Ezekiel Chapter 24
Ezekiel 24:1 “Again in the ninth year, in the tenth month, in the tenth [day] of the month, the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,”
This is a specific date, because there was a specific time, when Nebuchadnezzar attacked Jerusalem. This siege lasted 18 months.
Ezekiel 24:2 “Son of man, write thee the name of the day, [even] of this same day: the king of Babylon set himself against Jerusalem this same day.”
The time was (Jan. 15, 588 B.C.). The Babylonians began the 18 month siege of Jerusalem.
This day is to be marked down in history, as the very day Jerusalem was besieged. This is not only the punishment God sent, but it is fulfillment of the prophecies of Ezekiel and the other prophets. It is very interesting, that Ezekiel saw all of the attack on Jerusalem in detail, and he was in captivity in Babylon at the time.
Verses 3-5: symbolizes the choice cuts of lamb as God’s flock being boiled in a pot, showing Jerusalem in the heat of the siege.
Ezekiel 24:3 “And utter a parable unto the rebellious house, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Set on a pot, set [it] on, and also pour water into it:”
This has been covered a little in a previous lesson. No pot in the world, regardless of the strength of the metal will save them from the judgment of God. They, specifically, are told to put a pot of water on the fire to boil.
Ezekiel 24:4 “Gather the pieces thereof into it, [even] every good piece, the thigh, and the shoulder; fill [it] with the choice bones.”
This “boiling pot of water” is speaking of Jerusalem. The “fire under the pot” is the army which destroys. The “bones”, in this particular instance, are speaking of the high officials. These are the princes and the chief men of Jerusalem.
Ezekiel 24:5 “Take the choice of the flock, and burn also the bones under it, [and] make it boil well, and let them seethe the bones of it therein.”
The “flock” is speaking of the people of Jerusalem. The bones that are burned are the bones of animals which were frequently used for fuel. The trees are not available for wood, at this point. The bones inside the pot are people.
Ezekiel 24:6 “Wherefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Woe to the bloody city, to the pot whose scum [is] therein, and whose scum is not gone out of it! bring it out piece by piece; let no lot fall upon it.”
“Woe to the bloody city”: Jerusalem’s populace was guilty of bloody corruption, which was pictured by the boiled scum or rust in the pot.
The whole will not be taken out. There will be just a few taken out of Jerusalem into exile.
Ezekiel 24:7 “For her blood is in the midst of her; she set it upon the top of a rock; she poured it not upon the ground, to cover it with dust;”
“Her blood’: means the city’s blood (a general symbol of sin), was blatantly open, not hidden, as depicted by exposure on top of a rock. When blood was not covered with dust, the law was violated (Lev. 17:13).
Ezekiel 24:8 “That it might cause fury to come up to take vengeance; I have set her blood upon the top of a rock, that it should not be covered.”
This destruction is for all to see. This is not done in privacy. Just as their sin was out for everyone to see, so was their destruction.
Ezekiel 24:9 “Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Woe to the bloody city! I will even make the pile for fire great.”
The fire is fueled, actually by the wrath of God. God’s fury has come up into His face, and He has condemned Jerusalem.
Intensely provoked by sin, God wanted Ezekiel to picture the fire as furious judgment that kills the people.
Ezekiel 24:10 “Heap on wood, kindle the fire, consume the flesh, and spice it well, and let the bones be burned.”
This is not to pass in a day, or two. God’s anger is great. They are to make the war greater and greater, until God’s anger is appeased.
Ezekiel 24:11 “Then set it empty upon the coals thereof, that the brass of it may be hot, and may burn, and [that] the filthiness of it may be molten in it, [that] the scum of it may be consumed.”
“Set it empty”: After all pieces (people), were burned up, then the pot was heated empty. This portrayed the Lord’s thorough follow through by the besieger to totally destroy the city and the temple, with all its residue.
The people have been removed, that were to go into captivity. The ones, who are left, are the scum that are either killed, or are suffering from the famine and will die.
