posted on Feb, 9 2018 @ 05:01 PM
Ezekiel is the prophet of the fall of Jerusalem to the Babylonians.
After his encounter with God by the river Chebar, he spent more than a year silently acting out the future siege.
He was taken to Jerusalem in another vision, which explained why the siege would take place.
Then it was time for another bout of dumb-show, covering what would happen at the end of the siege (ch12).
This is a message for the people of Judah, and therefore everything is to be done “in their sight”, or at least in the sight of the existing
“Perhaps they will understand, though they are a rebellious house”.
He is to prepare “an exile’s baggage” and “go like an exile from your place to another place”.
The baggage is to be brought out of his house during daylight hours.
He is then to dig through “the wall”. This represents a city wall, but it need not be the real city wall of their place of residence. The clay
wall of a yard would do just as well, I suppose.
Waiting for dark, he will then lift the baggage on his shoulders and carry it out through the hole. He is to cover his face, not so much to conceal
his face from others as to keep the sight of the land away from his own eyes.
He carries out this sequence of actions once, and I suspect that his tongue is bound again while it happens. Naturally people have been asking what he
was doing, and he is allowed to explain once the sequence has been completed.
It concerns the fact that the people of Jerusalem will leave the city and go into exile and captivity.
In particular, it relates to the attempted escape of “the prince”, King Zedekiah himself. He will do all these things, lifting his own baggage,
digging his way through the wall, and hiding his face from the land which he is deserting.
He will be taken to Babylon, but he will not see it (that is, he will be blinded on the orders of Nebuchadnezzar).
One more piece of dumb-show depicts what happens to the survivors.
Ezekiel is instructed to “eat your bread with quaking, and drink water with trembling and with fearfulness”. The old ICC commentator remarks that
“obviously” he did not really do this. I see no reason for that assumption- it would have been a comparatively simple piece of acting. All these
actions imposed upon Ezekiel are necessary as visual aids in the teaching process, and a mere description of them as possible events would not be half
The message here is that the survivors of the siege will be living in fear, because they have lost their home, and their sense of security under God.
Also the land will be in a state of anarchy; as we see from other prophecies (like the book of Obadiah), the surrounding nations will join the
Babylonians in raiding the territory.
Thus prophecy from the Lord has outlined what will happen as a result of his intentions for Jerusalem.
Therefore he now tackles the problem of scepticism about prophecy.
There is a current proverb that “The days grow long, and every vision comes to naught”. In other words “It will never happen”.
The Lord will prove this proverb wrong, because the time of complete fulfilment, in the case of this judgemental prophecy, has arrived.
“The days are at hand, and the fulfilment of every vision”.
Indeed, the events depicted in Ezekiel’s enactments would reach their climax within five years.
This would spell the end of “lying divinations” in the house of Israel; that is, it would disprove the optimistic divinations of the false
Of course the prophecies of judgement had not been lying at all, as Jerusalem would soon find out.
There is another proverb, possibly what people were saying about Ezekiel himself; “The vision that he sees is for many days hence, and he prophesies
of times far off”.
This falls short of outright scepticism. It is the less dismissive attitude of “It will happen, but not in my time”. As Louis XV is supposed to
have said, “Apres moi le deluge”.
This gets another firm response;
“Thus says the Lord God; None of my words will be delayed any longer, but the word I speak will be performed”.