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Book of Ezekiel
Chapter 6 continues on with the same subject as Chapter 5.
The former prophecies concerned the city of Jerusalem and the inhabitants of Judaea, while these are addressed to the whole land and people of Israel, which is to be included in a similar judgment. The reason of GOD’S judgment is idolatry, and it all rests on Deuteronomy Chapter 12. The prophecy is against the mountains of Israel, because the mountains and valleys were the seats (places) of idol-worship. It is also the declaration of the final judgment of Israel, and is also the picture of the future judgment of the world.
Theme: Sword to fall upon Jerusalem; remnant to be saved.
The Book of Ezekiel is a very orderly book, and up to now, we have had prophecies which mainly concerned Jerusalem. But now, Ezekiel will turn his attention to the whole land of Israel . . . judgment shall come upon the entire land.
Ezekiel was with the second group of people who were taken captive by Nebuchadnezzar. They were slaves of the government of Babylon working in the farming area by the river Chebar, the great canal which runs off the Euphrates River. At this time, most of the people were still back in the land, and Jerusalem had not yet been destroyed. The ever-present false prophets still continued to promise the people that everything was going to be OK and that they would be able to return soon, while Jeremiah was saying that the captivity would last 70 years . . . but they paid no attention to him. The people listened to the false prophets because their message sounded better and was very optimistic. Times have NOT changed! Isaiah 30:10 Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits: (KJV) http://www.GODcannotlie.org/book_of_isaiah_ch.30.htm
False teachers abound today, and the people eat up their damnable heresies! 2 Peter 2:1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. (KJV) BEWARE . . . of false prophets, false pastors and false teachers! They will lead you where you do NOT want to go . . . the lake of fire!
Revelation 19:20 And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. (KJV)
Revelation 20:10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. (KJV)
Revelation 20:14 -15 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. (KJV)
BEWARE of false preachers and false teachers!
Sword to Fall Upon Jerusalem (6:1-5)
Ezekiel 6:1 And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, (KJV)
And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying . . . meaning, the Word of prophecy from the LORD, as the Targum: this, according to one it was delivered by the prophet on a Sabbath day, the twenty first of the fifth month, and in the sixth year of King Jehoiachin's captivity; and so was more than a year after the vision at Chebar (1:1-2), possibly it came as soon as the 390 days were ended (4:5, 9).
***** This verse opens the first of the two messages; the second message in chapter 7 begins the same way: Moreover the word of the Lord came unto me, saying (7:1). The people refused to accept what Ezekiel said, but Ezekiel told them, "I am telling you what GOD told me to say."
GOD sent this judgment upon them so that they would know that He was indeed the LORD GOD. One of the main purposes of judgment is that people might KNOW that GOD is a HOLY GOD. Today’s wicked world does NOT know, nor does it want to know this FACT!
Today’s smooth talking preachers place much emphasis upon the fact that GOD is love . . . and this is absolutely true . . . BUT . . . that is just half the story! People need also to be told that GOD is Holy and so pure that He CANNOT look on any sin, and that GOD will absolutely punish sin. IF you disobey GOD, IF you deny Him and IF you do not accept His Way of salvation, there is only one alternative left . . . JUDGMENT . . . and you will NOT like it. People today try to make excuses because they do not want to admit that they are sinners . . . BUT . . . GOD says that they ARE sinners! Every last one of us are sinners!
Psalm 53:1-3 The fool hath said in his heart, There is no GOD. Corrupt are they, and have done abominable iniquity: there is none that doeth good. 2 GOD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, that did seek GOD. 3 Every one of them is gone back: they are altogether become filthy; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. (KJV)
Ecc. 7:20 For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not. (KJV)
Romans 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: (KJV)
Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of GOD; (KJV)
People think that they can just forget about GOD and that He will go away! They try to write Him off and blow Him out of their thoughts and His Universe by saying He does not exist. How very sad! The Jews in Ezekiel’s time had turned their backs upon GOD and denied Him. They had been given a very unique privilege of being GOD’S chosen people (Deut.7:6; 14:2), and that privilege created a responsibility which they did NOT measure up to.
