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Book of Ezekiel
The prophecy in this chapter is prompted by some of the elders of Israel coming to inquire of the LORD; when the prophet is told to tell them that the LORD refused to be questioned by them. The reason being, their vile abominations, which he is ordered to make known unto them.
Chapters 20 - 24 contain the final predictions concerning the judgment of Jerusalem. There are two things we should pay close attention to in this section. (1). How long and drawn out God's message is to these people. Right down to the very day that Nebuchadnezzar besieged the city, God was willing to spare them. God would have removed Nebuchadnezzar from the city as He had done beforehand to the Assyrians, and would not have allowed him to destroy it . . . BUT . . . the people did not listen to God nor turn to Him, and His righteous judgment came. Right down to the very last minute, the mercy of Almighty God could have been extended to them . . . BUT . . . the people did not listen to God nor turn to Him, and His righteous judgment came. (2). The very day that the siege of Jerusalem began, Ezekiel’s wife died, and God told him not to mourn or weep for her at all.
Ezekiel was in sharp contrast to the prophet Jeremiah. Jeremiah had a soft, tender heart, and he wept; the message he gave broke his heart. Because He wept, the Lord Jesus was compared to Jeremiah. It seems that Ezekiel is almost like an actor playing a part. He does what he is told to do, but he does not seemed moved by the sad messages he brings. Both Jeremiah and Ezekiel were a mouthpiece for the Lord GOD, but they acted totally different.
God refused to be consulted by the elders of Israel (20:1-3). He rehearsed the rebellions of their ancestors in Egypt (20:4-9); in the wilderness (20:10-26); and in the Promised Land (20:27-29). He rebuked the present generation with their similar corrupt manners (20:30-32). He threatened to rule over them with rigor, but with a Promise to gather them, to purge out the rebels, and accept the services of the faithful in His church (20:33-44). The destruction of Jerusalem was prophesied under the symbol of a forest (20:45-49).
Theme: Review of Israel's long history of sins; future judgment and restoration.
God refuses to be consulted by the elders of Israel (20:1-3)
Ezekiel 20:1 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. (KJV)
And it came to pass in the seventh year . . . of the captivity of Jeconiah (8:1), and the seventh of the reign of Zedekiah, from where the dates of Ezekiel's visions and prophecies are taken (1:2); two years, one month and five days after Ezekiel began to prophesy and eleven months and five days after the previous prophecy.
In the fifth month, the tenth day of the month . . . the month Ab, which is like our July and August; and afterwards on this day Jerusalem was twice destroyed, first by the Chaldeans, and then by the Romans. See Special Comments at the end of this chapter for Jewish months.
That certain of the elders of Israel came to inquire of the LORD . . . by the prophet; these were either some of the elders that were carried captive, who came to inquire how long they would continue in this state; or what methods they should use to free themselves from it; or what they should do while they were in it . . . or else they were sent by Zedekiah to pay the king of Babylon his tax, or to negotiate some matter with him about the captives; and who took this opportunity of consulting the LORD by the prophet, what methods could be taken to throw off the yoke, and to know what was in the mind of God. All these things are uncertain, as also is the persons to inquire.
And sat before me . . . with seemingly great seriousness and devotion, waiting for an answer from Ezekiel.
*****What these elders came to ask about is not known. They were no doubt hypocrites and frauds (Mat.23), from the way in which God commands the prophet to treat them. It seems these could have been such a delegation of elders as those mentioned (8:1; 14:1). God refused to be consulted by these elders of Israel.
Ezekiel 20:2 Then came the word of the LORD unto me, saying, (KJV)
Then came the word of the Lord unto me . . . while the elders were sitting before Ezekiel, the Lord GOD gave him instruction as to what to say to them.
Saying . . . as follows:
Ezekiel 20:3 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. (KJV)
Son of man, speak unto the elders of Israel, and say unto them . . . son of man (2:3), give them this answer from me; speak clearly, boldly and to their faces . . . do not fear them.
Thus saith the Lord GOD, are ye come to inquire of me? . . . Thus saith the Lord GOD . . . this expression is found 227 times in the KJV of the Old Testament of the Bible; 127 of those times in the Book of Ezekiel. These words convey an adequate amount of encouragement for Ezekiel, giving him determination to bring the advice and counsel that might be given to him by the Lord GOD. Are ye come to inquire of me? . . . the LORD felt contempt for their being there, He hated their deceitful looks and their reeking hypocrisy. The Almighty LORD always detects and shames gross hypocrites as He did Jeroboam’s wife (1 Kings 14), the evil hearted Pharisees (Mat.23), Ananias and Sapphira that greedy couple, that agreed to tempt the Holy Ghost (Acts 5), as these elders also did . . . that is, to try Him whether He be omniscient, and was able to detect and punish them. It is a sharp reproof of their wickedness, and God utterly refused to be questioned by thm. See: Our Awesome Triune God: http://www.hisservants.org/books_our_awesome_triune_god.html
As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I will not be inquired of by you . . . as I live (14:16,20; 33:11), the LORD knew their wickedness and hypocrisy, which were hated by Him, and because of this, He would not hear what they had to say, nor would He give them any answers, or tell them what they should do. Sad indeed is the case of anyone when the LORD will not be questioned of by them! It is very clear that He has NO blessings to bestow upon them . . . BUT . . . when He allows us to inquire of Him, He will do it for them (36:37). Proverbs 21:27 The sacrifice of the wicked is abomination: how much more, when he bringeth it with a wicked mind? (KJV)
Those profane hypocrites abused the prophet, and tempted the Lord GOD. They ALL are as politicians, who have less religion (fear of GOD) than worldly wisdom . . . they are willing to hear only when the prophet will complement, flatter and encourage them . . . if he did so, then he is a wise and honest man; if not, he is a know-nothing to be snubbed. People do NOT want to hear the TRUTH of GOD (Isa.30:10), then or now!
The chapter presents the people’s rebellions during five separate periods: in Egypt, the wilderness, on the borders of Canaan when a new generation arose, in Canaan, and in the time of the prophet. http://www.worldlychaos.org/w_c_israel.html
He rehearsed the rebellions of their ancestors in Egypt (20:4-9)
Ezekiel 20:4 Wilt thou judge them, son of man, wilt thou judge them? cause them to know the abominations of their fathers: (KJV)
Wilt thou judge them, son of man? . . . will you plead for Me with them (14:3-4, 7). Will you excuse them, patronize them, defend their cause, and plead for them? Surely you will not do that, but instead, you will rebuke and correct them, judge and condemn them for their sins and wickedness.
Wilt thou judge them? . . . this is repeated, to show the forcefulness of the LORD and the duty of the prophet . . . or will you excuse them or intercede for them? If you ever wanted to judge them, do not do it, but instead reproach them for, and make them see their sins.
Cause them to know the abominations of their fathers . . . they had imitated the sins of their fathers, which they were themselves guilty, and were abominable to the Lord GOD. They had been guilty of repulsive evils, in which they had good reason to expect the end result of them. He shall die in his sin (3:20; 18:4, 13, 24). What sins their fathers had done they approved and had surpassed; by that let them know what to do, what to expect.
Ezekiel 20:5 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; (KJV)
And say unto them, thus saith the Lord GOD . . . this begins the account of their fathers; of God's undeserved goodness to them, and of their sins and transgressions against Him, and how it progressed with them.
In the day when I chose Israel . . . they did not choose Him for their GOD, He chose them to be His people . . . to be His peculiar (special) people, above all people on the face of the Earth; when He declared His choosing them, and made it perfectly appear that He had chosen them, and set them apart, by special blessings and favors bestowed on them: http://www.worldlychaos.org/w_c_israel.html
And lifted up mine hand to the seed of the house of Jacob. . . the posterity of Jacob or Israel (Ge.32:28), to whom the LORD swore that He would do certain things for them; of which the lifting up the hand was a token; it is a gesture used in swearing (Dan.12:7); and the Targum says, and I swore unto them by my word.
And made myself known unto them in the land of Egypt . . . by His Name Jehovah (Ex.6:3; Ps.83:18; Isa.18:2; 26:4); by the prophets He sent to them Moses, Aaron and Miriam; and by the miracles He did among them.
See: Miracles in the Old Testament in Special Comments at the end of this chapter.
When I lifted up mine hand unto them, saying, I am the LORD your God . . . making it a Promise, declaring it unto them, confirming it with an oath (Heb.6:17). I lifted up mine hand . . . He bound Himself in a covenant to them to continue to be their God, IF they would be faithful, and continue to be His people.
Ezekiel 20:6 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: (KJV)
In the day that I lifted up my hand unto them, to bring them forth of the land of Egypt . . . when they had been so long in such a disgraceful and oppressive bondage . . . not only did the LORD promise to bring them out of it, but used His awesome power in the miracles He did, by bringing plagues upon the Egyptians, to force them to let them go forth from there. See: Miracles in the Old Testament in Special Comments at the end of this chapter.
Into a land that I had espied for them . . . which He had in His Eye and in His Heart for them, and which He had in His Mind provided for them, and was determined to bring them to. The Almighty Lord GOD looked out for them, and singled out as the best and most suitable land for them. It was a glorious land, a land of delight, a pleasant land (Deut.8:7-9; Dan.8:9; 11:16, 41).
Flowing with milk and honey . . . a phrase often used, 32 times in the Old Testament, to express how fruitful the land, of Canaan was, abounding with choice supplies. Flowing with milk and honey is the characteristics of a happy and fruitful country, producing abundantly without intense labor, giving all the necessaries and comforts of life. Which is the glory of all lands . . . meaning either the fertility, signified by milk and honey, is the glory of all lands . . . or makes all other countries desire what it has. The land of Canaan, was so fruitful, and more glorious or desirable than any other country; it greatly surpassed all others in its situation, soil and climate. The Targum is, which is the praise of all provinces, meaning it was praised and commended by the inhabitants of all other provinces for the abundance in it; which had to be very great, to support so large a number of inhabitants in it, and yet its size so small. The land of Canaan is called the glory of all lands, both here and again in verse 20:15. From its location, this is especially true, being contiguous to three continents, Europe, Asia and Africa. And too, the ancient fertility and productivity of Palestine were, at one time, the best anywhere on Earth. Many changes since those early times have altered that situation in today’s world.
