Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Ezekiel-Chapter 20

Ezek 20.1 -49 is a prophecy where the elders of Israel come to inquire of Yehovah, but he tells them that he will not be inquired of by them because of all their abominations, which are then described, starting with their coming out of Egypt till the present.

v 1…And it came to pass in the seventh year (seventh of the eleven years between the exile of Yehoiachin and the destruction of the Temple four years later on the tenth of Av) on the tenth day of the fifth month (Av-Yehovah shows his providence here with the exact dates, only four years apart), that a certain of the elders of Israel came to inquire (of the prophet) of the Lord (Ezekiel), and sat before me (waiting for an answer).

v 2…And the word of the Lord came to me saying,

v 3…”Son of man (ben adam-Ezekiel represents the people), speak to the elders of Israel and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God (Adonai Yehovah), “Do you come to inquire of me? As I live,” declares the Lord God, “I will not be inquired of by you (Yehovah rejects their seeking because they are not understanding why there has been so much affliction).”

v 4…Will you judge them, will you judge them, son of man (if you enter into a conversation with them) make them know the abominations of their fathers (rebuke them);

v 5…and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God, “On the day when I chose Israel and swore to the descendants of the house of Jacob and made myself known to them in the land of Egypt, when I swore to them, saying, I am the Lord (Yehovah) your God,

v 6…on the day I swore to them, to bring them out of the land of Egypt into a land that I had selected for them, flowing with milk and honey (fertile, uncultivated), which is the glory of all the lands (desired).

v 7…And I said to them, ‘Cast away, each of you, the detestable things of the eyes (idols), and do not defile yourselves with the idols of Egypt, I am the Lord (Yehovah) your God (power).’

v 8…But they rebelled against me and they were not willing to listen to me, they did not cast away the detestable things of their eyes, nor did they forsake the idols of Egypt. Then I resolved (through the prophets) to pour out my wrath on them (because they still worshiped idols), to accomplish my anger against them in the midst of the land of Egypt (to punish them even before they left Egypt).

v 9….But I acted for the sake of my name (his mercy to do what he said he promised to do), that it (his name Yehovah) should not be profaned in the sight of the nations among whom they lived (be spoken evil of by saying he did not keep his word, that he did not have the power to bring them all out, so he destroyed them), in whose sight I made myself known to them by bringing them out of the land of Egypt (with miracles).

v 10…So I took them out of the land of Egypt and brought them into the wilderness (before they went to Canaan).

v 11…And I gave them my statutes and informed them of my ordinances (the Torah and the Mishkan), by which, if a man observes them (in faith), he will live (before Yehovah).

v 12…And also I gave them my sabbaths to be a sign between me and them this is an eternal sign of loyalty; no other law has had so much opposition by unbelievers; it testifies of Yehovah’s mastery over the universe; it is the one law that shows everyone who your God is, they immediately will know), that they might know that I am the Lord (Yehovah) who sanctifies them (gives them a kedusha as his people).

v 13…But the house of Israel rebelled against me in the wilderness (repeating what they did in Egypt). They did not walk in my statutes, and they rejected my ordinances, by which if a man observes them, he will live; and my sabbaths they greatly profaned. Then I resolved to pour out my wrath on them in the wilderness, to annihilate them (and not enter into Canaan-Num 14.35).

v 14…But I acted for the sake of my name (with mercy towards them), that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations, before whose sight I had brought them out (done publicly to show he does keep his word and had the power).

v 15…And I also swore to them in the wilderness that I would not bring them into the land which I had given them, flowing with milk and honey (uncultivated, fertile), which is the glory (desire) of all the lands,

v 16…because they rejected my ordinances, and as for the statutes, they did not walk in them; they even profaned my sabbaths, for their heart continually went after their idols (which they had served and brought with them from Egypt).

v 17…Yet my eyes spared them rather than destroying them, and I did not cause their annihilation in the wilderness.

v 18…And I said to their children in the wilderness, ‘Do not walk in the statues of your fathers, or keep their ordinances, or defile yourselves with their idols (don’t imitate your parents in idolatry).

v 19…I am the Lord (Yehovah) your God; walk in my statutes, and keep my ordinances, and observe them (be a doer of the word-Jam 1.22; 2.12-18).

v 20…And sanctify (set apart) my sabbaths (they have a kedusha with limitations and restrictions), and they shall be a sign (of loyalty) between me and you, that you may know that I am the Lord your God.’

v 21…”But the children, the children rebelled against me; they did not walk in my statutes, nor were they careful to observe my ordinances, by which, if a man observes them, he will live (before me-Matt 19.17); they profaned (regarded as common, just like any other day) my sabbaths. So I resolved to pour out my wrath against them in the wilderness (like in Num 25.9 with Baal-peor for instance).

v 22…But I withdrew my hand and acted for the sake of my name (and turned away my anger), that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations in whose sight I had brought them out.

v 23…Also I swore to them in the wilderness that I would scatter them among the nations and disperse them among the lands,

v 24…because they had not observed my ordinances, but had rejected my statutes, and had profaned my sabbaths, and their eyes were on the idols of their fathers.

