Ezekiel 12


וַיְהִי דְבַר־יְהוָה אֵלַי לֵאמֹר׃   12:1

Ezek. 12:1   Now the word of the Lord occurred to me saying,

בֶּן־אָדָם בְּתֹוךְ בֵּית־הַמֶּרִי אַתָּה יֹשֵׁב אֲשֶׁר עֵינַיִם לָהֶם לִרְאֹות וְלֹא רָאוּ אָזְנַיִם לָהֶם לִשְׁמֹעַ וְלֹא   12:2 שָׁמֵעוּ כִּי בֵּית מְרִי הֵם׃

Ezek. 12:2   “Human, you are dwelling in the midst of the house of rebellion that eyes are theirs to see and they do not see, ears are theirs to hear and they do not hear, for they are a rebellious house.”

Aha!  I believe Ezekiel has neglected to tell us that this is another vision.  Unless this is an-out-of-time-sequence chapter, Ezekiel is still either in his house in the land of the Chaldeans or at the river Chebar, yet the Lord tells him he’s in Judah.

וְאַתָּה בֶן־אָדָם עֲשֵׂה לְךָ כְּלֵי גֹולָה וּגְלֵה יֹוםָם לְעֵינֵיהֶם וְגָלִיתָ מִמְּקֹומְךָ אֶל־מָקֹום אַחֵר לְעֵינֵיהֶם   12:3 אוּלַי יִרְאוּ כִּי בֵּית מְרִי הֵמָּה׃

Ezek. 12:3   “So you, human, prepare for yourself objects of exile, then remove by day for their eyes, and you shall remove from your place to another place for their eyes; perhaps they will pay attention, though they are a rebellious house.”

וְהֹוצֵאתָ כֵלֶיךָ כִּכְלֵי גֹולָה יֹוםָם לְעֵינֵיהֶם וְאַתָּה תֵּצֵא בָעֶרֶב לְעֵינֵיהֶם כְּמֹוצָאֵי גֹּולָה׃   12:4

Ezek. 12:4   “And you shall bring your articles out as if they were articles of exile by day for their eyes, and you shall go out at evening for their eyes like the going out of exiles.”

לְעֵינֵיהֶם חֲתָר־לְךָ בַקִּיר וְהֹוצֵאתָ בֹּו׃   12:5

Ezek. 12:5   “For their eyes, dig through the wall for yourself, and you shall bring out by it.”

לְעֵינֵיהֶם עַל־כָּתֵף תִּשָּׂא בָּעֲלָטָה תֹוצִיא פָּנֶיךָ תְכַסֶּה וְלֹא תִרְאֶה אֶת־הָאָרֶץ כִּי־מֹופֵת נְתַתִּיךָ   12:6         לְבֵית יִשְׂרָאֵל׃

Ezek. 12:6   “For their eyes, you shall carry on a shoulder; in darkness you shall bring out; you shall cover your face so you cannot see the ground, for I have made you a sign for the house of Israel.”

וָאַעַשׂ כֵּן כַּאֲשֶׁר צֻוֵּיתִי כֵּלַי הֹוצֵאתִי כִּכְלֵי גֹולָה יֹוםָם וּבָעֶרֶב חָתַרְתִּי־לִי בַקִּיר בְּיָד בָּעֲלָטָה   12:7              הֹוצֵאתִי עַל־כָּתֵף נָשָׂאתִי לְעֵינֵיהֶם׃

Ezek. 12:7   Then I would do exactly as I had been commanded; I carried my articles forth like objects of exile by day, and in the evening I dug through the wall by hand for myself; in darkness I came out; I carried on a shoulder for their eyes.

The first word is an imperfect verb with a non-inverting vav prefix.  Thus according to me, the translation is accurate.  But all other translators have “I did” instead of “I would do.”  But is this still a vision?  See the next verse.

וַיְהִי דְבַר־יְהוָה אֵלַי בַּבֹּקֶר לֵאמֹר׃   12:8

Ezek. 12:8  And the word of the Lord occurred to me in the morning saying,

This is still the vision.  Remember that Ezekiel is saying that he’s just spent the night following the God Figure’s instructions, being a sign, a warning of the coming exile.  He still envisions himself in Judah.

בֶּן־אָדָם הֲלֹא אָמְרוּ אֵלֶיךָ בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל בֵּית הַמֶּרִי מָה אַתָּה עֹשֶׂה׃   12:9

Ezek. 12:9   “Human, have the house of Israel, a house of rebellion, not said to you, ‘What are you doing?’”

Ezekiel seems to consistently see the house of Israel as a plural noun.  He uses plural verbs for which the house of Israel is the subject, both here and below in vss. 12:10 and 12:27.  I suspect when Ezekiel says house of Israel, he thinks members of the house of Israel.

