Ezekiel – 12 and 13
- 12:1-20 declares by two vivid symbolic actions on the part of the prophet the doom that was in store both for the people of Jerusalem (verses 3, 4, 18, 19) and for the king (verses 5, 6, 10-16). Having grasped the significance of the prophecy, turn to 2 Kgs. 25:1-7 to see how exactly it was fulfilled.
- Note the two scoffing remarks in 12:22 and 27. What does this signify? How are they paralleled in modern attitudes to the second coming of Christ? Cf. 2 Pet. 3:8-10.
- Chapter 13. Condemnation of false prophets. By what two vivid images are they described (see verses 4 and 10, 11), and what is the effect of their prophesying (verses 6, 10a, 22)? What phrase differentiating them from true prophets occurs twice in the chapter?
- 13:18-21. The magic armbands and veils were devices used by sooth Sayers and clairvoyants to deceive gullible victims. The handfuls of barley and pieces of bread were probably used in forms of divination, forecasting life or death to inquirers.
Ezekiel – 14 and 15
- 14:1-11. (a) If men whose hearts are inwardly alienated from God come professing to seek guidance from him, will God answer them? What must they first do? If they do not do so, what will be their end? (b) If a prophet should fail to follow this rule, and attempt to give guidance, how will God deal with him?
- People might ask, ‘Will not the presence of righteous men among a sinful nation save it from destruction?’ Cf. eg., Gen. 18:23-26. How does God in reply show that in the present instance the righteous will be saved out of the destruction, but will not be able to save others? Cf. 9:4-6; Jer. 15:1. If any should escape, what purpose will this accomplish (see 14:22, 23)?
- Noah, Daniel and Job are probably all three patriarchal characters. It is not likely that Ezekiel would be thinking of his contemporary in exile, Daniel the prophet. We know of a Daniel from the Ras Shamra tablets of 1400 BC. And this is a more likely identification.
- For another example of Israel as God’s vine, see Is. 5:1-7.