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So the Spirit lifted me up and took me away; and I went in bitterness, in the heat of my spirit, and the hand of Yahweh was strong on me. Bible

“the Spirit.” This is Yahweh, just as it is in Ezekiel 37:1. Some commentators take this use of ruach (“spirit; wind”) to refer to the wind caused by God’s chariot-throne moving, but there is no reason to believe that a wind from God’s chariot would take Ezekiel to a specific place and not just blow him around and even be potentially harmful (cp. Leslie Allen; Word Biblical Commentary).

“took me away.” That is, took Ezekiel away from where he was by the Chebar canal to the area of Tel Aviv where other exiles lived, as we learn from Ezekiel 3:15. Ezekiel was supposed to speak to them, but he sat overwhelmed for seven days until Yahweh spoke to him again.

“and I went in bitterness, in the heat of my spirit.” This is a rare look at the internal emotion of a prophet. But we could say that Ezekiel had good reason to be wresting with bitterness and anger. He was a captive priest in exile in Babylonia, far from the Temple in which he should have been serving, because of the sin and ungodliness of the priests, Levites, and leaders of the country. And those leaders had had plenty of warning about the consequences that their sin could bring upon them. They had been told by prophet after prophet, and they had the clear example of the destruction of the ten northern tribes and the country of Israel. Yet they remained obstinate and Ezekiel was in exile because of it, and was wresting with bitterness and anger.


Commentary for: Ezekiel 3:14