Ezekiel is reappointed as prophet. He begins prophesying again.
VERSE 1. The LORD’s word came to me, saying,
VERSE 2. “Son of man, speak to the children of your people, and tell them, ‘When I bring the sword on a land, and the people of the land take a man from among them, and set him for their watchman,
take a man from among them. This alludes to Ezekiel.
set him for their watchman. The LORD God designated Ezekiel as a prophet.
warns the people. Ezekiel warned the nation of their impending destruction.
VERSE 4. then whoever hears the sound of the shofar and doesn’t heed the warning, if the sword comes and takes him away, his blood will be on his own head.
doesn’t heed the warning. This alludes to the many people who ignored Ezekiel.
VERSE 5. He heard the sound of the shofar and didn’t take warning. His blood will be on him; whereas if he had heeded the warning, he would have delivered his soul.
if he had heeded the warning. This alludes to the people who heeded the message of Ezekiel.
VERSE 6. But if the watchman sees the sword come and doesn’t blow the shofar, and the people aren’t warned, and the sword comes and takes any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at the watchman’s hand.’
VERSE 7. “So you, son of man, I have set you a watchman to the house of Israel. Therefore hear the word from my mouth, and give them warnings from me.
NAB translation. You, son of man, I have appointed watchman for the house of Israel; when you hear me say anything, you shall warn them for me.
I have appointed watchman. The LORD God appointed Ezekiel as a prophet for a second time.
Ezekiel’s first commission was to prophecy judgment.
His second commission is to prophecy restoration.
VERSE 8. When I tell the wicked, ‘O wicked man, you will surely die,’ and you don’t speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man will die in his iniquity, but I will require his blood at your hand.
at your hand. To be a prophet is to take on a great responsibility.
Ezekiel must preach the full message of the LORD God. If not, the destruction of people is Ezekiel’s fault.
VERSE 9. Nevertheless, if you warn the wicked of his way to turn from it, and he doesn’t turn from his way; he will die in his iniquity, but you have delivered your soul.
1 Thessalonians 5:14. Brothers and sisters, we urge you to warn those who are lazy. Encourage those who are timid. Take tender care of those who are weak. Be patient with everyone. (NLT translation)
VERSE 10. “You, son of man, tell the house of Israel: ‘You say this, “Our transgressions and our sins are on us, and we pine away in them. How then can we live?” ’
VERSE 11. Tell them, ‘ “As I live,” says the Lord GOD, “I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn, turn from your evil ways! For why will you die, house of Israel?” ’
NAB translation. Answer them: As I live, says the Lord GOD, I swear I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked man, but rather in the wicked man’s conversion, that he may live. Turn, turn from your evil ways! Why should you die, O house of Israel?
I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked man. Many Christians do not get this. Instead, they think the LORD God delights in punishing and slaughtering people.
rather in the wicked man’s conversion. This is the LORD God’s real goal:
Isaiah 55:7. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts. Let him return to the LORD, and he will have mercy on him, to our God, for he will freely pardon.
Ezekiel 33:11. Tell them, ‘ “As I live,” says the Lord GOD, “I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn, turn from your evil ways! For why will you die, house of Israel?” ’
Sirach 21:1. My son, have you sinned? add no more thereto; And make supplication for your former sins.
John 8:11. She said, “No one, Lord.” Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you. Go your way. From now on, sin no more.”
VERSE 12. “You, son of man, tell the children of your people, ‘The righteousness of the righteous will not deliver him in the day of his disobedience. And as for the wickedness of the wicked, he will not fall by it in the day that he turns from his wickedness; neither will he who is righteous be able to live by it in the day that he sins.
VERSE 13. When I tell the righteous that he will surely live, if he trusts in his righteousness and commits iniquity, none of his righteous deeds will be remembered; but he will die in his iniquity that he has committed.
VERSE 14. Again, when I say to the wicked, “You will surely die,” if he turns from his sin and does that which is lawful and right,
VERSE 15. if the wicked restore the pledge, give again that which he had taken by robbery, walk in the statutes of life, committing no iniquity, he will surely live. He will not die.
he will surely live. A wicked person can change their destiny in life. They do that by sincerely repenting.
