And thou, son of man, be not afraid of them
Of any of them, the greatest among them, their princes and nobles; who, by their grandeur and authority, their stern looks, and big words, might awe and terrify him; wherefore it follows: neither be afraid of their words;
of their calumnies, revilings, and reproaches, their scoffs and jeers, their menaces and threatenings: though briers and thorns [be] with thee;
that is, men comparable to such; wicked men are like to briers and thorns, ( 2 Samuel 23:6 ) ( Isaiah 27:4 ) ; are grieving, pricking, and distressing to good men, and are of no worth and value; are useless and unprofitable, and fit fuel for everlasting burning. The Targum is,
``for they are rebellious, and hard against thee;''so Jarchi and Kimchi explain the first word, (Mybro) , translated "briers", as signifying rebellious and disobedient; though the former observes, that R. Donesh interprets it of a kind of thorns, of which there are twenty names, and this is one: and thou dost dwell among scorpions;
that is, as the Targum paraphrases it,
``thou dwellest in the midst of a people whose works are like to scorpions.''Some interpret it, as Kimchi observes, of sharp thorns, of a thorny plant that grows in the form of a scorpion F1; but scorpions here are a kind of serpents, subtle, venomous, and mischievous, which have stings in their tails; which, as Pliny says, they are continually thrusting out, and striking with, that they may lose no opportunity of doing hurt F2; and fitly describe wicked men their subtlety and mischievous nature, be not afraid of their words;
as before; with which they are like briers, thorns, and scorpions, being very grievous, defamatory, and mischievous: nor be dismayed at their looks:
their frowning furious, and angry countenances; forbidding with which, as well as with their words, the prophet from prophesying unto them: though,
or "for", they [be] a rebellious house; (See Gill on Ezekiel 2:5).
F1 Plin. Nat. Hist. l. 21. c. 15. and l. 22. c. 16.
F2 Plin. Nat. Hist. l. 11. c. 25.