Ezekiel 33:21-33

Jerusalem Struck Down

21 In the 1twelfth year 2of our exile, in the tenth month, on the fifth day of the month, 3a fugitive from Jerusalem came to me and said, 4"The city has been struck down."
22 5Now 6the hand of the LORD had been upon me the evening before the fugitive came; and he had opened my mouth by the time the man came to me in the morning, so my mouth was opened, and I was no longer mute.
23 The word of the LORD came to me:
24 7"Son of man, the inhabitants of these 8waste places in the land of Israel keep saying, 9'Abraham was only one man, yet he got possession of the land; but 10we are many; the land is surely given us to possess.'
25 Therefore say to them, Thus says the Lord GOD: 11You eat flesh with the blood and 12lift up your eyes to your idols and 13shed blood; shall you then possess the land?
26 14You rely on the sword, 15you commit abominations, and 16each of you defiles his neighbor's wife; shall you then possess the land?
27 Say this to them, Thus says the Lord GOD: 17As I live, surely those who are in 18the waste places shall fall by 19the sword, and whoever is in the open field I will give to 20the beasts to be devoured, and those who are in 21strongholds and in caves shall die by 22pestilence.
28 23And I will make the land a desolation and a waste, and 24her proud might shall come to an end, and 25the mountains of Israel shall be so desolate that none will pass through.
29 26Then they will know that I am the LORD, when I have made the land a desolation and a waste because of all their abominations that they have committed.
30 "As for you, 27son of man, 28your people who talk together about you by the walls and at the doors of the houses, say to one another, each to his brother, 'Come, and hear what the word is that comes from the LORD.'
31 29And they come to you as people come, and they sit before you as my people, and they hear what you say but they will not do it; for 30with lustful talk in their mouths they act; their heart is set on their gain.
32 And behold, you are to them like one who sings lustful songs with a beautiful voice and 31plays[a] well on an instrument, for 32they hear what you say, but they will not do it.
33 33When this comes--and come it will!--34then they will know that a prophet has been among them."

Ezekiel 33:21-33 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO EZEKIEL 33

This chapter treats of the prophet's duty, and the people's sins; contains a vindication of the justice of God; a threatening of destruction to those who remained in the land after the taking of the city; and a detection of the hypocrisy of the prophet's hearers. The duty of a watchman in general is declared, Eze 33:1-6, an application of this to the prophet, Eze 33:7: the sum of whose business is to warn the wicked man of his wickedness; and the consequence of doing, or not doing it, is expressed, Eze 33:8,9, an objection of the people, and the prophet's answer to it, Eze 33:10,11, who is bid to acquaint them, that a righteous man trusting to his righteousness, and sinning, should not live; and that a sinner repenting of his sins should not die, Eze 33:12-16, the people's charge of inequality in the ways of God is retorted upon them, and removed from the Lord, and proved against them, Eze 33:17-20, then follows a prophecy, delivered out after the news was brought of the taking of the city, threatening with ruin those that remained in the land, confident of safety, and that for their sins, which are particularly enumerated, Eze 33:21-29, and the chapter is closed with a discovery of the hypocrisy of those that attended the prophet's ministry, Eze 33:30-33.

Ezekiel 33:21-33 In-Context

19 And when the wicked turns from his wickedness and does what is just and right, he shall live by this.
20 Yet you say, 'The way of the Lord is not just.' O house of Israel, I will judge each of you according to his ways."
21 In the twelfth year of our exile, in the tenth month, on the fifth day of the month, a fugitive from Jerusalem came to me and said, "The city has been struck down."
22 Now the hand of the LORD had been upon me the evening before the fugitive came; and he had opened my mouth by the time the man came to me in the morning, so my mouth was opened, and I was no longer mute.
23 The word of the LORD came to me:
24 "Son of man, the inhabitants of these waste places in the land of Israel keep saying, 'Abraham was only one man, yet he got possession of the land; but we are many; the land is surely given us to possess.'
25 Therefore say to them, Thus says the Lord GOD: You eat flesh with the blood and lift up your eyes to your idols and shed blood; shall you then possess the land?
26 You rely on the sword, you commit abominations, and each of you defiles his neighbor's wife; shall you then possess the land?
27 Say this to them, Thus says the Lord GOD: As I live, surely those who are in the waste places shall fall by the sword, and whoever is in the open field I will give to the beasts to be devoured, and those who are in strongholds and in caves shall die by pestilence.
28 And I will make the land a desolation and a waste, and her proud might shall come to an end, and the mountains of Israel shall be so desolate that none will pass through.
29 Then they will know that I am the LORD, when I have made the land a desolation and a waste because of all their abominations that they have committed.
30 "As for you, son of man, your people who talk together about you by the walls and at the doors of the houses, say to one another, each to his brother, 'Come, and hear what the word is that comes from the LORD.'
31 And they come to you as people come, and they sit before you as my people, and they hear what you say but they will not do it; for with lustful talk in their mouths they act; their heart is set on their gain.
32 And behold, you are to them like one who sings lustful songs with a beautiful voice and plays well on an instrument, for they hear what you say, but they will not do it.
33 When this comes--and come it will!--then they will know that a prophet has been among them."

Cross References 34

  • 1. See Ezekiel 20:1
  • 2. Ezekiel 40:1; See Ezekiel 1:2
  • 3. Ezekiel 24:26
  • 4. Ezekiel 40:1; [Ezekiel 26:2]; See 2 Kings 25:2-11
  • 5. Ezekiel 24:26, 27
  • 6. See Ezekiel 1:3
  • 7. See Ezekiel 2:1
  • 8. [Ezekiel 36:4]
  • 9. Isaiah 51:2; [Acts 7:5]
  • 10. [Matthew 3:9; Luke 3:8]
  • 11. [Genesis 9:4; Leviticus 3:17]
  • 12. Ezekiel 18:6
  • 13. See Ezekiel 22:3
  • 14. [Genesis 27:40]
  • 15. Ezekiel 22:11
  • 16. Ezekiel 22:11
  • 17. See Ezekiel 16:48
  • 18. [Ezekiel 36:4]
  • 19. [Ezekiel 14:21]
  • 20. [Ezekiel 14:21]
  • 21. [1 Samuel 23:29]
  • 22. [Ezekiel 14:21]
  • 23. [Ezekiel 35:3, 9; Jer. 44:2, 6, 22]
  • 24. [Ezekiel 7:24; Ezekiel 30:6]
  • 25. See Ezekiel 6:2
  • 26. See Ezekiel 6:7
  • 27. [See ver. 24 above]
  • 28. See ver. 2
  • 29. See Ezekiel 8:1
  • 30. Psalms 78:36, 37; Isaiah 29:13; Jeremiah 12:2; 1 John 3:18
  • 31. [1 Samuel 16:17]
  • 32. [Matthew 7:26; Luke 6:49]
  • 33. [ver. 29]
  • 34. Ezekiel 2:5

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Hebrew like the singing of lustful songs with a beautiful voice and one who plays