Ezekiel 3 Commentary

A faithful watchman (3:16-27)

As a watchman warns people in the city of a coming attack, so Ezekiel was to warn the exiles, so that they might turn away from sin and be saved from further calamity (16-17). If Ezekiel gave a warning and people ignored it, those people would bear the responsibility for their own death. But if Ezekiel failed to give the warning, Ezekiel would be held responsible for their death, and would himself suffer the death penalty (18-21).

Before Ezekiel began his ministry, God had one further instruction for him (22-23). Ezekiel was shown that he must speak God’s message only when God directed him. To emphasize this, God required Ezekiel not to speak or leave his house until God allowed him. In a dramatic demonstration of this restriction, God may have caused Ezekiel to suffer some sort of illness. Alternatively, Ezekiel may have voluntarily acted dumb and allowed someone to bind him with ropes. When God’s time came for Ezekiel to be released, he was to go and announce God’s message to the rebellious people (24-27).

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