The Word of the Lord to Ezekiel

Chapter 3

Ezekiel eats the scroll, 1-3. God encourages him, 4-14. God shows him the rule of prophecy, 15-21. God shuts and opens the prophet's mouth, 22-27.

1 Moreover, he said to me, "Son of man, eat what you find. Eat this scroll, and go, speak to the house of Israel." 2 So I opened my mouth, and he caused me to eat that scroll. 3 And he said to me, "Son of man, cause your belly to eat, and fill your bowels with this scroll that I give you." Then I ate it. And it was in my mouth as honey for sweetness.

4 And he said to me, "Son of man, depart, go to the house of Israel and speak with my words to them. 5 For you are not sent to a people of a strange speech and of a hard language, but to the house of Israel, 6 Nor to many people of a strange speech and of a hard language, whose words you cannot understand. Surely, if I sent you to them, they would listen to you. 7 But the house of Israel will not listen to you, because they will not listen to me, for all the house of Israel are impudent and hard-hearted. 8 Behold, I have made your face strong against their faces and your forehead strong against their foreheads. 9 As an adamant harder than flint I have made your forehead. Do not fear them, neither be dismayed at their looks, though they are a rebellious house." 10 Moreover, he said to me, "Son of man, all my words that I shall speak to you receive in your heart and hear with your ears. 11 And depart, go to those who are in captivity, to the children of your people, and speak to them, and tell them, 'Thus says the Lord GOD,' whether they will hear or whether they will forbear."

12 Then the Spirit took me up, and I heard behind me a voice of a great rushing, saying, "Blessed be the glory of the LORD from his place." 13 I also heard the noise of the wings of the living creatures that touched one another, and the noise of the wheels over against them, and the noise of a great rushing. 14 So the Spirit lifted me up and took me away, and I went in bitterness, in the heat of my spirit, but the hand of the LORD was strong upon me. 15 Then I came to those who were in captivity at Tel-abib, who dwelt by the river of Kebar, and I sat where they sat and remained there astonished among them seven days.

16 And it came to pass at the end of seven days, that the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 17 "Son of man, I have made you a watchman to the house of Israel; therefore, hear the word from my mouth and give them warning from me. 18 When I say to the wicked, 'You shall surely die,' and you do not give him warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life, the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand. 19 Yet if you warn the wicked and he does not turn from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity, but you have delivered your soul. 20 Again, when a righteous man turns from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and I lay a stumbling-block before him, he shall die. Because you have not given him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he has done shall not be remembered, but his blood I will require at your hand. 21 Nevertheless, if you warn the righteous man, that the righteous are not to sin, and he does not sin, he shall surely live, because he is warned. You have also delivered your soul."

22 And the hand of the LORD was there upon me, and he said to me, "Arise, go forth into the plain, and I will there talk with you." 23 Then I arose and went forth into the plain, and behold, the glory of the LORD stood there, as the glory which I saw by the river of Kebar. And I fell on my face. 24 Then the Spirit entered into me, set me upon my feet, and spoke with me, and said to me, "Go, shut yourself within your house. 25 But you, O son of man, behold, they shall put ropes upon you and shall bind you with them, and you shall not go out among them. 26 And I will make your tongue cleave to the roof of your mouth, so that you shall be mute and shall not be to them a reprover, for they are a rebellious house. 27 But when I speak with you, I will open your mouth, and you shall say to them, 'Thus says the Lord GOD.' He who hears, let him hear, and he who forbears, let him forbear, for they are a rebellious house."


Matthew Henry Commentary - Ezekiel, Chapter 3[➚]


John Gill's Chapter Summary:

This chapter contains a further account of the prophet's call and mission, of his preparation of him for his work, of the persons to whom he was sent, of what happened to him upon this, of the nature of his office and the work of it, and of what followed upon the renewal of his call. His further preparation for prophesying (Ezekiel 3:1-3); where he is bid to eat the roll showed him, which he did and found it in his mouth as honey for sweetness, and then he receives fresh orders to go to the people of Israel and prophesy to them (Ezekiel 3:4); and so that he might not be discouraged, an account is given beforehand of the people to whom he was sent, of their language, behavior, and disposition, by which he could not expect success (Ezekiel 3:5-7); and, for his further encouragement, strength, boldness, resolution, firmness, and presence of mind are promised him (Ezekiel 3:8-9); also a revelation of mere things to him, all which he should hear, receive, and speak, whether the people would attend to them or not, which ought to be no discouragement to him, since it was not regarded by the Lord (Ezekiel 3:10-11); then follows an account of his being lifted up by the Spirit from the earth when he heard a voice, which is described by the manner and matter of it, and a noise, both of the living creature's wings and of the wheels he had seen in a former vision (Ezekiel 3:12-13); and next of his being carried away by the same Spirit, and of the condition he was in, in his own spirit, as he went, and of the strength he received from the Lord, and of the place to which he was carried, and his state and circumstances, and time of continuance there (Ezekiel 3:14-15); where, after a time mentioned, he has a fresh call to his office, under the character of a watchman, whose business was to hear Christ's words and warn the house of Israel from him, and who are distinguished into wicked and righteous, and whom the prophet was to warn at his own peril (Ezekiel 3:16-21); and the chapter is concluded with a narration of various events which befell the prophet, he is bid by the Lord to go into the plain, which he did and there saw the glory of the Lord as he had before seen it at the river Kebar, which so affected him, that he fell upon his face (Ezekiel 3:22-23); the Spirit entered into him, set him on his feet, and spake with him, ordered him what he should do himself, that he should shut himself up in his house (Ezekiel 3:24); informed him what the people would do to him, bind him with bands, that he should not come forth (Ezekiel 3:25); and what Christ would do to him, strike him mute in judgment to the people so that he might not be a reprover of them (Ezekiel 3:26); but he is told that, when the Lord spoke to him, his mouth should be opened and he should declare what was said to him (Ezekiel 3:27).