Ezekiel 33:33
And when this cometh to pass, (lo, it will come,) then shall they know that a prophet hath been among them.
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(33) When this cometh to pass.—“This” refers to what the prophet is commissioned to utter. By the fulfilment of his prophecies of judgment they had already been brought to an outward recognition of his authority; it remained that by the fulfilment of the prophecies yet to come their hearts, or at least the hearts of the better part of them, should be bowed in true submission to the Divine will, as made known through him.

Ezekiel 33:33. And when this cometh to pass, (lo, it will come) — Or, rather, lo, it is come; for so the same phrase is translated Ezekiel 6:2; Ezekiel 6:6; Ezekiel 6:10, the verb being in the present tense; when they shall see thy prophecies concerning the destruction of Jerusalem actually fulfilled, and all the events predicted by thee exactly brought to pass; then shall they know that a prophet hath been among them — Then shall they be convinced of the truth of thy mission, and of their own inexcusable crime in despising thy prophecies. The words of this verse are evidently spoken by the Lord to his prophet.

33:30-33 Unworthy and corrupt motives often lead men to the places where the word of God is faithfully preached. Many come to find somewhat to oppose: far more come of curiosity or mere habit. Men may have their hearts changed. But whether men hear or forbear, they will know by the event that a servant of God has been among them. All who will not know the worth of mercies by the improvement of them, will justly be made to know their worth by the want of them.And when this - But when this. 33. when this cometh to pass—when My predictions are verified.

lo, it will come—rather, "lo it is come" (see Eze 33:22).

know—experimentally, and to their cost.

When all thou hast prophesied against the Jews shall, as that thou prophesiedst against the nations, come to pass to their ruin, they shall know thou wast no musician, but a prophet sent of God, to forewarn them to flee from wrath; not employed by men, to please their wanton ear and fancy.

And when this cometh to pass,.... The prophecy before delivered out, concerning the desolations in the land of Israel, by the sword, pestilence, and wild beasts:

lo, it will come; whatever is predicted by the Lord; in the mouth of his prophets, certainly comes to pass: then shall they know that a prophet hath been among them; and acknowledge it; and particularly that Ezekiel was one, a true prophet of the Lord, by the exact accomplishment of his predictions.

And when this cometh to pass, (lo, it will come,) then shall they know that a prophet hath been among them.
33. when this cometh] but when it cometh to pass. The general it (fem. as usual in general references) is the judgment or crisis, the idea of which underlies all the prophet’s words and is presupposed in them. Cf. Ezekiel 2:5.

Verse 33. - When this cometh to pass. The words can scarcely refer to the immediately preceding predictions in Vers. 27, 28, which were primarily addressed to "the people in the waste places," the remnant left in Judah, and we have to go back to the wider, more general teaching of Vers. 10-20. That was the prophet's message of judgment, his call to repentance. When the judgment should come, as it surely would, then they would know, in the bitterness of self-condemnation, that they had been listening, not to a hireling singer, but to a prophet of Jehovah.

Ezekiel 33:33Behaviour of the People Towards the prophet

Ezekiel 33:30. And thou, son of man, the sons of thy people converse about thee by the walls and in the house-doors; one talketh to another, every one to his brother, saying, Come and let us hear what kind of word goeth out from Jehovah. Ezekiel 33:31. And they will come to thee, like an assembly of the people, and sit before thee as my people, and will hear thy words, but not do them; but that which is pleasant in their mouth they do; their heart goeth after their gain. Ezekiel 33:32. And, behold, thou art unto them like a pleasant singer, beautiful in voice and playing well; they will hear thy words, but they will not do them. Ezekiel 33:33. But when it cometh - behold, it cometh - they will know that a prophet was in the midst of them. - This addition to the preceding word of God, which is addressed to Ezekiel personally, applies to the whole of the second half of his ministry, and stands in obvious connection with the instructions given to the prophet on the occasion of his first call (Ezekiel 3:16.), and repeated, so far as their substance is concerned, in Ezekiel 33:7-9, as Kliefoth himself acknowledges, in opposition to his assumption that vv. 1-20 of this chapter belong to the prophecies directed against the foreign nations. As God had directed the prophet's attention, on the occasion of his call, to the difficulties connected with the discharge of the duties of a watchman with which he was entrusted, by setting before him the object and the responsibility of his vocation, and had warned him not to allow himself to be turned aside by the opposition of the people; so here in Ezekiel 33:30-33, at the commencement of the second section of his ministry, another word is addressed to him personally, in order that he may not be influenced in the further prosecution of his calling by either the pleasure or displeasure of men.

