Divine judgments against the wicked at Jerusalem. (1-13) Divine favour towards those in captivity. (14-21) The Divine presence forsakes the city. (22-25)
Verses 1-13 Where Satan cannot persuade men to look upon the judgment to come as uncertain, he gains his point by persuading them to look upon it as at a distance. These wretched rulers dare to say, We are as safe in this city as flesh in a boiling pot; the walls of the city shall be to us as walls of brass, we shall receive no more damage from the besiegers than the caldron does from the fire. When sinners flatter themselves to their own ruin, it is time to tell them they shall have no peace if they go on. None shall remain in possession of the city but those who are buried in it. Those are least safe who are most secure. God is often pleased to single out some sinners for warning to others. Whether Pelatiah died at that time in Jerusalem, or when the fulfilment of the prophecy drew near, is uncertain. Like Ezekiel, we ought to be much affected with the sudden death of others, and we should still plead with the Lord to have mercy on those who remain.
Verses 14-21 The pious captives in Babylon were insulted by the Jews who continued in Jerusalem; but God made gracious promises to them. It is promised, that God will give them one heart; a heart firmly fixed for God, and not wavering. All who are made holy have a new spirit, a new temper and dispositions; they act from new principles, walk by new rules, and aim at new ends. A new name, or a new face, will not serve without a new spirit. If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature. The carnal heart, like a stone, cannot be made to feel. Men live among the dead and dying, and are neither concerned nor humbled. He will make their hearts tender and fit to receive impressions: this is God's work, it is his gift by promise; and a wonderful and happy change is wrought by it, from death to life. Their practices shall be agreeable to those principles. These two must and will go together. When the sinner feels his need of these blessings, let him present the promises as prayers in the name of Christ, they will be performed.
Verses 22-25 Here is the departure of God's presence from the city and temple. It was from the Mount of Olives that the vision went up, typifying the ascension of Christ to heaven from that very mountain. Though the Lord will not forsake his people, yet he may be driven away from any part of his visible church by their sins, and woe will be upon them when He withdraws his presence, glory, and protection.
This chapter contains an account of the sins of the princes of Judah; a prophecy of their destruction; some comfortable, promises respecting those of the captivity; and the chapter is closed with the finishing of the vision of the Lord's removing from Jerusalem; and the whole being ended, the prophet related it to the men of the captivity. In Eze 11:1; the prophet, is shown five and twenty men, among whom were two he knew, and are mentioned by name, and were princes of the people; and he is told that these men devised mischief, and gave bad advice to the people, Eze 11:2,3; wherefore he is bid to prophesy against them, Eze 11:4; which he accordingly did, the Spirit of the Lord falling upon him, Eze 11:5; declaring that their secret evils were known, as well as their public ones; and that, seeing they had multiplied their slain, and had feared the sword, the sword should come upon them; some should fall by it, and others should be carried captive; the consequence of which would be, that God would be known, and his justice acknowledged, it being what their sins deserved, Eze 11:6-12; upon this prophecy being delivered out, one of the princes before named died immediately; which filled the prophet with great concern, and put him upon expostulating with God, Eze 11:13; wherefore, for his comfort, he is told, that though the inhabitants of Jerusalem had insulted their brethren that were carried captive, and looked upon the land of Israel as their own possession, that God would be a little sanctuary to them; that he would gather them out of all lands, and give them the land of Israel; that they should come thither, and remove all idolatry from it, and should have regenerating and renewing grace given them, to walk in the statutes and ordinances of the Lord, by which they should appear to be his people, and he to be their God, Eze 11:14-20; but as for such that continued in their abominable idolatries, these should receive a just recompence of reward, Eze 11:21; after which follows an account of the entire removal of the glory of the Lord from the city of Jerusalem, Eze 11:22,23; and the prophet being, in vision, brought again to Chaldea, reports the whole he had seen to them of the captivity, Eze 11:24,25.