Ezekiel 24:12 “She hath wearied [herself] with lies, and her great scum went not forth out of her: her scum [shall be] in the fire.”
The “scum” is like the dregs of a previous lesson that is no good, except to be thrown away. This is those spoken of, who die. They may either die by the sword, the fire or by famine.
Ezekiel 24:13 “In thy filthiness [is] lewdness: because I have purged thee, and thou wast not purged, thou shalt not be purged from thy filthiness any more, till I have caused my fury to rest upon thee.”
Purging is by fire. God wants a people free of sin. This is speaking of destruction of the unholy.
Ezekiel 24:14 “I the LORD have spoken [it]: it shall come to pass, and I will do [it]; I will not go back, neither will I spare, neither will I repent; according to thy ways, and according to thy doings, shall they judge thee, saith the Lord GOD.”
The judgment on these people seems harsh, but they were warned, over and over, and given every opportunity to repent. God has spoken the judgment, and His word is absolute. It must be, because He has spoken it. This is justice for the sins they committed. This is judgment from a righteous God.
Ezekiel 24:15-16 “Also the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,” “Son of man, behold, I take away from thee the desire of thine eyes with a stroke: yet neither shalt thou mourn nor weep, neither shall thy tears run down.”
This begins a totally different prophecy here.
Ezekiel’s wife died as a sign to Israel. All personal sorrow was eclipsed in the universal calamity. Just as Ezekiel was not to mourn the death of his wife (verse 17), so Israel was not to mourn the death of her families (verses 19-24).
Though the text emphasizes how precious his wife was, the “desire of his eyes”, his “boast” and “delight”, he was obedient and submitted to God’s will. He became a heartbreaking sign to his people.
Ezekiel 24:17 “Forbear to cry, make no mourning for the dead, bind the tire of thine head upon thee, and put on thy shoes upon thy feet, and cover not [thy] lips, and eat not the bread of men.”
The way of this destruction is haste. There is no time for mourning. Generally, when someone died, there was great mourning. They threw ashes on their heads and cried. Generally there were great feasts provided by the friends of the mourners.
Ezekiel was to do none of this. In the destruction of Jerusalem, the dead would not be buried or mourned for at all. They would be left for the vultures. The death of Ezekiel’s wife somehow is a shadow of the death of God’s wife, Israel.
Ezekiel 24:18 “So I spake unto the people in the morning: and at even my wife died; and I did in the morning as I was commanded.”
The message God had for the people was to be spoken. Ezekiel knew that his wife was to die, but he had to continue bringing the message of God to the people. This is similar to the death of Aaron’s sons in the temple, and he was not allowed to mourn for them. Ezekiel did exactly as God had commanded him.
Ezekiel 24:19 “And the people said unto me, Wilt thou not tell us what these [things are] to us, that thou doest [so]?”
This was an unnatural reaction of a husband at his wife’s death. The people want Ezekiel to explain exactly, what is going on.
Ezekiel 24:20 “Then I answered them, The word of the LORD came unto me, saying,”
Just as the lying on his side for nearly a year, was a sign to the people. The death of his wife and his actions were a sign, as well.
Ezekiel 24:21 “Speak unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will profane my sanctuary, the excellency of your strength, the desire of your eyes, and that which your soul pitieth; and your sons and your daughters whom ye have left shall fall by the sword.”
The sanctuary had been the desire of God’s eye, as Ezekiel’s wife had been the desire of his eye. The temple will be destroyed, as Ezekiel’s wife died. The families of the Israelites would die suddenly, as Ezekiel’s wife died. The temple had been the love of the people. It had been their place of communion with God. It will be suddenly taken away.
There would be no tears, or mourning, for the temple, for their wives, or for their children. Their grief would be so great; there would be no mourning, only shock. Death would be everywhere. All would suffer.
Ezekiel 24:22 “And ye shall do as I have done: ye shall not cover [your] lips, nor eat the bread of men.”