Ezekiel is telling the people that it is GOD who is sending this judgment, so that He might prove to them that He is a Holy GOD and that His judgment is a terrible thing. Because Ezekiel was made FULLY aware of GOD’S Holiness at the beginning of his ministry, he devoted his life to the ministry of warning and persuading men (2 Cor.5:11).
Ezekiel 6:2 Son of man, set thy face toward the mountains of Israel, and prophesy against them, (KJV)
Son of man, set thy face towards the mountains of Israel . . . . meaning Palestine in general or the cities of Israel and inhabitants of them; not the ten tribes, for they had been carried captive long before this time, in the time of Hezekiah. This is a new prophecy, and was most probably given after the 430 days of Ezekiel’s lying on his left and right side were accomplished (4:5-6). Israel here means Judea, not the ten tribes, who had long before been carried into captivity. The mountains of Israel are specified as being the scene of Jewish idolatries on the high places (Eze. 6:3; Lev.26:30).
Prophesy against them . . . the prophet was to declare GOD’S judgments against the rebellious people; meaning that the sword would be upon them, and the high places built upon the mountains would be destroyed. Some think that this prophecy is directed to the mountains, and Ezekiel spoke to them as if they were capable of hearing.
*****The prophecy is directed to the mountains of Israel. The prophet must set his face towards them. If he could see that far away as the land of Israel, the mountains of that land would be the first to be seen. It is toward these mountains that Ezekiel must look, and look boldly and steadfastly, as a judge looks at the prisoner, and directs his speech to him when he passes sentence on him. Although the mountains of Israel are high and strong, the prophet must set his face against them, as having judgments to condemn that would shake their very foundation. The mountains of Israel had been Holy Mountains, but now that the people had polluted them with their high places; GOD had set His Face against them and as a result the prophet must do the same. Israel is here put, not as sometimes, for the ten tribes, but for the entire land. The mountains are called upon to hear the Word of the LORD, and to shame the inhabitants that would not hear. God's prophets might just as easy get the attention of the mountains as from that disobedient and rebellious people, to whom they stretched out their hands in vain, all day long.
Ezekiel 6:3 And say, Ye mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord GOD; Thus saith the Lord GOD to the mountains, and to the hills, to the rivers, and to the valleys; Behold, I, even I, will bring a sword upon you, and I will destroy your high places. (KJV)
And say, ye mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord GOD . . . since the Jews would not hear the Word of the LORD, the mountains are called upon to hear it; some think that the inhabitants of the mountains are meant.
Thus saith the Lord GOD to the mountains and to the hills, to the rivers and to the valleys . . . the mountains are addressed, because idols were worshipped there; as were the hills, by rivers and also in valleys, as in the valley of Hinnom (2 Chron.28:3; 33:6; Jer.7:31-32). Idols were worshipped upon mountains and hills, because they thought themselves nearer to heaven; by rivers, because of purity; and in valleys, because they were shady and obscure, and seemed solemn and revered. Rivers . . . to those who dwell by river sides, or to those who considered rivers to be among their gods.
Behold I, even I, will bring a sword upon you . . . meaning the idolaters which worshipped in these places; the Targum says, them that kill with the sword; meaning the Chaldeans, who no doubt are intended.
And I will destroy your high places . . . the idol temples and idol altars built on high places, were devoted to idolatrous worship.
**** What is threatened in this prophecy is the complete destruction of the idols and the idolaters, and both by the sword of war. GOD Himself is Commander of this expedition against the mountains of Israel. He says: Behold, I, even I, will bring a sword upon you; the sword of the Chaldeans is at GOD’S beck and call, goes where GOD sends it, and does exactly what He commands! In the miseries of that war, all the idols and all their accessories would be destroyed. The high places, which were on the tops of mountains, would be levelled and made desolate (verse 6); they shall not be beautified, nor be visited as they had been before. The altars, on which they offered sacrifice and burnt incense to strange gods, shall be broken to pieces and laid waste; the images and idols shall be disfigured, broken and cease to be, and all the fine costly works about them shall be eliminated (verses 4, 6).
