King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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Ezekiel 3

The preparation of the prophet for his work. (1-11) His office, as that of a watchman. (12-21) The restraining and restoring his speech. (22-27)

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The preparation of the prophet for his work

1 Moreover he said unto me, Son of man, eat that thou findest; eat this roll, and go speak unto the house of Israel.

2 So I opened my mouth, and he caused me to eat that roll.

3 And he said unto me, Son of man, cause thy belly to eat, and fill thy bowels with this roll that I give thee. Then did I eat it; and it was in my mouth as honey for sweetness.

4 And he said unto me, Son of man, go, get thee unto the house of Israel, and speak with my words unto them.

5 For thou art not sent to a people of a strange speech and of an hard language, but to the house of Israel;

6 Not to many people of a strange speech and of an hard language, whose words thou canst not understand. Surely, had I sent thee to them, they would have hearkened unto thee.

7 But the house of Israel will not hearken unto thee; for they will not hearken unto me: for all the house of Israel are impudent and hardhearted.

8 Behold, I have made thy face strong against their faces, and thy forehead strong against their foreheads.

9 As an adamant harder than flint have I made thy forehead: fear them not, neither be dismayed at their looks, though they be a rebellious house.

10 Moreover he said unto me, Son of man, all my words that I shall speak unto thee receive in thine heart, and hear with thine ears.

11 And go, get thee to them of the captivity, unto the children of thy people, and speak unto them, and tell them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear.

His office, as that of a watchman

12 Then the spirit took me up, and I heard behind me a voice of a great rushing, saying, Blessed be the glory of the LORD from his place.

13 I heard also the noise of the wings of the living creatures that touched one another, and the noise of the wheels over against them, and a noise of a great rushing.

14 So the spirit lifted me up, and took me away, and I went in bitterness, in the heat of my spirit; but the hand of the LORD was strong upon me.

15 Then I came to them of the captivity at Telabib, that dwelt by the river of Chebar, and I sat where they sat, and remained there astonished among them seven days.

16 And it came to pass at the end of seven days, that the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,

17 Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me.

18 When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.

19 Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.

20 Again, When a righteous man doth turn from his righteousness, and commit iniquity, and I lay a stumbling-block before him, he shall die: because thou hast not given him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he hath done shall not be remembered; but his blood will I require at thine hand.

21 Nevertheless if thou warn the righteous man, that the righteous sin not, and he doth not sin, he shall surely live, because he is warned; also thou hast delivered thy soul.

The restraining and restoring his speech

22 And the hand of the LORD was there upon me; and he said unto me, Arise, go forth into the plain, and I will there talk with thee.

23 Then I arose, and went forth into the plain: and, behold, the glory of the LORD stood there, as the glory which I saw by the river of Chebar: and I fell on my face.

24 Then the spirit entered into me, and set me upon my feet, and spake with me, and said unto me, Go, shut thyself within thine house.

25 But thou, O son of man, behold, they shall put bands upon thee, and shall bind thee with them, and thou shalt not go out among them:

26 And I will make thy tongue cleave to the roof of thy mouth, that thou shalt be dumb, and shalt not be to them a reprover: for they are a rebellious house.

27 But when I speak with thee, I will open thy mouth, and thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; He that heareth, let him hear; and he that forbeareth, let him forbear: for they are a rebellious house.

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 1. Eat this book, and go speak to the children of Israel. By this eating of the book, was signified the diligent attention and affection with which we are to receive and embrace the word of God; and to let it as it were, sink into our interior by devout meditation. Ch. — The revelation came from God. v. 10. W.

Ver. 2. Book, in spirit; (C.) or in reality, he chewed the volume. H.

Ver. 3. Mouth. I readily accepted the commission, but soon found the difficulties to which it would expose me. v. 12. Jer. xv. 16. Apoc. x. 10.

Ver. 6. Unknown. Heb. “heavy.” C. — Prot. “hard.” H. — It is not above thy strength. Deut. xxx. 12. — To thee. He insinuates that the Gentiles would obey the apostles. S. Jer. — But the time was not yet come. C. — From this text and Mat. xi. 21. it appears that “the same grace” is accepted by some and rejected by others, as “more grace is added to the former, which was sufficient before, and by this…is made effectual” through God’s mercy. Rom. ix. W. — Those who reject the first grace, can blame only themselves, if they receive no more. The same grace falling on a heat better prepared by God, like seed on good soil, is more fruitful.

