Ezekiel 11:1-12

 

 

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Ezekiel 11:1  Moreover, the Spirit lifted me up and brought me to the east gate of the LORD'S house which faced eastward. And behold, there were twenty-five * men at the entrance of the gate, and among them I saw Jaazaniah son of Azzur and Pelatiah son of Benaiah, leaders of the people.
Young's Literal: And lift me up doth a spirit, and it bringeth me in unto the east gate of the house of Jehovah, that is facing the east, and lo, at the opening of the gate twenty and five men, and I see in their midst Jaazaniah son of Azzur, and Pelatiah son of Benaiah, heads of the people.
Amplified: MOREOVER, THE Spirit lifted me up and brought me to the East Gate of the Lord's house, which faces east. And behold, at the door of the gateway there were twenty-five men; and I saw in the midst of them Jaazaniah the son of Azzur and Pelatiah the son of Benaiah, princes of the people.

MOREOVER, THE SPIRIT LIFTED ME UP AND BROUGHT ME TO THE EAST GATE OF THE LORD'S HOUSE WHICH FACED EASTWARD: (Ezek 11:24; 3:12,14; 8:3; 37:1; 40:1,2; 41:1; 1Kings 18:12; 2Ki2:16; Ac 8:39; 2Co12:1-4; Rev1:10) (Ezek 10:19; 43:4)

"Spirit lifted me" is same phrase used 6 times in this book (click here).

"East gate" is the gate facing eastward toward the Kidron Valley and the Mount of Olives (directly east of the Temple Mount area). At the beginning of Ezekiel’s vision (Ezek8), he moved gradually into the temple area, starting at the north gate and moving towards the inner court. Now, as the vision draws to a close, Ezekiel's movement is outward in synch with his divine Guide.

AND BEHOLD, THERE WERE TWENTY-FIVE MEN AT THE ENTRANCE OF THE GATE, AND AMONG THEM I SAW JAAZANIAH SON OF AZZUR AND PELATIAH SON OF BENAIAH, LEADERS OF THE PEOPLE. (2Ki25:23) (Ezek 11:13; 22:27; Is1:10,23; Ho5:10)

"Twenty five men" which initially makes you think they are the same 25 who were worshiping the sun in (Ezek 8:16). Most (but not all) commentaries state that they are not the same because in chapter 8 they were most likely Levites (or priests) and more importantly their location was between the porch and the altar whereas the 25 in this vision are designated as the "leaders of the people" and their location is "at the entrance of the gate" and the charge against them is not corrupt worship but corrupt leadership.

This Jaazaniah (his father was Azzur) was not identical with the "Jaazaniah" in (Ezek 8:11) for his father's name was Shaphan.

 

Ezekiel 11:He said to me, "Son of man, these are the men who devise iniquity and give evil advice in this city,
Young's Literal: And He saith unto me, `Son of man, these are the men who are devising iniquity, and who are giving evil counsel in this city;
Amplified: then [the Spirit] said to me, Son of man, these are the men who devise iniquity and give wicked counsel in this city,

HE SAID TO ME SON OF MAN THESE ARE THE MEN WHO DEVISE INIQUITY AND GIVE EVIL ADVICE IN THIS CITY:  (Esther 8:3; Ps2:1,2; 36:4; 52:2; Is30:1; 59:4; Jer5:5; 18:18; Mic2:1,2)

"Devise iniquity" The DRA translation is pithy describing these men as those "that study iniquity" or as the BBE phrases it are "designing evil". The Hebrew verb chashab has the basic idea of employing the mind in a thinking activity. The idea is not so much to "understand" but to create new ideas. Chashab  was used as an accounting term (Abraham believed God's promises and it was reckoned or accounted - chashab - to his spiritual account as righteousness). The Septuagint translates chashab with the Greek verb logizomai which means to think about something in a detailed and logical manner. Logizomai is in the present tense indicating that these leaders were continually thinking about how they would propagate evil!

 

Ezekiel 11:who say, 'Is not the time near to build houses? This city is the pot and we are the flesh.'

Young's Literal: who are saying, It is not near--to build houses, it is the pot, and we the flesh.
Amplified: Who say, [The time] is not near to build houses; this city is the boiling pot and we are the flesh.

