Book of the Prophet Ezekiel

Compiled by WD Kemner January 2024




Chapters 3-5 Overview

Illustrating the Word




Chapters 3 Overview




Ezekiel Chapter 3 verses 1-3


Moreover he said unto me, Son of man, eat that thou findest; eat this roll, and go speak unto the house of Israel. So I opened my mouth, and he caused me to eat that roll. And he said unto me, Son of man, cause thy belly to eat, and fill thy bowels with this roll that I give thee. Then did I eat it; and it was in my mouth as honey for sweetness.




He consumed it all. Meaning he took in everything he was told.



Ezekiel Chapter 3 verses 4-14


And he said unto me, Son of man, go, get thee unto the house of Israel, and speak with my words unto them. For thou art not sent to a people of a strange speech and of an hard language, but to the house of Israel; Not to many people of a strange speech and of an hard language, whose words thou canst not understand. Surely, had I sent thee to them, they would have hearkened unto thee. But the house of Israel will not hearken unto thee; for they will not hearken unto me: for all the house of Israel are impudent and hardhearted.


Behold, I have made thy face strong against their faces, and thy forehead strong against their foreheads. As an adamant harder than flint have I made thy forehead: fear them not, neither be dismayed at their looks, though they be a rebellious house.


Moreover he said unto me, Son of man, all my words that I shall speak unto thee receive in thine heart, and hear with thine ears. And go, get thee to them of the captivity, unto the children of thy people, and speak unto them, and tell them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear.


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. I heard also the noise of the wings of the living creatures that touched one another, and the noise of the wheels over against them, and a noise of a great rushing. So the spirit lifted me up, and took me away, and I went in bitterness, in the heat of my spirit; but the hand of the LORD was strong upon me.




He is being sent to the house of Israel.  God expects they will not listen.  God is telling Ezekiel how much easier it would be to take the message to a people who do not understand the language. Ezekiel now goes and spends seven days with the people.



Ezekiel Chapter 3 verses 15-21


Then I came to them of the captivity at Tel-abib, that dwelt by the river of Chebar, and I sat where they sat, and remained there astonished among them seven days. And it came to pass at the end of seven days, that the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,


Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me. When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.


Again, When a righteous man doth turn from his righteousness, and commit iniquity, and I lay a stumblingblock before him, he shall die: because thou hast not given him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he hath done shall not be remembered; but his blood will I require at thine hand.  Nevertheless if thou warn the righteous man, that the righteous sin not, and he doth not sin, he shall surely live, because he is warned; also thou hast delivered thy soul.




We are held accountable for the blood of the wicked if we do not share the message with them when the opportunity arises. If they die due to their sin, the one who did not attempt to prevent that from happening, will be held responsible for that soul. Ezekiel will spend the entire chapter 33 relating what God has to say on this topic.



Ezekiel Chapter 3 verses 22-27


And the hand of the LORD was there upon me; and he said unto me, Arise, go forth into the plain, and I will there talk with thee. Then I arose, and went forth into the plain: and, behold, the glory of the LORD stood there, as the glory which I saw by the river of Chebar: and I fell on my face. Then the spirit entered into me, and set me upon my feet, and spake with me, and said unto me,


Go, shut thyself within thine house. But thou, O son of man, behold, they shall put bands upon thee, and shall bind thee with them, and thou shalt not go out among them: And I will make thy tongue cleave to the roof of thy mouth, that thou shalt be dumb, and shalt not be to them a reprover: for they are a rebellious house.


But when I speak with thee, I will open thy mouth, and thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; He that heareth, let him hear; and he that forbeareth, let him forbear: for they are a rebellious house.




Ezekiel has already been given his commission but instead of sending him immediately back to the people God sends him on elsewhere for “further” directives. He went to the plain much like Jesus going into the wilderness.  A place of solitude away from the distractions around him.  There he was met by God! He saw God as he did at the end of Chapter 1. God called Ezekiel out there to talk with him but God also showed Ezekiel His Glory!


Instead of now sending Ezekiel out to begin declaring the message, he directs Ezekiel to confine himself to his own house. He had already been rebuked by the people, and like Jonah does not want to face them. It will not be until later chapters that we find Ezekiel actually visited by the elders and then even later before he shares a message with the people from God.


This is now becoming a time for Ezekiel to be shut alone with God. A time for God to talk alone with Ezekiel and lay out what is in store for the people.  Is this a model for ministry of the Word today?



Chapter 4 Overview



At this point Jerusalem is still standing and intact.  The Babylonians have twice brought back captives from the Jewish nations. There are those that believe as long as Jerusalem stands, they will be headed back home.  Babylon will return to destroy Jerusalem.  God will use Ezekiel as an illustration of its destruction.



Ezekiel Chapter 4 verses 1


Thou also, son of man, take thee a tile, and lay it before thee, and pourtray upon it the city, even Jerusalem:




He was to take a “tile” and engrave Jerusalem upon it. Isaiah 49:16 God said he had “…graven thee upon the palms of my hands: thy walls are continually before me”


The High priests had the names of the tribes engraved on precious stones on the breast plate of his clothing.  Now, God is telling Ezekiel that Jerusalem “the harlot” is not worthy of being displayed on anything but a worthless brittle brick. This was to be laid before him so that he could see it.  What we see are reminders to our heart and soul.



