In Ezek 24:15-27, Ezekiel’s wife dies, and Ezekiel neither mourns nor weeps as a sign to Israel.
The Lord’s Announcement and Instructions to Ezekiel
In v.16 the Lord announces that he will take away Ezekiel’s wife with a stroke. She is the desire of his eyes. And when God takes her away, Ezekiel is not to mourn, weep, or shed tears.
In v.17 the Lord tells Ezekiel not to cry or mourn for the dead. He was to bind the tire of his head. Tire, like the word attire, is a dress for the head, like a head band. To tire the hair is to dress the hair with a headband.
He was to put shoes on his feet. Mourners and those in sorrow typically went barefoot, as in 2 Sam 15:30.
He was not to cover his lip. In Job 21:5 Job told his friends to be astonished and “lay your hand upon your mouth”. See Mic 3:7. In mourning, they would have covered their lips in sadness and astonishment.
And he was not to eat the bread of men, as the bread that is brought to the home of mourners. See the bread of mourners in Hos 9:4.
The Death of Ezekiel’s Wife
In v.18 Ezekiel spoke to the people in the morning. His wife died in the evening. And the next morning he did as he was commanded.
The People’s Inquiry
In v.19 when the people saw what Ezekiel was doing, they asked what these things were to them.
Prophecy After Ezekiel’s Wife Dies
In v.20 Ezekiel answered them, The word of the Lord came unto me…
In v.21 the Lord commanded Ezekiel to speak to the house of Israel this prophecy.
I will profane my sanctuary. He was referring to the destruction of the temple, Jer 7:11-14, 2 Ki 24:13. The temple was the excellency of their strength, the desire of their eyes, and that which their soul pitied. Remember how the Pharisees and disciples loved the temple. Nebuchadnezzar had already desecrated the temple and had taken some of the vessels from there, Jer 28:1-4.
And your sons and daughters whom ye have left shall fall by the sword. These are the children left behind in Judea whose parents were carried away, 2 Ki 24:10-16. Nebuchadnezzar even carried some of the children away, like Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.
In v.22 Ezekiel said to them, “ye shall do as I have done”. He was talking about what he did in the second half of v.17. He did not cover his lips or eat the bread of men.
In v.23 Ezekiel continues by telling them that their tires would be on their heads and their shoes on their feet, v.17. They wouldn’t mourn or weep, v.16-17a. Instead they were going to pine away for their iniquities (Lev 26:39) and mourn one toward another.
Ezekiel’s Sign to Israel
In v.24 therefore, Ezekiel was a sign to them. What he did when his wife died, they were going to do when their temple was destroyed, their children were killed, and they were taken captive. The Lord said that when this comes you’ll know I am the Lord.
Ezekiel’s Sign to Those Who Escape
In v.25 the Lord spoke to Ezekiel about what else would happen in the day when he took from them their strength, the joy of their glory, the desire of their eyes, that whereupon they set their minds, their sons and their daughters. These things happened when Nebuchadnezzar returned the third time and utterly destroyed Jerusalem and all that was therein, 2 Ki 25:8-17.
In v.26 the Lord told Ezekiel that some were going to escape in that day. They would come to him and Ezekiel would hear about what the Lord had done from them.
In v.27 The Lord said that in that day he would open Ezekiel’s mouth to him that escaped. He would speak and not be dumb. Compare Ezek 3:26-27. He was going to be a sign unto them so that they would know that I am the Lord.