Ezekiel 20:7 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. (KJV)
Then I said unto them . . . then and and are words which connects with other words or phrases. Having promised and sworn to do such great and good things for them; puts them under an obligation to respect and obey what He commanded them. God’s Promises and blessings of goodness are great reasons to obey Him.
Cast ye away every man the abominations of his eyes . . . abominations are idols which their eyes should have hated, but they instead lifted up their eyes to them, and looked for help from them. Their idolatry was deliberate and willing. Instead of casting the idols away, they looked them with great delight.
And defile not yourselves with the idols of Egypt . . . God considers idols as dunghill gods . . . dunghill = manure pile, and to worship ANY idol was an utter abomination to God. The worship of idols not only defiled them, but their eyes and their hearts had been ensnared and polluted by them while they were in Egypt, and they forgot literally forgot the Lord GOD!
I am the LORD your God . . . GOD id their Creator and Benefactor, their Covenant God; the One and Only Almighty Lord GOD, and to Whom alone they should serve and worship; to Whom alone they were under obligation; and who was far, far above any and all the idols of Egypt. They were His covenant people, and therefore should have no other God (Ex.20:3), for the LORD prepared them, by His mercies and His law, for Himself.
Ezekiel 20:8 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. (KJV)
But they rebelled against me . . . ALL sin is rebellion against God, no matter how insignificant or minor WE think it is. SIN is an outright and willing act of disobedience and hostility, especially idolatry. Idolatry is refusing respect and reverence to the Lord GOD, and casting off loyalty to Him. Idolatry is sin against God, it is an open hostility against a Sovereign God!
And would not hearken unto me . . . their wills were totally alienated from God, they refused to hear and obey in this. They did NOT forsake the idols of Egypt; it is very likely there were some among them that carried with them, as Rachel did (Gen.31:34), the idols of Egypt.
They did not every man cast away the abominations of their eyes, neither did they forsake the idols of Egypt . . .
it seems there were some that did give in to the idolatry of the Egyptians; and could not be talked out of it, not even with the favors shown them, and the Promises made to them. Neither did they forsake the idols of Egypt . . . we do not see this in Exodus, but I think it is enough that we have it here. The lack of gratitude of these Israelites was the greater, because the Lord GOD had done SO much for them, and had daily cautioned them of better things to come.
Then I said, I will pour out my fury upon them . . . God threatened them, by His prophets, that He would bring down deserved wrath on them, like a mighty shower of rain. Many, then and now, wonder because of their miseries, but never think their sins are the reason. My fury is the LORD’S just, righteous and severe wrath.
To accomplish mine anger against them . . . to bring it upon them to the utmost, and consume them with it; to make an end of them.
In the midst of the land of Egypt . . . and so not bring them forth from there, as He had promised; but cut them off in it, for their sins and rebellions. They should have perished in Egypt, and never come out.
Ezekiel 20:9 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. (KJV)
But I wrought for my name's sake . . . what God did was in a way of grace and mercy; doing what He promised to do; NOT because of any merits of theirs, but for His own honor, and the glory of His Holy Name. He did not punish them, lest the heathen (nations), who had known the Promises He had made to them, might think that He had either broken them through some impulse, or was not able to fulfill them. For my name’s sake; for my glory: had you been used as you deserved, you had died slaves in Egypt, and there had been your graves; but the glory of God’s mercy and faithfulness is the motive of him sparing them.
That it should not be polluted before the heathen, among whom they were . . . heathen = nations. Polluted is reproached, blasphemed and lessened among the heathen, the Egyptians, amongst whom Israel had dwelled over 200 years, in which time many of the children of Israel, no doubt, had spoken of their hopes of leaving Egypt to go to the land promised to Abraham for them, and were likely to boast of their God, and that country.
In whose sight I made myself known unto them . . . by the wonders He wrought; and who, by one way or another, the Promises of God became known to Israel, that He would bring them out of Egypt, and settle them in the land of Canaan: wherefore for the honor of His Name He exerted his power,
In bringing them forth out of the land of Egypt . . . as He did, as follows.
He rehearsed the rebellions of their ancestors in the wilderness (20:10-26)
Ezekiel 20:10 Wherefore I caused them to go forth out of the land of Egypt, and brought them into the wilderness. (KJV)
Wherefore I caused them to go forth out of the land of Egypt . . . wherefore . . . and it was the LORD that brought them out from Egypt with a mighty hand that forced Pharaoh to let them go, and gave them favor in the eyes of the Egyptians, so that they went out with no one being physically abused by them.
I caused them to go forth . . . the Lord GOD removed all obstacles, furnished them with all necessaries, went before them, and showed them the way they should go (Ex.13:17-18).
And brought them into the wilderness . . . before they went into the land of Canaan; where they had freedom from their bondage, and were in a magnificent way provided for by the LORD . . . where He guided, supported, preserved and at last brought to the Promised Land. The wilderness was a barren, sandy part of the country, that borders Egypt towards the Red Sea; having mountains which shut them in on both sides.
Ezekiel 20:11 And I gave them my statutes, and shewed them my judgments, which if a man do, he shall even live in them. (KJV)
And I gave them my statutes . . . means the law on Mount Sinai, containing their duty to God. He showed them what they should do so they would be safe, comfortable, happy and wise and what they should avoid in order to be unharmed in body, mind and possessions. IF they had done these things, they would have been holy, happy and healthy.
And shewed them my judgments . . . the LORD plainly declared His judgments, spoke clearly so that they might know the nature, use and excellence of the need and advantage of keeping them. Called statutes because they were appointed, fixed and certain, being of firm, unbreakable and lasting duty; and judgments because they agreed to strict justice and equity. Even though they were originally written on man's heart (Ps.40:8; Jer.31:33; 2 Cor.3:3; Heb.8:10; 10:16), yet they were so destroyed by sin that there was need not only of their being freshly written and published, but of their being taught and made known; and especially pointing out the use of them, and responsibility to them. My judgments is not the terrible executions of His wrath, but judgments here are the rules that God gave them to walk by.
Which if a man do, he shall even live in them . . . in the land of Canaan, enjoying all the blessings of a long and happy life (Lev.18:5). The Targum adds, in eternal life. . . . but eternal life is not obtained by the works of the law, since NO man can perfectly obey or fulfil it, but is the pure gift of God’s grace (Eph.2:8-9; Rom.6:23). Salvation is NOT of works: (Rom.3:20, 27-28; 4:2; 9:11, 16; 11:6; 1 Cor.1:29-31; 2 Tim.1:9; Tit.3:3-5). If a man do (obey)the statutes, judgments of God, he shall live . . . not that anyone ever did or could by sinless keeping the law attain the eternal blessedness; for God’s grace alone gives that; but it surely points out a future prospering and flourishing state in this life, to all that are careful to keep these statutes and judgments as they can; such would not be cut off, nor brought into captivity, but live and rejoice in their own land. In them. . . both in the fruit of them already obeyed, and in continuing to do them in the future.
Ezekiel 20:12 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. (KJV)
Moreover, also, I gave them my Sabbaths . . . the Targum says, the days of the Sabbaths. The seventh day Sabbaths recur throughout the year are many; but, besides these weekly Sabbaths, there was the year of remission, for the seventh year Sabbath; and the jubilee year, the great Sabbath of all, once in fifty years. Some think the feasts, such as the Passover, are included.
To be a sign between me and them . . . the Sabbaths were a symbol of His being their God, and they being His people; of His favor and good will to them, and of the duties they were under to Him; for He had separated and distinguished them from all other nations of the world. The Sabbaths being given only to them as a memorial of their deliverance out of Egypt, and as a pledge of their entering into the land of rest; and of the future rest to be enjoyed by Christ, and in Heaven for all eternity; for these were just shadows of things to come (Col.2:16-17).
That they might know that I am the LORD that sanctify them . . . sanctify is to set them apart, separate them from other nations. The LORD sanctifies those that have withdrawn them from the profane and common herd of the heathens, and made them by this relatively holy; or else, that they have changed their heart, and filled it with holy, pure and gracious inclinations and so made them truly holy. See comment on Sabbaths in Special Comments at the end of this chapter.
Ezekiel 20:13 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. (KJV)
But the house of Israel rebelled against me in the wilderness . . . the house of Israel; not a few, this I might have borne in silence, but the vast majority of them; they were, as we are, a rebellious house (2:5-6, 8), where they were completely at the mercy of God, totally dependent on Him. His miracles were done every day to sustain and preserve them from famine, wild beasts and enemies . . . yet they rebelled against the LORD; terribly provoked Him by their many offences, their ingratitude, unbelief and idolatry . . . and this was NOT just a few of them, but the whole body of the people, the whole house of Israel for forty years (Ps.95:9-10). In the wilderness . . . they stupidly rebelled in the very place where death and terror were on every side and where they depended on the LORD’S miraculous bounty every single day! Rebelled against me . . . provoking His righteous wrath day after day (Ex.17:7; Num.20:24; Deut.1:26, 43). They were a stubborn and rebellious generation (20:40; Ps.78:8).
They walked not in my statutes . . . they did not make His statutes the rule of their walk and lifestyle, and steer the course of their lives and actions by them, as they should have done.
And they despised my judgments . . . as not being worthy of their respect and warning and as being useless and unprofitable. Such is the corrupt and wicked heart of man (Jer.17:9); it is hatred and ill-will against God and His law, and everything that is good.
