The sailors tried to row their ship to land, but they were not successful, since the sea storm grew worse. Then, they cried out in a prayer to Yahweh. They did not want to perish because of one man. Neither did they want to become guilty by spilling innocent blood. They finally ended their prayer to Yahweh with “your will be done.” They seem to have accepted the God of Jonah, Yahweh, as their last resort. Thus, the reluctant Jonah has converted his fellow shipmates to worship Yahweh, the God of Israel.
Yahweh said the Israelites would no longer call out the name Baal. Actually, this term meant master or lord, a term that was used later in addressing Yahweh, the God of Israel, especially with the Greek κγριος. Yahweh was going to be the husband of Israel. Baal would be removed from the mouths of these Israelites. No longer would his name be mentioned.
That evening, Daniel went to bed. In a vision that night, the mystery of King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream was revealed to Daniel. He then blessed the God of heaven, not the God of Israel, who is a more universal God.
Yahweh brought Ezekiel back to the closed outer eastern gate. He told Ezekiel that this gate was to remain closed and never opened, because Yahweh, the God of Israel, had come through that gate. Thus, no one else was going to be allowed to use this eastern gate. The only exception was that of a prince, who, being a prince, could sit and eat food in the vestibule of that gate. However, he was not to enter or leave through that gate, because that was Yahweh’s special gate.
In a perverse sort of way, Yahweh was going to give King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon the land of Egypt as a compensation for not getting much from the capture of Tyre. Thus, the king of Babylon would get the wealth of Egypt. He was going to wreck and plunder Egypt to get the wages for his army. Egypt was the payment to the king of Babylon for doing the work of Yahweh, the God of Israel.
Ezekiel concludes this little section on the false prophetesses with Yahweh condemning them. Strangely enough, it is not a death sentence. He merely chastised them for disheartening the righteous ones falsely. These prophetesses had not encouraged the wicked to turn away from their wicked ways. They made no attempt to save the lives of the wicked ones. Their punishment was rather simple. They would no longer have any visions or be allowed to practice divination. By the way, who would stop them? Yahweh would save his people from them. Once again, they would know that he was Yahweh, the God of Israel.
Now a new character enters the scene. This man dressed in white linen with a writing case at his side was among the 6 executioners from the north. They were all standing at the bronze altar when the glory of the God of Israel left the cherubim where it was resting and went to the threshold of the house. Then Yahweh called to the man, who was clothed in linen, with the writing case at his side. Yahweh told him to go into Jerusalem. He was to find all the people who were sighing and groaning about all the abominations in town. He was to put a taw mark on their forehead, like a mini cross, since taw was the last consonant of the Hebrew alphabet. Thus he acted like the angel of death in the Passover story. He marked those who cared about the situation there, who might be spared.
Ezekiel continued in the first person singular as he explained his vision. The description of the human figure and the fire is like that of chapter 1 of this book. There was a fire below his loins, with bright amber above his loins. Once again this Holy Spirit stretched out his hand. He lifted Ezekiel up by the hair on his head and brought him to Jerusalem in a vision. Ezekiel was at the entrance to the gateway of the inner court that faced north. He was put on the seat of jealousy. There the glory of the God of Israel appeared just as he had appeared in chapter 1 in the valley by the River Chebar.
Once again, we have the shift from a third person description about Jerusalem to a first person singular Jerusalem itself praying directly to Yahweh, the God of Israel. All the people were groaning due to the lack of bread or nourishment. They were trading their treasures for food, which makes sense. They wanted to revive their strength. This verse ends with the first person singular plea to Yahweh. Jerusalem laments how worthless she has become. This verse starts with the Hebrew consonant letter Kaph. Each verse after this will use the next letter of the Hebrew alphabet in this acrostic poem.
Yahweh, the God of Israel, was going to punish the king of Babylon and his country just as he had punished the king of Assyria and his country. The Assyrians had captured Israel in 724 BCE, while the Babylonians had captured Judah in 587 BCE. The Assyrian Empire fell apart in 599 BCE just as the Babylonian Empire was increasing, while the Babylonian Empire fell apart in 539 BCE.