v 25…And I also gave them statutes that were not good and ordinances by which they could not live (he permitted them to follow the wicked statutes of their pagan neighbors which did not bring the blessings of life);

v 26…and I pronounced them unclean because of their gifts (to idols), in that they caused all their first born to pass through the fire so that I might make them desolate, in order that they might know that I am the Lord (proof that he fulfilled what he said he was going to do).

v 27…Therefore, son of man, speak to the house of Israel (through the elders present), and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God, “Yet in this (again) your fathers have blasphemed me by acting treacherously against me (by doing what they did in Egypt and the wilderness and now in Canaan).

v 28…When I had brought them into the land which I swore to give to them, then they saw every high hill and every leafy tree, and they offered there their sacrifices, and there they presented the provocation of their offering (they were contrary to the Torah). There also they made their soothing aroma (incense) and they poured out their libations (of wine).

v 29…Then I said to them (through the prophets he had sent), ‘What is the high place to which you go?’ So its name is called Bamah to this day (they continued to regard the high places as places for worship. continuing their idolatrous practices).”

v 30…”Therefore, say to the house of Israel, ‘Thus says the Lord God, “Will you defile yourselves after the manner of your fathers and play the harlot (spiritually) after their detestable things?

v 31…And when you offer your gifts (to idols), when you cause your sons to pass through the fire (to Baal and Molech), you are defiling yourselves with all your idols to this day. And shall I be inquired of by you, O house of Israel (you think you will have an answer from me)? As I live,” declares the Lord God, “I will not be inquired of by you.

v 32…And what comes into your mind will not come about when you say: “We will be like the nations (live without God and the Torah) like the tribes of the land, serving wood and stone (their plans and schemes are absurd considering all the revelations Yehovah has given them).’

Ezek 20.33-44 speaks of the ultimate redemption and regathering of Israel

v 33…”As I live,” declares the Lord God, “surely with a mighty hand and with an outstretched arm and with wrath poured out, I shall be king over you (exerting his sovereignty over them in spite of their schemes).

v 34…And I shall bring you out from the peoples and gather you from the lands where you were scattered (the world), with a mighty hand and with an outstretched arm and with wrath poured out;

v 35…and I shall bring you into the wilderness of the peoples and there I will enter into judgment with you face to face.

v 36…As I entered into judgment with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so I will enter into judgment with you,’ declares the Lord God (a spiritual severing from the nations and their idolatry).

v 37…And I shall make you pass under the rod (of the shepherd for care) and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant (the Torah at Sinai is the covenant here, written on the heart-Jer 31.31-34),

v 38…and I shall purge from you the rebels and those who transgress against me, and I shall bring them out of the land where they sojourn (where they have been), but they will not enter the land of Israel (excluded from the kingdom). Thus you will know that I am the Lord.

v 39…As for you, O house of Israel” thus says the Lord God, “Go, serve everyone his idols, but later, you will surely listen to me, and my holy name you will profane no longer with your gifts and with your idols (he is going to prevent them from being absorbed into the pagan world).

v 40…For (but) on my holy mountain, on the high mountain of Israel (Mount Moriah)’ declares the Lord God, ‘there the whole house of Israel (some from all twelve tribes), all of them, will serve me in the land (as believers); there I will accept them, and there I shall seek your contributions and the choicest of your gifts, with all your holy things (“there” is said three times to drive home the fact that only in the Temple at Jerusalem can offerings be made).

v 41…As a soothing aroma I shall accept you, when I bring you out from the peoples and gather you from the lands where you were scattered; and I shall prove myself holy among you in the sight of the nations (Deut 4.6-8).

v 42…And you will know that I am the Lord, when I bring you into the land of Israel, into the land which I swore to give to your forefathers.

v 43…And there (in the land) you will remember your ways and all your deeds, with which you have defiled yourselves; and you will loathe yourselves in your own sight for all the evil things that you have done.

v 44…Then you will know that I am the Lord when I have dealt with you for my name’s sake, not according to your evil ways or according to your corrupt deeds, O house of Israel,” declares the God.

v 45…Now the word of the Lord came to me saying,

v 46…”Son of man, set your face toward Teman (south), and speak out against the south and prophecy against the forest land of the Negev (this is specifically Judah and Jerusalem),

v 47…and say to the forest of the Negev (kingdom of Judah), ‘Hear the word of the Lord; thus says the Lord God, “Behold, I am about to kindle a fire (judgment) in you, and it will consume every green tree (the righteous person-Isa 55.12; Ezek 21.6-7; Matt 7.17) in you, as well as every dry tree (the unrighteous), the blazing flame will not be quenched (until Judah and Jerusalem are destroyed), and the whole surface from the south to north will be burned by it (the people consumed).

v 48…And all flesh will see that I, the Lord (Yehovah), have kindled it; it shall not be quenched.”

v 49…Then I said, “Ah, Lord God! They are saying of me, ‘Is he not just speaking parables (the “lion, vine and branches, fire, a forest, trees green and dry” are things not easily understood, so they ridiculed him).

Posted in All Teachings, Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Prophecy/Eschatology, The Feasts of the Lord, The Tanach, Tying into the New Testament

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