Which if a man do, he shall even live in them . . . see (20:11).
And my sabbaths they greatly polluted . . . disrespected or profaned, or made them common; as other days; by going out for manna on them; by gathering sticks on them; by doing their own work, speaking their own words, and seeking their own pleasure, and worshipping false deities:
Then I said, I would pour out, my fury upon them in the wilderness to consume them . . . the LORD said that they would not enter into the land of Canaan; as the generation that came out of Egypt were consumed in the wilderness, except two; as the LORD had threatened, (Num.14:29-35).
Ezekiel 20:14 But I wrought for my name's sake, that it should not be polluted before the heathen, in whose sight I brought them out. (KJV)
But I wrought for my name's sake, that it should not be polluted before the Heathen . . . (20:9), who would be ready to say it was for want of power, faithfulness or goodness, that He did not bring them into the Promised Land; or there was no such land to bring them to, and that is His ultimate end in all He does; and is of far more weight with Him than any other argument.
In whose sight I brought them out . . . from Egypt, into the wilderness; this was done publicly in the sight of the Egyptians, they urging them to leave.
Ezekiel 20:15 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; (KJV)
Yet also I lifted up mine hand unto them in the wilderness . . . here we have an essence of Exodus and Numbers.
That I would not bring them into the land which I had given them . . . by Promise to their fathers, and to them. This is the generation that came out of Egypt, that believed the hostile report the spies made, and murmured against the LORD . . . and so He swore in His wrath that they would not enter into His rest; or he would not bring them into the land of Canaan, save Caleb and Joshua and accordingly none entered but them although their future generations did (Num.14:27-44).
Flowing with milk and honey, which is the glory of all lands . . . (20:6).
Ezekiel 20:16 Because they despised my judgments, and walked not in my statutes, but polluted my sabbaths: for their heart went after their idols. (KJV)
Because they despised my judgments, and walked not in my statutes, but polluted my sabbaths . . . which were just causes of divine resentment and anger (20:13).
For their heart went after their idols . . . the fault lay in it their heart (Ps.78:37), their heart went after their idols, their dirty delights that carried them away from God and His goodness. But, BEWARE! Any beloved sin will do the same thing.
Ezekiel 20:17 Nevertheless mine eye spared them from destroying them, neither did I make an end of them in the wilderness. (KJV)
Nevertheless, mine eye spared them from destroying them . . . though they highly provoked God, and deserved to be cut off, yet the LORD pitied them: they provoked his wrath, he stirred up his compassions.
Neither did I make an end of them in the wilderness . . . that they would be no more a nation and people; and even though the carcasses of them that believed not fell in the wilderness, and never saw the good land, yet their descendants were spared to see it, and did. Them . . . not all of them, for many did die in the wilderness, and yet the younger generation was spared, and the nation was not completely destroyed.
Ezekiel 20:18 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: (KJV)
But I said unto their children in the wilderness . . . God said. The fathers were stubborn, rebellious and deaf, refusing to listen, so God turns His advice to their children. Although the specific place is not stated, yet among the calamities of that mournful age, and at the funerals of so many that then died, there were some that had devotion, eagerness and courage enough to warn the survivors. Psalm 90 tells us enough to believe that Moses did advise and warn them. In the wilderness . . . where their fathers murmured, and where some were cut off by the Hand of God, and where they travelled and suffered because of apostasy and unbelief. http://www.worldlychaos.org/w_c_israel_ten_failures.html
Walk ye not in the statutes of your fathers, neither observe their judgments . . . they were not only NOT to imitate their parents in their open sins and disobedience of God's law; but they were NOT to follow them in the observance of such rules of worship, which were of their own making, and had formed into a law. Walk ye not: this is both advice, as coming from the awesome love of God, and a command, as coming from His power.
Nor defile yourselves with their idols . . . Ezekiel forbids them to imitate the customs, rites and practices of their fathers, and then goes on to forbid their imitating their fathers in their idolatry. Idolatry is extremely fruitful when it was so multiplied in Egyptian bondage, and in the desolate state of a people in the wilderness.
Ezekiel 20:19 I am the LORD your God; walk in my statutes, and keep my judgments, and do them; (KJV)
I am the LORD your God . . . not only that the LORD had made and preserved them, but He had clearly chosen them above all people to be His people; and had made a covenant with them, and had them set them apart from all others by His favors on them. The LORD . . . the only God . . . their fathers’ idols were NOT gods, so NO idol must ever be a god to them. Your God . . . by covenant, by redemption out of Egypt, by adoption, and giving you the law; therefore they must keep His ordinances and judgments, and do them.
Walk in my statutes, and keep my judgments, and do them . . . God’s statutes and judgments had been given to their fathers, and they had neglected and despised them. These children must keep them.
Ezekiel 20:20 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. (KJV)
And hallow my sabbaths . . . remember to keep them holy, cease from servile and worldly businesses. Observe all the duties of religion, private and public, to be performed on these days. Hallow my sabbaths (Jer.17:22). And they shall be a sign between me and you . . . a sign of present and future good (20:12). The seventh day (Sabbath) observed is the sign of a Jew, and set apart, to the Jews.
That ye may know that I am the LORD your God . . . not only acknowledge Him to be the LORD their God, by observing His laws and sanctifying His Sabbaths; but also have a greater desire for His grace and goodness, as their covenant God. May know . . . more fully admit that the LORD is God, and what the amazing grace of their Almighty God can do. See comment on Sabbaths in Special Comments at the end of this chapter.
*****Sunday was the day that our precious Saviour and LORD, Jesus Christ rose from the dead, and which this wondrous event forever separated Christianity from all other religions (Jn.20:1). Since that time, believers have gathered on the first day of the week (Sunday) to celebrate His victory over sin and death (Acts 20:7; 1 Cor. 16:2; Rev.1:10). Even though the Sabbath was chosen by God as a holy day, Jesus demonstrated that He was Lord over the Sabbath (Mat.12:8). Jesus said that He had NOT come to abolish the Law, but to fulfill it. So . . . keeping laws could NOT justify anyone. Only through Jesus (Jn.14:6) could sinful humanity be declared righteous (Rom.3:28).
The Lord’s Day is usually thought of as Sunday by Christians, but it is NOT the same as the Jewish Sabbath. Sunday is not the Christian Sabbath. To me, it should be a day of rest, a day set aside for honoring the LORD Jesus, Who died and rose for us, but . . . we are NOT under the Law commanded to do so (Rom.6:14-15), as were the Jews. As born-again followers of Jesus, we are free to honor and worship Him on any day that we choose, which for most people is Sunday. Romans chapter 14 gives a clear explanation of how Christians are to navigate those subtle gray areas of discipleship. Romans 14:4-5 Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand. 5 One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. (KJV)
Ezekiel 20:21 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. (KJV)
Notwithstanding the children rebelled against me . . . after the death of their fathers, when they came to the plains of Moab, and just about to enter the land; they rebelled against the LORD, and greatly provoked Him, by joining themselves to Baalpeor, the idol of Moab, they worshipped (Num.25:3). They sinned just as their fathers did (Num.25:1-3; Deut.9:23-24; 31:27).
They walked not in my statutes, neither kept my judgments to do them . . . they did just as their fathers before them; although they saw with their eyes the judgments of God upon them, yet this did not stop them from following their evil ways.
Which if a man do, he shall even live in them . . . (20:13). So, these statutes were therefore good ones. But they had been scattered among the heathen, and dispersed through the countries, because, as God complains, they had not executed his judgments, but despised his Sabbaths.
They polluted my sabbaths . . . just as their fathers had done, taking no warning by them, and what befell them:
Then I said, I would pour out my fury upon them, to accomplish mine anger against them in the wilderness . . . 24,000 thousand died because of the idolatry of Baalpeor (Num.25:9).
Ezekiel 20:22 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. (KJV)
Nevertheless I withdrew mine hand . . . when it was stretched out against them, as in the above instance, and did not utterly consume them. The Targum is, and I turned away the stroke of my might. I withdrew mine hand . . . it seems the Hand which had been outstretched to execute judgment (20:12) was drawn back because of the confusion which the heathen would have of such an action. They would see in it not a proof of God’s holiness, but of His lack of power to protect His people. Nevertheless, and . . . God seems to take upon Himself the stand of one that was just about to strike, yet draws back that He might spare.
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 . . . wrought (20:9, 14).
Ezekiel 20:23 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; (KJV)
I lifted up mine hand also to them in the wilderness . . . swore unto them (20:5).
That I would scatter them among the Heathen, and disperse them through the countries . . . after they came to be settled in the land of Canaan, they sinning against the LORD; which was fulfilled in the times of the Babylon captivity, and in their destruction by the Romans; but was threatened and foretold while they were in the wilderness (Lev.26:33; Ps.106:26-27).
Ezekiel 20:24 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. (KJV)
Because they had not executed my judgments . . . had not done that which was right and just, as the LORD commanded them.
But had despised my statutes, and had polluted my Sabbaths . . . the children did just as their fathers had done.
And their eyes were after their fathers' idols . . . they had learned to serve idols in Egypt, and brought he idols with them from there. The eyes and the hearts of their children were after idols just as their fathers had been, but it seems they were much more desirous, encouraged and emboldened to serve them, because the idols had been their fathers'. This would NOT excuse their sin, but instead aggravate it, because they followed them in such sinful practices, for which they had been many times reproved and punished.
Ezekiel 20:25 Wherefore I gave them also statutes that were not good, and judgments whereby they should not live; (KJV)
Wherefore I gave them also statutes that were not good . . . because they by such persistent stubbornness rejected the good laws, judgments and statutes God gave them, He would proceed to punish them in a dreadful way. Were not good . . . gave them; not by appointing or enjoining, but by allowing them to make such for themselves (Rom.1:24-26), giving them up to a reprobate sense (Ps.81:11-12; 2 Thes.2:11-12). As governor or Father, after long and vain warnings with a pig-headed and unruly child, God finally gives up on him as hopeless, and casts out of His gracious care and guidance. The LORD will tolerate continued and willful sin just so long, then He will lower the boom (Gen.6:5-7; 18:20-21; Heb.3:17-19).