Ezekiel 6:4 And your altars shall be desolate, and your images shall be broken: and I will cast down your slain men before your idols. (KJV)
And your altars shall be desolate . . . GOD’S altar was only at Jerusalem, these altars were the Jews' idol altars. They being pulled down; or because the priests and worshippers would now be slain, so there would be none to attend them.
And your images shall be broken . . . images, some say sun images, the word for images has its origin from heat; to whose worship they were devoted, the images shall be broken.
And I will cast down your slain men before your idols . . . those stupid objects of their trust in the day of evil would witness their ruin. The Targum renders it, before the carcass of your idols; where they committed idolatry, there they would be slain; which points to the cause of their punishment. I will cast down . . . GOD’S Hand shall guide the pursuing enemy, who shall slay the men before the altars of those idols they formerly worshipped, and to whom, as senseless as the idols, they flee for refuge, maybe as Sennacherib did (Isa.37:38).
*****This is a prophecy of GOD’S total destruction of the system of worship into which apostate Israel had fallen. Their images were pillars or towers connected with the worship of Baal, the sun GOD, and they were found standing near his altars. Some scholars have identified these pillars as phallic symbols, which represent male reproductive powers.
These high places were connected with Canaanite fertility rites, a wild, riotous, corrupt, orgy worship with which drunkenness and cultic prostitution went with it. Associated with such high places were idols, sacred stones, pillars, sacred trees, etc., etc.
The presence of the dead bodies and bones scattered around the altars and idols of the high places had two purposes: (1) It defiled the idols with corpses; and (2) it showed the helplessness of idols.
Ezekiel 6:5 And I will lay the dead carcases of the children of Israel before their idols; and I will scatter your bones round about your altars. (KJV)
And I will lay the dead carcasses of the children of Israel before their idols . . . this is repeated to confirm it. Carcasses either of those newly slain, or those that the Chaldeans dug out of their graves, in spite, contempt, or covetousness, hoping to find some costly ornaments buried with them (Lev.26:30). Lay before their idols . . . expose to open shame.
And I will scatter your bones round about your altars . . . bones were considered a pollution to the Jews (2 Ki.23:14). I will scatter your bones, as unworthy to be laid up in earth, who had so highly provoked the GOD of Heaven; they are made dung who served dunghill gods (idols).
*****Dear one, you CANNOT mess around with Almighty GOD . . . because GOD’S Holy wrath will bring judgment down on you hard. America struggles to bring peace to the world; but, instead of solving our problems, troubles just continue to stack up. WHY? Because GOD does NOT like what He sees! BEWARE!!! Do NOT compromise with the world . . . just because the majority are in agreement on abortion and homosexuality, does NOT make it right! If it does NOT agree with the Holy Word of GOD, do NOT do it! Just because everyone is doing it, does NOT mean it is right in GOD’S Eyes! Millions live together without being married; millions have NO objection to abortion because they agree that a woman has the right to do what she pleases with her body; homosexuality has sky-rocketed, and a large part of the people think it is OK, including many churches who ordain homosexual preachers; ungodly same sex marriage has become commonplace; mind-altering drugs shall soon become law because there are so many wealthy high-ups in government that are addicted; alcohol consumption is rampant, starting at a very young age because kids see it in abundance in their homes.
I wonder if people think the Almighty Creator GOD is an absent-minded old man Who does not know what He is doing? He is no such thing! GOD is a Holy GOD. In chapter 1, Ezekiel saw a vision of a MOST HOLY GOD . . . those wheels within wheels portray the energy of GOD as He moves onward to complete His purposes, and the fire and whirlwind show that the LORD GOD really does move in judgment upon this Earth in which we live.
To understand GOD in this way, is NOT what most people today want to hear . . . BUT it is the TRUTH! Whether you like it or not, we are dealing with a HOLY GOD, a VERY HOLY GOD . . . and He is NEVER, ever wrong; we are the ones who are wrong. Israel was not willing to admit their wrong, and a horrible judgment followed. May we learn a lesson from this! Are you willing to admit when you are wrong? I certainly am.
