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Bible Commentaries

Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary

Ezekiel 24

Verses 1-14

EZEKIEL - CHAPTER 24

THE BOILING POT PARABLE

Verses 1-14:

Verses 1, 2 call upon Ezekiel to prophesy further, as the son of man, that Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon should begin his siege of Jerusalem. It was identified as to begin on the tenth day of the tenth month of the ninth year of the reign of Jehoiachim’s captivity, about 590 B.C., though he was 300 miles from Jerusalem, 2 Kings 25:1; Jeremiah 39:1. This day was later observed as a day of fast by the Jews, and is still observed as such in their synagogues. The phrase "set himself against Jerusalem" indicates the laying on of an heavy hand of judgment, as used Leviticus 24:4.

Verse 3 directs Ezekiel to utter a parable or proverb to the people of Israel concerning Judah. He was directed of the Lord two times, to set on a pot or caldron and pour water into it, indicating intense urgency or haste. The pot or caldron was Jerusalem which was so foul that it poisoned or polluted all meat cast into it; The meat was the polluted people, Jeremiah 1:13.

Verse 4 charges him to gather "the pieces" or inhabitants of Jerusalem into it. The phrase "thigh, shoulder, and choice bones" seem to represent the wealthy, the nobles, and the chief leaders of the people who were in the first to be boiled in the poison or polluted brew.

Verse 5 continues to direct him to take or pronounce judgment that should symbolize the taking of the choice of the flock of Judah (the political and religious leaders). They were to be stripped from the bones and their bones used for burning, fueling the pot of their boiling. The fire was the fire of the cruel Chaldean army, by which Jerusalem’s population was to be boiled away like flesh and bones.

Verse 6 expresses a Divine woe upon the bloody city of Jerusalem and her inhabitants, to the pot whose scum is on it, and has not gone out or been removed, v. 9; Ezekiel 22:3; Ezekiel 23:37. The scum represents the moral impurities of the city inhabitants. They were to be brought out of the pot, piece by piece, one by one. No lot was to be cast to save anyone from either death or captivity, 2 Samuel 8:2; Joel 3:3; Obadiah 1:11; Nahum 3:10.

Verse 7 charges that her blood that was in her, blood shed by murder, was set upon the top of a rock; She did not even pour it out upon the ground, to cover its pollution with dust, as prescribed by her own law, Leviticus 17:13; Deuteronomy 12:16; Deuteronomy 12:24; See also Jeremiah 26:20. Therefore her blood was to be ruthlessly poured out in judgment before all nations.

Verse 8 adds that because of Jerusalem’s lawless behavior God would cause the blood of her inhabitants to be poured out on the "top of a rock," an high sunlight rock in view of all, that the heathen might see her humiliation for and in her sins, Numbers 32:24. The blood of her murderers cried out for vengeance, Genesis 4:10-11.

Verse 9 continues to declare that "woe" is to be upon this bloody city. God declared that even He would make the pile of fire great, as a just retribution for their wanton sins, v. 6; Nahum 3:1; Habakkuk 2:12; Matthew 7:2.

Verses 10,11 call for a thorough boiling and burning of the pot of Jerusalem. Wood was to be heaped on, kindled, and spiced well or shaken well to make it consume the flesh and burn the bones. Then the pot was to be set upon the coals empty, that the brass might burn hot, that the filth in it might be molten or burned away, that its sun might be consumed, a symbol of God’s purging the sins of His people there, Leviticus 14:34-35; Leviticus 18:25; Leviticus 27:28.

Verse 12 states that she (the pot, Jerusalem) had wearied herself with lies. And her scum, base, idolatrous immorality did not go from her. The more her prophets, priests, and ruling princes consorted with the heathen people and their gods, the more corrupt they became, Galatians 6:7-8. Therefore God declared that only the fire could burn away her scum; All the labors and promises of false rulers and prophets, who told the people what they wanted to hear, could not sanctify the city, or make the pot clean, Malachi 2:17.

Verse 13 then warns that there was filthiness in her lewdness. Because God had once purged her but she would not be (or exist as, remain) in a purged or holy state, Amos 4:6; Zechariah 3:2; Zechariah 3:7; Matthew 23:37-38; Luke 13:7-9. God would not purge her because of her repentance any more, until she had been first burned in judgment by the Chaldeans. Then His fury over her would be brought to rest, as recounted, Ezekiel 5:13; Ezekiel 8:18; Ezekiel 16:42.

