Ezekiel 2:8 MEANING

Ezekiel 2:8
(8) Eat that I give thee.--This is to be understood, like all that has gone before, as done in vision, as in the case of the book eaten by St. John in Revelation 10:9-10. The figure of eating for receiving into the heart, so as to be thoroughly possessed by what is communicated, is not an uncommon one. (Comp. Jeremiah 15:16; John 6:53-58.)

Verse 8. - Be not thou rebellious, etc. The words convey a warning against the prophet's natural weakness. Instinctively he shrank, as Moses had done (Exodus 3:11; Exodus 4:10-13) and Isaiah (Isaiah 6:5) and Jeremiah (Jeremiah 1:6), from his dread vocation of being a "mortal vessel of the Divine Word." In so shrinking he would identify himself with the very "rebellion" which he was sent to reprove, and would incur its punishment. Eat that I give thee. As in the parallel of Revelation 10:9, the words imply that what was to be given him was no message resting, as it were, on the surface of the soul. It was to enter into the prophet's innermost life, to be the food and nourishment of his soul; to be, in our familiar phrase, "inwardly digested" and incorporated with his very flesh and blood. He was to live "not by bread only" (Deuteronomy 6:3), but by every word that proceeded out of the mouth of Jehovah.

2:6-10 Those who will do any thing to purpose in the service of God, must not fear men. Wicked men are as briers and thorns; but they are nigh unto cursing, and their end is to be burned. The prophet must be faithful to the souls of those to whom he was sent. All who speak from God to others, must obey his voice. The discoveries of sin, and the warnings of wrath, should be matter of lamentation. And those acquainted with the word of God, will clearly perceive it is filled with woe to impenitent sinners; and that all the precious promises of the gospel are for the repenting, believing servants of the Lord.But thou, son of man, hear what I say unto thee,.... Which was necessary because he was to speak not his own words, but the Lord's, and therefore ought to hear before he spoke; and indeed those that speak in a public way, for the instruction of others, ought to hear and learn of Christ first:

be not thou rebellious, like that rebellious house; who would not hear what was said unto them; but they were not to be imitated no, not in a lesser degree: the prophet was to avoid everything that looked like rebellion; as in, attention to what was said to him hesitation about it, or backwardness to publish it;

open thy mouth; be ready to receive what should be given, as a symbol of the prophecy he was to deliver. The Targum is,

"incline thy soul, and receive what I give thee.''

Jarchi's note is incline thine ear and hear and let it be sweet to thee, as if thou didst eat food for hunger; and Kimchi observes, the intention of the figurative expression is to learn the words of the prophecy, and to remember them:

and eat that I give thee; which may be safely done; for Christ gives his ministers and people nothing but what is wholesome; his doctrines are wholesome words and may be eaten without fear, 1 Timothy 6:3.

Courtesy of Open Bible