1 You also, son of man, take a brick, and lay it before you, and engrave on it a city, Jerusalem: 2 Then lay siege against it, build a fort on it, and cast a ramp against it; also set the camp against it, and set battering rams against it all around. 3 And take yourself an iron griddle, and set it for a wall of iron between you and the city: set your face against it, and it will be besieged; you will lay siege against it. This will be a sign to the house of Israel.
- This was a visual aid of God’s message.
- Remember in Ezekiel 1 that these visions were given after the northern kingdom of Israel had gone into captivity.
- The southern kingdom was still in its land.
4 You also, lie on your left side, and lay the iniquity of the house of Israel on it: according to the number of the days that you will lie on it you will bear their iniquity. 5 For I have laid on you the years of their iniquity, according to the number of the days, 390 days: so will you bear the iniquity of the house of Israel.
- Isaiah 53:4 Surely he has borne our grief’s, and carried our sorrows: yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. :5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his wounds we are healed.
6 And when you have accomplished them, lie again on your right side, and bear the iniquity of the house of Judah forty days: I have appointed you each day for a year. 7 Therefore set your face toward the siege of Jerusalem, and your arm will be uncovered, and you will prophesy against it.
God provides what is needed for what He requires of us
8 And, behold, I will put cords on you, so you will not turn from one side to another until you have ended the days of your siege. 9 Also take to yourself wheat, barley, beans, lentils, millet and spelt, and put them in one jar, and make bread for yourself, according to the number of the days that you will lie on your side, 390 days you will eat of it. 10 And your food that you eat will be by weight, twenty shekels a day: from time to time will you eat it. 11 You will also drink water by measure, the sixth part of a hin: from time to time you will drink.
- A hin was nearly six pints therefore 3/4 of a gallon, therefore 1 pint here.
- God was going to drive them out of the rest of their land because of the continued, longstanding disobedience.
12 And you will eat it like barley cakes, and you will bake it with dung that comes from man, in their sight. 13 And the LORD said, This is how the children of Israel will eat their defiled bread among the Gentiles, where I will drive them. 14 Then I said, Ah Lord GOD! Behold, my soul has not been polluted: for from my youth until now I have not eaten of what dies of itself, or is torn in pieces; neither came abominable flesh into my mouth. 15 Then he said to me, See, I have given you cow’s dung for man’s dung, and you will prepare your bread with it. 16 Moreover he said to me, Son of man, behold, I will break the staff of bread in Jerusalem: and they will eat bread by weight, and with care; and they will drink water by measure, and with astonishment: 17 That they may lack bread and water, and be astonished one with another, and consume away for their iniquity.
- God is holy. He gave them a warning illustration and time to return to Him.
- By application we cannot live disobedient lives and expect no consequence.
- Isaiah 55:7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return to the LORD, and he will have mercy on him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
1 And you, son of man, take a sharp knife, a barber’s razor, and shave your head and your beard: then take a scale to weigh, and divide the hair. 2 You are to burn a third part with fire in the midst of the city when the days of the siege are fulfilled: and you are to take a third part, and beat around it with a sword: and a third part you are to scatter in the wind; and I will draw out a sword after them. 3 Also take a few in number, and tie them in your skirts. 4 Then take some of them again, and cast them into the midst of the fire, and burn them in the fire, for a fire will come out from it into all the house of Israel.
- God gave the people a demonstration of what was going to happen to them.
God set Israel in the midst of the nations as a light to guide them to Him
5 The Lord God says this; This is Jerusalem: I have set it in the midst of the nations and countries that are round about her. 6 And she has changed my judgments into wickedness more than the nations, and my statutes more than the countries that are round about her: for they have refused my judgments and my statutes, they have not walked in them.
- This verse shows us is that God holds all nations accountable for keeping His word.
- John 1:9 tells us that Jesus enlightens every man that comes into the world.
- Therefore people know; therefore nations know.
7 Therefore the Lord God says this; Because you rebelled more than the nations that are around you, and have not walked in my statutes, neither have kept my judgments, neither have done according to the judgments of the nations that are round about you; 8 Therefore the Lord God says; Behold, I, even I, am against you, and will execute judgments in your midst in the sight of the nations. 9 And I will do in you what I have not done, and what I will not do again, because of all your abominations. 10 Therefore the fathers will eat the sons in the midst of you, and the sons will eat their fathers; and I will execute judgments in you, and I will scatter the whole remnant of you into all the winds.
- This is severe because their actions were leading the nations of the world to eternal death.
- Nothing is more severe than that!
- When you raise your children without leading them to God, you are devouring their souls: they are held back from the wondrous peace, blessing, and eternal life that God desires to give them.
