Advertisements

After watching God’s glory move to the eastern gate of the temple, the Spirit lifted Ezekiel up and took him to the gate of the house of the Lord that faces east. At the entrance were 25 men. Among the men was Jaazaniah (son of Azzur) and Pelatiah (son of Benaiah), leaders of the people.

God told Ezekiel, “Son of man, these are the men who are plotting evil and giving wicked advice in this city. They say, ‘Haven’t our houses recently been rebuilt? This city is a pot and we are the meat in it.’ There, prophesy against them. Prophesy, son of man.”

The Spirit of God entered Ezekiel and told him to say:

“This is what the Lord says: This is what you are saying, you leaders in Israel, but I know what is going through your mind. You have killed many people in this city and filled its streets with the dead. Therefore, this is what the Sovereign Lord said: The bodies you have thrown into the street are the meat and this city is the pot, but I will drive you out of it. You fear the sword, and the sword is what I will bring against you. I will drive you out of the city and deliver you into the hands of foreigners and inflict punishment on you. You will fall by the sword, and I will execute judgement on you at the borders of Israel. Then you will know that I am the Lord. This city will not be a pot for you, nor will you be the meat in it. I will execute judgement on you at the borders of Israel. And you will know that I am the Lord for you have not followed my decrees or kept my laws but have conformed to the standards of the nations around you.”

As Ezekiel was prophesying, Pelatiah, son of Benaiah died. Ezekiel fell down and cried out in a loud voice, “Alas, Sovereign Lord! Will you completely destroy the remnant of Israel?”

What the story means to us today

Ignore God’s commands at your own peril

This last scene of Ezekiel’s vision appears to take place in a time before the destruction of Jerusalem’s wicked idolaters. Ezekiel sees two of Israel’s leaders, Jaazaniah and Pelatiah, at the eastern gate of the temple giving bad counsel to a group of twenty-five men. They tell the men that Jerusalem is a pot and its citizens are the crucial meat. It appears that they discard the prophet’s warning that the destruction of Jerusalem is imminent an encourage the people to build new homes in the land.

Advertisements

Seeing the leader’s destructive impact on the people, God tells Ezekiel to “prophesy against” the men – explain to them what they are doing wrong and ensure they understand the judgement that God will pass on them for ignoring God’s decrees. Using the same metaphor that the leaders told the crowd of men (i.e. we are meat in a pot), God explains that indeed, Jerusalem is a melting pot but the men are incorrect in assuming the pot will hold anything other than the righteous followers of God’s laws.

Additional thoughts and considerations

The confusion around Jaazaniah son of Azzur

In Ezekiel 8:11, Ezekiel sees “Jaazaniah son of Shaphan” among the sun worshippers in the temple. Here Ezekiel sees “Jaazaniah son of Azzur” giving false counsel. Even though the names are the same, their fathers are listed differently. There is no reason to presume these two men are the same person. Despite the similarity in names, they likely were two different men.

The death of Pelatiah

The death of Pelatiah confirmed Ezekiel’s role as a true prophet. Still, the casualty alarms Ezekiel. Ezekiel again worries that God will destroy all of Judah and he openly expresses his concern to God.

“Haven’t our houses recently been rebuilt? This city is a pot – and we are the meat in it.”

Ezekiel 11:3 is an unusual set of sentences. We cannot be entirely sure what the men were implying. The leaders mention houses being rebuilt. They could have been implying the men were perfectly safe in Jerusalem under Babylonian rule and that they should abstain from revolt or civil discord.

The reference to the city as a cooking pot and the people being meat sounds more frightful than encouraging. Possibly the statement was one of encouragement that was understood according to the standards of speech at the time. Indeed, Jerusalem was the pot, the people were the meat – and Babylon was the fire.

Regardless of the confusing dialect, we know that God considered the things the men were saying “wicked advice” that opposed the Mosaic standards they were supposed to be adhering to.

The science and history behind the story

Jaazaniah

Ezekiel mentions two men leading the 25 men in rebellion – Jaazaniah son of Azzur, and Pelatiah son of Benaiah. Archaeological evidence confirms the historicity of the accounts given in Ezekiel’s vision. We now know that the name Jaazaniah was common to the time period. Archaeologists have unearthed official cylindric seals bearing the name. 200 clay seals (used to stamp official documents) were found in the “City of David” area of Jerusalem including one marked “Benaiah, father of Pelatiah”.

Bible Text

NIV

11 Then the Spirit lifted me up and brought me to the gate of the house of the LORD that faces east. There at the entrance of the gate were twenty-five men, and I saw among them Jaazaniah son of Azzur and Pelatiah son of Benaiah, leaders of the people. 2 The LORD said to me, “Son of man, these are the men who are plotting evil and giving wicked advice in this city. 3 They say, ‘Haven’t our houses been recently rebuilt? This city is a pot, and we are the meat in it.’ 4 Therefore prophesy against them; prophesy, son of man.”