And judgments whereby they should not live . . . judgments that were deadly and destructive to them; which brought ruin, destruction, and death upon them; more is intended than is expressed.
*****There were several ways by which God punished them while they were in the wilderness: the plague, the fiery serpent, and time after time the squabbling of discontent. God said, I will consume them in a moment (Num.16:21), He said, take the heads of the people and hang them up (Num.25:4), He threatened them with curses and forced them to say Amen to every curse (Deut. 27), then He gave them judgments by which they should not live. More is implied than is expressed; they are judgments by which they should die. Those that will not be bound by the precepts of the law shall be bound by the sentence of it. Dear one, one way or another, the Word of God will take hold of men (Zec.1:6). Spiritual judgments are by far the most dreadful; and these God punished them with. The statutes and judgments which the heathen observed in the worship of their idols were NOT good, and by practicing them they could NOT live. God gave them over to them. Romans 1:24-25 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: 25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. (KJV) . . . The LORD made their sin to be their punishment. He gave them up to a reprobate mind.
Ezekiel 20:26 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. (KJV)
And I polluted them in their own gifts . . . I allowed them to pollute themselves by the offerings which they made to their idols. Polluted them . . . either He permitted them to pollute themselves, or treated them with disgust and hatred, as polluted persons.
In that they caused to pass though the fire all that openeth the womb . . . causing their children to pass through the fire was one of those pollutions. Did the LORD ever give them a statute or judgment of this kind? NO! He always protests against any such thing! But they did sacrifice their children to Baal, Baalim, Baalpeor, Molech [all the same god] (Lev.20:3-4; Num.25:3; Jer.32:35) and they shall suffer God’s most weighty displeasure and curse (20:31).
To the end that they might know that I am the LORD . . . the LORD left them alone to be guilty of the most wicked idolatries, as in the worship of Baal; He permitted them to pollute themselves, in their own gifts, and of the most barbaric idolatries, as in the worship of Moloch, when they caused their children, especially their firstborn which God considered His particular property (Num.3:12-13). They instead, sacrificed their firstborn, NOT to the LORD God, but to a ridiculous idol! They killed their firstborn by forcing them to pass through the fire . . . thus God made them desolate, not only because He was justified by doing so, but that He might do it by their own hands.
*****At times, God makes sin to be its own punishment, and even though He is NOT the author of sin; there need be no more to make men miserable than to give them up to their own vile and wicked appetites and passions. It seems that the LORD lets them be put into the hand of their own guidelines, and they will utterly ruin themselves and make themselves desolate. It is in this way, that God makes them know that He is the LORD, and that He is indeed a righteous God, which they themselves will one day, be forced to admit!
He brings up the rebellions of their ancestors in the Promised Land (20:27-29)
Ezekiel 20:27 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. (KJV)
Therefore, son of man, speak unto the house of Israel, and say unto them. . . the house of Israel; to those elders that were now come to him (20:1), that they might tell others at Jerusalem; and by whom the following message is sent to them. The prophet speak to them, as he is ordered.
Thus saith the Lord God, yet in this your fathers have blasphemed me . . . not only what they did in Egypt, and in the wilderness, when they were to come into the land of Canaan . . . their lack of gratitude here is added to all the rest of their wickedness, to sacrifice to other gods on every high hill, and in all thick trees; which was a blaspheming the Name of God, and casting criticism on Him. Blasphemed me . . . profanely and willfully they decreased His grace, mercy, law and worship, casting a reproach on all GOD’S good things, as less desirable than that of their own. They criticized His power and wisdom, as if it needed their approval to complete Divine worship. They scorned His bounty, as if not God, but their idols, gave them what they enjoyed (Hos.2:5-8).
Yet in this your fathers have blasphemed me, in that they have committed a trespass against me . . . idolatry is meant (20:28); and which they committed, not through ignorance and weakness, but willingly, against light and knowledge; and stubbornly, although all the evidence is made unto them, and cautions, exhortations, and reproofs given to them. Committed a trespass against me . . . grievously sinned (14:13).
Ezekiel 20:28 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. (KJV)
For when I had brought them into the land . . . as soon as they were settled in the land promised to Abraham and his seed. The LORD brought them out of Egypt through 40 years in the wilderness, into the land of Canaan, through many difficulties, by such displays of divine power, goodness and truth.
For the which I lifted up mine band to give it to them . . . the LORD swore He would give the land to them, and He did, thus fulfilling His Word and oath; this was one example of His bounty and goodness. What He did was not because of any merits of theirs but because He is a God that cannot lie (Num.14:28; 23:19; Ps.95:11; Eze.24:14; Tit.1:2; Heb.6:18). Lifted up mine hand (20:5, 23).
Then they saw every high hill, and all the thick trees . . . looked at the hills and trees, and liked what they saw; and so they built their high places, and set up their groves everywhere, after the manner of the heathen; although this was forbidden by the LORD. They saw: (6:13; Ps. 78:58; Isa.57:5-7; Jer. 2:7; 3:6).
And they offered there their sacrifices . . . either to the God of Israel, as some of them did at times, which was a sin; for even though they might offer sacrifices to God, as they were commanded to do, yet it was not in the proper place . . . or instead, they offered sacrifices to their idols.
And there they presented the provocation of their offering . . . NOT where God had appointed, but where they desired, making their offering something that provoked the wrath of God against them . . . such sacrifices either He had not appointed, or was offered in a wrong place, or the wrong object. Nothing could be more infuriating to GOD; it was giving His honor and glory to another, and His praise to vain graven images.
There also they made their sweet savour . . . (16:19), what should have been sweet became bitterly offensive to the LORD by their corruptions. He had specified the various kinds of offerings, to show that in all alike they violated the law. Acceptable offerings: (Lev.1:4; Ps.20:3; 51:19; Isa.56:7; 60:7).
And poured out there their drink offerings . . . wine was a part of the sacrifice offering, and so did these idolatrous Jews do here. They violated the whole law of sacrifice, and did all that to idols they should have done only to God. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Korban http://www.jewfaq.org/qorbanot.htm
Ezekiel 20:29 Then I said unto them, What is the high place whereunto ye go? And the name thereof is called Bamah unto this day. (KJV)
Then I said unto them . . . when they were determined on this despicable course of sin, God pleaded with them by His messengers, His prophets and His law, and by some faithful priests. I said: (16:24-25; 31).
What is the high place where, unto you go? . . . What is the name of it? What is the use of it? Why do you go there? Isn’t there an altar built by my command to sacrifice upon? Is this high place better than that? What good comes to you by offering those sacrifices offered daily? Don’t you know you poured contempt on God and His law?
And the name thereof is called Bamah unto this day . . . or a high place. These high places are often called, Bamah and Bamot by the Jews.
Bamah, Bamot: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_place http://jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/7688-high-place
David and others sacrificed to God on high places, but it was under exceptional circumstances, and before the altar was set up on Mount Moriah (2 Chron.3).
He rebukes the present generation with like corrupt manners (20:30-32)
Ezekiel 20:30 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? (KJV)
Wherefore say unto the house of Israel, thus saith the Lord GOD . . . to the elders of the house of Israel that were come to Ezekiel (20:1). They came to inquire, and now the prophet inquires of them, that their own conscience might make answer, and tell them what to expect. Your fathers, where are they? What became of them that bore their iniquity?
Are ye polluted after the manner of your fathers? . . . they were very polluted. What would have happened if God had not withdrawn His Hand? All that happened should have been a warning to them . . . but, just as their fathers did, so they also had polluted yourselves, and been idolaters. Are ye polluted: (Num.32:14; Judg.2:19; Jer.7:26; 9:14; 16:12).
And commit ye whoredoms after their abominations? . . . idolatry is spiritual adultery, meaning it is the same abominable and repulsive thing.
Ezekiel 20:31 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. (KJV)
For when ye offer your gifts . . . your gifts and sacrifices to idols (20:26). Ye offer: (Deut.18:10-12; Ps.106:37-39; Jer.7:31; 19:5).
When ye make your sons to pass through the fire . . . or pass between two fires to Moloch, as their fathers had done before them . . . sacrificing their children to idols.
Ye pollute yourselves with all your idols, even unto this day . . . they worshipped idols, or dunghill gods, as the word signifies, as often observed; they dishonored themselves with those filthy things, which they continued to do to that very day, and so became more and more polluted; and were as their fathers had been, and therefore they must expect the same treatment. Ye pollute yourselves reveals the sense in which God says, I polluted them in their own gifts (20:26). They willingly chose to pollute themselves, and the Lord GOD allowed them to do it (20:25).
And shall I be inquired of by you, O house of Israel? . . . did they think that the Lord GOD would allow they to come and inquire of Him or to make their requests to Him? (20:3. 14:3-4). Did they really expect to hope for or receive a favorable answer from Him? And shall: (1 Sam. 28:5,6; 2 Ki. 3:13,14; Job 27:8,10; Ps.66:18; Pro. 1:27-28; 28:9; Isa.1:15; Jer.14:12; Zec.7:13).
As I live, saith the Lord God, I will not be inquired of by you . . . confirming again with an oath what He had before declared (20:3), so they might be convinced that they would NOT be acceptable to Him . . . neither they nor their petitions would be regarded by Him.
