Christian Churches of God
Commentary on Chapters 17-20.
Commentary on Ezekiel Part 5
1The word of the LORD came to me: 2"Son of man, propound a riddle, and speak an allegory to the house of Israel; 3say, Thus says the Lord GOD: A great eagle with great wings and long pinions, rich in plumage of many colors, came to Lebanon and took the top of the cedar; 4he broke off the topmost of its young twigs and carried it to a land of trade, and set it in a city of merchants. 5Then he took of the seed of the land and planted it in fertile soil; he placed it beside abundant waters. He set it like a willow twig, 6and it sprouted and became a low spreading vine, and its branches turned toward him, and its roots remained where it stood. So it became a vine, and brought forth branches and put forth foliage. 7"But there was another great eagle with great wings and much plumage; and behold, this vine bent its roots toward him, and shot forth its branches toward him that he might water it. From the bed where it was planted 8he transplanted it to good soil by abundant waters, that it might bring forth branches, and bear fruit, and become a noble vine. 9Say, Thus says the Lord GOD: Will it thrive? Will he not pull up its roots and cut off its branches, so that all its fresh sprouting leaves wither? It will not take a strong arm or many people to pull it from its roots. 10Behold, when it is transplanted, will it thrive? Will it not utterly wither when the east wind strikes it--wither away on the bed where it grew?" 11Then the word of the LORD came to me: 12"Say now to the rebellious house, Do you not know what these things mean? Tell them, Behold, the king of Babylon came to Jerusalem, and took her king and her princes and brought them to him to Babylon. 13And he took one of the seed royal and made a covenant with him, putting him under oath. (The chief men of the land he had taken away, 14that the kingdom might be humble and not lift itself up, and that by keeping his covenant it might stand.) 15But he rebelled against him by sending ambassadors to Egypt, that they might give him horses and a large army. Will he succeed? Can a man escape who does such things? Can he break the covenant and yet escape? 16As I live, says the Lord GOD, surely in the place where the king dwells who made him king, whose oath he despised, and whose covenant with him he broke, in Babylon he shall die. 17Pharaoh with his mighty army and great company will not help him in war, when mounds are cast up and siege walls built to cut off many lives. 18Because he despised the oath and broke the covenant, because he gave his hand and yet did all these things, he shall not escape. 19Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: As I live, surely my oath which he despised, and my covenant which he broke, I will requite upon his head. 20I will spread my net over him, and he shall be taken in my snare, and I will bring him to Babylon and enter into judgment with him there for the treason he has committed against me. 21And all the pick of his troops shall fall by the sword, and the survivors shall be scattered to every wind; and you shall know that I, the LORD, have spoken." 22Thus says the Lord GOD: "I myself will take a sprig from the lofty top of the cedar, and will set it out; I will break off from the topmost of its young twigs a tender one, and I myself will plant it upon a high and lofty mountain; 23on the mountain height of Israel will I plant it, that it may bring forth boughs and bear fruit, and become a noble cedar; and under it will dwell all kinds of beasts; in the shade of its branches birds of every sort will nest. 24And all the trees of the field shall know that I the LORD bring low the high tree, and make high the low tree, dry up the green tree, and make the dry tree flourish. I the LORD have spoken, and I will do it."
Intent of Chapter 17
17:1-21 Allegory of the Eagles.
The Great Eagle - Nebuchadrezzar;
The top of the cedar - The house of David (Jer. 22:5-6, 23);
young twig - Jehoiachin;
land of trade – Babylonia;
city of merchants – Babylon;
seed of the land – Zedekiah;
another eagle – Psammetichus II (594-588 BCE), who engaged Zedekiah and other western states in anti-Babylonian intrigue (Jer. Ch. 27).
In 605 BCE, at the battle of Carchemish, the Babylonians defeated the Assyrians who were aided by the Egyptians. This began the prophecy of Pharaoh’s Broken Arms which went for two forty year periods of eighty years and ended with Cambyses’ occupation of Egypt in 525 BCE. Coupled with the prophecy in Daniel Chapter 4 (F027iv) we see that the prophecy comes to the beginning of the end in Seven Times, in 1916 CE at the Battles of the Western Front, with two periods of Forty years, i.e. at the Suez Crisis in 1956, and the Time of the Gentiles ends in 1996/7 CE, 2520 years or Seven times from Cambyses’ occupation of Egypt in 525 BCE. The prophecy is explained in the text The Fall of Egypt: The Prophecy of Pharaoh’s Broken Arms (No. 036) and The Fall of Egypt Part II: The Wars of the End (No. 036_2) (see also below).
v. 5 Planted it – Made him king.
v. 9 Zedekiah will not be able to resist the east wind (Nebuchadrezzar) though the seige lasted nineteen months (Jer. Ch. 52).
v. 17 It is because of Egyptian meddling in this matter that God says Pharaoh with his mighty army will not be able to help (Jer. 37:3-11).
God required Zedekiah to honour his oath of fealty to Nebuchadnezzar and both Jeremiah and Ezekiel express this view, as his reactions being against God’s express design (Jer. 27:6-7).
Modern scholars seem to think that the word Pharaoh has been added through editorial revision or scribal error (see OARSV n). They do not understand that God has used Ezekiel to issue the prophecy regarding Pharaoh’s Broken Arms (beginning above) and its importance to the Wars of the End in the 20th and 21st Centuries. That is also why Nebuchadrezzar in these prophecies acts as God’s anointed (read: Nebuchadnezzar).