VERSE 16. None of his sins that he has committed will be remembered against him. He has done that which is lawful and right. He will surely live.
VERSE 17. “ ‘Yet the children of your people say, “The way of the Lord is not fair;” but as for them, their way is not fair.
The way of the Lord is not fair. Many people say this. It is a way of complaining about the LORD God.
their way is not fair. When people say the LORD God is not fair, the reality is that they are not fair.
VERSE 18. When the righteous turns from his righteousness and commits iniquity, he will even die therein.
VERSE 19. When the wicked turns from his wickedness and does that which is lawful and right, he will live by it.
turns from his wickedness. A wicked person can change their destiny in life. They do that by sincerely repenting.
VERSE 20. Yet you say, “The way of the Lord is not fair.” House of Israel, I will judge every one of you after his ways.’ ”
VERSE 21. In the twelfth year of our captivity, in the tenth month, in the fifth day of the month, one who had escaped out of Jerusalem came to me, saying, “The city has been defeated!”
twelfth year … tenth month … fifth day. This was January 9, 585 BC.
The city has been defeated! News of the fall of Jerusalem was delivered by one of the survivors.
This survivor had traveled several months and several hundred miles to tell this news to Ezekiel.
VERSE 22. Now the LORD’s hand had been on me in the evening, before he who had escaped came; and he had opened my mouth until he came to me in the morning; and my mouth was opened, and I was no longer mute.
I was no longer mute. For seven years, Ezekiel was silent for seven years, only speaking to utter God’s judgments:
Ezekiel 3:26. I will make your tongue stick to the roof of your mouth, that you will be mute, and will not be able to correct them; for they are a rebellious house.
VERSE 23. The LORD’s word came to me, saying,
VERSE 24. “Son of man, those who inhabit the waste places in Eretz-Israel speak, saying, ‘Abraham was one, and he inherited the land; but we are many. The land is given us for inheritance.’
those who inhabit the waste places. Ezekiel speaks to the people who had remained in the land of Israel.
They saw themselves as the remnant. But they were not.
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VERSE 25. Therefore tell them, ‘The Lord GOD says: “You eat with the blood, and lift up your eyes to your idols, and shed blood. So should you possess the land?
should you possess the land. These people are wicked. They are NOT the remnant.
VERSE 26. You stand on your sword, you work abomination, and every one of you defiles his neighbor’s wife. So should you possess the land?” ’
VERSE 27. “You shall tell them, ‘The Lord GOD says: “As I live, surely those who are in the waste places will fall by the sword. I will give whoever is in the open field to the animals to be devoured, and those who are in the strongholds and in the caves will die of the pestilence.
VERSE 28. I will make the land a desolation and an astonishment. The pride of her power will cease. The mountains of Israel will be desolate, so that no one will pass through.
VERSE 29. Then they will know that I am the LORD, when I have made the land a desolation and an astonishment because of all their abominations which they have committed.” ’
VERSE 30. “As for you, son of man, the children of your people talk about you by the walls and in the doors of the houses, and speak to one another, everyone to his brother, saying, ‘Please come and hear what the word is that comes out from the LORD.’
the children of your people. Now Ezekiel speaks to the exiles in Babylon.
VERSE 31. They come to you as the people come, and they sit before you as my people, and they hear your words, but don’t do them; for with their mouth they show much love, but their heart goes after their gain.
they hear your words. The exiles in Babylon liked to listen to Ezekiel.
but don’t do them. The exiles heard Ezekiel’s words, but did not act upon them.
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their heart goes after their gain. The exiles gave their lives to the pursuit of money.
VERSE 32. Behold, you are to them as a very lovely song of one who has a pleasant voice, and can play well on an instrument; for they hear your words, but they don’t do them.
VERSE 33. “When this comes to pass—behold, it comes—then they will know that a prophet has been among them.”
CHAPTERS: 01, 02, 03, 04, 05, 06, 07, 08, 09, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.