33:2 Son of man, speak to the children of thy people, and say to them, When I bring the sword upon a land, if the people of the land take a man of their territory, and set him for their a watchman:
(a) He shows that the people ought to continually have governors and teachers who may have a care over them, and to warn them ever of the dangers which are at hand. 33:6 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 watchmans 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. 33:7 So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman to the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my c mouth, and warn them from me.
(c) Which teaches that he that receives not his charge at the Lords mouth is a spy and not a true watchman. 33:8 When I say to the wicked, O wicked [man], thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked [man] shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I d require at thy hand.
(d) The watchman must answer for the blood of all that perish through his negligence. 33:10 Therefore, O thou son of man, speak to the house of Israel; Thus ye speak, saying, If our transgressions and our sins [are] upon us, and we pine away in them, e how should we then live?
(e) Thus the wicked when they hear Gods judgments for their sins, despair of his mercies and murmur. 33:11 Say to them, [As] I live, saith the Lord GOD, f I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked should turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?
(f) See Ezekiel 18:23 33:12 Therefore, thou son of man, say to the children of thy people, The g righteousness of the righteous shall not deliver him in the day of his transgression: as for the wickedness of the wicked, he shall not fall by it in the day that he turneth from his wickedness; neither shall the righteous be able to live for his [righteousness] in the day that he sinneth.
33:14 Again, when I say to the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; if he shall turn from his sin, and do that which is lawful and h right;
(g) Read of this righteousness, ( Ezekiel 18:21 Ezekiel 18:24 ).
(h) By this he condemns them all of hypocrisy, who pretend to forsake wickedness and yet do not declare themselves such by their fruits, that is, in obeying Gods commandments and by godly life. 33:21 And it came to pass in the twelfth year of our i captivity, in the tenth [month], in the fifth [day] of the month, [that] one that had escaped out of Jerusalem came to me, saying, The city is smitten.
(i) When the prophet was led away captive with Jeconiah. 33:22 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.
33:24 Son of man, they that inhabit those wastes of the land of Israel speak, saying, m Abraham was one, and he inherited the land: but we [are] many; the land is given to us for inheritance.
(k) I was endued with the Spirit of prophecy, ( Ezekiel 3:22 ).
(l) By which is signified that the ministers of God cannot give them courage and open their mouths, ( Ezekiel 24:27 Ezekiel 29:21 ; Ephesians 6:19 ).
(m) Thus the wicked think themselves more worthy to enjoy Gods promises than the saints of God, to whom they were made: and would bind God to be subject to them, though they would not be bound to him. 33:25 Wherefore say to them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Ye eat with the n blood, and lift up your eyes toward your idols, and shed blood: and shall ye possess the land?
33:26 Ye stand upon your o sword, ye work abomination, and ye defile every one his neighbours wife: and shall ye possess the land?
(n) Contrary to the law, ( Leviticus 17:14 ).
(o) As they that are ready still to shed blood. 33:30 Also, thou son of man, the children of thy people still are p talking against thee by the walls and in the doors of the houses, and speak one to another, every one to his brother, saying, Come, I pray you, and hear what is the word that cometh forth from the LORD.
(p) In derision. 33:31 And they come to thee as the people come, and they sit before thee [as] my people, and they hear thy words, but they will not do them: for with their mouth they q show much love, [but] their heart goeth after their covetousness.
(q) This declares that we ought to hear Gods word with such zeal and affection that we should in all points obey it, else we abuse the word to our own condemnation and make of its ministers as though they were jesters to serve mens foolish fantasies.