Ezekiel 24

Listen to Ezekiel 24
1 On January 15, during the ninth year of King Jehoiachin’s captivity, this message came to me from the LORD :
2 “Son of man, write down today’s date, because on this very day the king of Babylon is beginning his attack against Jerusalem.
3 Then give these rebels an illustration with this message from the Sovereign LORD : “Put a pot on the fire, and pour in some water.
4 Fill it with choice pieces of meat— the rump and the shoulder and all the most tender cuts.
5 Use only the best sheep from the flock, and heap fuel on the fire beneath the pot. Bring the pot to a boil, and cook the bones along with the meat.
6 “Now this is what the Sovereign LORD says: What sorrow awaits Jerusalem, the city of murderers! She is a cooking pot whose corruption can’t be cleaned out. Take the meat out in random order, for no piece is better than another.
7 For the blood of her murders is splashed on the rocks. It isn’t even spilled on the ground, where the dust could cover it!
8 So I will splash her blood on a rock for all to see, an expression of my anger and vengeance against her.
9 “This is what the Sovereign LORD says: What sorrow awaits Jerusalem, the city of murderers! I myself will pile up the fuel beneath her.
10 Yes, heap on the wood! Let the fire roar to make the pot boil. Cook the meat with many spices, and afterward burn the bones.
11 Now set the empty pot on the coals. Heat it red hot! Burn away the filth and corruption.
12 But it’s hopeless; the corruption can’t be cleaned out. So throw it into the fire.
13 Your impurity is your lewdness and the corruption of your idolatry. I tried to cleanse you, but you refused. So now you will remain in your filth until my fury against you has been satisfied.
14 “I, the LORD, have spoken! The time has come, and I won’t hold back. I will not change my mind, and I will have no pity on you. You will be judged on the basis of all your wicked actions, says the Sovereign LORD .”
15 Then this message came to me from the LORD :
16 “Son of man, with one blow I will take away your dearest treasure. Yet you must not show any sorrow at her death. Do not weep; let there be no tears.
17 Groan silently, but let there be no wailing at her grave. Do not uncover your head or take off your sandals. Do not perform the usual rituals of mourning or accept any food brought to you by consoling friends.”
18 So I proclaimed this to the people the next morning, and in the evening my wife died. The next morning I did everything I had been told to do.
19 Then the people asked, “What does all this mean? What are you trying to tell us?”
20 So I said to them, “A message came to me from the LORD,
21 and I was told to give this message to the people of Israel. This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I will defile my Temple, the source of your security and pride, the place your heart delights in. Your sons and daughters whom you left behind in Judah will be slaughtered by the sword.
22 Then you will do as Ezekiel has done. You will not mourn in public or console yourselves by eating the food brought by friends.
23 Your heads will remain covered, and your sandals will not be taken off. You will not mourn or weep, but you will waste away because of your sins. You will groan among yourselves for all the evil you have done.
24 Ezekiel is an example for you; you will do just as he has done. And when that time comes, you will know that I am the Sovereign LORD .”
25 Then the LORD said to me, “Son of man, on the day I take away their stronghold—their joy and glory, their heart’s desire, their dearest treasure—I will also take away their sons and daughters.
26 And on that day a survivor from Jerusalem will come to you in Babylon and tell you what has happened.
27 And when he arrives, your voice will suddenly return so you can talk to him, and you will be a symbol for these people. Then they will know that I am the LORD .”

Ezekiel 24 Commentary

Chapter 24

The fate of Jerusalem. (1-14) The extent of the sufferings of the Jews. (15-27)

Verses 1-14 The pot on the fire represented Jerusalem besieged by the Chaldeans: all orders and ranks were within the walls, prepared as a prey for the enemy. They ought to have put away their transgressions, as the scum, which rises by the heat of the fire, is taken from the top of the pot. But they grew worse, and their miseries increased. Jerusalem was to be levelled with the ground. The time appointed for the punishment of wicked men may seem to come slowly, but it will come surely. It is sad to think how many there are, on whom ordinances and providences are all lost.

Verses 15-27 Though mourning for the dead is a duty, yet it must be kept under by religion and right reason: we must not sorrow as men that have no hope. Believers must not copy the language and expressions of those who know not God. The people asked the meaning of the sign. God takes from them all that was dearest to them. And as Ezekiel wept not for his affliction, so neither should they weep for theirs. Blessed be God, we need not pine away under our afflictions; for should all comforts fail, and all sorrows be united, yet the broken heart and the mourner's prayer are always acceptable before God.

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Hebrew On the tenth day of the tenth month, of the ancient Hebrew lunar calendar. This event occurred on January 15, 588 ; also see note on 1:1 .

Chapter Summary

INTRODUCTION TO EZEKIEL 24

Is this chapter the destruction of the city and temple of Jerusalem is prophesied of; the former under the parable of a boiling pot; the latter is represented by the sudden death of Ezekiel's wife. The time of this prophecy was that very day the king of Babylon began the siege of Jerusalem, Eze 24:1,2, the parable of the boiling pot, Eze 24:3-5, the explanation and application of it to the city of Jerusalem, Eze 24:6-14, the prophet is told of the death of his wife, and bid not to mourn on that account, which accordingly came to pass, Eze 24:15-18, upon the people's inquiring what these things meant, he informs them that hereby was signified the profanation of the temple; and that their distress should be so great, that they should not use any set forms of mourning, but pine away and die, Eze 24:19-24, and the chapter is closed with assuring the prophet, that the day these things should come to pass, a messenger should be sent him, to whom he should open his mouth, and be no more dumb, Eze 24:25-27.

Ezekiel 24 Commentaries