Elders come to Ezekiel; The Lord has reproof for them 1
Their fathers rebelled in Egypt; the Lord made them come out 5
Statutes and the Sabbath given, but they rebelled 11
He required faithfulness; Sabbath profaned; abominations 18
In the promised land, heathen practices were adopted 27
Restoration promised 33
Go serve idols; only the faithful are accepted 39
Fire in the forest 45
¶ And it came to pass in the seventh year, in the fifth month, the
tenth day of the month, that certain of the elders of Israel came to enquire
of the LORD, and sat before me.
2 Then came the word of the LORD unto me, saying,
3 Son of man, speak unto the elders of Israel, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Are ye come to enquire of me? As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I will not be enquired of by you.
.4 Wilt thou judge them, son of man, wilt thou judge them? cause them to know the abominations of their fathers:
| 1 -
month Of the captivity of Jehoiachin. See on ez0102.
1 - Came to enquire of the Lord They may have had a specific question, but we never hear it. God had a message of reproof for them.
3 - I will not be enquired of ... Does God always respond to prayer? Consider mt0607, is5902.
4 - Wilt thou judge them? An interesting warning for the prophet. God has often helped people understand their sinfulness. Those who want information have only to consider the of their fathers. See ne01, ps078, ac07.
¶ And say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; In the day when I chose
Israel, and lifted up mine hand unto the seed of the house of Jacob, and
made myself known unto them in the land of Egypt, when I lifted up mine
hand unto them, saying, I am the LORD your God;
.6 In the day that I lifted up mine hand unto them, to bring them forth of the land of Egypt into a land that I had espied for them, flowing with milk and honey, which is the glory of all lands:
.7 Then said I unto them, Cast ye away every man the abominations of his eyes, and defile not yourselves with the idols of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.
| 5 -
chose Israel See de0437,
5 - Lifted up mine hand Reference to the covenant with Jacob ge3227,8.
5 - Made myself known From ex0429-31.
6 - Mine hand
6 - To bring them forth They rebelled from the beginning ex0606-9.
7 - Cast ... abominations "Moses gives no formal statement of idolatries practiced by Israel in Egypt. But it is implied in their readiness to worship the golden calf (resembling the Egyptian ox, Apis) (Ex 32:4), which makes it likely they had worshipped such idols in Egypt. Also, in Le 17:7, 'They shall no more offer their sacrifices unto devils (literally, seirim, 'he-goats,' the symbol of the false god, Pan), after whom they have gone awhoring.' The call of God by Moses was as much to them to separate from idols and follow Jehovah, as it was to Pharaoh to let them go forth. Ex 6:6,7 and Jos 24:14, expressly mention their idolatry "in Egypt." Hence the need of their being removed out of the contagion of Egyptian idolatries by the exodus." (JFB)
But they rebelled against me, and would not hearken unto me: they did not
every man cast away the abominations of their eyes, neither did they forsake
the idols of Egypt: then I said, I will pour out my fury upon them, to
accomplish my anger against them in the midst of the land of Egypt.
9 But I wrought for my name's sake, that it should not be polluted before the heathen, among whom they were, in whose sight I made myself known unto them, in bringing them forth out of the land of Egypt.
10 ¶ Wherefore I caused them to go forth out of the land of Egypt, and brought them into the wilderness.
- Rebelled against me Maybe not rebellion
in the usual sense but in refusing to reject their idolatry. See jos2414.
The people had learned the ways of Egypt.
9 - Name's sake ... polluted This principle made the wilderness experience important. The people were not to take credit for moving out of Egypt. They did not deserve it nu1411-20, de0928, je1407,21.
10 - Wherefore ... out The history continues in the wilderness continues to verse 22.
And I gave them my statutes, and shewed them my judgments, which if a man
do, he shall even live in them.
.12 Moreover also I gave them my sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the LORD that sanctify them.
13 But the house of Israel rebelled against me in the wilderness: they walked not in my statutes, and they despised my judgments, which if a man do, he shall even live in them; and my sabbaths they greatly polluted: then I said, I would pour out my fury upon them in the wilderness, to consume them.
- Judgments ... statues ... live The way shown to the people
who came out of Egypt was a new lifestyle. Some today argue that there
were no divine laws before the commandments were given at Sinai. The first
"law" was given in the Garden of Eden ge0216,17.
Later Abraham was found faithful. In ge2605
the Lord used four different Hebrew words to express His requirements.