Ver. 7. Hard. Lit. “rubbed” like a stone, or brass; attritâ. H. — God’s ambassadors (Eph. vi. 20. C.) must do their utmost. H. — The success must not puff them up, nor the failure too much depressed them, as all regards God, (Mat. x. 40.) who will know how to make things conduce to his own glory. They must only bewail the blindness of sinners. C. — The care of them, and not the cure, will be required at their hands. v. 19. H.

Ver. 8. Harder. If they will not blush, thou shalt not be ashamed to lay their disorders before their eyes, though they be such as ought not to be mentioned, as becomes saints. H. See C. xvi. and xxii. C.

Ver. 12. Spirit; wind (Hugo) or angel, took me through the air; (Prado.) or, I went willingly. S. Jer. — Commotion, like an earthquake, (Heb. Sept.) occasioned by the motion of the chariot, or the voice of the cherubim. v. 13.

Ver. 14. Spirit, resolved to rebuke (C.) sinners. Sept. “the spirit of the Lord also lifted me…and I went aloft (like a meteor; meteoros) by the impulse of my spirit; for the hand of the Lord upon me was strong; and I went loft, to the captivity, and passed through them…conversing in the midst of them.” H.

Ver. 15. The heap of new corn. It was the name of a place; in Hebrew, Telabib, (Ch.) as the Chal. leaves it (M.) with the three Greek interpreters. C. — Tel means “a heap,” and abib “new corn.” H. — There was no new wheat in the fourth month, but rather in May or June. C. i. 1. Ptolemy places Thelda near the Chaboras. — Mourning; or Prot. “astonished,” like Job’s friends, for people dead in sin. H. — Many suppose that he never spoke. Yet this is not certain, (v. 11. C.) though probable from v. 16. H.

Ver. 17. Watchman: the usual title of those placed over others. C. xxxiii. 2. Is. xxi. 6. Let none perish through thy neglect. C. — “He (the pastor) kills the man whom he delivers up to death by silence.” S. Greg. hom. xi. 9.

Ver. 20. Iniquity, for want of thy instruction; (H.) or, if thou neglect to reclaim him, (C.) and he perish, or owe his conversion to another, when duty requires thee to take care of him, thou shalt answer for the possible bad consequences. Thy sin is great, whatever become of him. But if he be damned, though he must blame himself chiefly, yet the blood of his soul shall cry for vengeance more than Abel’s. H. — Before him, taking away my grace in punishment of his revolt. W. — If thou neglect to attempt reclaiming him, thou shalt perish with him; (S. Greg.) or if he be exposed to trial, and thou abandon him, (Vat.) of if thou neglect to husband well the precious moments, when I open his eyes, and fill him with apprehensions of his dangerous state, I will require, &c. Orig. S. Jer. — Remembered. Ingratitude caused the fruits of virtue to decay, and former crimes to revive, in some sense. S. Tho. iii. p. q. 88. a. 1. Mat. v. 26. C.

Ver. 21. Warn. It is the duty of a pastor to warn the just as well as sinners. W. — It will not suffice to do this publicly: sometimes we must go from house to house, like S. Paul, and compel those who are in the hedges to enter the marriage feast, by the most persuasive arguments. H.

Ver. 25. Bands. It is uncertain whether by his order, or they supposed he was deranged, as our Saviour’s brethren meant to treat him. Mar. iii. 21. The Chal. explains it figuratively of God’s order, attaching the prophet to his service. C. — But real chains would more forcibly shew the future captivity of Juda (H.) which the prophet declared both by words and actions. C.

Ver. 26. House. “When there is a multitude of sins, (or sinners; peccatorum) the offenders are unworthy of being corrected by the Lord.” S. Jer. — The prophet’s silence might suffice to admonish them. C. — He heard the Lord’s commands to C. xi. 24. before he spoke to the people. M.

Ver. 27. Forbeareth. Sept. “disbelieveth, let him disbelieve.” So we read, He that is unjust, let him be unjust still; (Apoc. xxii. 11.) which denotes the most desperate condition. H. — Aquila (2 edit.) has, “he who abandons, shall be abandoned.” S. Jer. — The man who makes good use of grace shall receive more; but he who despises the offers of God, shall be justly deprived of them in his greatest need. C.