression occurs seventeen times in Ezekiel (Ezekiel 11:17 ; Ezekiel 12:12 Eze 19:22 ; Ezekiel 13:9 ; Ezekiel 18:2 ; Ezekiel 20:38 , Ezekiel 20:42 ; Ezekiel 21:3 (Hebrew - Ezekiel 11:8 ); Ezekiel 25:3 , Ezekiel 25:6 ; Ezekiel 33:24 ; Ezekiel 36:6 ; Ezekiel 37:1 Ezekiel 37:2 ; Ezekiel 38:18 , Ezekiel 38:19 ; "unto the land" Ezekiel 7:2 ; Ezekiel 21:3 (Hebrew. Ezekiel 11:8 ). The three occurrences of the expres sion, with eretz instead of'admath, are thus safeguarded by the Massorah: viz. Ezekiel 27:17 ; Ezekiel 40:2 , Ezekiel 47:18 . (See Ginsburg's Massorah, vol. i, p. 107, 1100) and App-93 .
God. Hebrew. Elohim . App-4 .
the God of Israel. See note on Isaiah 29:23 .
the LORD. Hebrew. Jehovah. App-4 .
Son of man. See note on Ezekiel 2:1 .
rebellious = perverse. See note on Ezekiel 2:3 .
stuff = vessels, or baggage.
removing: i.e. for captivity.
cover thy face . The sign (Ezekiel 12:11 ) that Zedekiah would disguise himself.
the ground = the land: i.e. the land Zedekish was going forth from and would never see again. Hebrew. eth haerez.
a sign. Hebrew. 'oth. Compare Genesis 1:14 . Divine portents as to things that were to come.
as = according as,
captivity . See notes on Ezekiel 12:3 .
the Lord God . Hebrew Adonai Jehovah. See note on Ezekiel 2:4 ,
burden coneerneth the prince (i.e. Zedekiah). Note the Figure of speech Paronomasia ( App-6 ), for emphasis. Hebrew. hannasi hammassa. Eng. "this grief [concerneth] the chief
My net , &c.: i.e. the Chaldean army which overtook Zedekish.
not see it. The Figure of speech Amphibologia, or AEnigma ( App-6 ), as in Jeremiah 34:3 . The explanation is given in 2 Kings 25:7 , and Jeremiah 39:7 ; Jer 39:52 , Jeremiah 39:11 . Zedekish was taken to Babylon, but he never saw it, though he died there,
they shall know. See note on Ezekiel 6:10 .
I will leave , &c. Reference to Pentateuch (Deuteronomy 4:27 ).
men. Hebrew, plural of enosh. App-14 .
from . Some codices, with four early printed editions, Septuagint, Syriac, and Vulgate, read "and from", which em phasises the Figure of speech Polysyndeton ( App-6 ), to enhance the completeness of the enumeration.
heathen = nations.
of the inhabitants = to the inhabitants.
the land, &c. = concerning the land, &c. Hebrew admath. See note on Ezekiel 11:17 .
her . Some codices, with one early printed edition, read "their".
all . The 1611 edition of the Authorized Version omitted this "all".
the cities . . . shall be laid waste. Reference to Pentateuch (Leviticus 26:31 ). App-92 .
ye shall know, &c. See note on Ezekiel 6:7 .
what . . . ? Figure of speech Erotesis. App-6 .
proverb . See the Structure, "i", on p. 1119.
prolonged : i.e. protracted, or postponed.
are at hand. The fulfilment took place five years later.
effect = word: i.e. the [fulfilled] word, meaning, or purpose.
vain vision. Compare Lamentations 2:14 .
house. Some codices, with one early printed edition (Rabbinic in margin), Aramaean, Septuagint, Syriac, and Vulgate, read "sons".
prolonged : i.e. delayed, or deferred.
with the LORD = [isj Adonai Jehovah's oracle.
behold. Figure of speech Asterisnaos. App-6 ,