Ezekiel 3:12
Then the spirit took me up, and I heard behind me a voice of a great rushing, saying, Blessed be the glory of the LORD from his place.
Jump to: BarnesBensonBICalvinCambridgeClarkeDarbyEllicottExpositor'sExp DctGaebeleinGSBGillGrayGuzikHaydockHastingsHomileticsJFBKDKellyKJTLangeMacLarenMHCMHCWParkerPoolePulpitSermonSCOTTBWESTSK
(12) Then the spirit took me up.—This also is to be understood as done in vision, as in Ezekiel 8:3; Ezekiel 11:1; Ezekiel 11:24. (Comp. Acts 8:39.) In the last case the “taking up” is expressly said to have been in vision. This closes one act, so to speak, of the prophet’s consecration, and now the vision which he has been seeing all along leaves him for a time. He hears the great voice of ascription of praise, without definite mention of its source, but doubtless, as in Isaiah 6 and Revelation 4, from all that surround the throne; and he hears the noise of the moving wings of the cherubim, and of the wheels. He has seen the representation of the glory of Him who sends him, and has heard the character of his message. He must now, in the light of this knowledge, see those to whom he is sent. The Hebrew for “wings that touched one another” is beautifully figurative: “wings that kissed each one its sister.”

3:12-21 This mission made the holy angels rejoice. All this was to convince Ezekiel, that the God who sent him had power to bear him out in his work. He was overwhelmed with grief for the sins and miseries of his people, and overpowered by the glory of the vision he had seen. And however retirement, meditation, and communion with God may be sweet, the servant of the Lord must prepare to serve his generation. The Lord told the prophet he had appointed him a watchman to the house of Israel. If we warn the wicked, we are not chargeable with their ruin. Though such passages refer to the national covenant made with Israel, they are equally to be applied to the final state of all men under every dispensation. We are not only to encourage and comfort those who appear to be righteous, but they are to be warned, for many have grown high-minded and secure, have fallen, and even died in their sins. Surely then the hearers of the gospel should desire warnings, and even reproofs.I heard behind me - The commission having been given, and the prophet transported to the place of his ministry, the chariot of the vision passes away with the proper tokens Ezekiel 1:24-25. A voice from above the firmament is now heard proclaiming the divine glory.

From his place - The place where the glory of the Lord had revealed itself in the vision. The words are to be joined to "saying:" put a comma after Lord.

12. (Ac 8:39). Ezekiel's abode heretofore had not been the most suitable for his work. He, therefore, is guided by the Spirit to Tel-Abib, the chief town of the Jewish colony of captives: there he sat on the ground, "the throne of the miserable" (Ezr 9:3; La 1:1-3), seven days, the usual period for manifesting deep grief (Job 2:13; see Ps 137:1), thus winning their confidence by sympathy in their sorrow. He is accompanied by the cherubim which had been manifested at Chebar (Eze 1:3, 4), after their departure from Jerusalem. They now are heard moving with the "voice of a great rushing (compare Ac 2:2), saying, Blessed be the glory of the Lord from His place," that is, moving from the place in which it had been at Chebar, to accompany Ezekiel to his new destination (Eze 9:3); or, "from His place" may rather mean, in His place and manifested "from" it. Though God may seem to have forsaken His temple, He is still in it and will restore His people to it. His glory is "blessed," in opposition to those Jews who spoke evil of Him, as if He had been unjustly rigorous towards their nation [Calvin]. The spirit; the Spirit of God, which governed the wheels and the living creatures, Ezekiel 8:3.

Took me up; either raised him up to nearer approaches, to see and discern, to hear and learn; or carried him to his countrymen, to whom he was to speak.

Behind me; his face toward the north while he saw the vision, now that he is carried south to his people the voice is behind him. A voice of a great rushing; an articulate sound, and intelligible, but with great commotion, for it was the voice of angels, attended with the rushing noise of the wheels added to the noise of their wings, and a mighty wind which might likely accompany all this.

Blessed be the glory of the Lord; praised and magnified be the gloriously holy and just God, riding on the glorious chariot of his sovereignty in prescribing laws, appointing ordinances, threatening sin, and punishing sinners.

From his place; either coming down from heaven, or departing from his temple. In brief, the glorious angels, and all the saints of God, bless, i.e. praise, admire, and justify God in all the ways of his judgments among the sons of men.

