Ezekiel 3:14 MEANING

Ezekiel 3:14
(14) I went in bitterness, in the heat of my prophet now begins to realise the sorrow and the trial of the task laid upon him. The command of the Lord was sweet (Ezekiel 3:3), its performance is bitter. "But the hand of the Lord was strong" upon him, and he could not forbear. Compare the similar experience of Jeremiah (Jeremiah 20:8-9; see also Amos 3:8), when in his discouragement he had almost resolved to refuse to declare God s message, but the word of the Lord was as a burning fire within, and he could not refrain--an experience which every faithful teacher in God's name is obliged, more or less fully, to pass through.

Verse 14. - The Spirit lifted me up (see note on ver. 12). Here the LXX. has the more definite phrase, "the Spirit of the Lord. For bitterness (see note on Ezekiel 2:3). The heat of my spirit. The first noun is here translated literally. Elsewhere it is rendered as "wrath" (Deuteronomy 29:23; Job 21:20; Proverbs 15:11, et al.), "fury" (Jeremiah 4:4). Here probably it points to the conflict of emotions - indignation against the sins of his people, the dread of failure, the consciousness of unfitness. The hand of the Lord, etc. The word for "strong" is the same as that which enters into Ezekiel's name. Taking this and ver. 9 into account, there seems sufficient reason for translating as the Vulgate does, confortans (so Luther, "held me firm"), at least for thinking of that meaning as implied (comp. Ezra 7:9; Ezra 8:18; Nehemiah 2:8; Daniel 10:18). There was a sustaining power in spite of the "bitterness" and the "heat." In a more general sense, as in Ezekiel 1:3, it is used as implying a special intensity of prophetic inspiration, as in the case of Elisha (2 Kings 3:15); but this is the only case in which it occurs with the adjective "strong."

3:12-21 This mission made the holy angels rejoice. All this was to convince Ezekiel, that the God who sent him had power to bear him out in his work. He was overwhelmed with grief for the sins and miseries of his people, and overpowered by the glory of the vision he had seen. And however retirement, meditation, and communion with God may be sweet, the servant of the Lord must prepare to serve his generation. The Lord told the prophet he had appointed him a watchman to the house of Israel. If we warn the wicked, we are not chargeable with their ruin. Though such passages refer to the national covenant made with Israel, they are equally to be applied to the final state of all men under every dispensation. We are not only to encourage and comfort those who appear to be righteous, but they are to be warned, for many have grown high-minded and secure, have fallen, and even died in their sins. Surely then the hearers of the gospel should desire warnings, and even reproofs.So the spirit lifted me up, and took me away,.... Lifted him up from the earth, and carried him through the air:

and I went in bitterness; full of trouble and sorrow, that the Lord was departing from the temple; that his people had been guilty, of such crimes they had, and were such an impudent, and hardhearted people they were; and that such judgments were coming upon them he had seers written in the roll, full of lamentations, mourning, and woe:

in the heat of my spirit; the Targum and Vulgate Latin render it, "in the indignation of my spirit"; his spirit was hot and angry, he was froward and unwilling to go on the errand, to prophesy sad and dismal things to his people:

but the hand of the Lord was strong upon me; the Spirit of the Lord powerfully wrought upon him, and obliged him to go; and the hand of the Lord strengthened him, and removed his frowardness and perverseness of spirit. The Targum is,

"and prophecy from before the Lord was strong upon me;''

so Kimchi interprets it of the hand of prophecy; the Spirit of the Lord, as a spirit of prophecy, came upon him, with great impulse upon his spirit, and he could not refuse going to his people, to declare it to them.

Courtesy of Open Bible