30And you, son of man, the members of your people who talk about you beside the walls and in the entrances of the houses, and one talks to the other, one to his brother, saying, “Come now and listen to what the word is that is coming forth from before the Lord.”

who talk about you: who mock you.

31And they will come to you as a public gathering, and they will sit before you as My people, and they will hear your words but not fulfill them; instead they make them into jokes with their mouth; their heart goes after their gain.

and they will sit before you as My people: as if they were My people.

jokes: [Heb. עֲגָבִים,] laughter, related to עוּגָב, a flute.

their gain: their stolen goods.

32And you are to them as a song on the flute, which has a beautiful voice and plays well; they will hear your words, but will not fulfill them.

And you are to them as a song on the flute: And you are to them as a song on the flute.

33And when it comes-behold it is coming, and they will know that a prophet was in their midst.”

And when it comes: the evil to them.

behold it is coming: for, indeed, it is ready to come; then they will know that your words were not a jest, but that a true prophet was in their midst.

Ezekiel 33/30-33 Tanakh JPS 1917 with Commentary by Rashi from Chabad.org.

 

Ezekiel is a prophet whose name means “God strengthens.” He is the son of Buzi and of Priestly descent through the House of Zadok. He is taken away with King Jehoiachin at the time of Nebuchadnezzar’s second attack on Jerusalem and settles with a Jewish colony on the banks of the river Chebar in Babylonia, where he sees visions. He continues to prophesy for 22 years, beginning five years after he goes into captivity.

The first part of Ezekiel contains prophecies uttered before the destruction of Jerusalem to caution the people against the false hope of relief from their suffering in Egypt and to exhort them to repent for their unfaithfulness to God. It includes Ezekiel’s call to prophecy, the general carrying out of his commission, the rejection of the people because of their idolatry, the sins of the age in detail, the nature of the judgment, and the guilt that caused it.

The second section announces God’s judgments on the seven heathen nations—Ammon, Moab, Edom, Philistia, Tyre, Sidon, and Egypt—and is largely written between the beginning of Nebuchadnezzar’s siege of Jerusalem and the news of its fall. It also foretells the re-creation of the Land of Israel and of its people and contains a detailed vision of the restored Temple, Jerusalem, and nation.

From: Book of Ezekiel Summary at JPS Tagged Tanakh 1985 Online.

 

Commentary:

These verses from chapter 33 show the reality of the audience of Ezekiel. They did not believe that he was a prophet. This is a good example of the prophet saying the destruction of Jerusalem would happen because the people would not stop their sinful ways. If everyone in captivity with Ezekiel had stopped sinning Jerusalem falls anyway. G-d had already foretold it.

G-d said to Ezekiel “And when it comes-behold it is coming, and they will know that a prophet was in their midst. And when it comes: the evil to them. behold it is coming: for, indeed, it is ready to come; then they will know that your words were not a jest, but that a true prophet was in their midst.”

Ezekiel is foretelling of an event to come that has never to this day happened according to his visions. No one knows if the exiled community Ezekiel spoke to came to know that his words were not a jest and that a true prophet was in their midst. We do know this exiled community was freed by Cyrus the Great of Persia by his defeat of Assyria and by his declaration allowed to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the Temple.

There are many reasons Elijah returns with the covenant of sin forgiveness of the Jewish people. Utter destruction follows with him but it will not come from the sins of the Jewish people that are forgiven. It comes for not recognizing His prophet and making sure Elijah reconciles the Jewish people to Judaism.

Elijah does not come with a magic wand. There are fourteen million Jews in the world and it will require the leaders of every community of the Jewish people to recognize him so that he can step into their synagogues and speak what G-d would have him speak. It is up to the leaders of the synagogues to introduce him in a manner that their individual members can understand. G-d has introduced him by these writings.

I am Elijah. My name is Keith Ellis McCarty. Two years into my chastisement and punishment by the very power of G-d and daily teachings by His words I would still sometimes look to the sky in His direction to my right and tell him I still cannot believe you exist. I know you do. I feel your presence and power. It just will not sink in.

His existence is no longer an issue for me. It finally sank in. It has now been eight years and counting. I have been prepared for all tasks before me.

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