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Ezekiel 24:1 . In the ninth year, from Jehoiachin’s captivity; or the ninth year of Zedekiah’s reign. 2 Kings 25:1-2. Jeremiah 52:4. Jehoiachin, who is the same with Jeconiah, reigned one year before his nephew Zedekiah. 2 Chronicles 36:10. Jeremiah having noticed the day and the year of the ruin of the city and temple of Jerusalem as a historical fact, and Ezekiel the same event as a matter of prophecy, we have proof that the fall of the jewish state was by the special designation of heaven.
Ezekiel 24:11 . Then set it empty upon the coals; that the caldron itself may be fused and purified, as was the case with the metals of Jericho. After the choice pieces had all been consumed by various deaths, here is a burning, and the hottest burning after death. What can this be but the second death?
Ezekiel 24:16 . Behold, I take away from thee the desire of thine eyes with a stroke of sudden affliction. The prophet loved his wife; she was a diadem in his eyes, and his only desire upon earth. She seems to have died of grief, like Eli, when she had learned of her husband what had befallen the ark. But her death must be improved, by the nonobservance of obsequies, because in Jerusalem they could not be observed. It is good for ministers, when fair opportunities occur, to improve the death of their friends for the good of the living.
When Nebuchadnezzar sat down before Jerusalem to commence the siege, he was so eager in the reduction of that wicked and rebellious city, as to begin his operations in the depth of winter; for God had given him a heart to do his will. But Ezekiel’s mentioning the day of the month would have a good effect on the captives upon the Chebar. It would cure them of all unseasonable wishes to return, and would confound the infidels among them who had presumed that the calamities would never come.
The vision of the pot or boiler in the temple is here repeated from the eleventh chapter. Now, from the frequent mention of innocent blood, it would seem, that in Manasseh’s reign, 2 Kings 24:4, there had been some tumult in Jerusalem, and that the men who opposed the wicked and idolatrous measures of the court, had been slain in the streets, or thrown from the rocks; nor had their blood been covered, as the law enjoined. Leviticus 17:13. This was indeed an age which forgat the law. God however did not forget. His great day of sacrifice was come; and the whole city was his boiler, unscummed and impure. The choice pieces were the rich, the proud, and the despisers of God in all his works of grace and justice. The Lord therefore invited all the birds and beasts of prey from Chaldea, and from all the surrounding states to his great supper, that an impure people might complete the defilement of his sanctuary, which his own people had first polluted with idols, and with every abomination of the heathen.
The Lord condescends to vindicate the terrors of his conduct as an act of necessity. I have purged thee, and thou wast not purged. Thrice, in a short time, had Jerusalem been plundered, and her kings carried away in chains. Once by Pharaoh-necho, and twice by Nebuchadnezzar; and yet the nation was unreformed; and instead of seeking God, they drenched themselves in the gloom of desponding crimes. Hence the times of mercy and probation were past: God could no longer bless them with health, harvests, and prosperity, without being a party in their crimes. Oh may men and nations be awed and sanctified by the spotless character of justice. May every incorrigible sinner know that the day is just at hand, when the perfections of God shall oblige him to strike, and glorify his justice, the exercise of mercy having failed of effect.
The sudden death of Ezekiel’s wife was improved to show, that no mourning should be made for the jews massacred at Jerusalem. This treasure, so precious to him, but unaccustomed to hardships, was taken away with a stroke, and in one day. The fleeting state of all terrestrial good should teach us to say, whom have I in heaven but thee, and there is none upon earth that I desire besides thee. How little then can we rest in inviting objects. The smiling villa, the enchanting bowers, the ample fortune, the amiable bride, the engaging progeny, yea, life itself may be blasted in an hour, and our eyes may be diverted from tears by the appalling terror of other calamities. Ezekiel must neither weep nor cry, nor eat the bread of mourning which neighbours usually sent. He must not be uncovered, but wear his tiara, bonnet, or hat.
The explication of his conduct revolted and choked his hearers, as appears from Ezekiel 33:10. When they asked what he meant by so extraordinary a conduct, he declared that their children should fall by the sword, and that they should make no mourning for them, but pine away in their iniquities. Thus God would make them drink the dregs of his cup.
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Sutcliffe, Joseph. "Commentary on Ezekiel 24". Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. https://studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 21 / Ordinary 26