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Chapter 3

I. Ezekiel’s Commission (his authorization and empowerment to preach to the rebellious house of Israel) (3:1-9): A. “And he said unto me, Son of man, eat that which thou findest; eat this roll, and go, speak unto the house of Israel. So I opened my mouth, and he caused me to eat the roll. And he said unto me, Son of man, cause thy belly to eat, and fill thy bowels with this roll that I give thee. Then did I eat it; and it was in my mouth as honey for sweetness” (3:1-3). 1. The concept of “Eating the words” may sound a bit strange. Jeremiah said, “Thy words were found and I did eat them.” But it is interesting that the Lord Himself in Matthew 4:4, when He was confronted by Satan in the temptations, quoted from Deuteronomy 8:3, “Man does not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord doth man live.” There are many levels of this concept of “eating His Word”: one is to fully digest what the Lord has said; another is to examine our daily diet—what are we putting in? The Word of God should become part of us. For a good diet we should study the Word of God. 2. In Revelation 10:9ff the apostle John is told to eat a book as well. The book would be sweet to the taste yet bitter to digest. Clearly John was receiving divine revelation of the things that were to come for both just and unjust. The ideas that are presented in the truth regarding the rewards of the faithful are truly sweet and cause the heart to rejoice (cf. Jer. 15:16). These same words, however, reveal a doomed eternity for the unjust. Such revelation, regarding the unjust, would leave a bitter inner feeling (cf. Rev. 10:9ff). 3. God’s word is sweet to all who believe by faith in its reality (cf. Ps. 19:10; 119:103). Not only are the words of God sweet but they are eternally healthy to the soul (II Tim. 3:12). 4. Finally, having tasted, the prophet gets another surprise: the words of sadness and mourning are not bitter, as one would expect, but sweet as honey. Ezekiel has taken a first step in obedience to the Lord. Although the scroll is inscribed with lamentations, dirges, and woes (2:10), Ezekiel states that it tasted as sweet as honey. B. “And he said unto me, Son of man, go, get thee unto the house of Israel, and speak with my words unto them. For thou art not sent to a people of a strange speech and of a hard language, but to the house of Israel; not to many peoples of a strange speech and of a hard language, whose words thou canst not understand. Surely, if I sent thee to them, they would hearken unto thee. But the house of Israel will not hearken unto thee; for they will not hearken unto me: for all the house of Israel are of hard forehead and of a stiff heart” (3:4-7). 1. The Lord explains to Ezekiel that even though He has already said that it is likely that many will not listen to what he has to say; nevertheless, the prophet has a duty to perform (cf. Ezek. 2:5-7). 2. Following Ezekiel's obedient response, the emphasis shifts from prophet to people, though both remain in view. This commission is repeated several times in various ways (Ezekiel 2:4,7; Ezekiel 3:1,4,11,17,22,27). 3. God promised to equip Ezekiel emotionally and intellectually to deal with the anticipated rejection. God had made the prophet’s face and forehead just as hard as theirs. He would be able to “butt heads” with his antagonists. He was to be as stubborn for truth as they were stubborn in evil deeds.

