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[Yechezkel 3 Orthodox Jewish Bible (OJB)]
The Commission of the Watchman (v17)
1 Moreover He said unto me, Son of man [Ben Adam], eat that thou findest; eat this roll [megillah], and go speak unto the house of Israel [Bais Yisroel].
Eating of the judgement scroll
2 So I opened my mouth, and he caused me to eat that roll [megillah.].
3 And He said unto me, Son of man [Ben Adam], cause thy belly [beten] to eat, and fill thy bowels with this roll [megillah] that I give thee. Then did I eat it; and it was in my mouth as honey [devash] for sweetness.
As the roll (divine Word of judgment) is assimilated into the body, it becomes part of the prophet. It dominates him, and makes him share on a human level Yahweh's attitude toward a sinful people. *
Ezekiel's scroll when eaten, though prophetic of judgments causing lamentations, and mourning, and woe, was as honey for sweetness, because, "the judgments of Yahweh are true and righteous altogether; more to be desired than gold, yea than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey, and droppings of honeycombs. Moreover by them is thy servant warned; and in keeping them there is great reward" (Psa. xix. 10,11).
This explains the sweetness in the mouths of Ezekiel and John. The contents of the scrolls were the joy and rejoicing of their hearts; for in the complete execution of "the judgments written," they saw the development of the promised recompense of reward.
4 And He said unto me, Son of man [Ben Adam], go, get thee unto the house of Israel [Bais Yisroel], and speak with my words unto them.
Watchmen must restrain their words to faithfully and fearlessly proclaim those of Yahweh's declaration irrespective of their own emotions or the desires of men. Even if their warning is unheeded, their commission is fulfilled and they will not be held responsible for the outcome. Ezekiel prophesied of, but not to, Jerusalem. *
Rebellious house of Israel
7 But the [Bais Yisroel] will not hearken [pay heed] unto thee; for they will not [pay heed] unto Me: for all [ kol] the [Bais Yisroel] are impudent [khizkei metzach (hard-set of brow)]and hardhearted [keshei-lev].
As Jer. 24 shows, after the captivity of Jehoiachin, those left in Jerusalem put it down to the sinfulness of exiles, and thus justified their own action of ignoring the warnings of the prophet Jeremiah. But Jeremiah declared exile in Babylon was an act of grace; whilst those left in Jerusalem were due for dire punishment, because they had ignored the divine salvation.
This was hard to accept, either at home or abroad. Until the exiles grasped that Yahweh really brought them into exile, that He might make them the beginning of a renewed people in accordance with the earlier release of the Jews from Pharaoh's Egypt, Ezekiel could not begin his task of preparing them for the future.
It is so with us today; sometimes we must face situations that demand the loneliness of exile in order that the purpose of the Deity might continue. Ezekiel was in such a situation. *
8 Behold [Hinei], I have made thy face strong [chazakim] against their faces, and thy forehead strong [metzach chazak] against their foreheads [ metzach].
9 As an adamant [ shamir ] harder [more chazak] than flint have I made thy forehead [metzach]: fear them not, neither be dismayed at their looks, though they be a rebellious house [bais meri].
If we are ready to be used of Yahweh, He will be pleased to work in us that which is desirable to Him (Phil. 2:13). But to labour effectively in His service requires fearlessness in the face of human opposition and the faithful proclamation of His will, notwithstanding the opinions of our contemporaries. *- GEM, Logos.