17:22-24 Allegory of the Cedar - A Messianic allegory. See also 31:1-9. For Messiah as the Branch compare Jer. 23:5-6; Zech. 3:8;
The lofty mountain - Mount Zion (Mic. 4:1).
1The word of the LORD came to me again: 2"What do you mean by repeating this proverb concerning the land of Israel, 'The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge'? 3As I live, says the Lord GOD, this proverb shall no more be used by you in Israel. 4Behold, all souls are mine; the soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sins shall die. 5"If a man is righteous and does what is lawful and right-- 6if he does not eat upon the mountains or lift up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, does not defile his neighbor's wife or approach a woman in her time of impurity, 7does not oppress any one, but restores to the debtor his pledge, commits no robbery, gives his bread to the hungry and covers the naked with a garment, 8does not lend at interest or take any increase, withholds his hand from iniquity, executes true justice between man and man, 9walks in my statutes, and is careful to observe my ordinances--he is righteous, he shall surely live, says the Lord GOD. 10"If he begets a son who is a robber, a shedder of blood, 11who does none of these duties, but eats upon the mountains, defiles his neighbor's wife, 12oppresses the poor and needy, commits robbery, does not restore the pledge, lifts up his eyes to the idols, commits abomination, 13lends at interest, and takes increase; shall he then live? He shall not live. He has done all these abominable things; he shall surely die; his blood shall be upon himself. 14"But if this man begets a son who sees all the sins which his father has done, and fears, and does not do likewise, 15who does not eat upon the mountains or lift up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, does not defile his neighbor's wife, 16does not wrong any one, exacts no pledge, commits no robbery, but gives his bread to the hungry and covers the naked with a garment, 17withholds his hand from iniquity, takes no interest or increase, observes my ordinances, and walks in my statutes; he shall not die for his father's iniquity; he shall surely live. 18As for his father, because he practiced extortion, robbed his brother, and did what is not good among his people, behold, he shall die for his iniquity. 19"Yet you say, 'Why should not the son suffer for the iniquity of the father?' When the son has done what is lawful and right, and has been careful to observe all my statutes, he shall surely live. 20The soul that sins shall die. The son shall not suffer for the iniquity of the father, nor the father suffer for the iniquity of the son; the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself. 21"But if a wicked man turns away from all his sins which he has committed and keeps all my statutes and does what is lawful and right, he shall surely live; he shall not die. 22None of the transgressions which he has committed shall be remembered against him; for the righteousness which he has done he shall live. 23Have I any pleasure in the death of the wicked, says the Lord GOD, and not rather that he should turn from his way and live? 24But when a righteous man turns away from his righteousness and commits iniquity and does the same abominable things that the wicked man does, shall he live? None of the righteous deeds which he has done shall be remembered; for the treachery of which he is guilty and the sin he has committed, he shall die. 25"Yet you say, 'The way of the Lord is not just.' Hear now, O house of Israel: Is my way not just? Is it not your ways that are not just? 26When a righteous man turns away from his righteousness and commits iniquity, he shall die for it; for the iniquity which he has committed he shall die. 27Again, when a wicked man turns away from the wickedness he has committed and does what is lawful and right, he shall save his life. 28Because he considered and turned away from all the transgressions which he had committed, he shall surely live, he shall not die. 29Yet the house of Israel says, 'The way of the Lord is not just.' O house of Israel, are my ways not just? Is it not your ways that are not just? 30"Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, says the Lord GOD. Repent and turn from all your transgressions, lest iniquity be your ruin. 31Cast away from you all the transgressions which you have committed against me, and get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! Why will you die, O house of Israel? 32For I have no pleasure in the death of any one, says the Lord GOD; so turn, and live."
Intent of Chapter 18
18:1-32 Individual responsibility
vv. 1-4 The common tendency to blame the fathers for the collective punishment of the nation is a failure to address the lesson being inflicted in Israel and Judah for their own sins, blaming it on their fathers (Jer. 31:27-30). This view was based on the covenant provision in Ex. 20:5, which was not why God was punishing them, and Ezekiel was used to dissuade them of such a view.
The discussion parallels the text in Ex. 20:5 re the three generations but here God says through Ezekiel that the soul that sins shall die.
18:5-9 The Generations: The First Generation eat upon the mountains – These are sacred meals in pagan high places (6:1-14). Here God is emphasising the place of the Law (L1) in the Covenant (No. 152). Modern Christianity simply cannot rationalise the direct relationships here in Ezekiel, hence terms such as “legalistic” are used.
If he is careful to observe my ordinances – he is righteous. The text is clear. Righteousness is linked directly to the keeping of the Law of God (L1). Messiah will enforce that law and covenant when he returns.
18:10-13 Second Generation – Shedder of blood, a muderer. A life opposite to that of his father is represented.
18:14-18 Third Generation. This generation sees the sins of the father and does not do likewise and does not sin in idolatry and breach of the law in sin and iniquity. Note among the major sins here is taking usury or increase which is the major sin of the modern generation and such will be stamped out at the return of the Messiah. This person shall not die for his father’s iniquity but will live. His father, because of his sin, will die for his iniquity.
18:19-20 The Summation: Neither the righteousness, nor the iniquities, are transferable to the next generation from the previous generation.
18:21-24 Within the life of the individual, the same principles of non-extension apply.
18:25-29 Objection to this principle of non extension is a misunderstanding, and misapplication of God’s Justice.
