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Bible Commentaries

Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament

Ezekiel 24

Verse 1

Eze 24:1. The specific date of this chapter is given which is the ninth year after Ezekiel was taken to Babylon. The exact day and month of that year are also given, and on that day the siege of Jerusalem began.

Verse 2

Eze 24:2. Ezekiel was in Babylon and hence would have no knowledge of the exact movements of Nebuchadnezzar without the message from the Lord as here stated. To clarify the memory of the reader I will again state that the third stage of the 70- year captivity had not occurred, but it was about due and was to be started with a siege.

Verse 3

Eze 24:3. In illustrating what was soon to take place the people were to be impressed by a parable. This was to be done through the use of some more “acting" as we have previously seen in the history of the prophets. Ezekiel ordered someone to put on a pot or large kettle and put water in it. Such an action would mean that some process was to be done for the purpose of boiling something. and that was in order to effect some kind of purifying. If the fleshy parts of animals are boiled the objectionable portion will come to the top in the form of scum which can then he removed.

Verse 4

Eze 24:4. The city of Jerusalem was illustrated by the pot, and the pieces put into It were men of the nation. They were to he “boiled" or tested In order to remove the scum (wickedness) from them. Things that are physically impossible or at least highly improbable, may be supposed to happen in a parable. Thus the city of Jerusalem was the boiling pot to begin with because it was in that city where the characters were that needed to be purified by boiling. However, the actual purifying effect was to take place in Babylon, and for that particular phase of the whole transaction we must transfer the boiling vessel from Jerusalem to Babylon. In ail other respects, though, the descriptive remarks apply to Jerusalem and the citizens remaining therein and in connection with it because of the many impurities in their lives.

Verse 5

Eze 24:5. Choice of the flock means the leaders or head men of the city. The word burn is from an original that means also "to pile.” Bones is defined in the lexicon as meaning the body. The language means the pieces were to be piled round in such a way that would cause them to get the effect of the fire.

Verse 6

Eze 24:6. Bloody city, to the pot. For the explanation of this phrase see the comments on verse 4. Let no lot fall upon it. That is, make no exceptions among the pieces (the men of Jerusalem), for ail of them must be put to the test in order to have the “scum" (wickedness) boiled out of them; all must either be killed or taken into captivity in Babylon.

Verse 7

Eze 24:7. The law of Moses (Lev 17:13) required that the blood of animals killed lawfully should be poured upon the ground and covered with dust. This was evidently as an act of respect, on the same principle chat a dead body is buried honorably, since the blood is the life (Gen 9:4; Lev 17:11). But these murderous adulteresses were even defiant, in their disrespect for the innocent blood they had shed. They did not give it the courtesy of being covered out of sight by being absorbed in the ground, but poured it on a rock where every drop would be visible as a glaring proclamation of their arrogance.

Verse 8

Eze 24:8, Since these wicked women thus exposed disrespectfully the blood of innocent victims, the Lord in fury decreed that their guilty blood should likewise be exposed to the public view by spreading it upon a rock.

Verse 9

Eze 24:9. The bloody city is Jerusalem and the parable of the boiling pot is again referred to. The fury of God was to be manifested by making the fire great.

Verse 10

Eze 24:10. The thought of the preceding verse is continued in this. Spice it well. This was to make it more desirable so the foe would be more greedy In devouring it.

Verse 11

Eze 24:11. Here a slight change is made in the use of the parable. The enemy is to devour the desirable pieces that have been boiled, leaving the scum in the kettle. Then the pot is to be put back on the fire that the brass (the material of which the vessel is made) may get hot again. It was then to burn the scum right into the pores of the metal and thus be consumed.

Verse 12

Eze 24:12. She (Judah) had wearied or overworked herself In her eager- nes to speak lies. This refers to the false prophecies and other misleading teaching that her outstanding men had done which had lulled the people into a state Of false security.

Verse 13

Eze 24:13. The filthy lewdness refers to her idolalry which was never to be purged out of her until it was done by the Lord in the land of captivity. Because I hare purged thee is in the sense as if it said “for this cause (namely, thy lewdness) I will purge thee (of idolatry) in the boiling pot of national chastisement,”

Verse 14

Eze 24:14, There are no new thoughts offered in this verse, but several declarations of the determination of the Lord to carry out his threats on his unfaithful wife.

