Ezekiel 12:1-16

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."

Ezekiel 12:1-16 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO EZEKIEL 12

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 12:1-16 In-Context

1 The word of the LORD came to me:
2 "Son of man, you dwell in the midst of a rebellious house, who have eyes to see, but see not, who have ears to hear, but hear not, for they are a rebellious house.
3 As for you, son of man, prepare for yourself an exile's baggage, and go into exile by day in their sight. You shall go like an exile from your place to another place in their sight. Perhaps they will understand, though 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 at evening in their sight, as those do who must go into exile.
5 In their sight dig 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 a sign for the house of Israel."
7 And I did as I was commanded. I 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 "Son of man, has not the house of Israel, the rebellious house, said to you, 'What are you doing?'
10 Say to them, 'Thus says the Lord GOD: This oracle concernsthe prince in Jerusalem and all the house of Israel who are in it.'
11 Say, 'I am a sign for you: as I have done, so shall it be done to them. They shall go into exile, into captivity.'
12 And the prince who is among them shall lift his baggage upon his shoulder at dusk, and shall go out. They shall dig through the wall to bring him out through it. He shall cover his face, that he may not see the land with his eyes.
13 And I will spread my net over him, and he shall be taken in my snare. And I will bring him to Babylon, the land of the Chaldeans, yet he shall not see it, and he shall die there.
14 And I will scatter toward every wind all who are around him, his helpers and all his troops, and I will unsheathe the sword after them.
15 And they shall know that I am the LORD, when I disperse them among the nations and scatter them among the countries.
16 But 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, and may know that I am the LORD."
17 And the word of the LORD came to me:
18 "Son of man, eat 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: They shall eat their bread with anxiety, and drink water in dismay. In this way her land will be stripped of all it contains, on account of the violence of all those who dwell in it.
20 And the inhabited cities shall be laid waste, and the land shall become a desolation; and you shall know that I am the LORD."

Cross References 30

  • 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

Footnotes 3