The prophet is directed what he is to do. (1-5) And encouraged to be resolute, faithful, and devoted. (6-10)
Verses 1-5 Lest Ezekiel should be lifted up with the abundance of the revelations, he is put in mind that still he is a son of man, a weak, mortal creature. As Christ usually called himself the Son of man, it was also an honourable distinction. Ezekiel's posture showed reverence, but his standing up would be a posture of greater readiness and fitness for business. God will speak to us, when we stand ready to do what he commands us. As Ezekiel had not strength of his own, the Spirit entered into him. God is graciously pleased to work in us whatever he requires of us. The Holy Spirit sets us upon our feet, by inclining our wills to our duty. Thus, when the Lord calls upon the sinner to awake, and attend to the concerns of his soul, the Spirit of life and grace comes with the call. Ezekiel is sent with a message to the children of Israel. Many might treat his message with contempt, yet they should know by the event that a prophet had been sent to them. God will be glorified, and his word made honourable, whether it be a savour of life unto life, or of death unto death.
Verses 6-10 Those who will do any thing to purpose in the service of God, must not fear men. Wicked men are as briers and thorns; but they are nigh unto cursing, and their end is to be burned. The prophet must be faithful to the souls of those to whom he was sent. All who speak from God to others, must obey his voice. The discoveries of sin, and the warnings of wrath, should be matter of lamentation. And those acquainted with the word of God, will clearly perceive it is filled with woe to impenitent sinners; and that all the precious promises of the gospel are for the repenting, believing servants of the Lord.
Ezekiel 2:1-10 . EZEKIEL'S COMMISSION.
1. Son of man--often applied to Ezekiel; once only to Daniel ( Daniel 8:17 ), and not to any other prophet. The phrase was no doubt taken from Chaldean usage during the sojourn of Daniel and Ezekiel in Chaldea. But the spirit who sanctioned the words of the prophet implied by it the lowliness and frailty of the prophet as man "lower than the angels," though now admitted to the vision of angels and of God Himself, "lest he should be exalted through the abundance of the revelations" ( 2 Corinthians 12:7 ). He is appropriately so called as being type of the divine "Son of man" here revealed as "man" at once His lowliness and His exaltation, in His manifestations as the Representative man, at His first and second comings respectively ( Psalms 8:4-8 , Matthew 16:13 , 20:18 ; and on the other hand, Daniel 7:13 Daniel 7:14 , Matthew 26:64 , John 5:27 ).
2. spirit entered . . . when he spake--The divine word is ever accompanied by the Spirit ( Genesis 1:2 Genesis 1:3 ).
set . . . upon . . . feet--He had been "upon his face" ( Ezekiel 1:28 ). Humiliation on our part is followed by exaltation on God's part ( Ezekiel 3:23 Ezekiel 3:24 , Job 22:29 , 4:6 , 1 Peter 5:5 ). "On the feet" was the fitting attitude when he was called on to walk and work for God ( Ephesians 5:8 , 6:15 ).
that I heard--rather, "then I heard."
3. nation--rather, "nations"; the word usually applied to the heathen or Gentiles; here to the Jews, as being altogether heathenized with idolatries. So in Isaiah 1:10 , they are named "Sodom" and "Gomorrah." They were now become "Lo-ammi," not the people of God ( Hosea 1:9 ).
4. impudent--literally, "hard-faced" ( Ezekiel 3:7 Ezekiel 3:9 ).
children--resumptive of "they" ( Ezekiel 2:3 ); the "children" walk in their "fathers'" steps.
I . . . send thee--God opposes His command to all obstacles. Duties are ours; events are God's.
Thus saith the Lord God--God opposes His name to the obstinacy of the people.
5. forbear--namely, to hear.
yet shall know--Even if they will not hear, at least they will not have ignorance to plead as the cause of their perversity ( Ezekiel 33:33 ).
6. briers--not as the Margin and GESENIUS, "rebels," which would not correspond so well to "thorns." The Hebrew is from a root meaning "to sting" as nettles do. The wicked are often so called ( 2 Samuel 23:6 , Solomon 2:2 , Isaiah 9:18 ).
scorpions--a reptile about six inches long with a deadly sting at the end of the tail.
be not afraid--( Luke 12:4 , 1 Peter 3:14 ).
7. most rebellious--literally, "rebellion" itself: its very essence. Revelation 10:9 Revelation 10:10
). The idea is to possess himself fully of the message and digest it in the mind; not literal eating,
but such an appropriation
of its unsavory contents that they should become, as it were, part of himself, so as to impart them the more vividly to his hearers.
9. roll--the form in which ancient books were made.
10. within and without--on the face and the back. Usually the parchment was written only on its inside when rolled up; but so full was God's message of impending woes that it was written also on the back.