Ezekiel 6:6 In all your dwellingplaces the cities shall be laid waste, and the high places shall be desolate; that your altars may be laid waste and made desolate, and your idols may be broken and cease, and your images may be cut down, and your works may be abolished. (KJV)
In all your dwelling places your cities shall be laid waste . . . which means that the desolation would be over-all, because the idolatry was so widespread that it was wherever they had cities and places to dwell in (Jer.2:28).
And the high places shall be desolate . . . meaning these high places (worship sites) that were in the cities; such as were built upon mountains and hills (2 Ki.23:5).
That your altars may be laid waste and desolate . . . as they would be, because the cities will be utterly destroyed where these satanic altars were set up.
And your idols may be broken and cease, and your images may be cut down . . . the same words are found in verse 4 . . . the idols of the wealthy were made of gold and silver (Isa.2:30; 31:7), the idols of the poor were made of wood and stone (Isa.37:19);
And your works may be abolished . . . literally, blotted out. These heathen high places, altars, obelisks (pillars, towers), and idols are all described as the works of their own hands (Isa.2:8; 44:17; Hosea 8:6). The worship in which they had great pride would be their ruin. The utter destruction shall be much more thorough than in any previous reformation (2 Ki.23:27).
*****Ezekiel means that GOD would take vengeance on the superstitions of the ten tribes in all places. It is quite clear that NO place was free from corruption, for they had defiled every fit place to live. No matter where they lived, they had erected their altars and strange worship . . . as another prophet reproves them; according to the number of your cities were your gods (Jer.2:28; 11:13; 19:5; 32:35). Jeremiah speaks to the Jews there, but the meaning is the same. What Ezekiel means is, that it was not just a single part of the country that was polluted with their false gods, but that their FILTH was spread throughout the whole land wherever any people lived. When the LORD GOD threatened destruction and desolation to the idolatrous cities, HE meant exactly that. The doom of false religion is: Certain, complete, visible, exposed, eternal, contemptuous. BEWARE!!!
Ezekiel 6:7 And the slain shall fall in the midst of you, and ye shall know that I am the LORD.
And the slain shall fall in the midst of you . . . when those are killed in your sight, you shall know something you would not consider before: (1) Idols are utter vanity and snares of the devil. (2) That GOD is Whom He said He was, and does indeed avenge the argument of His Covenant. Then they shall know GOD is the only LORD and GOD.
And ye shall know that I am the LORD . . . the only TRUE GOD, and Governor of the world. He and He alone is to be worshipped, feared and served . . . NOT idols . . . and you shall know Him as the all-powerful Punisher of sin.
The words, ye shall know that am the LORD, is found 25 times in Ezekiel, and outside Ezekiel it is found 4 times (Ex.6:7; 10:2; 16:12; 1 Ki.20:28). The sooner we know and admit this FACT, the better our life will be.
***** Here the Prophet adds a small clause to his former threats, that is, that GOD would so consume the whole people with slaughter, that they would be forced to acknowledge Him as the LORD GOD. Therefore, when the slain shall fall in the midst of thee, the enemy shall arise who shall cause slaughter everywhere throughout the land. As to the phrase, I am the LORD, it refers to the prophecy; for the Israelites did NOT openly deny GOD, but because they had no faith in the words of the prophet, GOD appears, confirms and establishes the authority of the prophetic teaching when He shows that an avenger was at hand if the prophet’s words (actually GOD’S Words) were despised, and as we know . . . it was despised.
Remnant to Be Saved (6:8-14)
Ezekiel 6:8 Yet will I leave a remnant, that ye may have some that shall escape the sword among the nations, when ye shall be scattered through the countries. (KJV)
Yet will I leave a remnant . . . not in Judea, but in Babylon and in the countries where they would be scattered. A very small easing of the extreme severity of their punishment; still their life shall be a wretched one, and linked with exile (5:2, 12; 12:16; 14:22; Jer.44:28).
That ye may have some that shall escape the sword among the nations . . . which was threatened to be drawn, and sent after them (5:2); but NOT all would perish, for some would escape; for this was not the time to make a full end of them.
When ye shall be scattered through the countries . . . meaning Egypt, Ammon, Moab and Assyria; for this regards their dispersion at the time of the Babylon captivity, and not their present dispersion.
