Ezekiel 2:6

And thou, son of man, be not afraid of them, neither be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns be with thee, and thou dost dwell among scorpions: be not afraid of their words, nor be dismayed at their looks, though they be a rebellious house.

And thou, son of man, be not afraid of them,.... Of any of them, the greatest among them, their princes and nobles; who, by their grandeur and authority, their stern looks, and big words, might awe and terrify him; wherefore it follows:

neither be afraid of their words; of their calumnies, revilings, and reproaches, their scoffs and jeers, their menaces and threatenings:

though briers and thorns be with thee; that is, men comparable to such; wicked men are like to briers and thorns, 2 Samuel 23:6; are grieving, pricking, and distressing to good men, and are of no worth and value; are useless and unprofitable, and fit fuel for everlasting burning. The Targum is,

"for they are rebellious, and hard against thee;''

so Jarchi and Kimchi explain the first word, Mybro, translated "briers", as signifying rebellious and disobedient; though the former observes, that R. Donesh interprets it of a kind of thorns, of which there are twenty names, and this is one:

and thou dost dwell among scorpions; that is, as the Targum paraphrases it,

"thou dwellest in the midst of a people whose works are like to scorpions.''

Some interpret it, as Kimchi observes, of sharp thorns, of a thorny plant that grows in the form of a scorpion {a}; but scorpions here are a kind of serpents, subtle, venomous, and mischievous, which have stings in their tails; which, as Pliny says, they are continually thrusting out, and striking with, that they may lose no opportunity of doing hurt {b}; and fitly describe wicked men their subtlety and mischievous nature,

be not afraid of their words; as before; with which they are like briers, thorns, and scorpions, being very grievous, defamatory, and mischievous:

nor be dismayed at their looks: their frowning furious, and angry countenances; forbidding with which, as well as with their words, the prophet from prophesying unto them:

though, or "for",

they be a rebellious house; See Gill on "Ezekiel 2:5".

{a} Plin. Nat. Hist. l. 21. c. 15. and l. 22. c. 16.
{b} Plin. Nat. Hist. l. 11. c. 25.