1. What day was Ezekiel supposed to record?
The day that the king of Babylon set himself against Jerusalem: “(1) Again in the ninth year, in the tenth month, in the tenth day of the month, the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, (2) Son 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” (Ezekiel 24:1-2).
- The the ninth year, in the tenth month, in the tenth day of the month was THE DAY that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon besieged Jerusalem during Zedekiah’s reign (II Kings 25:1, Jeremiah 39:1, and Jeremiah 52:4).
- The purpose of a record (Isaiah 30:8).
2. What was the meaning of the parable Ezekiel was to say unto them concerning the pot?
The city was going to be put on fire, the flesh and bones therein consumed, and the scum that they refused to purge burned in that fire: “(3) And 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: (4) Gather the pieces thereof into it, even every good piece, the thigh, and the shoulder; fill it with the choice bones. (5) Take 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. (6) Wherefore 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. (7) For 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; (8) That 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. (9) Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Woe to the bloody city! I will even make the pile for fire great. (10) Heap on wood, kindle the fire, consume the flesh, and spice it well, and let the bones be burned. (11) Then 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. (12) She hath wearied herself with lies, and her great scum went not forth out of her: her scum shall be in the fire. (13) In 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” (Ezekiel 24:3-13).
- God used parable and riddles in teaching through Ezekiel (Ezekiel 17:1-2), as he foretold them He would (Micah 2:1-4).
- This parable was telling them to put water in a pot with flesh and bones in it and bring it to a boil. From something we studied earlier in this book, as the book is not in chronological order, it appears they mocked this message (Ezekiel 11:2-12).
- Woe to the bloody city (II Kings 21:16, Ezekiel 9:9, and Micah 3:1-12), to the pot with the scum therein. This is how God viewed the gentile city of Nineveh and now uses the same terms in regard to His people (Nahum 1:1-7).
- Jerusalem openly showed the blood, with no attempt to discard it (Isaiah 3:9 and Jeremiah 6:15). Even blood spilt righteously should have been covered with dirt (Leviticus 17:13).
- God kept it on display to cause fury (Ezekiel 8:17-18).
- God’s stacking the wood for a big fire (Ezekiel 22:19-22).
- Then the empty pot, after all therein is consumed, was to be placed on the coals of the fire to be hot enough to consume the scum left in the pan as a cleansing (Ezekiel 36:25).
- Wearied with dishonesty (Jeremiah 9:5).
- They had not be cleansed through all God had done in the past (II Chronicles 36:14-16 and Jeremiah 25:3-7).
3. Was the Lord going to change His mind about the Judgment He declared in the parable Ezekiel taught?
No: “I 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” (Ezekiel 24:14).
- It is not that God never changed His mind (Jonah 3:1-10). What you do find is that, in those cases, it was in respect to His remembering of His covenant (Exodus 32:1-14 and Psalms 106:43-48).
- However, in this case, He promised (i.e. Psalms 95:6-11) not to and that was final (Numbers 23:19, I Samuel 15:28-29, and Titus 1:2).
- He had told them that He would not spare them or have pity (Jeremiah 13:14 and Ezekiel 5:11; 7:4; 7:9; 8:18; 9:10).
4. Did the death of Ezekiel’s wife keep him from doing his work as a prophet of God?
No: “(15) Also the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, (16) Son 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. (17) Forbear 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. (18) So I spake unto the people in the morning: and at even my wife died; and I did in the morning as I was commanded” (Ezekiel 24:15-18).
- The desire of his eyes (Song Of Solomon 7:10).
- The unavoidable stroke of God (Job 36:18).
- It was/is often good to mourn the loss of life (Ecclesiastes 7:1-4). However, Ezekiel was told not to mourn or appear to be in mourning. As we read on further, we will see why. Think about this. Consider how blessed we are not to be in times as these or other times of such suffering (i.e. I Corinthians 7:25-35).
- God surely loved Ezekiel (Psalms 33:5 and Proverbs 15:9). This is a HUGE demand with no time to prepare. His wife died that evening.
- Ezekiel continues to do as God commanded (Ezekiel 12:1-7; 37:7; 10). This tells us much about him (Matthew 24:45-46).
5. What purpose or lesson was there behind the death of Ezekiel’s wife and how he responded?
That when the Lord’s house and the children of the people were destroyed, they were not to weep or pine, but that they should do as Ezekiel did: “(19) And the people said unto me, Wilt thou not tell us what these things are to us, that thou doest so? (20) Then I answered them, The word of the LORD came unto me, saying, (21) Speak 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. (22) And ye shall do as I have done: ye shall not cover your lips, nor eat the bread of men. (23) And your tires shall be upon your heads, and your shoes upon your feet: ye shall not mourn nor weep; but ye shall pine away for your iniquities, and mourn one toward another. (24) Thus Ezekiel is unto you a sign: according to all that he hath done shall ye do: and when this cometh, ye shall know that I am the Lord GOD” (Ezekiel 24:19-24).
- Ah, now Ezekiel has their attention. Why does it take confusing words or drastic measures to gain their attention (Ezekiel 12:9; 20:49)?
- Also, consider that they did not mourn the loss of the prophets wife, but rather wanted to know what it had to do with them (James 2:13). They were very SELFISH (Ezekiel 16:49 and Zechariah 7:4-6)!
- NOW is the lessons… When all was taken from them (Jeremiah 6:11), don’t mourn, etc. (Jeremiah 16:3-7, Jeremiah 22:18, and Jeremiah 25:33).
- Pine away for your iniquities, the cause of this punishment, rather than for your losses (Leviticus 26:27-39 and Ezekiel 4:17).
- When you reap what you sow, who is to blame (Lamentations 3:39)?
6. What did the Lord want Ezekiel to do when the people came to Ezekiel in the day that their strength, joy, etc. was taken from them?
He wanted Ezekiel to speak to them and be a sign to them so that they would know that the Lord is Lord: “(25) Also, thou son of man, shall it not be in the day when I take from them their strength, the joy of their glory, the desire of their eyes, and that whereupon they set their minds, their sons and their daughters, (26) That he that escapeth in that day shall come unto thee, to cause thee to hear it with thine ears? (27) In that day shall thy mouth be opened to him which is escaped, and thou shalt speak, and be no more dumb: and thou shalt be a sign unto them; and they shall know that I am the LORD” (Ezekiel 24:25-27).
- That day is not meant to imply it would be a one day event (Jeremiah 11:22; 21:7-9).
- He that escapeth ties into when Ezekiel would be no more dumb (Ezekiel 33:21-33). See also: Ezekiel 3:25-27
- Ezekiel was a sign unto them (Ezekiel 4:3 and Ezekiel 12:1-11) as prophets often were (Isaiah 8:18 and Hosea 1:1ff.).