This commentary has notes that are ment to help you read with understanding. Every verse is not commented on. Except for an elaborate treatment of the feminine forms related to the vehicle of THE LORD'S GLORY, commonly called the Shekinah, in chapter one, only enough explanation is given so that you can read the book of Ezekiel with understanding. The links should all be followed and read if you want to understand what the prophet had in mind. The chronology given by Ezekiel is part of the design of the book and aids in seeing the outline. For further study the introduction in the Commentary on Ezekiel in Jamison Faussett and Brown is recommended. JFB is not recommended from Chapter 40 onward. See the comment there.

Ezekiel

Chapter Link Table

[1]   [2]   [3]   [4]   [5]   [6]   [7]    [8]   [9]   [10]   [11]   [12]   [13]    [14]   [15]   [16]   [17]   [18]    [19]   [20]   [21]   [22]   [23]   [24]    [25]   [26]   [27]   [28]   [29]   [30]   [31]   [32]   [33]   [34]   [35]   [36]    [37]   [38]   [39]   [40]   [41]   [42]    [43]   [44]   [45]   [46]   [47]   [48]

Outline: The first and major part of the book of Ezekiel (from chapters 1:1-33:21) covers almost eight years of things related to the last days of Jerusalem before the destruction by the Babylonians. From the fifth year of Zedekiah which is also the fifth year of the captivity of Jehoiachin or second stage of the captivity. Which is the commencement of the chronological dates given in the book. It encompasses visions from the fifth year of Zedekiah's reign which is also the fifth year of Jehoichin's captivity and extends to the twelveth year and tenth month. The events encompassed are from the said fifth year (which is also the thirtieth year of Ezeliel's life) to a full year and a half after the destruction of Jerusalem in 585 BCE recorded in chapter 33:21 about 583 BCE. Most of the prophecies in this section deal with the coming siege of Jerusalem and the horrors to be visited on the citizens by the Babylonians. There is an interruption at the time when the siege is well under way and about one year before its overthrow and Ezekiel discontinues his prophecies about Jerusalem which by him, and perhaps by YHWH, is now abandoned to its fate. (The time of the abandonment ought to correspond with the departure of the Glory of the Lord or Shekinah from the temple and the land described in chapter 11.) Leaving Jerusalem behind begins in Chapter 25. In this interum (25 to 33:21) Ezekiel turns his attention to prophecies of the future of the nations round about Judah. Ammon, Moab, Edom are given small portions and then lengthy descriptions of the Phonecians (Tyre) and Egypt are given in several chapters each. There is then a return to receiving the news of the fall of Jerusalem in 33:21.

A mixed section follows with further condemnation of the priesthood that is a warning to those who in the future after the restoration will turn away from the cleansing that the priesthood would receive in the days of Ezra. There is also the promise of the restoration of the nation in 36 and 37 when a golden age would come during which the Messiah would come. There was a purity that was enjoyed by the prieshood through most of the "silent years." That purity was lost about the time of Antiochus IV about 180 BCE and there was a return to the corruption of the priesthood which had previously resulted in the overthrow of Jerusalem and the seventy years of captivity. Zechariah predicted this reversion (in Zechariah 11) to follow the "Golden age" of the "silent years" and the return to the same corruptive practices of the pre-exile priesthood.

Then a picture of a latter day event in Chapters 38 and 39 are unique to this book; no other book in the O.T. speaks of the battle of Armageddon, and is included in this place because there is one more future attack coming on the true Zion (the Church of Christ) led by the Prince of Ros or the Russian nation. Interesting to this is the fact that Ezekiel does not mention the future destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in 70 AD since earthly Jerusalem was no longer Zion. This section was composed and written in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, U.K. in 1988. The Roman destruction of Jerusalem is predicted in Daniel 9 as a result of rejecting the Messiah.

From chapter 40 to the end of the book the restoration of the nation and the temple and the return of the Shekinah to the temple is described. There, symbolic, euphemistic and mystical visions describe the temple from its rebuilding to its trancendent move to heaven itself. See a further more detailed description here.

Dating: There are two important "Exiles" in Old Testament Jewish history. The first was accomplished in the rise of the Assyrian Empire culminating about 722 BCE. The capture and distributing of the northern Kingdom of Israel with their associated tribes, sometimes called the "Lost Ten Tribes, into the mountains of Medea was accomplished. The exile was actually accomplished in three stages. The tribes east of the Jordan were taken first, before 740 BCE then the region of Galilee shortly after 740 BCE and finally the main region with its capital at Samaria fell in 722 BCE. Isaiah was the major prophet of the period and his life was contemporary with the exile of the "Ten Tribes". Much of the history of the Assytrian conquest of the Kingdom of Istrael is recorded in chapters 7-12 in Isaiah

Babylonian Exile of The Judeans
Ezekiel, Jeremiah and Daniel were contemporary prophets of the Babylonian Exile. About one hundred twenty years after the loss of the Kingdom of Israel, which was witnessed by Isaiah and finalized in 722 BCE, the second (Babylonian) exile of the Jews and their associated tribes was also accomplished in three stages. 606 BCE marks the beginning or first stage of the Babylonian exile in which Daniel, among others, first went captive. Then about seven years later in 599 BCE the second stage included Ezekiel among the captives. The third stage came beginning with the siege about 588 BCE and destruction of Jerusalem, in 585 BCE. Ezekiel was among the exiles in Babylon about 200 miles north of present Baghdad. Jeremiah prophecied, beginning with the thirteenth year of Josiah, while living in Jerusalem before, up to and after the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians. Thus he was a contemporary and eye witness during Zedekiah's eleven year reign. His ministry spanned the lives of five kings of Judah. Ezekiel lived among the captives and was an "eye witness" in visions. He was carried, against his will to Jerusalem then returned to the captives to report what he had seen and to make it absolutely clear that Jerusalem would be destroyed.

The dating of events related to both exiles of first: the so called Ten Tribes of Israel by the Assyrians and second: the exile of Judah and associated tribes by the Babylonians are able to be dated. But there is more than one chronology but the chronologies differ usually only by a year or two for the main events. We have chosen to be consistent by following one chronology. These dates may vary by a year or so. Some of the major events and the dates ascribed to them are:

The fall of Samaria to Sargon II 722 BCE

The exile of Judah was in three stages

The first stage when Nebuchadnezzar took Jerusalem in the third year of Jehoiakim: 606 BCE

The second stage when Jehoiachin was led captive and Ezekiel was a captive participant: 599-598 BCE

The fifth year Jehoiachin's captivity and beginning of the Prophecy of Ezekiel: 595-596 BCE

The departure of the Shekinah from the Temple: 586 BCE

The third stage, destruction of the Temple and Jerusalem 585 BCE

The end of the Seventy years of Captivity and decree of Cyrus 536 BCE

The first year of Darius I 521 BCE

The return of the Shekinah to the second temple 516 BCE

The dedication of the second Temple (Sixth year of Darius) 515 BCE

Ezekiel dates the prophecies he received, beginning with the first verse of his book. See the chart that gives the dates and where they are found in the text. Click here.

Chapter 1

The use of the word Shekinah for the vehicle of the Glory of YHWH which is elaborately described and often mentioned in Ezekiel is justified even though Shekinah is not a Bible word. Read the justification in the History of the Shekinah events in the Old Testament.

1Now it came to pass in the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, in the fifth day of the month, as I was among the captives by the river of Chebar, that the heavens were opened and I saw visions of God. 2In the fifth day of the month, which was the fifth year of king Jehoiachin's captivity,

The Thirtieth Year: There are many fanciful ideas of what 30th year Ezekiel has reference to here which are only reached by conjecture. No doubt the 30 means that Ezekiel was 30 years old when he began to prophesy in the fifth year of Jehoiachin's captivity. In line with these reckonings Ezekiel began to prophecy five years after 598 BCE in 593 BCE This would be about seven or eight years before the Fall of Jerusalem to Nebuchadnezzar in 585 BCE

3The word of the LORD came expressly to Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans by the river Chebar; and the hand of the LORD was on him there .

The Shekinah and its Feminine Aspects

For a complete history of the Shekinah appearances in the Old Testament see the History of the Shekinah.

What follows for the rest of the chapter is a description of the mystical vehicle of the divine presence in the physical universe. It is the vehicle of the Glory of the LORD. The Glory of the LORD (Shekinah) actually resides above the vehicle. See verses 22-28.

4 And I looked and, behold, a whirlwind came out of the north, a great cloud and a fire infolding itself and a brightness was around it and out of the midst of it as the color of amber, [Heb. electric eye] out of the midst of the fire.

Adding to the mysticism and eeriness of the very strange descriptions of what has to be the fullest picture of the Shekinah (or vehicle of the Divine Presence appearing in historical time and three dimensional space) has got to be the mixture of masculine and feminine endings describing the four living creatures which bear the "Presence" and the whole of the "thing" itself called in verse 28 "The Glory of YHWH..

Feminine grammatical forms modify the cloud and its contents. That is the living creatures and their wings, hands and other parts and the wheels.
The Shekinah Pillar which destroyed the Egyptian Armies in the Red Sea is called "She" in Isaiah 51:9.

Verse 4: The Whirlwind "coming," is a feminine participle. And re: the fire, "infolding" is also a feminine participle. Brightness about "it" is a feminine pronominal suffix. (Read "her"). And from the midst of "it" is also a feminine pronominal suffix. (Read "her")

Verse 5. Out of the midst of "it," also feminine. The number four is also a feminine number modifying "living creatures" (or some translations of beasts). What ever "living creature" is; the Hebrew word for it is chayoth and is feminine plural. "Living creatures" is one word in Hebrew. (The masculine would be chaiym.)

Verse 6. "Four" faces is a masculine number but "four" wings is feminine as is the each "one" both times. The literal Hebrew of the rest of the verse is "their appearance is the likeness of a man to them" The "their" and "them" in this verse are feminine forms.

Verse 7. In this verse all pronouns relating to "feet" are masculine.

Verse 8. As in the last verse all gender references are masculine.

Verse 9. "Join" is a feminine participle describing "wings" which is masculine but "one to another" is a Hebrew idiom literally "each woman to her sister" very feminine indeed. The rest of the verse "they turned not when they went; they went every one straight forward" The literal Hebrew of they turned is "their turning" is feminine but the rest of the nouns and pronouns are masculine.

Verse 10. In this verse all pronouns are masculine including the first "they four" but the last two "they four"s are feminine. There is no good grammatical reason for this inconsistent mix.

Verse 11. The mix of gender is continued in this verse. Although masculine pronouns modify faces and wings a feminine participle modifies their being "stretched." While "every one" is masculine "two" wings is feminine. "Two" is also feminine the second time it appears. A feminine participle "covered" describes "their bodies." "Bodies" is masculine and "their" is feminine."

Verse 12. All references to gender are masculine in this verse except the last "they went" which is feminine

Verse 13. The feminine forms here are "living creatures" and "it went up and down" is a separate pronoun "she" and "up and sown" an intensive feminine participle. referring to the likeness of fire and lamps. The literal Hebrew of bright is feminine "her brightness."

Verse 14. Again "living creatures" is feminine.

Verse 15: The feminine forms in this verse are "living creatures" and "his four faces" His is masculine and four is feminine.

Verse 16. All gender references in this verse are masculine except "they four" which is feminine.

Verse 17. "When they went, they went upon their four sides: and they turned not when they went." What a mix. "When they went" is masculine; "they went" is masculine; "their" is feminine; "four" is feminine; "sides" is feminine; "they turned not" is masculine and "they went" is feminine.

Verse 18. "Their" feminine; "rims" masculine; "full" is a feminine participle; "them four" both these words are feminine and the rest of the gender words are masculine.

Verse 19 "living creatures" two times feminine; "went" feminine; "wheels went" both masculine two times;

Verse 20. All masculine gender.

Verse 21. "living creature" feminine all other genders masculine.

Verse 22. Again only "living creature" is feminine all else masculine.

Verse 23. As in verse 11 which is very similar the Hebrew idiom is: "each woman to her sister" and is translated "the one toward the other." The mix of genders is just as confusing here and almost the same as in verse 11.

Verse 24. This the same as verse 12 All references to gender are masculine in this verse except the last "they went" which is feminine

Verse 25. "their heads" masculine; "let down" feminine; "their" feminine; "wings" masculine.

Verse 26. All masculine gender.

Verse 27. "Ke'e:yn chasmal" translated "as the color of amber" would mean "as and electric eye" in modern Hebrew; within "it" the it is feminine all the rest masculine gender.

Verse 28. Glory of the Lord in Hebrew is "cavod YHWH" for which Shekinah is often a euphemism.

5The likeness of four living creatures also came out of the midst of it. And this was their appearance; they had the likeness of a man. 6And every one had four faces and every one had four wings. 7And their feet were straight feet; and the sole of their feet was like the sole of a calf's foot: and they sparkled like the color of burnished brass. 8And they had the hands of a man under their wings on their four sides; and the four had their faces and their wings. 9Their wings were joined one to another; they did not turn when they went; they went every one straight forward. 10As for the likeness of their faces, the four had the face of a man and the face of a lion, on the right side: and the four had the face of an ox on the left side; the four also had the face of an eagle. 11Thus were their faces: and their wings were stretched upward; two wings of every one were joined to one another and two covered their bodies. 12And they went every one straight forward: where the spirit was to go, they went; and they did not turn when they went. 13As for the likeness of the living creatures, their appearance was like burning coals of fire and as the appearance of lamps: it went up and down among the living creatures; and the fire was bright and lightning went forth out of the fire. 14And the living creatures ran and returned as the appearance of a flash of lightning.

15Now as I beheld the living creatures, behold I saw one wheel on the earth by (each of) the living creatures with the four faces. 16The appearance of the wheels and their work was like the color of a beryl: and the four had one likeness: and their appearance and their work was as a wheel in the middle of a wheel. 17When they went, they went on their four sides: and they did not turn when they went. 18As for their rims, they were so high that they were dreadful; and their bulwarks were full of eyes round about the four them. 19And when the living creatures went, the wheels went with them: and when the living creatures were lifted up from the earth, the wheels were lifted up. 20Where ever the spirit wanted to go, they went where their spirit wanted to go; and the wheels were lifted up opposite them: for the spirit of the living creature was in the wheels. 21When those went, these went; and when those stood, these stood; and when those were lifted up from the earth, the wheels were lifted up opposite them: for the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels. 22And the likeness of the area around the heads of the living creature was as the color of the terrible crystal, stretched out above over their heads. 23And under that area were their straight wings, the one toward the other: every one had two, which covered this side and every one had two, which covered that side of their bodies. 24And when they went, I heard the noise of their wings, like the noise of great waters, as the voice of the Almighty, the voice of speech, as the noise of a host: When they stood, they let down their wings.25And there was a voice from the area that was over their heads when they stood and had let down their wings.

26And above the area that was over their heads was the likeness of a throne with the appearance of a sapphire stone: and on the likeness of the throne was the likeness and appearance of a man above on it. 27And I saw as the color of amber, (Heb. an electric eye) as the appearance of fire round about within it, from the appearance of his loins even upward and from the appearance of his loins even downward, I saw as it were the appearance of fire and it had brightness round about, 28as the appearance of the rainbow that is in the cloud in the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness around about. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. And when I saw it, I fell on my face and I heard a voice of one who spoke.

Chapter One contains the most complete description of the Shekinah. Ezekiel refers to the Shekinah more than any other book in the O.T. And he describes the departure of the Shekinah from the temple and the Holy Land; which he saw in a vision. He also saw a vision of the restored Temple about fourteen years after its destruction by the Babylonians, and in a vision saw the return of the same Shekinah Glory that he elabotated on in chapter one.
Ezekiel mentions the same "Glory of YHWH" in the following passages:
1:1-28 An elaborate description
3:12-14 Carried by the Vehicle of Glory to the midst of the captives
3:23 Goes then to the Plain and receives instructions from the Shekinah.
8:2-4 A hand from the Shekinah carries a reluctant Ezekiel by the hair to Jerusalem
9:3 The Shekinah presence gives instructions on beginning punishment at the Temple.
10:1-22 A description of the Shekinahs's hesitant last days in the Temple and land
11:22-25 The Temple and the Land of Israel left desolate by the departure of the Shekinah.
43:1-12 The return of the Shekinah to the second Temple after the return from Babylon.
44:4 The Shekinah in the Temple among a corrupt priesthood when it was visited by Jesus.

Chapter 2

1And he said to me, Son of man, stand on your feet and I will speak to you. 2And the spirit entered into me when he spoke to me and set me on my feet, so that I heard him who spoke to me.3And he said to me, Son of man, I send you to the children of Israel, to a rebellious nation which has rebelled against me: they and their fathers have transgressed against me, even to this very day. 4For they are impudent children and stiff hearted. I send you to them; and you shall say to them, Thus says the Lord GOD. 5And they, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear, (for they are a rebellious house,) yet they shall know that there has been a prophet among them.

6And you, son of man, do not be afraid of them, nor be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns are with you and you dwell among scorpions: do not be afraid of their words, nor be dismayed at their looks, though they are a rebellious house. 7And you shall speak my words to them, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear: for they are most rebellious. 8But you, son of man, hear what I say to you; Do not be rebellious like that rebellious house: open your mouth and eat that which I give you. 9And when I looked, behold, a hand was sent to me; and, lo, a roll of a book was in it; 10And he spread it before me; and it was written within and without: and there was written in it lamentations and mourning and woe.

Chapter 3

1He also said to me, Son of man, eat what you find; eat this roll and go speak to the house of Israel. 2So I opened my mouth and he caused me to eat that roll. 3And he said to me, Son of man, cause your belly to eat and fill your inward parts with this roll that I give you. Then I ate it; and it was in my mouth as honey for sweetness. 4And he said to me, Son of man, go, go to the house of Israel and speak with my words to them. 5For you are not sent to a people of a strange speech and of a hard language, but to the house of Israel; 6Not to many people of a strange speech and of a hard language, whose words you can not understand. Surely, If I sent you to them, they would have listened to you. 7But the house of Israel will not listen to you; for they will not listen to me: for all the house of Israel are impudent and hardhearted. 8Behold, I have made your face strong against their faces and your forehead strong against their foreheads. 9As an adamant harder than flint I have made your forehead: do not fear them, nor be dismayed at their looks, though they are a rebellious house. 10Also he said to me, Son of man, all my words that I shall speak to you receive in your heart and hear with your ears. 11And go, go to them of the captivity, to the children of your people and speak to them and tell them, Thus says the Lord GOD; whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear. 12Then the spirit took me up and I heard behind me a voice of a great rushing, saying, Blessed be the glory of the LORD from his place. 13I heard also the noise of the wings of the living creatures that touched one another and the noise of the wheels opposite them and a noise of a great rushing. 14So the spirit lifted me up, and took me away and I went in bitterness, in the heat of my spirit; but the hand of the LORD was strong on me. 15Then I came to them of the captivity , who dwelled by the river of Chebar at Telaviv and I sat where they sat and remained there astonished among them seven days.

16and it was at the end of seven days, that the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 17Son of man, I have made you a watchman to the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth and give them warning from me. 18When I say to the wicked, You shall surely die; and you do not give him warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand. 19Yet if you warn the wicked and he does not turn from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul. 20Again, When a righteous man turns from his righteousness and commits iniquity and I lay a stumbling block before him, he shall die: because you have not given him warning, he shall die in his sin and his righteousness which he has done shall not be remembered; but his blood I will require at your hand. 21But if you warn the righteous man, that the righteous should not sin and he does not sin, he shall surely live, because he is warned; also you have delivered your soul.

22And the hand of the LORD was there on me; and he said to me, Arise, go forth into the plain, and I will talk with you there. 23Then I arose and went forth into the plain: and, behold, the glory of the LORD stood there, as the glory which I saw by the river of Chebar: and I fell on my face. 24Then the spirit entered into me and set me on my feet and spoke with me and said to me, Go, shut yourself within your house. 25But you, O son of man, behold, they shall put bands on you, and shall bind you with them and you shall not go out among them: 26And I will make your tongue cleave to the roof of your mouth, so that you shall be dumb and shall not be a reprover to them: for they are a rebellious house. 27But when I speak with you, I will open your mouth, and you shall say to them, Thus says the Lord GOD; He who hears, let him hear; and he who forbears, let him forbear: for they are a rebellious house.

Chapter 4

1You also, son of man, take a tile and lay it before you and portray the city on it, even Jerusalem: 2And lay siege against it and build a fort against it and cast a mount against it; set the camp also against it and set battering rams against it round about. 3Also take to you an iron pan and set it for a wall of iron between you and the city: and set your face against it and it shall be besieged and you shall lay siege against it. This shall be a sign to the house of Israel. 4Lie also on your left side and lay the iniquity of the house of Israel on it: the same as the number of the days that you shall lie on it you shall bear their iniquity. 5For I have laid on you the years of their iniquity, the same as the number of the days, three hundred and ninety days: so shall you bear the iniquity of the house of Israel. 6And when you have accomplished them, lie again on your right side and you shall bear the iniquity of the house of Judah forty days: I have appointed you each day for a year. 7Therefore you shall set your face toward the siege of Jerusalem and your arm shall be uncovered and you shall prophesy against it. 8And, behold, I will lay bands on you, and you shall not turn from one side to the other, till you have ended the days of your siege.

Verses 4 and 5. The beginning point for number of years: 390 for the northern Kingdome of Israel and 40 years for the kingdom of Judah must be when the people themselves became personally and individually accountable for the sins of the nation. The whole of the time for Israel must begin in the reign of Rehoboam from from the setting up of the calves in Dan and Bethel and extend to to the overthrow of Israel in 722 BCE or some terminal point understood by the LORD; perhaps the destruction of Jerusalem. There is much trouble with the chronology, But the period must be from the time that the nation or people themselves become accountable for the sins present in the nation. There never was a national protest against the idols of Dan and Bethel in the north even though prophets from Judah preached against them. So the nation was acountable for the sins the whole of the period of their statehood and beyond.

In Judah there is a succession of alterate good followed by sinful kings. The nation was good or bad depending on the kings. Thus it was the king who was accountable and not the whole nation .

There were several reforms in the history of Judah when the kings reformed and the nation repented along with the king. But in the reign of Josiah When Josiah cleaned out idolatry and reformed the wordhip, the nation did not follow suit and therefore the nation became personably accountable. What ever the terminus of the forty years of Judah's accountability may be; the forty years of accountability must begin with Josiah's reform about the thirteenth year of his reign which is also the first year of Jeremiah as a prophet.

I include a quotation from Gill who labors at a solution to find the beginning event and terminus of the exact number of years of accountability.

