Then I came to them of the captivity at Telabib
For it seems the captive Jews were disposed of at different places, and there were some at this place; for this was the name of a place, as Jarchi and Kimchi observe; as were Telmelah, and Telharsa, ( Ezra 2:59 ) ( Nehemiah 7:69 ) ; it signifies "a heap of new fruit", and so the Vulgate Latin version renders it: not that there were such at this time here; and the captives were beating out the ripe ears of corn, as "abib" signifies; whence the month Abib has its name, and which was the first month with the Jews; whereas it was in the fourth month when Ezekiel was here, and there could no ears of new corn, ( Ezekiel 1:1 ) ; according to Junius, this Telabib was a tract in Mesopotamia, reaching from Mount Masius to the river Euphrates, and lay between two rivers, Chebar and Saocoras; and he thinks the captive Jews were placed here, partly that they might be secured safe from getting away, or returning from their captivity; and partly that they might secure and defend the place from enemies, it being through inundations uninhabited, and so exposed unto them: that dwelt by the river of Chebar; (See Gill on Ezekiel 1:1); and I sat where they sat;
there is a double reading here; the "Cetib" or writing is (rvaw) , which Junius takes to be the name of a river the prophet calls Haesher, the same with Saocoras, connecting it with the preceding clause, "that dwelt by the river of Chebar and Haesher"; the "Keri" or marginal reading is (bvaw) , "and I sat" or "dwelt"; but both signify the same thing, Since (rva) is from (hrv) , which in Chaldee signifies to dwell F19; and the "Keri" is confirmed by the Targum, which we follow. The sense is, that he placed himself among the captives, and remained there astonished among them seven days:
at the change of place and company; at the sad condition his people were in; and, above all, at the dreadful things he had to deliver to them. The Targum renders it, "silent"; through grief and trouble. So many days Job's friends kept silence, when they came to visit him, and saw his distress, ( Job 2:13 ) . Or he might be waiting all this time for orders and instructions to prophesy; or to prepare the people to attend with more reverence and earnestness, to hear what he had to say when he should break silence. The Septuagint render it the reverse, "conversing in the midst of them".
F19 Vid. Hillerum de Arcano Kethib & Keri, l. 2. p. 329.