It is the LORD that preserves a remnant, or the enemies’ rage would destroy all; and it is an act of deliberate and voluntary resolution, not by chance, but by choice. A remnant is just a meager few in comparison with the great multitudes that are cut off. And although He promised a handful would remain, yet it would be in a condition that they are but little more than escaped, a poor and small remnant left (Zep.3:12).
*****Yet here another Promise is added, further angering the already bitterness of such a sad and grief-stricken prophecy. Before GOD showed that He burns with anger against the land of Israel, so that He has determined to destroy it, because it was polluted everywhere. Nothing could therefore be hoped for, if Ezekiel had spoken accurately; therefore a Promise is added in moderation . . . I will leave a remnant, so that some of them may survive. GOD does not promise simple pardon, that he may leave the Israelites quiet and safe in the land, but He says that their safety would be in exile. So, we gather that they were so depraved that they were not able to obtain pardon, because GOD says that His patience was ridiculed by their scorn and hate. Even though GOD gives the Israelites a glimmer of hope of His favor, yet He also rebukes them that they would not obtain safety in any other way, except by a kind of death, that being exile. There were some among these people who remained faithful to GOD, but the vast majority of the nation turned away from GOD. This is SO true of the church today. Liberalism (tolerance, broad-mindedness, freethinking) has taken over the majority of the organized church. There are at present still a few (Mat.7:14), of GOD’S true children left today, but in my opinion, most of them are NOT obeying Jesus’ command! Matthew 28:19-20 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. (KJV)
Ezekiel 6:9 And they that escape of you shall remember me among the nations whither they shall be carried captives, because I am broken with their whorish heart, which hath departed from me, and with their eyes, which go a whoring after their idols: and they shall lothe themselves for the evils which they have committed in all their abominations. (KJV)
And they that escape of you shall remember me . . . remember His grace and mercy to them, and/or their fear of Him. They would remember GOD’S precepts which they violated, His mercies which they abused, His threats which they hated, His Promises which they had rejected, His prophets whom they persecuted and His judgments which had been performed on them . . . and they shall consider and return, and seek Him in their affliction.
Among the nations, whither they shall be carried captive . . . in their own land they forgot and sinned, in a strange land they shall remember and weep; so the remnant is made better by their afflictions. At liberty they were captives to their sin and idols; but when in captivity they shall shake off that bondage, and become GOD’S servants. There would begin their true repentance (Ps.22:27).
Because I am broken with their whorish heart, which hath departed from me . . . by committing spiritual adultery, which is idolatry. The LORD GOD’S heart was grieved by their idolatry, which was the reason of their being carried captive. Their wicked, adulterous hearts would still have forgotten GOD, IF He had not broken their hearts with His judgments.
And with their eyes, which go a whoring after their idols . . . they committed fornication with their heart and eyes in a spiritual sense (Mat.5:28), as wicked men do in a physical way (2 Pet. 2:14). With their eyes . . . Israel’s eyes were turned to idols, and delighted in them, expected help from them, and were ready to serve them. All this broke the LORD GOD’S Heart (their Husband Isa,54:5; Jer.3:14), they had provoked GOD’S love and patience.
And they shall loathe themselves for the evils which they have committed in all their abominations . . . abominable idolatry (1 Pet.4:3); when men remember GOD, against whom they have sinned, and consider how they had grieved Him; and when they are broken by it, they then hate their sins, and hate themselves for it . . . ONLY then can there be true repentance.
*****They shall loathe themselves for the evils which they have committed in all their abominations. This was one of the results of the judgment at that time . . . but we do NOT see this result in today’s world. This simply means that there shall be more judgment, and that judgment shall come during the Great Tribulation period. The people at that time will gnaw their tongues (Rev.16:10), because of the terrible judgment of GOD. You would think there would be a huge wave of repentance, but there is not. In Ezekiel's day there were those who loathed (hated) themselves for the sins and repented because they were still close to GOD. That is true of GOD’S TRUE people always. If you do not hate yourself when you serve the devil, then you are NOT one of GOD’S people (1 Jn.3:10).
