E z e k i e l 1 3 - 2 4
A Devotional COMMENTARY BY Nate Wilson
13:1-2 God has a bone to pick
with the false prophets and prophetesses of
13:3-7 What distinguishes a false prophet? Such a person "prophecies out if his own heart," and "wells out of his own spirit." They say "God says...," but God has not spoken. I have covered differences between false and true prophecy in depth elsewhere--true prophecy should make you uncomfortable, prod you to fuller obedience to God, etc.
13:5,10 But apparently these
particular false prophets in Ezekiel’s day were out repairing the wall around
13:8-9 God is not neutral toward those who take His Name in vain, lie and lead people astray! God is actively AGAINST such people. He won't allow the memory of their names to endure, and they will not enter His rest. This, of course, applies today to Marxist-leaning bureaucrats who run our government, but also to those people within the church who either purposefully or accidentally (foolishly) misrepresent God's will and lead people to do what is wrong. Dear God, please guard my heart that I may never lead people astray in my family and in my work.
13:10-16 God's message to the
people still in
13:17ff Sounds like there is
witchcraft going on in
13:19 Lying goes both ways: the liar and the people who listen to lies. Both are wrong.
Reading Rebecca Brown's He Came to Set The Captives Free book reminds me of the reality of what this passage is talking about. Witchcraft is very real and pervasive throughout the world and is a bondage with iron bonds. God can deliver, but God also decrees that those who practice witchcraft should be put to death. Yet God shows His power over satan by delivering some from his hand.
13:22 God will show His power over this witchcraft "because you have saddened the heart of the righteous with lies, and I have not made him sad; and have made the hands of the wicked strong so that he should not turn from his evil..." God cares about how the righteous feel. When we are discouraged because of the sin of other men, God will show His power. Thank you, Lord for Your care, even over my feelings. And I thank You that You deliver people from satanic bondage of every kind and that You will not allow the wicked to remain strong. You are a God of justice, and You have the almighty power to carry out Your righteous judgments.
14:1-5 The elders of
14:3 Notice WHERE these men have set up idols: in their hearts. These idols may not have even been the carved images of primitive man, but the idolatrous desires, priorities, and activities of modern man. Things like the entertainment of sports, movies, sex, food, etc.--none of which are sinful in and of themselves, but if "set up" in the heart as more important than other things becomes idolatrous. It becomes a "stumbling block of sin" which cuts us off from communication with God. God is a jealous God; He will not tolerate competition.
14:5 God is fed up with the idolatry of these men who came to Ezekiel for a prophecy. Instead of helping these men, God says that He will purposefully use those idols to trap those Jews and lead them astray.
14:6 Yet God, ever merciful as He is, calls these rebellious, idolatrous men doomed for destruction yet once more to repent. "Turn and be turned from your idols." If you don't turn your faces away from those idols and take them down, I will "set My face against that man and make him desolate." And the punishment is not just to get that person, it is to be a "sign and for proverbs" so that other people may see it and perhaps repent, and "know that I am Jehovah." Thank you, God, that You are merciful. You give warnings and second chances out of Your mercy. Thank You that Your desire for grace and salvation is as great as Your desire for justice.
14:9 Can God lie? It says right here that if a prophet is deceived, it is God who has deceived him, because God wants to destroy him! I'm not sure what to make of this, except that God does elect whom He will save, so I suppose that the flip side is that He chooses not to elect others. I think of this as more a passive action than a proactive one. It's hard to imagine God searching out all the people He specifically doesn't want to elect; that would be a no-brainer because there is not a single soul worthy of His election. I rather think that He chooses His elect, and by default abandons the rest to deception. This deception is the proactive work of satan (the deceiver) allowed by God. Thus God can take responsibility for allowing the prophets to be deceived while not having actually lied Himself.
14:10-11 But on the other hand, there is some pro-active judgment by God, who holds leaders to a higher standard of accountability. A false prophet who is actively leading thousands of people away from God is more culpable than a simple-minded man deceived by that false prophet. Therefore God says that the sins of those led astray will be put on the head of the false prophet, and he will be punished for them. To destroy the source of the problem, God will knock out the false prophets so that there won't be leaders leading all the people astray. God still wants to be acknowledged as the Sovereign over the Israelites; He still wants them to be His people.
Dear God, please guard me from deception, that I may never lead Your people astray (and that I may not be judged severely by You for it!). Please don't abandon me to my own ways or to the deceiver; rule me by Your Spirit within me!
