About Jesus Steve Sweetman
Commentary On The Book Of Ezekiel
following commentary is based on the 1984 edition of the New International
Bible. Title chapters in this
commentary correspond with chapter titles in the NIV that make for easy
was born around 627 B.C. and began his ministry around the age of thirty.
He was a priest in Israel.
to the time which Ezekiel wrote the words the Lord gave him, Israel was divided into a northern kingdom and a southern kingdom.
For the most part, the
northern kingdom consisted of ten tribes of
name Ezekiel means "God's strength", something he surely needed
as a prophet to Israel.
1 through 3 of Ezekiel deals with God's call on his life.
Chapters 4 to 24 deals with the fall of
in Ezekiel's days were men who stood on the walls to a city in order to
watch for enemy attack. If a
watchmen saw the enemy come, he would sound the trumpet and the army would
prepare for war.
verse 2 God speaks to Ezekiel. God
wants him to explain the concept of a watchman to Israel. From verse 2 to verse 6 God
speaks in general terms to Ezekiel the message he is to pass on to
in verse 2 that it is God who will bring the sword against Israel. He uses another nation in
the process, but he is the one behind that nation.
Note also in verse 6 that the watchman who fails to sound the
trumpet will be judged by God and held accountable for his failure.
the next few verses God takes the general analogy of the watchman and
personalizes to Ezekiel. God
tells Ezekiel in verse 7 that he will be the watchman for Israel. In other words, he is Israel's prophet to speak the word of the Lord to them, and especially a word of
impending doom and destruction.
verse 8 God tells Ezekiel that if He speaks to him about a certain wicked
man, that he will die if he doesn't repent, and if Ezekiel doesn't pass
this warning on to the wicked man, then Ezekiel will be at fault.
Yet, as verse 9 states, if Ezekiel does warn the wicked man, and if
the wicked man does not repent and dies as a result, that's the wicked
thing to note here is that in context, the wicked man is Israel. Ezekiel was to warn
an aside, I believe that the ministry of prophet is just as valid today as
it was in Old Testament times, even though from time to time it is
misused. Some who claim to
hear prophetic words from the Lord, don't really hear from the Lord.
The words are just a product of their imagination.
We need men who have been called of God to warn, both Jew and
Christian, that if they don't repent, judgment will come.
10 and 11 really personalize the job of the watchman that Ezekiel has
become. He is to point out
the picture language in verse 10. The
text states a real truth when it comes to sin.
It "weighs" you down and it causes you "to waste
away". Sin might feel
exciting for some for a while, but it does do great harm to a life.
Sin eats away at the full life we should be experiencing, because
sin separates us from our Lord.
sin ends in death, the Lord says "turn" from your sin in verse
11. Once Israel, and you and I as well, turn from our sin to the Lord, we, as the text
says, "will live". We
will know what life is meant to be like.
12 to 16 are a little wordy and may take a couple of readings to
understand. There are two kind
of men spoken of in this section. There
is the righteous man and there is the wicked man.
is simply saying that the righteous man cannot depend on his righteousness
to cover his sin If the
righteous man sins, he must repent. All
the good things he has done can't compensate for his sin.
The only way to rid himself of the blot of sin is to repent.
Repentance is one of the major concepts of the Bible.
There is no way for salvation to come to a person without
repenting, that is,
acknowledging your wrong and turning from it.
That doesn't mean you will no longer be tempted with the sin.
It means you acknowledge the sin and you battle it out until you
succeed in victory.
another point to understand concerning the righteousness of the righteous
man. It cannot compensate for
your sin. That means, if you
sin, you cannot depend on something good you do to cover that sin.
The only thing you can do to rid the stain of sin before the Lord
is to repent of it and turn from it.
the wicked man, that which I just said about the righteous man works in
reverse. All the bad things a
wicked man does won't wipe out the opportunity for him to repent and find
salvation. If the wicked man
truly repents and turns from his sin, he can be saved.
It does not matter how many bad things he has done.
This is the message of not only the New Testament, but the whole
verse 17 God exposes the folly of
verses 18 and 19 God reminds Israel
of what He has just told them about the wicked and the righteous man.
The implication here is that God views Israel's ways as being unjust, and as verse 20 states, God will judge each man
the words "each man". At
this point God is speaking to individuals, not to the nation of Israel. God relates to mankind on
two levels. He relates to us
nationally and individually. In
this passage He is saying that He will hold individuals accountable for
their own actions. This too is
a Biblical principle. No one
can or will stand in the presence of God for you.
You stand before the Lord on your own.
You can't pass the blame of your actions to anyone else.
You are exposed before
the Lord and you will answer to Him.
the phrase "the hand of the Lord was upon me" in verses 21.
This is an expression to denote that the Lord has come to Ezekiel.
In other words, the presence of the Lord came to Ezekiel, or, the
Holy Spirit came on Ezekiel, or, any of a number of expressions the Bible
uses for the Lord coming to a person.
The term "hand of the Lord" suggests to me that the Lord,
at least in a spiritual sense, "tapped" Ezekiel on the shoulder
in order to get his attention.
we need to realize between verses 20 and 21 is that the final invasion of
23 and 24 show the confusion now of those who have been just overtaken by
verse 25 God tells Ezekiel how to respond to the logic of those Israelis
who are asking this question. God
basically says that how can they keep the land.
They are disobeying his command by worshipping other gods and
eating blood of animals. Israel
has been forewarned of this many times over.
This judgment was even predicted at the death of Moses, centuries
is willfully sinning and they are now experiencing the judgment of God.
26 lists a few more of Israel's sins. They rely on their
sword, meaning, they are humanistic in nature, just like present day Israel. They defile their neighbor's
wife. Sexual adultery is
ramped. They also "do
detestable things". This
simply lumps all their other sins together.
just is not walking with their God, and now they can't understand why they
are being defeated by their enemies. They
are so far removed from understanding God's ways, when they live in sin,
they think they are doing right. I
suggest that much of the modern day western church are doing the same.
I also suggest they will receive, or have already in some cases,
receive the same fate as
27 starts with "as surely as I live", which means, "what I
say will happen" because God always will live.
Thos who remain in the land
only will people be destroyed, but verses 28 and 29 say the land will
become desolate, and so it did. This
took place to a degree after
verse 30 to the end of this chapter God tells Ezekiel what kind of people
he is prophesying to. God
tells Ezekiel that Israelis come to hear him speak the word of the Lord,
but they don't really pay attention. God
says that they "don't put the words into practice:".
Again, I see the same thing happening in the western church today.
31 says that Israelis "express their devotion but their hearts are
greedy and unjust". Jesus
said something similar when He told Israel
that they speak the right things with their mouths, but their hearts were
far from godly. That made them
hypocrites. Again, I see
this in the western church at large today, and sad to say, even among
Evangelicals. People attend
church and express their devotion with their mouths, but leave the
gathering and do their own things so to speak. And, they are just like the
Israelis of old. They are so
far removed from the understanding of how things should be that they think
the way they live is how God wants them to live.
It's simple deception.
32 is really relevant for today. God
verse 33 God tells Ezekiel that sooner or later, when the things he is
predicting comes true,