5 Then the Spirit of the LORD came on me, and he told me to say: “This is what the LORD says: That is what you are saying, you leaders in Israel, but I know what is going through your mind. 6 You have killed many people in this city and filled its streets with the dead.

7 “Therefore this is what the Sovereign LORD says: The bodies you have thrown there are the meat and this city is the pot, but I will drive you out of it. 8 You fear the sword, and the sword is what I will bring against you, declares the Sovereign LORD. 9 I will drive you out of the city and deliver you into the hands of foreigners and inflict punishment on you. 10 You will fall by the sword, and I will execute judgment on you at the borders of Israel. Then you will know that I am the LORD. 11 This city will not be a pot for you, nor will you be the meat in it; I will execute judgment on you at the borders of Israel. 12 And you will know that I am the LORD, for you have not followed my decrees or kept my laws but have conformed to the standards of the nations around you.”

13 Now as I was prophesying, Pelatiah son of Benaiah died. Then I fell facedown and cried out in a loud voice, “Alas, Sovereign LORD! Will you completely destroy the remnant of Israel?”

The New International Version. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011. Print.

The NET Bible

11:1 A wind lifted me up and brought me to the east gate of the Lord’s temple that faces the east. There, at the entrance of the gate, I noticed twenty-five men. Among them I saw Jaazaniah son of Azzur and Pelatiah son of Benaiah, officials of the people. 11:2 The LORD said to me, “Son of man, these are the men who plot evil and give wicked advice in this city. 11:3 They say, ‘The time is not near to build houses; the city is a cooking pot and we are the meat in it.’ 11:4 Therefore, prophesy against them! Prophesy, son of man!”

11:5 Then the Spirit of the LORD came upon me and said to me, “Say: This is what the LORD says: ‘This is what you are thinking, O house of Israel; I know what goes through your minds. 11:6 You have killed many people in this city; you have filled its streets with corpses.’ 11:7 Therefore, this is what the sovereign LORD says: ‘The corpses you have dumped in the midst of the city are the meat, and this city is the cooking pot, but I will take you out of it. 11:8 You fear the sword, so the sword I will bring against you,’ declares the sovereign LORD. 11:9 ‘But I will take you out of the city. And I will hand you over to foreigners. I will execute judgments on you. 11:10 You will die by the sword; I will judge you at the border of Israel. Then you will know that I am the LORD. 11:11 This city will not be a cooking pot for you, and you will not be meat within it; I will judge you at the border of Israel. 11:12 Then you will know that I am the LORD, whose statutes you have not followed and whose regulations you have not carried out. Instead you have behaved according to the regulations of the nations around you!’ ”

11:13 Now, while I was prophesying, Pelatiah son of Benaiah died. Then I threw myself face down and cried out with a loud voice, “Alas, sovereign LORD! You are completely wiping out the remnant of Israel!”

Biblical Studies Press. The NET Bible First Edition; Bible. English. NET Bible.; The NET Bible. Biblical Studies Press, 2006. Print.

New King James Version

11 Then the Spirit lifted me up and brought me to the East Gate of the LORD’s house, which faces eastward; and there at the door of the gate were twenty-five men, among whom I saw Jaazaniah the son of Azzur, and Pelatiah the son of Benaiah, princes of the people. 2 And He said to me: “Son of man, these are the men who devise iniquity and give wicked counsel in this city, 3 who say, ‘The time is not near to build houses; this city is the caldron, and we are the meat.’ 4 Therefore prophesy against them, prophesy, O son of man!”

5 Then the Spirit of the LORD fell upon me, and said to me, “Speak! ‘Thus says the LORD: “Thus you have said, O house of Israel; for I know the things that come into your mind. 6 You have multiplied your slain in this city, and you have filled its streets with the slain.” 7 Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: “Your slain whom you have laid in its midst, they are the meat, and this city is the caldron; but I shall bring you out of the midst of it. 8 You have feared the sword; and I will bring a sword upon you,” says the Lord GOD. 9 “And I will bring you out of its midst, and deliver you into the hands of strangers, and execute judgments on you. 10 You shall fall by the sword. I will judge you at the border of Israel. Then you shall know that I am the LORD. 11 This city shall not be your caldron, nor shall you be the meat in its midst. I will judge you at the border of Israel. 12 And you shall know that I am the LORD; for you have not walked in My statutes nor executed My judgments, but have done according to the customs of the Gentiles which are all around you.” ’ ”

13 Now it happened, while I was prophesying, that Pelatiah the son of Benaiah died. Then I fell on my face and cried with a loud voice, and said, “Ah, Lord GOD! Will You make a complete end of the remnant of Israel?”