Ezekiel. 5:31]). Rebellion had made its way into the royal household. they would have listened to him. As the people strongly opposed Jehovah. 3. He knows our audience may be stubborn and refuse to respond. Had Ezekiel gone to another nation.. b) A “stiff heart” is equivalent to the “stiff-hearted” of 2:4 (they are the same Hebrew word). “I have made you just as hardheaded as they are. Though the people of God would give him the death look and ignore him (because they loved their sinful ways [cf.” Double . 1. the temple.” The nation’s hardheartedness extended to the whole house of Israel. the Lord proclaims that He will strengthen Ezekiel’s resolve to offset their intense resolve to reject God’s laws. Jeremiah. 5. because they would not hear me. for Habakkuk. though they are a rebellious house” (3:8-9). God does not demand large numbers of converts as our result. it has something to say to us personally. This turning away was not a casual or indecisive act but a strong movement away from the Lord. the nation as a whole had turned from Him. Its meaning must be associated with the idea of a stiff heart. Again then. a) A “hard forehead” (Heb.. Though individuals here and there were still responding to the Lord. and Daniel were all ministering faithfully. If I'd send you to these heathen. again the Lord commands Ezekiel not to fear them.” refers to a foreign language. God was referring to all parts of Israel rather than every Israelite. which means “strongly seized by God” (see 1:3) or “God strengthens. they would have listened to you. This does not imply that every Israelite had rejected God.” God is preparing him to endure the abuse that he would suffer from his own people. 2. This book is more than just Biblical background. however.” This phrase is found here alone in the OT. so Ezekiel would just as strongly oppose their sinful ways. Ezekiel is not to think of Israel as a foreign nation that cannot understand the things he is saying due to a language barrier and thereby they do not listen to him. He calls for faithful devotion to the task He has given. I have made thy face hard against their faces. God wants Ezekiel to understand that His people have the ability to understand his words. and thy forehead hard against their foreheads. Ezekiel was commissioned to speak to his people in their own language. As an adamant harder than flint have I made thy forehead: fear them not. Equipped with this promise. There may have been an intentional pun on Ezekiel’s name. neither be dismayed at their looks. “Behold. the people of God are depicted as having turned away from the Lord through disrespect and transgression against His law. due to their “hard forehead and stiff heart” they will not listen.” literally “deep lip and heavy tongue. Amazingly those who knew nothing of the true God of the universe would have been more responsive than those who claimed His name. God seeks faithful witnesses to share His Word. 7. and they still had a small following. 6. But I'm sending you to the house of Israel. Jer. We are to be just as stubborn in our commitment to witness. the courts of justice. “Unfamiliar speech. and into every city and town in the land.4. C. God tells him up front that “They will not hear you. metsach qasheh) = which is literally translated “hard forehead.

So Ezekiel was told to take into his heart “all my words which I shall speak to you. 6. whether they will hear. saying. He was to go to the Jewish exiles and relay God's messages whether they paid attention or not. warned of the consequences of preaching to a rebellious people. The preparation of the heart for God’s message should precede the reception of it with the ears (compare Pr 16:1. “You are going to speak with my voice. Job 32:18–20.). and I heard behind me the voice of a great rushing. v.7).” “Thus saith the Lord” exposed him to the death penalty if he was wrong. or whether they will forbear” occurs three times in these commission chapters for the sake of emphasis and to express God's knowledge of their reception of His message (Ezekiel 3:11. 1. unto the children of thy people. Ezra 7:10). A good teacher must first be a good learner. And I heard the noise of the wings of the living creatures as they touched one another. God’s message must sink deep into your heart and show in your actions before you can effectively help others understand and apply the gospel. The expression “whether they will hear. get thee to them of the captivity. 2. 3. and the noise of the wheels . 1. 9. 10. and encouraged to speak a “thus saith Jehovah. then in the heart. Embedded in this charge.” II. 5. and I am going to make your head harder than theirs. God was telling Ezekiel. Ezekiel’s audience is “those of the captivity. first receiving with the ears. Ezekiel has a duty and that is to preach God’s word no matter if one is willing to hear or not. God's word must become a part of the messenger before he or she can go and speak to others about it (cf. The prophet was adequately equipped by God for his calling. “Then the Spirit lifted me up. Ps 10:17). “The children of Israel are hardheaded.meanings in biblical names are common. Ezekiel is Brought Back to his Home and there he Contemplates the Vision of God’s Glory (3:10-15): A. “Moreover he said unto me. Ezekiel 2:5.” He must “listen closely” whenever God spoke to him (3:10f. The concept of blasphemy in Israel was a capital crime. The Lord Yahweh instructed Ezekiel further to take to heart all that He would tell him and to listen closely to Him. B. and tell them. And go. Thus saith the Lord Jehovah. God says.” 7. Blessed be the glory of Jehovah from his place. involving both a psychological (receive in your heart) and an auditory (hear with your ears) element (cf. The expression “receive in thy heart. and hear with thine ears” has the transposition from the natural order. and hear with thine ears. Son of man. The word of God is that which fortifies the messenger against the hostilities of the enemy. or whether they will forbear” (3:1011). and speak unto them. namely.” he is now sent to these people to preach. After Ezekiel has received the message that was sweet. all my words that I shall speak unto thee receive in thy heart. This will enable him to speak with authority and credibility to his contemporaries. 4. Ezekiel needed to take God’s words to heart before preaching them to others. is by design. Jer. 8. 4. 20:7–9). God's words give one of the few descriptions of prophetic experience in the OT.

