Noah, Daniel and JobBy Rabbi Jack Abramowitz
Some of the elders of Israel came to see Ezekiel. G-d spoke to Ezekiel and told him that these visitors were idolators (unlike the righteous elders of Judah who visited Ezekiel in chapter 8). Therefore, G-d said that He would answer their inquiries accordingly.
G-d told Ezekiel to tell the men that whoever serves idols and still goes to G-d’s prophet for direction, G-d will still answer him. Why will G-d answer them? In order to draw back those who have strayed from Him after idols. Ezekiel was told to encourage the people to give up their idols and to return to G-d. When idolators inquire of G-d, He will answer them, but He will still be angry about the idolatry; He will punish that person accordingly if the person does not listen to the prophet and give up his idols.
If a prophet says something that is not true, G-d will destroy him. That prophet’s sin will be comparable to that of the idolator. No one is permitted to cause G-d’s people to stray from Him; they are His people and He is their G-d.
G-d also said that if a nation seriously sins against Him, He will punish them with famine. Even if righteous people along the lines of Noah, Daniel and Job were to live in those places, their merits would only be enough to save themselves, not the others. If G-d sent wild beasts, warfare or plague to punish a nation, even such righteous people as these could not save the sons and daughters. Well, G-d is sending all four of these against Jerusalem – famine, war, plague and wild animals – so don’t expect the righteous few to save the city. A remnant will survive and they will be a consolation when we see their righteous deeds.