18:30-32 Because God is just, Israel’s only hope is to repent and renew their covenant with him (v. 23, 36:24-32; Lam. 3:33) (see also above).
1And you, take up a lamentation for the princes of Israel, 2and say: What a lioness was your mother among lions! She couched in the midst of young lions, rearing her whelps. 3And she brought up one of her whelps; he became a young lion, and he learned to catch prey; he devoured men. 4The nations sounded an alarm against him; he was taken in their pit; and they brought him with hooks to the land of Egypt. 5When she saw that she was baffled, that her hope was lost, she took another of her whelps and made him a young lion. 6He prowled among the lions; he became a young lion, and he learned to catch prey; he devoured men. 7And he ravaged their strongholds, and laid waste their cities; and the land was appalled and all who were in it at the sound of his roaring. 8Then the nations set against him snares on every side; they spread their net over him; he was taken in their pit. 9With hooks they put him in a cage, and brought him to the king of Babylon; they brought him into custody, that his voice should no more be heard upon the mountains of Israel. 10Your mother was like a vine in a vineyard transplanted by the water, fruitful and full of branches by reason of abundant water. 11Its strongest stem became a ruler's scepter; it towered aloft among the thick boughs; it was seen in its height with the mass of its branches. 12But the vine was plucked up in fury, cast down to the ground; the east wind dried it up; its fruit was stripped off, its strong stem was withered; the fire consumed it. 13Now it is transplanted in the wilderness, in a dry and thirsty land. 14And fire has gone out from its stem, has consumed its branches and fruit, so that there remains in it no strong stem, no scepter for a ruler. This is a lamentation, and has become a lamentation.
Intent of Chapter 19
19:1-14 Two Laments
vv. 1-9 The lioness here is Judah (see Gen. 49:9; the symbol of Judah (1Kgs. 10:18-20 and found on Israelite seals and also ch. 10 n. above). The first whelp is Jehoahaz, who was taken to Egypt (Jer. 22:10-12; 2Kgs. 23:30-34). The second whelp was Jehoiakin, who was exiled to Babylon (Jer. 22:24-30; 2Kgs. 24:8-16). The OARSV n. states that “each reigned only for three months and accomplished little, so the description should not be pressed.” However, the perfidy of both cost many lives and losses.
vv. 10-14 The vine is Judah (as part of the whole house of Israel) (Isa. 5:1-7; Jer 2:21) (see also No. 001C from #001B)). The strongest stem is Zedekiah (17:13) who was stripped by the east wind (Nebuchadrezzar as Nebuchadnezzar (above)). He was taken to Babylon (i.e. transplanted (Jer. 52:1-11) and blinded at Riblah).
1In the seventh year, in the fifth month, on the tenth day of the month, certain of the elders of Israel came to inquire of the LORD, and sat before me. 2And the word of the LORD came to me: 3"Son of man, speak to the elders of Israel, and say to them, Thus says the Lord GOD, Is it to inquire of me that you come? As I live, says the Lord GOD, I will not be inquired of by you. 4Will you judge them, son of man, will you judge them? Then let them know the abominations of their fathers, 5and say to them, Thus says the Lord GOD: On the day when I chose Israel, I swore to the seed of the house of Jacob, making myself known to them in the land of Egypt, I swore to them, saying, I am the LORD your God. 6On that day I swore to them that I would bring them out of the land of Egypt into a land that I had searched out for them, a land flowing with milk and honey, the most glorious of all lands. 7And I said to them, Cast away the detestable things your eyes feast on, every one of you, and do not defile yourselves with the idols of Egypt; I am the LORD your God. 8But they rebelled against me and would not listen to me; they did not every man cast away the detestable things their eyes feasted on, nor did they forsake the idols of Egypt. "Then I thought I would pour out my wrath upon them and spend my anger against them in the midst of the land of Egypt. 9But I acted for the sake of my name, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations among whom they dwelt, in whose sight I made myself known to them in bringing them out of the land of Egypt. 10So I led them out of the land of Egypt and brought them into the wilderness. 11I gave them my statutes and showed them my ordinances, by whose observance man shall live. 12Moreover I gave them my sabbaths, as a sign between me and them, that they might know that I the LORD sanctify them. 13But the house of Israel rebelled against me in the wilderness; they did not walk in my statutes but rejected my ordinances, by whose observance man shall live; and my sabbaths they greatly profaned. "Then I thought I would pour out my wrath upon them in the wilderness, to make a full end of them. 14But I acted for the sake of my name, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations, in whose sight I had brought them out. 15Moreover I swore to them in the wilderness that I would not bring them into the land which I had given them, a land flowing with milk and honey, the most glorious of all lands, 16because they rejected my ordinances and did not walk in my statutes, and profaned my sabbaths; for their heart went after their idols. 17Nevertheless my eye spared them, and I did not destroy them or make a full end of them in the wilderness. 18"And I said to their children in the wilderness, Do not walk in the statutes of your fathers, nor observe their ordinances, nor defile yourselves with their idols. 19I the LORD am your God; walk in my statutes, and be careful to observe my ordinances, 20and hallow my sabbaths that they may be a sign between me and you, that you may know that I the LORD am your God. 21But the children rebelled against me; they did not walk in my statutes, and were not careful to observe my ordinances, by whose observance man shall live; they profaned my sabbaths. "Then I thought I would pour out my wrath upon them and spend my anger against them in the wilderness. 