WHO SAY, 'IS NOT THE TIME NEAR TO BUILD HOUSES?: (Ezek 7:7; 12:22,27; Is 5:19; Jer1:11,12; Am6:5)

"Is not the time near to build houses" could be translated one of two ways...
Option 1:
"They say things like, 'Let's build more houses. This city is like a cooking pot over a fire, and we are the meat, but at least the pot keeps us from being burned in the fire." (CEV) "They say, 'We will soon be building houses again. The city is like a cooking pot, and we are like the meat in it, but at least it protects us from the fire." (TEV) "They say, 'It's almost time to rebuild homes. This city is a cooking pot, and we're the meat.'" (GWT), "who say, It is not near, let us build houses; she is the pot, and we are the flesh" (LITV) "Who say, It is not near; let us build houses: this city is the caldron, and we are the flesh" (Webster) "Which say, It is not near; let us build houses: this city is the caldron, and we be the flesh." (KJV) "Shall we not,” they say, “be building houses soon? The city is the kettle, and we are the meat" (NAB) "They say, ‘Will it not soon be time to build houses? This city is a cooking pot, and we are the meat " (NIV) "They say to the people, ‘Is it not a good time to build houses? Our city is like an iron pot. Inside it we will be like meat—safe from all harm" (NLT) "They say, ‘We can make anything happen here. We’re the best. We’re the choice pieces of meat in the soup pot" (MESSAGE)

Option 2: "The time is not near to build houses: this city is the caldron, and we are the flesh" (ASV) "Who say, This is not the time for building houses: this town is the cooking-pot and we are the flesh" (BBE) "who say, It is not the time to build houses: this is the cauldron, and we are the flesh" (Darby) "Who say, 'The time is not near to build houses. This city is the cauldron, and we are the meat.'" (ESV) "They say, "There will be no house-building yet awhile. The city is the cooking pot and we are the meat." (NJB) "they say, 'The time is not near to build houses; this city is the pot, and we are the meat.'" (NRSV) "They say, ‘The time is not near to build houses; the city is a cooking pot and we are the meat in it" (NET) "Who say, [The time] is not near to build houses; this city is the boiling pot and we are the flesh. " (AMP)

As you can see, the translators are "split" on whether this is a statement affirming building houses or advice against building houses. If read as a question as here in the NASB, one gets a hint of their "evil advice".

Dr Charles Ryrie (NASB Ryrie Study Bible) says "These leaders counseled the people to build houses in Jerusalem, which, like a pot, would supposedly protect the inhabitants from Nebuchadnezzar. As prophesied by Ezekiel (v11), quite the opposite would be true." (The Ryrie Study Bible: New American Standard Translation: 1995. Moody Publishers)

These leaders remind us of those in our day even as Peter warned saying that "in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts and saying, "Where is the promise of His coming? (His coming brings judgment on those who habitually follow their lusts just as would occur in Jerusalem) For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation." (2Pe 3:4-note)

God had given orders through Jeremiah (Jer 29:4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11) that the captives would build houses in Babylon because Jerusalem would fall. These leaders were giving lying advice about building homes, in so doing deceiving those left in Jerusalem.

THIS CITY IS THE POT AND WE ARE THE FLESH:  (Ezek 11:7, 8, 9, 10, 11; 24:3-14; Jer1:13)

The meaning of this phrase is difficult to state with certainty but could mean something like the meat or flesh was safe in the pot as it was shielded from the fire. It is as if the leaders were declaring that Jerusalem's inhabitants were secure inside Jerusalem's walls by promulgating a proverb "This city is a cooking pot and we are the meat" (safe inside the "pot")

The leaders in Jerusalem after the destruction of 597 BC (2Ki 24:8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13,14, 15, 16, 17) decided they were God's choice, preserved meat protected by the pot ("the city") implying it would never fall to Babylon.

MacDonald sees a parallel between the attitude of the leaders and nominal Christians today, writing that "In the same way, many nominal Christians feel safe from God’s judgment despite the sin in their lives, but the Lord will tell them, “I never knew you.” The fire may be delayed but the fire of judgment is coming.
(MacDonald, W & Farstad, A. Believer's Bible Commentary: Thomas Nelson or Logos)

 

Ezekiel 11:4 "Therefore, prophesy against them, son of man, prophesy!"
Young's Literal: Therefore prophesy concerning them, prophesy, son of man.'
Amplified: Therefore prophesy against them; prophesy, O son of man!

THEREFORE, PROPHESY AGAINST THEM SON OF MAN, PROPHESY!: (Ezek 3:2-15,17, 18, 19, 20, 21; 20:46,47; 21:2; 25:2; Is 58:1; Ho 6:5; 8:1)

So, Ezekiel, condemn them!" (CEV)

"Now then, denounce them, mortal man" (TEV)

Prophesy against them Ezekiel was instructed to reinterpret their "meat in the pot" symbolism quite differently! In the following verses, Ezekiel explains that the city of Jerusalem was the pot and the slain people were the meat! The leaders themselves would be taken out of the city and judged at the border of Israel (2Ki 25:18, 19, 20, 21; Jer 5:24, 25, 26, 27).

