Ezekiel 3

Listen to Ezekiel 3
1 And he said to me, 1"Son of man, eat whatever you find here. 2Eat this scroll, and go, speak to the house of Israel."
2 So I opened my mouth, and he gave me this scroll to eat.
3 And he said to me, "Son of man, feed your belly with this scroll that I give you and fill your stomach with it."3Then I ate it, and it was in my mouth 4as sweet as honey.
4 And he said to me, 5"Son of man, go to the house of Israel and speak with my words to them.
5 For you are not sent to a people of foreign speech and a hard language, but to the house of Israel--
6 not to many peoples of foreign speech and a hard language, whose words you cannot understand. 6Surely, if I sent you to such, they would listen to you.
7 7But the house of Israel will not be willing to listen to you, for they are not willing to listen to me: because all the house of Israel 8have a hard forehead and a stubborn heart.
8 9Behold, I have made your face as hard as their faces, and your forehead as hard as their foreheads.
9 Like 10emery harder than flint have I made your forehead. 11Fear them not, nor be dismayed at their looks, for they are a rebellious house."
10 Moreover, he said to me, "Son of man, 12all my words that I shall speak to you receive 13in your heart, and hear with your ears.
11 And go to the exiles, 14to your people, and speak to them and say to them, 15'Thus says the Lord GOD,'16whether they hear or refuse to hear."
12 17Then the Spirit[a] lifted me up, and I heard behind me the voice[b] of 18a great earthquake: "Blessed be the glory of the LORD from its place!"
13 It was the sound of the wings of 19the living creatures as they touched one another, and the sound of the wheels beside them, and the sound of 20a great earthquake.
14 21The Spirit lifted me up and took me away, and I went in bitterness in the heat of my spirit, the 22hand of the LORD being strong upon me.
15 23And I came to the exiles at Tel-abib, who were dwelling 24by the Chebar canal, and I sat where they were dwelling.[c] And 25I sat there 26overwhelmed among them 27seven days.

A Watchman for Israel

16 28And at the end of seven days, the word of the LORD came to me:
17 29"Son of man, 30I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel. Whenever you hear a word from my mouth, you shall 31give them warning from me.
18 32If I say to the wicked, 33'You shall surely die,'34and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, in order to save his life, that wicked person 35shall die for[d] his iniquity, 36but his blood I will require at your hand.
19 37But if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, or from his wicked way, he shall die for his iniquity, 38but you 39will have delivered your soul.
20 40Again, if a righteous person turns from his righteousness and commits injustice, 41and I lay a stumbling block before him, he shall die. 42Because you have not warned him, he shall die for his sin, 43and his righteous deeds that he has done shall not be remembered, 44but his blood I will require at your hand.
21 But if you warn the righteous person not to sin, and he does not sin, he shall surely live, because he took warning, and you will have delivered your soul."
22 45And the hand of the LORD was upon me there. And he said to me, "Arise, go out into 46the valley,[e] and 47there I will speak with you."
23 So I arose and went out into the valley, and behold, 48the glory of the LORD stood there, like the glory that I had seen 49by the Chebar canal, 50and I fell on my face.
24 51But the Spirit entered into me and set me on my feet, and he spoke with me and said to me, "Go, shut yourself within your house.
25 And you, O son of man, behold, 52cords will be placed upon you, and you shall be bound with them, so that you cannot go out among the people.
26 And I will make your tongue cling to the roof of your mouth, so that 53you shall be mute and unable to reprove them, 54for they are a rebellious house.
27 55But when I speak with you, I will open your mouth, and you shall say to them, 56'Thus says the Lord GOD.'57He who will hear, let him hear; and he who will refuse to hear, let him refuse, for they are a rebellious house.

Ezekiel 3 Commentary

Chapter 3

The preparation of the prophet for his work. (1-11) His office, as that of a watchman. (12-2) The restraining and restoring his speech. (22-27)

Verses 1-11 Ezekiel was to receive the truths of God as the food for his soul, and to feed upon them by faith, and he would be strengthened. Gracious souls can receive those truths of God with delight, which speak terror to the wicked. He must speak all that, and that only, which God spake to him. How can we better speak God's mind than with his words? If disappointed as to his people, he must not be offended. The Ninevites were wrought upon by Jonah's preaching, when Israel was unhumbled and unreformed. We must leave this unto the Divine sovereignty, and say, Lord, thy judgments are a great deep. They will not regard the word of the prophet, for they will not regard the rod of God. Christ promises to strengthen him. He must continue earnest in preaching, whatever the success might be.

Verses 12-21 This mission made the holy angels rejoice. All this was to convince Ezekiel, that the God who sent him had power to bear him out in his work. He was overwhelmed with grief for the sins and miseries of his people, and overpowered by the glory of the vision he had seen. And however retirement, meditation, and communion with God may be sweet, the servant of the Lord must prepare to serve his generation. The Lord told the prophet he had appointed him a watchman to the house of Israel. If we warn the wicked, we are not chargeable with their ruin. Though such passages refer to the national covenant made with Israel, they are equally to be applied to the final state of all men under every dispensation. We are not only to encourage and comfort those who appear to be righteous, but they are to be warned, for many have grown high-minded and secure, have fallen, and even died in their sins. Surely then the hearers of the gospel should desire warnings, and even reproofs.

Verses 22-27 Let us own ourselves for ever indebted to the mediation of Christ, for the blessed intercourse between God and man; and a true believer will say, I am never less alone than when thus alone. When the Lord opened Ezekiel's mouth, he was to deliver his message boldly, to place life and death, the blessing and the curse, before the people, and leave them to their choice.