"according to the number of the days; a day for a year;

"three hundred and ninety days; which signify three hundred and ninety years; and so many years there were from the revolt of the ten tribes from Rehoboam, and the setting up the calves at Dan and Bethel, to the destruction of Jerusalem; which may be reckoned thus: the apostasy was in the fourth year of Rehoboam, so that there remained thirteen years of his reign, for he reigned seventeen years; Abijah his successor reigned three years; Asa, forty one; Jehoshaphat, twenty five; Joram, eight; Ahaziah, one; Athaliah, seven; Joash, forty; Amaziah, twenty nine: Uzziah, fifty two; Jotham, sixteen; Ahaz, sixteen; Hezekiah, twenty nine; Manasseh, fifty five; Amos, two; Josiah, thirty one; Jehoahaz, three months; Jehoiakim, eleven years; Jeconiah, three months and ten days; and Zedekiah, eleven years; in all three hundred and ninety years. Though Grotius reckons them from the fall of Solomon to the carrying captive of the ten tribes by Shalmaneser. According to Jerom, both the three hundred and ninety days, and the forty days, were figurative of the captivities of Israel and Judah. The captivity of Israel, or the ten tribes, began under Pekah king of Israel, 1Ki_15:29; when many places in the kingdom were wasted; from whence, to the fortieth year of Ahasuerus, when the Jews were entirely set at liberty, were three hundred and ninety years (e); and the captivity of Judah began in the first year of Jeconiah, which, to the first of Cyrus, were forty years. The Jewish writers make these years to be the time of the idolatry of these people in their chronicle (f) they say, from hence we learn that Israel provoked the Lord to anger, from the time they entered into the land until they went out of it, three hundred and ninety years. Which, according to Jarchi and Kimchi, are, to be reckoned partly in the times of the judges, and partly in the times of the kings of Israel; in the times of the former, a hundred and eleven years: from Micah, till the ark was carried captive in the days of Eli, forty years; and from the time of Jerooam to Hoshea, two hundred and forty; which make three hundred and ninety one: but the last of Hoshea is not of the number, since it was in the ninth year of his reign the city of Samaria was taken. So Jarchi. Kimchi's reckoning is different. Abarbinel is of opinion that these years describe the four hundred and thirty years of Israel's bondage in Egypt; though, he says, they may be understood of the time of the division of the kingdom under Rehoboam, from whence, to the destruction of Jerusalem, were three hundred and ninety years; which sense is best, and is what is first given;"

9Take also wheat and barley and beans and lentils and millet and fitches and put them in one vessel and make bread of it, the same as the number of the days that you shall lie on your side, three hundred and ninety days you shall eat of it. 10And your meat which you shall eat shall be twenty shekels a day by weight: from time to time you shall eat it. 11You shall drink also water by measure, the sixth part of an hin: from time to time you shall drink. 12And you shall eat it as barley cakes and you shall bake it with dung that comes out of man, in their sight. 13And the LORD said, Even thus shall the children of Israel eat their defiled bread among the Gentiles, where I will drive them. 14Then I said, Ah Lord GOD! behold, my soul has not been polluted: for from my youth up even till now I have not eaten of that which dies of itself, or is torn in pieces; nor has abominable flesh come into my mouth. 15Then he said to me, Lo, I have given you cow's dung for man's dung and you shall prepare your bread with it. 16Also he said to me, Son of man, behold, I will break the staff of bread in Jerusalem: and they shall eat bread by weight and with care; and they shall drink water by measure and with astonishment: 17So that they will lack bread and water and be astonished at one another and consume away for their iniquity.

Chapter 5

1And you, son of man, take a sharp knife, take a barber's razor and cause it to pass on your head and on your beard: then take you balances to weigh and divide the hair. 2You shall burn a third part with fire in the midst of the city, when the days of the siege are fulfilled: and you shall take a third part and strike about it with a knife: and a third part you shall scatter in the wind; and I will draw out a sword after them. 3You shall also take of it a few in number and bind them in your skirts. 4Then take of them again and cast them into the midst of the fire and burn them in the fire; for out of them a fire shall come forth into all the house of Israel.

Verse 4: out of them a fire shall come forth into all the house of Israel
Fire is a mixed symbol in scripture, it can mean destruction, or purging, but can also mean the enthusiasm of the Holy Spirit and renewal of faith. That is most likely what is meant here. This is a prediction of a faithful remnant rising who will renew the faith of the nation in erxile and lead to its restoration, Punishment, exile, then return and exaltation is a continuing theme in Ezekiel that reaches a crescendo in Chapter 37 and extending to the end of the book.
[Re: "fire" See comments on Isaiah 4:4] where several verses are cited where fire is spiritual enthusiasm or renewal.

The theme of exile and renewal of faith by a remnant is repeated in chapter 6:8 below.

5Thus says the Lord GOD; This is Jerusalem: I have set it in the midst of the nations and countries that are round about her. 6And she has changed my judgments into wickedness more than the nations and my statutes more than the countries that are round about her: for they have refused my judgments and my statutes, they have not walked in them. 7Therefore thus says the Lord GOD; Because you multiplied more than the nations that are round about you and have not walked in my statutes, nor have kept my judgments, nor have you done according to the judgments of the nations that are round about you; 8Therefore thus says the Lord GOD; Behold, I, even I, am against you and will execute judgments in the midst of you in the sight of the nations. 9And I will do in you that which I have not done and which I will not do the like of any more, because of all your abominations. 10Therefore the fathers shall eat their sons in the midst of you, and the sons shall eat their fathers; and I will execute judgments in you and I will scatter the whole remnant of you into all the winds. 11Therefore, as I live, says the Lord GOD; Surely, because you have defiled my sanctuary with all your detestable things and with all your abominations, therefore I will also diminish you; neither shall my eye spare, nor I will have any pity. 12A third part of you shall die with the pestilence and with famine shall they be consumed in the midst of you: and a third part shall fall by the sword round about you; and I will scatter a third part into all the winds and I will draw out a sword after them.

a third part: Famine, Disease, Sword, then scattering, are the threefold curse on the city which will be inflicted by an angry God.

13Thus shall my anger be accomplished and I will cause my fury to rest on them and I will be comforted: and they shall know that I the LORD have spoken it in my zeal, when I have accomplished my fury in them. 14Also I will make you waste and a reproach among the nations that are round about you, in the sight of all who pass by. 15So it shall be a reproach and a taunt, an instruction and an astonishment to the nations that are round about you, when I shall execute judgments in you in anger and in fury and in furious rebukes. I the LORD have spoken it. 16When I shall send on them the evil arrows of famine, which shall be for their destruction and which I will send to destroy you: and I will increase the famine on you and will break your staff of bread: 17So I will send on you famine and evil beasts and they shall bereave you; and pestilence and blood shall pass through you; and I will bring the sword on you. I the LORD have spoken it.

Chapter 6

1And the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 2Son of man, set your face toward the mountains of Israel and prophesy against them, 3And say, you mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord GOD; Thus says 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 on you and I will destroy your high places.4And your altars shall be desolate and your images shall be broken: and I will cast down your slain men before your idols. 5And I will lay the dead carcases of the children of Israel before their idols; and I will scatter your bones round about your altars. 6The cities shall be laid waste in all your dwelling places and the high places shall be desolate; so 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. 7And the slain shall fall in the midst of you and you shall know that I am the LORD.

8Yet I will leave a remnant, that you may have some who shall escape the sword among the nations, when you shall be scattered through the countries. 9And those who escape of you shall remember me among the nations where they shall be carried captives, because I am broken with their whorish heart, which has departed from me and with their eyes, which go a whoring after their idols: and they shall loathe themselves for the evils which they have committed in all their abominations. 10And they shall know that I am the LORD and that I have not said that I would do this evil to them in vain.

Verses 8-10: See the same theme above in 5:4ff

11Thus says the Lord GOD; Strike with your hand and stamp with your 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. 12He who is far off shall die of the pestilence; and he who is near shall fall by the sword; and he who remains and is besieged shall die by the famine: thus I will accomplish my fury on them.

Three fold curse: Famine, sword and disease has already been promised. The extention of disease to those who escape the city made clearer here In 5:12 it is also mentioned saying about those who escape the city, "I will draw out a sword after them". See the warning in chapter 5:12 above
13Then shall you know that I am the LORD, when their slain men shall be among their idols round about their altars, on every high hill, in all the tops of the mountains, and under every green tree and under every thick oak, the place where they offered sweet savor to all their idols. 14So I will stretch out my hand on them and make the land desolate in all their habitations, yes, more desolate than the wilderness toward Diblath and they shall know that I am the LORD.

Chapter 7

1Also the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 2Also, you son of man, thus says the Lord GOD to the land of Israel; An end, the end is come on the four corners of the land. 3Now, the end has come on you and I will send my anger on you and will judge you according to your ways and will recompense on you all your abominations. 4And my eye shall not spare you, nor I will have pity: but I will recompense your ways on you and your abominations shall be in the midst of you: and you shall know that I am the LORD. 5Thus says the Lord GOD; Behold, an evil, only evil, is come. 6An end is come, the end is come: it watches for you; behold, it is come. 7The morning is come to you, O you who dwell in the land: the time is come, the day of trouble is near and not the sounding again of the mountains. 8Now I will shortly pour out my fury on you, and accomplish my anger on you: and I will judge you according to your ways and will recompense you for all your abominations. 9And my eye shall not spare, nor I will have pity: I will recompense you according to your ways and your abominations that are in the midst of you; and you shall know that I am the LORD who strikes. 10Behold the day, behold, it is come: the morning is gone forth; the rod has blossomed, pride has budded. 11Violence is risen up into a rod of wickedness: none of them nor of their multitude shall remain, nor of any of theirs, nor shall there be wailing for them. 12The time is come, the day draws near: do not let the buyer rejoice, nor the seller mourn: for wrath is on all their multitude. 13For the seller shall not return to that which is sold, although they were yet alive: for the vision touches the whole multitude, which shall not return; nor shall any strengthen himself in the iniquity of his life. 14They have blown the trumpet, even to make all ready; but no one goes to the battle: for my wrath is on all its multitude. 15The sword is without and the pestilence and the famine within: he who is in the field shall die with the sword; and he who is in the city, famine and pestilence shall devour him.

16But those who escape of them shall escape and shall be on the mountains like doves of the valleys, all of them mourning, every one for his iniquity. 17All hands shall be feeble and all knees shall be weak as water. 18They shall also gird themselves with sackcloth and horror shall cover them; and shame shall be on all faces and baldness on all their heads. 19They shall cast their silver in the streets and their gold shall be removed: their silver and their gold shall not be able to deliver them in the day of the wrath of the LORD: they shall not satisfy their souls, nor fill their inward parts: because it is the stumbling block of their iniquity. 20As for the beauty of his ornament, he set it in majesty: but they made the images of their abominations and of their detestable things there: therefore I have set it far from them. 21And I will give their land into the hands of the strangers for a prey and to the wicked of the earth for a spoil; and they shall pollute it. 22 I will also turn my face from them and they shall pollute my secret place: for the robbers shall enter into it and defile it.

23Make a chain: for the land is full of bloody crimes and the city is full of violence.24Therefore I will bring the worst of the heathen and they shall possess their houses: I will also make the pomp of the strong to cease; and their holy places shall be defiled. 25Destruction comes; and they shall seek peace and there shall be none. 26Mischief shall come on mischief and rumor shall be on rumor; then shall they seek a vision of the prophet; but the Law shall perish from the priest and counsel from the ancients. 27The king shall mourn and the prince shall be clothed with desolation and the hands of the people of the land shall be troubled: I will do to them after their way and according to their deserts I will judge them; and they shall know that I am the LORD.

Chapter 8

1and it was in the sixth year, in the sixth month, in the fifth day of the month, as I sat in my house and the elders of Judah sat before me, that the hand of the Lord GOD fell on me there. 2Then I beheld and lo a likeness as the appearance of a man: from the appearance of his loins even downward, fire; and from his loins even upward, as the appearance of brightness, as the color of amber [Heb. an electric eye]. 3And he put forth the form of an hand and took me by a lock of my head; and the spirit lifted me up between the earth and the heaven and brought me in the visions of God to Jerusalem, to the door of the inner gate that looks toward the north; where the seat of the image of jealousy was, which provokes to jealousy.

Verse 3: "the image of jealousy" Many of the kings of Judah had reciprocated in setting up and removing idols from the entrance to the temple. The godess Ashteroth seems to be one of those meant here. Ashteroth of the Babylonians produced Tammuz who is mentioned below in verse 14. The same gods were worshipped by the Greeks by the names of Aphrodite and Adonis. See also what Manasseh did in 2 Kings 23:3,4,7

4And, behold, the glory of the God of Israel was there, the same as the vision that I saw in the plain.

Verse 4: "the glory of the God of Israel was there" This is an important observation. That is that the Shekinah presence was still in Jerusalem and the temple, in spite of the idolotrous conditions of the city and temple. This Divine Presence will be pictured as leaving the temple and the land in Chapter 11. And the announcement that these conditions will bring about the removal of the Presence is in verse 6 just below. See the references to the Shekinah listed here.

5Then he said to me, Son of man, lift up your eyes now the way toward the north. So I lifted up my eyes the way toward the north, and behold northward at the gate of the altar this image of jealousy was in the entry.

"image of jealousy" The same as described in verse 3 above.
6He said furthermore to me, Son of man, do you see what they are doing? even the great abominations that the house of Israel commits here, that I should go far off from my sanctuary? but you turn yet again, and you shall see greater abominations.

Verse 6: "that I should go far off from my sanctuary?" This then is the warning that the Shekinah will depart from the temple and the land. The preparation for the departure is recorded in chapter 10 and the departure itself is reconded in chapter 11:22ff.

7And he brought me to the door of the court; and when I looked, behold a hole in the wall. 8Then he said to me, Son of man, dig now in the wall: and when I had dug in the wall, behold a door. 9And he said to me, Go in and behold the wicked abominations that they do here. 10So I went in and saw; and behold every form of creeping things and abominable beasts and all the idols of the house of Israel, portrayed on the wall round about. 11And seventy men stood there before them of the ancients of the house of Israel and in the midst of them stood Jaazaniah the son of Shaphan, every man with his censer in his hand; and a thick cloud of incense went up. 12Then he said to me, Son of man, have you seen what the ancients of the house of Israel do in the dark, every man in the chambers of his imagination? for they say, The LORD does not see us; the LORD has forsaken the earth.

13He also said to me, Turn yet again and you shall see greater abominations that they do. 14Then he brought me to the door of the gate of the LORD'S house which was toward the north; and, behold, there women sat weeping for Tammuz.

Verse 14: "weeping for Tammuz."Tammuz is related to pagan gods Ishtar or Ashtoreth from which the word "easter" is ultimately derived. In some traditions Tammuz is gored to death by a bull and weeping for him for 40 days was done until he rose from the dead. At the same time cakes were baked to honor the Queen of heaven for his wife/mother Ishtar. The derivation of the pagan traditions of the "Christian" Easter celebration is hard to miss. The name Easter, the 40 days of fasting for a man born of a virgin, who rose from the dead and the baking of hot cross buns etc. are adaptations of practices already preexistant in pagan religions before the arrival of Christianity. These things are Roman rather than Christian. Jeremiah who was contemporary with Ezekiel described as an eyewitness, the same pagan activity that Ezekiel saw in visions. See Jeremiah 7:18 and also in Jeremiah 44:17-19.

15Then he said to me, have you seen this, O son of man? turn yet again and you shall see greater abominations than these. 16And he brought me into the inner court of the LORD'S house and, behold, at the door of the temple of the LORD, between the porch and the altar, were about twenty five men, with their backs toward the temple of the LORD and their faces toward the east; and they worshiped the sun toward the east. 17Then he said to me, have you seen this, O son of man? Is it a light thing to the house of Judah that they commit the abominations which they commit here? for they have filled the land with violence, and have returned to provoke me to anger: and, lo, they put the branch to their nose. 18Therefore I will also deal in fury: my eye shall not spare, nor I will have pity: and though they cry in my ears with a loud voice, yet I will not hear them.

Chapter 9

1He cried also in my ears with a loud voice, saying, Cause those who have charge over the city to draw near, even every man with his destroying weapon in his hand. 2And, behold, six men came from the way of the higher gate, which lies toward the north and every man with a slaughter weapon in his hand; and one man among them was clothed with linen, with a writer's inkhorn by his side: and they went in and stood beside the brazen altar. 3And the glory of the God of Israel went up from the cherub, where he was, to the threshold of the house. And he called to the man clothed with linen, who had the writer's inkhorn by his side;

Verse 3:The Shekinah Presence is seen in this verse as still abiding in the Holy of Holys between the Cherubim from where it arises and speaks as YHWH. This does not seem to be an attempt to spare the city by ridding it of the corrupt citizens but rather to preserve the righteous remnant among those who will go into captivity. The Shekinah Presence will depart the temple and land which is recorded in Chapters 10 and 11. The prophecy of the return of the Shekinah is in Ezekiel 43:1-7. The fulfillment of the return of the Shekina to the second Temple is in Zechariuah 8.1-3

4And the LORD said to him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem and set a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and who cry for all the abominations that are done in the midst of it.

5And to the others he said in my hearing, Go after him through the city and strike: let not your eye spare, nor have pity: 6 Utterly kill old and young, both maids and little children and women: but do not come near any man on whom is the mark; and begin at my sanctuary. Then they began at the ancient men which were before the house. 7And he said to them, Defile the house and fill the courts with the slain: go forth. And they went forth and killed in the city.8And it was while they were killing them and I was left, that I fell on my face and cried and said, Ah Lord GOD! will you destroy all the residue of Israel in the pouring out of your fury on Jerusalem? 9Then he said to me, The iniquity of the house of Israel and Judah is exceedingly great and the land is full of blood and the city full of perverseness: for they say, The LORD has forsaken the earth and the LORD does not see. 10And as for me also, my eye shall not spare, nor will I have pity, but I will recompense their way on their head. 11And, behold, the man clothed with linen, who had the inkhorn by his side, reported the matter, saying, I have done as you have commanded me.

Chapter 10 is a full chapter describing the Shekinah outside and inside the temple and HER preparation to spread fire on the city and in the environment of the Temple.

Chapter 10

1Then I looked and, behold, in the area that was above the head of the cherubim there appeared over them as a sapphire stone, as the appearance of the likeness of a throne.2And he spoke to the man clothed with linen and said, Go in between the wheels, even under the cherub and fill your hand with coals of fire from between the cherubim and scatter them over the city. And he went in my sight. 3Now the cherubim stood on the right side of the house, when the man went in; and the cloud filled the inner court. 4Then the glory of the LORD went up from the cherub and stood over the threshold of the house; and the house was filled with the cloud and the court was full of the brightness of the LORD'S glory. 5And the sound of the cherubim's wings was heard even to the outer court, as the voice of the Almighty God when he speaks. 6and it was, that when he had commanded the man clothed with linen, saying, Take fire from between the wheels, from between the cherubim; then he went in and stood beside the wheels. 7And one cherub stretched forth his hand from between the cherubim to the fire that was between the cherubim and took of it and put it into the hands of him who was clothed with linen: who took it and went out.

8And there appeared in the cherubim the form of a man's hand under their wings. 9And when I looked, behold the four wheels by the cherubim, one wheel by one cherub and another wheel by another cherub: and the appearance of the wheels was like the color of a Carthage stone. 10And as for their appearances, the four had one likeness, as if a wheel had been in the middle of a wheel.11When they went, those went on their four sides; they did not turn as they went, but to the place where the head looked they followed it; they did not turn as they went. 12And their whole body and their backs and their hands and their wings and the wheels, were full of eyes round about, even the wheels that they four had. 13As for the wheels, it was cried to them in my hearing, O wheel. 14And every one had four faces: the first face was the face of a cherub and the second face was the face of a man and the third the face of a lion and the fourth the face of an eagle.

15And the cherubim were lifted up. This is the living creature that I saw by the river of Chebar.

Verse 15: "This is the living creature" Referring to the whole of the multiplicity of entities that make up the Shekinah Ezekiel says here "She is the Creature." Both the pronoun "she" and the noun "creature" are feminine in gender. The KJV translates it. "This is the living creature" The Hebrew is pronouncwed "h'iy chayah" It means "She is the creature" The feminine aspects of the Glory of YHWH are treated in the section in Ezekiel above and in Isaiah 51:9.

16And when the cherubim went, the wheels went with them: and when the cherubim lifted up their wings to mount up from the earth, the same wheels also did not turn from beside them.17When they stood, these stood; and when they were lifted up, these also lifted up themselves: for the spirit of the living creature was in them. 18Then the glory of the LORD departed from off the threshold of the house and stood over the cherubim. 19And the cherubim lifted up their wings and mounted up from the earth in my sight: when they went out, the wheels also were beside them and every one stood at the door of the east gate of the LORD'S house; and the glory of the God of Israel was above over them. 20This is the living creature that I saw under the God of Israel by the river of Chebar; and I knew that they were the cherubim. 21Every one had four faces apiece and every one four wings; and the likeness of the hands of a man was under their wings. 22And the appearance of their faces was the same faces which I saw by the river of Chebar, their appearances and themselves: they went every one straight forward.

Chapter 11

1Also the spirit lifted me up and brought me to the east gate of the LORD'S house, which looks eastward: and behold at the door of the gate were twenty five men; among whom I saw Jaazaniah the son of Azur and Pelatiah the son of Benaiah, princes of the people. 2Then he said to me, Son of man, these are the men who devise mischief and give wicked counsel in this city:3Who say, It is not near; let us build houses: this city is the caldron and we are the flesh. 4Therefore prophesy against them, prophesy, O son of man. 5And the Spirit of the LORD fell on me and said to me, Speak; Thus says the LORD; Thus have you said, O house of Israel: for I know the things that come into your mind, every one of them. 6You have multiplied your slain in this city and you have filled the streets of it with the slain.

Verses 1-6: Serious intermitant war and siege of Jerusalem has been going on now from the last year of Josiah to the time of this prophecy, about the eighth year of Zedekiah a period of a little more than 20 years. Pharoah Necho put Judah under tribute and took Josiah's successor captive to Egypt. Three years later Nebuchadnezzar took the first Judeans captive to Babylon including Jehoiakim son of Josiah and Daniel. Jehoiakim was then restored by the Babylonians but soon rebelled, opting for independance and help from Egypt which of course did not come. A few years later, three months after the death of Jehoiakim Nebuchadnezzar besieged the city again and took many more captives including Jehoiachin son of Jehoiakim and Ezekiel. Zedekiah son of Josiah was then installed by Nebuchadnezzar who receivd an oath from Zedekiah that he would be faithful to Babylonian oversight. However shortly after the third year of this relationship he rebelled and chose independance. The city was again set under Babylonian siege for the third time. The final siege lasted from the ninth year Zedekiah to the eleventh year. Thus the leaders of the nation itself had made Jerusalem a "cauldron" and they had multiplied the slain in the city. However the end of the siege would not result in a blood bath according to Ezekiel's prophecy in the next paragraph. And the final siege began in about one year after this prophecy was given.

7Therefore thus says the Lord GOD; Your slain whom you have laid in the midst of it, they are the flesh and this city is the caldron: but I will bring you forth out of the midst of it.8You have feared the sword; and I will bring a sword on you, says the Lord GOD. 9And I will bring you out of the midst of it and deliver you into the hands of strangers and will execute judgments among you. 10You shall fall by the sword; I will judge you in the border of Israel; and you shall know that I am the LORD. 11This city shall not be your caldron, nor shall you be the flesh in the midst of it; but I will judge you in the border of Israel: 12And you shall know that I am the LORD: for you have not walked in my statutes, nor executed my judgments, but have done after the manners of the heathen who are around about you. 13and it was, when I prophesied, that Pelatiah the son of Benaiah died. Then I fell down on my face and cried with a loud voice and said, Ah Lord GOD! will you make a full end of the remnant of Israel?

Verses 7-13: "I will judge you in the border of Israel" and "This city shall not be your caldron," Several passages sum up the rounding up of those captured and escaped from Jerusalem. They including Zedekiah were taken to Riblah in "the land of Hamath" which is near the northern city of Carchemish on the Euphrates. Jeremiah describes the event, in Jeremiah 52:7-11.