The 7 days seems to be consistent with God’s pattern.beside them. Don’t let feelings hinder your obedience. Ezek. Then I came to them of the captivity at Telabib. we should obey God even when we don’t feel like it. For seven days Ezekiel contemplated the vision and revelation in a state of being “overwhelmed.the whole experience of what he saw in Ch 1. I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth. So the Spirit lifted me up. what he saw when he was confronted with this strange presence. and I sat there overwhelmed among them seven days” (3:12-15). . but was somehow Ezekiel’s attempt to describe. Son of man. but at the sins and attitudes of the people. or everyday tasks overwhelm us. and he expected to be rejected as well. we will have times of great joy when we feel close to God. III. Why 7 days? One suggestion is that seven days were appointed for the consecration of the priests. Note the expression: “the noise of a great rushing”: this was the noise made by the wings of the living creatures that formed the chariot of Jehovah.” 6. Ezekiel’s extraordinary vision had ended. the living creatures have been momentarily forgotten. left Ezekiel physically overwhelmed for 7 days. 3. Jehovah’s Charge to Ezekiel to be a Watchman (3:16-21): A. but their movement brings them dramatically into focus once more. 2. and to where they dwelt. To take Ezekiel back to the captives of Babylon suggest that Ezekiel was taken somewhere to experience this vision and revelation. and took me away. Cf. “Seven days” . 1. and he had to begin the tedious job of prophesying among his people. “And it came to pass at the end of seven days. an expanse above the cherubim and then the throne of God with the likeness of a man sitting. 4. Ezekiel is now miraculously transported back to Telabib. It gives us the opportunity to perceive into that dimension in which these other creatures operate. Lev 8:33. Note the expression “the Spirit lifted me up”: Then after he had been commissioned three times to go to Israel.” the Lord appears to him a second time. that dwelt by the river Chebar. We remember that Ezekiel is in the presence of the “glory of Jehovah” which has been depicted as four cherubim standing above four wheels with many eyes. not at God. the Spirit took him up and away to the captives that dwelled in a settlement on the river Chebar (Ezekiel 3:12-16). in conceptions of 2500 years ago. Here Ezekiel had to give a similar message. the people had heard Jeremiah. and I went in bitterness. that the word of Jehovah came unto me. In the audience with God. in the heat of my spirit. 8. and the Lord talking to him through Chapters 2 and 3. and the hand of Jehovah was strong upon me. As we grow. even the noise of a great rushing. Like Ezekiel. That place was the Chebar River (cf. He was a priest and was being consecrated. 1 was not allegorical. From this verse and others we can draw the inference that what he saw in Ch. who cared little about God’s messages. Before the exile. saying. After Ezekiel had sat in Telabib for seven days in a state of feeling “overwhelmed. Ezekiel was bitter and angry. 1. struggles. and times when sins. not an hallucination. and give them warning from me” (3:16-17). but they would not listen. 5. 1:3). 7.