Verse 14 affirms that the fire will burn and the pot will boil, by the irrevocable decree of God, against Jerusalem and her inhabitants, because of the high-crimes of her deliberate wickedness of both moral and physical nature, Numbers 23:18; 1 Samuel 15:29; Psalms 33:9; Matthew 24:35. It remained now only for the Chaldean armies to sweep down on the city to execute inevitable judgment by the direct will of God, Exodus 20:1-5.

Verses 15-27

DEATH OF EZEKIEL’S WIFE A TYPE OF JERUSALEM’S

DESTRUCTION

Verses 15-27:

Verses 15, 16 announces to Ezekiel that the Lord is to take away from him the "desire of his eyes with a stroke," meaning that He would take the life of Ezekiel’s wife suddenly, as with a plague, in a sudden and shocking manner as illustrated Numbers 14:37; Numbers 17:13; 2 Samuel 24:21; 2 Samuel 24:25. Yet he was told not to mourn, or weep, or let his tears run down, to manifest any token of grief on the occasion.

Verse 17 calls him to forbear (refrain from) crying, to make no mourning for his beloved who was dead, Numbers 20:20; Jeremiah 16:5. He was to be solemnly resigned to the will of God, with silence, Leviticus 10:7; Leviticus 21:10; Leviticus 21:12; Psalms 39:9. He was not to lay aside his turban, but to wear it and put his shoes on his feet, cover not his lips, and eat not the bread of men, Leviticus 13:45; 2 Samuel 15:30; Micah 3:7. Though men brought bread he was to decline to eat it, Deuteronomy 26:14; Hosea 9:4; Jeremiah 16:7; 2 Samuel 15:30.

Verses 18, 19 recount that Ezekiel spoke or prophesied in the morning and that evening his wife died. He did, the next morning, as the Lord commanded, neither weeping, mourning, nor letting his eyes shed tears before the people. When the people saw his resigned acceptance of the death of his wife, without normal emotional weeping and mourning, they were confused and asked why, or would you tell us what this means? Ezekiel 12:9; Ezekiel 37:18.

Verses 20, 21 recount his further response to them, as directed of the Lord, 2 Peter 1:20-21. He was directed to advise the people that he would profane his sanctuary, the excellency of their strength and desire of their eyes, and "that which their soul pitieth," Amos 6:8; Jeremiah 7:4; Jeremiah 7:10; Jeremiah 7:14. They had vainly trusted that because of the Holy Temple God would not permit either it or them to be destroyed. They trusted in the temple and its worship forms and ceremonies, rather than in the Lord of the temple, Jeremiah 7:4. Those of their sons and daughters left, not killed by the sword, should fall by or before it, becoming abject slaves or captives to the cruel, idolatrous Chaldeans, Psalms 27:4.

Verses 22, 23 recount Ezekiel’s directing the people of Judah to avoid covering their lips and eating the food that would be brought to them when their death judgments struck their families, even as he had done at the death of his wife, verses 15-18; Deuteronomy 26:14; Jeremiah 16:7. They were to pine away because of their iniquities that had

brought their judgment. Though before their enemies they were not to weep or mourn, they could, one with and before another in privacy, as a release and expression of their grief, Ezekiel 33:10; Leviticus 26:39; Lamentations 3:39.

Verse 24 explains that Ezekiel’s behavior, upon the death of his wife, was designed to be a sign to all the people of Israel and Judah, to show what was to take place in the experience of his countrymen, Ezekiel 4:3; Ezekiel 12:6; Ezekiel 12:11; Isaiah 20:3; Jeremiah 17:15. The Lord called upon Ezekiel to be this sign. He did not simply presume to be a sign; Even as Moses and other writers used their names in recounting their experiences, Exodus 2:11; Numbers 12:3; Isaiah 12:3; Daniel 8:27. See also John 13:19; John 14:29.

Verse 25 affirms that they should be resigned, silently acknowledge remorse among the people of Jerusalem when He, in judgment took away their strength or stronghold, the temple in which they trusted, forgetting God, their true fortress, Isaiah 17:10.

Verse 26 prophesied that those who escaped from Jerusalem, when it was sacked by the Chaldean army, and the temple was destroyed, would bring the reports to those captives already in Babylon, to whom Jeremiah prophesied more directly.

Verse 27 asserts that when those fugitives who fled Jerusalem and the temple destruction should arrive in Babylon, at Chebar with their melancholy news, the people would talk with them and recognize the fulfillment of Ezekiel’s prophecy. Ezekiel was then to speak out again and point out that, what had happened in Jerusalem verified his message of prophecy as of Divine origin, and his conduct a sign to them, v. 24; Ezekiel 29:21; Ezekiel 33:22.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Blessed Hope Foundation and the Baptist Training Center.
Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Ezekiel 24". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/ezekiel-24.html. 1985.