14:12 "When a land sins
against me." So many Christians think that since
The USA specifically
identified with God and His laws at its beginning, but we are already seeing
God begin to punish our nation for its sin by wasting diseases (such as AIDS),
violent crime (such as abortion), and increasing poverty (such as inflation).
There comes a point when God will not tolerate a nation for its sin. If Noah,
Daniel, and Job lived there, God would still destroy that nation! I fear that
we are reaching the point in the
14:13-20 God speaks of his
four judgments upon an evil nation: Famine (v.13-14), Sword (v.17-18), Evil
Beasts (v.15-16), and Plague (v.19-20). We don't usually think of
"beasts" as being a punishment of God. In fact, we don't think much
about beasts at all in modern
14:21-23 These judgments are
to fall upon
CHAPTER 15 Parable Of The Vine Tree
15:1-5 Here we have a little parable of a "vine tree." This tree is no good for any kind of lumber. You can't make boards out of it; you can't make pegs out of it...but it does make good firewood. (The phrase "burning the candle at both ends" may have come from v.4 "both ends burns the fire.") Once the ends have been burned and the middle is charred (The Hebrew word is actually pronounced "char" too), the vine tree is totally useless.
15:6-8 God feels the same way
about the dwellers in
Well, I may not be particularly beautiful wood to work with, but Lord, let me not be a vine-tree! Please guard me from treachery or uselessness and let me be useful to You in Your work!
CHAPTER 16 The Parable Of The Whore
16:1-2 Reading this chapter makes me sick; it's disgusting. God wanted Ezekiel to shock the Jews into realizing how great their sin was.
16:3-14 A parable follows in
which the girl is
16:15 Instead of continuing to rely on her benefactor, she "trusted in her own beauty." Fatal. As soon as we trust ourselves and think about us rather than God, it's downhill from there. She turned to prostitution, lying with men just for the heck of it--not asking for pay, but paying them to come!
16:19 She took God's things--her clothes, gold, oil and incense--and gave them to other men. (God, all that I have--my clothes, money, food, music, computer, etc.--came from You; help me not to use them in anyone's service but Yours!)
16:20-21 Even the children we have are gifts from God and must be kept in His service, but the girl in this parable gave hers away to be sacrificed to idols, just as the Jews were doing in their idolatrous worship of Baal (and just as satanists do in America today).
16:26-29 The Jews, rather
than being faithful to the God who created them and blessed them as a nation,
adopted the idols of
16:22 She did not "remember the days of [her] youth." I've been thinking of this in regard to our nation--why don't we remember how we started? Why have our history books been so perverted that people don't know their history accurately? Why don't we run our government according to our founding documents? We have forgotten the days of our youth. It is good to pause to reflect on our past so as to remember what our God has done!
Generally the people worshipped idols on shrines built at the tops of hills.
These idols are actually demons. The worship of Baal--perhaps satan
himself--included burning children alive, and the worship of Asherah included
sexual orgies held next to special poles placed in the ground. These sorts of
things are still practiced today even in the
16:35-43 God is understandably very unhappy with this "harlot" Israel and will punish her, bringing the armies of surrounding nations to kill and loot the people of Israel. God will do whatever it takes to stop this harlotry, idolatry, and wickedness. But there is an end to God's fury, and He will not be angry forever; there will come a point where He will not be angry anymore with them. God is always working to reconcile.
16:44-48 In a sense, the
people of Israel were daughters and sisters of the nations around them, and
some may have excused their idolatry by this fact--"The OTHERS around us
are worshipping idols; that's where we came from, so why is God picking on
US?" God's reply through Ezekiel is that
16:51-52 appears to be saying
16:49 Interesting this focus
on the sins of
16:53 Yet God promises to
return the Jews and the people of the surrounding nations out of captivity back
to their own land. This is so that
16:59-60 Even when we break covenant with God, He remembers. Even though we forget the days of our youth, he remembers. When God makes an agreement/covenant, it stands forever. When we break it, God is patient and wants to restore it. He wants to once again raise up His covenant with us after He has punished us and we have repented. He loves to restore.
CHAPTER 17: The Parable of the Eagle Tree
17:1-10 God gives Ezekiel a parable: An eagle plants a seedling in a great city and also plants a seed in a field by a river for His benefit. But instead of benefitting the first eagle, the sprout grows toward a second eagle to benefit him. Surely the first eagle will destroy that wayward tree and it will never grow back.
