Synopsis of the Books of the Bible, by John Nelson Darby, [1857-62], at sacred-texts.com
The Lord testifies that Israel is even more hardened than any of the heathen nations. The people are "impudent and hard-hearted." It needed that Ezekiel should have his forehead made as hard as adamant to speak to them the word which he had to declare, saying, "Whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear." The prophet is carried away by the power of the Spirit into the midst of the captives at Tel-abib. Although the house of Israel was hardened, God distinguished a remnant; and in this manner. The prophet was to warn individuals: it was to this work he was appointed. If his word was received, he who hearkened should be spared. Ezekiel should be responsible for the fulfilment of this duty: but each one should bear the consequences of his own conduct, after he had heard the word. Thus the people are no longer judged as a whole, as was the case when all depended on the public conduct of the nation or of the king. Israel had revolted, but still he that hearkened to the word should live. God was acting in accordance with His long-suffering grace. The prophet again sees the glory of Jehovah by himself, and the Spirit announces to him that he is not to go out among the people, but that he shall be a prisoner in his house, and that God will make his tongue cleave to the roof of his mouth; for they were a rebellious people, and, as a people, the warning was not to be given them. God, when He pleased, would open the mouth of the prophet, and he should speak peremptorily to the people, declaring the word of Jehovah. Let him hear that would, Jehovah would no longer plead in love, as He had done.