26. Again the word of the Lord came to me, saying,
26. Et fuit sermo Iehovae ad me, dicendo,
27. Son of man, behold, they of the house of Israel say, The vision that he seeth is for many days to come, and he prophesieth of the times that are far off.
27. Fill hominis, ecce domus Israel dicunt,1 visio quam hic vidit, ad dies multos extenditur, et in tempora longinqua ipse prophetat.
28. Therefore say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God, There shall none of nay words be prolonged any more; but the word which I have spoken shall be done, saith the Lord God.
28. Propterea dices ad cos, Sic dicit Dominator Iehovah, non prorogabitur amplius; omnes sermones quos locutus fuero, sermonem etiam faciam,2 dicit Dominator Iehovah.
Here indeed such detestable blasphemy as we lately heard is not condemned in the Jews: but oblique ridicule, the tendency of which was first of all to weaken all confidence in Prophecy, and then to get rid of all heavenly doctrine. Those who are now condemned by the Prophet did not dare to bluster against God with swollen cheeks, but when others concluded the Prophecies to be vain and frivolous, because the time was put off, they said -- it may happen that God will accomplish what he has denounced against us by his servant: meanwhile let us feast securely as we shall be dead before these things can happen. We see, therefore, that there were two classes of men: some who utterly rejected God's Prophets, and wantonly derided their threats: this gross impiety has been already exposed. But others neither openly nor distinctly pronounced God to be a liar, but put far away from them the performance of the prophetic announcement. We see that the former were so abandoned, that they all but openly derided God, so as to turn away all fear from their own feelings since God prorogued the time. For Jeremiah had spent his strength in vain for many years in daily summoning them by a loud trumpet to God's tribunal, and in setting the Chaldeans before their eyes. Since he effected nothing, Ezekiel is chosen, and after he has inveighed against a fouler impudence in despising God, he now attacks the hypocrite who had not yet proceeded so far as to vilify God by the use of words. But as I have just remarked, the gliding down from this security to open contempt of God is easy. Those then who feign themselves quiet and without danger, since God patiently delays his judgments, at length determine him to be content with his own ease, and not to regard human affairs. Let us then be on our guard against the snares of Satan; and not only abhor the foul blasphemy of which the Prophet speaks, but as soon as God threatens us, let us prevent his judgment, and not promise ourselves a long period of escape, which may render us so stupid as to deprive us of all fear.
The house of Israel then said, he prophesies for many days. They did not openly assert that Ezekiel was speaking rashly and arrogating to himself the prophetic name, but they said that he prophesied for many days and a long period. Now he adds, thou shalt say unto them, it shall not be any lower put off Some thus interpret these words -- all my discourses shall not be put off. They prefer a change of number, and resolve it thus -- each of my words shall not be put. off. But the other view seems to suit the context better: it shall not be put off any lower, for the words which I utter I will execute. Here again he confirms what we formerly saw: that God would not speak in vain, since he is not divided in opinion. It belongs to men to lie, and to utter vainly what they cannot perform, and to change their; nothing of the kind ought to be imagined of God, for his hand is always in union with his speech.3
Grant us, Almighty God, since thou sparest us in some degree, and meanwhile dost admonish us by no obscure signs of thine anger, to be wise in time, lest sloth seize upon our minds and dispositions, and deprive us of sound judgment: Grant also that we may be attentive to thy words, and to all proofs of thy coming vengeance, and may we so strive to be reconciled to thee, that for the future being born again of thy Spirit, we may henceforth glorify thy name through Christ Jesus our Lord. -- Amen
1 "Saying. -- Calvin.
2 Or, "I will fulfill." -- Calvin.
3 The reader may profitably peruse the comment of CEcolampadius on this chapter. He spiritualizes it more than Calvin, and treats it allegorically, thus giving it a personal and practical bearing on ourselves. He says, "Unica et perpetua allegoria est, propter contemptum verbi Dei instare captivitatem conscientiarum, et alienationem a Jerusalem, a vero Dei cultu, qui est iu spiritu et veritate; unde servilia opera peccatorum in sabbatismo Christi vetantur." His explanations are always sound, and his practical reflections very instructive.
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