22But I withheld my hand, and acted for the sake of my name, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations, in whose sight I had brought them out. 23Moreover I swore to them in the wilderness that I would scatter them among the nations and disperse them through the countries, 24because they had not executed my ordinances, but had rejected my statutes and profaned my sabbaths, and their eyes were set on their fathers' idols. 25Moreover I gave them statutes that were not good and ordinances by which they could not have life; 26and I defiled them through their very gifts in making them offer by fire all their first-born, that I might horrify them; I did it that they might know that I am the LORD. 27"Therefore, son of man, speak to the house of Israel and say to them, Thus says the Lord GOD: In this again your fathers blasphemed me, by dealing treacherously with me. 28For when I had brought them into the land which I swore to give them, then wherever they saw any high hill or any leafy tree, there they offered their sacrifices and presented the provocation of their offering; there they sent up their soothing odors, and there they poured out their drink offerings. 29(I said to them, What is the high place to which you go? So its name is called Bamah to this day.) 30Wherefore say to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord GOD: Will you defile yourselves after the manner of your fathers and go astray after their detestable things? 31When you offer your gifts and sacrifice your sons by fire, you defile yourselves with all your idols to this day. And shall I be inquired of by you, O house of Israel? As I live, says the Lord GOD, I will not be inquired of by you. 32"What is in your mind shall never happen--the thought, 'Let us be like the nations, like the tribes of the countries, and worship wood and stone.' 33"As I live, says the Lord GOD, surely with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, and with wrath poured out, I will be king over you. 34I will bring you out from the peoples and gather you out of the countries where you are scattered, with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, and with wrath poured out; 35and I will bring you into the wilderness of the peoples, and there I will enter into judgment with you face to face. 36As I entered into judgment with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so I will enter into judgment with you, says the Lord GOD. 37I will make you pass under the rod, and I will let you go in by number. 38I will purge out the rebels from among you, and those who transgress against me; I will bring them out of the land where they sojourn, but they shall not enter the land of Israel. Then you will know that I am the LORD. 39"As for you, O house of Israel, thus says the Lord GOD: Go serve every one of you his idols, now and hereafter, if you will not listen to me; but my holy name you shall no more profane with your gifts and your idols. 40"For on my holy mountain, the mountain height of Israel, says the Lord GOD, there all the house of Israel, all of them, shall serve me in the land; there I will accept them, and there I will require your contributions and the choicest of your gifts, with all your sacred offerings. 41As a pleasing odor I will accept you, when I bring you out from the peoples, and gather you out of the countries where you have been scattered; and I will manifest my holiness among you in the sight of the nations. 42And you shall know that I am the LORD, when I bring you into the land of Israel, the country which I swore to give to your fathers. 43And there you shall remember your ways and all the doings with which you have polluted yourselves; and you shall loathe yourselves for all the evils that you have committed. 44And you shall know that I am the LORD, when I deal with you for my name's sake, not according to your evil ways, nor according to your corrupt doings, O house of Israel, says the Lord GOD." 45And the word of the LORD came to me: 46"Son of man, set your face toward the south, preach against the south, and prophesy against the forest land in the Negeb; 47say to the forest of the Negeb, Hear the word of the LORD: Thus says the Lord GOD, Behold, I will kindle a fire in you, and it shall devour every green tree in you and every dry tree; the blazing flame shall not be quenched, and all faces from south to north shall be scorched by it. 48All flesh shall see that I the LORD have kindled it; it shall not be quenched." 49Then I said, "Ah Lord GOD! they are saying of me, 'Is he not a maker of allegories?'"
Intent of Chapter 20
20:1-44 The Fall and Rise of Israel
(compare Psalm 106 for the repetetive sins of Israel and its ongoing rehabilitation as seen in the prophecies from Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and all the other prophets from Daniel to Malachi and their application in the Last Days under Messiah (see the Sign of Jonah... (No. 013) and Completion of the Sign of Jonah (No. 013B)).
From Ezekiel 21:1-7 in Part VI we see that the sword of the Lord will go out of its sheath from the South to the North. It is the tidings that the son of man brought forth first against Jerusalem and then it was brought to the world in prophecy against all Israel. It shall fall in the last Days against all mankind. It is the commission of part of the Church in the Last Days to commence this message from the South and take it to the North over all the world. The elders shall be judged by it and all Israel will be punished according to it. The fields of the South in the Last days are Australia, New Zealand and South Africa and the Commonwealth countries assocated with them (see Fire From Heaven (No. 028)). This is what is associated with the Warning of the Last Days (No. 044) preparatory to Messiah (cf. Jer. 4:15-27; Jn. 1:19-28 (F043).
vv. 1-4 The setting is in the Tenth Day of the Fifth Month (Ab in July/August) of the Seventh Year of Jehoiakin’s Captivity and the Thirty Second Year of the Calendar, which is in 592 BCE (as per the Note to ch. 1 in Part I re the Fifth Year of Jehoiakin’s captivity and not as per the incorrect date in the OARSV).
