Ezekiel 3:18
If I say to the wicked man, 'You will surely die,' but you do not warn him or speak out to warn him from his wicked way to save his life, that wicked man will die in his iniquity, and I will hold you responsible for his blood.
ResponsibilityJ.D. Davies Ezekiel 3:15-21
The Prophet a WatchmanW. Jones Ezekiel 3:16-21
The Watchman's OfficeJ.R. Thomson Ezekiel 3:17-19
Blood GuiltinessEzekiel 3:18-19

Every servant of God conceives his service in his own manner, under the special light of his own experience and character. Ezekiel evidently felt the peculiar solemnity of his position among the children of the Captivity, and evidently was consumed by a desire to discharge his difficult and painful duty with fidelity and efficiency. Hence his habit of regarding himself, as indeed the Divine Spirit prompted him to do, as a watchman set to admonish and protect the Hebrew exiles in the East. In many respects this figure sets forth the vocation of every true minister of Christ called upon to watch fur souls as one who must give account unto God.

I. THE WATCHMAN'S COMMISSION. The spiritual guardian and keeper does not undertake this duty at the suggestion of his own thoughts and inclinations; he is called to it by the voice of God himself. The word of the Lord comes unto him. He is stationed where he stands by Divine authority. He has to listen for the Divine voice, to give heed to every direction, to be ready to utter such messages as he may receive from Heaven.

II. THE WATCHMAN'S DUTY. This is, generally, to testify to man according to the instructions he receives. He has to hear in order that he may speak, to take in the truth in order that he may give it forth. It is, therefore, not enough that he be attentive and intelligent; he must impart the tidings, the message, which he receives. He has a ministry, a trust, to fulfil for the benefit of his fellow men - he has to seek to bring them into conscious relations with the Father of spirits.

III. THE WATCHMAN'S SPECIAL OFFICE FOR THE REBELLIOUS. Watching for men, the spiritual guardian is bound to remember the special character of those over whom he is placed. He is not simply an instructor entrusted with the duty of declaring truth, of inculcating lessons and precepts. He has to deal with "a rebellious house." Hence one great function of the watchman is to warn. Throughout this book the greatest stress is laid upon this duty. "Warn them from me!" is the admonition of God to the faithful watchman. The people are in danger from manifold temptations; and they have to be put upon their guard against the spiritual perils by which they are threatened. The wicked are to be warned, that they may repent; the righteous have to be warned, lest they fall from their righteousness.

IV. THE WATCHMAN'S RESPONSIBILITY. The office thus described is indeed an honourable one; but it is difficult and responsible. Much depends upon the way in which the duty is discharged; the safety of the people and the acceptance of the guardian are both alike at stake.

1. The watchman's fidelity will be rewarded. If he fulfil his duty, he will deliver his soul, he will be approved and recompensed, promoted and honored.

2. The watchman's unfaithfulness will be punished. If he do not his duty, others will suffer, but he himself will not escape just retribution. The blood of the lost will be required at his hand.


1. Here is a lesson for those who are appointed to watch for souls. Their ears must be open to receive the Word of the Lord; their lips must be open to speak that Word.

2. Here is a lesson for those who enjoy the benefit of spiritual ministrations. It is not only an awful and responsible duty to watch; it is an awful and responsible privilege to listen to the watchman's warning. If the preacher is accountable for his utterances, the hearer is accountable for the spirit in which he receives those utterances. Take heed what, and how, you hear! - T.

His blood will I require at thine hand.
Public sentiment in New York has been aroused against a poor brakeman on the New York Central railroad because he failed to give the danger signal to the St. Louis express. He was sent with a red lantern to wave down the approaching train, but, instead of doing so, he went into a depot and sat down by the fire. As the express thundered by he asked, "What's that?" and, when told, he disappeared in the darkness and has not yet been found by the police. The express dashed into the train on the track and killed twelve persons. Everybody feels that such neglect was criminal, and yet how about us who believe that our friends are going headlong to ruin and we have not warned them of their danger?

