The future sign of Ezekiel (Ezek 24:25-24:27)

“You!

Son of man!

On the day

When I take

From them

Their stronghold,

Their joy,

Their glory,

The delight of their eyes,

Their heart’s affection,

Someone will come

To you.

I will take their sons.

I will take their daughters.

On that day,

One who has escaped

Will come

To you

To report

To you

The news.

On that day,

Your mouth

Shall be opened

To the one

Who has escaped.

You shall speak.

You will no longer

Be silent.

So you shall be a sign

To them.

They shall know

That I am Yahweh.”

Yahweh spoke directly to Ezekiel, the son of man. On a future day, Yahweh was going to bring down Jerusalem. The Israelites would lose their stronghold, their joy, their glory, the delight of their eyes, and their heart’s affection. They would also lose their sons and daughters. Someone, who had escaped from Jerusalem, would come to Ezekiel on that day with the report of the news about the fall of Jerusalem. On that day, Ezekiel would open his mouth to speak. He would not be silent anymore. Thus the actions of Ezekiel would a sign, so that everyone would know that Yahweh was in charge.

The punishment for the city (Ezek 22:3-22:5)

“You shall say!

Thus says Yahweh God!

‘A city!

It sheds blood

Within itself!

Its time has come!

It is making idols.

It defiles itself.

You have become guilty

By the blood

That you have shed.

You have become defiled

By the idols

That you have made.

You have brought

Your day near.

The appointed time

Of your years

Has come.

Therefore,

I have made you

A disgrace

Before the nations.

I have made you

A mockery

To all the countries.

Those who are near,

Those who are far

From you,

Will mock you.

You infamous one!

You are

Full of tumult!’”

Yahweh told Ezekiel to speak to the city of Jerusalem because it was shedding blood within itself. Its time has come. It had been making idols and defiling itself. They have become guilty by the blood that they have shed. They have brought their day of punishment nearer. The appointed time of their years has come to an end. Yahweh was going to make them a disgrace and a mockery among the various nations and countries, whether they were near or far. Everyone would mock them as the infamous place full of tumult.

The wicked ancestors (Ezek 20:27-20:27)

“Therefore,

Son of man!

Speak to

The house of Israel!

Say to them!

‘Thus says Yahweh God!

In this again,

Your ancestors

Blasphemed me.

They dealt treacherously

With me.’”

Yahweh once again told Ezekiel to speak to the house of Israel. He wanted Ezekiel to tell them that their ancestors had blasphemed him. They had treated him treacherously. Their ancestors were not good people.

Yahweh speaks about idols (Ezek 14:4-14:5)

“Therefore speak to them!

Say to them!

‘Thus says Yahweh God!

Any of the house of Israel

Who take their idols

Into their hearts

Place their iniquity

As a stumbling block

Before them.

Yet they come

To the prophet.

I,

Yahweh,

Will answer those

Who come

With the multitude

Of their idols.

Thus I may take hold

Of the hearts

Of the house of Israel,

All of whom are estranged

From me

Through their idols.’”

Yahweh told Ezekiel to speak to these elders with their idols. He told him to say that Yahweh was not pleased that anyone from the house of Israel would seriously take their idols to their hearts. Taking these idols seriously showed their wickedness as a stumbling block. Despite that, they came to the prophet to speak to him. Yahweh, himself was going to answer these people who had multiple idols. He knew why the hearts of the people of the house of Israelite were estranged from him. These idols were the main reason why they had turned against him.

The visions will happen (Ezek 12:23-12:25)

“‘But say to them!

The days are near!

The fulfillment

Of every vision

Is near!

There shall no longer be

Any false vision

Or flattering divination

Within the house of Israel.

But I,

Yahweh,

Will speak

The word

That I speak!

It will be fulfilled.

It will no longer

Be delayed.

But in your days,

O rebellious house!

I will speak

The word.

I will

Fulfill it.’

Says Yahweh God.”

Yahweh told Ezekiel the days of fulfillment of every vision was near. There would be no more false visions or flattering remarks within the house of Israel. Yahweh was going to speak a word that was going to come to pass. Nothing would be delayed for this rebellious house. Yahweh would speak and it would happen. Yahweh was clear.

The three kinds of deadly punishment (Ezek 6:11-6:12)

“Thus says Yahweh God!

‘Clap your hands!

Stamp your foot!

Say!

Sadly!

Because of all

The vile abominations

Of the house of Israel!

They shall fall

By the sword,

By famine,

By pestilence.

Those far off

Shall die of pestilence.

Those nearby

Shall fall by the sword.

Anyone who is left

Or spared

Shall die of famine.

Thus I will spend

My fury

Upon them.’”

Yahweh told Ezekiel to clap his hands and stamp his foot. He was to speak about all the vile abominations of the house of Israel. They were going to suffer death three ways. They would either first fall by the sword. If not killed by the sword, they might die from famine or pestilence. Those far away would die from the pestilence. Those nearby would be killed by the sword. Otherwise, they would die of hunger from the famine. There was no mention of those living in captivity here. Yahweh was determined to show his fury among these Israelites.

Go to the hard headed house of Israel (Ezek 3:4-3:9)

“Yahweh said to me.

‘Son of man!

Go to the house of Israel!

Speak my very words to them!

You are not sent

To a people

Of obscure speech

With a difficult language,

But to the house of Israel.

You are not sent to people

Of obscure speech

With a difficult language,

Whose words

You cannot understand.

If I sent you to them,

They would listen to you.

But the house of Israel

Will not listen to you.

They are not willing

To listen to me.

Because all the house of Israel

Have a hard forehead.

They have a stubborn heart.

I have made your face hard

Against their faces.

I have made your forehead hard

Against their foreheads.

Like the hardest stone,

Harder than flint,

I have made your forehead.

Do not fear them!

Do not be dismayed

At their looks.

They are a rebellious house.’”

Yahweh told Ezekiel, the son of man, to go to the house of Israel. He was to speak Yahweh’s words to them. Yahweh was not sending him to people who had an obscure and difficult language, like the Babylonians, who would not understand what he was saying. However, they might listen to what he had to say. Instead he was being sent to the Israelites, whose language they both shared. These Israelites would not even listen to Yahweh, because they had a hard forehead and a stubborn heart. Yahweh was going to make Ezekiel’s face hard against their faces. He was going to make Ezekiel’s forehead hard against their foreheads. His face and forehead would be like the hardest stone, harder than flint. Therefore, Ezekiel should not fear them. He should not be dismayed at their looks, because they were a rebellious house.