14Again the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 15Son of man, your brothers, even your brothers, the men of your kindred and all the house of Israel wholly, are they to whom the inhabitants of Jerusalem have said, Get far from the LORD: this land is given to us in possession. 16Therefore say, Thus says the Lord GOD; Although I have cast them far off among the heathen, and although I have scattered them among the countries, yet I will be to them as a little sanctuary in the countries where they shall come. 17Therefore say, Thus says the Lord GOD; I will even gather you from the people and assemble you out of the countries where you have been scattered and I will give you the land of Israel. 18And they shall come there and they shall take away all its detestable things. and all its abominations from there. 19And I will give them one heart and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh and will give them a heart of flesh: 20So that they may walk in my statutes and keep my ordinances, and do them: and they shall be my people and I will be their God. 21But as for those whose hearts walk after the heart of their detestable things and their abominations, I will recompense their way on their own heads, says the Lord GOD.

Verses 14-21: These verses and others in ths book are very similar to the predictions of Isaiah of the destruction and exile of the norther tribes by the Assyrianbs more than 100 years previous to these events. There is the warning of exile but then the promise of future restoration after a purging of the nation is given. This is the last such promise before the prediction of the departure of the Spirit of God called the "Glory of YHWH or more commonly "Shekinah" described in the next paragraph.

22Then the cherubim lifted up their wings and the wheels beside them; and the glory of the God of Israel was over above them. 23And the glory of the LORD went up from the midst of the city, and stood on the mountain which is on the east side of the city. 24Afterward the spirit took me up, and brought me in a vision by the Spirit of God into Chaldea, to those of the captivity. So the vision that I had seen went up from me. 25Then I spoke to them of the captivity all the things that the LORD had showed me.

Verses 22-25 record the actual departure of the Shekinah Presence from the temple and from the land. The prophecy of the return of the Shekinah Presence to the second Temple is recorded in Ezekiel 43:1-7. The fulfillment of Ezekiel's prophecy of the return is in Zechariah 8:1-3.

Chapter 12

1The word of the LORD also came to me, saying, 2Son of man, you dwell in the midst of a rebellious house, who have eyes to see and do not see; they have ears to hear and do not hear: for they are a rebellious house. 3Therefore, son of man, prepare stuff for removing and move by day in their sight; and you shall move from your place to another place in their sight: it may be they will consider, though they are a rebellious house. 4Then shall you bring forth your stuff by day in their sight, as stuff for moving: and you shall go forth at evening in their sight, as those who go into captivity.

Verses 3-4 The words removing, moving and move in these verses is from the Hebrew Golah which means captivity. It is translated "captivity? As the last word in verse 4. Most modern translations render them as "captivity." Ezekiel here and in what follows in this chapter is giving an object lesson showing what will happen soon to the inhabitats of Jerusalem. This as much of the rest of this chapter would be fulfilled in a short time of six or seven years. See the time factor below in the note on verse 13.
5Dig through the wall in their sight and carry out from there. 6You shall bear it on your shoulders in their sight and carry it forth in the twilight: you shall cover your face, so that you do not see the ground: for I have set you for a sign to the house of Israel. 7And I did as I was commanded: I brought forth my stuff by day, as stuff for captivity and in the evening I dug through the wall with my hand; I brought it out in the twilight and I bore it on my shoulder in their sight. 8And in the morning the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 9Son of man, has not the house of Israel, the rebellious house, said to you, What are you doing? 10Say to them, Thus says the Lord GOD; This burden concerns the prince in Jerusalem and all the house of Israel who are among them. 11Say, I am your sign: just as I have done, so shall it be done to them: they shall move and go into captivity. 12And the prince who is among them shall bear on his shoulder in the twilight and shall go out: they shall dig through the wall to carry out from there: he shall cover his face, so that he does not see the ground with his eyes. 13I will also spread my net on him and he shall be taken in my snare: and I will bring him to Babylon to the land of the Chaldeans; yet he shall not see it, although he shall die there.

Verse 13: I will bring him to Babylon... yet he shall not see it, The prophecy speaks of Zedekiah. According to the chronology of the Book of Ezekiel the date of giving this prophecy is set in Ezek. 8:1 above as the 6th year of the Captivity of Jehoichin, which would be the fifth or sixth year of Zedekiah's reign or circa 591 BCE. At that time Zedekiah was in rebellion against the King of Babylon. Nebuchadnezzar had made Zedekiah swear an oath of alligience in the name of YHWH. In the event, at the end of the siege of Jersualem, in 585 BCE approximately 6 or 7 years after the giving of this prophecy it was literally fulfilled. Zedekiah and other officials by night slipped out of the city and attempted to escape. They were rounded up and taken to Hamath where Nebuchadnezzar killed Zedekiah's son before him and then had his eyes put out and he was led to Babylon where he would later die. See 2 Kings 25:1-7 and 2 Cronicles 36:11-21

14And I will scatter toward every wind all who are about him to help him and all his bands; and I will draw out the sword after them. 15And they shall know that I am the LORD, when I shall scatter them among the nations, and disperse them in the countries. 16But I will leave a few men of them from the sword, from the famine and from the pestilence; so that they may declare all their abominations among the heathen where they come; and they shall know that I am the LORD.

17Also the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 18Son of man, eat your bread with quaking, and drink your water with trembling and with carefulness; 19And say to the people of the land, Thus says the Lord GOD of the inhabitants of Jerusalem and of the land of Israel; They shall eat their bread with carefulness and drink their water with astonishment, that her land may be desolate from all that is in it, because of the violence of all those who dwell in it. 20And the cities that are inhabited shall be laid waste and the land shall be desolate; and you shall know that I am the LORD.

21And the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 22Son of man, what is that proverb that you have in the land of Israel, saying, The days are prolonged and every vision fails? 23Tell them therefore, Thus says the Lord GOD; I will make this proverb to cease and they shall use it no more as a proverb in Israel; but say to them, The days are at hand and the effect of every vision.24For there shall not be any vain visions any more nor flattering divination within the house of Israel. 25For I am the LORD: I will speak and the word that I shall speak shall come to pass; it shall be not be prolonged anymore: for in your days, O rebellious house, I will say the word and will perform it, says the Lord GOD. 26Again the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 27Son of man, behold, they of the house of Israel say, The vision that he sees is for many days to come, and he prophesies of the times that are far off. 28Therefore say to them, Thus says the Lord GOD; None of my words shall be prolonged any more, but the word which I have spoken shall be done, says the Lord GOD.

Chapter 13

1And the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 2Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel who prophesy and say to those who prophesy out of their own hearts, Hear the word of the LORD; 3Thus says the Lord GOD; Woe to the foolish prophets, who follow their own spirit and have seen nothing! 4O Israel, your prophets are like the foxes in the deserts.5You have not gone up into the gaps, nor have you made up the hedge for the house of Israel to stand in the battle in the day of the LORD. 6They have seen vanity and lying divination, saying, The LORD says: but the LORD has not sent them: and they have made others to hope so that they would confirm the word. 7Have you not seen a vain vision and have you not spoken a lying divination, whereas you say, The LORD says it; but I have not spoken? 8Therefore thus says the Lord GOD; Because you have spoken vanity and seen lies, therefore, behold, I am against you, says the Lord GOD. 9And my hand shall be on the prophets who see vanity and who divine lies: they shall not be in the assembly of my people, nor shall they be written in the writing of the house of Israel, nor shall they enter into the land of Israel; and you shall know that I am the Lord GOD.

10Because, even, because they have seduced my people, saying, Peace; and there was no peace; and one built up a wall and, lo, others daubed it with untempered mortar: 11Say to those who daub it with untempered mortar, that it shall fall: there shall be an overflowing shower; and you, O great hailstones, shall fall; and a stormy wind shall tear it. 12Lo, when the wall has fallen, shall it not be said to you, Where is the daubing with which you have daubed it? 13Therefore thus says the Lord GOD; I will even tear it with a stormy wind in my fury; and there shall be an overflowing shower in my anger and great hailstones in my fury to consume it. 14So I will break down the wall that you have daubed with untempered mortar and bring it down to the ground, so that its foundation shall be uncovered and it shall fall and you shall be consumed in the midst of it: and you shall know that I am the LORD. 15Thus I will accomplish my wrath on the wall and on those who have daubed it with untempered mortar and will say to you, The wall is no more, nor those who daubed it; 16Even, the prophets of Israel who prophesy concerning Jerusalem and who see visions of peace for her and there is no peace, says the Lord GOD.

17Likewise, son of man, set your face against the daughters of your people, who prophesy out of their own heart; and prophesy against them, 18And say, Thus says the Lord GOD; Woe to the women who sew pillows for all armholes and make kerchiefs on the head of every statue to hunt souls! Will you hunt the souls of my people and will you save the souls alive who come to you? 19And will you pollute me among my people for handfuls of barley and for pieces of bread, to kill the souls who should not die and to save the souls alive who should not live, by your lying to my people who hear your lies? 20Therefore thus says the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against your pillows, with which you hunt the souls to make them fly and I will tear them from your arms, and will let the souls go, even the souls who you hunt to make them fly. 21I will also tear your kerchiefs and deliver my people out of your hand and they shall not be in your hand anymore to be hunted; and you shall know that I am the LORD. 22Because with lies you have made the heart of the righteous sad, whom I have not made sad; and strengthened the hands of the wicked by promising him life, so that he would not return from his wicked way: 23Therefore you shall see no more vanity, nor divine divinations: for I will deliver my people out of your hand: and you shall know that I am the LORD.

Chapter 14

Personal Responsibility

This is not the first place in the Bible that the personal responsibility of each individual in the captivity is referred to. However the concept that the individual members (at least the majority) had become persoally responsible for the idolatry of the nation rather than the notion of the kings is emphasised here. When the ruler changed in the nation of Judah often the prevelance of idolatry changed with him according to his convictions. Thus there was a vasilation of the popularity of idolatry during the period from Reheboam to Zedekiah in Jerusalem. The Northern Kingdom of Israel however never wavered from its devotion to idolatry. However a minority of true believers existed in the north. Several prophets dedicated their writings to the Northern Kingdom, among whom were Amos and Hosea. To Elijah a vision revealed that there were 7,000 who were faithful to YHWH in Israel even though Elijah felt he was the lone propher. Elishah, and Michiah are examples of some other prophets who remained true to God in Israel. How many other ordinary people, not identified, were part of a faithful remnant can only be conjectured. However it seems that the majority of prophets and spiritual leaders had become personaaly acountable for the sins of the nation as seen in this chapter (and chapter 34 which is an indightment of the priesthood.)

1Then came certain of the elders of Israel to me and sat before me. 2And the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 3Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their heart and put the stumbling block of their iniquity before their face: should I be enquired of at all by them?4Therefore speak to them and say to them, Thus says the Lord GOD; Every man of the house of Israel who sets up his idols in his heart and puts the stumbling block of his iniquity before his face and comes to the prophet; I the LORD will answer him who comes according to the multitude of his idols; 5That I may take the house of Israel in their own heart, because they are all estranged from me through their idols. 6Therefore say to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord GOD; Repent and turn yourselves from your idols; and turn away your faces from all your abominations. 7For every one of the house of Israel, or of the stranger who sojourns in Israel, who separates himself from me and sets up his idols in his heart and puts the stumbling block of his iniquity before his face and comes to a prophet to enquire of him concerning me; I the LORD will answer him by myself: 8And I will set my face against that man and will make him a sign and a proverb and I will cut him off from the midst of my people; and you shall know that I am the LORD. 9And if the prophet be deceived when he has spoken a thing, I the LORD have deceived that prophet and I will stretch out my hand on him and will destroy him from the midst of my people Israel. 10And they shall bear the punishment of their iniquity: the punishment of the prophet shall be even as the punishment of him who seeks from him; 11So that the house of Israel may go astray from me no more , nor be polluted any more with all their transgressions; but that they may be my people and I may be their God, says the Lord GOD.

12The word of the LORD came again to me, saying, 13Son of man, when the land sins against me by trespassing grievously, then I will stretch out my hand on it and will break the staff of bread from it and will send famine on it and will cut off man and beast from it: 14Though these three men, Noah, Daniel and Job, were in it, they would deliver only their own souls by their righteousness, says the Lord GOD. 15If I cause noisome beasts to pass through the land and they spoil it, so that it is desolate, so that no man may pass through because of the beasts: 16Though these three men were in it, as I live, says the Lord GOD, they shall deliver neither sons nor daughters; they only shall be delivered, but the land shall be desolate. 17Or if I bring a sword on that land and say, Sword, go through the land; so that I may cut off man and beast from it: 18Though these three men were in it, as I live, says the Lord GOD, they shall deliver neither sons nor daughters, but they only shall be delivered themselves. 19Or if I send a pestilence into that land and pour out my fury on it in blood, to cut off from it man and beast: 20Though Noah, Daniel and Job, were in it, as I live, says the Lord GOD, they shall deliver neither son nor daughter; they shall only deliver their own souls by their righteousness. 21For thus says the Lord GOD; How much more when I send my four sore judgments on Jerusalem, the sword and the famine and the noisome beast and the pestilence, to cut off from it man and beast? 22Yet, behold, there shall be left a remnant that shall be brought out, both sons and daughters: behold, they shall come out to you and you shall see their way and their doings: and you shall be comforted concerning the evil that I have brought on Jerusalem, even concerning all that I have brought on it. 23And they shall comfort you, when you see their ways and their doings: and you shall know that I have not done all that I have done in it without cause , says the Lord GOD.

Chapter 15

1And the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 2Son of man, What is the vine tree more than any tree, or than a branch which is among the trees of the forest? 3Shall wood be taken from it to do any work? or will men take a pin from it to hang any vessel on? 4Behold, it is cast into the fire for fuel; the fire devours both its ends and the midst of it is burned. Is it fit for any work? 5Behold, when it was whole, it was not fit for work: how much less shall it yet be fit for any work when the fire has devoured it and it is burned? 6Therefore thus says the Lord GOD; As the vine tree among the trees of the forest, which I have given to the fire for fuel, so I will give the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 7And I will set my face against them; they shall go out from one fire, and another fire shall devour them; and you shall know that I am the LORD, when I set my face against them. 8And I will make the land desolate, because they have committed a trespass, says the Lord GOD.

Chapter 16

Again the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 2Son of man, cause Jerusalem to know her abominations, 3And say, Thus says the Lord GOD to Jerusalem; your birth and your nativity is of the land of Canaan; your father was an Amorite and your mother a Hittite. 4And as for your nativity, in the day you were born your navel was not cut, nor were you washed in water to supple you; you were not salted at all, nor swaddled at all. 5No eye pitied you, to do any of these to you, to have compassion on you; but you were cast out in the open field, to the loathing of your person, in the day that you were born.

6And when I passed by you and saw you polluted in your own blood, I said to you when you were in your blood, Live; yes, I said to you when you were in your blood, Live. 7I have caused you to multiply as the bud of the field and you have increased and grown great and you are come to excellent ornaments: your breasts are fashioned and your hair is grown, while before you were naked and bare. 8Now when I passed by you and looked on you, behold, your time was the time of love; and I spread my skirt over you and covered your nakedness: yes, I swore to you and entered into a covenant with you, says the Lord GOD and you became mine. 9Then I washed you with water; yes, I throughly washed away your blood from you and I anointed you with oil. 10I clothed you also with braided work and shod you with badgers' skin and I girded you about with fine linen and I covered you with silk. 11I decked you also with ornaments and I put bracelets on your hands and a chain on your neck. 12And I put a jewel on your forehead and earrings in your ears and a beautiful crown on your head. 13Thus were you decked with gold and silver; and your raiment was of fine linen and silk and braided work; you ate fine flour and honey and oil: and you were exceedingly beautiful and you prospered into a kingdom. 14And your renown went forth among the heathen for your beauty: for it was perfect through my comeliness, which I had put on you, says the Lord GOD.

15But you trusted in your own beauty and played the harlot because of your renown and poured out your fornications on every one who passed by; it was his. 16And you took of your garments, and decked your high places with different colors and played the harlot there: like things shall not come, nor be. 17You have also taken your fair jewels of my gold and of my silver, which I had given you and made images of men for yourself and committed whoredom with them, 18And took your braided garments and covered them: and you have set my oil and my incense before them. 19My meat also which I gave to you, fine flour and oil and honey, with which I fed you, you have even set it before them for a sweet savor: and thus it was, says the Lord GOD. 20Also you have taken your sons and your daughters, whom you have borne to me and these have you sacrificed to them to be devoured. Is this of your whoredoms a small matter, 21That you have slain my children and delivered them to cause them to pass through the fire for them? 22And in all your abominations and your whoredoms you have not remembered the days of your youth, when you were naked and bare and were polluted in your blood.

Verse 21: pass through the fireWorship of Moloch was obviously still present on the temple mount when Ezekiel wrote. The worship of Moloch has a long history extending earlier than the period of the bondage of Israel in Egypt. It was legislated against in Lev.18:21 and in the secong giving of the Law in Deut 18:10. The Kingdom of Israel was given to Idolotry for all of its history and "passing through the fire" was commom. But the practise was not limited to Israel. Ahaz contemporary of Isaiah, father of Hezekiah, and in whose days the northern tribes were taken into captivity also set up Idols to Moloch and caused his son (Hezekiah?) to pass through the fire. (2 Kings 16:3) The practice of passing their sons and daughters through the fire associated with wirtchcraft and divination is one of the reasons given for punishing the Kingdom of Israel with captivity and exile. (2 Kings 17-17) This ritual, set up by his father Ahaz was removed by Hezekiah (2 Chron 33:3) and then it was restored by his son Manasseh ((2 Kings 21:6)) and (2 Chron 33:6,7) Josiah the son of Manasseh led the last reform and destroyed the Idols of Moloch which were set up in the valley of Hinnom. However it was at that time that the nation did not accept the king's reform and the nation themselves became accountable. There is no mention of restoration of the Idol and the practice of passing children through the fire by Jehiachin or Zedekiah the successors of Josiah. However Jeremiah (Jer 32:34,35) and Ezekiel both give accounts the presence of Moloch and passing their sons through the fire in the Temple irself. Ezekiel gives the evidence here in this verse and below in Ezek 20:26; and Ezek 20:31.
23and it was after all your wickedness, (woe, woe to you! says the Lord GOD;) 24That you have also built an eminent place for yourself and have made a high place in every street. 25You have built your high place at every head of the way and have made your beauty to be abhorred and have opened your feet to every one who passed by and multiplied your whoredoms. 26You have also committed fornication with your neighbors, the great of the flesh, the Egyptians and have increased your whoredoms, to provoke me to anger. 27Behold, therefore I have stretched out my hand over you and have diminished your ordinary food and delivered you to the will of those who hate you, even the daughters of the Philistines, who are ashamed of your lewd way. 28You have played the whore also with the Assyrians, because you were unsatiable; yes, you have played the harlot with them and yet you could not be satisfied. 29You have also multiplied your fornication in the land of Canaan to Chaldea; and yet you were not satisfied there. 30How weak is your heart, says the Lord GOD, seeing you do all these things, the work of an imperious whorish woman; 31In that you build your eminent place in the head of every way and makes your high place in every street; and you have not been as a harlot, in that you scorn hire; 32But as a wife who commits adultery, who takes strangers instead of her husband! 33They give gifts to all whores: but you give your gifts to all your lovers and hire them, that they may come to you on every side for your whoredom. 34And the contrary is in you from other women in your whoredoms, as none follows you to commit whoredoms: and in that you give a reward and no reward is given to you, therefore you are contrary.

35Wherefore, O harlot, hear the word of the LORD: 36Thus says the Lord GOD; Because your filthiness was poured out and your nakedness discovered through your whoredoms with your lovers and with all the idols of your abominations and by the blood of your children, which you gave to them; 37Behold, therefore I will gather all your lovers, with whom you have taken pleasure and all those who you have loved, with all those who you have hated; I will even gather them round about against you and will discover your nakedness to them, so that they may see all your nakedness. 38And I will judge you, as women who break wedlock and as those who shed blood are judged; and I will give you blood in fury and jealousy. 39And I will also give you into their hand and they shall throw down your eminent place and shall break down your high places: they shall also strip you of your clothes and shall take your fair jewels and leave you naked and bare. 40They shall also bring up a company against you and they shall stone you with stones and thrust you through with their swords. 41And they shall burn your houses with fire and execute judgments on you in the sight of many women: and I will cause you to cease from playing the harlot and also you shall give no hire any more. 42So I will make my fury toward you to rest and my jealousy shall depart from you and I will be quiet and will not be angry any more. 43Because you have not remembered the days of your youth, but have fretted me in all these things; behold, therefore I also will recompense your way on your head, says the Lord GOD: and you shall not commit this lewdness above all your abominations.

44Behold, every one who uses proverbs shall use this proverb against you, saying, As the mother is, so is her daughter. 45You are your mother's daughter, who loathes her husband and her children; and you are the sister of your sisters, who loathed their husbands and their children: your mother was a Hittite and your father an Amorite. 46And your elder sister is Samaria, she and her daughters who dwell at your left hand: and your younger sister, who dwells at your right hand is Sodom and her daughters. 47Yet you have not walked after their ways, nor done after their abominations: but, as if that were a very little thing, you were corrupted more than they in all your ways. 48As I live, says the Lord GOD, Sodom your sister has not done, she nor her daughters, as you have done, you and your daughters. 49Behold, this was the iniquity of your sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, nor did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. 50And they were haughty and committed abominations before me: therefore I took them away as I saw good. 51Neither has Samaria committed half of your sins; but you have multiplied your abominations more than they, and have justified your sisters in all your abominations which you have done. 52You also, who have judged your sisters, bear your own shame for your sins that you have committed are more abominable than theirs: they are more righteous than you: yes, be confounded also and bear your shame, in that you have justified your sisters. 53When I shall bring again their captivity, the captivity of Sodom and her daughters and the captivity of Samaria and her daughters, then I will bring again the captivity of your captives in the midst of them: 54So that you may bear your own shame and may be confounded in all that you have done, in that you are a comfort to them.55When your sisters, Sodom and her daughters, shall return to their former estate and Samaria and her daughters shall return to their former estate, then you and your daughters shall return to your former estate. 56For your sister Sodom was not mentioned by your mouth in the day of your pride, 57Before your wickedness was discovered, as at the time of your reproach of the daughters of Syria and all who are round about her, the daughters of the Philistines, who despise you round about. 58You have borne your lewdness and your abominations, says the LORD. 59For thus says the Lord GOD; I will even deal with you as you have done, who has despised the oath in breaking the covenant.

60But I will remember my covenant with you in the days of your youth and I will establish to you an everlasting covenant. 61Then you shall remember your ways and be ashamed, when you shall receive your sisters, your elder and your younger: and I will give them to you for daughters, but not by your covenant. 62And I will establish my covenant with you; and you shall know that I am the LORD: 63That you may remember and be confounded and never open your mouth any more because of your shame, when I am pacified toward you for all that you have done, says the Lord GOD.