The task of watchman is also found in Isaiah (Isa. When a sinner sins and I say nothing to him I have not turned away his path to eternal spiritual death. notice he wasn't told to convince the wicked to turn. The illustration is clear. Your duty is two-fold: number one. but his blood will I require at thy hand. 51:12) he was responsible for warning the citizens of impending attack by sounding a trumpet (Jer. give them My word. and he turn not from his wickedness. God had given Law to Noah’s family regarding murder at Genesis 9:56. Ezekiel would have been held accountable if he had refused to warn the people of coming judgment. If you don't warn them and they die. nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way. 2. hear My word. And if I say to the wicked. and Habakkuk (Hab. and thou givest him not warning. 2:1)." Hearing the voice of God. He wasn't told to argue with them.e. he shall die in his iniquity. When one sheds the blood of another man (i. I have in effect spiritually murdered the man. Yet if thou warn the wicked. To save himself from responsibility of having the blood of a lost man on his hands. "Look. nor from his wicked way. at least you've delivered your soul. The blood is on your hands. if Ezekiel found himself in a position to rebuke a sinful man yet said nothing God would require the blood of Ezekiel be paid. Jer. The Lord explains to Ezekiel that He has made him “a watchman unto the house of Israel. Some think that “accountable for his blood” means that just as a watchman on the wall would pay with his life if he failed to warn the city of approaching enemies. 9:8).” In the OT times. but thou hast delivered thy soul” (3:18-19). murders him) then God will require the killer’s blood be shed because of the sinful act. The watchman also guarded the walls day and night against enemy attack or siege (I Sam. He was only told to declare to them the warning of God. hearing the word of God and then giving forth the word of God. 18:24–27. 21:6–9). The insistence on speaking only the divine word persists from Ezek. That's all. the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity. 2 Kings 9:17–20). Ezekiel’s role was to be a spiritual watchman. Thou shalt surely die. B. When a man sins he is eternally separated from God unless he repents.2. 18:24-27). commissioning him. 7. Likewise. God then explains to Ezekiel that as he does his work and indeed warns the sinner of the consequences of his sins and the man rejects the warning he has . If they don't listen. "You're going to die. 31:6). and you are responsible to hear My word and to speak My word. Watchmen were posted on city walls (II Kings 9:17-20) and at city Gates (II Sam. then you're responsible. warning the people of the judgment to come. 1. 4. 8. I've set you as a watchman. We so often in our Christian experience make the mistake of thinking that we've got to somehow convert people to Jesus Christ. 5. 3. great. Isa. watchmen protected vineyards and fields during harvest season (Jer. Now. “When I say unto the wicked. That's your commission.” 3. the prophet must warn the wicked (Ezekiel 3:18). but none provides a direct parallel to Ezekiel's commission (see 2 Sam. 6. to save his life. Hosea (Hos. So God is now calling him. 6:17)." if you warn them and they listen. two. 3:10.. 21:6-8. I've made you a watchman. As the watchmen on a city wall were to warn the inhabitants of danger even so Ezekiel’s work was to be one who warned the captives of Judah of the consequences of their sin. they will live. 14:16.