Verse 15

Eze 24:15-16. Here we have a case where the Lord does some “acting" in the place of the prophet. Desire of thine eyes means something that he would desire to look upon, which it will be seen means his wife, It was doubtless a severe blow and seems regrettable that such a thing was made necessary by the cruel unfaithfulness of these wicked women. But God made a greater sacrifice when he gave his own Son to die in order to accomplish a universal benefit. And so the death of Ezekiel’s wife was so necessary in the estimation of God that the prophet was forbidden to make any visible or audible complaint.

Verse 17

Eze 24:17. Make no mourning for the dead did not mean he was not allowed to have any feeling of grief, but that he was to make no outcry over it. In that sense he was to be dumb; not that he could not speak if occasion required. The closing expressions of the verse means he was to conduct himself in a normal manner and not act like one in mourning. Bat net the bread, of wen. When death enters a home it is customary for neighbors to relieve the family of the burden and worry of household tasks by coming in and providing the meals. Ezekiel was restricted from aocepting any such favors, because that would be an outward demonstration of mourning.

Verse 18

Eze 24:18. There are two mornings spoken of in this verse, one was on the day when God was to take away "the desire of his eyes,” the other was the morning of the next day. In the first morning Ezekiel spoke to the people about what was to happen and in the evening of that day the “stroke” came which was the death of his wife, The next morning the prophet started his attitude of apparent indifference as he was commanded.

Verse 19

Eze 24:19. The conduct of Ezekiel was so unusual for one whose home was darkened by death, and especially by the death of one’s companion. This caused the people to ask him for an explanation of what these things are to us.

Verse 20

Eze 24:20. The prophet replied by telling them it was according to the word of the Lord, He had to speak in order to give them such a reply, which shows that the dumbness that was attributed to him for a period of years was not a physical defect imposed upon him. He was to be dumb or silent as to making an audible complaint

Verse 21

Eze 24:21. Ezekiel continued the explanation of his strange conduct upon the death of his wife. In doing so we are given a clue as to the purpose of both the death of the prophet’s wife and of the conduct he was directed to maintain. It was a symbol of what was to befall the people of Judah and the attitude they were to manifest. They, like the prophet, were to lose something that was dear to them namely, their capital city with its citizens. Profane my sanctuary means the holy city and temple were to be given over into the hands of the heathen who would strip them of their belongings and put a stop to the sacred ceremonies.

Verse 22

Eze 24:22. The people of Judah, like the prophet, were not to make demonstrations of grief over their loss. This was to preclude their accepting any favors from others who might be disposed to offer them, such as food and the comforts of life.

Verse 23

Eze 24:23. Tires is from retm which Strong defines, "An embellishment, i.e. fancy head-dress." It would not usually be worn in times of distress, but these people were commanded to wear them just the same as it nothing had happened, }Wot mourn nor weep had reference to the formal outward demonstrations in the sight of the general public. But they were permitted to mourn one toward another, which means they could have their grief If they (people of Judah) kept it among themselves.

Verse 24

Eze 24:24. Ezekiel is unto you a sign. This gives the key to the situation, that the misfortune of the prophet and his conduct concerning it. was to be an example of how the people of Judah were to act upon the misfortune of losing their city.

Verse 25

Eze 24:25, The preceding verse informed the people of Judah of the connection between them and Ezekiel, and this verse, addressed to the prophet, informs him when the “sign” is to be carried out. It is to be when the Lord takes from them the desire of their eyes which we understand to be their capital city of Jerusalem,

Verse 26

Eze 24:26, He that escapes means one who escapes from Jerusalem at the time of its capture and destruction. Ezekiel will still be in Babylon when that misfortune occurs, just as he was at the time all this "acting" was being done. The one who escapes will go to Babylon and tell the prophet by word of mouth of the destruction of Jerusalem, which will have been revealed to him that same day by inspiration.

Verse 27

Eze 24:27. In that day . . . be no more dumb means that the restrictions which Ezekiel had been under, explained at verse 17, will be lifted and he will be permitted to express himself according to his feelings.
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Bibliographical Information
Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on Ezekiel 24". Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament. https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/znt/ezekiel-24.html. 1952.