24. Then the spirit entered into me, and set me upon my feet, and spake with me, and said unto me, Go, shut thyself within thine house.
24. Et venit in me spiritus, et statuit me supra pedes meos, et locutus est mecum, et dixit mihi, Vade occludere in medio domus tuae. 1
Here Ezekiel confirms what I have said: whenever the faithful are frightened at the sight of God's glory, they cannot collect their mind unless the Lord prop them up by his strength. But this state was peculiar to the Prophet, because he ought to acknowledge himself, as it were, dead when he felt the Spirit of God living and flourishing in his mind. Therefore this tends to confirm him, because the Spirit restored him from a state of death to life: therefore he says, the Spirit came. In fine, as the soul gives life to the man, so the Spirit of God is a supernatural life in man. We live after the manner of men, because a virtue is implanted in our soul which has faculties of its own. For in the soul is the seat of intelligence, and the will, and the sensations, and it diffuses its vigor through all the members. But the life which souls breathe into bodies is only earthly, but the Spirit of God gives life supernaturally. And this distinction must be held, because profane men boast only in outward appearances, as they call it -- that is, in outward splendor, which is nothing else but a mask: and so with all their might they celebrate free-will and our natural faculties, because they have never tasted what that supernatural life is which is here mentioned. Ezekiel indeed was filled with the Spirit of God after a peculiar manner, that he might be fit to undertake the prophetic office, but this is common to the faithful for their spiritual life.
He says next, that he was placed upon his feet, because he was lying prostrate, nor could he, as I have said, raise a finger, unless he had been raised by divine power. Afterwards he relates the command of God, which appears to be absurd. For why did God appoint Ezekiel a Prophet unless that he should apply himself to the office of teaching? But now he orders him not only to rest, but even to he concealed at home. He uses the word "concealed" as if he had said, remain at home as a captive. If he had been a private man, he had enjoyed a free passage out, but now since God enjoins upon him the prophetic office, he is held captive. But all this is opposed to his mission. But first, God wished to prove the obedience of his servant; then he wished specially to confirm his calling more and more, for this was no common confirmation, because although the Prophet excelled in singular virtue, yet he did not leap into the midst, but rested at home, and became a voluntary captive, because it so pleased God. Hence the whole people might know that the Prophet did not proceed rashly, or by any sudden impulse, because he was often mute by the command of God. Afterwards it follows --
1 That is, "within thy house." -- Calvin.
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