Ezekiel 6:10 And they shall know that I am the LORD, and that I have not said in vain that I would do this evil unto them. (KJV)
And they shall know that I am the LORD . . . as in verse 7; they shall know by woeful experience. He that does not tremble when sinning shall be crushed to pieces. The LORD is the only One Whom they should worship and depend upon; He is the only One Whom they should claim in their hearts; He is the only One Whom they should fear, love and trust, and He is the only One Who is just and right in all His ways . . . both to threats and Promises. They shall know that I am the LORD . . . these words occurs again in 6: 7, 10, 13, 14; 12:15; 20:26; 30:8; 30:15, 32. Do YOU honestly know that He is the LORD?
And that I have not said in vain that I would do this evil unto them . . . the sinners gave Him just cause to pronounce all that evil, for He had told them that because of their evils, He would bring judgment down on them. What GOD promises, He delivers! They shall know that I am the LORD . . . they shall be convinced of it, and shall be ready to admit it, and that GOD did NOT say in vain that He would do this evil to them. They shall find that what He had said shall be made good, and to answer to a good purpose, and that it was NOT without just provocation that they were threatened and thus punished. One way or other the LORD GOD will make ALL sinners to know and admit that He is indeed the LORD . . . either by their repentance or by their utter devastation. That is a FACT!!!
*****And they shall know that I am the LORD . . . this is said four times in this chapter, and it is another result of judgment. We do not see this happening in today’s world. Instead of sinners recognizing the Hand of GOD, people today are saying that He is not even there. They say that IF He did exist, He would always be good to them and help them. These people have NO earthly idea WHAT the Holy Word of God states! If they would just open that Book and read, they would see that GOD hates sin, and since He is so pure and Holy, He cannot stand to look upon it! IF people continue on in their sin, He has no other option than to punish them. Dear one GOD is indeed a GOD of love (2 Chron.36:16; Ezra 5:12; Job 20:23; Ps.78:31; 1 Jn.4:8, 16); BUT . . . the wrath of GOD does exist (Jn.3:36; Rom.1:18; Eph.5:6; Col.3:6; Rev.14:10, 19; 15:1, 7; 16:1; 19:15).
GOD is judging sin. People rebel against this; because they do NOT want a GOD who judges and condemns them. There is a Holy GOD watching what you do, and dear one, He keeps records (Rev.20:12)! You shall stand before Him one day. Are you ready to do that?
Ezekiel 6:11 Thus saith the Lord GOD; Smite with thine hand, and stamp with thy foot, and say, Alas for all the evil abominations of the house of Israel! for they shall fall by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence. (KJV)
Thus saith the Lord God, smite with thine hand, and stamp with thy foot . . . these are gestures of people in distress and agony, who to show their trouble and grief, smite one hand against the other; or smite with the hand on the thigh (Jer.31:19); and stamp with the foot; beat the earth, all expresses anguish and sorrow.
And say, Alas, for all the evil abominations of the house of Israel . . . the word alas or woe is a cry or shout of mourning and expression of grief, and explains the above gestures; and what follows shows the cause of it all; meaning the sins and abominations committed by the rebellious house of Israel (2:3, 5-6, 8-9; 3:26-27; 12:2-3, 9, 25; 24:3; 44:6); which they were NOT concerned about. The prophet is ordered to take such a method to wake them out of their foolishness and laziness, since the most severe judgments were about to come upon them.
For they shall fall by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence . . . which are threatened in 5:12; and the persons on whom they would be separately executed are mentioned in 6:12. The prophecy returns again to its heavy tidings of woe. To clap the hands and stamp the feet, either singly (Num.24:10; Eze.21:14, 17; 22:13) or together (Eze.25:6), is a gesture of strong emotion or earnestness of purpose. The prophet is directed to use it as indicating GOD’S unchangeable determination united to a sense of grievous wrong.
*****The same threats we had before in Chapter 5, and in the first part of this one, are repeated, with a command to the prophet to lament them, so that those he prophesied to might be the more affected with the foresight of them.