Comments on Chapter Seventeen

The next chapter (17) contains visions and explanations of visions, that according to the chronology of the book, were written in the sixth year of the captivity of Jehoiachin which would also coincide with the sixth year of the reign of Zedekiah. The vision is an account of many recent events and history already lived but of a conclusion that is prophetic since it had not happened yet but was in the very near future. The things that were in the recent past are: Nebuchadnezzar had made a second assault to retake Judah and Jerusalem and had taken Jehoiachin and much of the royal family and chief people of the land into Babylonian captivity to join the first captives taken about seven or eight years before them in 606 BCE. The King of Babylon then installed Zedekiah, Jehoiachin's uncle, brother of Jehoiakim and son of Josiah, as a puppet king in Jerusalem to rule at his pleasure. In the installation of Zedekiah, the King of Babylon exacted an oath in the name of YHWH, the God of Israel, that he would faitfully serve Nebuchadnezzar. The oath probably included the dire promise that if Zedekiah rebelled then Nebuchadnezzar could kill his sons and blind his eyes. The next events to follow which were still history to the writing of this vision is that Zedekiah kept the oath in part, at least even to visiting Babylon in the third year of his reign. However conspiracy was either already underway or was entered into shortly after. Negotiations were entered into with Egypt to send military assistance to back up the rebellion of Zedekiah against Babylon. The rebellion was a fact and Judah was an independent state with Egypt as its sponsor. It is at this pont that the visions of chapter 17 were written. Ezekiel, speaking for YHWH, accuses Zedekiah of breaking an oarh he made in the name of the LORD God. He predicts that the rebellion would not prosper and gives the prophecy of what actually came to pass. That is, that Nebuchadnezzar and his Babylonian armies would come again and besiege the city. The siege actually began about three years later to this writing, in the ninth year of Zedekiah's reign. Egypt, as predicted, was no help at all to the Jewish nation. The capture of the city, the death of most of Zedekiah's supporters and his sons, his blinding and being led to Babylon where he lived until his death were predicted and happened in the near future, actually within five years of this vision in the eleventh year of the reigh of Zedekiah. There is also a picture of the hapless flight of his armies recorded in other scripture and their final capture. See Obadiah 10-16ff where Edom is condemned for capturing and turning over the fleeing Judeans to Nebuchadnezzar



A Messianic Prophecy

The last part of the chapter (vss. 22-24) give an obscure messianic prophecy probably to indicate that inspite of the unfaithfulness of God's chosen people that The Almighty was not through with the nation yet. Using the same figure of trees and branches Ezekiel predicted that a twig will sprout from the kingdom of David in the future and that all nations would be shaded and sheltered under His branches. Jesus of Nazareth, known to all of the Jewish nation as "The Nazarene" meaning "The Branch" has accepted multitudes of "birds of every feather" under his wings with the prospect of gathering more in the next century than all who have come in the last 2000 years.
Chapter 17 contains a self explanatory riddle (vss 1-11) about recent history and recent future events to come. The images in the riddle are: The Eagle is Nebuchadnezzar who took the highest branch or Jehoichin captive to Babylon and the young twigs are the other nobles who went captive at the same time. The seed of the land is Zekekiah who was installed by Nebuchadnezzar as king of Judah in Jehoiachin's place. The other Great Eagle is Pharoah of Egypt who was appealed to for help after Zedekiah rebelled from Babylonian oversight. It is then affirmed that the alliance with Egypt will not continue and will be overthrown. Followubg this (vss 12-21) is the same explanation with greater detail of the failure of what is an unholy alliance with Egypt and the fact that Zedekiah has broken a solemn oath that he made in the name of YHWH to remain faithful to the oversight of the king of Babylon. Zedekiah is held responsible by YHWH for breaking the oath and will be punished by being led captive to Babylon. There is also a picture of the hapless flight of his armies recorded in other scripture and their final capture. See Obadiah 10-16 where Edom is condemned for capturing and turning over the fleeing Judeans to Nebuchadnezzar

Chapter 17

1And the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 2Son of man, put forth a riddle and speak a parable to the house of Israel; 3And say, Thus says the Lord GOD; A great eagle with great wings, long winged, full of feathers, which had different colors, came to Lebanon and took the highest branch of the cedar: 4He cropped off the top of his young twigs and carried it into a land of traffic; he set it in a city of merchants. 5He took also of the seed of the land and planted it in a fruitful field; he placed it by great waters and set it as a willow tree. 6And it grew and became a spreading vine of low stature, whose branches turned toward it and its roots were under it: so it became a vine and brought forth branches and shot forth sprigs. 7There was also another great eagle with great wings and many feathers: and, behold, this vine bent her roots toward it and shot forth her branches toward it, that it might water it by the furrows of her plantation. 8It was planted in a good soil by great waters, that it might bring forth branches and that it might bear fruit, so that it might be a goodly vine. 9Say, Thus says the Lord GOD; Shall it prosper? shall he not pull up its roots and cut off its fruit, so that it withers? it shall wither in all the leaves of her spring, even without great power or many people to pluck it up by its roots. 10Yes, behold, being planted, shall it prosper? shall it not utterly wither, when the east wind touches it? it shall wither in the furrows where it grew. 11Also the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 12Say now to the rebellious house, Do you not know what these things mean? tell them, Behold, the king of Babylon has come to Jerusalem and has taken its king and its princes and led them with him to Babylon; 13And has taken of the king's seed and made a covenant with him, and has taken an oath of him: he has also taken the mighty of the land: 14So that the kingdom might be base, that it might not lift itself up, but that by keeping of his covenant it might stand. 15But he rebelled against him in sending his ambassadors into Egypt, that they might give him horses and much people. Shall he prosper? shall he escape who does such things? or shall he break the covenant and be delivered? 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 he broke, he shall die even with him in the midst of Babylon. 17Neither shall Pharaoh with his mighty army and great company help him in the war, by casting up mounts and building forts, to cut off many persons: 18Seeing he despised the oath by breaking the covenant, when, lo, he had given his hand, and has done all these things, he shall not escape. 19Therefore thus says the Lord GOD; As I live, surely my oath that he has despised and my covenant that he has broken, even it I will recompense on his own head. 20And I will spread my net on him and he shall be taken in my snare and I will bring him to Babylon and will plead with him there for his trespass that he has trespassed against me. 21And all his fugitives with all his bands shall fall by the sword and those who remain shall be scattered toward all winds: and you shall know that I the LORD have spoken it.

22Thus says the Lord GOD; I will also take of the highest branch of the high cedar and will set it; I will crop off a tender one from the top of his young twigs and will plant it on a high and eminent mountain: 23 I will plant it in the mountain of the height of Israel: and it shall bring forth boughs and bear fruit and be a goodly cedar: and under it shall dwell all fowl of every wing; they shall dwell in the shadow of its branches. 24And all the trees of the field shall know that I the LORD have brought down the high tree, have exalted the low tree, have dried up the green tree and have made the dry tree to flourish: I the LORD have spoken and have done it.

Chapter 18

1The word of the LORD came to me again, saying, 2What do you mean, that you use this proverb concerning the land of Israel, saying, The fathers have eaten sour grapes and the children's teeth are set on edge? 3As I live, says the Lord GOD, you shall not have occasion any more to use this proverb in Israel. 4Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul who sins, he shall die. 5But if a man is just and does that which is lawful and right, 6And has not eaten on the mountains, nor has lifted up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, nor has defiled his neighbor's wife, nor has come near to a menstruous woman, 7And has not oppressed any, but has restored to the debtor his pledge, has spoiled no one by violence, has given his bread to the hungry and has covered the naked with a garment; 8He who has not lent on usury, nor has taken any increase, who has withdrawn his hand from iniquity, has executed true judgment between man and man, 9Has walked in my statutes, and has kept my judgments, to deal truly; he is just, he shall surely live, says the Lord GOD.

10If he has a son who is a robber, who sheds blood and who does the like of any one of these things, 11And who does not any of those duties, but even has eaten on the mountains and defiled his neighbor's wife, 12Has oppressed the poor and needy, has spoiled by violence, has not restored the pledge and has lifted up his eyes to the idols, has committed abomination, 13Has lent on usury and has taken increase: shall he then live? he shall not live: he has done all these abominations; he shall surely die; his blood shall be on him. 14Now, lo, if he has a son, who sees all his father's sins which he has done and considers and does not do the like, 15Who has not eaten on the mountains, nor has lifted up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, has not defiled his neighbor's wife, 16Nor has oppressed any, has not withheld the pledge, nor has spoiled by violence, but has given his bread to the hungry and has covered the naked with a garment, 17Who has taken his hand from the poor, who has not received usury nor increase, has executed my judgments, has walked in my statutes; he shall not die for the iniquity of his father, he shall surely live. 18As for his father, because he cruelly oppressed, spoiled his brother by violence and did that which is not good among his people, lo, even he shall die in his iniquity. 19Yet you say, Why? does not the son bear the iniquity of the father? When the son has done that which is lawful and right and has kept all my statutes and has done them, he shall surely live. 20The soul who sins, he shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be on him and the wickedness of the wicked shall be on him.

21But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he has committed and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die. 22All his transgressions that he has committed shall not be mentioned to him: in his righteousness that he has done he shall live. 23Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? says the Lord GOD: and not that he should return from his ways and live? 24But when the righteous turns away from his righteousness and commits iniquity and does the same as all the abominations that the wicked man does, shall he live? All his righteousness that he has done shall not be mentioned: in his trespass that he has trespassed and in his sin that he has sinned, he shall die in them. 25Yet you say, The way of the Lord is not equal. Hear now, O house of Israel; Is not my way equal? are not your ways unequal? 26When a righteous man turns away from his righteousness and commits iniquity and dies in them; he shall die for his iniquity that he has done 27Again, when the wicked man turns away from his wickedness that he has committed and does that which is lawful and right, he shall save his soul alive. 28Because he considers and turns away from all his transgressions that he has committed, he shall surely live, he shall not die.29Yet the house of Israel says, The way of the Lord is not equal. O house of Israel, are not my ways equal? are not your ways unequal?

30Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, says the Lord GOD. Repent and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin. 31Cast away from you all your transgressions, by which you have transgressed; and make a new heart and a new spirit: for why will you die, O house of Israel? 32For I have no pleasure in the death of him who dies, says the Lord GOD: therefore turn yourselves and live.

Chapter 19

Chapter 19 is similar to chapter 17 where the interaction of the nations Babylon and Egypt with the last kings of Judea is pictured amd illustrated in imagery. According to 1 Chron 3:15 Josiah had four sons, only three of which left any historical record. The first Johanan likely died before Josiah. Jehoahaz called Shallum in Jer 22:11 and 1 Chron 3:15 was made king after the death of Josiah and is pictured below as a young lion taken to the land of Egypt. Three months after the defeat of Josiah Pharaoh Necco deposed Jehoahaz-Shallum took him to Egypt where he lived for some time until his death. Necco then placed Eliakim in Shallum's place on the throne and changed his name to Jehoiakim. Nebuchadnezzar captured Jerusalem in the fourth year of Jehoiakim, and replaced him back as king. Jehoiakim-Eliakim 2kings 23:34 revolted from Nebuchadnezzar for a few years until his untimely and ugly death, at which time Jehoiachin his son was made king at age eight. He ruled for three months at which time Nebuchadnezzar returned for a second capture of the city of Jerusalem. Jehoiachin is also known by the names Jeconiah Jer. 24:1 and Coniah Jer.22:24 and 28. It says there that he is to be reconned as childless. However he had several sons. He is not without sons but is to be considered as childless since none of his seed shall succeed to rule in Judea. Thus he is the last of the lineal descendants of David to rule in Jerusalem. However the last part of chapter 17 above gives a prophecy that the Messiah would come from his descendents. This is contrary to Premillenial doctrine which teaches that Jesus will actually rule on earth for 1000 in the literal city of Jerusalem in Palestine. So much for that foolish doctrine. Jesus said in John 18:36 My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from here. According to the passage in Jeremiah none of Jeconiah's seed, of which Jesus is a descendant will be, "sitting on the throne of David, and ruling any more in Judah."
Zedekiah his uncle who was son of Josiah and brother to Jehoahaz and Jehoiakim was made king by Nebuchadnezzar who made Zedekiah-Mattaniah 2Kings 24:17 swear an oath in the name of YHWH that he would not rebel. The oath probably included the promise that if he rebelled Nebuchadnezzar could kill his sons and put his eyes out: which is ultimatey what happened to him. Below in verse 5 the second of the "whelps" probably refers to Jehoiachin who spent his life in Babylon and was later (in the 37th year of his captivity) raised in position by Nebuchadnezzar's son EvilMerodach; recorded in Jer 52:31ff.

1Also take up a lamentation for the princes of Israel, 2And say, What is your mother? A lioness: she lies down among lions, she nourished her whelps among young lions. 3And she brought up one of her whelps: it became a young lion and it learned to catch the prey; it devoured men. 4The nations also heard of him; he was taken in their pit and they brought him with chains to the land of Egypt. 5Now when she saw that she had waited and her hope was lost, then she took another of her whelps and made him a young lion. 6And he went up and down among the lions, he became a young lion and learned to catch the prey and devoured men. 7And he knew their desolate palaces and he laid waste their cities; and the land and its fulness was desolate by the noise of his roaring. 8Then the nations set against him on every side from the provinces and spread their net over him: he was taken in their pit. 9And they put him in ward in chains and brought him to the king of Babylon: they brought him into holds, so that his voice could not be heard any more on the mountains of Israel.

10Your mother is like a vine in your blood, planted by the waters: she was fruitful and full of branches by reason of many waters. 11And she had strong rods for the scepters of those who bore rule and her stature was exalted among the thick branches and she appeared in her height with the multitude of her branches. 12But she was plucked up in fury, she was cast down to the ground, and the east wind dried up her fruit: her strong rods were broken and withered; the fire consumed them. 13And now she is planted in the wilderness, in a dry and thirsty ground. 14And fire is gone out of a rod of her branches, which has devoured her fruit, so that she has no strong rod to be a scepter to rule. This is a lamentation and shall be for a lamentation.

Chapter 20

1and it was in the seventh year, in the fifth month, the tenth day of the month, that certain of the elders of Israel came to enquire of the LORD and sat before me. 2Then came the word of the LORD to me, saying, 3Son of man, speak to the elders of Israel and say to them, Thus says the Lord GOD; Have you come to enquire of me? As I live, says the Lord GOD, I will not be enquired of by you. 4Will you judge them, son of man, will you judge them? cause them to know the abominations of their fathers:

Verses 1-4:The series of condemnations and illustrations of evil that follows from here to chapter 24 were issued 2 years before the siege of Jerusalem by the Babylonians began in the ninth year of Zedekiah. These are not the first such warnings and and ugly indictments but they are very ugly and gross indeed. The Shekinah Glory had departed after the seventh year and before the eighth year of Jehoiachin's captivity. Zedekiah's rebellion against Nebuchadnezzar was no doubt the same year that Ezekiel was called to be a prophet. He was still allied to Babylon in the fourth year of his reign. His alliance with Egypt would have begun shortly after that time. This accounts for the condemnations of the return to the idols of Egypt.

5And say to them, Thus says the Lord GOD; In the day when I chose Israel and lifted up my hand to the seed of the house of Jacob and made myself known to them in the land of Egypt, when I lifted up my hand to them, saying, I am the LORD your God; 6In the day that I lifted up my hand to them, to bring them out of the land of Egypt into a land that I had spied out for them, flowing with milk and honey, which is the glory of all lands: 7Then I said to them, Every man cast away the abominations of his eyes 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: Every man did not cast away the abominations of their eyes, nor did they forsake the idols of Egypt: then I said, I will pour out my fury on them, to accomplish my anger against them in the midst of the land of Egypt. 9But I wrought for my name's sake, that it should not be polluted before the heathen, among whom they were, in whose sight I made myself known to them, in bringing them out of the land of Egypt.

10Therefore I caused them to go out of the land of Egypt and brought them into the wilderness. 11And I gave them my statutes and showed them my judgments, which if a man does, he shall even live in them. 12Also I gave them my sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the LORD who sanctifies them. 13But the house of Israel rebelled against me in the wilderness: they did not walk in my statutes and they despised my judgments, which if a man does, he shall even live in them; and they greatly polluted my sabbaths: then I said, I would pour out my fury on them in the wilderness, to consume them.

Verses 11 and 13: "my judgments, which if a man does, he shall even live in them;" Here Ezekiel quotes Lev 18:5 and uses the phrase again in verse 21 below. The verse is also quoted by the Apostle Paul in Gal. 3:12.

14But I wrought for my name's sake, that it should not be polluted before the heathen, in whose sight I brought them out. 15Yet I also lifted up my hand to them in the wilderness, that I would not bring them into the land which I had given them, flowing with milk and honey, which is the glory of all lands; 16Because they despised my judgments and did not walk in my statutes, but polluted my sabbaths: for their heart went after their idols. 17But my eye spared them from destroying them, nor did I make an end of them in the wilderness. 18But I said to their children in the wilderness, Do not walk in the statutes of your fathers, nor observe their judgments, nor defile yourselves with their idols: 19I am the LORD your God; walk in my statutes and keep my judgments and do them; 20And hallow my sabbaths; and they shall be a sign between me and you, that you may know that I am the LORD your God. 21But the children rebelled against me: they did not walk in my statutes, nor kept my judgments to do them, which if a man does, he shall even live in them; they polluted my sabbaths: then I said, I would pour out my fury on them, to accomplish my anger against them in the wilderness.

Verse 21: my judgments to do them, which if a man does, he shall even live in them; This is the same as verses 11 and 13 just above.
22But I withdrew my hand and wrought for my name's sake, that it should not be polluted in the sight of the heathen, in whose sight I brought them forth. 23I lifted up my hand to them also in the wilderness, that I would scatter them among the heathen and disperse them through the countries; 24Because they had not executed my judgments, but had despised my statutes and had polluted my sabbaths and their eyes were after their fathers' idols. 25Therefore I gave them also statutes that were not good and judgments by which they should not live;

26And I polluted them in their own gifts that I might make them desolate, so that they might know that I am the LORD, because they caused all that open the womb to pass through the fire.

Verse 26: pass through the fire. See this phrase also in verse 31 below and for a full treatment of the Idol moloch and passing sons through the fire see above in Ezek 16:20ff

27Therefore, son of man, speak to the house of Israel and say to them, Thus says the Lord GOD; Your fathers have also blasphemed me in that they have committed a trespass against me. 28For when I had brought them into the land, for which I lifted up my hand to give it to them, then they saw every high hill and all the thick trees and they offered there their sacrifices and there they presented the provocation of their offering: there also they made their sweet savor and poured out there their drink offerings. 29Then I said to them, What is the high place where you go? And its name is called Bamah to this day. 30Therefore say to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord GOD; Are you polluted after the manner of your fathers? and do you commit whoredom after their abominations?

31For when you offer your gifts, when you make your sons to pass through the fire, you pollute yourselves with all your idols, even to this day: and shall I be enquired of by you, O house of Israel? As I live, says the Lord GOD, I will not be enquired of by you.

Verse 31 pass through the fire: For extensive look at Passing sons and daughters through the fire to Moloch see Ezek 16:20ff above.

32And that which comes into your mind shall not happen at all, for you say, We will be as the enquired of by you, O house of Israel? As I live, says the Lord GOD, I will not be enquired of by you. heathen, as the families of the countries, to serve wood and stone.

33As I live, says the Lord GOD, I will surely rule over you with a mighty hand and with a stretched out arm and with fury poured out:

Verse 33: See the comments on the arm of YHWH in Isaiah 51:9 The "arm of the Lord" is a phrase used in Isaiah exclusively for the Messiah. It would appear that Ezekiel is using it the same way here in the context of the future restoration and gathering Israel back from among the nations.

34And I will bring you out from the people and will gather you out of the countries in which you are scattered, with a mighty hand and with a stretched out arm and with poured out fury. 35And I will bring you into the wilderness of the people and there I will plead with you face to face. 36Like I pleaded with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so I will plead with you, says the Lord GOD. 37And I will cause you to pass under the rod and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant: 38And I will purge the rebels out from among you. And I will bring out from the country where they sojourn those who transgress against me and they shall not enter into the land of Israel: and you shall know that I am the LORD. 39As for you, O house of Israel, thus says the Lord GOD; Go, every one his serve idols and also hereafter if you will not listen to me but you pollute my holy name more with your gifts and with your idols. 40For in my holy mountain, in the mountain of the height of Israel, says the Lord GOD, there shall all the house of Israel serve me, all of them in the land: there I will accept them and there I will require your offerings and the first fruits of your oblations, with all your holy things. 41I will accept you with your sweet savor, when I bring you out from the people and gather you out of the countries in which you have been scattered; and I will be sanctified in you before the heathen. 42And you shall know that I am the LORD, when I shall bring you into the land of Israel, into the country for the which I lifted up my hand to give it to your fathers. 43And there you shall remember your ways and all your doings, in which you have been defiled; and you shall loathe yourselves in your own sight for all your evils that you have committed. 44And you shall know that I am the LORD, when I have worked with you for my name's sake, not according to your wicked ways, nor according to your corrupt doings, O house of Israel, says the Lord GOD.

A New Section Follows

In the Hebrew Text and the LXX and the Vulgate Translations, the next verse 45 is the beginning of Chapter 21. This is the logical division since the paragraph introduces judgements on the "south." In verse 45 there are three different Hebrew words for the three occurances of "south." The first is Teman which is the home of the wisest of the Edomites who had close affinity to YHWH. The second "south" in Hebrew is Negev which is the name of the desert extending into the Sinai, even as far as Kadesh. And the third "south" is the common modern Hebrew word for south, "darom." Although it is evident in Chapter 21 that it is Judah and Jerusalem that are the areas effected by the prophecies. Probably this refers to Ezekiel's location. If one would travel from Babylon to Israel the route would follow the Euphrates to the area near Carchemish and then travel due south through the land of Hamath, and Lebanon to the Holy Land and Jerusalem. Thus Judah and Jerusalem are meant by these euphemisms for the "south."

45Also the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 46Son of man, set your face toward the south, and drop your word toward the south and prophesy against the forest of the south field;47And say to the forest of the south, 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 flaming flame shall not be quenched and all faces from the south to the north shall be burned there. 48And all flesh shall see that I the LORD have kindled it: it shall not be quenched.49Then I said, Ah Lord GOD! they say of me, Does'nt he speak parables?

Chapter 21

1And the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 2Son of man, set your face toward Jerusalem, and drop your word toward the holy places and prophesy against the land of Israel,3And say to the land of Israel, Thus says the LORD; Behold, I am against you and will draw forth my sword out of its sheath and will cut off the righteous and the wicked from you. 4Seeing then that I will cut off the righteous and the wicked from you, therefore my sword shall go out of its sheath against all flesh from the south to the north: 5That all flesh may know that I the LORD have drawn out my sword from of its sheath: it shall not return any more. 6Sigh therefore, son of man, with the breaking of your loins; and with bitterness, sigh before their eyes. 7And it shall be, when they say to you, Why do you sigh? that you shall answer, For the tidings; because it is coming: and every heart shall melt and all hands shall be feeble and every spirit shall faint and all knees shall be weak as water: behold, it is coming and shall be brought to pass, says the Lord GOD.

8Again the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 9Son of man, prophesy and say, Thus says the LORD; Say, A sword, a sword is sharpened and also polished: 10It is sharpened to make a sore slaughter; it is polished that it may glitter: should we then make mirth? it rejects my son's scepter as every tree. 11And he has given it to be polished, that it may be handled: this sword is sharpened and it is polished, to give it into the hand of the killer. 12Cry and howl, son of man: for it shall be on my people, it shall be on all the princes of Israel: terrors by reason of the sword shall be on my people: strike therefore on your thigh. 13Because it is a trial and what if the sword despises even this rod? it shall be no more, says the Lord GOD. 14Therefore, son of man, prophesy and strike your hands together and let the sword be doubled the third time, the sword of the slain: it is the sword of the great men who are slain, which enters into their private chambers. 15I have set the point of the sword against all their gates, so that their heart may faint, and their ruins be multiplied: ah! it is made bright, it is wrapped up for the slaughter. 16Go one way or another, either on the right hand, or on the left, whereever your face is set. 17I will also strike my hands together and I will cause my fury to rest: I the LORD have said it.