His former utterances had already induced the elders of the people to come to him to hear the word of God (cf. Ezekiel 14:1 and Ezekiel 20:1). But now that his prophecies concerning Jerusalem had been fulfilled, the exiles could not fail to be still more attentive to his words, so that they talked of him both secretly and openly, and encouraged one another to come and listen to his discourses. God foretells this to him, but announces to him at the same time that this disposition on the part of his countrymen to listen to him is even now no sign of genuine conversion to the word of God, in order that he may not be mistaken in his expectations concerning the people. Kliefoth has thus correctly explained the contents, design, and connection of these verses as a whole. In Ezekiel 33:30 the article before the participle נדבּרים takes the place of the relative אשׁר, and the words are in apposition to בּני עמך, the sons of thy people who converse about thee. נדבּר is reciprocal, as in Malachi 3:13, Malachi 3:16, and Psalm 119:12. But ב is to be understood, not in a hostile sense, as in the passage cited from the Psalms, but in the sense of concerning, like דּבּר ב in 1 Samuel 19:3 as contrasted with דּבּר ב in Numbers 21:7, to speak against a person. The participle is continued by the finite ודּבּר, and the verb belonging to בּני follows, in the ויבאוּ of Ezekiel 33:31, in the form of an apodosis. There is something monstrous in Hitzig's assumption, that the whole passage from Ezekiel 33:30 to Ezekiel 33:33 forms but one clause, and that the predicate to בּני עמך does not occur till the וידעוּ of Ezekiel 33:33. - אצל , by the side of the walls, i.e., sitting against the walls, equivalent to secretly; and in the doors of the houses, in other words publicly, one neighbour conversing with another. חד, Aramean for אחד, and אישׁ by the side of אחד, every one; not merely one here or there, but every man to his neighbour. כּמבוא־עם, lit., as the coming of a people, i.e., as when a crowd of men flock together in crowds or troops. עמּי is a predicate, as my people, i.e., as if they wished, like my people, to hear my word from thee. But they do not think of doing thy words, i.e., what thou dost announce to them as my word. עגבים are things for which one cherishes an eager desire, pleasant things in their mouth, i.e., according to their taste (cf. Genesis 25:28). Hvernick is wrong in taking עגבים to mean illicit love. The word בּפיהם is quite inapplicable to such a meaning. The rendering, they do it with their mouth, is opposed both to the construction and the sense. בּצעם .esnes , their gain, the source from which they promise themselves advantage or gain. In Ezekiel 33:32 a clearer explanation is given of the reason why they come to the prophet, notwithstanding the fact that they do not wish to do his words. "Thou art to them כּשיּר עגבים;" this cannot mean like a pleasant song, but, as מטב נגּן (one who can play well) clearly shows, like a singer of pleasant songs. The abstract שׁיּר stands for the concrete שׁר, a singer, a man of song (Hitzig). In Ezekiel 33:32, "they hear thy words, but do them not," is repeated with emphasis, for the purpose of attaching the threat in Ezekiel 33:33. But when it cometh - namely, what thou sayest, or prophesiest - behold, it cometh, i.e., it will come as surely as thy prophecies concerning the destruction of Jerusalem; then will they know that a prophet was among them (cf. Ezekiel 2:5), that is to say, that he proclaimed God's word to them. Therefore Ezekiel is not to be prevented, by the misuse which will be made of his words, from preaching the truth. - This conclusion of the word of God, which points back to Ezekiel 2:5, also shows that it forms the introduction to the prophecies which follow.

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