Elders of those in the Exile (14:1-11).
vv. 5-8 The Apostasy in Egypt was where Israel served other idols in Egypt (Josh. 24:14 (F006v) #222; #105). There is no confusion here. God swore to Jacob in the Promised Land that He would give it to him and his descendants forever (Gen. 28:13-15); and again to them in Egypt that He would bring them out of Egypt to the Promised Land, which He did by giving them the Passover as an identifying sign of their being chosen as God’s people. This was part of the Fourth Commandment as was the Sabbath another key identifier of God’s people; see Law and the Fourth Commandment (No. 256). The Angel of the Presence took them through the Red Sea and as the voice of God (Deut. 32:8) gave them the Law, at Sinai (Ex. 20:2) through Moses that he had given to their patriarchs; and, after forty years in the wilderness, took them into the Promised Land which was to then become the centre of God’s people for all time (save for Israel’s sin and disobedience and dispersion) (see: #001A; F006). This position is the constant theme of the Bible in the settlement of Palestine and the testimony of Joshua and the Judges and also through the prophets to Ezekiel here and from Daniel to Malachi and the Kings; and the NT under Messiah and the Apostles. If they do not speak according to the Law and the Testimony, there is no light in them (Isa. 8:20). That is the test of those who purport to speak for God, and the world in the Last Days is littered with false priests and prophets of the Sun and Mystery Cults who say that the Law is done away (see also (L1) and 002B).
20:9-26 Apostasy in the Wilderness
For the sake of my name (see 36:22; Jer. 14:7, Ps. 106:8). This statment expresses the important concept that Israel was part of the Plan of God (001B) and despite its selection it had no intrinsic value of its own accord that motivated its delivery from Egypt, the wilderness, and eventually from all its exiles and subjugations in accordance with prophecy, even to the very end. That is including its relocation to the Holy Land in the 20th and 21st centuries as prophesied by Habakkuk (F035) and Haggai (F037), Daniel (F027xii and xiii) and under Messiah for the Millennium (F066, ii, iii, iv, v). They were delivered to demonstrate to the world that The One and Only True God is in command of the creation and that He is faithful and He Alone is the Only True God (v. 44; Num. 14:13-19; Jn. 17:3; 1Tim. 6:16);
vv. 12-13 The Sabbaths (pl) are stated here to have been instituted as signs between God and man on reiteration of the Sabbath at the creation Gen. 2:1-3 and of the Passover etc., as stated above (see also Ex. 31:13 and God’s Calendar (No. 156) and No. 256 above). The repentance of Judah in the exile meant that the proper observance of the Sabbaths became more important (Jer. 17:19-27 n.) in post-exilic Judaism and in the church from Christ and the Apostles (Mat. 5:17-18; Mat. 12:1-8; Jn 9:13-16; #031).
20:18-26 Punishment for not keeping the Law of God and the Sabbaths under the Calendar of God.
Here God shows that Israel had failed to keep the Sabbaths, in Egypt and then went and contravened the Law and the Sabbaths, so God profaned their (Pagan) Sabbaths and their religious observance because it was corrupted. This is no contradiction of the law, no imputation of the Nature of God and His instructions through Jer. 7:31; Lev. 18:21 etc., and the Messiah and the NT Church. God allows Israel to degenerate to such sin and rejection of God’s Sabbaths under the law, so that they, and the world, may by made aware of God’s Superiority to any idol or man-made deity (Jer. 19:4-6). It is for this reason that the world has to be put to the sword in the Last Days at the Return of the King (No. 282E) with the Loyal Host, to purge humanity of these pagan days of worship and the Sun festivals and their idolatrous practices (Isa. 66:23-24; Zech. 14:16-21) so they may have rain in due season and not suffer the plagues of Egypt.
20:27-29 Apostasy in Canaan Israel again betrayed God when they had been settled in Canaan and they lapsed into the fertility cults associated with the high places and the worship of the mother goddess cults in Baal worship (6:1-7; 16:15-22); such as the festival of the Goddess Easter and the Friday Death and Sunday Resurrection of that festival with its fertility symbols. The idolaters follow this festival to this very day all over the world.
20:30-31 Because of their idolatry in these festivals God will not be inquired of by them and they are to be punished as above.
v. 32 shows that the elect, as the Chosen people, have to follow the Law and the Testimony and be free of the idolatry among the nations, and that includes the adoption of the Babylonian calendar and the postponements of Hillel (#195, #195C).
As they were purged in Sinai in the wilderness so God was to purge them in Syria and in the north for Israel and Judah under the Babylonians and then they are to be restored by the Medo-Persians and then purged again after the Seventy weeks of Years in Daniel 9:24-27 (F027ix).
v. 39 God shows He will not tolerate their idolatrous profanity and He will purge their idolatry and finally, once and for all, under the Two Witnesses (Rev. 11:3ff (F066iii)).
The process of the Sanctication of the Temple of God shows that the Church of God has a part to play in that process (see The Sanctification of the Temple of God (No. 241)) and that Christ established that Fast of the Santification of the Simple and Erroneus through Ezekiel and in the Church (No. 291); see also Annex A).
20:40-44 The Second Exodus
The text prophesies the Second Exodus here, as does Jeremiah (Jer. 23:7-8). God restores His people to Zion (17:23-24) and their sacrifices will again be acceptable (Ps. 51:15-19). However after the Seventy weeks of years at the end of the Forty years of probation God scatters them again for Forty Jubilees to the Return of Messiah for the Millennium and they will again return for the Third and Final Exodus to the Promised Land and to the Law and the Temple Calendar (Isa. 65:17-66:24). Those that do not repent of their idolatry and idolatrous festivals (see #235), will die.
20:45-49 Oracle Against the South
Judah is to be consumed by the invader from the North (Jer. 5:14-17). Some scholars (see OARSV n.) say one should read South and not Negeb in vv. 46-47. The Negeb was occupied by the Edomites from the captivity and the forests were all burnt down there from this prophecy. The Edomites then were taken into captivity ca. 130 CE under John Hyrcanus and the Macabbees.