אֱמֹר אֲלֵיהֶם כֹּה אָמַר אֲדֹנָי יְהֹוִה הַנָּשִׂיא הַמַּשָּׂא הַזֶּה בִּירוּשָׁלִַם וְכָל־בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל אֲשֶׁר־הֵמָּה   12:10 בְתֹוכָם׃

Ezek. 12:10   “Say to them, ‘Thus says the Master, the Lord, of the prince, of this burden in Jerusalem, and of any of the house of Israel among which they are.’

Did you remember that burden is a synonym for prophesy?  It’s probably the latter that is meant here, although the word could have a double meaning, denoting both the burden carried by Ezekiel and the main prophesy of this chapter.

אֱמֹר אֲנִי מֹופֶתְכֶם כַּאֲשֶׁר עָשִׂיתִי כֵּן יֵעָשֶׂה לָהֶם בַּגֹּולָה בַשְּׁבִי יֵלֵכוּ׃   12:11

Ezek. 12:11   ‘He says I am your sign.  As I did, so He shall do to them; into exile, into captivity, they shall go.’

וְהַנָּשִׂיא אֲשֶׁר־בְּתֹוכָם אֶל־כָּתֵף יִשָּׂא בָּעֲלָטָה וְיֵצֵא בַּקִּיר יַחְתְּרוּ לְהֹוצִיא בֹו פָּנָיו יְכַסֶּה יַעַן אֲשֶׁר   12:12 לֹא־יִרְאֶה לַעַיִן הוּא אֶת־הָאָרֶץ׃

Ezek. 12:12   ’Thus the prince who is among them shall carry at the shoulder in darkness, and he shall go forth; they shall dig into the wall to bring out through it; his face will be covered for the reason that he should not see the ground by eye.’”

I suspect that the prince is Zedekiah.

וּפָרַשְׂתִּי אֶת־רִשְׁתִּי עָלָיו וְנִתְפַּשׂ בִּמְצוּדָתִי וְהֵבֵאתִי אֹתֹו בָבֶלָה אֶרֶץ כַּשְׂדִּים וְאֹותָהּ לֹא־יִרְאֶה   12:13   וְשָׁם יָמוּת׃

Ezek. 12:13   “And I shall spread My net over him, and he shall be caught by My net and I will bring him to Babylon, the land of the Chaldeans, but he will not see it, and there he shall die.”

וְכֹל אֲשֶׁר סְבִיבֹתָיו (עֶזְרֹה) [עֶזְרֹו] וְכָל־אֲגַפָּיו אֱזָרֶה לְכָל־רוּחַ וְחֶרֶב אָרִיק אַחֲרֵיהֶם׃   12:14

Ezek. 12:14   “And anyone who might be on his every side helping him, as well as his entire army, I shall scatter to all the winds, and a sword I shall bring out after them.”

The error in the parentheses, translated as helping him, has a feminine pronoun suffix.  The correction in the brackets makes it masculine.

וְיָדְעוּ כִּי־אֲנִי יְהוָה בַּהֲפִיצִי אֹותָם בַּגֹּויִם וְזֵרִיתִי אֹותָם בָּאֲרָצֹות׃   12:15

Ezek. 12:15  “Then they might know that I, the Lord, am scattering them among the nations, and I will disperse them throughout the lands.”

Well, most of us still don’t know this.  That’s why I have might instead of shall in my translation.

וְהֹותַרְתִּי מֵהֶם אַנְשֵׁי מִסְפָּר מֵחֶרֶב מֵרָעָב וּמִדָּבֶר לְמַעַן יְסַפְּרוּ אֶת־כָּל־תֹּועֲבֹותֵיהֶם בַּגֹּויִם   12:16           אֲשֶׁר־בָּאוּ שָׁם וְיָדְעוּ כִּי־אֲנִי יְהוָה׃

Ezek. 12:16   “Yet I shall leave a residue from them, a few people, from the sword, from the famine, and from the pestilence, so that they may recount all their abominations in the nations where they go; then they may know that I am the Lord.”

וַיְהִי דְבַר־יְהוָה אֵלַי לֵאמֹר׃   12:17

Ezek. 12:17   Then the word of the Lord occurred to me saying,

The vision continues.

בֶּן־אָדָם לַחְמְךָ בְּרַעַשׁ תֹּאכֵל וּמֵימֶיךָ בְּרָגְזָה וּבִדְאָגָה תִּשְׁתֶּה׃   12:18

Ezek. 12:18   “Human, You must eat your bread with quaking, and drink your water with trembling and anxiety.”

