Ezekiel 12

1 God's Message came to me:
2 "Son of man, you're living with a bunch of rebellious people. They have eyes but don't see a thing, they have ears but don't hear a thing. They're rebels all.
3 So, son of man, pack up your exile duffel bags. Leave in broad daylight with everyone watching and go off, as if into exile. Maybe then they'll understand what's going on, rebels though they are.
4 You'll take up your baggage while they watch, a bundle of the bare necessities of someone going into exile, and toward evening leave, just like a person going off into exile.
5 As they watch, dig through the wall of the house and carry your bundle through it.
6 In full sight of the people, put the bundle on your shoulder and walk out into the night. Cover your face so you won't have to look at what you'll never see again. I'm using you as a sign for the family of Israel."
7 I did exactly as he commanded me. I got my stuff together and brought it out in the street where everyone could see me, bundled it up the way someone being taken off into exile would, and then, as the sun went down, made a hole in the wall of the house with my hands. As it grew dark and as they watched, I left, throwing my bundle across my shoulders.
8 The next morning God spoke to me:
9 "Son of man, when anyone in Israel, that bunch of rebels, asks you, 'What are you doing?'
10 Tell them, 'God, the Master, says that this Message especially concerns the prince in Jerusalem - Zedekiah - but includes all the people of Israel.'
11 "Also tell them, 'I am drawing a picture for you. As I am now doing, it will be done to all the people of Israel. They will go into exile as captives.'
12 "The prince will put his bundle on his shoulders in the dark and leave. He'll dig through the wall of the house, covering his face so he won't have to look at the land he'll never see again.
13 But I'll make sure he gets caught and is taken to Babylon. Blinded, he'll never see that land in which he'll die.
14 I'll scatter to the four winds those who helped him escape, along with his troops, and many will die in battle.
15 They'll realize that I am God when I scatter them among foreign countries.
16 "I'll permit a few of them to escape the killing, starvation, and deadly sickness so that they can confess among the foreign countries all the disgusting obscenities they've been involved in. They will realize that I am God."
17 God's Message came to me:
18 "Son of man, eat your meals shaking in your boots, drink your water trembling with fear.
19 Tell the people of this land, everyone living in Jerusalem and Israel, God's Message: 'You'll eat your meals shaking in your boots and drink your water in terror because your land is going to be stripped bare as punishment for the brutality rampant in it.
20 All the cities and villages will be emptied out and the fields destroyed. Then you'll realize that I am God.'"
21 God's Message came to me:
22 "Son of man, what's this proverb making the rounds in the land of Israel that says, 'Everything goes on the same as ever; all the prophetic warnings are false alarms'?
23 "Tell them, 'God, the Master, says, This proverb's going to have a short life!'
24 False alarms and easygoing preaching are a thing of the past in the life of Israel.
25 I, God, am doing the speaking. What I say happens. None of what I say is on hold. What I say, I'll do - and soon, you rebels!' Decree of God the Master."
26 God's Message came to me:
27 "Son of man, do you hear what Israel is saying: that the alarm the prophet raises is for a long time off, that he's preaching about the far-off future?
28 Well, tell them, 'God, the Master, says, "Nothing of what I say is on hold. What I say happens."' Decree of God, the Master."

Ezekiel 12 Commentary

Chapter 12

The approaching captivity. (1-16) An emblem of the consternation of the Jews. (17-20) Answers to the objections of scoffers. (21-28)

Verses 1-16 By the preparation for removal, and his breaking through the wall of his house at evening, as one desirous to escape from the enemy, the prophet signified the conduct and fate of Zedekiah. When God has delivered us, we must glorify him and edify others, by acknowledging our sins. Those who by afflictions are brought to this, are made to know that God is the Lord, and may help to bring others to know him.

Verses 17-20 The prophet must eat and drink in care and fear, with trembling, that he might express the condition of those in Jerusalem during the siege. When ministers speak of the ruin coming upon sinners, they must speak as those that know the terrors of the Lord. Afflictions are happy ones, however grievous to flesh and blood, that improve us in the knowledge of God.

Verses 21-28 From that forbearance of God, which should have led them to repent, the Jews hardened themselves in sin. It will not serve for an excuse in speaking evil, to plead that it is a common saying. There is but a step between us and an awful eternity; therefore it concerns us to get ready for a future state. No one will be able to put from himself the evil day, unless by seeking peace with the Lord.

Chapter Summary

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 Commentaries