Also the word of the Lord came to me, saying, Son of man, behold, I am about to take away from thee the delight of thy eyes at a stroke: yet thou shalt neither mourn nor weep, nor shall thy tears run down. Sigh in silence; make no mourning for the dead, bind on thy turban, and put on thy shoes upon thy feet, and cover not thy lips, nor eat the bread of men. So I spoke to the people in the morning: and at evening my wife died; and I did in the morning as I was commanded. Ezekiel 24-15-18

Is there anything in rabbinic literature that tells us why Ezekiel's wife died?

1 Answer 1


The ArtScroll version of Yechezkel cites different mefarshim that explain why the wife of Yechezkel died.

The Radak explains that she was not sick, but died without warning in the plague that befell the city of its sins.

The Abarbanel writes along the lines that when a whole city is sinful, even the righteous persons among them are punished.

The Malbim, in his commentary to Yechezkel 24:16 explains that she died because of the plague:

הנני לקח הודיעו שאשתו תמות במגפה, וצוהו שלא יספד, ואף לא יבכה, ואף שלא יבואו דמעותיו כלל:

The Metzudos Dovid explains that it was a sudden dead during the plague.

See the Chomat Anakh for a bonus on the relationship between the wife of Yechezkel and Kain and Hevel.

In Tractate Derech Eretz Zuta 9:18, it says:

If you withheld yourself from performing a meritorious act and occupied yourself with a sinful act, your wife will ultimately die of a stroke, as it is stated, Son of man, behold, I take away from thee the desire of thine eyes with a stroke

There are also commentaries that explain the death of Yechezkels wife to symbolize the destruction of the Holy Temple.

  • Seems a little odd that Sefaria translates מגפה as "stroke".
    – Fred
    Commented Jan 4, 2023 at 23:32
  • 1
    I do not know why they translated מגפה as stroke. It needs to be plague or pandemic.
    – Shmuel
    Commented Jan 5, 2023 at 20:20

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