Chebar, Tel-abib
Accountable, Blood, Certainly, Clear, Danger, Death, Die, Dieth, Dissuade, Evil, Evil-doer, Evil-doing, Fate, Givest, Hast, Hold, Iniquity, Nothing, Order, Require, Responsible, Safe, Save, Saying, Sin, Speak, Speakest, Spoken, Surely, Warn, Warned, Warning, Wicked
1. Ezekiel eats the scroll
4. God encourages him
15. God shows him the rule of prophecy
22. God shuts and opens the prophet's mouth

Dictionary of Bible Themes
Ezekiel 3:16-19

     6027   sin, remedy for

Ezekiel 3:16-21

     5054   responsibility, examples

Ezekiel 3:17-18

     8492   watchfulness, leaders

Ezekiel 3:17-19

     5978   warning

Ezekiel 3:17-20

     8426   evangelism, motivation

Ezekiel 3:17-21

     7773   prophets, role

Cæsarius of Arles.
He was born in the district of Chalons-sur-Saone, A. D. 470. He seems to have been early awakened, by a pious education, to vital Christianity. When he was between seven and eight years old, it would often happen that he would give a portion of his clothes to the poor whom he met, and would say, when he came home, that he had been, constrained to do so. When yet a youth, he entered the celebrated convent on the island of Lerins, (Lerina,) in Provence, from which a spirit of deep and practical piety
Augustus Neander—Light in the Dark Places

Boniface, Apostle of the Germans.
BONIFACE, or Winfried, as they called him in Anglo-Saxon, born at Crediton in Devonshire, in 680, deserves to be honoured as the father of the German Church, although he was by no means the first who brought the seeds of the Gospel to Germany. Many had already laboured before him; but the efforts which had been made here and there did not suffice to secure the endurance of Christianity amongst the many perils to which it was exposed. Christianity needs to be linked with firm ecclesiastical institutions,
Augustus Neander—Light in the Dark Places

Epistle xxxiv. To Venantius, Ex-Monk, Patrician of Syracuse .
To Venantius, Ex-Monk, Patrician of Syracuse [1331] . Gregory to Venantius, &c. Many foolish men have supposed that, if I were advanced to the rank of the episcopate, I should decline to address thee, or to keep up communication with thee by letter. But this is not so; since I am compelled by the very necessity of my position not to hold my peace. For it is written, Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet (Isai. lviii. 1). And again it is written, I have given thee for a watchman
Saint Gregory the Great—the Epistles of Saint Gregory the Great

The Greatness of the Soul,
AND UNSPEAKABLENESS 0F THE LOSS THEREOF; WITH THE CAUSES OF THE LOSING IT. FIRST PREACHED AT PINNER'S HALL and now ENLARGED AND PUBLISHED FOR GOOD. By JOHN BUNYAN, London: Printed for Benjamin Alsop, at the Angel and Bible in the Poultry, 1682 Faithfully reprinted from the Author's First Edition. ADVERTISEMENT BY THE EDITOR. Our curiosity is naturally excited to discover what a poor, unlettered mechanic, whose book-learning had been limited to the contents of one volume, could by possibility know
John Bunyan—The Works of John Bunyan Volumes 1-3

The Servant's Inflexible Resolve
'For the Lord God will help Me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set My face like a flint.'--ISAIAH l. 7. What a striking contrast between the tone of these words and of the preceding! There all is gentleness, docility, still communion, submission, patient endurance. Here all is energy and determination, resistance and martial vigour. It is like the contrast between a priest and a warrior. And that gentleness is the parent of this boldness. The same Will which is all submission
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The Iranian Conquest
Drawn by Boudier, from the engraving in Coste and Flandin. The vignette, drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a statuette in terra-cotta, found in Southern Russia, represents a young Scythian. The Iranian religions--Cyrus in Lydia and at Babylon: Cambyses in Egypt --Darius and the organisation of the empire. The Median empire is the least known of all those which held sway for a time over the destinies of a portion of Western Asia. The reason of this is not to be ascribed to the shortness of its duration:
G. Maspero—History Of Egypt, Chaldaea, Syria, Babylonia, and Assyria, V 9

The Prophet Jonah.
It has been asserted without any sufficient reason, that Jonah is older than Hosea, Joel, Amos, and Obadiah,--that he is the oldest among the prophets whose written monuments have been preserved to us. The passage in 2 Kings xiv. 25, where it is said, that Jonah, the son of Amittai the prophet, prophesied to Jeroboam the happy success of his arms, and the restoration of the ancient boundaries of Israel, and that this prophecy was confirmed by the event, cannot decide in favour of this assertion,
Ernst Wilhelm Hengstenberg—Christology of the Old Testament

To a modern taste, Ezekiel does not appeal anything like so powerfully as Isaiah or Jeremiah. He has neither the majesty of the one nor the tenderness and passion of the other. There is much in him that is fantastic, and much that is ritualistic. His imaginations border sometimes on the grotesque and sometimes on the mechanical. Yet he is a historical figure of the first importance; it was very largely from him that Judaism received the ecclesiastical impulse by which for centuries it was powerfully
John Edgar McFadyen—Introduction to the Old Testament

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