the prophet must warn the wicked. We must not understand this to mean that God is attempting to cause man to sin (i. And if I say to the wicked. He was only told to declare to them the warning of God. but God gives men over to judicial blindness. 4. however. Acts 18:6. 6. great. Ezekiel’s role was to be a spiritual watchman. 3. they would die. Heb." if you warn them and they listen. Nevertheless if thou warn the righteous man. just as. tempting one to sin). That which is under consideration is the truths that Ezekiel would be bringing to the people (a “thus saith Jehovah”). and you are responsible to hear My word and to speak My word. . all are held accountable to the command of watching for the souls of others (cf. Ezekiel would have been held accountable if he had refused to warn the people of coming judgment. 6. I've set you as a watchman. 2. that the righteous sin not. notice he wasn't told to convince the wicked to turn. In the NT church. 13:17). Not that God tempts to sin (Jam 1:13. 94:23) when they “like not to retain God in their knowledge” (Ro 1:24. Here is a verse that clearly implies that sin separates a man from God. and to their own corruptions (Ps 9:16. The blood is on your hands.. They are not willing to give up something simply because God deems it sinful. and commit iniquity. 7. but the Lord would not hold Ezekiel responsible. that when Ezekiel did warn a sinner and the sinner turned from his dark deeds then both the sinner and watchman are saved. The NT reveals to us that this is never so (cf. he shall die in his sin. Unfortunately. and he doth not sin. 14). C. 1. at least you've delivered your soul. Note however. Now. and thou hast delivered thy soul” (3:2021). To save his life the wicked man must turn from his sins and ask forgiveness. “Again. because he took warning. We so often in our Christian experience make the mistake of thinking that we've got to somehow convert people to Jesus Christ. 4. Ezekiel did warn the people and they refused to repent. and his righteous deeds which he hath done shall not be remembered. Since he has shed his own blood (spiritually murdered himself through a rejection of repentance) he shall pay with his own spiritual blood. he shall surely live. No matter how many good and righteous deeds one may do if he persists in one area of sin in his life he is separated from God and deemed spiritually “dead”. That's all. then you're responsible. God will not require the sinner’s blood “at thy hand” in such a case. He wasn't told to argue with them. on the contrary. but his blood will I require at thy hand. If. 26). 5. warning the people of the judgment to come. when a righteous man doth turn from his righteousness. and I lay a stumbling block before him. James 1:13).in effect murdered himself (committed spiritual suicide). To save himself from responsibility of having the blood of a lost man on his hands. truth is a “stumbling block” to many because when they hear words that condemn their actions they are offended in it. If you don't warn them and they die. 5. "You're going to die. he shall die: because thou hast not given him warning. If they don't listen.e. 20:26. 17. To continue to live the righteous man must not return to sin or die in sin. Some think that “accountable for his blood” means that just as a watchman on the wall would pay with his life if he failed to warn the city of approaching enemies. they will live.

The righteous man may not lose his salvation. During . However. and set me upon my feet.” The Lord now directs Ezekiel to go to a valley that He may appear to the prophet in the state of Glory that He had done in chapter 1. the prophet was instructed not to speak. But when I speak with thee. While Ezekiel was in Telebib the Lord communicates to him regarding his duties as a “watchman. note that the wicked man dies “in” or “by” his iniquity or perverseness.God makes “the way of the righteous plain” (Pr 4:11. and thou shalt not go out among them: and I will make thy tongue cleave to the roof of thy mouth. Ezekiel 9:8. he was commanded by God to refrain from public ministry (v. They did not have to wonder whether Ezekiel was speaking by God’s authority or his own. they shall lay bands upon thee. Go. Jehovah delivers Ezekiel’s First Prophetic Action and Divine Proclamation (3:22-27): A. let him hear. Ezekiel complies with the Lord’s instructions and so sees the “glory of Jehovah” for the second time. so that they do “not stumble. Ezekiel 43:3. The Spirit entered into him again. But thou. Arise. B. physical life. Then I arose. The death described may be physical. Note the expression “and I fell on my face”: He fell on his face six times (Ezekiel 3:23. The role of the watchman is an information role. Ezekiel 1:28. Ezekiel 11:13. and thou shalt say unto them. 1. The main issue of a watchman was not to deliver results. 1 Cor. reputation. 12. 2. and the emphasis may be upon the physical consequences of sin. behold. that is the job of the Holy Spirit. 8. Both the wicked and the righteous must accept responsibility for their sins and the consequences thereof. IV. “And the hand of Jehovah was there upon me. and he that forbeareth. that thou shalt be dumb. 2. The conditions of Ezekiel’s mission: isolation and silence. The meaning of this silence is unclear. Thus the people knew that whatever Ezekiel said was God’s message.” as referring to the righteous man. The phrase “he shall die in his sin. This is a very common reaction to seeing God. These physical consequences are the same for saved and lost alike. his rewards. and he said unto me. 4. as the glory which I saw by the river Chebar.” 7. Soon after Ezekiel was commissioned as a prophet. but to give warning. When the people refused to hear God’s message. 15:19). 3. and went forth into the plain: and. Our job is to be a witness. 24). but may suggest that Ezekiel must be silent except when he is speaking the divine word. I will open thy mouth. We should remember that. 1. Ezekiel 44:4). let him forbear: for they are a rebellious house” (3:24-27). shut thyself within thy house. and I will there talk with thee. 3:15). “Then the Spirit entered into me. and shall bind thee with them. son of man. but he may forfeit his health. go forth into the plain. for they are a rebellious house. means that he shall die “by” or “because of” his sin. It is not our objective to turn others around. Ezekiel was allowed to speak only when God had a message for the people. behold. and he spake with me. the glory of Jehovah stood there. and shalt not be to them a reprover. and said unto me. What those warned do with that warning is not your responsibility. and finally. and I fell on my face” (3:22-23). Thus saith the Lord Jehovah: He that heareth. as the result of sin (cf.