 

Ezekiel 11:5 Then the Spirit of the LORD fell upon me, and He said to me "Say, 'Thus says the LORD, "So you think, house of Israel, for I know your thoughts.
Young's Literal: And fall upon me doth the Spirit of Jehovah, and He saith unto me, `Say: Thus said Jehovah: Rightly ye have said, O house of Israel, And the steps of your spirit I have known.
Amplified: And the Spirit of the Lord fell upon me, and He said to me, Speak. Say, Thus says the Lord: This is what you thought, O house of Israel, for I know the things that come into your mind.

THEN THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD FELL UPON ME AND HE SAID TO ME: (Ezek 2:2; 3:24,27; 8:1; Nu 11:25,26; 1Sa10:6,10; Acts 10:44; 11:15)

he LORD's Spirit took control of me and told me to tell these leaders" (CEV)

"Spirit...fell upon me" is only used here in Ezekiel. The prophet was enabled to prophesy.

SAY, 'THUS SAYS THE LORD SO YOU THINK, HOUSE OF ISRAEL, FOR I KNOW YOUR THOUGHTS: (Ezek 2:4,5,7; 3:11; Is58:1) (Ezek 28:2; 29:3; 38:11; Ps50:21; Is28:15; Mal3:13,14; Mk 3:22-30; Jas 3:6) (Ezek 38:10; 1Ch28:9; Ps7:9; 139:2,3; Je 6:17; 17:10; Mk 2:8; Jn 2:24; Jn 2:25; 21:17; He4:13; Rev2:23)

I know the devices of your spirit" (Brenton - Eng of Lxx) "This is what you have said, O children of Israel; what comes into your mind is clear to me" (BBE)

Thus have you spoken, O house of Israel, for I know the thoughts of your heart" (DRB)

"People of Israel, I know what you are saying and what you are planning" (TEV)

You are saying these things, nation of Israel. But I know what's going through your mind" (GWT)

So you have said, house of Israel, for I Myself know the elevations of your spirit" (LITV)

Ezekiel is to remind the leaders that not were their actions not hidden from God's omniscience, neither were their very thoughts. God knew what they were thinking, saying, and doing.

 

Ezekiel 11:6 "You have multiplied your slain in this city, filling its streets with them."
Young's Literal: Ye multiplied your wounded in this city, And filled its out-places with the wounded.
Amplified: You have multiplied your slain in this city and you have filled its streets with the slain.
YOU HAVE MULTIPLIED YOUR SLAIN IN THIS CITY, FILLING ITS STREETS WITH THEM: (Ezek 7:23; 9:9; 22:2, 3, 4, 5, 6,9,12,27; 24:6, 7, 8, 9; 2Ki21:16; Is1:15; Je2:30,34; Je7:6,9; La4:13; Ho4:2,3; Mic3:2,3,10; 7:2; Zeph3:3; Mt23:35)

 

Ezekiel 11:7 'Therefore, thus says the Lord GOD, "Your slain whom you have laid in the midst of the city are the flesh and this city is the pot; but I will bring you out of it.
Young's Literal: Therefore, thus said the Lord Jehovah: Your wounded whom ye placed in its midst, They are the flesh, and it is the pot, And you he hath brought out from its midst.
Amplified: Therefore thus says the Lord God: Your slain whom you have laid in your midst; they are the flesh and this city is the boiling pot, but you shall be brought forth out of the midst of it.

THEREFORE, THUS SAYS THE LORD GOD "YOUR SLAIN WHOM YOU HAVE LAID IN THE MIDST OF THE CITY ARE THE FLESH AND THIS CITY IS THE POT BUT I WILL BRING YOU OUT OF IT: (Ezek 24:3-13; Mic3:2,3) (Ezek 3:9, 10, 11; 2 Ki25:18, 19, 20, 21, 22; Je52:24, 25, 26, 27)

Ezekiel changes the meaning of flesh from "leaders" (they declared "we are the flesh" in v3) to those they killed.

 

Ezekiel 11:8 "You have feared a sword; so I will bring a sword upon you," the Lord GOD declares.
Young's Literal: A sword ye have feared, And a sword I bring in against you, An affirmation of the Lord Jehovah.
Amplified: You have feared the sword, and I will bring a sword upon you, says the Lord God.