- Their discipline was a physical picture of what they were doing to the souls of their children.
- It would be unrighteous if God did not warn them about this.
He warned that He would cause His fury to rest on them
11 Therefore, as I live, says the Lord GOD; Surely, because you have defiled my sanctuary with all your detestable things, and with all your abominations, therefore I will also diminish you; neither will my eye spare, neither will I have any pity. 12 A third of you will die with the pestilence, and they will be consumed with famine in the midst of you: and a third will fall by the sword round you and I will scatter a third part into all the winds, and I will draw out a sword after them. 13 By this will my anger be accomplished, and I will cause my fury to rest on them, and I will be comforted: and they will know that I the LORD have spoken it in my zeal, when I have accomplished my fury in them. 14 Moreover I will make you a waste, and a reproach among the nations that are around you, in the sight of all that pass by. 15 So it will be a reproach and a taunt, an instruction and an astonishment to the nations that are around you, when I execute judgments in you in anger and in fury and in furious rebukes. I the LORD have spoken it.
- God’s judgment of Israel would teach the nations. That is what Israel was supposed to be doing.
16 When I send on them the evil arrows of famine, which will be for their destruction, and which I will send to destroy you: and I will increase the famine on you, and will break your staff of bread: 17 So I will send on you famine and evil beasts, and they will bereave you; and pestilence and blood will pass through you; and I will bring the sword on you. I the LORD have spoken it.
- God wants to bless (Genesis 1, 2). He doesn’t want to judge.
- But He is holy.
- Man too often follows evil rather than his Maker.
- Nineveh turned to God at His warning and was spared the judgment. Israel could do that too.
- Joel 2:13 Tear your heart, and not your garments, and turn to the LORD your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, of great kindness, and repents him of the evil.
God destroys false worship
1 And the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 2 Son of man, set your face toward the mountains of Israel, and prophesy against them, 3 and say, You mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord GOD; The Lord God says to the mountains, and to the hills, to the rivers, and to the valleys; Behold, I, even I, will bring a sword on you, and I will destroy your high places. 4 And your altars will be desolate, and your images will be broken: and I will cast down your dead men before your idols. 5 And I will lay the dead carcasses of the children of Israel before their idols; and I will scatter your bones around your altars.
- False gods bring death.
- Part of this false worship was the sacrifice of their children.
- The children went to be with God at death.
- If these children had lived they would have been led by their parents into idolatry and eternal death.
- Jeremiah 19:5 They have built the high places of Baal, to burn their sons with fire for burnt offerings unto Baal, which I did not commanded, nor spoke, neither did it come into my mind.
6 In all your dwelling places the cities will be laid waste, and the high places will be desolate; so that your altars may be laid waste and made desolate, your idols broken and cease, your images cut down, and your works abolished. 7 And the dead will fall in the midst of you, and you will know that I am the LORD.
- Ezekiel 33:11 Say to them, As I live, says the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn, turn from your evil ways; for why will you die, O house of Israel?
8 Yet I will leave a remnant so that you may have some that will escape the sword among the nations when you are scattered through the countries. 9 And those that escape from you will remember me among the nations where they are carried captives, because I am broken with their whorish heart that has departed from me, and with their eyes that go whoring after their idols: they will loathe themselves for the evils they have committed in all their abominations.
- It breaks God’s heart when we worship false things.
- We did not create ourselves.
- He created us in His own image and loves us enough die for us.
- False beliefs and ways cause much suffering and ruin.
- Worship of the true and living God brings great blessing.
10 And they will know that I am the LORD and that I have not said in vain that I would do this evil to them. 11 The Lord God says this; Strike with your hand, and stamp with your foot, and say, Alas for all the evil abominations of the house of Israel! They will fall by the sword, by famine, and by the plague. 12 He that is far off will die of the plague; and he that is near will fall by the sword; and he that remains and is besieged will die by famine: by this I will accomplish my fury on them. 13 Then you will know that I am the LORD, when their dead men are among their idols around their altars, on every high hill, in all the tops of the mountains, under every green tree, and under every thick oak, the place where they offered sweet aroma to all their idols. 14 So I will stretch out my hand on them, and make the land desolate, yes, more desolate than the wilderness toward Diblath, in all their habitations: and they will know that I am the LORD.
- Jeremiah 10:10 But the LORD is the true God, he is the living God, and an everlasting king: at his wrath the earth will tremble, and the nations will not be able to abide his indignation.
God judges evil people according to their ways
1 Moreover the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 2 And you son of man, The Lord God says this to the land of Israel; An end, the end has come upon the four corners of the land. 3 Now the end has come on you, and I will send my anger on you, and will judge you according to your ways, and will lay your ways upon you, all your abominations. 4 And my eye will not spare you, nor will I have pity: but I will lay your ways upon you, and your abominations will be in the midst of you: and you will know that I am the LORD.