*****When they offered their gifts, when they make their sons to pass through the fire, they pollute themselves with all their idols, even unto this day. In today’s world, this despicable process no longer takes place on the high hills, but instead in abortion clinics. In my opinion, it is the SAME thing! It is the murder of an innocent child. It is idolatry! If you put anything above GOD, it is idolatry. Killing an innocent child because the parent does not want to be bogged down with responsibility is NOT a good reason to abort a life. Killing an innocent child because it would take away the pleasure of the parent is NOT a good reason to abort a life. Anyone who aborts a child will face the Great Judge on Judgment Day, and they will NOT like the verdict they hear . . . unless they confess their sin and repent. 1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (KJV) . . . NO sin is too big for the Great Mighty GOD to forgive, IF a person is truly sorry for what they have done.
Ezekiel 20:32 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. (KJV)
And that which cometh into your mind shall not be at all . . . what they had dreamed up, and laid a plan of, would be frustrated, take no effect, and come to nothing.
That ye say, we will be as the Heathen . . . they wanted to live without God; not be subject to Him, not be under His government, not be called by His Name and not attend to His Word, worship and ordinances. They wanted to join themselves to the heathen; enter an agreement and intermarry with them, carry on trade and commerce with them, and embrace the same religion. We will be as the heathen . . . they were not happy to have a special GOD all their own, and be confined to His rules and regulations. They wanted freedom. But this designed apostasy to Gentilism shall not prosper you or help you but instead blind and harden them to vain nonbelievers.
As the families of the countries . . . being united with them, dwelling with them and joining with them in the same exercises of religious worship.
To serve wood and stone . . . dunghill idols, images made of wood and stone. So very sad . . . that such a blessed people that had a revelation from God, and that had such an experience of His Almighty power and goodness, should ever come up with such a ridiculous scheme, or even for a moment, think of entering into such absurd measures, so grossly unfounded and scandalous.
He threatens to rule them with precision, but with a Promise to gather them, to purge out the rebels,
and accept the services of the faithful ones in His church (20:33-44)
Ezekiel 20:33 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: (KJV)
As I live, saith the Lord GOD. . . as I live (20:3), is a form of an oath; the Lord GOD swears by His own life, used more than once before; it supposes something sure to come, with the certain performance of it:
Surely with a mighty hand, and with an outstretched arm . . . a mighty hand . . . so mighty, that you shall never pull yourselves out of it. They think to revolt, and get out of His Hand, but they shall only realize their own folly, malice and weakness . . . from which NONE can escape, and which none can withstand. Jeremiah 2:31 O generation, see ye the word of the LORD. Have I been a wilderness unto Israel? a land of darkness? wherefore say my people, We are lords; we will come no more unto thee? (KJV) . . . An outstretched arm which reaches everywhere, and from which you can never flee!
And with fury poured out . . . hot fury, but just and rightful anger. Fury poured out . . . like floods of water, in a violent rain storm. It means an abundance of divine wrath, and the sudden and sure execution of it:
Will I rule over you . . . not in a gentle, merciful way, but with great accuracy and severity; even though they had decided to withdraw themselves from under His power and government, by joining with the Gentiles, and imitating their laws and customs, and observing their religious rites and idolatrous practices . . . they would NOT be able to accomplish their plans; they would be FAR from being free, as they had promised themselves.
The Lord GOD would keep a watchful eye and a strict hand over them as rebels, and rule them with a rod of iron (Ps.2:9; 21:8-9), as well as with a sceptre of righteousness (Heb.1:8), and would be King over them, and they would be subject to His authority, whether they wanted to or not! Rule over you . . . the Lord GOD would retain His right over them, and exercise it on them, as on united rebels, since they refused His rule. If they refused to be GOD’S free subjects, He would make them fettered slaves. The chains of affliction and the execution of His threated dangers shall be like a thorny hedge, too sharp and thick for them to break through. He would make every place where they were, a prison to confine them, and He would make it a prison of sorrows and hardships they shall have to endure there. All this was brought about in GOD’S fury against them.
Ezekiel 20:34 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. (KJV)
I will bring you out from the people, and will gather you out of the countries wherein ye are scattered. . . the Egyptians, Ammonites and others . . . where they had gone for safety and protection, and where they intended to settle. They had formed a plan to cast off the yoke of GOD and His worship, and no longer be a nation or people under His government. They mixed themselves with other nations and became a part of them, joining with them in all matters, civil, commercial and religious. But the LORD will not allow them to continue, but will bring them out from where they were.
With a mighty hand, and a stretched out arm, and with fury poured out . . . as before, in verse 33.
*****There are some who think this means it is as a favor to the Israelites, who would be brought out of the countries of the idolatrous Gentiles by GOD’S mighty power, and with great wrath and displeasure upon the nations . . . planning this for the good of His people, that they might be ruled by His government alone, and live happily and comfortably under Him, and not be destroyed and lost among the nations. Bring you out: (Eze.20:38; 34:16; Isa.27:9-13; Am.9:9-10).
Ezekiel 20:35 And I will bring you into the wilderness of the people, and there will I plead with you face to face. (KJV)
And I will bring you into the wilderness of the people . . . I will bring you out of your captivity, and bring you into your own land which you will find to be a wilderness, the result of your crimes. Bring you . . . drive you; and since you think you will have a way of ease to yourselves by casting Me off among the nations, I will bring you among such as you shall be soon weary of.
And there will I plead with you face to face . . . since you shall be there alone, I will plead; debate, pass sentence and execute it also on you. There, in the wilderness, I will be your King, and rule you with a sovereign rule; and the special consideration of my justice and mercy shall either mend you or end you. Face to face, not to conceal the dishonor of the Jews, but clearly, openly and so as My Hand shall be seen.
Ezekiel 20:36 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. (KJV)
Like as I pleaded with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt . . . the wilderness was opposite the land of Egypt, near to it, on the borders of it; and where the people went as soon as they came out of Egypt, and passed over the Red Sea (Ex.14). This refers to the controversy the Lord GOD had with the Israelites for murmuring upon the report of the spies; and the sentence He passed upon them, that they would not enter into the land of Canaan, but their carcasses should fall in the wilderness (Num.14:29). It was the wilderness where their carcasses fell until they were all consumed (Num.14:29-39). http://www.worldlychaos.org/w_c_Israel_12_spies.html
So will I plead with you, saith the Lord GOD . . . take vengeance on them, as the Targum. Those who do not believe in the Messiah, reject Him, and refuse to have Him to reign over them; these are now punished, by a dispersion of them in the wilderness of the nations, where they die and perish, and never see their own land. See wilderness in Special Comments at the end of this chapter.
Ezekiel 20:37 And I will cause you to pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant: (KJV)
And I will cause you to pass under the rod . . . pass under the rod is a symbol of a shepherd who makes his sheep pass under his rod in counting them (Lev. 27:32; Jer.33:13). Those who pass under the rod are whom God will not take vengeance on, and shall not die in the wilderness of the people (20:35); but whom He will have mercy on, and show favor to, and in time bring into their own land. This will be the case of the converted Jews in the last day.
And I will bring you into the bond of the covenant . . . or the discipline of the covenant, as one version says. It would be the same as the rod of correction (Pro.22:15). What is provided in the Covenant is for the good of the covenant ones. This covenant is the covenant of grace. I will constrain you by sore chastisements to submit yourselves to the covenant to which you are eternally bound, even though now you have cast away GOD’S bond from you. I will bring you into the bond of the covenant . . . you shall be placed under the same obligations as before, but you will now know you are bound; you shall feel your obligation, and live according to its nature. Fulfilled in part: (Neh.9:8, 26, 9:32-38; 10:1-39); fully hereafter (Isa.54:10-15; 52:1-6).
Ezekiel 20:38 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. (KJV)
And I will purge out from among you the rebels, and them that transgress against me . . . purge out, cull, pick out those that they may be rejected, as they deserve, or brought into the open to shame and punishment. The rebels are the rebellious sinners, who harden themselves against GOD. His severe worsening judgments shall find them in their hiding-places, and drag them out, but they shall not return to Canaan, ever again.
I will bring them forth out of the country where they sojourn . . . or countries, wherever they have been travelers and sojourners, as they now are. When the remnant of God, according to the election of His grace, shall be converted, all the rest shall be gathered together into some one place, and be destroyed as rebels. Remnant: (Isa.1:9; 10:20-22; 11:10-12; 46:3; Jes.23:3; 31:7; 39:9; 40:11; Eze.6:8-10; Joel 2:32; Mic.2:12; 5:3-8; Zep.2:7-9; 3:13; Zech.8:6-12; Rom.9:27; 11:5; Rev.2:17).
And they shall not enter into the land of Israel . . . the rebels shall NOT enter the land, but the converted Jews shall enter. These rebels are a symbol of carnal Israelites and wicked professors, and will NOT be admitted into the New Jerusalem (Rev.21:2), and shall be excluded from the Kingdom of Heaven. Kingdom of God, Heaven: (Mat.5:3, 10; 6:10, 19-21, 33; 7:21; 10:7; 13:13; 25:31-34; Mk.1:15; 10:15; Lk.11:20; 17:20-21; Jn.3:3, 5; 6:50-71; 18:36; Acts 14:22; Rom.14:17; Rev.21:1-27):
And ye shall know that I am the LORD . . . that the LORD knows all things, can do all things, and will faithfully and punctually perform all that is promised, threatened, or predicted. Ye shall know that I am the Lord: (Ex.6:7; 7:5, 17; 8:22; 10:2; 14:4; 16:12; 29:46; 31:13; Deut.29:6; 1 Ki.20:13, 28; Isa.45:3; 49:26; 60:16; Jer.24:7; Eze.5:13; 6:7, 13; 7:4, 9, 27; 11:10, 12; 12:15-16, 20; 13:9, 14; 21; 14:8; 15:7; 16:62; 20:12, 20, 26, 38, 42, 44; 22:16; 23:49;24:24; 25:5,7,11;17; 26:6; 28:22-24,26; 29:6, 9,16,21; 30:8, 19, 25-26; 32:15; 33:29; 34:27, 30; 35:4,9,12,15; 36:11,23,38; 37:6,13; 38:23; 39:6-7, 22,28; Joel 2:27; 3:17)
*****All people are enemies, and have enmity [hatred, hostility] against GOD; and EVERY sin is an act of hostility and rebellion against Him; EVERY time we transgress and/or violate His law is casting off of loyalty to Him, trampling upon and despising His executive power and authority. The Jews were always more or less a rebellious people . . . they were rebellious in the times of Moses, all the while that he was with them, and they were especially so in the times of Ezekiel; so they are so described in this Book 15 times, but they were not all so; but those that were, the LORD here declares that He would single them out, as goats from among His sheep (Mat.25:32-33), that He brought under the rod (20:37) and purge them as chaff from the wheat; that those sinners in Zion would no more be in the congregation of the righteous (Ps.1:5). Dear one, BEWARE . . . the Lord GOD still works in this way today! Rebellious Jews: (Deut. 9:7, 24; 31:27; Ezra 4:12, 15; Ps.78:8; Isa.1:23; 30:1, 9; 50:5; 65:2; Jer.4:17; 5:23; Eze.2:2, 5-8; 3:9, 26-27; 12:3, 9, 25; 17:12; 24:3; 44:6).
