Ezekiel 12:3 MEANING

Ezekiel 12:3
(3) Prepare thee stuff for removing.--The same words are translated in Jeremiah 46:19, "Furnish thyself to go into captivity." Stuff includes all that an emigrant would require, clothes, utensils, &c.; and "removing" is the same word as is translated captivity in Ezekiel 12:4. The symbolical action was that of one preparing to leave his home to go into captivity. The prophet is to make his preparations during the day, and to carry forth his stuff (Ezekiel 12:7), but not himself to go forth until even (Ezekiel 12:4). The action seems to be that of one who must abandon his home, using the whole day to carry out all he can with the purpose of saving it, and then himself leaving the house when the day is done.

Verses 3-7. - Prepare thee stuff for removing, etc.; better, equipment for a journey, with the implied thought that it is the journey of one going into exile. "Bag and baggage," all the household goods which an exile could take with him (Exodus 12:11, 34 may supply an illustration), were to be brought out in broad daylight and piled up opposite his door. Then in the twilight (Revised Version, in the dark, and so in vers. 7, 12) he was to go forth, not by the door of his house, but by breaking through the wall (with such walls as those of Ezekiel 13:11 the process would not be difficult), as a man might do who was escaping secretly from a city through the gates of which he dared not pass (ver. 5), and was to start with his travelling chattels upon his shoulder. Lastly (ver. 6), as the strangest feature of all, he was to go forth with his face covered, as one who wished to avoid recognition, as one also who could not see one step of the way before him. This, it is intimated, would startle even the most careless, and in this way he would become, as he had been before in like symbolic acts (Ezekiel 4, 5.), as Isaiah (Isaiah 20:2) and Jeremiah (Jeremiah 27:2) had been before him, a sign unto the house of Israel.

12:1-16 By the preparation for removal, and his breaking through the wall of his house at evening, as one desirous to escape from the enemy, the prophet signified the conduct and fate of Zedekiah. When God has delivered us, we must glorify him and edify others, by acknowledging our sins. Those who by afflictions are brought to this, are made to know that God is the Lord, and may help to bring others to know him.Therefore, thou son of man, prepare thee stuff for removing,.... Or, "vessels of captivity" (s), such as persons take along with them when they go a journey, or into a far country; such as a staff, scrip, purse, shoes, &c. or household goods; such as tables, chairs, and the like, which are removed when a person goes from one house to another; by which sign they of the captivity were to be taught that Zedekiah and the people of the Jews should in like manner be carried captive into Babylon; which they were not willing to believe, and the false prophets had told them the contrary:

and remove by day in their sight; be carrying the stuff out, day by day, several days running, as Jarchi from Menachem interprets it; that they may see and take notice of it, and ask the reason of it; which, when known, they might send to their correspondents at Jerusalem, and acquaint them with it:

and thou shall remove from thy place to another place in their sight; from the house in which he dwelt, to another house at some distance; yet so as to be seen by them, both from whence and whither he moved:

it may be they will consider; or "see" (t); make use of their eyes, and of their understandings, and think better of things. The Targum is,

"perhaps they will fear;''

the Lord, and regard his prophets, and be afraid of his judgments:

though they be a rebellious house; such who are the most obstinate may be reclaimed.

(s) "vasa transmigrationis", Pagninus, Montanus, Starckius; "instrumenta migrationis", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Polanus. (t) "fortasse visuri sunt", Junius & Tremellius, Polanus; "fortasse videbunt", Piscator, Starckius.

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