12 - Gave them my sabbaths ... sign ex3113ff. But it was not a covenant sign only for the people of Israel. In the description of the new earth, we find it again ez4424, ez4517, ez4601ff.
13 - Rebelled against me For examples of these rebellions, see ex3201-6, ex1627, nu1532.
| 14 But I wrought for
my name's sake, that it should not be polluted before the heathen, in whose
sight I brought them out.
15 Yet also I lifted up my hand unto them in the wilderness, that I would not bring them into the land which I had given them, flowing with milk and honey, which is the glory of all lands;
16 Because they despised my judgments, and walked not in my statutes, but polluted my sabbaths: for their heart went after their idols.
17 Nevertheless mine eye spared them from destroying them, neither did I make an end of them in the wilderness.
|16 - Because they despised "The special reason is stated by Moses (Nu 13:32,33; 14:4) to be that they, through fear arising from the false report of the spies, wished to return to Egypt; the general reasons are stated here which lay at the root of their rejection of God's grace; namely, contempt of God and His laws, and love of idols." (JFB)|
But I said unto their children in the wilderness, Walk ye not in the statutes
of your fathers, neither observe their judgments, nor defile yourselves
with their idols:
19 I am the LORD your God; walk in my statutes, and keep my judgments, and do them;
20 And hallow my sabbaths; and they shall be a sign between me and you, that ye may know that I am the LORD your God.
21 Notwithstanding the children rebelled against me: they walked not in my statutes, neither kept my judgments to do them, which if a man do, he shall even live in them; they polluted my sabbaths: then I said, I would pour out my fury upon them, to accomplish my anger against them in the wilderness.
- Said ... Children ... walk not The fathers of that generation
had rebelled, notably the worship of the golden calf ex3201-6.
What "statutes" did they have? Consider Korah and friends when they gathered
all the people against Moses and Aaron nu1619.
They were making the rules and were ready to take the leadership of the
19 - Walk in my statutes Notice the blessings connected with keeping the way of the Lord. Keeping the Sabbath helps us know Him by the close association with Him.
20 - Sabbaths More than one time. See ex3112-17, le2338.
21 - Which if a man do The blessing is to "live in them." This is the pure joy we may have in the midst of evil darkness.
| 22 Nevertheless I withdrew
mine hand, and wrought for my name's sake, that it should not be polluted
in the sight of the heathen, in whose sight I brought them forth.
.23 I lifted up mine hand unto them also in the wilderness, that I would scatter them among the heathen, and disperse them through the countries;
24 Because they had not executed my judgments, but had despised my statutes, and had polluted my sabbaths, and their eyes were after their fathers' idols.
25 Wherefore I gave them also statutes that were not good, and judgments whereby they should not live;
26 And I polluted them in their own gifts, in that they caused to pass through the fire all that openeth the womb, that I might make them desolate, to the end that they might know that I am the LORD.
- Scatter them See le2633,
The Assyrians were not only very cruel but they divided nations sending
people in various places in order that they would not have strength to
25 - Statutes that were not good This sounds a little strange but understanding the "old covenant" makes it clear. The people had declared that they could obey in their own strength ex1901ff. It appears that God wanted to keep them from success. Instead they had chosen evil and only by letting them see the results would some repent and find salvation.
26 - I polluted them "not directly; 'but I judicially gave them up to pollute themselves.' A just retribution for their 'polluting My sabbaths' (Eze 20:24). This Eze 20:26 is explanatory of Eze 20:25. Their own sin I made their punishment." (JFB) God is said to do what He permits. He is ultimately in control. We can be glad.
26 - Pass through the fire See ez1620.
¶ Therefore, son of man, speak unto the house of Israel, and say unto
them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Yet in this your fathers have blasphemed
me, in that they have committed a trespass against me.
.28 For when I had brought them into the land, for the which I lifted up mine hand to give it to them, then they saw every high hill, and all the thick trees, and they offered there their sacrifices, and there they presented the provocation of their offering: there also they made their sweet savour, and poured out there their drink offerings.
29 Then I said unto them, What is the high place whereunto ye go? And the name thereof is called Bamah unto this day.
- Fathers have blasphemed me The time
of Israel from the entrance into Canaan to the time of writing is quickly
summarized. They did not honor God. Those who did not worship pagan gods
offered their sacrifices in forbidden places v28.
28 - Sacrifices Idolatry even in the promised land.
| 30 Wherefore say unto
the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Are ye polluted after the
manner of your fathers? and commit ye whoredom after their abominations?