“Cover your lips”: the NKJV states, you shall not cover your lips (meaning mustache), nor eat man’s bread of sorrow. Jeremiah puts it this way (in chapter 16 verse 7a): “Nor shall men break bread in mourning for them, to comfort them for the dead”.
Ezekiel 24:23 “And your tires [shall be] upon your heads, and your shoes upon your feet: ye shall not mourn nor weep; but ye shall pine away for your iniquities, and mourn one toward another.”
This is saying that “Your turbans shall be on your heads and your sandals on your feet” and you should neither mourn nor weep for those who have been lost, but worry in your own sin and mourn with one another (See verse 17 above for a similar statement).
Ezekiel 24:24 “Thus Ezekiel is unto you a sign: according to all that he hath done shall ye do: and when this cometh, ye shall know that I [am] the Lord GOD.”
What went on in the life of Ezekiel as an individual was what was going on in the nation. He was a living example to them of their problems and God was telling them to do as Ezekiel was doing.
Ezekiel 24:25 “Also, thou son of man, [shall it] not [be] in the day when I take from them their strength, the joy of their glory, the desire of their eyes, and that whereupon they set their minds, their sons and their daughters,”
This is referring to the destruction of the temple.
Everything Ezekiel did was for their benefit. Even the messages God gave him, were for the ears of the people. His life was like a sign post to Israel. They could look at Ezekiel, and know, so goes the nation. Prophets were living prophecies as well as bringing messages in Word from God.
Ezekiel 24:26 “[That] he that escapeth in that day shall come unto thee, to cause [thee] to hear [it] with [thine] ears?”
Verses 26-27: We can see those who escaped the destruction of Jerusalem would come to Ezekiel in Babylon and report the story (“cause thee to hear it with thine ears”). Even the fact that Ezekiel was in captivity, showed them that some of them would go into captivity as well. Ezekiel will know that his prophecy was true, when the people come from Jerusalem, and brought him news that it is destroyed.
From that day forward, he was to be silent until the captives arrived; then he could speak of Judah. This was about a two year period, when there was no need to preach judgment because it had come. He did speak of other nations (as recorded being in chapter 25).
Ezekiel 24:27 “In that day shall thy mouth be opened to him which is escaped, and thou shalt speak, and be no more dumb: and thou shalt be a sign unto them; and they shall know that I [am] the LORD.”
The words of Ezekiel’s mouth had been the Words of God. Ezekiel had not spoken for himself. His actions were also, signs from God to this rebellious house. We will see that this is the end of the prophecy about the destruction of Jerusalem. He is free to speak himself at this point. And those who went into captivity, the remnant, would then know that the words that Ezekiel had prophesied indeed came from the Lord.
Ezekiel Chapter 24 Questions
1. Why is a specific date given in verse 1?
2. What is this, besides the punishment God sent on Jerusalem?
3. What was Ezekiel to say to them in verse 3?
4. What can save them from the judgment of God?
5. What is the “boiling pot” of water speaking of?
6. What does the “fire under the pot” symbolize?
7. What are the “bones” in verse 4?
8. Why was wood not used for the fuel for the fire?
9. Who is the “bloody city”?
10. Is the destruction hidden?
11. What is the fire actually fueled by?
12. When will the war stop?
13. What is the “scum” speaking of?
14. Purging is by ________.
15. Why will the punishment on Jerusalem come?
16. What does God call Ezekiel in verse 16?
17. Who was Ezekiel warned would die?
18. Why was Ezekiel not to mourn?
19. What were some of the signs of mourning?
20. The death of Ezekiel’s wife is a shadow of what?
21. God told Ezekiel to tell them, He would profane His ___________.
22. What had the temple been to the people?
23. Instead of showing grief, they were in _________.
24. How could they tell what was going on with their nation?
25. Ezekiel’s life was like a ____________ to Israel.
26. When would Ezekiel know that his prophecy was fulfilled?
27. The words of Ezekiel’s mouth had been the Words of _______.