Then the spirit took me up,.... Not the wind, nor an angel, but the Spirit of God; who took up the prophet from the ground, from the place where he was, among the captives by the river Chebar, and had seen the glorious vision described in the first chapter; and had had his call and mission, as expressed in the second chapter, and hitherto in this; and was carried by him to another company of captives, who were at another place by the same river, as appears by comparing Ezekiel 1:1, with Ezekiel 3:15; for this was not done in a visionary way, as Kimchi thinks, but in reality; not in spirit, but in body; just as the Spirit caught away Philip from the eunuch, Acts 8:39;

and I heard behind me a voice of a great rushing; of the living creatures and wheels, as is afterwards explained:

saying, blessed be the glory of the Lord out of his place; either out of heaven, the place where his glory is manifested; so the Targum, out of the place of his Shechinah or majesty; or out of the temple, from between the cherubim over the mercy seat, from whence he was about to remove, Ezekiel 10:4. These words may be considered either as a doxology of the church, and people of God, ascribing glory, blessing, and praise unto him; not only on account of the perfections of his nature, but because of his works of nature, providence, and grace, and even for his righteous judgments on men. Maimonides (p), by his place, understands the essence of God. Or as a lamentation for the departure of the blessed and glorious majesty of God from the temple, which seemed to be threatened; for the words may be rendered, "the blessed glory of the Lord out of his place" (q); that is, it is just ready to go out of his place.

(p) Moreh Nevochim, par. 1. c. 8. p. 12. (q) "benedictam gloriam Jehovae e loco ipsius, migrantem", Junius & Tremellius, Polanus.

Then the spirit lifted me up, and I heard behind me a voice of a great rushing, saying, {d} Blessed be the glory of the LORD from his place.

(d) By which he signifies that God's glory would not be diminished, although he departed out of his temple, for this declared that the city and temple would be destroyed.

12. the spirit took me up] See on Ezekiel 2:2. This “lifting up” by the spirit must be interpreted according to ch. Ezekiel 8:1-3, it was part of the trance. The great theophany or vision of God in ch. 1 was not an external phenomenon which the prophet beheld with his actual eyes, it was a vision which he saw, being in a trance. The same is true of all the words heard by him, and all the actions done in ch. 2, 3, they took place in the spirit, not outwardly. See after Ezekiel 3:21.

I heard behind me] The prophet had been in the presence of the theophany (ch. 1) during all that has hitherto been narrated (ch. Ezekiel 2:1 to Ezekiel 3:12), and thus when he was lifted up and carried away it seemed to him that he left the theophany behind him.

a great rushing] The word is used of an earthquake, and of the roar of battle (Isaiah 9:5, confused noise); also of the rattling of chariots (Jeremiah 47:3; Nahum 3:2). In ch. Ezekiel 37:7 it is said of the sound of the coming together of the dry bones, but it appears nowhere employed of the noise caused by voices speaking.

Blessed be the glory of the Lord] According to the present text these words were uttered with a sound like “a great rushing,” though no intimation is given who they were who uttered the words. But (1) the phrase “blessed be the glory of the Lord” has no parallel; and it is hardly admissible to take the “glory of the Lord” as equivalent to “the Lord” or “the name of the Lord” or even his “glorious name” (Psalm 72:19). Even the fact that the “glory” is distinct from the divine chariot, which it may leave (ch. Ezekiel 9:3), and that a voice may come from where it is (Ezekiel 43:6) is hardly sufficient to justify such an expression. (2) It is natural to take the “great rushing” of this verse to be the same as that in Ezekiel 3:13, where it is the roar of the wings of the living creatures and the wheels when the chariot is in motion. (3) With the present text the exclamation “Blessed,” &c., might come from the cherubim. There is no other passage in the prophet where the cherubim are represented as praising God, although the seraphim do so in Isaiah 6, and the living creatures in Revelation 4, and this might possibly be the meaning, particularly as the reading “Blessed,” &c., is the only one known to the versions. Luzzatto, and independently of him Hitzig, proposed to read: when the glory of the Lord rose up from its place; cf. ch. Ezekiel 10:5; Ezekiel 10:19, Ezekiel 11:22-23. The reading implies a change of only one letter.

