The people still are talking against thee - בך bach should be rather translated, "concerning thee," than "against thee;" for the following verses show that the prophet was much respected. The Vulgate translates, de te; the Septuagint, περι σου, "concerning thee," both right.
Talking by the walls and in the doors of the houses is not a custom peculiar to the Copts, mentioned by Bp. Pococke, it is a practice among idle people, and among those who are resting from their work, in every country, when the weather permits. Gossiping in the inside of the house is not less frequent, and much more blamable.
The exhortation to repentance. Ezekiel first addresses the remnant that still linger in their ancient home, and warns them against presumptuous hopes resting on false grounds Ezekiel 33:23-29; then he turns his eyes to those near him, and points out that their apparent attention to his words was illusory.
Those wastes - The places in the holy land devastated by the conqueror.
Abraham - The argument is, Abraham was but one man, and he had the promise of the land, though he did not at once possess it; much more shall we, the descendants of Abraham, being many, retain this promise and possess the land, though for a time we are depressed and subject. Compare Matthew 3:9; John 8:33, John 8:39.
To eat flesh with the blood was forbidden (see the marginal references). It seems to have been connected with the idolatries of Canaan. The prohibition was, on account of its connection with idolatry, continued in the enactment of the Council of Jerusalem Acts 15:29.
Ye stand upon your sword - Ye put your trust in your swords.
God warns the prophet against being misled by the compliance of the people.
Against thee - Rather, about “thee.” “by the walls” Rather, within “the walls.”
As the people cometh - literally, as in the margin, i. e., in crowds. Render it: they shall come “unto thee” like the coming of a people,” and” shall “sit before thee as My people” etc., i. e., they assume the attitude of God‘s people listening to His prophet. Compare Ezekiel 14:1; Ezekiel 20:1.
And when this - But when this.
It was in hours of solitary prayer that Jesus in His earth life received wisdom and power. Let the youth follow His example in finding at dawn and twilight a quiet season for communion with their Father in heaven. And throughout the day let them lift up their hearts to God. At every step of our way He says, “I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, ... Fear not; I will help thee.” Isaiah 41:13. Could our children learn these lessons in the morning of their years, what freshness and power, what joy and sweetness, would be brought into their lives! Ed 259.1
These are lessons that only he who himself has learned can teach. It is because so many parents and teachers profess to believe the word of God while their lives deny its power, that the teaching of Scripture has no greater effect upon the youth. At times the youth are brought to feel the power of the word. They see the preciousness of the love of Christ. They see the beauty of His character, the possibilities of a life given to His service. But in contrast they see the life of those who profess to revere God's precepts. Of how many are the words true that were spoken to the prophet Ezekiel: Ed 259.2
Thy people “speak one to another, everyone to his brother, saying, Come, I pray you, and hear what is the word that cometh forth from the Lord. And they come unto thee as the people cometh, and they sit before thee as My people, and they hear thy words, but they will not do them: for with their mouth they show much love, but their heart goeth after their covetousness. And, lo, thou art unto them as a very lovely song of one that hath a pleasant voice, and can play well on an instrument: for they hear thy words, but they do them not.” Ezekiel 33:30-32. Ed 259.3Read in context »
Study faithfully the thirty-third chapter of Ezekiel. The work which is being done in medical missionary lines is the very work which Christ commanded His followers to do. Can you not clearly see that those who are engaged in this work are fulfilling the Saviour's commission? Can you not see that it would please your Saviour if you would lay aside all false dignity and learn in His school how to wear His yoke and carry His burdens? TM 416.1
The world needs evidences of sincere Christianity. Professed Christianity may be seen everywhere; but when the power of God's grace is seen in our churches, the members will work the works of Christ. Natural and hereditary traits of character will be transformed. The indwelling of His Spirit will enable them to reveal Christ's likeness, and in proportion to the purity of their piety will be the success of their work. TM 416.2Read in context »