Bullinger’s Notes on Ezekiel Chs 17-20 (for KJV)
The LORD. Hebrew. Jehovah. App-4 .
Son of man . See note on Ezekiel 2:1 .
riddle = enigma. Hebrew. chidah = a difficult or per plexing problem put forth for solution. Occurs in Judges 14:1 Judges 14:2 , Judges 14:13 , Judges 14:14 , Judges 14:15 , Judges 14:16 , Judges 14:17 , Judges 14:18 , Judges 14:19 (= riddle). Numbers 12:8 . 1Ki 10:5 . 2 Chronicles 9:1 (= dark sayings). Psalms 49:4 .Proverbs 1:6 , &c. Distinct from a "parable". Compare Psalms 78:2 (= dark sayings). Daniel 8:23 .Habakkuk 2:6 (= "proverb").
parable = the comparing of one thing with another. Not the same as "riddle" (enigma).
the Lord GoD . Hebrew. Adonai Jehovah . See note on Ezekiel 2:4 .
A great eagle. Tho king of Babylon.
longwinged = long-pinioned, as in Ezekiel 17:7 .
feathers = plumage.
top = topmost.
traffick . Babylon.
turned toward him . Zedekiah being dependent upon Nebuchadnezzar.
another great eagle. Pharaoh Hophra, king of Egypt.
water it. From the Nile.
soil = field.
Shall it prosper? &c. This is Jehovah's sentence on the perfidy of Zedekiah in breaking his oath to Nebuchadnezzar. Compare Ezekiel 17:13 and the Structure (S1, S2, S3). Those who interpret this enigma of Zedekiah's daughters are hereby warned that their interpretation shall not prosper. See notes on Ezekiel 17:22 and Ezekiel 17:24 .
spring = sproutings.
behold. Figure of speech Asterismos. App-6 .
it : i.e. the vine.
wind . Hebrew. ruach , App-9 .
rebellious house . See note on Ezekiel 2:5 .
taken , &c. Compare 2Ki 24:30 .
covenant . . . oath. See note on Ezekiel 16:59 .
taken an oath . See 2 Chronicles 36:13 .
base = low.
he rebelled , &c. See 2Ki 24:20 . 2 Chronicles 36:13 .
saith the Lord GOD = [is] Adenai Jehovah's oracle.
in the midst of Babylon , &c. Compare Ezekiel 12:13 .
company = gathered force.
make for him = help him
persons = souls. Hebrew. nephesh . App-13 .
lo. Figure of speech Asterismos. App-6 .
trespass that he hath trespassed . See note on Ezekiel 15:8 .
all his fugitives. Compare Ezekiel 12:14 .
ye shall know, &c. See note on Ezekiel 6:7 .
the highest branch. Sets forth the restoration of the kingdom in the Messiah.
a tender one. Compare Isaiah 11:1 ; Isaiah 53:1 , Isaiah 53:2 , The Chaldee Targum interprets this of the Messiah. Those who interpret this of Zedekiah's "younger daughter" are guilty of substituting her for the Messiah Himself; Whose future kingdom is to be "in the mountain of the height of Israel", and not in any other country; or, during the present dispensation. See notes on or Ezekiel 23:24 .
bring forth boughs = exalt its branch.
The word = And the word.
the LORD . Hebrew. Jehovah . App-4 .
children's = sons.
saith the Lord GOD = [is] Adonai Jehovah's oracle.
the Lord God . See note on Ezekiel 2:4 .
any more . This refers to a future time, which has not yet come (Jeremiah 31:29 , Jeremiah 31:30 ). Till then it is otherwise (Ezekiel 21:3 .Lamentations 5:2; Lamentations 5:2 ), and has been since Genesis 3:0 . Compare Romans 5:12-21 .
Behold. Figure of speech Asterismos. App-6 .
souls = persons. Hebrew. nephesh. App-13 .
die . Die and live in this chapter are used in the sense of Ezekiel 8:18 .
man. Hebrew. 'ish . App-14 .
hath lifted up his eyes, he. Put by Figure of speech Metonymy (of Adjunct), App-6 , for worship.
Hath walked , &c. Reference to Pentateuch (Leviticus 18:5 .Deuteronomy 4:1 ; Deuteronomy 5:1 ; Deuteronomy 5:6 , Deuteronomy 5:1 , Deuteronomy 5:2 ; Deuteronomy 10:12 , Deuteronomy 10:13 ; Deuteronomy 11:1 ).
he shall surely live . Reference to Pentateuch (Leviticus 18:5 ),
live . See note on Leviticus 18:5 .
hath not, &c. Some codices, with two early printed editions, Aramaean, Septuagint, Syriac, and Vulgate, read "and bath not", &c.
the poor = the oppressed. The Septuagint reads "injustice", as in Ezekiel 18:8 .
iniquity. Hebrew. 'avah. App-44 . Not the same word as in or. Eze 8:24 , Eze 8:26 .
people = peoples
The son , he. Reference to Pentateuch ( Deu 24:26 ). App-92 .
the righteous = a righteous one.
wickedness . . . the wicked . Hebrew. rasha'. App-44 .
the wicked = a lawless one. Hebrew text margin, with some codices and three early printed editions, read lawless ones".
all his sins . Hebrew text reads "any sin of his"; but the margin, some codices, and two early printed editions, read "all his sins".
he shall not die, Note the Figure of speech Pleonasm ( App-6 ), here, Some codices, with one early printed edition, Septuagint, Syriac, and Vulgate, read "and not die".
transgressions. Heb, pasha'. App-44 .
mentioned unto = remembered against, No "purgatory "here.