- He is the LORD, the source and controller of all things.
- The people deserved this because of the horrible things they were doing in worship of false gods.
- God sent this judgment so that His people would know that He is God, the LORD who controls all things, the One who could help and fulfill them. The idols that they worshipped could not fix anything, they were what brought the trouble.
- God’s word is so powerful as to have created all things—Psalm 33:6, 9.
- Luke 21:33 Heaven and earth will pass away: but my words will not pass away.
5 The Lord God says; Behold, an evil, a united evil has come. 6 An end has come, the end has come: it watches for you; behold, it has come. 7 The morning has come to you, O you that dwell in the land: the time has come, the day of trouble is near, and not an echo in the mountains. 8 Now I will shortly pour out my fury on you, and accomplish my anger on you: and I will judge you according to your ways, and will repay you for all your abominations. 9 And my eye will not spare, neither will I have pity: I will repay you according to your ways and your abominations that are in the midst of you; and you will know that I am the LORD that strikes. 10 Behold the day, behold, it has come: the morning has gone forth; the rod has blossomed, pride has budded. 11 Violence has risen up into a rod of wickedness: none of them will remain, nor of their multitude, nor of any of theirs: neither will there be wailing for them.
- This warning should have caused them to fall on their knees before God in repentance.
- God repeated it.
- In Genesis 41:32 Joseph explained that the doubling, repeating, meant that the thing was set before God and He would shortly bring it to pass.
12 The time has come, the day draws near: do not let the buyer rejoice or the seller mourn: for wrath is on all its multitude. 13 For the seller will not return to that which is sold, although they were still alive: for the vision is concerning all their multitude, which will not return; neither will any strengthen himself in the iniquity of his life. 14 They have blown the trumpet, even to make all ready; but none goes to the battle: for my wrath is on all their multitude. 15 The sword is outside, and the plague and the famine within: he that is in the field will die with the sword; and he that is in the city, famine and pestilence will devour him. 16 But those that escape from them will escape, and will be on the mountains like doves of the valleys, all of them mourning, every one for his iniquity. 17 All hands will be feeble, and all knees will be weak as water. 18 They will clothe themselves with sackcloth, and horror will cover them; and shame will be on all faces, and baldness on all their heads.
- Sackcloth and baldness were used in mourning the dead.
- Remember that this judgment only reflects what they were doing to God and others.
- Evil leads to much suffering and death.
- God is life.
- Following God brings great blessing.
19 They will cast their silver in the streets, and their gold will be removed: their silver and their gold will not be able to deliver them in the day of the wrath of the LORD: they will not satisfy their souls, neither fill their bowels: because it is the stumbling block of their iniquity. 20 As for the beauty of his ornament, he set it in majesty: but they made the images of their abominations and of their detestable things in it: therefore I have set it far from them.
- God is the glory of Israel: and our glory (Ezekiel 1:26).
- They cheated and killed for silver and gold.
- Ezekiel 22:13 Behold, therefore I have struck my hand at your dishonest gain which you have made, and at your blood which has been in the midst of you.
- John 6:35 And Jesus said to them, I am the bread of life: he that comes to me will never hunger; and he that believes on me will never thirst.
21 And I will give it into the hands of the foreigners for a prize, and to the wicked of the earth for plunder; and they will pollute it. 22 I will turn my face from them, and they will pollute my secret place: for robbers will enter into it, and defile it. 23 Make a chain: for the land is full of bloody crimes, and the city is full of violence. 24 Therefore I will bring the worst of the heathen, and they will possess their houses: I will also make the pomp of the strong to cease; and their holy places will be defiled. 25 Destruction comes; and they will seek peace, and there will be none.
- Violence and murder are inspired and empowered by evil.
- In Genesis 9:6 God authorized capital punishment for murder.
- Isaiah 13:9 Behold, the day of the LORD comes, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he will destroy its sinners out of it.
26 Disaster will come on disaster, and rumor on rumor; then they will seek a vision of the prophet; but the law will perish from the priest, and counsel from the ancients. 27 The king will mourn, and the prince will be clothed with desolation, and the hands of the people of the land will be troubled: I will do to them after their way, and according to what they deserve I will judge them; and they will know that I am the LORD.
- Galatians 6:7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatever a man sows, that is what he will reap.
- Deuteronomy 32:4 He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.
SUMMARY: Ezekiel 4-7
- God provides what is needed for what He requires of us
- God set Israel in the midst of the nations as a light to guide them to Him
- God destroys false worship
- He warned that He would cause His fury to rest on them
- God judges evil people according to their ways