6:6ff). 5. cf. Chiastic Structure Noted for Chapters 1. 4. The watchman would sound the alarm so that the city’s inhabitants could do the necessary things to prepare for the battle. 4:17). and speak/tell” (3:11). 13:17. 2 and 3 Chiastic structures can be found in the book of Ezekiel. 16:17. Let no man be deceived by doctrines of demons that exclaim. 20:26). The silence lasted until the fall of Jerusalem (33:21. 27). Let us all understand that sin is sin no matter where it is conducted and where there is opportunity there is responsibility. 22) the prophet did speak when God gave him specific messages for the people and instructed him to declare them (see v. 20:26. These verses are somewhat vague yet they seem to introduce the first work of the prophet that is further detailed in chapters 4-5. Acts 18:6. God is simply reminding Ezekiel of his duty though the audience will not want to hear. Again. Heb. 9:5-6. Synopsis of chapter 3 Though Ezekiel would speak words that could be understood. It was a love of the “brotherhood” that motivated the Jerusalem church to send out preachers to expose the false doctrines regarding syncretism teachings that had invaded especially the churches in Galatia (cf. The words of Ezekiel were to be as a watchman upon a walled city who sees a threatening enemy coming.’ The apostle John loved all those who know the truth not just the ones at the local church he attended (cf.this period of silence (seven and one-half years. The word “chiasm” refers to a typical form of organization in Hebrew writing. Every Christian has the responsibility to watch and warn the wicked and righteous who have erred today (cf. Acts 18:6. Gen. Apparently for a period of time Ezekiel was to be separated from the sinful people of the captivity and only speak to them when God so moves him to. I Cor. A summary of the commissioning of Ezekiel is paraphrased by the commands given as: a) “Go. 16:15). 1:1). Acts 15). We are guilty of spiritual murder (cf. The apostle Paul preached the same truth in every local church he came in contact or established (I Cor. Rom. 2:7). Ezekiel was given a responsibility to preach even though his audience would not want to hear the words he spoke (cf. 3:18-19). c) “Go. Ezek. The apostle Paul commanded the Ephesians to expose man’s sins rather than fellowship them and so we are charged (Eph. II Jn. While literature outlines today are based on the A-B-C . Rev. “thus saith Jehovah!” 6. 5:6. and speak/tell” (3:4). God tells Ezekiel to warn the wicked and the righteous who have erred so that they would not “die in their sins” (Ezek. If we neglect to warn the wicked and erring righteous of their sinful ways they will die in their sins. I Thess. 22). dates in 1:1-3 with 33:21. 2:17). Isa. and wait” (3:24). 16:13. Ezek. 5:11). the people of God would treat them as though they were a foreign language. d) “Go. Ezekiel was to say. and watch” (3:17). The apostle Peter commanded Christians to “love the brotherhood” (I Pet. b) “Go. 3:18. ‘but you violate another church’s autonomy when you cross the lines of geographic location to expose another’s sins. This was not done due to their confusion or their inability to understand what Ezekiel would be saying but because they did not want to hear what he had to say (cf. 3.

