1Again in the ninth year, in the tenth month, in the tenth day of the month, the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
It is getting near the end of Zedekiah’s reign. It is nine years, ten months, and ten days in to Jehoiachin’s captivity. There is little time left before punishment comes. It will be soon. Keep this in mind as you read through the chapter.
2Son of man, write thee the name of the day, even of this same day: the king of Babylon set himself against Jerusalem this same day.
Some might interpret this to mean that this is the day that Nebuchadnezzar began his siege against Jerusalem, but Zedekiah reigned 11 years in Jerusalem (2 Kings 24:18), not just shy of 10. A better understanding is that this is when Nebechadnezzar decided to take Jerusalem rather than take out the Ammonites (Ezekiel 21). The word for “siege” is matsowr in the Hebrew. The word here for “set himself” is camak. Why so many translations translate the word as “siege” is a matter of interpretation rather than translation. Young’s Literal translates it as “...this self-same day leaned hath the king of Babylon toward Jerusalem...”
3And utter a parable unto the rebellious house, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Set on a pot, set it on, and also pour water into it: 4Gather the pieces thereof into it, even every good piece, the thigh, and the shoulder; fill it with the choice bones. 5Take the choice of the flock, and burn also the bones under it, and make it boil well, and let them seethe the bones of it therein.
Ezekiel is given a parable to give to the Jews. They are compared to a pot with water and all the pieces of the best sheep of a flock, the typical sacrifice, and boil it all. The results would be comparable to what will happen to Jerusalem.
6Wherefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Woe to the bloody city, to the pot whose scum is therein, and whose scum is not gone out of it! bring it out piece by piece; let no lot fall upon it. 7For her blood is in the midst of her; she set it upon the top of a rock; she poured it not upon the ground, to cover it with dust; 8That it might cause fury to come up to take vengeance; I have set her blood upon the top of a rock, that it should not be covered. 9Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Woe to the bloody city! I will even make the pile for fire great. 10Heap on wood, kindle the fire, consume the flesh, and spice it well, and let the bones be burned. 11Then set it empty upon the coals thereof, that the brass of it may be hot, and may burn, and that the filthiness of it may be molten in it, that the scum of it may be consumed. 12She hath wearied herself with lies, and her great scum went not forth out of her: her scum shall be in the fire. 13In thy filthiness is lewdness: because I have purged thee, and thou wast not purged, thou shalt not be purged from thy filthiness any more, till I have caused my fury to rest upon thee.
There is little need to say much more than the text already does. The image is a disgusting one of flesh (the people), scum (the sin of the city), blood (death) all to be consumed by the fire (judgment). Even the brass of the pot (the pot represented the city itself) was to be melted (more elements melting as from Ezekiel 22 and 2 Pet. 3).
The pulling out of each piece without lot is a reference that none would be spared, no choice piece (king) or common piece (commoner) would be spared.
14I the LORD have spoken it: it shall come to pass, and I will do it; I will not go back, neither will I spare, neither will I repent; according to thy ways, and according to thy doings, shall they judge thee, saith the Lord GOD.
This is a reiteration of verse 2. God has already set these things in motion and will not turn from them. There is nothing to be done now to stave off the imminent destruction.
15Also the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 16Son of man, behold, I take away from thee the desire of thine eyes with a stroke: yet neither shalt thou mourn nor weep, neither shall thy tears run down. 17Forbear to cry, make no mourning for the dead, bind the tire of thine head upon thee, and put on thy shoes upon thy feet, and cover not thy lips, and eat not the bread of men. 18So I spake unto the people in the morning: and at even my wife died; and I did in the morning as I was commanded. 19And the people said unto me, Wilt thou not tell us what these things are to us, that thou doest so? 20Then I answered them, The word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 21Speak unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will profane my sanctuary, the excellency of your strength, the desire of your eyes, and that which your soul pitieth; and your sons and your daughters whom ye have left shall fall by the sword.
What a heart rending event. Ezekiel’s wife dies and Ezekiel is told not to mourn for her. Thus he is able to show what is to happen to the Jews. The desire of their eyes, the temple (my sanctuary) would be destroyed and it would be so astonishing, it would cut so deep into the heart of the nation that the shock of it would leave them numb, incapable of mourning the loss.
In Truth and Love,