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3. Warning to Israel

1And He saith unto me, `Son of man, that which thou findest eat, eat this roll, and go, speak unto the house of Israel.` 2And I open my mouth, and He causeth me to eat this roll. 3And He saith unto me, `Son of man, thy belly thou dost feed, and thy bowels thou dost fill with this roll that I am giving unto thee;` and I eat it, and it is in my mouth as honey for sweetness. 4And He saith unto me, `Son of man, go, enter in unto the house of Israel, and thou hast spoken with My words unto them. 5For, not unto a people deep of lip and heavy of tongue [art] thou sent -- unto the house of Israel; 6not unto many peoples, deep of lip and heavy of tongue, whose words thou dost not understand. If I had not sent thee unto them -- they, they do hearken unto thee, 7but the house of Israel are not willing to hearken unto thee, for they are not willing to hearken unto Me, for all the house of Israel are brazen-faced and strong-hearted. 8`Lo, I have made thy face strong against their face, and thy forehead strong against their forehead. 9As an adamant harder than a rock I have made thy forehead; thou dost not fear them, nor art thou affrighted before them, for a rebellious house [are] they.` 10And He saith unto me, `Son of man, all My words, that I speak unto thee, receive with thy heart, and with thine ears hear; 11and go, enter in unto the Removed, unto the sons of thy people, and thou hast spoken unto them, and hast said unto them: Thus said the Lord Jehovah: whether they hear, or whether they forbear.` 12And lift me up doth a spirit, and I hear behind me a noise, a great rushing -- `Blessed [is] the honour of Jehovah from His place!` -- 13even a noise of the wings of the living creatures touching one another, and a noise of the wheels over-against them, even a noise of a great rushing. 14And a spirit hath lifted me up, and doth take me away, and I go bitterly, in the heat of my spirit, and the hand of Jehovah on me [is] strong. 15And I come in unto the Removed, at Tel-Ahib, who are dwelling at the river Chebar, and where they are dwelling I also dwell seven days, causing astonishment in their midst. 16And it cometh to pass, at the end of seven days, 17that there is a word of Jehovah unto me, saying, `Son of man, a watchman I have given thee to the house of Israel, and thou hast heard from My mouth a word, and hast warned them from Me. 18In My saying to the wicked: Thou dost surely die; and thou hast not warned him, nor hast spoken to warn the wicked from his wicked way, so that he doth live; he -- the wicked -- in his iniquity dieth, and his blood from thy hand I require. 19And thou, because thou hast warned the wicked, and he hath not turned back from his wickedness, and from his wicked way, he in his iniquity dieth, and thou thy soul hast delivered. 20`And in the turning back of the righteous from his righteousness, and he hath done perversity, and I have put a stumbling-block before him, he dieth; because thou hast not warned him, in his sin he dieth, and not remembered is his righteousness that he hath done, and his blood from thy hand I require. 21And thou, because thou hast warned him -- the righteous -- that the righteous sin not, and he hath not sinned, he surely liveth, because he hath been warned; and thou thy soul hast delivered.` 22And there is on me there a hand of Jehovah, and He saith to me, `Rise, go forth to the valley, and there I do speak with thee.` 23And I rise and go forth unto the valley, and lo, there the honour of Jehovah is standing as the honour that I had seen by the river Chebar, and I fall on my face. 24And come into me doth a spirit, and causeth me to stand on my feet, and He speaketh with me, and saith unto me, `Go in, be shut up in the midst of thy house. 25`And thou, son of man, lo, they have put on thee thick bands, and have bound thee with them, and thou goest not forth in their midst; 26and thy tongue I cause to cleave unto thy palate, and thou hast been dumb, and art not to them for a reprover, for a rebellious house [are] they. 27And in My speaking with thee, I do open thy mouth, and thou hast said unto them: Thus said the Lord Jehovah; the hearer doth hear, and the forbearer doth forbear; for a rebellious house [are] they.

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The Prophet now seems to express from whence the voice which he heard proceeded: for I do not think that the voice proceeded from any other quarter, and that afterwards the living creatures moved in unison with the wheels, but it seems to me to explain what would otherwise have been doubtful, namely, that God’s glory was celebrated by the living creatures and the wheels. It is not wonderful then that a voice should be attributed to the living creatures, because we saw them to be cherubim or angels, as by the wheels God wishes to mark all actions and motions; motions, I say, which seem fortuitous, but yet are governed by the living creatures, whom God inspires with his own virtue, while he wishes to execute his designs, and so exercises his dominion over all creatures; for nothing happens which is not governed by his will. Hence a voice proceeds as well from the living creatures as from the wheels, which extolled the glory of God, and proclaimed him, in the midst of that sad and wretched slaughter of the people, still reigning in his own Temple; then, indeed, especially exercising his power, because he was a judge, in punishing their wickedness; then because he was about to become the deliverer of his own people, as he had promised them restoration after seventy years. He says also, I heard the voice of wings when they mutually embraced each other; for נקש, nekesh, signifies to embrace: others translate, when they struck or engaged in conflict with each other: but by the word osculating, conjunction is metaphorically signified. When, therefore, each wing embraced its fellow, then the voice emerged: he adds also the same thing concerning the wheels, and at length he repeats what he had said, that there was a sound of a great rushing It follows —




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