Ezekiel must by his gestures in preaching express the deep feeling he had both of the iniquities and of the calamities of the house of Israel. Smite with thy hand and stamp with thy foot . . . he must make it appear that he was sincere in what he said to them, that he firmly believed it and laid it to heart. So he must show the just displeasure he had regarded at their sins, and the just dread he was under of the judgments coming upon them. Some would reject this because of these gestures, and call them ridiculous; but God bids him use them because they might help to apply and enforce the Word upon their receiving it.
Two things the prophet must thus lament: (1). National sins. All the evil abominations of the house of Israel. The sins of sinners are the sorrows of God's faithful servants, especially the evil abominations of the house of Israel, whose sins are more abominable and have more evil in them than the sins of others. (2). National judgments. To punish them for these abominations, they shall fall by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence. Dear one . . . It is OUR duty to be affected not only with our own sins and sufferings, but with the sins and sufferings of others; and to look with compassion upon the miseries that wicked people bring upon themselves, for we know what lies ahead if they do NOT repent (Rev.20:15); as Christ beheld Jerusalem and wept over it (Lk.19:31).
Ezekiel 6:12 He that is far off shall die of the pestilence; and he that is near shall fall by the sword; and he that remaineth and is besieged shall die by the famine: thus will I accomplish my fury upon them. (KJV)
He that is far off shall die of the pestilence . . . those that flee from the enemy into the wilderness or other countries, will think themselves safe, but the plague shall seize them, and they shall die of that; there is NO fleeing from GOD, and NO escaping His mighty Hand when He decides to punish sin, because He has many different ways to execute His wrath.
And he that is near shall fall by the sword . . . those outside the city, or near it, who try to get away shall be slain by Him.
And he that remaineth, and is besieged, shall die by the famine . . . those that stay in the city and do not try to go out; but continues in the siege, hoping the enemy will be forced to depart, shall perish by the terrible famine.
Thus will I accomplish my fury upon them . . . GOD’S fury had before been gradual, little by little, falling upon them, hoping to bring them to repentance; but they being irredeemable and hopeless, GOD’S wrath is now brought upon them to the maximum. GOD fulfils the whole counsel of His will in their destruction. He will satisfy His just displeasure, and give them the full measure of punishment.
Ezekiel 6:13 Then shall ye know that I am the LORD, when their slain men shall be among their idols round about their altars, upon every high hill, in all the tops of the mountains, and under every green tree, and under every thick oak, the place where they did offer sweet savour to all their idols. (KJV)
Then shall ye know that I am the LORD. . . (verses 3-7, 10, 13, 14), the LORD, Whom they had denied by serving other gods; but now by those punishments their eyes would be opened to see, and be forced to admit, that there was no GOD except the one and only LORD GOD!
When their slain men shall be among their idols round about their altars . . . as is threatened (verse 5), by which it will clearly show that the idols that they worshipped could NOT save them . . . since they would fall by their idols all around the altars on which they had sacrificed unto them.
Upon every high hill, in all the tops of the mountains . . . mountains and high hills were usual places of idolatry among the Heathens, going up to the highest parts of mountains, they offered sacrifice to Jupiter (Acts 14:12-13; 19:35); so they called the whole circle of the heavens.
And under every green tree, and under every thick oak . . . (1 Ki.14:23); here is where their slain were to fall, exactly where they committed their idolatry.
The place where they did offer sweet savour to all their idols. . . or dunghill gods; and even though there was such, sweet savor or incense that was offered to them; so in righteous judgment, their carcasses would lie and rot and stink around their beloved idols.
*****These rebellious people (2:3, 5-6, 8-9; 3:26-27) will know that Almighty GOD is indeed the LORD, when their dead bodied lie scattered all among their ungodly idols and altars on every hill and mountain and under every green tree and every big, dense shade tree . . . EVERY place where they offered sacrifices to their idols . . . NOT one place was omitted where ungodly worship was performed. Dead bodies would be scattered among EVERY place where they had burned sacrifices to their idols (Eze.16:17, 20-21; 20:26, 31; 23:37-39; 32:35; 2 Ki.23:10; 2 Chron. 28:3; Ps. 106:37; Isa.57:5; Jer.7:31; 19:4-7; 32:35). It seems that only then would they finally admit that Almighty GOD was indeed LORD!
