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Matthew Henry

Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary - Ezekiel 20:1-4

Here is, 1. The occasion of the message which we have in this chapter. That sermon which we had Ezek. 18:1-32 was occasioned by their presumptuous reflections upon God; this was occasioned by their hypocritical enquiries after him. Each shall have his own. This prophecy is exactly dated, in the seventh year of the captivity, about two years after Ezekiel began to prophesy. God would have them to keep account how long their captivity lasted, that they might see how the years went on towards... read more

John Gill

John Gills Exposition of the Bible Commentary - Ezekiel 20:4

Wilt thou judge them, son of man ?.... Excuse them, patronise them, defend their cause, and plead for them? surely thou wilt not; or rather, wilt thou not reprove and correct them, judge and condemn them, for their sins and wickedness? this thou oughtest to do: wilt thou judge them ? this is repeated, to show the vehemency of the speaker, and the duty of the prophet: cause them to know the abominations of their fathers : the sins they committed, which were abominable in themselves,... read more

Adam Clarke

Adam Clarke's Commentary on the Bible - Ezekiel 20:4

Wilt thou judge them - If thou wilt enter into any discussion with them, show them the abomination of their fathers. The whole chapter is a consecutive history of the unfaithfulness ingratitude, rebellion, and idolatry of the Jews, from the earliest times to that day; and vindicates the sentence which God had pronounced against them, and which he was about to execute more fully in delivering them and the city into the hands of the Chaldeans. read more

John Calvin

John Calvin's Commentary on the Bible - Ezekiel 20:4

Verse 4 The context flows very well if we embrace this sense, that God swears that the Israelites did not come to be subject to his Prophet, and to submit themselves modestly to his instructions. If this sense pleases, it is well added, shall you judge them? that is, shall you spend thy breath in arguing with them? He means that they are rather to be dismissed than instructed; as Christ says, You shall not cast pearls before swine. (Matthew 7:6.) And we know what God pronounces: My Spirit shall... read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - Ezekiel 20:1-4

A rejected application. It is evident that Ezekiel held a position of honour and of some kind of moral authority among his fellow captives. Although he was not given to prophesying smooth things, his countrymen still resorted to him, evincing a certain confidence in his mission. On the occasion here described, an application made to the prophet was upon Divine authority rejected—with reason given. So unusual an incident leads to further consideration. I. MAN 'S NEED OF A DIVINE ... read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - Ezekiel 20:1-4

On inquiring of the Lord. "And it came to pass in the seventh year, in the fifth month, the tenth day of the month, that certain of the elders of Israel came to inquire of the Lord," etc. We here enter upon a new division of this book, which extends to the close of Ezekiel 23:1-49 . The prophecies of this section were occasioned by a visit of the elders of Israel to the prophet, to inquire of the Lord through him. The paragraph now before us, which may be compared with Ezekiel 14:1-5 ,... read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - Ezekiel 20:1-32

Unacceptable prayer. The exact date is given as a voucher for truthfulness. The prophet committed to writing at once what had occurred. The people are yet divided by distance—part dwell in Judaea and tart in Chaldea. In a spirit of vain curiosity the eiders of the exiled part approach the prophet to inquire after the destined fortunes and fate of their nation. Had they sought for guidance or help to amend their lives, their prayer had been successful. God does not pander to a spirit of... read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - Ezekiel 20:4

Wilt thou judge them , etc.? The doubled question has the force of a strong imperative. The prophet is directed, as it were, to assume the office of a judge, and as such to press home upon his hearers, and through them upon others, their own sins and those of their fathers. He is led, in doing so, to yet another survey of the nation's history; not now, as in Ezekiel 16:1-63 ; in figurative language, but directly. read more

Albert Barnes

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible - Ezekiel 20:4

Wilt thou judge them? - We should rather say, Wilt thou not judge them? i. e., wilt thou not pronounce sentence upon them? Compare Ezekiel 22:2. read more

Joseph Benson

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments - Ezekiel 20:4

Ezekiel 20:4. Wilt thou judge them Or, rather, Wilt thou not judge them? Wilt thou not reprove, or condemn them? Wilt thou not denounce my judgments against them? Cause them to know the abominations of their fathers The abominable crimes of which their fathers have been guilty, and which they themselves, and the present generation of Jews, have also committed with fresh aggravations: and hereby let them know what they have to expect. This whole chapter is a kind of decree, in which the... read more

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