H M1 1-9. Signification. M2 10-20. Application. M3 21,22. Fulfillment.
M1 N 1,2. Sign. The watchman. O p 3-5. Warning. Positive. q 6. Warning. Negative. N 7. Sign Signification. [Ezekiel.] O q 8. Warning. Negative. p 9. Warning. Positive.
1 Again the word of the LORD came to me, saying,
2 "Son of man, speak to the sons of your people, and say to them, 'When I bring the sword upon a land, if the people of the land take one man of their borders (i.e. one man out from within the borders of their land), and set him for their watchman:
3 If when he sees the sword (= judgment, put for what executes the judgment) come upon the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn the people;
4 Then whosoever hears the sound of the trumpet, and takes not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head. (= himself, "head" put for the whole person.)
5 He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him. But he that takes warning shall deliver his soul.
6 But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any soul from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman's hand.'
7 So you, O son of man, I have set you a watchman to the house of Israel; therefore you shall hear the word at My mouth, and warn them from Me.
8 When I say to the lawless, O lawless man, you shall surely die; if you do not speak to warn the lawless from his way, that lawless man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at your hand.
9 Nevertheless, if you warn the lawless of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in (or, for) his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul.
M2 r1 10,11. The way of Yahaveh. s1 12-16. The righteous and the wicked. r2 17. The way of Yahaveh. s2 18,19. The righteous and the wicked. r3 20. The way of Yahaveh.
10 Therefore, O you son of man, speak to the house of Israel; 'Thus you speak, saying, 'If our transgressions and our sins be upon us, and we pine away in them, how should we then live?'
11 Say to them, 'As I live, says the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the lawless; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn you, turn you from your evil ways; for why will you die, O house of Israel?'
12 Therefore, you son of man, say to the sons of your people, 'The righteousness of the righteous shall not deliver him in the day of his transgression: as for the lawlessness of the lawless, he shall not fall thereby in the day that he turns from his lawlessness; neither shall the righteous be able to live therein in the day that he sins.
13 When I shall say to the righteous, that he shall surely live; if he confide to his own righteousness, and commit iniquity, all his righteous deeds shall not be remembered; but for his iniquity that he has committed, he shall die therein.
14 Again, when I say to the lawless, 'You shall surely die;' if he turn from his sin, and do judgment and righteousness;
15 If the lawless restore the pledge, give again (fig. hurrying on to the climax at end of verse) that he had robbed, walk in the statutes of life, without committing iniquity (see Ex. 22:26. Lev. 6;2,4,5. Deut. 24:6,10-13,17]); he shall surely live (Lev. 18:5), he shall not die.
16 None of his sins that he has committed shall be mentioned to him: he has done that which is lawful and right; he shall surely live.'
17 Yet the sons of your people say, 'The way of the Lord is not equal:' but as for them, their way is not equal.
18 When the righteous turn from his righteousness, and commits iniquity, he shall even die thereby.
19 But if the lawless turn from his lawlessness, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall live thereby.
20 Yet you say, 'The way of the Lord is not equal.' O you house of Israel, I will judge you every one after his ways."
477 B.C. 5th Tebeth [29th Dec.]
21 And it came to pass in the twelfth year of our captivity, in the tenth month, in the fifth day of the month (this is the date of the taking of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar. See 40:1. The event in the 25th year is said to be the 14th year from the 12th [i.e. from the 10th month of the 12th year to the 1st month of the 25th]. The prophecies of the preceding chapters were given to Ezekiel in the Land before this 12th year. This was the 11th year of Zedekiah, in the 4th month and 9th day [Jer. 39:1,2. 2 Kings 25:1-4]), that one that had escaped out of Jerusalem came to me (While still in the Land, probably in hiding), saying, "The city is smitten."
22 Now the hand of the LORD was upon me in the evening (doubtless, of the same day of his escape), before he that was escaped came (as foretold in 24:26); and had opened my mouth, until he came to me in the morning; and my mouth was opened (cp. 24:27; 29:21; i.e. in prophecy), and I was no more dumb. (I.e. from prophesying)
J P 23,24. The saying of the People. Q 25-28. Threatening. R 29. Purpose. "Then shall they know". P 30-32. The saying of the People. Q 33-. Threatening. R -33. Purpose. "Then shall they know".
23 Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying,
24 "Son of man, they that inhabit those ruins of the soil of Israel speak, saying, 'Abraham was one, and he inherited the land: but we are many; the land is given us for inheritance.'
25 Wherefore say to them, 'Thus saith the Lord GOD; 'You eat over the blood (i.e. over or near [as the heathen in their necromancy]. See Lev. 19:26, as here, and where it is connected with the idolatrous practices of the heathen), and lift up your eyes toward your manufactured gods, and shed blood: and shall you possess the land?
26 You take your stand upon your sword (the posture assumed by necromancers waiting for the rites), you [women] work abomination, and you defile every one his neighbor's wife: and shall you possess the land?' '
27 Say you thus to them, 'Thus says the Lord GOD; 'As I live, surely they that are in the wastes shall fall by the sword, and him that is in the open field will I give to the beasts to be devoured, and they that be in the forts and in the caves shall die of the pestilence.
28 For I will lay the land most desolate, and the pomp of her strength shall cease; and the mountains of Israel shall be desolate, that none shall pass through.
29 Then shall they know that I am the LORD, when I have laid the land most desolate because of all their abominations which they have committed.' '
30 Also, you son of man, the sons of your people still are talking about you by the walls and in the entrances of the houses, and speak one to another, every one with his brother, saying, 'Come, I pray you, and hear what is the word that comes forth from the LORD.'
31 And they come to you as the People come, and they sit before you as My people, and they hear your words, but they will not do them: for with their mouth they show much love (or, counterfeit lovers), but their heart goes after their covetousness.
32 And, lo, you are to them as a song for the pipes of one that has a pleasant voice, and can play well on an instrument: for they hear your words, but they do them not.
33 And when this comes to pass, (lo, it will come,)
then shall they know that a prophet has been among them."