18The word of the LORD came to me again, saying, 19Also, son of man, appoint you two ways, that the sword of the king of Babylon may come: both ways shall come out of one land: and you choose a place, choose it at the head of the way to the city. 20Appoint a way, that the sword may come to Rabbath of the Ammonites and to Judah in the defensed Jerusalem.21For the king of Babylon stood at the parting of the way, at the head of the two ways, to use divination: he made his arrows bright, he consulted with images, he looked at the liver. 22At his right hand was the divination for Jerusalem, to appoint captains, to open the mouth in the slaughter, to lift up the voice with shouting, to appoint battering rams against the gates, to cast a mount and to build a fort. 23And it shall be to them as a false divination in their sight, to those who have sworn oaths: but he will call to remembrance the iniquity, so that they may be taken. 24Therefore thus says the Lord GOD; Because you have made your iniquity to be remembered, in that your transgressions are discovered, so that in all your doings your sins appear; because, I say, that you are come to remembrance, you shall be taken with the hand.

Verses 18-24: Shortly after the fall of Jerusalem in 585 BC (within seven years) Ammon was visited by Nebuchadnezzar and was taken into captivity. The name Ammonite was therefore cut off historically although there is a continuation of the nation under another name, that is, Jordan with Ammon as its capitol. See also verses 28-32 where this condemnation of Ammon is continued.

25And you, profane wicked prince of Israel, whose day is come, when iniquity shall have an end, 26Thus says the Lord GOD; Remove the diadem and take off the crown: this shall not be the same: exalt him who is low and abase him who is high.

Verse 25-26: The "profane wicked prince" is Zedekiah whose crown is to be removed. His kingdom taken away and no one is to sit on the throne of David after him until Messian comes. "Whose right it is." This is taken by almost all commentaters to be a messianic promise similar to Gen. 49:10

27I will overturn, overturn, overturn, it: and it shall be no more, until he comes whose right it is; and I will give it to him.

28And you, son of man, prophesy and say, Thus says the Lord GOD concerning the Ammonites, and concerning their reproach; even say, The sword, the sword is drawn: it is polished for the slaughter, to consume because of the glittering: 29While they see vanity in you, while they divine a lie to you, to bring you on the necks of those who are slain, of the wicked, whose day is come, when their iniquity shall have an end. 30Shall I cause it to return into its sheath? I will judge you in the place where you were created, in the land of your nativity. 31And I will pour out my indignation on you, I will blow against you in the fire of my wrath and deliver you into the hand of brutish men, who are skillful to destroy. 32You shall be for fuel to the fire; your blood shall be in the midst of the land; you shall not be remembered any more: for I the LORD have spoken it.

Verses 28-32: Shortly after the fall of Jerudalem in 585 BC (within seven years) Ammon was visited by Nebuchadnezzar and was taken into captivity. The name Ammonite was therefore cut off historically although there is a continuation of the nation under another name, that is, Jordan with Ammon as its capitol. See a third condemnation of Ammon in 25:1ff.

Chapter 22

Chapter 22 lists the cause of the exile, that is the sins of the antion and personal accountabliity of the people, not just the leaders for those sins. And the purpose of the exile which is to purge the sins from the people and make them ready for the return. See the notes below under verse22.

1Also the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 2Now, son of man, will you judge, will you judge the bloody city? yes, you shall show her all her abominations. 3Then say, Thus says the Lord GOD, The city sheds blood in the midst of it, that her time may come and makes idols against herself to defile herself. 4You are become guilty in your blood that you have shed; and have defiled yourself in your idols which you have made; and you have caused your days to draw near and are come even to your years: therefore I have made you a reproach to the heathen and a mocking to all countries. 5Those who are near and those who are far from you, shall mock you, which are infamous and very vexed. 6Behold, the princes of Israel, every one were in you with their power to shed blood. 7In you they have set light father and mother: in the midst of you they have dealt by oppression with the stranger: in you they have vexed the fatherless and the widow. 8You have despised my holy things and have profaned my sabbaths. 9In you are men who carry tales to shed blood: and in you they eat on the mountains: in the midst of you they commit lewdness. 10In you they have discovered their fathers' nakedness: in you they have humbled her who was set apart for pollution. 11And one has committed abomination with his neighbor's wife; and another has lewdly defiled his daughter in law; and another in you has humbled his sister, his father's daughter. 12In you they have taken gifts to shed blood; you have taken usury and increase and you have greedily gained of your neighbors by extortion and have forgotten me, says the Lord GOD. 13Behold, therefore I have struck my hand at your dishonest gain which you have made and at your blood which has been in the midst of you. 14Can your heart endure, or can your hands be strong, in the days that I shall deal with you? I the LORD have spoken it and will do it. 15And I will scatter you among the heathen and disperse you in the countries and will consume your filthiness out of you. 16And you shall take your inheritance in yourself in the sight of the heathen and you shall know that I am the LORD.

17And the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 18Son of man, the house of Israel has become dross to me: all they are brass and tin and iron and lead, in the midst of the furnace; they are even the dross of silver. 19Therefore thus says the Lord GOD; Because you are all become dross, behold, therefore I will gather you into the midst of Jerusalem. 20As they gather silver and brass, and iron and lead and tin, into the midst of the furnace, to blow the fire on it, to melt it; so I will gather you in my anger and in my fury and I will leave you there and melt you. 21Yes, I will gather you and blow on you in the fire of my wrath and you shall be melted in the midst of it. 22As silver is melted in the midst of the furnace, so shall you be melted in the midst of it; and you shall know that I the LORD have poured out my fury on you.

Cerse 15: "I will scatter you among the heathen and disperse you in the countries and will consume your filthiness out of you." He says, In the exile you will be cast into a furnace and you will be melted like metal and the sins gathered from the nation like dross is taken off in the smelting process. This refers to Judah. Isaiah also uses the symbol of the "Furnace of Affliction" which will do the same thing and includes Israel as well as Judah. See Isaiah 48:10 and the notes there. An interesting note in Isaiah Isa 48:18 seems to say, Zion and the Messiah could have come sooner if the nation had been obedient.

23And the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 24Son of man, say to her, You are the land that is not cleansed, nor rained on in the day of indignation. 25There is a conspiracy of her prophets in the midst of it, like a roaring lion ravening the prey; they have devoured souls; they have taken the treasure and precious things; they have made her many widows in the midst of it.26Her priests have violated my law and have profaned my holy things: they have put no difference between the holy and profane, nor have they showed difference between the unclean and the clean, and have hid their eyes from my sabbaths and I am profaned among them. 27Her princes in the midst of it are like wolves ravening the prey, to shed blood and to destroy souls, to get dishonest gain. 28And her prophets have daubed them with untempered mortar, seeing vanity and they divined lies to them, saying, Thus says the Lord GOD, when the LORD has not spoken. 29The people of the land have used oppression and exercised robbery and have vexed the poor and needy: yes, they have oppressed the stranger wrongfully. 30And I sought for a man among them, who should make up the hedge and stand in the gap before me for the land, so that I would not destroy it: but I found no one. 31Therefore I have poured out my indignation on them; I have consumed them with the fire of my wrath: their own way have I recompensed on their heads, says the Lord GOD.

Chapter 23

Try to remember "Samaria is Aholah and Jerusalem Aholibah." Samaria means the ten tribe nation of Israel. Ephraim is also a synonym for the ten tribe nation od Israel.

1The word of the LORD came again to me, saying, 2Son of man, there were two women, the daughters of one mother: 3And they committed whoredoms in Egypt; they committed whoredoms in their youth: there were their breasts pressed and there they bruised the teats of their virginity. 4And the names of them were Aholah the elder and Aholibah her sister: and they were mine and they bore sons and daughters. Thus were their names; Samaria is Aholah and Jerusalem Aholibah.

The nation of Israel was originally to be considered led by the Tribe of Ephraim, which tribe still held the birthright according to Jeremiah 31:9

"They shall come with weeping and I will lead them with supplications: I will cause them to walk by the rivers of waters in a straight way, in which they shall not stumble: for I am a father to Israel and Ephraim is my firstborn."
Samaria is the capitol of Ephraim and the kingdom of Israel and represents them as Aholah

Actually all of Jer 30:18 and all of chapter 31. Predict the return of The 10 tribes. It is a very mixed section because it predicts both the return of the literal nation of Israel (Ephraim) when Judah was to be restored from Babylonian captivity in 536 BC but also includes the ingathering to Zion through the preaching of the gospel. One remarkable passage (31:6) uses the Hebrew word for Christians (Notsriym) which says: "For there shall be a day, that the watchmen [Nazarenes] on Mount Ephraim shall cry, Arise and let us go up to Zion to the LORD our God." and the prediction of the slaughter of the innocents in Bethlehem is in 31:15. "Thus says the LORD; A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation, and bitter weeping; Rachel weeping for her children refused to be comforted for her children, because they were not."
The whole section Jeremiah 32:18 to 31:40 should be read as background in understanding Ezekiel's prophecies of former and present punishment and future return for the Kingdom of Israel in the nation of Judah.

5And Aholah played the harlot when she was mine; and she doted on her lovers, on the Assyrians her neighbors, 6Who were clothed with blue, captains and rulers, all of them desirable young men, horsemen riding on horses. 7Thus she committed her whoredoms with them, with all those who were the chosen men of Assyria and with all on whom she doted: she defiled herself with all their idols.

Samaria is the capitol of the northern Kingdom of Israel which is therefore included in the name Samaria. The northern Kingdome was destroyed and led into captivity more than 120 years earlier than Ezekiel's writing.

8Neither did she leave her whoredoms brought from Egypt: for in her youth they lay with her and they bruised the breasts of her virginity and poured their whoredom on her.

Verse 8: "whoredoms brought from Egypt" The calf worship which they returned to quickly in the wilderness wandering. After Moses was delayed in the Mountain receiving the tablets of ten commanments the people convinced Aaron to make a golden calf. See Exodus 32:1-6ff. This was continued when Jeroboam I, made the Idol calves for the northern kingdom. 1Ki 12:28 Whereupon the king took counsel, and made two calves of gold, and said to them, It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem: behold your god, O Israel, which brought you up out of the land of Egypt. 29 And he set the one in Bethel, and the other he put in Dan.
9Therefore I have delivered her into the hand of her lovers, into the hand of the Assyrians, on whom she doted. 10These discovered her nakedness: they took her sons and her daughters and killed her with the sword: and she became famous among women; for they had executed judgment on her.

The captivity of Israel by the Assyrians is described in detail in the Commentary on Isaiah beginning with Isaiah 7: and continuing through chapter 12, and in 2 Kings 17:5 and 2 Kings 18:9-12.

11And when her sister Aholibah saw this, she was more corrupt in her inordinate love than she, and in her whoredoms more than her sister in her whoredoms. 12She doted on the Assyrians her neighbors, captains and rulers clothed most gorgeously, horsemen riding on horses, all of them desirable young men. 13Then I saw that she was defiled, that they both took one way, 14And that she increased her whoredoms: for when she saw men portrayed on the wall, the images of the Chaldeans portrayed with vermilion, 15Girded with girdles on their loins, exceeding in dyed attire on their heads, all of them princes to look at, after the manner of the Babylonians of Chaldea, the land of their nativity: 16And as soon as she saw them with her eyes, she doted on them and sent messengers to them into Chaldea. 17And the Babylonians came to her into the bed of love and they defiled her with their whoredom and she was polluted with them and her mind was alienated by them. 18So she uncovered her whoredoms and uncovered her nakedness: then my mind was alienated from her, like my mind was alienated from her sister.19Yet she multiplied her whoredoms, in calling to remembrance the days of her youth, in which she had played the harlot in the land of Egypt. 20For she doted on their paramours, whose flesh is as the flesh of asses and whose issue is like the issue of horses. 21Thus you called to remembrance the lewdness of your youth when the Egyptians bruised your breasts because of your youthful bosom.

22Therefore, O Aholibah, thus says the Lord GOD; Behold, I will raise up your lovers against you, by whom your mind is alienated and I will bring them against you on every side; 23The Babylonians and all the Chaldeans, Pekod and Shoa and Koa and all the Assyrians with them: all of them desirable young men, captains and rulers, great lords and renowned, all of them riding on horses. 24And they shall come against you with chariots, wagons and wheels and with an assembly of people, which shall set against you buckler and shield and helmet round about: and I will set judgment before them and they shall judge you according to their judgments.25And I will set my jealousy against you and they shall deal furiously with you: they shall take away your nose and your ears; and your remnant shall fall by the sword: they shall take your sons and your daughters; and your residue shall be devoured by the fire. 26They shall also strip you out of your clothes and take away your fair jewels. 27Thus I will cause your lewdness and your whoredom, brought from the land of Egypt, to cease from you: so that you shall not lift up your eyes to them, nor remember Egypt any more. 28For thus says the Lord GOD; Behold, I will deliver you into the hand of those whom you hate, into the hand of those by whom your mind is alienated:29And they shall deal with you hatefully and shall take away all your labor and shall leave you naked and bare: and the nakedness of your whoredoms shall be uncovered, both your lewdness and your whoredoms. 30I will do these things to you, because you have gone whoring after the heathen and because you are polluted with their idols. 31You have walked in the way of your sister; therefore I will give her cup into your hand. 32Thus says the Lord GOD; You shall drink of your sister's cup deep and large which contains much: you shall be laughed to scorn and had in derision; 33You shall be filled with drunkenness and sorrow, with the cup of astonishment and desolation, with the cup of your sister Samaria. 34You shall even drink it and suck it out and you shall break its shards and pluck off your own breasts: for I have spoken it, says the Lord GOD.35Therefore thus says the Lord GOD; Because you have forgotten me and cast me behind your back, therefore you will bear also your lewdness and your whoredoms.

36The LORD said also to me; Son of man, will you judge Aholah and Aholibah? yes, declare to them their abominations; 37That they have committed adultery and blood is in their hands and they have committed adultery with their idols and also have caused their sons, whom they bore for me, to pass for them through the fire, to devour them. 38Also this they have done to me: they have defiled my sanctuary in the same day and have profaned my sabbaths. 39For when they had slain their children to their idols, then they came the same day into my sanctuary to profane it; and, lo, thus they have done in the midst of my house. 40And furthermore, that you have sent for men to come from far, to whom a messenger was sent; and, lo, they came: for whom you washed yourself, painted your eyes and decked yourself with ornaments, 41And sat on a stately bed and a table prepared before it, on which you have set my incense and my oil. 42And a voice of a multitude being at ease was with her: and with the men of the common sort were brought, Sabeans from the wilderness, who put bracelets on their hands and beautiful crowns on their heads. 43Then I said to her who was old in adulteries, Will they now commit whoredoms with her and she with them? 44Yet they went in to her, as they go in to a woman who plays the harlot: so they went in to Aholah and to Aholibah, the lewd women. 45And the righteous men, they shall judge them after the manner of adulteresses and after the manner of women who shed blood; because they are adulteresses and blood is in their hands. 46For thus says the Lord GOD; I will bring up a company on them and will give them to be removed and spoiled. 47And the company shall stone them with stones and dispatch them with their swords; they shall kill their sons and their daughters and burn up their houses with fire. 48Thus I will cause lewdness to cease out of the land, that all women may be taught not to do after your lewdness. 49And they shall recompense your lewdness on you and you shall bear the sins of your idols: and you shall know that I am the Lord GOD.

Chapter 24

1Again in the ninth year, in the tenth month, in the tenth day of the month, the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 2Son of man, write you the name of the day, even of this same day: the king of Babylon set himself against Jerusalem this same day.

The Date; Ezekiel was too far away for the news to have travelled to him in Babylon. The event of the beginning of the siege had to be revealed to him. There are several places that give the date and describe the beginning of the siege that lasted to the eleventh year fourth month nineth day. 9/10/10 to 11/4/9 See 2 Kings 25:1-3. See also Jeremiah 39:1-2. see also Jeremiah 52:4-6.

3And utter a parable to the rebellious house and say to them, Thus says the Lord GOD; Set on a pot, set it on and also pour water into it: 4Gather its pieces into it, even every good piece, the thigh and the shoulder; fill it with the choice bones. 5Take the choice of the flock and also burn the bones under it and make it boil well and let them see its bones there. 6Therefore thus says the Lord GOD; Woe to the bloody city, to the pot whose scum is in it and whose scum is not gone out of it! bring it out piece by piece; let no lot fall on it. 7For her blood is in the midst of her; she set it on the top of a rock; she did not pour it on the ground to cover it with dust; 8That it might cause fury to come up to take vengeance; I have set her blood on the top of a rock, that it should not be covered. 9Therefore thus says the Lord GOD; Woe to the bloody city! I will even make the pile for fire great. 10Heap on wood, kindle the fire, consume the flesh and spice it well and let the bones be burned. 11Then set it empty on its coals, that its brass may be hot and may burn and that its filthiness may be melted in it, that its scum may be consumed. 12She has wearied herself with lies and her great scum did not go out of her: her scum shall be in the fire. 13Lewdness is in your filthiness: because I have purged you and you were not purged, you shall not be purged from your filthiness any more, till I have caused my fury to rest on you.14I the LORD have spoken it: it shall come to pass and I will do it; I will not go back, nor will I spare, nor will I repent; according to your ways and according to your doings, they shall judge you, says the Lord GOD.

15Also the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 16Son of man, behold, I take away from you the desire of your eyes with a stroke: yet you shall neither mourn nor weep, nor shall your tears run down. 17Forbear to cry, make no mourning for the dead, bind the tire of your head on you and put your shoes on your feet and do not cover your lips and do not eat the bread of men. 18So I spoke to the people in the morning: and at evening my wife died; and I did in the morning as I was commanded. 19And the people said to me, will you not tell us what these things that you do are to us? 20Then I answered them, The word of the LORD came to me, saying, 21Speak to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord GOD; Behold, I will profane my sanctuary, the excellency of your strength, the desire of your eyes and that which your soul pities; and your sons and your daughters whom you have left shall fall by the sword. 22And you shall do as I have done: you shall not cover your lips, nor eat the bread of men.

Ezekiel 24:15-22. The loss of Ezekiel's wife is an example to what kind of mourning the people are to endure. However in verse 21 they are to mourn the loss of sons and daughters who are the dearest to them. Does this imply that Ezekiel had no children since only his wife was taken from him and this is an example of the loss the people would suffer in the siege that was then ongoing according to the first few verses in this chapter

23And your turbans shall be on your heads and your shoes on your feet: you shall not mourn nor weep; but you shall pine away for your iniquities and mourn toward one another. 24Thus Ezekiel is to you a sign: according to all that he has done you shall do: and when this comes, you shall know that I am the Lord GOD.25Also, you son of man, shall it not be in the day when I take from them their strength, the joy of their glory, the desire of their eyes and that whereon they set their minds, their sons and their daughters, 26So that he who escapes in that day shall come to you, to cause you to hear it with your ears? 27In that day shall your mouth be opened to him who is escaped and you shall speak and not be dumb anymore: and you shall be a sign to them; and they shall know that I am the LORD.

Prophecies in chapters 25 to 32 are of punishment of the nations round about Judah follow. Beginning with Ammon which has already been warned at least two times. Moab, Edom are dealt with. Then Tyre is extensively dealt with in chapters 26 to 28; after which it is Egypt's turn in chapters 29-32. The return to Jerusalem and its destruction is returned to in Ezek 33:25 when the news of the fall of Jerusalem reached the captives about eight months after the fall.

This is a digression from the theme that has folowed from chapter twelve to this place. That is, the terrible calamities that will be suffered by the inhabitants of Jerusalem in the final siege by the Babylonians. These descriptions have been terrible even to the point of doubt welling up in the reader in the belief in a merciful God. These calamities now being certain are to be lived through for the better part of almost three years. Leaveing off his prophetic announcements to the remnant among whom he lives in the following chapters, 25 to 32, he gives prophecies of the future of the nations round about Judah. The Ammonites, current Jordan, Moab and Edom, two full chapter on the future of Tyre-- current Lebanon, and a long section of several chapters dealing with the future of Egypt including Ethiopia. Then a return to the prophecies concering the future of Judah and Israel beginning in chapter 33. There is also a return to the chronology at that pont when the news of the destruction of Jerusalem was received almost a full year after the fall of Jerusalem. That happened in 11/4/9 and the news reached the remnant in 12/10/5 almost a year and a half after the end of the siege. see this in 33:21 below. The intervening chapters are not in chronological order. As stated the Chronology has been followed carefully to this point and it begins again in Chapter 33:21.

Chapter 25

1The word of the LORD came again to me, saying, 2Son of man, set your face against the Ammonites and prophesy against them; 3And say to the Ammonites, Hear the word of the Lord GOD; Thus says the Lord GOD; Because you said, Aha, against my sanctuary, when it was profaned; and against the land of Israel, when it was desolate; and against the house of Judah, when they went into captivity; 4Behold, therefore I will deliver you for a possession to the men of the east and they shall set their palaces in you and make their dwellings in you: they shall eat your fruit and they shall drink your milk. 5And I will make Rabbah a stable for camels and the Ammonites a couching place for flocks: and you shall know that I am the LORD. 6For thus says the Lord GOD; Because you have clapped your hands and stamped with the feet and rejoiced in heart with all your despite against the land of Israel; 7Behold, therefore I will stretch out my hand on you and will deliver you for a spoil to the heathen; and I will cut you off from the people and I will cause you to perish out of the countries: I will destroy you; and you shall know that I am the LORD.

Verses 1-7: Shortly after the fall of Jerudalem in 585 BC (within seven years) Ammon was visited by Nebuchadnezzar and was taken into captivity. The name Ammonite was therefore cut off historically although there is a continuation of the nation under another name, that is, Jordan with Ammon as its capitol. This is the third time Ezekiel makes this condemnation of Ammon. See the first mention of Ammon above in chapter 21:18.

8Thus says the Lord GOD; Because Moab and Seir say, Behold, the house of Judah is like all the heathen; 9Therefore, behold, I will open the side of Moab from the cities, from his cities which are on his frontiers, the glory of the country, Bethjeshimoth, Baalmeon and Kiriathaim, 10To the men of the east with the Ammonites and will give them in possession, that the Ammonites may not be remembered among the nations. 11And I will execute judgments on Moab; and they shall know that I am the LORD. 12Thus says the Lord GOD; Because Edom has dealt against the house of Judah by taking vengeance and has greatly offended and revenged himself on them; 13Therefore thus says the Lord GOD; I will also stretch out my hand on Edom, and will cut off man and beast from it; and I will make it desolate from Teman; and they of Dedan shall fall by the sword. 14And I will lay my vengeance on Edom by the hand of my people Israel: and they shall do in Edom according to my anger and according to my fury; and they shall know my vengeance, says the Lord GOD. 15Thus says the Lord GOD; Because the Philistines have dealt by revenge and have taken vengeance with a despiteful heart, to destroy it because of the old hatred; 16Therefore thus says the Lord GOD; Behold, I will stretch out my hand on the Philistines and I will cut off the executioners and destroy the remnant of the sea coast. 17And I will execute great vengeance on them with furious rebukes; and they shall know that I am the LORD, when I shall lay my vengeance on them.