The New King James Version. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1982. Print.

The Message

1 11 Then the Spirit picked me up and took me to the gate of the Temple that faces east. There were twenty-five men standing at the gate. I recognized the leaders, Jaazaniah son of Azzur and Pelatiah son of Benaiah.

2–3 GOD said, “Son of man, these are the men who draw up blueprints for sin, who think up new programs for evil in this city. They say, ‘We can make anything happen here. We’re the best. We’re the choice pieces of meat in the soup pot.’

4 “Oppose them, son of man. Preach against them.”

5–6 Then the Spirit of GOD came upon me and told me what to say: “This is what GOD says: ‘That’s a fine public speech, Israel, but I know what you are thinking. You’ve murdered a lot of people in this city. The streets are piled high with corpses.’

7–12 “Therefore this is what GOD, the Master, says: ‘The corpses that you’ve piled in the streets are the meat and this city is the soup pot, and you’re not even in the pot! I’m throwing you out! You fear war, but war is what you’re going to get. I’m bringing war against you. I’m throwing you out of this city, giving you over to foreigners, and punishing you good. You’ll be killed in battle. I’ll carry out judgment on you at the borders of Israel. Then you’ll realize that I am GOD. This city will not be your soup pot and you won’t be the choice pieces of meat in it either. Hardly. I will carry out judgment on you at the borders of Israel and you’ll realize that I am GOD, for you haven’t followed my statutes and ordinances. Instead of following my ways, you’ve sunk to the level of the laws of the nations around you.’ ”

13 Even while I was preaching, Pelatiah son of Benaiah died. I fell down, face to the ground, and prayed loudly, “O Master, GOD! Will you completely wipe out what’s left of Israel?”

Peterson, Eugene H. The Message: The Bible in Contemporary Language. Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress, 2005. Print.

King James Version

11 Moreover the spirit lifted me up and brought me unto the east gate of the LORD’s house, which looketh eastward: and behold at the door of the gate five and twenty men; among whom I saw Jaazaniah the son of Azur, and Pelatiah the son of Benaiah, princes of the people. 2 Then said he unto me, Son of man, these are the men that devise mischief, and give wicked counsel in this city: 3 Which say, it is not near; let us build houses: this city is the caldron, and we be the flesh. 4 Therefore prophesy against them, prophesy, O son of man. 5 And the Spirit of the LORD fell upon me, and said unto me, Speak; Thus saith the LORD; Thus have ye said, O house of Israel: for I know the things that come into your mind, every one of them. 6 Ye have multiplied your slain in this city, and ye have filled the streets thereof with the slain. 7 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Your slain whom ye have laid in the midst of it, they are the flesh, and this city is the caldron: but I will bring you forth out of the midst of it. 8 Ye have feared the sword; and I will bring a sword upon you, saith the Lord GOD. 9 And I will bring you out of the midst thereof, and deliver you into the hands of strangers, and will execute judgments among you. 10 Ye shall fall by the sword; I will judge you in the border of Israel; and ye shall know that I am the LORD. 11 This city shall not be your caldron, neither shall ye be the flesh in the midst thereof; but I will judge you in the border of Israel: 12 And ye shall know that I am the LORD: for ye have not walked in my statutes, neither executed my judgments, but have done after the manners of the heathen that are round about you.

13 And it came to pass, when I prophesied, that Pelatiah the son of Benaiah died. Then fell I down upon my face, and cried with a loud voice, and said, Ah Lord GOD! wilt thou make a full end of the remnant of Israel?

The Holy Bible: King James Version. Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version. Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 2009. Print.

Sources: NIV, The Message, The NET Bible, King James Version, NET Bible Notes, Faithlife Study Bible, The Apologetics Study Bible, The Bible Knowledge Commentary, Jamieson, Fausset, Brown Commentary, The Bible Reader’s Companion, Matthew Henry’s Commentary, Holman Concise Bible Commentary, The Bible Exposition Commentary, The Teacher’s Bible Commentary, The Teacher’s Commentary, The Bible Guide, Word Studies in the New Testament, Holman Bible Handbook, Calvin Commentaries, Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines, The New Manner and Customs of the Bible, Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary, The Lexham Bible Dictionary, Easton’s Bible Dictionary, Harper’s Bible Dictionary, Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible, The Archaeological Encyclopedia, Biblical Archeology Review, The New Bible Dictionary, The Lexham Analytical Lexicon, Glossary of Morpho-Syntactic Database
Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Advertisements
Advertisements