Have I any pleasure. ? Answered in Ezekiel 18:32 .
ways. Many codiecs, with eight early printed editions, read plural; but others, with Aramaean, Septuagint, and Syriac, read "way" (singular)
saith the Lord GOD = [is] Adonai Jehovah's oracle.
righteousness. So Hebrew text; but margin, with scone codices and one early printed edition, read plural = "none of his righteous acts The Hebrew verb is plural
trespass. trespassed. Hebrew. ma' al. App-44 .
the LORD. This is one of the 134 places where the Sopherim say that they changed " Jehovah " of the primitive text to " Adonai ". See App-32 .
equal , See note on "pondereth", Proverbs 21:2 , unequal. Note the Figure of speech Anticategoria ( App-6 ).
whereby , &c. The = Septuagint reads "which ye have committed against Me".
heart. spirit . Put by Figure of speech Metonymy (of Cause), App-6 , for all that is of the spirit, and not of the flesh. Compare Luke 1:44 , Luke 1:47 . John 4:24 . "The flesh profiteth nothing" (John 6:63 ).
spirit. Hebrew. ruach. App-49 .
I have no pleasure. This is the answer to the question in Ezekiel 18:23 .
princes. Septuagint reads"prince"(singular) Here refers to Zedekiah.
Israel. Put here for Judah. See note on 1 Kings 12:17 .
thy mother. Probably Hamutal, one of the wives of Josiah, the mother of Shallum (or Jehoahaz) and Zedekiah (2 Kings 23:31 and Ezekiel 24:18 ). The other son of Josiah (Jehoiakim) had a different mother (Zebudah). See 2 Kings 23:36 .
one of her whelps. Probably Jehoahaz (i.e. Shah lam), the youngest son of Josiah, is intended (1 Chronicles 3:15 ).
catch = rend,
men. Hebrew ' adam . App-14 ,
another of her whelps. Probably Jehoiakim, an other son of Josiah (2 Kings 23:36 . 2 Chronicles 36:1-4 ). Hardly Jehoiachin, who reigned only three months (2 Kings 24:8 ). But Jehoiakim reigned eleven years, and his character corresponds with Ezekiel 19:7-8 , here. See 2Ki 23:36 ; 2 Kings 24:1-6 , Jeremiah 22:11-19 .
knew their desolate palaces. Aramaean and Septuagint read "injured or defiled his widows".
knew = knew carnally. See 2 Chronicles 36:8 .
king. Some codices read "land".
Thy mother. Another Simile . See the Structure (W, p. 1130).
in thy blood: or, in thy vineyard (according to Dr. C. D. Ginsburg).
waters. Reference to Pentateuch (Deuteronomy 8:7 ). App-92 .
wind. Hebrew. ruach . App-9 .
now , &c. Referring to Jeconiah and Ezekiel's own days (1, 3; and 2 Kings 24:12-16 ).
of a rod : or, of the rod: i.e. Zedekiah, who byhis perjury brought about the destruction of Jerusalem by fire,
the seventh year. See the table on p. 1105.
the LORD. Hebrew. Jehovah , with 'eth (= Jehovah Himself). App-4 .
the LORD. Hebrew. Jehovah . App-4 .
Son of man. See note on Ezekiel 2:1 .
unto = with. Some codices, with one early printed edition, Aramaean, Septuagint, and Vulgate, read' unto".
the elders of Israel . In the Captivity; who were being deceived by false prophets who predicted a speedy return.
saith the Lord GOD = [is] Adonai Jehovah's oracle. See note on Ezekiel 2:4 .
Wilt thou . . . wilt thou . . . ? Note the Figure of speech Epizeuxis ( App-6 ), for emphasis.
when I chose Israel, &c. Reference to Pentateuch (Exodus 6:7 ; Exodus 20:2 .Deuteronomy 7:6; Deuteronomy 7:6 ). App-92 . Put by Figure of speech Metonymy (of Adjunct), App-6 , for "I sware". Compare verses: Ezekiel 20:6 , Ezekiel 20:15 , Ezekiel 20:23 , Eze 6:28 , Eze 6:42 , Genesis 14:22 .Deuteronomy 32:40 . Used seven times in Ezekiel 20:0 .
made Myself known , &c. Reference to Pentateuch (Exodus 6:3 ),
Egypt . Ezekiel speaks about Israel in Egypt more than any other prophet. See Ezekiel 25:8 . In this chapter he mentions it seven times (verses: Ezekiel 20:5 , Ezekiel 20:6 , Ezekiel 20:7 , Ezekiel 5:8 , Ezekiel 5:8 , Ezekiel 5:9 , Ezekiel 5:10 ).
the Lord your God Jehovah ( App-4 .) your Elohim.