For some people, it takes an awful lot for them to realize that there IS a GOD! There is a lesson here for those who are wise. It is sad indeed that so many people do not use the common sense that they were born with. Dear one, the LORD GOD gives everyone enough light to SEE Him!
Romans 1:18-25 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; 19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. 20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: 21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, 23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. 24 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) http://www.godcannotlie.org/book_of_romans_ch.1.htm
Ezekiel 6:14 So will I stretch out my hand upon them, and make the land desolate, yea, more desolate than the wilderness toward Diblath, in all their habitations: and they shall know that I am the LORD. (KJV)
So will I stretch out mine hand upon them . . . NOT in a way of mercy, but in the way of judgment. The Targum says, and I will lift up the stroke of my power upon them; meaning His mighty Hand of vengeance.
And make the land desolate . . . by destroying the inhabitants of it. Ezekiel stays with the same emotion, but feels it is necessary to continue with more words to confirm this prophecy, because it was rather difficult to believe, especially among men who thought they were so secure, and who had been hardened against God for such a long time. This is why the prophet uses so many words about something that in itself is by no means unclear. Now he speaks concerning the extension of God’s Hand, which is a familiar Scriptural form of speech; for it is said that God extends His Hand when He extends clear examples of His Holy wrath.
Yea, more desolate than the wilderness towards Diblath, in all their habitations . . . Diblath is another form of Diblathaim, a city in Moab, which is east and south of the Dead Sea, and was the wilderness of the Arabian Desert. Yea, more desolate . . . a much greater desolation, far above the misery of that most horrid wilderness of Moab, which is here called Diblah, mentioned in a dual form (Num.33:46; Jer.48:22) as some think; and described by Moses (Deut.8:15). It was there where the fiery serpents so greatly aggravated Israel (Num.21:6). So the meaning of this is, the LORD GOD will turn a most fruitful and beautiful land into utter barrenness because of the sins of the people.
And they shall know that I am the LORD . . . again, we see this awesome FACT. They shall know that I am the LORD . . . these same words occur in verses 6:7, 10, 13, 14; 12:15; 20:26; 30:8; 30:15, 32. There is only ONE TRUE GOD and that is the LORD GOD who NEVER changes His purposes or His will; and ALWAYS fulfils His Promises and threats, and when His Hand is extended, there is absolutely NO way to escape that mighty Hand.
Again, this is a tremendous lesson for sinners in today’s world!
*****Their whole country would ALL be laid waste, whereas before, there were just the cities (verse 6), for Almighty GOD would make the land desolate. That once most fruitful, pleasant and populated country, that had been as the garden of the LORD, and the glory of all lands, shall be desolate, more desolate than the worst wilderness where there were fiery serpents and scorpions. They shall know that I am the Lord . . . again these words . . . this is one of His tremendous and sure Promises in judgment. People shall indeed one day KNOW the LORD is GOD!
The knowledge of the LORD GOD . . . Ye shall know that I am the LORD.
Ye shall know that I am The LORD, may mean, you shall know that it is I who now speak, and that I am truly the LORD GOD, the GOD of Israel. There is no doubt that Ezekiel regarded The LORD GOD as being Deity (GOD), or that in his view the Name expressed all that is meant by the word GOD. The Name the LORD GOD is a proper name, meaning the GOD who is the GOD of Israel. The GOD of revelation is a living Person with a character and will all His own, and capable of being known by mankind. The LORD GOD is the most important Name ever, for it expresses the character, independence and uniqueness of this GREAT ONE Who is the Creator of this Universe and in complete control of it at all times!
Only when we begin to understand GOD’S Personal Identity with the GOD Who IS CHRIST JESUS, can have true knowledge of the LORD GOD!
So . . . the knowledge of the LORD GOD of which Ezekiel speaks is therefore a knowledge of the TRUE character of the GOD whom Israel professed to serve, and a knowledge of that which establishes true and vital divinity.
John 10:27-30 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: 28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. 29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. 30 I and my Father are one. (KJV) . . . The Jews in Ezekiel’s time worshipped this same GOD! We ALL have and serve the same awesome Triune GOD! . . . . . http://www.hisservants.org/books_our_awesome_triune_god.html
Book of Ezekiel
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