The Violent Condition of the Good Figs
Firstly, the shockingly violent condition of the Good Figs hinders Ezekiel’s liberality of preaching. In the same time period Jeremiah was going to and fro among the Evil Figs as a reprover, but Ezekiel couldn’t behave thus among the Good Figs.
Lo, and behold, the Israelites (the Good Figs) were so dangerously rebellious that Ezekiel was forbidden to speak with the liberality that other Prophets enjoyed; namely, to be “a reprover” among the people. This status, “a reprover”, implied the ability to speak, repeat, expound, and rebuke the people as much as the occasion would demand. Not so with Ezekiel! The LORD said to him, “I will make thy tongue cleave to the roof of thy mouth, that thou shalt be dumb” (Ezek. 3:26). This did not render him unable to speak at all. Rather, it was an inability to speak the word of God whenever he wanted or even needed to, lest he became an untimely martyr before the violence of this rebellious House. Implicit of avoiding the throes of strong contention, Ezekiel prophesied, “He that heareth, let him hear; and he that forbeareth, let him forbear: for they are a rebellious House” (Ezek. 3:27). [Notably, “the House of Israel” is frequently used in the Book of Ezekiel to reference the entire population of the Jews (from the Kingdoms of Israel and Judah), probably because Jews from both locations were Captive together in Babylon even though most Jews from the Kingdom of Israel were dispersed elsewhere, but as for the demonstration of Ezekiel in Chapter 4 this is not the case. In other cases, “the house of Israel” and “Israel” are used in reference to the remnant of Jews which were in the Kingdom of Judah and Jerusalem.]