And it came to pass in the sixth year, in the sixth
the fifth [day] of the month
This was the sixth year of the captivity of Jehoiachin; the sixth month was the month Elul, which answers to part of August, and part of September. The Septuagint and Arabic versions wrongly render it, the fifth month. The fifth day of the month is thought to have been the sabbath day, which seems probable by what follows; this was just a year and two months from the first vision, ( Ezekiel 1:1 Ezekiel 1:2 ) ; [as] I sat in mine house;
in Chaldea, by the river Chebar; he was now sitting, the time of lying on his side, both right and left, being now up, even four hundred and thirty days. It was in the fifth year, and on the fifth of Tammuz, that the first vision was; seven days the prophet sat with them of the captivity at Telabib; at the end of which he was ordered to lie on his side; first on his left side three hundred ninety days, and then on his right side forty days: now reckoning from the middle of Tammuz, to the fifth of Elul in the sixth year, were but, as Kimchi observes, four hundred days; but this being, as another Jewish writer says F18, an intercalated year, by the intercalation of a month, which consisted of thirty days, the whole number was completed, and the prophet was now sitting: or it may be this position is observed, because he was now teaching and instructing the people, which was frequently done sitting; (See Gill on Matthew 5:1); and this in his own private house, being now in captivity, and having neither temple nor synagogue to teach in; and the elders of Judah sat before me;
to hear the word of the Lord from his mouth, the law explained, or any fresh prophecy delivered by him; or to have his advice and counsel in their present circumstances. These were the elders of Judah that were carried captive along with Jehoiachin; though some think they were those that were at Jerusalem, and that all this was only in a visionary way; but the former sense seems most agreeable; seeing this was previous to the vision, and with what goes before describes the time, place, and witnesses of the vision; that the hand of the Lord fell there upon me;
which the Targum interprets of the spirit of prophecy, which came with power upon him: it denotes the energy and efficacy of the Spirit of God in throwing him into an ecstasy, and acting upon him, and revealing to him the things he did; which are related in the following verses.