.31 For when ye offer your gifts, when ye make your sons to pass through the fire, ye pollute yourselves with all your idols, even unto this day: and shall I be enquired of by you, O house of Israel? As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I will not be enquired of by you.
.32 And that which cometh into your mind shall not be at all, that ye say, We will be as the heathen, as the families of the countries, to serve wood and stone.
- Pass through the fire See on de1810.
31 - Not be inquired of by you Compare pr2809.
32 - We will be as the heathen If you and I are found faithful we must be willing to be different for our faith. Earlier the people demanded a king 1sa0805, 1sa0820.
¶ As I live, saith the Lord GOD, surely with a mighty hand, and with
a stretched out arm, and with fury poured out, will I rule over you:
34 And I will bring you out from the people, and will gather you out of the countries wherein ye are scattered, with a mighty hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with fury poured out.
35 And I will bring you into the wilderness of the people, and there will I plead with you face to face.
36 Like as I pleaded with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so will I plead with you, saith the Lord GOD.
.37 And I will cause you to pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant:
38 And I will purge out from among you the rebels, and them that transgress against me: I will bring them forth out of the country where they sojourn, and they shall not enter into the land of Israel: and ye shall know that I am the LORD.
- Mighty arm ... hand ... I will rule In the context of this
chapter we see that the Lord promises a new exodus v6. As in the first
exodus, not all will be faithful.
38 - Purge out Disobedient ones will not be part of the new Israel. This is overlooked in the modern theories that the Jews will be saved at some time in the distant future. In fact the gathering of spiritual Israel is at the second coming of Christ which is soon to happen mt2531ff. The restoration from captivity was to be like the exodus from Egypt. Rebels would be removed. Only the true ones would enter the land.
As for you, O house of Israel, thus saith the Lord GOD; Go ye, serve ye
every one his idols, and hereafter also, if ye will not hearken unto me:
but pollute ye my holy name no more with your gifts, and with your idols.
40 For in mine holy mountain, in the mountain of the height of Israel, saith the Lord GOD, there shall all the house of Israel, all of them in the land, serve me: there will I accept them, and there will I require your offerings, and the firstfruits of your oblations, with all your holy things.
41 I will accept you with your sweet savour, when I bring you out from the people, and gather you out of the countries wherein ye have been scattered; and I will be sanctified in you before the heathen.
- Every one ... idols God does not
force obedience because it is not the way of love je3103,
40 - In my holy mountain A contrast with verse 39. Ultimately heaven, the new earth re2101. What a beautiful promise! Also ps00206, is0202-4, mi0401-3.
40 - All the house of Israel Not to Judah alone. And we can claim the promises. God, through Christ and the Holy Spirit, draws everyone who accepts into a loving into the divine atmosphere jn1232, jn1401-3.
41 - Gather you The scattering was punishment. See le2633, de0427.
| 42 And ye shall know
that I am the LORD, when I shall bring you into the land of Israel, into
the country for the which I lifted up mine hand to give it to your fathers.
43 And there shall ye remember your ways, and all your doings, wherein ye have been defiled; and ye shall lothe yourselves in your own sight for all your evils that ye have committed.
44 And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I have wrought with you for my name's sake, not according to your wicked ways, nor according to your corrupt doings, O ye house of Israel, saith the Lord GOD.
- Know that I am the Lord It will be
a joy to know Him. More in verse 44.
44 - Not according to Salvation is always a matter of grace for the penitent who put grace to work
¶ Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
46 Son of man, set thy face toward the south, and drop thy word toward the south, and prophesy against the forest of the south field;
.47 And say to the forest of the south, Hear the word of the LORD; Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will kindle a fire in thee, and it shall devour every green tree in thee, and every dry tree: the flaming flame shall not be quenched, and all faces from the south to the north shall be burned therein.
.48 And all flesh shall see that I the LORD have kindled it: it shall not be quenched.
49 Then said I, Ah Lord GOD! they say of me, Doth he not speak parables?
- Moreover the word In the Hebrew Scriptures, this verse
begins the next chapter.
46 - South The word appears three times and is translated from three different Hebrew words. The words are synonyms.
47 - Against the forest This may be a symbol of purification at the time of the new earth. Ezekiel didn't understand this one v49. re2009b.
48 - Not be quenched It went out by itself. Compare mr0943,45, je1727.
49 - They say Jeremiah had been warned that the people were rebellious and not like what they heard je0108.