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.

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Do not be afraid of the rebellious people (Ezek 2:4-2:7)

“‘These descendants are

Impudent,

As well as stubborn.

I am sending you

To them.

You shall say

To them.

‘Thus says Yahweh God.’

They are a rebellious house.

Whether they hear

Or refuse to hear,

They will know

That there has been

A prophet among them.

You!

Son of man!

Do not be afraid

Of them!

Do not be afraid

Of their words!

Even though briers

Or thorns surround you,

Do not be afraid!

Even though

You live among scorpions,

Do not be afraid

Of their words!

Do not be dismayed

At their looks!

They are a rebellious house!

You shall speak

My words to them,

Whether they hear

Or refuse to hear.

They are a rebellious house!’”

These Israelite descendants were impudent and stubborn. Yahweh was sending Ezekiel to them to speak in his name. They were a rebellious house. Whether they heard or refused to hear, they would know that there had been a prophet among them. Ezekiel, the son of man, a mere mortal, was not to be afraid of them or their words. Even though briers or thorns surrounded him, he should not be afraid. Even though he lived among scorpions, he was not to be afraid of their words. He was not to be dismayed at their looks either. Yahweh repeated again that they were a rebellious house, whether they heard him or not was up to them.