then the expression “God is good. and I saw visions of God. but the hand of the LORD was strong upon me. the chiastic outline is based on an A-B-A* style of writing. 15 Then I came to them of the captivity at Telabib. • One is based on a synonymous parallelism that uses a high degree of commonality between the phrases in A and A* that exhibit symmetric properties or characteristics. as I was among the captives by the river of Chebar.pattern. if we let A = “God is good” and A* = “the Lord is merciful”. they had the likeness of a man. Eze 3:14-15 KJV So the spirit lifted me up. their appearance was like burning . and two covered their bodies. and took me away. And this was their appearance. and remained there astonished among them seven days. Eze 1:13 KJV As for the likeness of the living creatures. Eze 1:5 KJV … the likeness of four living creatures. Eze 1:11 KJV Thus were their faces: and their wings were stretched upward. 3 The word of the LORD came expressly unto Ezekiel the priest. they went every one straight forward. which was the fifth year of king Jehoiachin's captivity. in the fourth month. they turned not when they went. and every one had four wings. Eze 1:6 KJV And every one had four faces. in the heat of my spirit. For example. B is the body. Many other types of chiastic structures can be imagined. section B parallels section B*. For example. chapters 1 through 3 have a chiastic structure which focuses attention on the importance of Ezekiel receiving revelations from the Lord. • Another is based on an inverted parallelism that uses phrases in A and A* that exhibit asymmetric properties or characteristics. A: Circumstances of the vision (1:1-3) B: Divine confrontation: the chariot's approach (1:4-28) C: Introductory word (2:1-2) D: First commission and reassurance (2:3-8a) E: Confirmatory sign (2:8b—3:3) D*: Second commission (3:4-11) C*: Introductory word (3:12) B*: Divine confrontation: the chariot's departure (3:13) A*: Circumstances of the vision (3:14-15) A A * B Eze 1:1-3 KJV Now it came to pass in the thirtieth year. In Ezekiel. Eze 1:9 KJV Their wings were joined one to another. This structure follows the pattern A-B-C-D-E-D*-C*-B*-A*. In the expression A-B-C-D-E-D*-C*-B*-A*. the expression “God is good. and the hand of the LORD was there upon him. the son of Buzi. the climax of the text is set in the center with the corresponding sections moving up to and away from it. in the land of the Chaldeans by the river Chebar. the Lord is merciful” has synonymous parallelism. with the climax of the expression occurring with phrase E. two wings of every one were joined one to another. There are at least two types of chiastic structures that are known. Eze 1:8 KJV And they had the hands of a man under their wings on their four sides. that dwelt by the river of Chebar. 2 In the fifth day of the month. that the heavens were opened. section A parallels section A*. Identifying this type of expression in the text helps the reader to better understand the key emphasis of the text and to better understand the intention of the author. where A is the introduction. etc. merciful is the Lord” has inverted parallelism. and I sat where they sat. and I went in bitterness. and C is the conclusion. In the chiastic outline of a text. and they four had their faces and their wings. in the fifth day of the month.

