Ezekiel 33:30 MEANING

Ezekiel 33:30
(30) The children of thy people.--The few remaining verses of this chapter are concerned with those in exile--perhaps not so much those who had been with Ezekiel all along as fresh captives of a worse moral character now just brought from Jerusalem. Yet of them all alike it was still true that they were much more ready to listen with deferential air to the words of the prophet than to take them to their hearts and act upon them in their life. The prophet is here warned (Ezekiel 33:30-33) not to be misled by the apparent compliance of the people, as he had been before strengthened against their opposition (Ezekiel 3:8-9); but it must have carried a pang deep into his heart to know how superficial was the effect of those labours to which he had devoted himself with such faithfulness.

Against thee.--Rather, of thee. The people are not represented as opposed to Ezekiel, but rather as enjoying his eloquence, and talking about him as they met one another, but without any serious effort to follow his counsels--much like the treatment of a popular preacher by his people at the present day.

By the walls and in the doors.--Better, within the walls. The meaning is, both privately and publicly.

Verse 30. - The children of thy people. The words, like those of Ezekiel 14:1 and Ezekiel 20:1, 49, throw light on the prophet's relations to his people. Now that the long silence was broken, and the prophet spoke with greater freedom than he had ever done before, he acquired a fresh notoriety. The character of his last utterance, vindicating, as it might seem, the claim of the exiles to "possess the land," as against that of the remnant "in the wastes," may even have made him popular. The Authorized Version against is misleading; read, with the margin and the Revised Version, about. There was for the time no open hostility. They talked much, in places of private or public resort, of the prophet's new action. Each invited his neighbor to go and hear the prophet as he spake to them his message from Jehovah. And they came as the people cometh, in crowds, even as my people, the people of Jehovah, with reverent gestures and listening eagerly. Never before, we may well believe, had the prophet had so large or so promising a congregation. But he was taught to look below the surface and to read their thoughts, and there he read, as preachers of all ages have too often read after him, that they were hearers, and not doers (Matthew 7:24-27; James 1:23-25). In words they showed much love (the LXX. gives "falsehood"), spoke pleasant things, but the root-evil, the besetting sin, was still there. Their heart went after their covetousness (camp. Matthew 13:22; 2 Timothy 4:10).

33:30-33 Unworthy and corrupt motives often lead men to the places where the word of God is faithfully preached. Many come to find somewhat to oppose: far more come of curiosity or mere habit. Men may have their hearts changed. But whether men hear or forbear, they will know by the event that a servant of God has been among them. All who will not know the worth of mercies by the improvement of them, will justly be made to know their worth by the want of them.Also, thou son of man,.... I have something to say to thee, and inform thee of, not only concerning the Jews in Judea, what they say, and what will befall them; but concerning those that are with thee, and what they say of thee, and what will be the issue of it:

the children of thy people still are talking against thee; not the Lord's people, but his own people, which was the more cutting to him to hear of, and the more ungrateful in them; though indeed they were but children, who acted a weak part, and the less to be regarded; these spake against the prophet: they could not say he was no prophet, he had his credentials and commission from the Lord, which were well known, and many of his prophecies had been fulfilled; they could not speak against his doctrine, which was of God; nor against his conversation, which was agreeable to his character and office; but they said some things in a ludicrous and jocose manner, in a slighting and contemptuous way, as showed they had little reverence and respect for him, and were careless and indifferent about hearing him; at least had little regard to this matter, or the subject of his ministry, which they had no great value for: and this they did still; they had been long at it; it was their common talk and constant business, though the prophet knew nothing of it, and thought they had the greatest respect for him, speaking fair to his face, and behaving with decency towards him; but the Lord knew it, and resented it, and informs him of it: and this they did continually, from time to time,

by the walls, and in the doors of the houses; privately and secretly; "by the walls", where they used to get together and sun themselves, and pass away their time, by talking against the prophet; and, when they did, would place themselves against the walls, that nobody might overhear them; and they would sometimes stand in the porches of their houses, and, as their neighbours and acquaintance passed by, would call them in, and hold a chat about the prophet; and jeer and laugh at him, and what he had said: and speak one to another,

every man to his brother, saying, come, l pray you, and hear what is the word that cometh forth from the Lord; let us go and amuse ourselves for an hour or two with what the prophet says; perhaps we shall hear some new thing, which may be pleasing and diverting: for, not their spiritual profit did they seek, but to have their ears tickled, and their fancies pleased.

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