Ezekiel 20:39 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. (KJV)
As for you, O house of Israel . . . the elders of the then present house of Israel, who were with the prophet (20:1).
Go ye, serve ye everyone his idols . . . Go ye; spoken sarcastically, as is usually said to unredeemable ones. Serve ye every one his idols . . . God gave them statutes that were not good, and judgments whereby they could not live (20:25), by His allowing them to take their own way, serve their gods, and follow the rites and rituals of their abominable worship.
And hereafter also, if ye will not hearken unto me . . . hereafter also, it seems like an abrupt, vehement speech, but it is suppressed, as too great to be uttered, or to leave room for doing more than the offender expected (Mat.23). If ye will not hearken unto me . . . they would not only serve their idols now, but in the future; seeing they chose not to listen to GOD’S voice, nor obey His laws, nor to worship Him and Him alone. This seems to suggest that it was better to attend to the service of the one, OR the other, and not halt between two opinions.
1 Kings 18:21 And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word. (KJV)
But pollute ye my holy name no more with your gifts and with your idols . . . to worship GOD along with the idols, and to pretend they worshipped GOD in the blasphemous idols, offering gifts and sacrifices to GOD through the idols, was using His Name to cover up their wicked idolatrous practices. THAT was polluting His Holy Name, and THAT was absolutely abominable to GOD.
Ezekiel 20:40 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. (KJV)
For in mine holy mountain, in the mountain of the height of Israel, saith the Lord GOD . . . referring to Mount Zion, or Moriah, on which the Temple was built, on the highest part of the land of Israel. Many think that the Gospel church is meant here, comparing it to a mountain for its firmness and durability. It is said to be a holy mountain because it consists of holy people, performing a holy worship to a Holy GOD; and represented as high, being established, as it will be in the last days, upon the top of the mountains, and be very visible and absolutely glorious.
There shall all the house of Israel, all of them in the land, serve me . . . when all Israel shall be saved (Rom.11:26), or converted; and the rebels and transgressors are purged away from them, they shall join themselves to the Gospel church, and in it serve the LORD, according to the rules of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and the ordinances of it; even all of them that shall enter into their own land and dwell in it; the rest shall not be admitted to it. http://www.godcannotlie.org/book_of_romans_ch.11.htm
There will I accept them . . . their persons, and their sacrifices of praise and prayer (Jer.33:11; Heb.13;15), being offered up, in the Name and faith of Christ, that altar which hallows every gift (Isa.56:7). Accept them; delight in them and their sacrifices.
And there will I require your offerings, and the firstfruits of your oblations, with all your holy things. . . this means the offering up of their selves: bodies, and souls, as a living, holy, and acceptable sacrifice (Rom.12:1), which the LORD would require of them as their reasonable service; along with all holy duties of prayer, praise, and kindness; sacrifices with which God is well pleased through Christ and His Sacrifice for sinners; and which are the only sacrifices the Lord GOD now requires under the Gospel dispensation. Romans 6:14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. (KJV) . . . In old time sacrificial ceremonies, GOD did not require, seek after, command, or accept . . . these are done away with and made void by the Sacrifice of His only begotten Son (Jn.3:16). It may be observed, as in other places and prophecies of Gospel times that New Testament worship is expressed by the phrases, forms, and usages suited to the Old Testament. Psalm 40:6 Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required. (KJV)
Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. (KJV) Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (KJV) Romans 5:1-2 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: 2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. (KJV)
Ezekiel 20:41 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. (KJV)
I will accept you with your sweet savour . . . their sins being compensated by the Sacrifice of Christ on the cross of Calgary, which is unto God for a sweet savour (2 Cor.2:15); and their persons being, clothed with the robe of His righteousness, and the garments of His salvation, all whose garments smell of myrrh, aloes and cassia; the Gospel being the savor of life unto life unto them; and the savor of the knowledge of Christ being transferred to them by it; and too the savor of the graces of His Spirit (Rom.8:9), being conveyed to them: Sweet savour is incense from a pure and obedient heart.
When I bring you out of the people, and gather you out of the countries wherein ye have been scattered . . . (20:34) which will not only be locally and literally true of them, when the Jews are converted, that they shall be collected out of all nations where they now are dispersed, and return to their land; but spiritually also, they being effectually called out from among the men of the world, and to leave their former company, customs, and lusts. They will be brought out of Babylon, and the parts of that kingdom, where they had been scattered these seventy years. Gathered by Cyrus’s proclamation, and the LORD’S secret drive on the spirits of the faithful Jews, while apostates stay behind. Bring you out: (Eze.20:38; 34:16; Isa.27:9-13; Am.9:9-10).
And I will be sanctified in you before the Heathen . . . the Gentile Christians will take notice of the power, grace and goodness of Almighty GOD, in the conversion and restoration of them, and praise and glorify Him because of it. It will be then that He shall be clearly feared, served and worshipped in the midst of them. Sanctified means the Lord GOD shall be magnified and praised for the good He does for His people, and because of their love, fear [respect, reverence] and obedience to Him. Before the heathen, heathens shall see, and say: Psalm 126:2 Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing: then said they among the heathen, The LORD hath done great things for them. (KJV)
Ezekiel 20:42 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. (KJV)
And ye shall know that I am the LORD . . . the One and Only Lord GOD that keeps covenant, performs Promises; is absolutely faithful to His Word. This One and Only Lord GOD is kind, gracious and merciful, but He is also mighty and powerful. One day, they all shall really know and publicly own and admit.
When I shall bring you into the land of Israel . . . this is a pledge of a better place, which will be the LORD'S doing; His Hand and His power will be clearly seen in it. This is one of the places in prophecy, which clearly tell us that the Jews, when converted, shall be brought into their own land again. http://www.hisservants.org/israel_promised_land_h_s.htm
Into the country for the which I lifted up mine hand, to give it to your fathers . . . that is, which the Lord GOD swore He would give unto them (Gen.12:1; Neh.9:8; Acts 7:5; Heb.11:9; Eze.34:13; 36:24; 37:21, 25).
Ezekiel 20:43 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. (KJV)
And there ye shall remember your ways, and all your doings, wherein ye have been defiled . . . their rejection of the Messiah; their refusal to believe on Him; their stubbornness, their hard-headed resistance, their dedication to the traditions of the elders as to the making void the Word of God; together with the most blatant immoralities that any people were guilty of . . . all of which defile nature, making them abominable in the eyes of GOD.
Remember your ways . . . (16:59-63). These, now the Spirit of God convinced them of their wickedness, they will remember with shame and confusion, and mourn over them. When they shall find themselves reinstated in their own land, they shall enjoy all civil and religious privileges and liberties under Christ their King, whom they will then know, own and serve (Zec.12:10-11). The humiliation of Judah (Neh.9:1-38) is a form of the future penitence of the whole nation (Hos.5:15; 6:1; Zec.12:10-14). Only when the goodness of GOD is realized by the sinner, can true repentance come (Jer.33:9; Eze.16:63; Hos.3:5; Rom.2:4).
And ye shall loath yourselves in your own sight for all your evils that ye have committed . . . Loathe: (6:9), any sin or evil a person commits is against the Lord GOD and His Christ (Acts 4:26; Rev.11:15; 12:10). The Lord GOD is SO Holy and pure that He CANNOT tolerate ANY sin! Sin is hated by God, and it should be to His people. When a person is thoroughly convinced of this, they hate themselves for their sin; and it is never more so than when they have the greatest examples and clearest discoveries of the love and grace of GOD in Christ to them! They are utterly ashamed of themselves and their sins, and are amazed when they see that the LORD is pacified towards them, and their sins are forgiven for Christ's sake. Sin never appears more hateful, horrible and vile than when it is seen in GOD’S pardoning love (Ezra 9:6).
*****And there shall ye remember your ways . . . you shall be ashamed of your past behavior, and of your long opposition to the Gospel of your salvation. In your restored state and your prosperity in the land where you are returned, you shall review your former ways with great sorrow; you shall remember and grieve.
These promises may, in a limited way, may be applied to their restoration from the Babylon captivity; but they can only have their accurate and proper fulfillment when the Jews shall accept Jesus as their Saviour, their Messiah! Only then can the end result be as here described, when they all shall be brought back from all their dispersions to their own land. This looks forward to the last days. Jews shall return! See END TIMES in Special Comments at the end of this chapter.
