14:1 Then came certain of the elders of Israel to me, and a sat before me.
(a) He shows the hypocrisy of the idolaters, who will pretend to hear the prophets of God, though in their hearts they follow nothing less than their admonitions and also how by one means or another God discovers them. 14:3 Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their b heart, and put the stumblingblock of their iniquity before their face: should I be enquired of at all by them?
(b) They are not only idolaters in heart, but also worship their filthy idols openly which lead them in blindness, and cause them to stumble, so that he will not hear them when they call to him. See Isaiah 1:15 14:4 Therefore speak to them, and say to them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Every man of the house of Israel that setteth up his idols in his heart, and putteth the stumblingblock of his iniquity before his face, and cometh to the c prophet; I the LORD will answer him that cometh according to the multitude d of his idols;
(c) To inquire of things which the Lord has appointed to come to pass. 14:5 That e I may take the house of Israel in their own heart, because they are all estranged from me through their idols.
(d) As his abomination has deserved: that is, he will be led with lies according as he delighted in it, ( 2 Thessalonians 2:10 ).
(e) That is, convince them by their own conscience. 14:9 And if the prophet be f deceived when he hath spoken a thing, I the LORD have deceived that prophet, and I will stretch out my hand upon him, and will destroy him from the midst of my people Israel.
14:11 That the house of g Israel may no more go astray from me, neither be polluted any more with all their transgressions; but that they may be my people, and I may be their God, saith the Lord GOD.
(f) The prophet declares that God for mans ingratitude raises up false prophets to seduce them that delight in lies rather than in the truth of God, and thus he punishes sin with sin, ( 1 Kings 22:20 1 Kings 22:22 ) and destroys those prophets as well as the people.
(g) Thus Gods judgments against the wicked are admonitions to the godly to cleave to the Lord and not to defile themselves with the same abominations. 14:13 Son of man, when the land sinneth against me by trespassing grievously, then will I stretch out my hand upon it, h and will break the staff of its bread, and will send famine upon it, and will cut off man and beast from it:
14:14 Though these three men, i Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they should deliver their own souls only by their k righteousness, saith the Lord GOD.
(h) Read ( Ezekiel 4:16 Ezekiel 5:17 ; Isaiah 3:1 ).
14:22 Yet, behold, in it shall be left a l remnant that shall be brought forth, [both] sons and daughters: behold, they shall come forth to you, and ye shall see their way and their doings: and ye shall be comforted concerning the evil that I have brought upon Jerusalem, [even] concerning all that I have brought upon it.
(i) Though Noah and Job were now alive, which in their time were most godly men (for at this time Daniel was in captivity with Ezekiel) and so these three together would pray for this wicked people, yet I would not hear them, read ( Jeremiah 15:1 ).
(k) Meaning, that a very few (which he calls the remnant, ( Ezekiel 14:22 )) would escape these plagues, whom God has sanctified and made righteous, so that this righteousness is a sign that they are the Church of God, whom he would preserve for his own sake.