Ezekiel 2:1-5

Ezekiel 2:1-5
Ordinary B32


He said to me: O mortal,A stand upB on your feet,C and I will speakD with you. 

Notes on verse 1

A “mortal” = ben + adam. Literally “son of humanity.” Ben is from banah (to build or obtain children). This is son, age, child. It is son in a literal or figurative sense. Adam is perhaps from adam (to be red, make ruddy); related to adamah (ground, dirt, earth). This is man, humankind, also Adam’s name. It refers to a human individual or humanity.
B “stand up” = amad. This is to stand up in a literal or figurative sense. So it can be establish, continue, endure, take a stand, act, be a servant, stand still, remain, stand against an enemy.
C “feet” = regel. This is foot, endurance, or journey. It is a foot as the means of walking and so it implies a step or a greater journey. It can be used euphemistically for private parts.
D “speak” = dabar. This is generally to speak, answer, declare, or command. It might mean to arrange and so to speak in a figurative sense as arranging words.

And when he spoke to me, a spiritE enteredF into me and setG me on my feet; and I heardH him speaking to me. 

Notes on verse 2

E “spirit” = ruach. This is breath, wind, air, cool, spirit. This is wind, which resembles the breath and so this can be used figuratively for life itself or being frail/mortal/impermanent. It can refer to the air of the sky or the spirit.
F “entered” = bo. This is to enter, come in, advance, fulfill, bring offerings, enter to worship, attack. It can also have a sexual connotation.
G “set” = amad. Same as “stand up” in v1. See note B above.
H “heard” = shama. This is to hear, call, consent, or consider. It implies listening intelligently, giving attention, and, because of these two factors, obedience and action are often implied.

He said to me, Mortal, I am sendingI you to the peopleJ of Israel,K to a nationL of rebels who have rebelled against me;

Notes on verse 3a

I “sending” = shalach. This is to send out, away, send for, forsake. It can also mean to divorce or set a slave free.
J “people” = ben. Literally “sons.” Same as “mortal” in v1. See note A above.
K “Israel” = Yisrael. From sarah (to persist, exert oneself, contend, persevere, wrestle, prevail) + el (God or god). This is Israel, meaning God strives or one who strives with God; new name for Jacob and for his offspring. This refers to the people and to the land.
L “nation” = goy. From the same root as gevah (the back, person, or body); related to gev (among); related to gaah (to rise up). This is nation or people. Often used to refer to Gentiles or foreign nations. It can also be used figuratively for a group of animals. This is where the Yiddish “goy” comes from.

they and their ancestorsM have transgressedN against me to this veryO day.P 

Notes on verse 3b

M “ancestors” = ab. This is father, chief, or ancestor. It is father in a literal or figurative sense.
N “transgressed” = pasha. This is to rebel, offend, quarrel. It is making a break from proper authority so can also refer to an apostate.
O “very” = etsem. From atsam (vast, numerous, strong; to close one’s eyes, to make powerful; to break bones). This is self, life, strength, bone, or substance.
P “day” = yom. Root may mean being hot. This is the day in a literal or figurative sense. It can also mean birth, age, daylight, continually or other references to time.

4 The descendantsQ are impudentR and stubborn.S I am sending you to them, and you shall say to them, “Thus says the LordT God.”U 

Notes on verse 4

Q “descendants” = ben. Same as “mortal” in v1. See note A above.
R “impudent” = qasheh + paneh. Literally, “obstinate face.”  Qasheh is from qashah (to be fierce, cruel, dense, tough, severe). This is hard, severe, heavy, obstinate, hard-hearted. Paneh is from panah (to turn, face, appear). This is face in a literal or figurative sense. It could be face, presence, anger, respect. It can also be used of God to indicate divine favor or presence.
S “stubborn” = chazaq + leb. Literally “impudent heart.” Chazaq is from chazaq (to strengthen, seize, be courageous, repair, bind, heal, conquer, harden). This is strong, hard, powerful, loud, bold, violent, impudent. It is usually strong in a negative sense. Leb may be related to labab (to encourage; properly, to be encased as with fat; used in a good sense, this means to transport someone with love; used in a bad sense, it can mean to dull one’s senses). This is the heart, courage, one’s inner self, the mind, or the will. Heart is only used in a figurative sense in the Old and New Testaments.
T “Lord” = Adonai. From adon (lord, master, owner); root means to rule or be sovereign. This is the actual Hebrew word for Lord used (in a different form) of humans and (in the present form) of God. It means someone who is in control.
U “God” = YHVH. From havah (to be, become) or hayah (to come to pass, become, be). This is the name of the God of Israel, the self-existent and eternal one, the tetragrammaton. This pronunciation has been lost to time so “Lord” is generally used in its place.

5 Whether they hear or refuseV to hear (for they are a rebelliousW house),X

Notes on verse 5a

V “refuse” = chadal. This is properly to be flabby – it implies, to stop, fall, end, rest, leave alone, forsake, or desist. Figuratively this can be lacking or idle.
W “rebellious” = meri. From marah (to be contentious, rebellious, bitter, provoking, disobedient; to be or make bitter or unpleasant; figuratively, to rebel or resist; causatively to provoke). This is bitter – figuratively rebel or rebellion. It shares a root with Miriam and Mary.
X “house” = bayit. Related to “mortal” in v1. Probably related to banah (see note A above). This is house, court, family, palace, temple.

they shall knowY that there has beenZ a prophetAA amongBB them.

Notes on verse 5b

Y “know” = yada. This is to know, acknowledge, advise, answer, be aware, be acquainted with. Properly, this is to figure something out by seeing. It includes ideas of observation, recognition, and care about something. It can be used causatively for instruction, designation, and punishment.
Z “been” = hayah. Related to “God” in v4. See note U above.
AA “prophet” = nabi. This is prophet, prophecy, speaker, or someone inspired.
BB “among” = tavek. This is among, middle, in the midst, the center. Perhaps, properly, to sever.

Image credit: “Sketch for ‘Vision of Ezekiel’” by Paul Falconer Poole, 1875.

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