For everyone of the house of Israel
King and subjects, princes and people, high and low, rich and poor, of every rank, sex, and age: or of the stranger that sojourneth in Israel;
the proselytes; whether of righteousness, such as were circumcised, and embraced the Jewish religion; or of the gate, who were only inhabitants with them; one as another were obliged to worship the God of Israel, and abstain from idolatry; there was but one law to the Israelite and to the stranger, respecting this matter: which separateth himself from me;
from the worship of God, and so from communion with him; turns his back on him, and becomes an apostate from him, by joining himself with idols: and setteth up his idols in his heart, and putteth the stumbling block
of his iniquity before his face;
these things are repeated, partly to observe the heinousness of the sin they were guilty of; and partly to show the stupidity of this people, which required things to be said over and over, before they could take them in, and be convinced of their evil: and cometh to a prophet to inquire of him concerning me;
this explains what such persons would come to a prophet for, ( Ezekiel 14:4 ) ; and exposes their hypocrisy: I the Lord will answer him by myself;
not by the prophet to whom he comes, but by himself: or, "in my word", as the Targum; yet not by words, but by blows; not in mercy, but in wrath; and in such manner, that it shall appear to come from the Lord, and to be according to truth and justice.