Now Ezekiel is taken to the east gate of the temple, where another twenty-five men have gathered outside it. Don’t confuse these twenty-five with the twenty-five priests worshipping the sun inside the temple court (who were supposed to be killed by the six destroying angels in chapter 9). Also don’t confuse Jaazaniah the son of Azzur here with Jaazaniah the son of Shaphan from chapter 8. These men are described as “princes of the people” (v. 1) so they are the political leaders who rose up in Jerusalem after the first deportation. (This was the exile that Ezekiel himself and Daniel were part of.)
The Spirit of the Lord describes these men to Ezekiel as wicked counselors and arrogant in their position. They described Jerusalem as a cauldron and themselves as the meat in it. That is, the city has walls of irons and they are the best parts of what is in it. Since Nebuchadnezzar had deported most of the royal family, the military leaders, and the craftsmen, maybe these men considered those groups to be the offal and bones of a butchered animal while they were the parts that were valuable.
As an aside, the Lord declares He knows their thoughts, which is not a fact that should be missed. When theologians talk about God’s omniscience, they really do mean He knows everything. Repent of even your wicked thoughts that you never tell anyone.
The Lord indicts these wicked counselors by pointing out the people who have been slain in the streets of the city because of their leadership. He says that those are the real meat of the cauldron, and because of them He will bring these puffed-up leaders out of the cauldron to be judged at the border of Israel with the sword that they have feared. They had not followed in the statuse of the Lord but instead did wickedness according to the ways of the nations around them.
No one can escape Your justice except through the gracious work of Jesus paying the penalty for our unrighteousness.