9 And when I looked. . and it was in my mouth as honey for sweetness. they let down their wings. and thou dost dwell among scorpions: be not afraid of their words. Surely. I do send thee unto them. but to the house of Israel. lo. Eze 1:14 KJV And the living creatures ran and returned as the appearance of a flash of lightning. 24:15–27). and it was written within and without: and there was written therein lamentations. Eze 1:24 KJV And when they went. 2 And the spirit entered into me when he spake unto me. Son of man. I heard the noise of their wings. 8 But thou. to a rebellious nation that hath rebelled against me: they and their fathers have transgressed against me. cf. I have made thy face strong against their faces. Eze 2:3-8 KJV And he said unto me. and the noise of the wheels over against them. eat that thou findest. son of man. Son of man. 5 And they. Thus saith the Lord GOD. whether they will hear. He lost the power of normal speech at this stage. stand upon thy feet. 3 And he said unto me. Eze 3:4-11 KJV And he said unto me. Son of man. 6 Not to many people of a strange speech and of an hard language. and. nor be dismayed at their looks. 6 And thou. 8 Behold. Eze 2:8 to 3:3 KJV Be not thou rebellious like that rebellious house: open thy mouth. son of man. even unto this very day. whose words thou canst not understand. 4 For they are impudent children and stiffhearted. and out of the fire went forth lightning. unto the children of thy people. and like the appearance of lamps: it went up and down among the living creatures. an hand was sent unto me. and he caused me to eat that roll. though they be a rebellious house. and mourning. whether they will hear. and eat that I give thee. neither be afraid of their words. This partial loss of speech continued until news of the fall of Jerusalem reached him (33:22. cause thy belly to eat. or whether they will forbear. whether they will hear. and hear with thine ears. and speak with my words unto them. or whether they will forbear. Notes on Chapters 4 & 5 and Beyond In chapters 4 and 5 Ezekiel is going to use certain signs and act out certain parables before the people. be not afraid of them. the voice of speech. Son of man. neither be dismayed at their looks. and go speak unto the house of Israel. go. though they be a rebellious house. though briers and thorns be with thee. Eze 3:12 KJV Then the spirit took me up. a roll of a book was therein.B* C C* D D * E coals of fire. 10 And he spread it before me. Be not thou rebellious like that rebellious house: open thy mouth. for they will not hearken unto me: for all the house of Israel are impudent and hardhearted. They were saying that the Jews already in Babylonian captivity would return to their land shortly.) yet shall know that there hath been a prophet among them. hear what I say unto thee. Thus saith the Lord GOD. Blessed be the glory of the LORD from his place. Eze 3:13 KJV I heard also the noise of the wings of the living creatures that touched one another. Son of man. and would only be able to speak when he had an oracle to declare (3:26–27). 5 For thou art not sent to a people of a strange speech and of an hard language. who had told them they would not be going back and that Jerusalem would be destroyed. and a noise of a great rushing. 7 And thou shalt speak my words unto them. or whether they will forbear: for they are most rebellious. and woe. and the fire was bright. 9 As an adamant harder than flint have I made thy forehead: fear them not. and thy forehead strong against their foreheads. all my words that I shall speak unto thee receive in thine heart. 10 Moreover he said unto me. At this time Jerusalem was not yet destroyed. Eze 3:1-3 KJV Moreover he said unto me. but this first one must have established his reputation as one of the odder prophets of Israel. Son of man. get thee unto the house of Israel. as the voice of the Almighty. saying. 24:27). and set me upon my feet. Eze 2:1-2 KJV And he said unto me. get thee to them of the captivity. Then did I eat it. like the noise of great waters. they would have hearkened unto thee. I send thee to the children of Israel. 17–20. and thou shalt say unto them. 2 So I opened my mouth. and the false prophets were telling the people of Israel that they were going to have peace. but Ezekiel is going to confirm the word of Jeremiah. and speak unto them. as the noise of an host: when they stood. 7 But the house of Israel will not hearken unto thee. and I heard behind me a voice of a great rushing. and tell them. 11 And go. There would be other enacted messages too (12:1–16. and I will speak unto thee. had I sent thee to them. and fill thy bowels with this roll that I give thee. (for they are a rebellious house. and eat that I give thee. behold. that I heard him that spake unto me. eat this roll.

. it is more important to communicate the message than to preserve the popular image of the speaker. However. even amusing or embarrassing. Ezekiel is called upon to perform “street theater”: actions (rather than words) that convey a divine message. Ezekiel evidently appeared somewhat like a mime doing street theater as he dramatized a message without speaking a word.We might find Ezekiel’s method of conveying his message unorthodox.