Bible Study - Commentary by Jim Melough
2003 James Melough
2:1. “And he said unto me, Son of man, stand upon thy feet, and I will
speak unto thee.”
Ezekiel’s being called “son of man” may mean that God was making him the
representative man through whom He would speak to all men, though some take it
to mean that He was emphasizing the vast difference between God and men.
The Lord Jesus Christ Himself assumed the same title, thus identifying Himself
The command, “stand upon thy feet” indicates the need of paying diligent
attention to God’s words. The casual, half-hearted reader will learn little
of the mind and will of God.
2:2. “And the spirit entered into me when he spake with me, and set me
upon my feet, that I heard him that spake unto me.”
It was the Holy Spirit Who entered into the prophet when God spoke to him, and
we do well to remember that apart from the indwelling of the ungrieved,
unquenched Holy Spirit, no man can hear or understand what God is saying,
i.e., what is written in Scripture, for it is from the Bible that God speaks
to men. The Holy Spirit is grieved when we do what He forbids; and He is
quenched when we refuse to do what He commands.
It is to be noted also that in the OT age the Holy Spirit did not take up
permanent residence in the bodies of believers as He does during this present
age of grace.
2:3. “And he said unto me, Son of man, I send thee to the children of
Israel, to a rebellious nation that hath rebelled against me: they and their
fathers have transgressed against me, even unto this very day.”
The prophet, an exile in Babylon, was being commissioned as God’s messenger,
not only to his fellow exiles, but also to those who had been allowed to
remain in the land following Nebuchadnezzar’s second incursion into Judah in
597 BC; the nation’s captivity in Babylon being God’s punishment for blatant
rebellion against Him, not just by that generation, but by their predecessors
2:4. “For they are impudent children and stiffhearted. I do send thee
unto them, and thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God.”
“... impudent” means brazen-faced; and “stiffhearted,” stubborn.
They defied God to His face, and stubbornly refused to change their evil ways.
2:5. “And they, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear,
(for they are a rebellious house,) yet shall know that there hath been a
prophet among them.”
The parentheses continues to emphasize the rebellious and stubborn character
of the people to whom the prophet was being sent; and whether they would heed
or reject his words, one thing was certain: they would ultimately be aware
that a prophet had been in their midst. How? His words would be fulfilled;
and this surely recalls what is written in 2 Pe 1:19, “We have also a more
sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light
that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in
your hearts.” Fulfilled prophecy is one of the irrefutable proofs of the
Divine authorship of Scripture.
2:6. “And thou, son of man, be not afraid of them, neither be afraid of
their words, though briers, and thorns be with thee, and thou dost dwell among
scorpions: be not afraid of their words, nor be dismayed at their looks,
though they be a rebellious house.”
Foreknowing the opposition that His servant would encounter from the
rebellious people, God commanded Ezekiel to be courageous, having no fear of
them or their threats. In Ge 3:18 thorns were appointed to be the symbolic
evidence that the earth was under God’s curse because of sin, so here the
briers and thorns are obviously symbolic of the sinfulness of the people to
whom Ezekiel was being sent; and scorpions are being used symbolically to
portray the people as those whose opposition to God and His servant would
impel them to cause him, Ezekiel, physical suffering or even death.
2:7. “And thou shalt speak my words unto them, whether they will hear,
or whether they will forbear: for they are most rebellious.”
The absolute necessity of Ezekiel’s delivering God’s message is declared in
the repetition of the words used in verse five; the degree of their rebellion
being emphasized by the use of the superlative “most” to describe it.
2:8. “But thou, son of man, hear what I say unto thee: Be not thou
rebellious like that rebellious house: open thy mouth, and eat that I give
The prophet is here warned against refusing do to what was commanded, thus
making himself as guilty as those God was sending him to warn.
“... open thy mouth, and eat that I give thee,” means that he was to accept
every command given by God, no matter how unpleasant it might seem to be, and
no matter what fear it might impel.
2:9. “And when I looked, behold, an hand was sent unto me; and, lo, a
roll of a book was therein;”
2:10. “And he spread it before me; and it was written within and
without: and there was written therein lamentations, and mourning, and woe.”
God’s commands were followed by His causing Ezekiel to see a hand stretched
out - undoubtedly God’s hand - and in the hand an open scroll, with writing on
both sides, rather than as was usual, on just the inside, the reason for this
being possibly the great extent and terrible character of the announced
judgments that were to fall upon mutinous Judah: it took both sides of the
scroll to contain them.