Verse 12. - Then the Spirit took me up, etc. The words are to be interpreted as in Ezekiel 2:2. Luther, however, gives "a wind lifted me up." The parallels of Ezekiel 8:3 (where, however, we have the addition, "in the visions of God") and Ezekiel 11:1 suggest the conclusion that this was a purely subjective sensation, that it was one of the phenomena of the ecstatic state, and that there was no actual change of place. On the other hand, the use of like language in the cases of Elijah (1 Kings 18:12; 2 Kings 2:16), of our Lord (Mark 1:12), of Philip (Acts 8:39), would justify the inference that the prophet actually passed from one locality to the other. The language of 1 Kings 18:46 probably points to the true solution of the problem. The ecstatic state continued, and in it Ezekiel went from the banks of Chebar to the dwellings of the exiles at Tel-Abib (see note on ch. 1.), at some distance from it. I heard behind me, etc. The words imply that the prophet, either in his vision or in very deed. had turned from the glory of the living creatures and of the wheels, and set his face in the direction in which he was told to go. As he does so, he hears the sounds of a great rushing (LXX., σείσμος; Luther, "earthquake"), followed by words which, though in the form of a doxology, uttered, it may be presumed, by the living creatures, were also a message of encouragement. His readiness to do his work as a preacher of repentance calls forth the praise of God from those in whose presence there is "joy over one sinner that repenteth." We are reminded of the earthquake in the Mount of Purification and the Gloria, in excelsis of Dante ('Purg.,' 20:127-141; 21:53-60). The words, from his place (belonging, probably, to the narrative rather than the doxology), point, not to the sanctuary at Jerusalem, which Jehovah had forsaken, but to the region thought of as in the north (see note on Ezekiel 1:4), to which he had withdrawn himself. Ezekiel 3:12After the Lord had pointed out to the prophet the difficulties of the call laid upon him, He prepared him for the performance of his office, by inspiring him with the divine word which he is to announce. - Ezekiel 2:8. And thou, son of man, hear what I say to thee, Be not stiff-necked like the stiff-necked race; open thy mouth, and eat what I give unto thee. Ezekiel 2:9. Then I saw, and, lo, a hand outstretched towards me; and, lo, in the same a roll of a book. Ezekiel 2:10. And He spread it out before me; the same was written upon the front and back: and there were written upon it lamentations, and sighing, and woe. Ezekiel 3:1. And He said to me: Son of man, what thou findest eat; eat the roll, and go and speak to the house of Israel. Ezekiel 3:2. Then opened I my mouth, and He gave me this roll to eat. Ezekiel 3:3. And said to me: Son of man, feed thy belly, and fill thy body with this roll which I give thee. And I ate it, and it was in my mouth as honey and sweetness. - The prophet is to announce to the people of Israel only that which the Lord inspires him to announce. This thought is embodied in symbol, in such a way that an outstretched hand reaches to him a book, which he is to swallow, and which also, at God's command, he does swallow; cf. Revelation 10:9. This roll was inscribed on both sides with lamentations, sighing, and woe (הי is either abbreviated from נהי, not equals אי, or as Ewald, 101c, thinks, is only a more distinct form of הוי or הו). The meaning is not, that upon the roll was inscribed a multitude of mournful expressions of every kind, but that there was written upon it all that the prophet was to announce, and what we now read in his book. These contents were of a mournful nature, for they related to the destruction of the kingdom, the destruction of Jerusalem and of the temple. That Ezekiel may look over the contents, the roll is spread out before his eyes, and then handed to him to be eaten, with the words, "Go and speak to the children of Israel," i.e., announce to the children of Israel what you have received into yourself, or as it is termed in Ezekiel 3:4, דּברי, "my words." The words in Ezekiel 3:3 were spoken by God while handing to the prophet the roll to be eaten. He is not merely to eat, i.e., take it into his mouth, but he is to fill his body and belly therewith, i.e., he is to receive into his innermost being the word of God presented to him, to change it, as it were, into sap and blood. Whilst eating it, it was sweet in his mouth. The sweet taste must not, with Kliefoth, be explained away into a sweet "after-taste," and made to bear this reference, that the destruction of Jerusalem would be followed by a more glorious restoration. The roll, inscribed with lamentation, sorrow, and woe, tasted to him sweetly, because its contents was God's word, which sufficed for the joy and gladness of his heart (Jeremiah 15:16); for it is "infinitely sweet and lovely to be the organ and spokesman of the Omnipotent," and even the most painful of divine truths possess to a spiritually-minded man a joyful and quickening side (Hengstenberg on Revelation 10:9). To this it is added, that the divine penal judgments reveal not only the holiness and righteousness of God, but also prepare the way for the revelation of salvation, and minister to the saving of the soul.
Ezekiel 3:12 Interlinear
Ezekiel 3:12 Parallel Texts

Ezekiel 3:12 NIV
Ezekiel 3:12 NLT
Ezekiel 3:12 ESV
Ezekiel 3:12 NASB
Ezekiel 3:12 KJV

Ezekiel 3:12 Bible Apps
Ezekiel 3:12 Parallel
Ezekiel 3:12 Biblia Paralela
Ezekiel 3:12 Chinese Bible
Ezekiel 3:12 French Bible
Ezekiel 3:12 German Bible

Bible Hub

Ezekiel 3:11
Top of Page
Top of Page