New Defender's Study Bible Notes
3:2 eat that roll. This action of eating the scroll, like the similar command directed to the Apostle John (Revelation 10:8-11) was, of course, symbolic of becoming so filled with the Word of God that the prophet was both enabled and constrained to proclaim it.
3:4 unto the house of Israel. Although Ezekiel’s warnings were directed especially to the tribes of Judah and Benjamin (while many were still in the land, before the final deportation and the destruction of the temple), it was really applicable to the entire nation of Israel, whether in Babylon or Assyria or still in their homeland. See also Ezekiel 3:7,17.
3:9 adamant. This word (Hebrew, shamir) may also mean “diamond” or “briar,” in the sense of being used in cutting (compare Zechariah 7:12). The Word of God, properly understood and proclaimed, is “sharper than any two-edged sword” (Hebrews 4:12).
3:14 the spirit lifted me up. This may have been a supernatural translation of the prophet, in similar fashion to the experience of Philip (Acts 8:39-40). Also compare Ezekiel 8:3. Perhaps, as a vision (see Ezekiel 1:1), his spirit was translated, somewhat as in Paul’s experience (II Corinthians 12:2-4) while his body remained in his home. In any case, the things he saw and heard were real, not dreams or symbols.
3:18 require at thine hand. God repeatedly warns the ungodly of judgment to come, through His prophets in ancient times, and through His Word (and those who are His witnesses) today. The responsibility of the prophet—or the modern Christian witness—to get this critical message to the lost is thus inestimably great. In effect, for a believer to fail to witness to those he is able to reach would make him their executioner. More important by far, however, is the certainty that, whether they hear a warning or not, the ungodly will die in their sins, for they are already “without excuse” (Romans 1:20), having rejected the witness in the creation itself. Note also Ezekiel 33:14-19.
3:23 glory of the LORD. This overpowering “glory of the LORD” (no doubt the same shekinah glory that filled the tabernacle in the wilderness (Exodus 40:34) is very prominent in Ezekiel, the phrase occurring no less than sixteen times.