Chapter 26

Condemnations of the City and area of Tyre occupy chapters 26 to 28. Three chapters are given to the future of Tyre. Much of what Ezekiel reports is fulfilled in the wars of Nebuchadnezzar and the centuries following before the rise of Alexander the Great. Both these great Empire builders, Nebuchadnezzar and Alexander, razed Tyre though centuries apart. Ezekiel about 587 BC speaks in these passages of the future destruction of Tyre about 600 BC by the Chaldeans. Zechariah 9:2-4 between 500 to 515 BC predicts the destruction of Tyre by Alexander the Great about 325 BC . Isaiah gives a panarama of the future of Tyre that includes the Assyrian conquest circa 720 BC; the destruction of Tyre by Nebuchadnezzar's Chaldeans about 600 BC and Alexander the Great's final razing of the Island city about 325 BC. Read Isaiah's panorama here. and compare all accounts.

1and it was in the eleventh year, in the first day of the month, that the word of the LORD came to me, saying,

Turning to Tyre, Ezekiel continues his prophecies concerning the nations round about Judah during which time the siege of Jerusalem by the Babylonian armies was in progress. The time is four months before the fall of the city of Jerusalem and its imminent complete destruction. The siege lasted from the ninth year tenth day of the tenth month to the eleventh year and ninth day of the fourth month of Zedekiah's reign.

2Son of man, because Tyre has said against Jerusalem, Aha, she is broken who was the gates of the people: she is turned to me: I shall be replenished, now she is laid waste: 3Therefore thus says the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against you, O Tyre and will cause many nations to come up against you, as the sea causes his waves to come up. 4And they shall destroy the walls of Tyre and break down her towers: I will also scrape her dust from her and make her like the top of a rock. 5It shall be a place for the spreading of nets in the midst of the sea: for I have spoken it, says the Lord GOD: and it shall become a spoil to the nations.

The original site of Tyre was on a peninsula jutting into the Mediterranean. It was this city that was razed by Nebuchadnezzer's army. The prophecy was literally fulfilled, like many of the prophecies of the Bible, by degrees over a long period of time. Some of the city ruins were used as fill to enlatge an outcropping into an island a mile or so off shore. On this island the new city of Tyre was built.

6And her daughters who are in the field shall be slain by the sword; and they shall know that I am the LORD. 7For thus says the Lord GOD; Behold, I will bring on Tyre Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, a king of kings, from the north, with horses and with chariots and with horsemen and companies and many people. 8He shall kill your daughters in the field with the sword: and he shall make a fort against you and cast a mount against you and lift up the buckler against you. 9And he shall set engines of war against your walls and with his axes he shall break down your towers. 10 Their dust shall cover you by reason of the abundance of his horses: your walls shall shake at the noise of the horsemen and of the wheels and of the chariots, when he shall enter into your gates, as men enter into a city in which a breach is made. 11He shall tread down all your streets with the hoofs of his horses: he shall kill your people by the sword and your strong garrisons shall go down to the ground. 12And they shall make a spoil of your riches and make a prey of your merchandise: and they shall break down your walls and destroy your pleasant houses: and they shall lay your stones and your timber and your dust in the midst of the water. 13And I will cause the noise of your songs to cease; and the sound of your harps shall not be heard any more. 14And I will make you like the top of a rock: you shall be a place to spread nets; you shall not be built any more: for I the LORD have spoken it, says the Lord GOD.

15Thus says the Lord GOD to Tyre; Shall not the isles shake at the sound of your fall, when the wounded cry, when the slaughter is made in the midst of you? 16Then all the princes of the sea shall come down from their thrones and lay aside their robes and put off their embroidered garments: they shall clothe themselves with trembling; they shall sit on the ground and shall tremble at every moment and be astonished at you. 17And they shall take up a lamentation for you and say to you, How are you destroyed, who was inhabited by seafaring men, the renowned city, which was strong in the sea, she and her inhabitants, which cause their terror to be on all who haunt it! 18Now shall the isles tremble in the day of your fall; yes, the isles that are in the sea shall be troubled at your departure. 19For thus says the Lord GOD; When I shall make you a desolate city, like the cities that are not inhabited; when I shall bring up the deep on you and great waters shall cover you; 20When I shall bring you down with those who descend into the pit, with the people of old time and shall set you in the low parts of the earth, in places desolate of old, with those who go down to the pit, so that you will not be inhabited; and I shall set my glory in the land of the living; 21I will make you a terror and you shall be no more: though you will be sought for, yet shall you never be found again, says the Lord GOD.

Chapter 27

1The word of the LORD came again to me, saying, 2Now, son of man, take up a lamentation for Tyre; 3And say to Tyre, O you who are situate at the entry of the sea, who is a merchant of the people for many isles, Thus says the Lord GOD; O Tyre, you have said, I am of perfect beauty. 4Your borders are in the midst of the seas, your builders have perfected your beauty. 5They have made all your ship boards of fir trees of Senir: they have taken cedars from Lebanon to make masts for you. 6Of the oaks of Bashan have they made your oars; the company of the Ashurites have made your benches of ivory, brought out of the isles of Chittim. 7Fine linen with embroidered work from Egypt was that which you spread out to be your sail; blue and purple from the isles of Elishah was that which covered you. 8The inhabitants of Sidon and Arvad were your mariners: O Tyre, your wise men that were in you, were your pilots. 9The ancients of Gebal and its wise men were in you as your calkers: all the ships of the sea with their mariners were in you to occupy your merchandise. 10They of Persia and of Lud and of Phut were in your army, your men of war: they hung the shield and helmet in you; they set forth your comeliness. 11The men of Arvad with your army were on your walls round about and the Gammadims were in your towers: they hung their shields on your walls round about; they have made your beauty perfect. 12Carthage was your merchant by reason of the multitude of all kind of riches; with silver, iron, tin and lead, they traded in your fairs. 13Greece, Tubal and Meshech, they were your merchants: they traded the persons of men and vessels of brass in your market.

Verse 12: Tarshish is rendered Carthage each time it appears, here and as it does in all of the Old Testament. This follows the Septuagint translation. Those translaters rendered this verse as taken from the English translation of the LXX (karchdonioi from ): "12 The Carthaginians were thy merchants because of the abundance of all thy strength; they furnished thy market with silver, and gold, and iron, and tin, and lead." See further notes in Isaiah 23 showing Tarshish was understood by the Septuagint translaters in about 325 BC to be Punic Carthage.

Verse 13: Greece in the LXX is the Greek word Hellas for the Hebrew wrongly trasliterated in KJV Javan from Hebrew yod waw nun. The yod is a semi vowel either y or i; waw is also a semi vowel w or o and nun is n. Thus the old Greek name for Greeks was Ionians and the should be rendered Ion and not Javan.

Verse 13: Tubal and Meshek: These two nations are coupled together in almost all places where they are mentioned in the scripture beginning with the first mention in Genesis 10 in the Table of nations as two of the seven sons of Japheth. Identified ultimately as Moscow the capitol of Russia and Tobolsk the capitol of Siberia. Moscow and Tobolsk were both settled in the 900's or the tenth century. At the time of Ezekiel's writing these "tribes" were still migrating from the Mesopotamian valley to their first settlement in central Anatolia. From there they migrated to the Cacasus Mountains where they lived for almost a thousand years followed by their migration to Russia and Siberia. Monuments from the tenth century still exist in Tobolsk ( see Wikipedia. ) Meshech and Tubal are mentioned in Genesis 10:2; 1 Chron 1:5,17; Isa 66:19; here in verse 13 and Ezek 32:26, and several times together in the "Latter day" prophecy of Ezekiel 38 and 39. The coupling in Isa 66 is enlarged on in the commentary in chapter 66. For an extensive study of the backgrounds and history of these Slavic peoples see "The Origin of the Russian People."

14They of the house of the Turks traded in your fairs with horses and horsemen and mules.

Verse 14: Turks: The Turkish people were settled in central Asia north and east of the Caspian Sea. Turks did not claim "Turkey" in Asia Minor until after the Eleventh Century AD. There are more racially Turkic people living in the Central Asian nations than in Turkey. Those Nations are Turkmen, Azerbaijan, Kazakh, Khirghiz, and Uzbek. Thus these would have been the nations trading in Tyre 500 BC

15The men of Dedan were your merchants; many isles were the merchandise of your hand: they brought you horns of ivory and ebony for a present . 16Syria was your merchant by reason of the multitude of the wares of your making: they traded in your fairs with emeralds, purple and embroidered work and fine linen and coral and agate. 17Judah and the land of Israel, they were your merchants: they traded in your market wheat of Minnith and Pannag and honey and oil and balm. 18Damascus was your merchant in the multitude of the wares of your making, for the multitude of all riches; in the wine of Helbon and white wool. 19Dan also and Greece going to and fro traded in your fairs: bright iron, cassia and calamus, were in your market. 20Dedan was your merchant in precious clothes for chariots. 21Arabia and all the princes of Kedar, they traded with you in lambs and rams and goats: they were your merchants in these. 22The merchants of Sheba and Raamah, they were your merchants: they traded in your fairs with chief of all spices and with all precious stones and gold. 23Haran and Canneh and Eden, the merchants of Sheba, Asshur, and Chilmad, were your merchants. 24These were your merchants in all sorts of things, in blue clothes and embroidered work and in chests of rich apparel, bound with cords and made of cedar, among your merchandise. 25The ships of Carthage sang of you in your market: and you were replenished and made very glorious in the midst of the seas.

26Your rowers have brought you into great waters: the east wind has broken you in the midst of the seas. 27Your riches and your fairs, your merchandise, your mariners and your pilots, your calkers and the traders of your merchandise and all your men of war, who are in you and in all your company which is in the midst of you, shall fall into the midst of the seas in the day of your ruin. 28The suburbs shall shake at the sound of the cry of your pilots. 29And all who handle the oar, the mariners and all the pilots of the sea, shall come down from their ships, they shall stand on the land; 30And shall cause their voice to be heard against you and shall cry bitterly and shall cast up dust on their heads, they shall wallow in the ashes: 31And they shall make themselves utterly bald for you and gird themselves with sackcloth and they shall weep for you with bitterness of heart and bitter wailing. 32And in their wailing they shall take up a lamentation for you and lament over you, saying, What city is like Tyre, like that destroyed in the midst of the sea? 33When your wares went forth out of the seas, you filled many people; you enriched the kings of the earth with the multitude of your riches and of your merchandise. 34In the time when you shall be broken by the seas in the depths of the waters your merchandise and all your company in the midst of you shall fall. 35All the inhabitants of the isles shall be astonished at you and their kings shall be sore afraid, they shall be troubled in their countenance. 36The merchants among the people shall hiss at you; you shall be a terror and you shall never be any more.

Chapter 28

Chapter 28 contains the "King of Tyre" passages which some think are a description of Satan. Most commentaters dismiss this idea. However there are similarities in the description here which describe attributes of Satan and Isaiah's description of the King of Babylon in Isaiah 14:4 which also contains the "Lucifer" passage in Isa 14:12. The descriptions here of the King of Tyre and in Isaiah of the King of Babylon describe the characteristics of meglomaniac kings which without doubt are also the characteristics of Satan.

1The word of the LORD came again to me, saying, 2Son of man, say to the prince of Tyre, Thus says the Lord GOD; Because your heart was lifted up and you have said, I am God, I sit in the seat of God, in the midst of the seas; yet you are a man and not God, though you set your heart as the heart of God: 3Behold, you are wiser than Daniel; there is no secret that they can hide from you: 4With your wisdom and with your understanding you have gotten riches and have gotten gold and silver into your treasures: 5By your great wisdom and by your traffic you have increased your riches and your heart is lifted up because of your riches: 6Therefore thus says the Lord GOD; Because you have set your heart as the heart of God; 7Behold, therefore I will bring strangers on you, the terrible of the nations: and they shall draw their swords against the beauty of your wisdom and they shall defile your brightness. 8They shall bring you down to the pit and you shall die the deaths of those who are slain in the midst of the seas. 9Will you still say before him who kills you, I am God? but you shall be a man and not God, in the hand of him who kills you. 10You shall die the deaths of the uncircumcised by the hand of strangers: for I have spoken it, says the Lord GOD.

11Also the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 12Son of man, take up a lamentation on the king of Tyre and say to him, Thus says the Lord GOD; You seal up the sum, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. 13You have been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was your covering, the sardius, topaz and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald and the carbuncle and gold: the workmanship of your taborets and of your pipes was prepared in you in the day that you were created. 14You are the anointed cherub who covers; and I have set you so: you were on the holy mountain of God; you have walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. 15You were perfect in your ways from the day that you were created, till iniquity was found in you. 16By the multitude of your merchandise they have filled the midst of you with violence and you have sinned: therefore I will cast you as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy you, O covering cherub, [Hebrew euphemism for covering is defecating] from the midst of the stones of fire. 17Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty, you have corrupted your wisdom by reason of your brightness: I will cast you to the ground, I will lay you before kings, that they may behold you. 18You have defiled your sanctuaries by the multitude of your iniquities, by the iniquity of your traffic; therefore I will bring forth a fire from the midst of you, it shall devour you and I will bring you to ashes on the earth in the sight of all those who behold you. 19All those who know you among the people shall be astonished at you: you shall be a terror, and you shall never be any more.

20Again the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 21Son of man, set your face against Sidon, and prophesy against it, 22And say, Thus says the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against you, O Sidon; and I will be glorified in the midst of you: and they shall know that I am the LORD, when I shall have executed judgments in her and shall be sanctified in her. 23For I will send into her pestilence and blood into her streets; and the wounded shall be judged in the midst of her by the sword on her on every side; and they shall know that I am the LORD. 24And there shall be no more a pricking brier to the house of Israel, nor any grieving thorn of all that are round about them, who despised them; and they shall know that I am the Lord GOD. 25Thus says the Lord GOD; When I shall have gathered the house of Israel from the people among whom they are scattered and shall be sanctified in them in the sight of the heathen, then shall they dwell in their land that I have given to my servant Jacob. 26And they shall dwell there safely and shall build houses and plant vineyards; yes, they shall dwell with confidence, when I have executed judgments on all those who despise them round about them; and they shall know that I am the LORD their God.

Chapter 29

The chronology of Ezekiel is broken here until the first verse of chapter 31. The last dated entry was in the eleventh year and first month recorded in Chapter 26. This next verse harks back to the tenth year, when the first prophecies relative to Egypt were received and the next entry is also re: Egypt and the dated entry following that is in the 27th year in verse 17 below. Then in chapter 30:20 we return to the eleventh year first month which is the time mentioned in chapter 26 where the departure from chronology began. The obvious reason for this break in chronological order is that all the visions concerning Egypt are grouped together. Then in chapter 32 Ezekiel returns to his chronological presentation beginning with the 12th year of his and Jehoiachin's captivity. The prophecies relative to Egypt which begin here extend to the end of chapter 32.

1In the tenth year, in the tenth month, in the twelfth day of the month, the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 2Son of man, set your face against Pharaoh king of Egypt and prophesy against him and against all Egypt: 3Speak and say, Thus says the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against you, Pharaoh king of Egypt, the great dragon who lies in the midst of his rivers, who has said, My river is my own and I have made it for myself.

Verse 3: Egypt is also called Rahab and the Dragon in Isaiah 51:9. The one who slew the dragon in that passage refers to the Shekinah or Presence of YHWH which had opened the Red Sea to destroy the Egyptian armies at the time of the Exodus.

4But I will put hooks in your jaws and I will cause the fish of your rivers to stick to your scales and I will bring you up out of the midst of your rivers and all the fish of your rivers shall stick to your scales. 5And I will leave you thrown into the wilderness, you and all the fish of your rivers: you shall fall on the open fields; you shall not be brought together, nor gathered: I have given you for meat to the beasts of the field and to the fowls of the heaven. 6And all the inhabitants of Egypt shall know that I am the LORD, because they have been a staff of reed to the house of Israel.

7When they took hold of you by your hand, you broke and tore all their shoulders: and when they leaned on you, you broke, and made all their legs stand still.

8Therefore thus says the Lord GOD; Behold, I will bring a sword on you and cut off man and beast from you. 9And the land of Egypt shall be desolate and waste; and they shall know that I am the LORD: because he has said, The river is mine and I have made it. 10Behold, therefore I am against you and against your rivers and I will make the land of Egypt utterly waste and desolate, from the tower of Syene in the far north even to the border of Ethiopia in the far south. 11No foot of man shall pass through it, nor foot of beast shall pass through it, nor shall it be inhabited forty years. 12And I will make the land of Egypt desolate in the midst of the countries that are desolate and her cities among the cities that are laid waste shall be desolate forty years: and I will scatter the Egyptians among the nations and will disperse them through the countries. 13Yet thus says the Lord GOD; At the end of forty years I will gather the Egyptians from the people where they were scattered: 14And I will bring again the captivity of Egypt and will cause them to return into the land of Pathros, into the land of their habitation; and they shall be a base kingdom there. 15It shall be the basest of the kingdoms; nor shall it exalt itself any more above the nations: for I will diminish them, so that they shall rule over the nations no more. 16And it shall not any more be the confidence of the house of Israel, who brings their iniquity to remembrance, when they shall look after them: but they shall know then that I am the Lord GOD.

Verse 15: "It shall be the basest of the kingdoms" Previous to Ezekiel's period Assyria had controlled Egypt for a short time but the Egyptians had regained their independance. At the beginning of the rise of Babylon as a world power the Battle of Carchemish was fought about 606 BCE, in which Pharoah Necho was defeated by the Babylonian Nebuchadnezzar. Egypt remained independent according to this prophecy for another thirty years but was finally occupied by the Babylonians. From that time lost self rule and was dominated by foreign powers to the mid 20th century Egypt. Successively they were occupied and ruled by the Babylonians, the Persians, followed by the Greeks, then Romans, then Saracin Arabs, and then Turks (who ruled them the longest from about 1100 to 1917) and after the first world war the British held the mandate until 1955. Although Egypt regained independance in 1955 the actual rulers in Egypt are Semitic Arabs and the Hamitic Egyptians are a subject race.

17and it was in the twenty seventh year, in the first month, in the first day of the month, the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 18Son of man, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon caused his army to serve a great service against Tyre: every head was made bald and every shoulder was peeled: yet he had no wages, nor his army, for Tyre, for the service that he had served against it: 19Therefore thus says the Lord GOD; Behold, I will give the land of Egypt to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon; and he shall take her multitude and take her spoil and take her prey; and it shall be the wages for his army. 20I have given him the land of Egypt for his labor with which he served against it, because they wrought for me, says the Lord GOD. 21In that day I will cause the horn of the house of Israel to bud forth and I will give you the opening of the mouth in the midst of them; and they shall know that I am the LORD.

Chapter 30

1The word of the LORD came again to me, saying, 2Son of man, prophesy and say, Thus says the Lord GOD; Howl, Alas for the day! 3For the day is near, even the day of the LORD is near, a cloudy day; it shall be the time of the heathen. 4And the sword shall come on Egypt and great pain shall be in Ethiopia, when the slain shall fall in Egypt and they shall take away her multitude and her foundations shall be broken down. 5Ethiopia and Libya and Lydia and all the mingled people and Chub and the men of the land which will be in league, shall fall with them by the sword. 6Thus says the LORD; They also who uphold Egypt shall fall; and the pride of her power shall come down: from the tower of Syene in the far north they shall fall in it by the sword, says the Lord GOD.

There are several places describing Egypt's extremities much in the same way that Israel's north to south extremities are described asfrom Dan to Beersheba or more extensively "from Hamath to the River of Egypt. In the same way the north-south extremities of Egypt are described as "from The tower of Syene to the border of Ethiopia." Ezek 29:10;
7And they shall be desolate in the midst of the countries that are desolate and her cities shall be in the midst of the cities that are wasted. 8And they shall know that I am the LORD, when I have set a fire in Egypt and when all her helpers shall be destroyed. 9In that day shall messengers go out from me in ships to make the secure Ethiopians afraid and great pain shall come on them, as in the day of Egypt: for, lo, it comes. 10Thus says the Lord GOD; I will also make the multitude of Egypt to cease by the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon. 11He and his people with him, the terrible of the nations, shall be brought to destroy the land: and they shall draw their swords against Egypt and fill the land with the slain. 12And I will make the rivers dry and sell the land into the hand of the wicked: and I will make the land waste and all that is in it, by the hand of strangers: I the LORD have spoken it. 13Thus says the Lord GOD; I will also destroy the idols and I will cause their images to cease out of Noph; and there shall be no more a prince of the land of Egypt: and I will put a fear in the land of Egypt. 14And I will make Pathros desolate and will set fire in Zoan and will execute judgments in No. 15And I will pour my fury on Sin, the strength of Egypt; and I will cut off the multitude of No. 16And I will set fire in Egypt: Sin in eastern Egypt shall have great pain and No [Thebes] shall be torn asunder and Noph shall have distresses daily. 17The young men of Aven and of Pibeseth shall fall by the sword: and these cities shall go into captivity. 18At Tehaphnehes also the day shall be darkened, when I shall break the yokes of Egypt there: and the pomp of her strength shall cease in her: as for her, a cloud shall cover her and her daughters shall go into captivity. 19Thus I will execute judgments in Egypt: and they shall know that I am the LORD.

20and it was in the eleventh year, in the first month, in the seventh day of the month, that the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 21Son of man, I have broken the arm of Pharaoh king of Egypt; and, lo, it shall not be bound up to be healed, to put a roller to bind it, to make it strong to hold the sword. 22Therefore thus says the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against Pharaoh king of Egypt and will break his strong arms, also that which was broken; and I will cause the sword to fall out of his hand. 23And I will scatter the Egyptians among the nations and will disperse them through the countries. 24And I will strengthen the arms of the king of Babylon and put my sword in his hand: and I will break Pharaoh's arms and he shall groan before him with the groanings of a deadly wounded man. 25But I will strengthen the arms of the king of Babylon and the arms of Pharaoh shall fall down; and they shall know that I am the LORD, when I shall put my sword into the hand of the king of Babylon and he shall stretch it out on the land of Egypt. 26And I will scatter the Egyptians among the nations and disperse them among the countries; and they shall know that I am the LORD.

Verses 24 and 25 make it plain that the events predicted about Egypt and Ethiopia were to be accomplished in the expansion of the Babylonian Empire by Nebuchadnezzar the first king, circa 575 BC, and not at some future date.

Chapter 31

In the Chapter that follows: the predicitions continue about Egypt. These predictions precede the fall of Jerusalem by about one month. The date here is 11/3/1 dating from the beginning of the second stage of the captivity which began Zedekiah's reign. The siege ended in 11/4/9 or one month and a few days from this prediction. The prediction is for the fall of Egypt as a great nation. In describing the events the nations are likened to trees with lofty branches and the influx of their wealth to rivers making the nation grow strong. The chapter is an alegory and is not speaking of forests and rivers literally existing in Egypt.

1. It was in the eleventh year, in the third month, in the first day of the month, that the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 2Son of man, speak to Pharaoh king of Egypt and to his multitude; Whom are you like in your greatness?