17:11-18 The first eagle is
King Nebuchadnezzar of
Interesting how God harps on
this oath made to the king of
17:19-21 God will proactively
trap these deleterious Jews still in
17:22-24 Next we have what
sounds like a Messianic prophecy. v.23 sounds very much like Jesus' parable of
the mustard seed (Matt. 13:32), and v.24 reminds me of Isaiah's prophecy in
53:2 about the Messiah coming up like a root out of dry ground. God promises to
plant part of this tree (representing
interpretation is that the "cream of the crop" which was taken to
CHAPTER 18: The Soul That Sinneth It Shall Die
Sounds like a proverb was being passed around at this time that children would be punished for their father's sins. "No," God says, "They are ALL my souls." God has full authority to decide the fate of the righteous as well as the wicked, and He will reward each man according to his own actions. True, "the sins of the fathers are visited upon [succeeding generations]" (Deut. 5:9), but I think that is speaking of patterns of sin which the children inherit from their parents rather than of God's judgment being delayed to subsequent generations who don't deserve it. ("For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ and will be called to account for every deed we have done, whether good or bad" II Cor. 5:10) Maybe these Jews thought that they were sinful, yet thought that they were not going to get punished because, for some reason, God would pass the punishment to their children. Perhaps they thought they were righteous and that God was punishing them for the sin of generations past; I don't know. In a sense, the latter is true, because God stated earlier that He was still sore about the sins of Manasseh (II Ki. 24:3). I also recall that God killed David's first son of Bathsheba because of their adultery. But God does not punish a righteous man as though He were unrighteous. This generation was quite wicked and fully deserving of God's wrath. God was merciful in not wiping out past generations that were wicked, but His patience was at an end and this generation was fully deserving of being wiped out. God has the authority to exercise mercy where punishment is due, but He does not always do that; He exercises justice.
18:5-9 The characteristics of the righteous:
· not eaten on the mountains and not lifted eyes up to the idols ("no other gods before me")
· not defiled neighbor's wife ("do not commit adultery")
· not come near a menstruating woman ("abstain from blood" this is equated with adultery and oppression!)
· not oppressed a man, returns his pledge to the debtor (doesn't take advantage of his power and wealth, generous to the poor man who leaves his coat as a pledge to pay back what he borrowed), not loaned on interest; not taken increase (taking interest on a loan is wrong!)
· has not robbed ("do not steal")
· has given his bread to the hungry and covered the naked with clothing
· kept his hand from injustice, having done true justice ("do not bear false witness")
· has walked in God's statutes, keeping God's judgments (Obeys the O.T. law)
How do I measure up to these things? God promises that he who does these things shall live. Our works of obedience, while not saving us, can mean the difference between blessing and punishment from God, just as my son’s good behavior doesn't determine whether or not he is my son, but it does determine how sore his bottom will be! Dear God, help me to do these things You are looking for in a just man!
18:10-20 Ezekiel goes on to make clear that if a son of a righteous man does NOT do these righteous things, he will be punished. You can't rest on your heritage. If he DOES do these things, he will live. Each man will be rewarded according to his own righteousness or unrighteousness in his own generation.
18:21-32 "No Pleasure in
the Death of the Wicked"
Once again, we see God's grace and love at the end of His holiness and justice. God does not enjoy punishing wicked people; He does it because He has to, not because He gets a kick out of it. God longs to embrace the prodigal; God longs to see the wicked turn from ungodliness so that He can enjoy fellowship and worship from them. I've heard it commonly said, "God can't forgive me for that." No; God CAN forgive anything when we put Him in full lordship of our life. I've also heard it commonly said, "I've been mostly good, perhaps God will overlook that." No; God will punish a good man who does wrong. Our internal sense of what is right and wrong and whether or not God will forgive is skewed; we must rely on what the Bible teaches instead.
Oh God, please keep my feet from slipping! No matter how good a reputation I may have, I cannot rest on my laurels when it comes to spiritual things. If I should turn to wickedness now, You promise that I would die in my unrighteousness. Lord, keep me in You and help me persevere in Your righteous ways!
Is this FAIR? Of course! Everything God does is just. It is only WE who are unfair! And yet God is not entirely fair, because He weights His judgments in favor of MERCY. He hopes for, waits for, and works for salvation rather than simply condemning everybody as we deserve. We all DESERVE eternal damnation! Oh God, I thank You and praise You for Your mercy and grace!