Ezekiel 20:44 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. (KJV)
And ye shall know that I am the LORD . . . we have a fantastic sin pardoning and heart sanctifying GOD, Who richly rewards all that diligently seek Him (Heb.11:6). Only the Lord GOD is their righteousness, their Redeemer and Saviour, Lord and King! They shall one day believe and know Christ, and Him crucified, and GOD in Christ as their covenant GOD (20:42), when He has wrought with them for His Name's sake. For his own name's sake . . . of His own will and pleasure, according to His abundant mercy, and for the glory of His rich grace. He shall pluck them as brands out of the burning (Amos 4:11); snatching them out of the hands of Satan; calling them out of darkness into light (Ps.107:14; Isa.29:18; 2 Cor.4:6; 1 Pet.2:9) and bring them out of bondage into liberty. Out of the house of bondage: (Ex.6:6; 13:3, 14; 20:2; Deut.5:6; 6:12; 8:14; 13:5, 10; Josh.24:17; Judg.6:8). Ye shall know byexperience, with love and obedience that He is the LORD. Hypocrites (Mat.23) secretly think to a great degree in himself and his works, but an honest, good, loyal heart knows that GOD’S love, kindness, grace and mercy come to us free and undeserved. Thank You, thank You LORD!
Not according to your wicked ways, not according to your corrupt doings, O ye house of Israel, saith the Lord God . . . had the LORD dealt with them according to our corrupt doings, they would have perished in their sins, and been miserable in the everlasting punishment of Hell (Isa.33:14; 66:24; Mat.13:42; 25:41, 46; Rev.14:10; 20:15) . . . but our GOD neither proceeds according to the bad works nor the good works of men, in calling and converting them, but according to His own purpose and grace (2 Tim.1:7-9). Their evil works do not hinder His amazing grace when He is determined to work, and their good works do not merit it, for He acts freely and always in a just, right and sovereign way. What an awesome GOD we have! Thank You, thank You LORD!
There truly IS a literal Hell: . . . . . . . . http://www.judgmentcoming.org/j_c_hell_is_it_there.htm
The destruction of Jerusalem predicted as a forest (20:45-49)
Ezekiel 20:45 Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, (KJV)
Moreover, the word of the Lord came unto me, saying . . . (18:1), or the word of prophecy, as the Targum. Here begins a new prophecy, and many think it should begin a new chapter, because Chapter 21 is of the same argument as this, and further explains and enlarges on it.
Ezekiel 20:46 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; (KJV)
Son of man, set thy force toward the south . . . Ezekiel was now in Babylon, north of Jerusalem, and he is told to look toward the south, toward Jerusalem and the land of Canaan. Thy face, his courage and fearless mind, are clear in prophesying as he was ordered.
And drop thy word toward the south . . . drop, or prophesy, as the Targum; doctrine or prophecy is here being compared to rain, and the delivery of it to the dropping or distilling of rain; which falls gently, gradually, successively, and for good reason (Deut.32:2), which symbolic phrase is explained in the next clause.
And prophesy against the forest of the south field . . . the city of Jerusalem, in the land of Judea, which was full of people, like a thick forest of trees . . . but these trees were barren and unfruitful, as the trees of the forest usually are; and were a meeting place of wicked persons, compared to beasts of prey, or beasts of the field, that haunt in woods and forests. Beasts is found 13 times in Ezekiel.
Ezekiel 20:47 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. (KJV)
And say to the forest of the south . . . to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and Judea.
Hear the word of the LORD . . . attend to it, receive it, believe it and take warning from it.
Thus saith the Lord GOD, behold, I will kindle a fire in thee . . . in Jerusalem; meaning that He would send great disasters among them, the sword of the Chaldean army, famine, and pestilence . . . and finally it would be burnt with fire, and the remainder of the inhabitants would be carried captive.
And it shall devour every green tree, and every dry tree . . . all kinds of people would be consumed by one or another of the above calamities . . . high and low, rich and poor, good and bad! And if good men would suffer, compared to green trees, which fire cannot so easily burn, not being fit fuel for it; then consider how much more bad men, who were by far much more numerous, compared to dry trees, would be perfect fuel for the flames, and easily consumed.
The flaming flame shall not be quenched . . . the fierce ravages of Nebuchadnezzar and the Chaldeans would not stop until the whole land was ruined.
And all faces from the south to the north shall be burnt therein . . . some understand this as an utter destruction of the Jews, either by sword, famine and pestilence, or by captivity from Jerusalem or Judea unto Babylon. But I think this most likely means that ALL the inhabitants there would suffer, from one end of it to the other, from Beersheba to Dan, the country lying in such a position. From the south to the north . . . from one end of the land to the other: for the length of Judea did so lie from south to north. Shall be burnt with terrors, flight, famine and sickness, caused by this mighty invasion, all persons shall wither, and be as parched, or burnt.
Ezekiel 20:48 And all flesh shall see that I the LORD have kindled it: it shall not be quenched. (KJV)
And all flesh shall see that I the Lord have kindled it . . . all the nations around or near to them, shall clearly see, and openly own it, as God’s own mighty work, both kindling this fire, and continuing it until it has consumed all which God would destroy by it.
It shall not be quenched . . . there would be no stopping that which was in the mighty Hands of GOD. No skill, talent or power of man could quench what was clearly the LORD'S doing.
Ezekiel 20:49 Then said I, Ah Lord GOD! they say of me, Doth he not speak parables? (KJV)
Doth he not speak parables . . . the interest of the people has been excited, but they say they are not able to understand the meaning of this story of the forest fire without an explanation. Doth he not speak parables?
There seems to be a touch of scorn in their question. Ezekiel proceeds immediately to explain his meaning by giving another vivid picture. This verse reminds me of the following: Isaiah 30:9-11 That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the LORD: 10 Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits: 11 Get you out of the way, turn aside out of the path, cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us. (KJV)
*****When the prophet had done as he was told, and prophesied, they should have paid attention to him. Ezekiel shall return with a complaint from the Lord GOD of their quarrelling, censuring, disobeying, ignoring and accusing Him. The people think the prophet had gone mad, out of his mind, or else was dreaming; so they fortify themselves with their atheism, infidelity, idolatry and all their other sins, and had NO fear of GOD’S Holy Word, but had nothing but contempt for Ezekiel.
The Jewish calendar has the following months:
1. Nissan 30 days March-April
2. Iyar 29 days April-May
3. Sivan 30 days May-June
4. Tammuz 30 days June-July
5. Av 30 days July-August
6. Elul 29 days August-September
7. Tishri 30 Days September-October
8. Cheshvan 29 or 30 days . . . . . October-November
9. Kishlev 30 0r 29 days November-December
10. Tevet 29 days December-January
11. Shevat 30 Days January-February
12. Adar I (leap years only) 30 days February-March
13. Adar (leap years only) 29 days February-March
Miracles in the Old Testament
Jesus confirmed all of the miracles mentioned in the Old Testament (Luke 11:49-51).
List of Miracles in the Old Testament
Aaron's Rod Is Turned into a Serpent (Exodus 7:10-12)
The 10 Plagues
(1). Water Is Turned into Blood (Exodus 7:20-25)
(2). Frogs (Exodus 8:5-14)
(3) Lice (Exodus 8:16-18)
(4). Flies (Exodus 8:20-24)
(5). Murrain, disease (Exodus 9:3-6)
(6). Boils (Exodus 9:8-11)
(7). Thunder and Hail (Exodus 9:22-26)
(8). Locusts (Exodus 10:12-19)
(9). Darkness (Exodus 10:21-23)
(10). The Firstborn Are Slain (Exodus 12:29-30)
The Parting of the Red Sea (Exodus 14:6, 21-31)
Healing the Bitter Waters of Marah (Exodus 15:23-25)
The Manna from Heaven (Exodus 16:14-35)
Water from the Rock at Rephidim (Exodus 17:5-7)
The Death of Nadab and Abihu (Leviticus 10:1-2)
The Burning of the Congregation at Taberah (Numbers 11:1-3)
The Deaths of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram (Numbers 16:31-35)
Aaron's Rod That Budded at Kadesh (Numbers 17:8)
Water from the Rock at Meribah (Numbers 20:7-11)
Lifting up The Brazen Serpent (Numbers 21:8, 9)
The Parting of the Jordan River (Joshua 3:14-17)
The Land of Canaan - Joshua
The Fall of Jericho (Joshua 6:6-25)
The Sun and the Moon Standing Still (Joshua 10:12-14)
The Land of the Philistines
Dagon Fell and Philistines were Cursed (1 Samuel 5:4-6)
The Land of Israel - the Kings
The Death of Uzzah for Touching the Ark (2 Samuel 6:7)
The Withering Of Jeroboam's Hand (1 Kings 13:4)
The Destruction of the Altar at Bethel (1 Kings 13:5-6)
Uzziah is Smitten with Leprosy (2 Chronicles 26:16-21)
The Land of Israel - Elijah
Replenishing the Oil and Meal at Zarephath (1 Kings 17:14-16)
Raising the Widow's Son at Zarephath (1 Kings 17:17-24)
The Sacrifice and Prophets of Baal on Mt. Carmel (1 Kings 18:30-38)
The Burning of the Captains and their Host (2 Kings 1:10-12)
The Parting of the Jordan River (2 Kings 2:7, 8)
The Land of Israel - Elisha
The Parting of the Jordan River (2 Kings 2:14)
The Healing of the Waters of Jericho (2 Kings 2:21, 22)
The Destruction of the Mocking Children at Bethel (2 Kings 2:24)
Water Is Supplied to the Armies in Moab (2 Kings 3:16-20)
The Multiplication of the Widows Oil (2 Kings 4:2-7)
The Raising of the Shunammite's Son (2 Kings 4:32-37)
Curing the Deadly Pottage (2 Kings 4:38-41)
The Feeding of the 100 with 20 Loaves (2 Kings 4:42-44)
Naaman the Syrian General is Cured of Leprosy (2 Kings 5:10-14)
Naaman's Leprosy Clings to Gehazi (2 Kings 5:20-27)
The Iron Axe Did Float (2 Kings 6:5-7)
The Syrian Army Was Smitten (2 Kings 6:18-20)
The Dead Man Was Raised by Touching Elisha's Bones (2 Kings 13:21)
The Mediterranean Sea - Jonah
Jonah is Released from the Great Fish (Jonah 2:1-10)
The Land of Israel - Isaiah
Destruction of Sennacherib's Army (2 Kings 19:35)
The Sun Dial Returned 10 Degrees (2 Kings 20:9-11)
Babylon During the Captivity of Judah
3 Jews in the Fiery Furnace (Daniel 3:19-27)
Daniel is Delivered from the Den of Lions (Daniel 6:16-23)
The Writing on the Wall (Daniel 5:22-31)
I gave them My Sabbaths (Eze.20:12)
The Sabbaths are a GIFT given by a Superior Giver.