Pharoah representing Egypt will be likened to a tree but first the great tree of Assyria will be cited as a reminder that great trees come down as Assyria in the very recent past has. The date here is about 588 BCE. Assyrian fell to combined Medean, Babylonian and Scythian forces about 612 BCE a few years later Nebuchadnezzar had consolodated power and defeated Pharoah Necco at the pivotal battle of Carchemish on the Euphrates River in 606 BCE. With Assyria gone the new Tree, Babylon, would then fell the Egyptian Tree.
3Behold, the Assyrian was a cedar in Lebanon with fair branches and with a shadowing shroud and of an high stature; and his top was among the thick boughs. 4The waters made him great, the deep set him up on high with her rivers running round about his plants and sent out her little rivers to all the trees of the field. 5Therefore his height was exalted above all the trees of the field and his boughs were multiplied, and his branches became long because of the multitude of waters, when he shot forth. 6All the fowls of heaven made their nests in his boughs and under his branches did all the beasts of the field bring forth their young and all great nations dwelled under his shadow. 7Thus was he fair in his greatness, in the length of his branches: for his root was by great waters. 8The cedars in the garden of God could not hide him: the fir trees were not like his boughs and the chestnut trees were not like his branches; nor any tree in the garden of God was like to him in his beauty. 9I have made him fair by the multitude of his branches: so that all the trees of Eden, that were in the garden of God, envied him.
Verses 3- 8 These verses describe the greatness and power of Assyria that has just been desolved by the Babylonians.

Verse 9 Trees of Eden Is this a reference to the first world that existed before the flood? Doed it say that Egypt excelled in beauty beyond the nations that arose while the :Garden of God" still existed guarded by a flaming sword?

Now we will speak exclusively of Egypt

10Therefore thus says the Lord GOD; Because you (Egypt) have lifted up yourself in height and he (Egypt) has shot up his top among the thick boughs and his heart is lifted up in his height; 11I have therefore delivered him (Egypt) into the hand of the mighty one of the heathen; (Nebuchadnezzar's Babylon) he (Nebuchadnezzar) shall surely deal with him (Pharoah): I have driven him (Egypt) out for his wickedness. 12And strangers, the terrible of the nations, (Babylon) have cut him off and have left him: on the mountains and in all the valleys his branches are fallen and his boughs are broken by all the rivers of the land (sources of wealth); and all the people of the earth are gone down from his shadow and have left him (Egypt). 13On his ruin shall all the fowls of the heaven remain and all the beasts of the field shall be on his branches: 14To the end that none of all the trees by the waters exalt themselves for their height, nor shoot up their top among the thick boughs, neither do their trees, (all that were dependent on Egypt) all that drink water, stand up in their height: for they are all delivered to death, to the lower parts of the earth, in the midst of the children of men, with those who go down to the pit.

Verse 14: "those who go down to the pit." Refers to the nations which will lose their gradeur and end up in destruction. Many of them will be mentioned below. 32:18 below This is a grand prediction because many of the nations to be mentioned will fall in the distant future from 587BCE. As wwe shall soon see even Russia is listed among them.

15Thus says the Lord GOD; In the day when he (Egypt) went down to the grave I caused a mourning: I covered the deep for him and I restrained its floods and the great waters were stayed: and I caused Lebanon to mourn for him and all the trees of the field fainted for him. 16I made the nations to shake at the sound of his fall, when I cast him down to hades with those who descend into the pit: and all the trees of Eden, the choice and best of Lebanon, all that drink water, shall be comforted in the lower parts of the earth. (When they too will join the fallen nations.) 17They also will go down into hades with him to those who have already been slain with the sword; and those who were his arm, who dwelled under his shadow in the midst of the heathen. 18To whom are you thus like in glory and in greatness among the trees of Eden? yet you shall be brought down to the trees of Eden to the lower parts of the earth: you shall lie in the midst of the uncircumcised with those who were slain by the sword. This is Pharaoh and all his multitude, says the Lord GOD.

Chapter 32

A New Date: last part of 584 BCE: One year and three to four months after the fall of Jerusalem in 4/9/11 of 585 BCE.

1It was in the twelfth year, in the twelfth month, in the first day of the month, that the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 2Son of man, take up a lamentation for Pharaoh king of Egypt and say to him, You are like a young lion of the nations and you are as a whale in the seas: and you came forth with your rivers and troubled the waters with your feet and fouled their rivers. 3Thus says the Lord GOD; I will therefore spread out my net over you with a company of many people; and they shall bring you up in my net. 4Then I will leave you on the land, I will cast you out on the open field and will cause all the fowls of the heaven to remain on you and I will fill the beasts of the whole earth with you. 5And I will lay your flesh on the mountains and fill the valleys with your height. 6I will also water the land with your blood in which you swim, even to the mountains; and the rivers shall be full of you. 7And when I shall put you out, I will cover the heaven and make its stars dark; I will cover the sun with a cloud, and the moon shall not give her light. 8 I will make all the bright lights of heaven dark over you and set darkness on your land, says the Lord GOD. 9I will also vex the hearts of many people, when I shall bring your destruction among the nations into the countries which you have not known. 10Yes, I will make many people amazed at you and their kings shall be horribly afraid for you, when I shall brandish my sword before them; and they shall tremble at every moment, every man for his own life, in the day of your fall. 11For thus says the Lord GOD; The sword of the king of Babylon shall come on you. 12I will cause your multitude to fall by the swords of the mighty, the terrible of the nations, all of them: and they shall spoil the pomp of Egypt and all its multitude shall be destroyed. 13I will destroy also all its animals from beside the great waters; nor shall the foot of man trouble them any more, nor the hooves of beasts trouble them. 14Then I will make their waters deep and cause their rivers to run like oil, says the Lord GOD. 15When I shall make the land of Egypt desolate and the country shall be destitute of that which it was full, when I shall strike all those who dwell in it, then they shall know that I am the LORD. 16This is the lamentation with which they shall lament her: the daughters of the nations shall lament her: they shall lament for her, even for Egypt and for all her multitude, says the Lord GOD.

A new date 14 days after the date in verse 1 above. The last month of 584 BCE

17It came to pass also in the twelfth year, in the fifteenth day of the month, that the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 18Son of man, wail for the multitude of Egypt and cast them down, even her and the daughters of the famous nations, to the lower parts of the earth, with those who go down into the pit. 19Whom do you pass in beauty? go down and be laid with the uncircumcised. 20They shall fall in the midst of those who are slain by the sword: she is delivered to the sword: draw her and all her multitudes. 21The strong among the mighty shall speak to him out of the midst of hades with those who help him: they are gone down, they lie uncircumcised, slain by the sword.

Verses 18 - 21: Egypt is to join the vanquished nations in hades. Some of them past and future are listed in the next few verses.

22Asshur is there and all her company: his graves are about him: all of them slain, fallen by the sword: 23Whose graves are set in the sides of the pit and her company is round about her grave: all of them slain, fallen by the sword, which caused terror in the land of the living. 24There is Elam and all her multitude round about her grave, all of them slain, fallen by the sword, which are gone down uncircumcised into the lower parts of the earth, which caused their terror in the land of the living; yet they have borne their shame with those who go down to the pit.

Verses 22, 24: Assur and Elam: Assur is one of the ancient nations founded by Nimrod; long since gone from current history in 584 BCE which is the time of this chapter according to verse 17. Elam too has at the time of this chapter been lost from current history although its capital city Sussa was still important as part of the Persian Empire yet to rise in the not too distant future.
25They have made her a bed in the midst of the slain with all her multitude: her graves are round about him: all of them uncircumcised, slain by the sword: though their terror was caused in the land of the living, yet they have borne their shame with those who go down to the pit: he is put in the midst of those who are slain.

26There is Meshech, Tubal and all her multitude: her graves are round about him: all of them uncircumcised, slain by the sword, though they caused their terror in the land of the living. 27And they shall not lie with the mighty who are fallen of the uncircumcised, which are gone down to hades with their weapons of war: and they have laid their swords under their heads, but their iniquities shall be on their bones, though they were the terror of the mighty in the land of the living. 28Yes, you shall be broken in the midst of the uncircumcised and shall lie with those who are slain with the sword.

Meshech, and Tubal are listed together in many places in the scriptures. (Genesis 10 and Isaiah 66:19. They are also couple in Herodotus Book 7:78 There is good reason to identify them with the great capitals of Russia, Moscow and Tubolsk. To see an extensive study on the backgrounds of the Russian nation see Russian origins. At the time of the writing these nations have barely risen yet and their greatest moment in history is more than 2,000 years in the future.

29There is Edom, her kings and all her princes, which with their might are laid by those who were slain by the sword: they shall lie with the uncircumcised and with those who go down to the pit.

Verse 29: EdomEdom would not disappear as a great nation until the early centuries of the Christian era. If Egypt would find Edom when she arrived in hades this must speak of eternity as having no time. I am sure we will understand it bye and bye.

30There are the princes of the north, all of them and all the Sidonians, which are gone down with the slain; with their terror they are ashamed of their might; and they lie uncircumcised with those who are slain by the sword and bear their shame with those who go down to the pit.

Sidon or Phonenecia Tyre was the most famous city of the Phoenecians however Sidon is the mother of Tyre and therefore the mother of Phoenecia.

Now back to the conclusion. Egypt shall join all these in hades.

31Pharaoh shall see them, and shall be comforted over all his multitude, even pharaoh and all his army slain by the sword, says the Lord GOD. 32For I have caused my terror in the land of the living: and he shall be laid in the midst of the uncircumcised with those who are slain with the sword, even Pharaoh and all his multitude, says the Lord GOD.

Chapter 33

1Again the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 2Son of man, speak to the children of your people and say to them, When I bring the sword on a land, if the people of the land take a man of their coasts and set him for their watchman: 3If when he sees the sword come on the land, he blows the trumpet and warns the people; 4Then who ever hears the sound of the trumpet and does not take warning; if the sword come and takes him away, his blood shall be on his own head. 5He heard the sound of the trumpet and did not take warning; his blood shall be on him. But he who takes warning shall deliver his soul. 6But if the watchman sees the sword come and does not blow the trumpet and the people are not warned; if the sword comes and takes any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at the watchman's hand. 7So you, O son of man, I have set you a watchman to the house of Israel; therefore you shall hear the word at my mouth and warn them from me. 8When I say to the wicked, O wicked man, you shall surely die; if you do not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand. 9But, if you warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he does not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul.

10Therefore, O son of man, speak to the house of Israel; Thus speak, saying, If our transgressions and our sins are on us and we pine away in them, how should we then live? 11Say to them, As I live, says the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn you, turn you from your evil ways; for why will you die, O house of Israel? 12Therefore, son of man, say to the children of your people, The righteousness of the righteous shall not deliver him in the day of his transgression: as for the wickedness of the wicked, he shall not fall by it in the day that he turns from his wickedness; nor shall the righteous be able to live for his righteousness in the day that he sins. 13When I shall say to the righteous, that he shall surely live; if he trusts to his own righteousness and commits iniquity, all his righteous acts shall not be remembered; but he shall die for his iniquity that he has committed. 14Again, when I say to the wicked, You shall surely die; if he turns from his sin and does that which is lawful and right; 15If the wicked restores the pledge, gives again what he had robbed, walks in the statutes of life, without committing iniquity; he shall surely live, he shall not die. 16None of his sins that he has committed shall be mentioned to him: he has done that which is lawful and right; he shall surely live. 17Yet the children of your people say, The way of the Lord is not equal: but as for them, their way is not equal. 18When the righteous turns from his righteousness and commits iniquity, even he shall die because of it.19But if the wicked turns from his wickedness and does that which is lawful and right, he shall live because of it. 20Yet you say, The way of the Lord is not equal. O house of Israel, I will judge you every one after his ways.

21and it was in the twelfth year of our captivity, in the tenth month, in the fifth day of the month, that one who had escaped out of Jerusalem came to me, saying, The city has been struck. 22Now the hand of the LORD was on me in the evening, before he who had escaped came and the LORD had opened my mouth, until he came to me in the morning; and my mouth was opened and I was not dumb any more. 23Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 24Son of man, Those (remnants) who are inhabiting the desolations of the land of Israel declare saying, Abraham was one and he inherited the land: but we are many; the land is given to us for an inheritance. 25Therefore say to them, Thus says the Lord GOD; you eat with the blood and lift up your eyes toward your idols, and shed blood: and shall you possess the land? 26You trust in your sword, you work abomination and you defile every one his neighbor's wife: and shall you possess the land? 27Thus say to them, Thus says the Lord GOD; As I live, surely those who are in the desolations shall fall by the sword and him who is in the open field I will give to the beasts to be devoured and those who are in the forts and in the caves shall die of the pestilence. 28For I will lay the land most desolate and the pomp of her strength shall cease; and the mountains of Israel shall be desolate, so that no one shall pass through. 29Then shall they know that I am the LORD, when I have laid the land most desolate because of all their abominations which they have committed.

30Also, son of man, the children of your people are still talking against you by the walls and in the doors of the houses and speak to one another, every one to his brother, saying, Come, I beseech you and hear what is the word that comes forth from the LORD. 31And they come to you as the people come and they sit before you as my people and they hear your words, but they will not do them: for with their mouth they show much love, but their heart goes after their covetousness. 32And, lo, you are to them as a very lovely song of one who has a pleasant voice and can play well on an instrument: for they hear your words, but they do not do them. 33And when these things come to pass, (lo, they will come,) then shall they know that a prophet has been among them.

Chapter 34

Chapter 34 contains a description of the corrupt priesthood and their condemnation through verse 10. Verses 11-16 speak of God's watch care of the faithful in their captivity and the proposal that he will bring them back to their land. Verses 17-21 distinguished between the guilty and the innocent among the captives. Verses 22-24 introduces one of the David Prophecies which will be enlarged on in chapter 37. see below. Verses 25-31 describe the blessings associated with the future return which the nation will ultimately enjoy fulfilled from the time of Ezra about 440 BC to about 180 BC commonly called the Silent years.

1And the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 2Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy and say to them, Thus says the Lord GOD to the shepherds; Woe to the shepherds of Israel who feed themselves! should not the shepherds feed the flocks? 3You eat the fat and you clothe with the wool, you kill those who are fed: but you do not feed the flock. 4You have not strengthened the diseased, nor have you healed that which was sick, nor have you bound up that which was broken, nor have you brought again that which was driven away, nor have you sought that which was lost; but with force and with cruelty you have ruled them. 5And they were scattered, because there was no shepherd: and they became meat to all the beasts of the field, when they were scattered. 6My sheep wandered through all the mountains and on every high hill: yes, my flock was scattered on all the face of the earth and no one searched or sought after them.

The corruption of the priesthood described here in this chapter (through verse 10) was passed on to those in the return from captivity and is pictured in Zechariah 3:1-5 which has a vision of the High Priest dressed in filthy clothes and is then given new clean clothes. That predicted the cleansing of the priesthood which took place under Ezra about 60 years later. The cleansed priesthood continued through the Golden age of the silent years. The vision in Zec 3 of the high priest dressed in soiled garments and then given new clean clothes indicates that the priesthood in the initial return inhereted the corruprion that existed before the exile described here, but was cleansed in the reform led by Ezra. Then the period of a righteous nation in given space in several chapters in Zecheriah. But in chapter 11:4-6 of that book there is a prediction that there will be a return to the corrupt condition of the presthood described in terms that are similar to this chapter here. The return of the corruption of the priesthood in Zechariah is followed in Zechariah 11 by the pierced messiah passage, the thirty pieces of silver and the breaking of the covenant between Judah and Israel.

7Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the LORD; 8As I live, says the Lord GOD, surely because my flock became a prey and my flock became meat to every beast of the field, because there was no shepherd, nor did my shepherds search for my flock, but the shepherds fed themselves and did not feed my flock; 9Therefore, O you shepherds, hear the word of the LORD; 10Thus says the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against the shepherds; and I will require my flock at their hand and cause them to cease from feeding the flock; nor shall the shepherds feed themselves any more; for I will deliver my flock from their mouth, so that they may not be meat for them.

11For thus says the Lord GOD; Behold, I, even I, will both search for my sheep and seek them out. 12As a shepherd seeks out his flock in the day when he is among his sheep who are scattered; so I will seek out my sheep and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day. 13And I will bring them out from the people and gather them from the countries and will bring them to their own land and feed them on the mountains of Israel by the rivers and in all the inhabited places of the country. 14I will feed them in a good pasture and on the high mountains of Israel their fold shall be: they shall lie there in a good fold and in a fat pasture they shall feed on the mountains of Israel. 15I will feed my flock, and I will cause them to lie down, says the Lord GOD. 16I will seek that which was lost and bring again that which was driven away and will bind up that which was broken and will strengthen that which was sick: but I will destroy the fat and the strong; I will feed them with judgment.

Versers 11-16: The remnant. As here numerous places in the prophets promise the return after the punishment of exile. Since the return from exile promises a period of peace and the return of all twelve tribes the same prophecies usually extend to the coming of the Messiah and the call of the Gentiles which is expounded on in the verses 22-24.

17And as for you, O my flock, thus says the Lord GOD; Behold, I judge between cattle and cattle, between the rams and the he goats. 18Does it seem a small thing to you to have eaten up the good pasture, but you must tread down with your feet the residue of your pastures? and to have drunk of the deep waters, but you must foul the residue with your feet? 19And as for my flock, they eat that which you have trodden with your feet; and they drink that which you have fouled with your feet. 20Therefore thus says the Lord GOD to them; Behold, I, even I, will judge between the fat cattle and between the lean cattle. 21Because you have thrust with side and with shoulder and pushed all the diseased with your horns, till you have scattered them abroad; 22Therefore I will save my flock and they shall no more be a prey; and I will judge between cattle and cattle.

Verses 17-22: A distiction is to be made between the faithful and the unfaithful during the captivity.
23And I will set up one shepherd over them and he shall feed them, even my servant David; he shall feed them and he shall be their shepherd. 24And I the LORD will be their God and my servant David a prince among them; I the LORD have spoken it.
Verses 23-24: David. The David prophecies and the Branch prophecies are one and the same and they are distributed among several of the prophets. A look at all of them is convincing that the messiah is ment and that he will be a Nazarene. In Ezekiel the mention of David as the prince who will appear in the time of the return from Babylonian captivity is enlarged on in chapter 37 which makes it plain that all twelve tribes will be returned from captivity and restored to the land. See all of the David and Branch prophecies here.

In Jeremiah 23:1-8 below Jeremiah says almost the same thing that Ezekiel is saying here. That is that the Priests and other religious leaders are responsible for the corruption of the nation which resulted in the exile but that God would bring all twelve tribes back to their own land and "in those days and at that time" the Righteous Branch of David would come. According to these passages Messiah had to come during the second commonwealth that lasted from 536 BC to 70 AD.

Jeremiah 23:1 Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the LORD. 2 Therefore thus saith the LORD God of Israel against the pastors that feed my people; Ye have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them: behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings, saith the LORD. 3 And I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all countries whither I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase. 4 And I will set up shepherds over them which shall feed them: and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall they be lacking, saith the LORD. 5 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. 6 In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS. 7 Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that they shall no more say, The LORD liveth, which brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; 8 But, The LORD liveth, which brought up and which led the seed of the house of Israel out of the north country, and from all countries whither I had driven them; and they shall dwell in their own land. Jer 33:15 In those days, and at that time, I will cause the Branch of righteousness to grow up unto David; and he shall execute judgment and righteousness in the land.

25And I will make a covenant of peace with them and will cause the evil beasts to cease out of the land: and they shall dwell safely in the wilderness and sleep in the woods. 26And I will make them and the places round about my hill a blessing; and I will cause the shower to come down in his season; there shall be showers of blessing. 27And the tree of the field shall yield her fruit and the earth shall yield her increase and they shall be safe in their land and shall know that I am the LORD, when I have broken the bands of their yoke and delivered them out of the hand of those who served themselves of them. 28And they shall not be a prey to the heathen any more, nor shall the beast of the land devour them; but they shall dwell safely and no one shall make them afraid.29And I will raise up for them a plant of renown and they shall not be consumed with hunger in the land any more, nor shall they bear the shame of the heathen any more. 30Thus shall they know that I the LORD their God am with them and that they, even the house of Israel, are my people, says the Lord GOD. 31And you my flock, the flock of my pasture, are men and I am your God, says the Lord GOD.

Chapter 35

Chapter 35 is a prophecy of condemnation against Edom here called Mt Seir and in the last verse Idumea. Genesis 36 makes it very clear that Seir, Esau, and Edom are the same. Gen 36:8 Thus dwelt Esau in mount Seir: Esau is Edom. Many prophets give visions outlining the future of Edom (Ezeliel has already in chapter 25:8-16) which is ultimately to disappear as a State while Israel, though at this time out of existance as a state, will return and live beyond Edom. The fulfillment or Edom's demise is extended however. Edom did not disappear until the 2nd or 3rd century after the time of Jesus' advent.

Edom has a long and illustrious history and achieved high civilization before the Israelite slaves left Egypt. All the tribes mentioned in the book of Job are Edomite. And the remains of the city of Petra give evidence of the high level of Civilization that was developed by the Edomites. Photos of Petra can be seen here.

For other prophecies about Edom,

See the comments on Isaiah 34 here. and read Isaiah 34 here.. see also Obadiah 1-21; Joel 3:19; Amos 1:11; Malachai 1:2-4 speaks as though the future is past but it is a prediction of a condition yet to be fulfilled. Jeremiah 49 has an extensive prediction of the fall and disappearance of Edom. The whole section should be read. Jeremiah 49: 7-22

1Also the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 2Son of man, set your face against mount Seir, and prophesy against it, 3And say to it, Thus says the Lord GOD; Behold, O mount Seir, I am against you and I will stretch out my hand against you and I will make you most desolate. 4I will lay your cities waste and you shall be desolate and you shall know that I am the LORD. 5Because you have had a perpetual hatred and have shed the blood of the children of Israel by the force of the sword in the time of their calamity, in the time that their iniquity had an end: 6Therefore, as I live, says the Lord GOD, I will prepare you to blood and blood shall pursue you: since you have not hated blood, even blood shall pursue you. 7Thus I will make mount Seir most desolate and cut off from it him that goes out and him who returns. 8And I will fill his mountains with his slain men: in your hills and in your valleys and in all your rivers, those who are slain shall fall by the sword. 9I will make you perpetual desolations and your cities shall not return: and you shall know that I am the LORD.

10Because you have said, These two nations and these two countries shall be mine and we will possess it; but the LORD was there: 11Therefore, as I live, says the Lord GOD, I will even do according to your anger and according to your envy which you have used out of your hatred against them; and I will make myself known among them, when I have judged you. 12And you shall know that I am the LORD and that I have heard all your blasphemies which you have spoken against the mountains of Israel, saying, They are laid desolate, they are given to us to consume. 13Thus with your mouth you have boasted against me and havemultiplied your words against me: I have heard them. 14Thus says the Lord GOD; When the whole earth rejoices, I will make you desolate. 15As you rejoiced at the inheritance of the house of Israel, because it was desolate, so I will do to you: you shall be desolate, O mount Seir and all Idumea, even all of it: and they shall know that I am the LORD.

Chapter 36

This chapter is in sharp contrast to what has gone before. It looks past the punishment of destruction and exile to the return of the people to the land of Israel. The remnant is to return and enjoy the kind of life that God intended for an observant people. This chapter actually introduces the more informative material in Chapter 37 which predicts the return of all twelve tribes to the land but within the nation of Judah. The actual fulfillment of the time of greatest blessing for the nation was fulfilled in the period following Ezra's reform about 440 BCE. At that time the priesthood was cleansed and a period ensued which was peaceful and complete religious freedom was enjoyed under the suzerainity of the Persian Empire. This golden age lasted from about 440 to 160 BCE or almost 300 years. Much of the period is described in the commentary on Zechariah which can be accessed here for further information about the Golden age predicted here.