God. Hebrew. Elohim . App-4 .
the = that.
espied = looked, or spied out,
flowing with milk and honey . Reference to Pentateuch (Exodus 3:8 , Exodus 3:17 ; Exodus 13:5 ; Exodus 33:3 .Leviticus 20:24 Numbers 13:27 ; Numbers 14:8 ; Numbers 16:13 , Numbers 16:14 .Deuteronomy 6:3 ; Deuteronomy 11:9 ; Deuteronomy 11:26 , Deuteronomy 11:9 , Deuteronomy 11:15 ; Deuteronomy 27:3 ; Deuteronomy 31:20 ). Beside these passages it is found only in Ezekiel 20:6 , Ezekiel 20:15 .Joshua 5:4 .Jeremiah 11:5 ; Jeremiah 32:22 .
the glory = the gazelle. Put by Figure of speech metonymy (of Subject), App-6 ,
every man. Heb . 'ish. App-14 .
abominations. Put by Figure of speech metonymy (of Cause, App-6 , for that which Jehovah abominated.
defile not yourselves , &c. Reference to Pentateuch (Leviticus 18:3 ). App-92 .
idols = manufactured gods.
rebelled. See note on Ezekiel 2:5 .
pour out My fury , &c. Repeated in or Ezekiel 13:21 , Eze 13:33 , Eze 13:34 . See the Structure, p. 1131.
heathen = nations.
I caused , &c, Reference to Pentateuch (Exodus 13:0 , &c.) App-92 .
I gave them , &c. Reference to Pentateuch (Deuteronomy 4:8 ).
statutes . . judgments. Reference to Pentateuch (Deuteronomy 4:1 ).
which if a man do , &c. Reference to Pentateuch (Leviticus 18:5 ). man. Hebrew. 'ditto , . App-14 .
do = do [them].
he shall . . . live . See note on Leviticus 18:5 .
that they might know. Compare note on Ezekiel 6:10 .
them. Septuagint, Syriac, and Vulgate read "to them" in the text.
their heart went, &c. Reference to Pentateuch (Exodus 32:23 ).
children = sons.
ye may know. See note on Ezekiel 6:7 .
they polluted My sabbaths. Some codices, with four early printed editions, add "even My sabbaths".
withdrew, &c. Idiom for a relaxing of anger or refraining from punishment.
I . Some codices, with three early printed editions, read "Yet even (or, also) I", as in Ezekiel 20:1
I gave them also statutes , its. In Hebrew idiom = I suffered others to give them statutes, it,: i.e. in their captivity. Active verbs in Hebrew were used to express not only the doing of the thing, but the permission of the thing which the agent is said to do. The verb nathan, to give, is therefore often rendered to suffer in this sense. See Genesis 31:7 . Judges 15:1 . 1 Samuel 24:7 . 2 Samuel 21:10 . Where not so actually rendered it means permission. Compare Ezekiel 14:9 Exodus 4:21 ; Exodus 5:22 .Psalms 16:10 . Jeremiah 4:10 . The some idiom is used in N.T. (Matthew 6:13 ; Matthew 11:25 ; Matthew 13:11 .Romans 9:18 ; Romans 11:7 , Romans 11:8 ; 2 Thessalonians 2:11 ).
committed a trespass = trespassed a trespass. Figure of speech Polyptoton ( App-6 ), for emphasis = committed a great trespass.
I polluted them , &c. See note on Ezekiel 20:25 . The con = trast is with their pollution of God's gifts (Ezekiel 20:16 ). pass through: or, pass over. The firstborn were to be passed over to Jehovah (Exodus 13:12 ); but they passed them (through the fire) over to Moloch (Leviticus 18:21 .Deuteronomy 18:10; Deuteronomy 18:10 ). Note the references to Pentateuch here. App-92 .
What is the high place . . . ? Note the Figure of speech Paronomasia ( App-6 ). Hebrew oath habhamdh, for emphasis, to mark the contrast between this idolatrous high place and Zion the true high and holy mountain (Ezekiel 20:40 ).
Are ge . . . ? Figure of speech Erotesis. App-6 .
your sons. Some codices, with two early printed editions, read "your sons and your daughters".
mind = spirit. Hebrew. ruach. App-9 .
with a mighty hand, he. Reference to Pentateuch (Deuteronomy 4:34 , &c.)
will I rule = will I become king.
people = peoples.
the wilderness of the people. Probably another country which would be to them another wilderness in which they were tested as to whether they would hear.
pass under the rod. This was the manner of counting the sheep, which were numbered as they passed under the shepherd's club: implying here that none should be lost (Amos 9:9 ), and that the restored nation should be holy to Jehovah (Compare Ezekiel 20:40 ). Reference to Pentateuch (Leviticus 27:32 ). Occurs elsewhere only in Jeremiah 33:10 ).
bond = binding obligation. Occurs only here.
transgress . Hebrew. pasha '. App-44 ,
ye shall know, &c. See note on Ezekiel 6:7 .
Go ye, &c. Figure of speech Eironeia. App-6 , Divine irony.
but : or, yet. holy. See note on Exodus 3:5 .
require = seek.
offerings = heave offerings. Hebrew. terumah . App-43 .
firstfruite of your oblations: i.e. firstfruit gifts or presents. Hebrew. mas'eth . Not the same word as in Ch. Eze 44:45 , and it, which is terumah = heave offering.
ye shall lothe yourselves . Compare Ezekiel 16:61-63 .
evils. Same word as "wicked", Ezekiel 20:44 .
wicked. Hebrew. raa . App-44 .
the south = the Negeb. See note on Psalms 126:4 . against: or, unto. Some codices read "toward".
the south field : i.e. Judah and Jerusalem.
Behold. Figure of speech Asterismos. App-6 .
And all flesh shall see. See the Structure above. flesh. Put by Figure of speech Synecdoche (of the Part), App-6 , for the whole person.
All flesh = all people, every one.
parables. Thus intended to have the same purpose as the Lord's parables. See Matthew 13:11 .