(1). The Sabbath brings relief and serenity. The one day out of seven, they should consider and be aware of GOD in His Heaven.
(2). The Sabbath brings holy exercises and enjoyments, found nowhere else. It is a peaceful, serene time, but not an idle time. Hearts should be lifted up in praise to our Saviour and LORD. It should be a time filled with gratitude, praise, prayer and thanksgiving. It should be filled with respect and reverence and motivated by the Divine Truth of God. It should be used in serving the LORD, which should bring us great joy.
(3). The Sabbath brings us into the fellowship of the holy ones. No one can work and fight alone. The Sabbath helps lift us up when we stumble, and helps get us back on our feet. We are never more sure of their fellowship than when we are in the house of God in company with them.
(4). The Sabbath is a special time which brings us closer to the love of the Father, and the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the communion of the Holy Ghost. It is here we listen again to the Gospel, it is here we are feel the ever-Presence of the King. It is here we feed on the Bread of God (Jn. 6:35, 41, 51). John 6:33 For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world. (KJV)
THE SPIRITUAL WILDERNESS
Many dreadful threats and delightful Promises are scattered all through the Holy Word of God. The Bible seems to be a mixture of threats and Promises that are blended together, to bring on a holy fear of God (respect and reverence) and a humble need and trust in Him.
GOD will often bring us into a wilderness of the people.
(1). GOD often brings His people into the wilderness gradually, little and little. The terror and danger of the wilderness are concealed; small belief grows stronger; faint rumblings precede loud claps of thunder; at times the clouds seem to break and promise fair weather . . . but then they grow thicker, and bring a seemingly difficult side to us.
(2). The LORD brings them into the wilderness with a high hand and an outstretched arm, as He did the children of Israel of old. But, no matter how gently He may act, He always acts with great power, and His greatest mercy is joined with an awesome energy. If we fret and become impatient, unruly and unmanageable, it is He who shall take the work in hand, and will not leave it unfinished. If we stifle our beliefs, GOD will revive them; if we lull our conscience to sleep, He will awaken it again.
(3). IF and when, GOD brings His people into the wilderness, He has a plan to bring us out of it again (Isa.57:15-18; Lam. 3:31-33; Hos.6:1-3).
GOD will plead with you face to face.
What would He plead with them about? Maybe the sins they had committed, and the calamities they brought on themselves. He will also plead the fairness of His proceedings, and their absurd conduct. He also pleads with them on the vain attempts to help themselves, and the need to look for another place of relief (Jer. 3:17; 46:11).
(1). GOD pleads powerfully. How forcible are right words (Job.6:25). And forcible are the words of God, for they are Truth, plain, pure and direct, and carry with them an irresistible energy.
(2). GOD pleads persuasively. GOD shall overcome when He judges. When GOD is the Opponent, NO man can defend himself!
(3). GOD pleads tenderly and with love. His appeals are made to those who have an understanding heart, and an innocent mind shall feel their force (Isa.1:18; Mic.6:3).
Bible prophecy is being fulfilled before our very eyes. Many of these prophecies are to the Jewish people and their nation. Below is a summary of prophecies concerning the Jews that are presently being fulfilled and those that are yet to be fulfilled.
Prophecies Currently Being Fulfilled
<><><>(1). The Jewish people will be regathered from the four corners of the earth (Isa.11:11-12). Fulfillment: 20th Century and continuing.
<><><>(2). The state of Israel will be re-established (Isa.66:7-8; Eze.37:21-22). Fulfilled: May 14, 1948.
<><><>(3). The Jews will once again re-occupy the city of Jerusalem (Zec.8:4-8). Fulfilled: June 7, 1967.
<><><>(4.). The land of Israel will be reclaimed from its desolation, once again to become a land of agricultural abundance (Eze.36:34-35). Fulfillment: 20th Century and continuing.
<><><>(5). The Hebrew language will be revived from the dead (Zep.3:9). Fulfillment: 19th & 20th Centuries.
<><><>(6). All the nations of the world will come together against Israel over the issue of the control of Jerusalem (Zec.12:1-3). Fulfillment: Happening now!
Scriptures for Above
Isaiah 11:11-12 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea.
12 And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth. (KJV)
Isaiah 66:7-8 Before she travailed, she brought forth; before her pain came, she was delivered of a man child. 8 Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children. (KJV)
Ezekiel 37:21-22 And say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land: 22 And I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all: (KJV)
Zechariah 8:4-8 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; There shall yet old men and old women dwell in the streets of Jerusalem, and every man with his staff in his hand for very age. 5 And the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in the streets thereof. 6 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; If it be marvellous in the eyes of the remnant of this people in these days, should it also be marvellous in mine eyes? saith the LORD of hosts.
7 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Behold, I will save my people from the east country, and from the west country; 8 And I will bring them, and they shall dwell in the midst of Jerusalem: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God, in truth and in righteousness. (KJV)
Ezekiel 36:34-35 And the desolate land shall be tilled, whereas it lay desolate in the sight of all that passed by. 35 And they shall say, This land that was desolate is become like the garden of Eden; and the waste and desolate and ruined cities are become fenced, and are inhabited. (KJV)
Zephaniah 3:9 For then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the LORD, to serve him with one consent. (KJV)
Zechariah 12:1-3 The burden of the word of the LORD for Israel, saith the LORD, which stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man within him. 2 Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem. 3 And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it. (KJV)
Prophecies NOT Yet Fulfilled
<><><>(1). The Arab nations of the world will attack Israel in a coordinated effort to annihilate them (Ps.83).
<><><>(2). Israel will soundly defeat the Arab alliance (Zec.12:6).
<><><>(3). Israel will dwell in security and prosperity (Eze.38:11).
<><><>(4). A Russian coalition consisting mainly of Muslim nations will invade Israel (Eze.38:1-17).
<><><>(5).The Russian coalition will be destroyed supernaturally by GOD (Eze.38:18-23; 39:1-8).
<><><>(6). The Antichrist will intervene and guarantee the security of Israel, enabling the Jews to rebuild their Temple (Dan.9:27).
<><><>(7). At the end of three and a half years, the Antichrist will enter the rebuilt Temple in Jerusalem and declare himself to be GOD (Dan.9:27; Mat.24:15-18; 2 Thes.2:3-4).
<><><>(8). The Jews will reject the Antichrist, and he will respond with an attempt to annihilate them, killing two-thirds of them in the process (Rev.12:13-17; Zec.13:8-9)..
<><><>(9). At the end of the Tribulation, when the Jews have come to the end of themselves, they will turn to GOD and receive Christ Jesus as their Messiah (Zec.12:10; Rom.9:27-28; 11:25-27).
<><><>(10). Jesus will return and regather all believing Jews to Israel (Deut.30:1-9).
<><><>(11). Israel will be established as the prime nation in the world (Isa.2:1-4; Mic.4:1-7).
<><><>(12). The LORD will bless the Jewish remnant by fulfilling all the Promises He has made to Israel (Isa.60:1-62:7).
<><><>(13). The blessings of God will flow out to all the nations through the Jewish people during the Millennial reign of Christ Jesus (Zec.8:22-23).
Prophecies Concerning the Church
All TRUE Christians should find the fulfillment of these prophecies extremely encouraging because the Lord GOD has also made a lot of Promises through Bible prophecy to the Church. Since GOD cannot lie (Tit.1:2), we can believe that He shall fulfill EVERY Promise He has made to the Jews, we can be assured that He will fulfill EVERY Promise He has made to the Church through His Prophetic Word.
He has promised that one day, very soon, His Son will appear in the Heavens. There will be the shout of an archangel and the blowing of a trumpet, and all the dead in Christ will be resurrected to meet Him in the sky (1 Thes.4:13-17).
And those of us who are alive at that time will also be taken up, not to experience physical death, like Enoch and Elijah (Gen.5:18-24; 2 Ki.2:11).
At this time we shall receive glorified, perfected bodies (Phil.3:20-21). We will go to Heaven with the LORD to await the end of the Tribulation (Jn.14:1-4). It seems while we are in Heaven, we will be judged at the Judgment Seat of Christ. . . . . . . http://hisservants.org/judgment_seat_h_s.htm At this Judgment, we shall receive our degrees of rewards, OR lose rewards we could have had (1 Cor.3:10-15). And we will celebrate our union with the LORD at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb (Rev.19:7-9).
We will then return with the LORD to this Earth (Rev.19:14), and we will reign with Him for a thousand years (Rev.20:1-6). During that glorious reign of Jesus, we will see the Earth overflowing with peace, righteousness and justice (Isa.11:1-9).
At the end of the Millennium, we will be removed from this Earth to the New Jerusalem the LORD has been preparing for us, and from that vantage point, we will witness the greatest fireworks display in history as God envelops this earth in fire, burning away the pollution of Satan’s last revolt (2 Pet.3:10-13). Out of that fiery inferno will come new heavens and a new earth where we will live forever in the New Jerusalem in the awesome Presence of Almighty GOD and His only begotten Son (Rev.21:1-7). Revelation 22:20 He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. (KJV)
Maranatha means the LORD is coming or come, O LORD.
Maranatha! Come quickly, LORD Jesus!
Book of Ezekiel
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