Ezekiel 12

Listen to Ezekiel 12

Judah's Captivity Symbolized

1 The word of the LORD came to me:
2 1"Son of man, you dwell in the midst of 2a rebellious house, 3who have eyes to see, but see not, who have ears to hear, but hear not, for they are 4a rebellious house.
3 As for you, son of man, prepare for yourself 5an exile's baggage, and go into exile by day 6in their sight. You shall go like an exile from your place to another place 7in their sight. 8Perhaps they will understand, though[a] they are a rebellious house.
4 You shall bring out your baggage by day in their sight, as baggage for exile, and you shall go out yourself 9at evening in their sight, as those do who must go into exile.
5 In their sight 10dig through the wall, and bring your baggage out through it.
6 In their sight you shall lift the baggage upon your shoulder and carry it out at dusk. You shall cover your face that you may not see the land, for I have made you 11a sign for the house of Israel."
7 12And I did as I was commanded. 13I brought out my baggage by day, as baggage for exile, and in the evening I dug through the wall with my own hands. I brought out my baggage at dusk, carrying it on my shoulder in their sight.
8 In the morning the word of the LORD came to me:
9 14"Son of man, has not the house of Israel, 15the rebellious house, said to you, 16'What are you doing?'
10 Say to them, 'Thus says the Lord GOD: This oracle concerns[b]17the prince in Jerusalem and all the house of Israel who are in it.'[c]
11 Say, 18'I am a sign for you: 19as I have done, so shall it be done to them. They shall go into exile, into captivity.'
12 20And the prince who is among them shall lift his baggage upon his shoulder at dusk, and shall go out. 21They shall dig through the wall to bring him out through it. 22He shall cover his face, that he may not see the land with his eyes.
13 23And I will spread my net over him, and he shall be taken in my snare. And 24I will bring him to Babylon, the land of the Chaldeans, 25yet he shall not see it, and he shall die there.
14 26And I will scatter toward every wind all who are around him, his helpers and all his troops, 27and I will unsheathe the sword after them.
15 28And they shall know that I am the LORD, when I disperse them among the nations and scatter them among the countries.
16 29But I will let a few of them escape from the sword, from famine and pestilence, that they may declare all their abominations among the nations where they go, 30and may know that I am the LORD."
17 And the word of the LORD came to me:
18 31"Son of man, 32eat your bread with quaking, and drink water with trembling and with anxiety.
19 And say to the people of the land, Thus says the Lord GOD concerning the inhabitants of Jerusalem in the land of Israel: 33They shall eat their bread with anxiety, 34and drink water in dismay. In this way 35her land will be stripped of all it contains, 36on account of the violence of all those who dwell in it.
20 37And the inhabited cities shall be laid waste, and the land shall become a desolation; and you shall know that I am the LORD."
21 And the word of the LORD came to me:
22 "Son of man, 38what is this proverb that you[d] have about the land of Israel, saying, 39'The days grow long, and every vision comes to nothing'?
23 Tell them therefore, 'Thus says the Lord GOD: I will put an end to this proverb, and they shall no more use it as a proverb in Israel.' But say to them, 40The days are near, and the fulfillment[e] of every vision.
24 41For there shall be no more any 42false vision or flattering divination within the house of Israel.
25 For I am the LORD; I will speak 43the word that I will speak, and it will be performed. 44It will no longer be delayed, but in your days, 45O rebellious house, I will speak the word and perform it, declares the Lord GOD."
26 And the word of the LORD came to me:
27 "Son of man, behold, they of the house of Israel say, 46'The vision that he sees is 47for many days from now, and he prophesies of times far off.'
28 Therefore say to them, Thus says the Lord GOD: 48None of my words will be delayed any longer, 49but the word that I speak will be performed, declares the Lord GOD."

Ezekiel 12 Commentary

Chapter 12

The approaching captivity. (1-16) An emblem of the consternation of the Jews. (17-20) Answers to the objections of scoffers. (21-28)

Verses 1-16 By the preparation for removal, and his breaking through the wall of his house at evening, as one desirous to escape from the enemy, the prophet signified the conduct and fate of Zedekiah. When God has delivered us, we must glorify him and edify others, by acknowledging our sins. Those who by afflictions are brought to this, are made to know that God is the Lord, and may help to bring others to know him.

Verses 17-20 The prophet must eat and drink in care and fear, with trembling, that he might express the condition of those in Jerusalem during the siege. When ministers speak of the ruin coming upon sinners, they must speak as those that know the terrors of the Lord. Afflictions are happy ones, however grievous to flesh and blood, that improve us in the knowledge of God.

Verses 21-28 From that forbearance of God, which should have led them to repent, the Jews hardened themselves in sin. It will not serve for an excuse in speaking evil, to plead that it is a common saying. There is but a step between us and an awful eternity; therefore it concerns us to get ready for a future state. No one will be able to put from himself the evil day, unless by seeking peace with the Lord.

