Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Ezekiel 24:17

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Make no mourning - As a priest, he could make no public mourning, Leviticus 21:1, etc.

Bind the tire of thine head - This seems to refer to the high priest's bonnet; or perhaps, one worn by the ordinary priests: it might have been a black veil to cover the head.

Put on thy shoes upon thy feet - Walking barefoot was a sign of grief.

Cover not thy lips - Mourners covered the under part of the face, from the nose to the bottom of the chin.

Eat not the bread of men - אנשים לחם lechem anashim, "the bread of miserable men," i.e., mourners; probably, the funeral banquet.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible
Verses 16-27

The death of Ezekiel‘s wife took place in the evening of the same day that he delivered the foregoing prophecy. This event was to signify to the people that the Lord would take from them all that was most dear to them; and - owing to the extraordinary nature of the times - quiet lamentation for the dead, according to the usual forms of mourning, would be impossible.

Ezekiel 24:17

The priest in general was to mourn for his dead (Leviticus 21:1 ff); but Ezekiel was to be an exception to the rule. The “tire” was the priest‘s mitre.

Eat not the bread of men - Food supplied for the comfort of the mourners.

Ezekiel 24:23

Pine away - Compare Leviticus 26:39. The outward signs of grief were a certain consolation. Their absence would indicate a heart-consuming sorrow.

Ezekiel 24:27

Ezekiel had been employed four years in foretelling the calamities about to come to pass. He had been utterly disregarded by the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and received with apparent respect but with real incredulity by those in exile. Now until the city had been actually taken, the voice of prophecy should cease, so far as God‘s people were concerned. Hence the intervening series of predictions relating to neighboring and foreign nations Ezekiel 2532. After which the prophet‘s voice was again heard addressing his countrymen in their exile. This accounts for the apparently parenthetical character of the next eight chapters.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Though mourning for the dead is a duty, yet it must be kept under by religion and right reason: we must not sorrow as men that have no hope. Believers must not copy the language and expressions of those who know not God. The people asked the meaning of the sign. God takes from them all that was dearest to them. And as Ezekiel wept not for his affliction, so neither should they weep for theirs. Blessed be God, we need not pine away under our afflictions; for should all comforts fail, and all sorrows be united, yet the broken heart and the mourner's prayer are always acceptable before God.
Ellen G. White
This Day With God, 233.6

She had lost her son, who was not prepared to die. She spoke, with others, in the social meeting. Oh, her heart was so heavy and sad, but she said she was comforted with the words spoken by Sister White. We had a good, profitable social meeting, then this afflicted sister spoke to me about her son they had buried a few weeks before, dying without hope, and the sorrow and grief she had felt. I entreated her to leave the mourning for the dead, which would do no good to worry over; that she as a mother should wisely and mercifully care for the living children, and that she had not a moment to devote to vain regrets, but to gird up the loins of her mind and go to work and try to bring her children to Jesus and herself surrender to Christ that she might grow in grace and the knowledge of Christ. Working in Christ's lines, she would never grow cold but become identified with the Saviour in all His plans.—Manuscript 83, August 12, 1893, diary. TDG 233.6

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