Gaebelein's Annotated Bible
Moreover he said unto me, Son of man, eat that thou findest; eat this roll, and go speak unto the house of Israel.
Then I came to them of the captivity at Telabib, that dwelt by the river of Chebar, and I sat where they sat, and remained there astonished among them seven days.CHAPTERS 3:15-7:27
The Judgment Announced, the Four Signs and Their Meaning, and the Two Messages
This section extends from chapter 3:15 to the close of the seventh chapter. The prophet is told of his great responsibility as watchman, and has to enact four signs. Two solemn messages close this section. The first message first predicts that the sword is to come upon the land and disperse them; the second message predicts the end.
1. The new charge and Ezekiel’s new experience (Ezekiel 3:15-27)
3. The sign of the prophet’s physical position (Ezekiel 4:4-8)
4. The sign of the famine and the defiled bread (Ezekiel 4:9-17)
5. The sign of the shaving of head and face (Ezekiel 5:1-4)
6. The message of denunciation (Ezekiel 5:5-17)
7. The first judgment message: I will bring a sword upon you (Ezekiel 6:1-14)
8. The second judgment message: The end is at hand (Ezekiel 7:1-27)
Ezekiel 3:15-27. He had been transported by the power of God from the river Chebar to Tel-abib, where a number of captives dwelt. He sat for seven days in their presence without opening his lips. (See Job 2:13.) The silence of Ezekiel was broken by the Lord, who spoke to him and gave him a new charge, that of a watchman unto the house of Israel. His duty was to be twofold: First, to hear the word of the Lord from His own lips, and then to give the warning. It is a solemn message and charge, making known to the prophet his great responsibility.
The passage, as well as the corresponding one in Ezekiel 33:1-20, has been often used in the defence of what is termed “falling from grace,”--that a true believer, who is saved by grace, may by sinning become unsaved again and then perish in his sins like the wicked. The words “fallen from grace” are found only once in the Bible, that is in Galatians 5:4. The context shows what they mean. If a believer goes to the law to be justified before God, if he tries by his own works, and by ordinances, to be righteous before God, he abandons the ground of grace. The dispensation in which we live is the dispensation of grace; grace reigns through righteousness unto eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord Romans 5:20.The message delivered by God to Ezekiel is in fullest keeping with the character of the law-covenant, though grace is also manifested in it. Righteousness has not the same meaning here as in the New Testament. We are constituted righteous by faith in Jesus Christ. It is now not the question of doing righteous deeds in order to be saved and live. We are saved by grace through faith. “Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned as of grace but as of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on Him, who justifieth the ungodly, his faith is reckoned for righteousness” Romans 4:4. And he who is justified by faith has peace With God. The true believer may sin, but he does not deliberately practice and live in sin, for “he that is born of God doth not commit (practice) sin” 1John 3:9. If he falls in sin, a gracious provision is made. We have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous, and therefore we can confess our sins; forgiveness and cleansing follow according to the divine promise 1John 1:9; 1John 2:1-22).
Then he was commanded to go into the plain, where he again beheld the glory of the Lord and fell on his face. After that, he was shut up in his house; they were to put bands upon him and bind him. He was not to go among the captives, and God made him dumb (verses 25-26). Yet this dumbness was not complete or constant. Finally it ceased altogether. That was after Jerusalem had fallen (Ezekiel 33:21-22). The dumbness was a sign to the nation--the sign of God’s displeasure and the coming judgment upon Jerusalem (Ezekiel 24:27).