18:30 God calls us to "turn and be made to turn" from our transgressions. That indicates not just a matter of willing ourselves to turn from sin, but coupling it with an outside force. That outside force that makes us "be made to turn" is God's own Spirit at work within His people. It could also be social structures--friends, family, church, perhaps even correctional programs... We can't crawl out of sin solo; it takes God's grace and God's people helping!
Chapter 19: Mourning For The Latter Kings
This is apparently a mourning
song for the latter kings of
According to Baker's
commentaries, Jehoikim and Jehoichin were considered illegitimate kings because
they weren't primary royal line (Pharaoh had installed them) and Jehoahaz still
19:9-13 Although Israel has
raised up many great rulers (scepters), it would be plucked up, dried out,
burned, and replanted in the wilderness, "no longer to be heard on the
mountains of Israel." Practically all the Jews--and certainly all the
rulers were transplanted from
19:14 Perhaps the "fire" that has gone out from one of the branches, consumed her fruit and left the tree without a strong "rod" is Manasseh, and the branches/rods/scepters represent kings of Judah. Ever since Manasseh, there was not a strong, godly ruler (except for Josiah, whose foolishness nevertheless ended his life, too). The idolatry and wickedness of Manasseh and successive generations so weakened the stature of the nation and its leaders that it could not survive. Reminds me of another nation I know.
20:1-4 God is fed up with the Israelites; He doesn't even want to SPEAK with them anymore. He says to Ezekiel, "YOU deal with them!"
20:5-7 God reminds
It started with Abraham, when
God led him out to a land He had "searched out" for them. He gave a
strong admonition to the people to put away the "filthy idols of [their]
eyes" as well as the "idols of
20:8 At any rate, the
Dear God, please help me not to be rebellious against you! Help me to put away the filthy idols of my eyes and love You wholeheartedly!
20:9 So why didn't God
20:10 So God brings
Oh God, I long to return to
Your law to rule my country rather than the whimsical, oppressive, humanistic
law system that has evolved in the
20:12 Interesting that God
chooses to highlight the Sabbath law to represent His law in Ezekiel's prophecy
here. Observing a day of rest and worship on the 7th day of the week
sets God's people apart from everyone else. It is life-giving in that it gives
regular rest and refreshment and increases prosperity. The Sabbath system also
included rests on the 7th month, the 7th year, and the 70th
year. While we Christians in
Is there any way I could
observe the Sabbath year or year of jubilee for myself? I guess that the
Thanksgiving-Christmas season is like the 7th month rests and
20:13-17 But even right after
the giving of the law,
Oh God, I praise You that You are patient and merciful. I thank You that You have chosen a place for me in Your promised heaven. I yearn for it and am weary of the wickedness of man on this earth. Why can't we return to Your laws...how could it be done here?
20:18-24 God gave up on the
generation of Jews He had rescued from
20:25-26 How does God deal with a rebellious people? He cannot destroy them for the sake of His reputation among the nations. Therefore He covers them with spiritual blindness so His justice is not violated. He gives them bad laws and unlivable circumstances. He lets them kill each other and worship idols. In their filthiness and desperation, they will perhaps repent, for even the blindness is "that they might know that I am Jehovah!"
20:27-31 So now God has recounted
the history of
20:32-38 Because of Israel's
history, it's now time for God to act in judgment. Just as He placed the nation
in the Arabian desert after their time in
20:37 God will bring the nation "into the bond of the covenant." God made a covenant with Abraham, and it is binding on the nation that came from Abraham. God is going to force this nation back to the terms of His covenant. "I will be your God; you will be My people; I will bless you if you obey Me; I will curse you if you disobey Me; and I want you to make My glory know among all the nations of the earth." (my paraphrase of the covenant)
20:38-43 And just as the
generation snatched from
A distinguishing mark between the two generations will be that the former will not listen to God (his prophets) and will return to idolatry as a dog to its vomit (v.39), but the latter will be truly repentant and hate the evil they had done (v.43).
Oh God, help me to hate the evil I and my fathers have done and let me be part of an acceptable generation to You who worships You rightly and makes the nations know Your holiness. I don't know if You will establish a new earthly righteous nation or if I must wait for Your heavenly kingdom, but God, I long to be re-established among a people who love You. I guess this is fulfilled in part by your Church, but I long for its fullness!
20:45-49 Wow! What a grisly
vision. An almost hysterical message of impending destruction of
Chapter 21 A
21:1-16 There will be a great slaughter, and God wants the Jews to know that He Himself is responsible for it (v.5). It is going to be bitter and terrible. This prophecy sounds very much like that of Habakkuk. It is God who has prepared the sword and handed it to the slayer (v.11). Ezekiel is to clap his hands and cry aloud that God is bringing the sword upon His people (v.12-14ff). Perhaps Ezekiel is to take a sword and run through the streets slashing all around him--I can't tell for sure from the text (v.14-16)--but this would be an illustration of what the Chaldeans were soon to do in the land.