וְאָמַרְתָּ אֶל־עַם הָאָרֶץ כֹּה־אָמַר אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה לְיֹושְׁבֵי יְרוּשָׁלִַם אֶל־אַדְמַת יִשְׂרָאֵל לַחְםָם בִּדְאָגָה   12:19 יֹאכֵלוּ וּמֵימֵיהֶם בְּשִׁמָּמֹון יִשְׁתּוּ לְמַעַן תֵּשַׁם אַרְצָהּ מִמְּלֹאָהּ מֵחֲמַס כָּל־הַיֹּשְׁבִים בָּהּ׃

Ezek. 12:19   “Then you must say to the people of the land, ‘Thus says the Master, the Lord, about the inhabitants of Jerusalem, about the land of Israel:  They shall eat their bread with anxiety, and drink their water with dismay, because its land will be desolate due to the complete injustice of all dwelling in it.”

וְהֶעָרִים הַנֹּושָׁבֹות תֶּחֱרַבְנָה וְהָאָרֶץ שְׁמָמָה תִהְיֶה וִידַעְתֶּם כִּי־אֲנִי יְהוָה׃   12:20

Ezek. 12:20   “And the inhabited cities shall be laid waste and the land shall be desolate; then you might know that I am the Lord.”

וַיְהִי דְבַר־יְהוָה אֵלַי לֵאמֹר׃   12:21

Ezek. 12:21   Then the word of the Lord occurred to me saying,

And yet the vision continues.

בֶּן־אָדָם מָה־הַמָּשָׁל הַזֶּה לָכֶם עַל־אַדְמַת יִשְׂרָאֵל לֵאמֹר יַאַרְכוּ הַיָּמִים וְאָבַד כָּל־חָזֹון׃   12:22

Ezek. 12:22   “Human, what is this proverb of yours on the soil of Israel saying, ‘The time shall be prolonged, as every vision goes astray?’”

This sounds like the house of Israel is being fooled by a false sense of security, saying that the time is passing and the prophesy (of destruction) is not fulfilled.  So it must be a lie.  This interpretation is verified below.

לָכֵן אֱמֹר אֲלֵיהֶם כֹּה־אָמַר אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה הִשְׁבַּתִּי אֶת־הַמָּשָׁל הַזֶּה וְלֹא־יִמְשְׁלוּ אֹתֹו עֹוד בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל   12:23

 כִּי אִם־דַּבֵּר אֲלֵיהֶם קָרְבוּ הַיָּמִים וּדְבַר כָּל־חָזֹון׃

Ezek. 12:23   “Because of this, say to them, ‘Thus says the Master, the Lord:  I shall make this proverb fail,’ so they will not use it for a proverb any longer in Israel, but instead say to them, ‘the days draw near, and the events of every vision.’”

כִּי לֹא יִהְיֶה עֹוד כָּל־חֲזֹון שָׁוְא וּמִקְסַם חָלָק בְּתֹוךְ בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל׃   12:24

Ezek. 12:24   “For there shall be no vision of vanity anymore, or flattering divination amid the house of Israel.”

כִּי אֲנִי יְהוָה אֲדַבֵּר אֵת אֲשֶׁר אֲדַבֵּר דָּבָר וְיֵעָשֶׂה לֹא תִמָּשֵׁךְ עֹוד כִּי בִימֵיכֶם בֵּית הַמֶּרִי אֲדַבֵּר   12:25 דָּבָר וַעֲשִׂיתִיו נְאֻם אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה׃

Ezek. 12:25   “For I am the Lord.  I shall speak what ever word I shall speak, and it shall be done; it shall not be delayed any longer, for in your days, house of rebellion, I will speak the word, and I will perform it, declares the Master, the Lord.”

וַיְהִי דְבַר־יְהוָה אֵלַי לֵאמֹר׃   12:26

Ezek. 12:26   Then the word of the Lord occurred to me saying,

בֶּן־אָדָם הִנֵּה בֵית־יִשְׂרָאֵל אֹמְרִים הֶחָזֹון אֲשֶׁר־הוּא חֹזֶה לְיָמִים רַבִּים וּלְעִתִּים רְחֹוקֹות הוּא   12:27


Ezek. 12:27   “Human, behold, the house of Israel are saying, ‘The vision that he sees is for many lifetimes, that he prophesies for distant times.’”

לָכֵן אֱמֹר אֲלֵיהֶם כֹּה אָמַר אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה לֹא־תִמָּשֵׁךְ עֹוד כָּל־דְּבָרָי אֲשֶׁר אֲדַבֵּר דָּבָר וְיֵעָשֶׂה נְאֻם   12:28      אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה׃

Ezek. 12:28   “To this, say to them, ‘Thus says the Master, the Lord:  All My words shall not be delayed any longer; when I speak a word, then it shall be done, declares the Master, the Lord.’”


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