Cross References 57

  • 1. [See Ezekiel 2:1 above]
  • 2. [Ezekiel 2:8]
  • 3. Jeremiah 15:16; Revelation 10:9, 10
  • 4. [Psalms 19:10; Psalms 119:103]
  • 5. See Ezekiel 2:1
  • 6. [Matthew 11:21, 23]
  • 7. [John 15:20]
  • 8. [Ezekiel 2:4]
  • 9. See Jeremiah 1:18
  • 10. [Isaiah 50:7]
  • 11. Ezekiel 2:6
  • 12. Jeremiah 26:2
  • 13. [ver. 3]
  • 14. Ezekiel 33:2, 12, 17, 30
  • 15. ver. 27
  • 16. Ezekiel 2:7
  • 17. Ezekiel 8:3; Ezekiel 11:1, 24; Ezekiel 43:5; [Ezekiel 37:1]
  • 18. [Ezekiel 1:24]
  • 19. Ezekiel 1:5, 15
  • 20. [Ezekiel 1:24]
  • 21. Ezekiel 8:3; Ezekiel 11:1, 24; Ezekiel 43:5; [Ezekiel 37:1]
  • 22. See Ezekiel 1:3
  • 23. See Ezekiel 1:1
  • 24. See Ezekiel 1:1
  • 25. Job 2:13; Psalms 137:1; Lamentations 2:10
  • 26. Ezekiel 4:17; Isaiah 52:14; Jeremiah 14:9
  • 27. [Genesis 50:10; 1 Samuel 31:13]
  • 28. [Jeremiah 42:7]
  • 29. See Ezekiel 2:1
  • 30. Ezekiel 33:7; Isaiah 52:8; Isaiah 56:10; Jeremiah 6:17; [Hebrews 13:17]
  • 31. 2 Chronicles 19:10; [2 Kings 6:10]; See ver. 18-21; Ezekiel 33:4-6
  • 32. Ezekiel 33:8
  • 33. Genesis 2:17
  • 34. [See ver. 17 above]
  • 35. Ezekiel 18:18; Jeremiah 31:30; [John 8:21, 24]
  • 36. ver. 20; Ezekiel 33:6, 8; Ezekiel 34:10; [Ezekiel 18:13; Acts 18:6; Acts 20:26]
  • 37. Ezekiel 33:9
  • 38. [1 Timothy 4:16]
  • 39. Ezekiel 14:14, 20
  • 40. See Ezekiel 18:24
  • 41. Jeremiah 6:21
  • 42. [See ver. 17 above]
  • 43. See Ezekiel 18:24
  • 44. [See ver. 18 above]
  • 45. See Ezekiel 1:3
  • 46. Ezekiel 8:4; Ezekiel 37:1; Genesis 11:2
  • 47. [Acts 9:6; Acts 22:10]
  • 48. See Ezekiel 1:28
  • 49. See Ezekiel 1:1
  • 50. See Ezekiel 1:28
  • 51. See Ezekiel 2:2
  • 52. Ezekiel 4:8
  • 53. [Isaiah 8:16]
  • 54. [Ezekiel 2:3]
  • 55. [Ezekiel 24:27; Ezekiel 29:21]
  • 56. ver. 11
  • 57. [Revelation 22:11]

Footnotes 5

Chapter Summary


This chapter contains a further account of the prophet's call and mission; of his preparation of him for is work; of, the persons to whom he was sent; of what happened to him upon this; of the nature of his office, and the work of it; and of what followed upon the renewal of his call. His further preparation for prophesying is in Eze 3:1-3; where he is bid to eat the roll showed him, which he did, and found it in his mouth as honey for sweetness; and then he receives fresh orders to go to the people of Israel, and prophesy to them, Eze 3:4; and, that he might not be discouraged, an account is given beforehand of the people to whom he was sent; of their language, behaviour, and disposition; by which he could not expect success, Eze 3:5-7; and, for his further encouragement, strength, boldness, resolution, firmness, and presence of mind, are promised him, Eze 3:8,9; also a revelation of mere things to him; all which he should hear, receive, and speak, whether the people would attend to them or not; which ought to be no discouragement to him, since it was not regarded by the Lord, Eze 3:10,11; then follows an account of his being lifted up by the Spirit from the earth, when he heard a voice, which is described by the manner and matter of it; and a noise, both of the living creature's wings, and of the wheels he had seen in a former vision, Eze 3:12,13; and next of his being carried away by the same Spirit; and of the condition he was in, in his own spirit, as he went; and of the strength he received from the Lord; and of the place to which he, was carried; and his state and circumstances, and time of continuance there, Eze 3:14,15; where, after a time mentioned, he has a fresh call to his office, under the character of a watchman, whose business was to hear Christ's words, and warn the house of Israel from him; and who are distinguished into wicked and righteous; and whom the prophet was to warn at his own peril, Eze 3:16-21; and the chapter is concluded with a narration of various events which befell the prophet; he is bid by the Lord to go into the plain, which he did, and there saw the glory of the Lord, as he had before seen it at the river Chebar; which so affected him, that he fell upon his face, Eze 3:22,23; the spirit entered into him, let him on his feet, and spake with him; ordered him what he should do himself, that he should shut himself up in his house, Eze 3:24; informed him what the people would do to him; bind him with bands, that he should not come forth, Eze 3:25; and what Christ would do to him; strike him dumb in judgment to the people, that he might not be a reprover of them, Eze 3:26; but he is told that, when the Lord spoke to him; his mouth should be opened, and he should declare what was said to him, Eze 3:27.

Ezekiel 3 Commentaries

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