21:17 And God also is venting
His fury as this goes on--this slaughter will bring His fury to rest. So, even
in our anger and the way we vent it until we don't feel angry any more, this is
part of the image of God in us. Our sinful nature of course, twists this and we
become angry for the wrong reasons and vent our anger in wrong ways. But there
is place for just venting righteous anger! And rebellious
21:18-24 Through Ezekiel, God
informs the Israelites that it will be the King of Babylon who brings this
"sword" of destruction upon them, and God even informs them of the
route this king will take to approach Jerusalem! And not only
21:25-27 God seems
particularly upset with the ruling prince/king at the time (Jehoiachin?).
Leaders are always more culpable than the people when the nation sins, because
it is the leaders who have the power to turn the people to a large extent
toward sin or toward righteousness. The true kingly line was interrupted by decree
from the king of
21:28 Now the prophecy
focuses on the Ammonites. (Who says God was only focused on the Jews in the
O.T.? His concern was always and is still for ALL nations!) Just as with
Chapter 22 The Sins
God calls Ezekiel to speak a
Yet more sins are listed:
THE PUNISHMENT: EXILE
22:13-16 The nation will be utterly destroyed and its people scattered all over the world. The whole world will hate them. God even taunts them (v.14), "Can your heart stand, or can your hands be strong in the days that I shall deal with you?" It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the Almighty God!
And yet, is there anything on
this list of
22:17-22 God is no longer
interested in continuing to work with these people because there is nothing
good left--all the silver in the crucible has come out and there's nothing left
but the waste by-products of refining. God, how do I know when my nation has
reached this point? When it reaches this point, You throw the waste away, not
with just a toss in the garbage heap, but with a blast of hot fury! It would
seem, therefore, that there is a time for the righteous (in a wicked nation) to
abandon that nation before the final blast. Or do we stick around as Jeremiah
did? When Lot's wife stuck around, she was destroyed along with the rest of
22:23-29 God gives Ezekiel
another word along these same lines--the sin of
22:30 God could not find among
Israel anyone he could raise up to stand in the gap and build the wall, as an
intercessor for the people with God. This must be key. Even when a nation is
doing what is right in their own eyes and everyone has abandoned God, God can
raise up a man, like He did many times throughout Judges, who is faithful to
Him and whom He can use to turn the nation around. So, no matter how depraved
the populous, it is only hopeless if there is no man in the nation fit for
godly leadership. That is comforting because I believe there still exist such
men today in
22:31 Every sin must be paid for, either by the blood of Jesus, or by your own blood, The unrepentant unrighteous must pay for their own sin by their own death. God will punish them in anger.
Chapter 23 Two Prostitutes
Boy, what a LEWD chapter! God
portrays the Northern kingdom of
Oholah sounded awfully
depraved, but Oholibah was worse, says Ezekiel. Not only did she defile
23:22ff As punishment for her
affairs with the gods (and the people) of all the surrounding countries, God
will bring the armies of these nations out to conquer
23:27,48 At some point, God WILL put a stop to lewdness among His people. Every time I drive by an "adult" bookstore, I cry out to God, "Why do you allow such lewdness? Please destroy it!" So far I haven't seen thunderbolts fall out of the sky on those places, as I have wished. God hasn't seemed to respond to these prayers except to remind me of His grace even for the men and women mired in that industry. But one day the judgment WILL come, and it will be even more terrible than I can imagine. Maybe I want revival instead of judgment??
23:30 "Because you lusted after the nations.." This chapter is so lewd, it strikes a nice person as unthinkable, but really are we goodie-goodies any different? Do we not also lust after certain things that we wish we had? Higher income, nicer house, fancy appliances, higher educational degree, a bigger audience, more power, more physical strength, etc., etc., etc.? Oh God, please forgive our self-righteousness and help us to turn from our lustful ways to be fully contented in You!
23:35 "Since you have forgotten Me...you must bear the consequences of your lewdness..." God does not always give us the full punishment we deserve when we are repentant--for instance, He killed David and Bathsheba's newborn son instead of killing David for ordering the murder of Uriah and committing adultery with Bathsheba. David did not forget God, but repented of this sin. He had to deal with some heartbreaking consequences, but it wasn't the full punishment he deserved. But here in Ezekiel, God says He will mete out the full punishment to this people which has put God behind their backs and is unrepentant. Thank You, God, for the grace You show in not punishing us as we deserve, and please keep my heart soft toward You that I may always repent and keep You before me!