Ezekiel Chapter 4 verses 2-3


And lay siege against it, and build a fort against it, and cast a mount against it; set the camp also against it, and set battering rams against it round about. Moreover take thou unto thee an iron pan, and set it for a wall of iron between thee and the city: and set thy face against it, and it shall be besieged, and thou shalt lay siege against it. This shall be a sign to the house of Israel.




He was to now take and build a “fort” and battering ram up against the image he had made of Jerusalem. Picture a “model” of a military campaign with toy city and soldiers. This is what God had Ezekiel doing to show them what was going to happen to Jerusalem.



Ezekiel Chapter 4 verses 4-6


Lie thou also upon thy left side, and lay the iniquity of the house of Israel upon it: according to the number of the days that thou shalt lie upon it thou shalt bear their iniquity.


For I have laid upon thee the years of their iniquity, according to the number of the days, three hundred and ninety days: so shalt thou bear the iniquity of the house of Israel.


And when thou hast accomplished them, lie again on thy right side, and thou shalt bear the iniquity of the house of Judah forty days: I have appointed thee each day for a year.




He was to lie on his left side using his body to “surround” the model, in the fashion that the Babylonian army would encircle the city of Jerusalem to lay siege to it. An army laying siege would surround the city and starve out the inhabitants.


The amount of time that Ezekiel was to lie on his side was equal to “the years of their iniquity”.  He was to lie on his left side for 390 days (13 months) because of the house of Israel! Then he was to lie on his right side for 40 days because of the house of Judah.  Each day representing a year of the transgression of the Jews against God.


Matthew Henry in his original edition of his commentary calculated this.  The siege of Jerusalem lasted eighteen months (Jeremiah 52:4-6) but deducting from that, five months for the Babylonian army to stop their siege to pursue the Egyptian army (Jeremiah 37:5-8) you end up with thirteen months or 390 days.  The number of days of the siege were prophetic to Ezekiel’s demonstration.


The real burden of the 390 days (representing years) was to bear the guilt of the house of Israel that they had committed for 390 years!  Beginning with their first falling away under Jeroboam up until the coming destruction of Jerusalem was 390 years.


The forty years of the house of Judah were the forty years prior to their captivity. From the thirteenth year of Josiah, when Jeremiah began to prophesy (Jeremiah 1:1-2) but they did not heed the words of God.



Ezekiel Chapter 4 verses 7-8


Therefore thou shalt set thy face toward the siege of Jerusalem, and thine arm shall be uncovered, and thou shalt prophesy against it. And, behold, I will lay bands upon thee, and thou shalt not turn thee from one side to another, till thou hast ended the days of thy siege.




The earnestness of the siege. Ezekiel was illustrating by his actions what was taking place during the siege of Jerusalem.  Nebuchadnezzar was now frustrated with Zedekiah and those holding the city of Jerusalem.  They were going to make waste to everything there once and for all.


Ezekiel was illustrating this with his actions for those Jews in captivity and those yet in Jerusalem who would hear of what the prophet was doing.  Remember the prophet was not speaking only doing.  Each day the people would come and see if there was any word from the prophet and his silence was deafening. Much like Jesus use of Parables, this demonstration was so they could see what they were not understanding.



Ezekiel Chapter 4 verses 9-11


Take thou also unto thee wheat, and barley, and beans, and lentiles, and millet, and fitches, and put them in one vessel, and make thee bread thereof, according to the number of the days that thou shalt lie upon thy side, three hundred and ninety days shalt thou eat thereof.


And thy meat which thou shalt eat shall be by weight, twenty shekels a day: from time to time shalt thou eat it. Thou shalt drink also water by measure, the sixth part of an hin: from time to time shalt thou drink.




Jeremiah writes of the famine occurring back in the land of Jerusalem (Lamentations 4:3-10) and Ezekiel is now going to illustrate that with what the Lord establishes as his diet during the 390 days while he lies on his side.


To affect the people his diet will consist of the lowest quality bread made from only a little wheat and barley but consisting of everything else: beans lintels, etc.  The Poor man’s bread.


20 shekels = about 10 ozs   -   6th part of a hin = half a pint or about 8 ozs


Living in Babylon he had plenty of bread and living by the river plenty of water, but in order to be a sign to the Jews, God has him live sparingly demonstrating what those in Jerusalem were facing.



Ezekiel Chapter 4 verses 12-17


And thou shalt eat it as barley cakes, and thou shalt bake it with dung that cometh out of man, in their sight. And the LORD said, Even thus shall the children of Israel eat their defiled bread among the Gentiles, whither I will drive them.


Then said I, Ah Lord GOD! behold, my soul hath not been polluted: for from my youth up even till now have I not eaten of that which dieth of itself, or is torn in pieces; neither came there abominable flesh into my mouth.