Cross References 49

  • 1. See Ezekiel 2:1
  • 2. See Ezekiel 2:3, 5
  • 3. Isaiah 42:18; Matthew 13:13
  • 4. See Ezekiel 2:3, 5
  • 5. ver. 4, 7
  • 6. Ezekiel 4:12; Ezekiel 21:6; Ezekiel 37:20; Ezekiel 43:11
  • 7. Ezekiel 4:12; Ezekiel 21:6; Ezekiel 37:20; Ezekiel 43:11
  • 8. See Jeremiah 36:3
  • 9. [2 Kings 25:4; Jeremiah 39:4; Jeremiah 52:7]
  • 10. [Ezekiel 8:8]
  • 11. See Ezekiel 4:3
  • 12. Ezekiel 24:18; Ezekiel 37:7
  • 13. [ver. 3]
  • 14. See Ezekiel 2:1
  • 15. See Ezekiel 2:3, 5
  • 16. [Ezekiel 17:12; Ezekiel 24:19; Ezekiel 37:18]
  • 17. [Ezekiel 21:25]; See 2 Chronicles 36:11-13
  • 18. [ver. 6]
  • 19. [Ezekiel 24:24]
  • 20. [2 Kings 25:4]
  • 21. [ver. 5]
  • 22. [ver. 6]
  • 23. Ezekiel 17:20; Ezekiel 19:8; Ezekiel 32:3; [Hosea 7:12]
  • 24. [2 Kings 25:7; Jeremiah 32:4, 5; Jeremiah 52:11]
  • 25. [2 Kings 25:7; Jeremiah 32:4, 5; Jeremiah 52:11]
  • 26. [2 Kings 25:5]; See Ezekiel 5:10
  • 27. See Ezekiel 5:2
  • 28. See Ezekiel 6:7
  • 29. Ezekiel 6:8, 9; Ezekiel 14:22
  • 30. See Ezekiel 6:7
  • 31. See Ezekiel 2:1
  • 32. [Ezekiel 4:10, 11]
  • 33. Ezekiel 4:16
  • 34. Ezekiel 4:16
  • 35. [Ezekiel 32:15; Zechariah 7:14]
  • 36. Ezekiel 7:11, 23
  • 37. Ezekiel 6:6
  • 38. [Ezekiel 16:44; Ezekiel 18:2, 3]
  • 39. [ver. 27; Ezekiel 11:3; 2 Peter 3:4]
  • 40. [Ezekiel 7:7, 12]
  • 41. Ezekiel 13:23
  • 42. Ezekiel 13:6, 7
  • 43. Isaiah 55:11
  • 44. Isaiah 13:22
  • 45. See Ezekiel 2:3, 5
  • 46. [ver. 22; Amos 6:3]
  • 47. Ezekiel 38:8; Daniel 8:26; Daniel 10:14; [2 Peter 3:4]
  • 48. [See ver. 25 above]
  • 49. [See ver. 25 above]

Footnotes 5

Chapter Summary


In this chapter, under the sign of the prophet's removing household goods, is represented the removal of the king of Judah and his people from their own land into captivity; and under another sign, of the prophet's eating and drinking with quaking, and trembling, and carefulness, is set forth, either the famine that should be during the siege of Jerusalem, or the desolations following the taking of it; and the chapter is concluded with a reproof of the Jews flattering themselves that these prophecies respected times a great way off, and therefore hoped they would never be accomplished. The preface to the first sign is in Eze 12:1,2; which describes the people of the Jews as rebellious, and given up to judicial blindness and hardness; and suggests the cause of all their calamities: the order to prepare goods for removing, to show to the people; for digging a wall; carrying the stuff out in their sight, on his shoulders, at twilight; and covering his face when he did it, is in Eze 12:3-6; the execution of this order, which is declared in part for the whole, is in Eze 12:7; then follows the explication of this sign, Eze 12:8-11; and the application of it, first to King Zedekiah, in whom should be fulfilled several of the particulars mentioned, Eze 12:12,13; and to the people about him, and his army that should be scattered and fall by the sword, Eze 12:14; the end of which should be, that the Lord should be known, his power, truth, and righteousness, by a few that should escape the famine, pestilence, and sword, Eze 12:15,16. The second sign, with the explication and application of it, is in Eze 12:17-20; and the chapter is closed with a reproof of the Jews; the proverbial expression they used, and which the Lord resented, is cited Eze 12:21,22; and the prophet is bid to assure them that it should cease, or there should be no room for it; and also every vain vision and flattering divination, Eze 12:23,24; and that the word of the Lord should not be prolonged, but should quickly and certainly be accomplished; and that their hopes of the contrary were in vain, Eze 12:25-28.

Ezekiel 12 Commentaries

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.