YOU HAVE FEARED A SWORD; SO I WILL BRING A SWORD UPON YOU," THE LORD GOD DECLARES: (Job 3:25; 20:24; Pr 10:24; Is24:17,18; 30:16,17; 66:4; Je 38:19, 20, 21, 22, 23; 42:14, 15, 16; 44:12,13; Am 9:1, 2, 3, 4; Jn 11:48; 1Th 2:15,16)

 

Ezekiel 11:9 "And I will bring you out of the midst of the city and deliver you into the hands of strangers and execute judgments against you.
Young's Literal: And I have brought you out of its midst, And given you into the hand of strangers, And I have done among you judgments.
Amplified:  And I will bring you forth out of the midst of it and deliver you into the hands of foreigners and execute judgments among you.

AND I WILL BRING YOU OUT OF THE MIDST OF THE CITY AND DELIVER YOU INTO THE HANDS OF STRANGERS AND EXECUTE JUDGMENTS AGAINST YOU: (Ezek 21:31; Dt 28:36,49,50; 2Ki 24:4; Neh 9:36,37; Ps 106:41; Je 5:15, 16, 17; 39:6) (Ezek 5:8,10,15; 16:38,41; 30:19; Ps 106:30; Eccl 8:11; Jn 5:27; Ro 13:4; Jude 15)

 

Ezekiel 11:10 "You will fall by the sword. I will judge you to the border of Israel; so you shall know that I am the LORD.
Young's Literal: By the sword ye do fall, On the border of Israel I do judge you, And ye have known that I am Jehovah.
Amplified:  You shall fall by the sword; I will judge and punish you [before your neighbors] at the border or outside the land of Israel, and you shall know (understand and realize) that I am the Lord.
 YOU WILL FALL BY THE SWORD. I WILL JUDGE YOU TO THE BORDER OF ISRAEL; SO YOU SHALL KNOW THAT I AM THE LORD: (2Ki25:19, 20, 21; Je39:6; 52:9,10,24, 25, 26, 27) (Nu 34:8,9; Josh13:5; 1Ki 8:65; 2Ki14:25) (Ezek 6:7; 13:9,14,21,23; Ps9:16; Je9:24)

I will judge you in the border of Israel, far from the so-called protecting city. The terrible judgment on King Zedekiah and the leaders took place at Riblah (Jer 39:5, 6, 7; 52:24, 25, 26, 27; 2Ki25:18, 19, 20, 21)

 

Ezekiel 11:11 "This city will not be a pot for you, nor will you be flesh in the midst of it, but I will judge you to the border of Israel.
Young's Literal: It is not to you for a pot, Nor are ye in its midst for flesh, At the border of Israel I do judge you.
Amplified: This city shall not be your boiling pot, neither shall you be the flesh in the midst of it; I will judge you at the border or outside of Israel;

THIS CITY WILL NOT BE A POT FOR YOU, NOR WILL YOU BE FLESH IN THE MIDST OF IT, BUT I WILL JUDGE YOU TO THE BORDER OF ISRAEL: (Ezek 11:3,7, 8, 9, 10)

Ezekiel reverses the meaning of the proverb, stating that the city will not be a pot conveying protection but a pot burning with the fires of judgment, and the flesh to those slain in the streets (cf. Ezek 7:23; 22:25)

Those in Jerusalem were to share the fate of the exiles. For the antithesis, see Ezek 35:6.

 

Ezekiel 11:12 "Thus you will know that I am the LORD; for you have not walked in My statutes nor have you executed My ordinances, but have acted according to the ordinances of the nations around you."
Young's Literal: And ye have known that I am Jehovah, For in My statutes ye have not walked, And My Judgments ye have not done, And according to the judgments of the nations Who are round about you--ye have done!'
Amplified:  And you shall know (understand and realize) that I am the Lord; for you have not walked in My statutes nor executed My ordinances, but have acted according to the ordinances of the nations around you.

THUS YOU WILL KNOW THAT I AM THE LORD; FOR YOU HAVE NOT WALKED IN MY STATUTES NOR HAVE YOU EXECUTED MY ORDINANCES: (Ezek 11:21; 20:16,21,24; Lv 26:40; 1Ki 11:33; 2Ki 21:22; Ezra 9:7; Neh 9:34; Ps 78:10; Jer 6:16; Da 9:10)

You will know that I am the LORD is noted twice (v10 and here) in a short space. God makes it quite clear that these leaders will know that He is Jehovah, when His has prophesy comes to pass.

BUT HAVE ACTED ACCORDING TO THE ORDINANCES OF THE NATIONS AROUND YOU: (Ezek 8:10,14,16; 16:44, 45, 46, 47; Lv 18:3,24, 25, 26, 27, 28; Dt 12:30,31; 2Ki 16:3,10,11; 2Ki 17:11-23; 18:12; 21:2; 2Chr 13:9; 28:3; 33:2-9; 36:14; Ps 106:35, 36, 37, 38, 39; Jer 10:2)


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