Then he said unto me, Lo, I have given thee cow's dung for man's dung, and thou shalt prepare thy bread therewith.


Moreover he said unto me, Son of man, behold, I will break the staff of bread in Jerusalem: and they shall eat bread by weight, and with care; and they shall drink water by measure, and with astonishment: That they may want bread and water, and be astonied one with another, and consume away for their iniquity.




Baking it with the use of man’s dung being the source of the fuel for the fire.  Similar to America’s former Old west when buffalo chips were collected and used for building fires. The thought of doing this would be upsetting.  To have to collect the dung publicly would indeed be humbling at the least.  This was so the Jews would be even further struck with what was to come.


Ezekiel humbly asked if this sign could be dispensed with. There was a ceremonial pollution in doing this that bothered Ezekiel. (Deuteronomy 23:12-14) He was worried that by doing so, he would pollute his soul.


Peter would later deal with this in the book of Acts with eating unclean meat. God allowed Ezekiel to use cow’s dung instead.  What a reflection upon man.  Giving the representation of the filthy state of man. The fact that cow’s dung was considered “cleaner” than that of man. When under siege by an opposing army, and food and water becomes scarce, rationing of those supplies will begin.



Chapter 5 Overview



Ezekiel Chapter 5 verses 1-4


And thou, son of man, take thee a sharp knife, take thee a barber's razor, and cause it to pass upon thine head and upon thy beard: then take thee balances to weigh, and divide the hair. Thou shalt burn with fire a third part in the midst of the city, when the days of the siege are fulfilled: and thou shalt take a third part, and smite about it with a knife: and a third part thou shalt scatter in the wind; and I will draw out a sword after them. Thou shalt also take thereof a few in number, and bind them in thy skirts. Then take of them again, and cast them into the midst of the fire, and burn them in the fire; for thereof shall a fire come forth into all the house of Israel.




He was to shave his head as yet another sign.  People would see how much Ezekiel was in torment over what was happening to Jerusalem. The knife or razor symbolizing God’s final cutting off of his people for all the sin and outright atrocities they had committed. God has now totally rejected his people.



Ezekiel Chapter 5 verses 5-11


Thus saith the Lord GOD; This is Jerusalem: I have set it in the midst of the nations and countries that are round about her. And she hath changed my judgments into wickedness more than the nations, and my statutes more than the countries that are round about her: for they have refused my judgments and my statutes, they have not walked in them.


Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Because ye multiplied more than the nations that are round about you, and have not walked in my statutes, neither have kept my judgments, neither have done according to the judgments of the nations that are round about you;


Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I, even I, am against thee, and will execute judgments in the midst of thee in the sight of the nations. And I will do in thee that which I have not done, and whereunto I will not do any more the like, because of all thine abominations. Therefore the fathers shall eat the sons in the midst of thee, and the sons shall eat their fathers; and I will execute judgments in thee, and the whole remnant of thee will I scatter into all the winds.


Wherefore, as I live, saith the Lord GOD; Surely, because thou hast defiled my sanctuary with all thy detestable things, and with all thine abominations, therefore will I also diminish thee; neither shall mine eye spare, neither will I have any pity.




Symbolizing Jerusalem, Ezekiel shaves his head.  The Head being Jerusalem that is now getting totally cutoff from God and being stripped of all its people and ornaments and will be left totally bare/naked like the shaved head. Even the nations around her had been used to bring judgment in an attempt to bring the people back to a proper relationship with God. Even that did not help.


How devastating to have God make the statement of “I am against thee”.  Who would desire to be on the opposite side and be facing God?


Jerusalem was a city on the hill. It stood out among all the nations. It was in the center of the known world of the day. They had a place of standing. This is now gone and the “glory” that the nation once saw under Solomon would not happen again.  Even after the city is rebuilt they will see God’s promise that he would “diminish” them.



Ezekiel Chapter 5 verses 12-17


A third part of thee shall die with the pestilence, and with famine shall they be consumed in the midst of thee: and a third part shall fall by the sword round about thee; and I will scatter a third part into all the winds, and I will draw out a sword after them. Thus shall mine anger be accomplished, and I will cause my fury to rest upon them, and I will be comforted: and they shall know that I the LORD have spoken it in my zeal, when I have accomplished my fury in them.


Moreover I will make thee waste, and a reproach among the nations that are round about thee, in the sight of all that pass by. So it shall be a reproach and a taunt, an instruction and an astonishment unto the nations that are round about thee, when I shall execute judgments in thee in anger and in fury and in furious rebukes. I the LORD have spoken it.


When I shall send upon them the evil arrows of famine, which shall be for their destruction, and which I will send to destroy you: and I will increase the famine upon you, and will break your staff of bread: So will I send upon you famine and evil beasts, and they shall bereave thee; and pestilence and blood shall pass through thee; and I will bring the sword upon thee. I the LORD have spoken it.




All the forth coming punishment that the Jews will be exposed to for the years of rejection of God.  The Babylonians would destroy Jerusalem but that was not the end.  When the Romans would totally obliterate the remains and not a stone was left.  To this day, the Jewish nation has yet to turn back to the God that created them.