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§ 5. A Final series of Prophecies on the necessity of Israel’s Punishment and the Destruction of Jerusalem (Ezekiel 20-24)
Date, Aug.-Sept. 590 b.c. to Jan.-Feb. 587 b.c.
This group includes a warning to the exiles against idolatry (Ezekiel 20:1-44), a description of the sword of the Lord directed against Jerusalem (Ezekiel 20:45 to Ezekiel 21:27), a short prophecy against the Ammonites, connected with the foregoing (Ezekiel 21:28-32) an indictment of Jerusalem (Ezekiel 22), an allegorical history of the sins of Samaria and Jerusalem (Ezekiel 23), a fresh parable of the coming siege and destruction of Jerusalem (Ezekiel 24:1-14), and an account of the death of Ezekiel’s wife, and of his significant conduct in his bereavement (Ezekiel 24:15-27).
The Allegory of the Boiling Caldron. Ezekiel’s Bereavement and Significant Silence
This prophecy is dated on the day on which the siege of Jerusalem began. Ezekiel is commanded by God to note the date, and to speak to the exiles a final parable of the city’s coming fate. Jerusalem is a rusty pot filled with water and meat and set upon a fire. The meat is well boiled, and brought out piece by piece at random. The empty pot is then set back on the fire that the rust may be burned away. The rust denotes Jerusalem’s impurity and bloodshed. The boiling is the siege, and the emptying of the pot the captivity. The heating of the empty pot symbolises the burning of the city at the end of the siege (Ezekiel 24:1-14).
Ezekiel spoke this message in the morning, and his wife died on the evening of the same day, but in obedience to a divine command he indulged in no sign of mourning. His silent sorrow was an emblem of the stupor into which the exiles would be cast when they should hear of the fall of Jerusalem. When the survivors of the siege should reach BabyIonia, however, Ezekiel’s silence would be at an end (Ezekiel 24:15-27).
1. The ninth year.. the tenth month] January-February, 587 b.c. For the date see 2 Kings 25:1; Jeremiah 39:1; Jeremiah 52:4.
3. Pot] RV ’caldron’: so in Ezekiel 24:6.
5. Burn.. the bones, etc.] We must read either with RV ’pile.. the bones under it ’(the flesh), or. ’burn.. the wood under it ’(the caldron). The bones were in the pot, not below it.
6. Scum] RV ’rust’: so in Ezekiel 24:11, Ezekiel 24:12. Let no lot fall] The meat was, to be taken out indiscriminately.
7. The top of a rock] RV ’the bare rock.’ Jerusalem’s bloodshed was open and unconcealed.
8. I have set] What was mere shameless wickedness on Jerusalem’s part was yet the working out of God’s purpose of judgment.
10. Kindle] RV ’make hot.’
Consume] RV ’boil well.’ Spice it well] RV ’make thick the broth.’ Burned] not in the fire, but singed in the pot by the intense heat of the cooking.
12. With lies, and] RV ’with toil, yet.’
13. Caused.. to rest] RV ’satisfied.’
17. Loosening the head-dress, baring the feet, and covering the lips, were signs of mourning (Leviticus 10:6; 2 Samuel 15:30).
22. The bread of men] probably food offered by sympathising friends. See Jeremiah 16:7 (RV).
23. Pine.. mourn (RV ’moan’)] The sorrow of the exiles for the fate of Jerusalem would be tearless and inarticulate, like Ezekiel’s sorrow for his wife.
27. See Jeremiah 33:22.
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Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Ezekiel 24". "Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". https://studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 20 / Ordinary 25