23:37 Because God is a covenantal operator, the children born to Christian parents are God's children, too, by virtue of their parents. When I have a child, it is "born to [God]." My kids are not my property nor are they the property of the state; they are GOD'S! Help me Lord, to live out what I believe here, treating my kids as Yours!
23:38 Again, God harps on the Sabbath as just as important to Him as the other laws against idol worship, adultery, and murder.
23:45 What do righteous (Godly) people do? They judge wickedness and punish for it! It is unrighteous and awful to tolerate violations to God's holy law. Obviously this has direct application to civil servants, but is there anything a layman like myself can do? I don't have authority to punish, do I? But I can at least judge whether things are good or bad and simply let violators know how they measure up to God's law. I'm not sure how that can be done appropriately. I guess the pro-life movement is one example.
23:49 Why must these Jews go through the suffering, punishment, and hardship of God's judgment? So that they "will know that I Am the sovereign Lord." You have to remind Your people that You are God when they turn their eyes from You and become absorbed in sin. Sad, but I'm glad, dear God, that You do not abandon us to our rebellion; You take the effort to "rattle our cage" and remind us of Who You Are!
Chapter 24 The Cooking Pot
24:1-14 In the 9th
year of Zedekiah's reign, on the 10th day of the 10th
month, God speaks to Ezekiel to say, "This is it." Little did Ezekiel
know that II Kin. 25 would later record that very date as the day
Nebuchadnezzar struck out with his army from
The parable of the cooking
pot seems a little obscure, but it sounds like
This is a very figurative,
poetic passage that probably could be interpreted multiple ways, but the story
above appears to be the way the NIV is translating it. In this case, the pot is
too dirty to simply be sanitized trough boiling water in it. So the city of
This sin of bloodshed is again brought up as a major cause of God's judgment (v.7). What's the big deal about the blood being poured out on the rocks instead of on the ground? Again, it is part of their abandonment of God's law. In Leviticus, God prescribes the way an animal is to be sacrificed to Him: It must be killed at the entrance to God's temple (not in the fields or on the mountains where idols were worshiped--the tops of mountains are generally more rocky) and the blood must not be eaten, but poured out on the ground at the base of the altar. If you are hunting and kill and animal, obviously this wouldn't be a temple sacrifice, but Lev. 17:13 says the blood must be drained out onto the ground and covered with dirt. Lev. 17:3-4 says that violation of this makes a person "guilty of bloodshed," the very charge God levels at the Jews in this chapter of Ezekiel. It is rebellion against God by not observing His Law!
24:15 Your wife has died, but you're denied the right to cry. (From Michael Card's song, "The Prophet")
God tells Ezekiel that the "desire of his eyes" shall be taken away, but he must not mourn. (Did he know it would be his own wife? Was she sick?) Next day, Ezekiel goes out and speaks to the people and comes home to find his wife dead. Wow! What kind of relationship with God and prioritization of His kingdom it must have taken to accept this as God's doing and not mourn, using this as an object lesson for the people around him!
The people were curious and asked Ezekiel what was going on, so he told them: God is going to destroy the most valuable treasures they had--their temple and their children (through the final Chaldean invasion)--but they won't have time to mourn it. They'll have their travelling clothes on (turban and shoes) and be presumably too worried about saving their own skins.
Notice that God isn't capriciously
killing their children; v.21 says the parents have already "forsaken"
their children. I suppose this was done through offering them as sacrifices to
idols and neglecting to teach them God's ways. As I write this today, Parsees
throughout the world are having blood covenant rituals that hand their children
over to satan. But are we any better? We send our children off for 7 hours a
day to be trained by their peers and by ungodly school teachers and only catch
one or two hours with them ourselves. The things I've heard about what is
considered one of the finest public schools in
24:26-27 When this judgment comes to pass, fugitives will escape from the carnage in Jerusalem and make their way to the Jews exiled in Babylon, where Ezekiel lives, and everyone will know that what Ezekiel prophesied about the destruction of Jerusalem was true. Then perhaps Ezekiel can mourn openly, not holding back as God had at first instructed him to do.
Again, all this is being done by God, not out of ill-will or capriciousness, but with the purpose of reconciling His people to Himself, that they may know He is God.