The prophecy of Ezekiel 12:12
The prophecy of Ezekiel 12:12 says, “And the prince who is among them shall bear his belongings on his shoulder at twilight and go out. They shall dig through the wall to carry them out through it. He shall cover his face, so that he cannot see the ground with his eyes. I will also spread My net over him, and he shall be caught in My snare. I will bring him to Babylon, to the land of the Chaldeans; yet he shall not see it, though he shall die there. I will scatter to every wind all who are around him to help him, and all his troops; and I will draw out the sword after them” (ch. 12:12-14).
The fulfillment of the prophecy
The fulfillment of the prophecy of Ezekiel 12:12 is recorded in Jeremiah 52:11. Before King Zedekiah was carried to Babylon his eyes were put out in Riblah; hence he did not see the land of the Chaldeans. Josephus the great historian records perhaps the apocryphal story that Zedekiah was inclined to believe the warnings of Jeremiah regarding the Captivity, but his counselors dissuaded him from carrying out the prophet’s advice.
When news of Ezekiel’s prophecy stating that Zedekiah should not see the land of the Chaldeans reached Jerusalem, the king concluded the two prophecies to be contradictory, and so disbelieved them both (Antiquities x. 7. 2).
The capture of the king resulted in the scattering of the remnants of the army. These survivors, in telling their story of defeat would let the pagans know that it was not weakness on the part of the God of Israel that had caused their defeat, but Israel’s failure to fulfill its divine destiny. God never leaves His children. But when people chose to rebel against Him, they reap the consequences of their decisions.
God’s covenant with Israel
Israel failed to receive the blessings that God had promised them. These blessings were conditional on their obedience. He said, “And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth” (Deuteronomy 28:1). God’s hands are yet tied by man’s choice; He has no choice but to reward people according to their actions (Matthew 6:33).
End Time application
The inhabitants of Jerusalem were pictured as mocking at the fulfillment of God’s threats. Their response was, “Time is going by and not one forecast of good or evil has come to pass. There is no reason to expect a fulfillment now.” Their carelessness reflects the general way wicked people misinterpret the long-suffering and forbearance of God (Ecclesiastes 8:11; Amos 6:3; Matthew 24:48; 1 Thessalonians 5:3).
Last-day scoffers give a similar response concerning the second coming of Christ, “Where is the promise of his coming? … all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation” (2 Peter 3:4). But God’s predictions can’t fail. “For the vision is yet for an appointed time; But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; Because it will surely come, It will not tarry” (Habakkuk 2:3).
In His service,