Therefore speak unto them, and say unto them
That is, speak unto them as a prophet, and as from the Lord, and say what follows; so the Targum,
``prophesy unto them and say unto them;'' thus saith the Lord God, every man of the house of Israel, that setteth up his idols in his heart, and putteth the stumbling block of his iniquity before his face
let him be who he will, one in public office, an elder of Israel, or a private person; no respect will be had, no distinction made, nor favour shown; being an idolater in heart and practice, secretly and openly, he shall bear the punishment of his sin: and cometh to the prophet
the Prophet Ezekiel, as the elders of Israel now did, or any other prophet of the Lord: the Vulgate Latin version adds, "inquiring of me by him"; expecting to have an answer, and one according to their wishes: I the Lord will answer him that cometh
that cometh to the prophet; or, as the Targum,
``that cometh to ask instruction of me:''
here is a various reading, a "Keri" and a "Cetib"; we follow the Keri, or marginal reading, (ab
) , "that cometh"; and so does the Targum; but the "Cetib", or written text, is (hb
) , "in it", thus; "I the Lord will answer him in it" F20
; in the question he puts to the prophet, or to the Lord by him; or in that time, immediately; but not with smooth things, as he expects, but with terrible things in righteousness; not in a way of grace and mercy, but in a way of judgment; not as he desires, but as he deserves: according to the multitude of his idols
in proportion to the number of his gods, and his idolatrous actions, shall the answer or punishment be: or these words may be connected with the word cometh, and be read thus, "that cometh with the multitude of his idols" F21
; with his heart full of idols, set up there; which is an instance of his hypocrisy, seen and detected by the Lord; and of his impudence, in daring to come unto him in such a manner; and of his folly, to expect a gracious answer from the Lord, this being his case. The Targum understands it quite otherwise, as if the answer the Lord would give would be a kind and agreeable one, paraphrasing this clause thus,
``although he is mixed (implicated or entangled) in the multitude of the worship of his idols.''