Chronologically subsequent to the former prophecy and in the same timeframe (sometime between the 6th month of the 6th year and the 5th month of the 7th year of Zedekiah’s reign; time references: 8:1 & 20:1), Ezekiel was compelled into another prophetic demonstration and this time, once again, concerning the Prince and people of Judah, the Evil Figs (Ezek. 12:12-16). As thoroughly addressed heretofore, however, the Evil Figs were a prophetic target in an effort to win the heart of the Good Figs (Ezek. 12:2-3)! And, shockingly, God was hopeful for the Good Figs to come to repentance based upon what He was presently directing Ezekiel to do by the Spirit of Prophecy! This should give us some pause. This is an unprecedented and rare statement of hopefulness in the heart of God on behalf of the Good Figs who were, at present, still yet, far from good (“it may be they will consider, though they be a rebellious House” – Ezek. 12:3)! This hopefulness on behalf of the wicked and impenitent Good Figs was both sincere fully informed. This hopefulness indicates a profoundly strong thrust to save the Good Figs through Ezekiel’s prophecy! This was Divine Thinking in Divine Sincerity, a thoughtfulness that is far from the pretentious or erroneous like the uninformed hopefulness of human kind.
Ezekiel was no longer in his house where he was inquired of by the Elders of Israel in the former prophecy (Ezek. 8:1). Ezekiel was commanded to physically demonstrate a new prophecy by removing himself from his place to another place in the sight of the people in Captivity, the Good Figs (Ezek. 12:1-3). “I have set thee for a sign unto the House of Israel”, God said, “as they that go forth into Captivity”, and when the people (the Good Figs) saw what Ezekiel did, they asked him, “What doest thou?” (Ezek. 12:4, 6, 9). Can you imagine the Jews looking on as Ezekiel theatrically rehearsed the matter before them? A compelling prophecy was unfolding that would no doubt bring the 70-year Captivity to marvel!