Son of man, put forth a riddle
A dark saying, but a smart one: "whet a whetting" F11, as in the Hebrew; something at first sight difficult to be understood, yet amusing and entertaining; and, when solved, very useful and instructive: and speak a parable unto the house of Israel;
or, "concerning the house of Israel" F12; as the Targum and Syriac version; something relating to them, and what would aptly describe and represent their case; for the prophet was bid to take such a method, not to hide things from them, but rather the more strongly to represent them to them; seeing hereby their attention would be excited, and things would be more fixed in their memories, and they would be put upon studying the meaning of them; and when explained to them, and understood, which was quickly done, they might be the more affected with them.
F11 (hdyx dwx) , Heb. "acue acumen", Piscator.
F12 (larvy tyb la) "de domo Israelis", Junius & Tremellius, Polanus.