Go into exile with your baggage (Ezek 12:4-12:6)

“You shall bring out

Your baggage,

By day,

In their sight,

As baggage for exile.

You shall go out yourself

At evening,

In their sight,

As those do

Who go into exile.

Dig through the wall

In their sight.

Carry the baggage

Through it.

In their sight

You shall lift

The baggage

On your shoulder.

You shall carry it out

In the dark.

You shall cover

Your face.

Thus you may not see

The land.

I have made you

A sign

For the house of Israel.”

There is a great emphasis on the baggage during this symbolic exilic story, since it assumes that Ezekiel was still in Jerusalem. Everything was to be done in plain sight of everyone. Thus the baggage was prepared during the day so that everyone could see him getting ready to leave. However, Ezekiel was to leave in the evening, but in plain sight. He was to dig a hole in the wall, reminiscent of what King Zedekiah had done. He was to carry his baggage on his shoulder in the dark through the hole in the wall. He had to cover his face, so that he could not see the land he was leaving. Thus his action would become a sign for the house of Israel to see.

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Go into exile (Ezek 12:1-12:3)

“The word of Yahweh

Came to me.

‘Son of man!

You are living

In the midst

Of a rebellious house!

They have eyes to see,

But they do not see!

They have ears to hear,

But they do not hear!

They are

A rebellious house!

Therefore,

Son of man!

Prepare for yourself

An exile’s baggage!

Go into exile

By day

In their sight!

You shall go

Like an exile

From your place

To another place

In their sight.

Perhaps

They will understand,

Though they are

A rebellious house.’”

Here is another oracle of Yahweh to Ezekiel, the son of man, filled with symbolism about the exile. Yahweh told Ezekiel that he was living in the middle of a rebellious house. These people had eyes to see, but they did not see. They had ears to hear, but they did not hear. Thus Ezekiel was going to prepare himself to go into exile with the baggage of an exile. He was to leave in plain sight during the day. He was to go from one place to another, so that everyone could see it. Perhaps the people of this rebellious house might understand what was going on.