1Also, you son of man, prophesy to the mountains of Israel and say, you mountains of Israel, hear the word of the LORD: 2Thus says the Lord GOD; Because the enemy has said against you, Aha, even the ancient high places are ours in possession: 3Therefore prophesy and say, Thus says the Lord GOD; Because they have made you desolate and swallowed you up on every side, that you might be a possession to the residue of the heathen and you are taken up in the lips of talkers and are an infamy of the people: 4Therefore, you mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord GOD; Thus says the Lord GOD to the mountains and to the hills, to the rivers and to the valleys, to the desolate wastes and to the cities that are forsaken, which became a prey and derision to the residue of the heathen that are round about; 5Therefore thus says the Lord GOD; Surely in the fire of my jealousy I have spoken against the residue of the heathen and against all Idumea, which have appointed my land into their possession with the joy of all their heart, with despiteful minds, to cast it out for a prey.

Verse 5: "against all Idumea" Obadiah also condemns Idumea (Edom-Petra) for turning over to their Babylonian persuers those who fled the siege and destruction of Jerusalem. They are comdemned for this action. This verse in Ezekiel further adds that the Edomites took advantage of the chaos to possess the land of Israel and exploit their misery. It is interesting that Obadiah confirms what had already happened historically and predicts punishment for Edom because of their calousness; while Ezekiel is predicting the future which Obadiah confirms. Below is Obadiah 10-14.
Obadiah 10 Shame shall cover you for your violence against your brother Jacob and you shall be cut off for ever. 11In the day that you stood on the other side, in the day that the strangers carried away his forces captive and foreigners entered into his gates and cast lots on Jerusalem, even you were as one of them. 12But you should not have looked on the day of your brother in the day that he became a stranger; neither should you have rejoiced over the children of Judah in the day of their destruction; neither should you have spoken proudly in the day of distress. 13You should not have entered into the gate of my people in the day of their calamity; yes, you should not have looked on their affliction in the day of their calamity, nor have laid hands on their substance in the day of their calamity; 14Neither should you have stood in the crossway, to cut off those of his who escaped; neither should you have delivered up those of his who remained in the day of distress.
6Prophesy therefore concerning the land of Israel and say to the mountains and to the hills, to the rivers and to the valleys, Thus says the Lord GOD; Behold, I have spoken in my jealousy and in my fury, because you have borne the shame of the heathen: 7Therefore thus says the Lord GOD; I have lifted up my hand, Surely the heathen who are about you, they shall bear their shame. 8But you, O mountains of Israel, you shall shoot forth your branches and yield your fruit to my people of Israel; for they are at hand to come. 9For, behold, I am for you and I will turn to you and you shall be tilled and sown: 10And I will multiply men on you, all the house of Israel, even all of it: and the cities shall be inhabited and the wastes shall be built: 11And I will multiply on you man and beast; and they shall increase and bring fruit: and I will settle you after your old estates and will do better to you than at your beginnings: and you shall know that I am the LORD. 12Yes, I will cause men to walk on you, even my people Israel; and they shall possess you and you shall be their inheritance and you shall no more from then bereave them of men. 13Thus says the Lord GOD; Because they say to you, You land devours men and it has bereaved your nations; 14Therefore you shall devour men no more, nor bereave your nations any more, says the Lord GOD. 15nor will I cause men to hear in you the shame of the heathen any more, nor shall you bear the reproach of the people any more, nor shall you cause your nations to fall any more, says the Lord GOD.

16Also the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 17Son of man, when the house of Israel dwelled in their own land, they defiled it by their own ways and by their doings: their way was before me as the uncleanness of a menstruous woman. 18Therefore I poured my fury on them for the blood that they had shed on the land and for their idols with which they had polluted it: 19And I scattered them among the heathen and they were dispersed through the countries: according to their way and according to their doings I judged them.

Verse 16ff: Dwelled in their own land Ezekiel's method of dating his prophecies places this text in 584 BC or a year after the exile is complete. They used to live in this land but not anymore. Thus the chronological reference is accurate.
20And when they entered to the heathen land, where they went, they profaned my holy name, when they said to them, These are the people of the LORD and they are gone forth out of his land. 21But I had pity for my holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the heathen, where they went. 22Therefore say to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord GOD; I am not doing this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for my holy name's sake, which you have profaned among the heathen, where you went. 23And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which you have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, says the Lord GOD, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes. 24For I will take you from among the heathen and gather you out of all countries and will bring you into your own land.

25Then I will sprinkle clean water on you and you shall be clean: from all your filthiness and from all your idols, I will cleanse you. 26I will also give you a new heart and I will put a new spirit within you : and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh and I will give you a heart of flesh. 27And I will put my spirit within you and cause you to walk in my statutes and you shall keep my judgments and do them. 28And you shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and you shall be my people and I will be your God. 29I will also save you from all your uncleanness: and I will call for the corn and I will increase it and lay no famine on you. 30And I will multiply the fruit of the tree and the increase of the field, that you shall receive no more reproach of famine among the heathen. 31Then shall you remember your own evil ways and your doings that were not good and shall loathe yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities and for your abominations. 32I do this not for your sakes, says the Lord GOD, be it known to you: be ashamed and confounded for your own ways, O house of Israel. 33Thus says the Lord GOD; In the day that I shall have cleansed you from all your iniquities I will also cause you to dwell in the cities and the desolate cities shall be built. 34And the desolate land shall be tilled, while before it lay desolate in the sight of all who passed by. 35And they shall say, This land that was desolate is become like the garden of Eden; and the waste and desolate and ruined cities are become fenced, and are inhabited. 36Then the heathen who are left round about you shall know that I the LORD build the ruined places and plant that which was desolate: I the LORD have spoken it and I will do it. 37Thus says the Lord GOD; I will yet be enquired of for this by the house of Israel, to do it for them; I will increase them with men like a flock. 38As the holy flock, as the flock of Jerusalem in her solemn feasts; so shall the desolate cities be filled with flocks of men: and they shall know that I am the LORD.

Chapter 37

There are two visions in this chapter which both predict the same thing. That is that at the time of giving this prophecy (approximately two years after the destruction of Jerusalem) both nations, (the Kingdom of Israel whose final fall was in 722 BC or almost 150 years previously, and the Kingdom of Judah whose final fall was two years previously) no longer existed. But there is to be a future restoration of the scattered tribes into one united nation.

The tribes are described in the two visions: the first in verses 1 - 14 and the second from verse 15 to 28 as disconnected and impossibly scattered nations. In the first vision there appears to be no human hope of restoration for both nations called "the whole house of Israel" implying therfore all of the twelve tribes now scattered abroad seemingly dried up and dead. The prophecy continues and predicts the restoration of all twelve tribes. In the second vision beginning in verse 15 there is more accurate and detailed information given as to the composition of the restored twelve tribes. It is made plain that the two groups will become one nation. The groupings are described as (1.) Joseph and/or Ephraim and the tribes associated with them. Ephraim and Joseph are code names to include the eight or nine tribes of the Northern Kingdom of Israel now scattered. (2.) And Judah which not only refers to herself but includes the tribes associated with the Kingdom of Judah, including Benjamin, Levi and possibly Simeon. The prophecy pictures the individual tribes as a rod or staff. The KJV uses the word "stick" to represent each. The stick of Joseph, that is the scattered tribes of the northern kingdom are to be given to the stick or staff representing the kingdom of Judah. Also included in the restoration of all the tribes is their reinhabiting the land of Palestine, and the restoration of the kingdom or rule of David. These prophecies began to be fulfilled in the restoration of the nation in a second commonwealth that existed from about 539 BCE until 70 AD. They include the visit of the Messiah. Those who look for a future fulfillment of these prophecies are simply miataken. More than one heretical false doctrine is based on the idea that the "lost tribes" are still out there somewhere waiting for the premillenial restoration. One doctrine based on mistaken interpretation teaches "Anglo-Israelism." That is that Britain is Ephraim and the white people of the USA are Manasseh. The two tribes of Joseph. It is a false doctrine advocated by many Seventh Adventist sects but also includes some main line Protestant proponents. Read on:

1The hand of the LORD was on me and carried me out in the spirit of the LORD and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones, 2And caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, there were very many in the open valley; and, lo, they were very dry. 3And he said to me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord GOD, you know.4Again he said to me, Prophesy to these bones and say to them, O you dry bones, hear the word of the LORD. 5Thus says the Lord GOD to these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you and you shall live: 6And I will lay sinews on you and will bring up flesh on you and cover you with skin and put breath in you and you shall live; and you shall know that I am the LORD.7So I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise and behold a shaking and the bones came together, bone to its bone. 8And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up on them and the skin covered them over: but there was no breath in them. 9Then he said to me, Prophesy to the wind, prophesy, son of man and say to the wind, Thus says the Lord GOD; Come from the four winds, O breath and breathe on these slain, that they may live. 10So I prophesied as he commanded me and the breath came into them and they lived, and stood up on their feet, an exceedingly great army. 11Then he said to me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried and our hope is lost: we are cut off from our parts. 12Therefore prophesy and say to them, Thus says the Lord GOD; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves and cause you to come up out of your graves and bring you into the land of Israel. 13And you shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O my people and brought you up out of your graves, 14And shall put my spirit in you and you shall live and I shall place you in your own land: then shall you know that I the LORD have spoken it and performed it, says the LORD.

15The word of the LORD came to me again, saying, 16Also, son of man, take one stick and write on it, For Judah and for the children of Israel his companions: then take another stick and write on it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim and for all the house of Israel his companions:17And join them to each other into one stick; and they shall become one in your hand. 18And when the children of your people shall speak to you, saying, will you not show us what you mean by these? 19Say to them, Thus says the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim and the tribes of Israel his fellows and will put them with him, even with the stick of Judah and make them one stick and they shall be one in my hand.

Verse 19 This prophesy makes it plain that there would be a restoration of all twelve tribes into one nation. It is obvious from the text that the one nation would be Judah. That is: in the future from the time of this prophesy when Israel and Judah were fragmented and dead scattered former tribes; The tribes would come together again in the future as one nation and the tribe of Judah would hold all twelve tribes. In the event when the return from Babylon took place beginning in 536 BCE there followed periods of aliyah (immigration) of representatives of all the tribes for the next 300 plus years. And from that time onward it did not matter what tribe you came from; you were a Jew living in Judah.

The Septuagint version of the Bible was translated (275 BCE) during the period of restoration (539 BCE to 70 AD.) That means the translaters would have been living during the fulfillment of the prophecy. Thus they took the liberty of giving an interpretive translation of this verse which described their reality. In Hebrew the last few words of verse 19 say "I will make them one stick and they shall be one in my hand." The Septuagint translaters about 275 BCE interpreted this verse and wrote "I will make them one stick in the hand of Judah." They did this because the condition that Judah would contain all the tribes was the reality in their historical time and had been for some hundreds of years and therefore indicated that they felt this prophecy had been fulfilled previous to and in their time.

A portion of verse 19 in Hebrew
The last part of this verse in Hebrew reads
"ve-'asiytem le'ats 'echod ve-hayu 'echod be-yadiy.
"and will make them one stick and they shall be one in my hand.

A portion of verse 19 in Greek
The Septuagint in Greek reads:
kai doso autous epi te:n phule:n Iouda kai esontai eis rabdon mian en te: cheiri Iouda.
"and I will give them upon the tribe of Judah and they shall be into one stick in the hand of Judah."

Thus the Septuagint translaters made it plain that they saw the prophecy as fulfilled in their time. The restoration of all twelve tribes had taken place and the nation of Judah with Zerubbabel a descendent of David (See verse 24 below) who restored David's rule over Israel was the reality described in this prophecy.

Obviously those who believe in the "Lost ten tribes" and their future premillenial return are mistaken in still looking for what has already transpired. The promises of Jeremiah 23:5-8 and of Jeremiah 33:14-16 showing that the Messiah would come in the period of the restoration of Judah and Israel into one nation when they inhabited their own land again. Surely the uncorrupted reader would see the coming of the "Righteous Branch" to refer to the first advent of Jesus the Messiah. Thus Messiah had to come during the period when Israel and Judah dwelled in the land as one nation. These verses in Jeremiah correspond to Ezek 37:24 which describes the united nation being ruled by a descendent of David.

Further verification of the accuracy of this interpretation can be found in 1 Chronicles 9:1-3 where tribes of the so called "Ten Lost Tribes," Ephraim and Manasseh, are listed as part of the initial return in 536 to 539 BCE. And further to this Zechariah describes the period of extensive " aliyah" during the "Silent Years" when multitudes would return from their exile in Assyria, and Egypt. The whole of the commentary on Chapter 10 of Zechariah contains a hugh amount of evidence supporting the consolodation of all twelve tribes into the nation of Judah fulfilling the restoration prophecies like "In those days and at that time" et. al. Zechariah Chapter 10:6 is a good starting place but the whole of the chapter 10 contains very convincing historical citations.

20And the sticks on which you write shall be in your hand before their eyes. 21And say to them, Thus says the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, where they are gone, and will gather them on every side and bring them into their own land: 22And I will make them one nation in the land on the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations, nor shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all: 23nor shall they defile themselves any more with their idols, nor with their detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions: but I will save them out of all their dwelling places, in which they have sinned and will cleanse them: so they shall be my people and I will be their God.

24And David my servant shall be king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd: they shall also walk in my judgments and observe my statutes and do them. 25And they shall dwell in the land that I have given to Jacob my servant, in which your fathers have dwelled; and they shall dwell there, even they and their children and their children's children for ever: and my servant David shall be their prince for ever. 26Also I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them: and I will place them and multiply them and will set my sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore.

David Prophecies. Ezekiel Introduced the David prophecy in chapter 34. There, as here, and in other places, noted in chapter 34:23 The appearance of the Prince who like David would rule over all twelve tribes and unite all of God's people would take place during the return of all twelve tribes to their own land which happened at the time of the second commonwealt and the second Temple. Thus the messiah had to come before 70 AD. See more on this and the David-Branch prophecies in chapter 34.
27My tabernacle also shall be with them: yes, I will be their God and they shall be my people. 28And the heathen shall know that I the LORD sanctify Israel, when my sanctuary shall be in the midst of them for evermore.




The Battle of Armageddon

(Chapters 38 and 39 were written in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, May, 1988)


38:1 And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 38:2 Son of man, set your face against Gog* hidden leader of the land of Magog,** Scythia, Ukraine, or South Russia, the Prince of Ros,*** Moscow and Tobolsk,**** and prophesy against him,

* Gog is a mystery word, appearing only here in these two chapters and in Revelation 20:8 as being a leader in the Battle of Armageddon. "He" is the epitome of the collective force led by Russia, Moscow, and Siberia, gathered from many nations to fight against God's people in a last but decisive battle leaving the people of God victorious and possessors of all the wealth and power of their devastated enemies.
**The land of Magog, not Magog as a personification but a location. Magog of the classical historians is Scythia, present day Ukraine.
*** The Hebrew word "Rosh" means "head" is translated "chief" by the KJV. Versions putting "Ros" follow the Septuagint which rendered the Hebrew as Prince of Ros rather than "chief prince." The Septuagint translators were aware of the nation of Ros.
**** There is little doubt that the Hebrew "Meshech and Tubal" are the Moschoi and Tabal of the classical writers. They are the ancestors of the Moscovites and Siberians whose capitol was (is) Tobolsk. Through almost two millenniums of the Christian era this prophecy has been attributed as a latter day prophecy to the Russian people. See Procopius.
38:3 And say, Thus says the Lord GOD; Behold, I [am] against you, O Gog hidden leader, the Prince of Ros, Moscow and Tobolsk: 38:4 And I will turn you back, and put hooks into your jaws, and I will bring you forth, and all your army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with various sorts of different national [armor] a great company [with] bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords: fully armed. 38:5 Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet: 38:6 Gomer, Celts and all his bands; the house of Togarmah the Turks of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people with you. 38:7 You be prepared, and prepare for yourself, you, and all your company that are assembled unto you, and be you a guard unto them. 38:8 After many days you shall be visited: in the latter* years you shall come into the land [that is] brought back from the sword, [and is] gathered out of many people, against the mountains ** of [spiritual] Israel, which have been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them.
*Reference to latter years could in some places refer to the latter years of the Jewish nation or the Mosaic Law or the end of some epoch. In the past there has been nothing of significance in Russian history of such scope as to be ascribed to leading the nations mentioned here. Certainly not in a "latter years" context. Taking atheistic leadership of many nations since 1917 in an attempt to destroy all religion in general and Christianity specifically is apparent for all to see. The fact that we are living in the fulfilling of this prediction is evidence that we are in the latter years, not to say the last years.
**These "mountains" refer to seats of authority within the realm of the Christian religion--perhaps to national churches. [This comment was made in 1988, long before the revival, current in 1993, began.]
38:9 You shall ascend and come like a storm, you shall be like a cloud to cover the land, you, and all your bands, and many people with you. 38:10 Thus says the Lord GOD; It shall also come to pass, that at the same time shall things come into your mind, and you shall devise an EVIL THOUGHT: 38:11 And you shall say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates, defenseless.*
*This verse could hardly refer to the modern Jewish state of Israel with its armies, war machines and atomic weapons. It is more likely the spiritual Israel of the church of Jesus Christ that is meant here.
38:12 To take a spoil, and to take a prey; to turn your hand upon the desolate places [that are now] inhabited, and upon the people [that are] gathered out of the nations, which have gotten cattle and goods, that dwell in the midst of the land. 38:13 Sheba, and Dedan, Arabia and the merchants of Tarshish, Carthage, modern Algeria* with all the young lions thereof, shall say to you, are you come to take a spoil? have you gathered your company to take a prey? to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to take a great spoil?
* The Septuagint has Carthage here as in all other places where it translates Tarshish.
38:14 Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say unto Gog hidden leader, Thus says the Lord GOD; In that day when my people of [spiritual] Israel dwells safely, shall you not know it? 38:15 And you shall come from your place out of the north parts, you, and many people with you, all of them riding upon horses,* a great company, and a mighty army:
*Horses etc. not to be taken literally. It is a picture of military might.
38:16 And you shall come up against my people of [spiritual] Israel, as a cloud to cover the land; it shall be in the latter days,* and I will bring you against my land, that the heathen may know me, when I shall be sanctified in you,**(1) O Gog hidden leader, before their eyes.
* A further latter day statement causing expectation of the fulfillment of these events, not at the end of time but toward the end of the historical age that we are in. This prophecy is most certainly in process of being fulfilled since 1917 and is now nearing completion.
** The result of God's dealing will be that revival of the knowledge of God will come among the nations. Each place so mentioned in the text is bolded and numbered.
38:17 Thus says the Lord GOD; [are] you he of whom I have spoken in old time by my servants the prophets of [spiritual] Israel, which prophesied in those days [many] years that I would bring you against them? 38:18 And it shall come to pass at the same time when Gog shall come against the land of [spiritual] Israel, says the Lord GOD, [that] my fury shall come up in my face. 38:19 For in my jealousy [and] in the fire of my wrath have I spoken, Surely in that day there shall be a great shaking * in the land of [spiritual] Israel;
* Shaking,-- revolution in world powers, and the church, with the overthrow of restraints imposed by government, ethics, religion, politics, and those things counted secure.
38:20 So that the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the heaven, and the beasts of the field, and all creeping things that creep upon the earth, and all the men that [are] upon the face of the earth, shall shake at my presence, and the mountains shall be thrown down, and the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground, all of which are to be figuratively fulfilled.*
* Those things indicated by the removal of "mountains, walls" etc. are the eradication of human divisions like East - West blocks, national boundaries, difficulties caused by nationalism and totalitarianism, borders, etc., which inhibit social and economic interaction and the spread of the gospel of Christ.
38:21 And I will call for a sword against him throughout all my mountains,* says the Lord GOD: every man's sword shall be against his brother, civil war within and assaults from without.
* As well as the blows of nature and physical war described in verse 22 there will be an offensive strike from many parts of the world -- Christianity against the combined forces led by Gog. The central attack will be on the primary leaders,-- Russia and her companions assaulted from the principalities, "mountains," of the church of Christ.
38:22 And I will plead against him with pestilence and with blood; and I will rain upon him, and upon his bands, and upon the many people that [are] with him, an overflowing rain, and great hailstones,* fire, and brimstone,** all are physical calamities not figurative. 38:23 Thus will I magnify myself, and sanctify myself; and I will be known in the eyes of many nations, and they shall know that I [am] the LORD.***(2)
* See Revelation 16:21 which most probably refers to this same soon coming event. The context of shaking, islands fleeing, mountains not being found, and the plague of great hail points to physical calamities followed by a revolution of proportions not encountered before in history to this time. And this soon to happen -- in the lifetime of most people reading this document. Also notice that this is a part of God's pleading with the marshalled enemies. It is not the means of destruction which is mentioned in 39:6. God uses the physical calamities to plead with the wayward. He does not willingly afflict the sons of men.
** Pestilence, fire and brimstone, hail, blood etc. These are all physical calamities not to be spiritualized or fulfilled figuratively.
*** The material in the next chapter describes the total destruction of the invading forces and their burial and gathering of the spoils by the people of God. It was in 1966 at Elfin Lake in Vermont that I first publicly proposed that these passages refer to nations of our time, and their activities politically and religiously are described here as to current and near future events. Some of these events have occurred since that time. These events will be literally seen to come to pass. For instance in 1966 I predicted on the basis of these prophecies that Ethiopia would become a communist state and that Iran would oppose the western democracies. At that time listeners asked with dismay how a nation so closely allied to the USA as the Shah's Iran could turn so quickly. Just as the political events have partially unfolded, so the destruction of the forces of Gog will come to pass as well. However, it is the belief of this writer that the great destruction, although coincident with physical calamities with which God pleads with the Russian people, none the less, is spiritual and the burial etc. is a picture of conversion of the nation to Christ. We should look for a revival of the Church of Christ in the Russian nation. The next chapter explains why.
Chapter 39

39:1 Therefore, you son of man, prophesy against Gog hidden leader, and say, Thus says the Lord GOD; Behold, I [am] against you, O Gog hidden leader, the Prince of Ros, Moscow and Tobolsk: 39:2 And I will turn you back, and leave but the sixth part* of you, and will cause you to come up from the north parts, and will bring you upon the mountains of [spiritual] Israel:

* That is, only 16 2/3% of those indicated will survive. The precise number precludes a hyperbole. It means the total destruction of 83% of those led by Russia, Moscow and Siberia; they will die. This great destruction is either spiritually to be fulfilled or it will literally happen soon.
39:3 And I will smite your bow out of your left hand, and will cause your arrows to fall out of your right hand.*
*Not literally; what is indicated is that Russia will be rendered defenseless in the end of the battle.
39:4 You shall fall upon the mountains of {spiritual} Israel, you, and all your bands, and the people that [is] with you: I will give you unto the ravenous birds of every sort, and [to] the beasts of the field to be devoured.*
*As in Revelation 19 where the same meal is spoken of this is not to be taken literally. What is seen is the complete destruction and spoiling of the enemies of God's people.
39:5 you shall fall upon the open field: for I have spoken [it], says the Lord GOD. 39:6 And I will send a fire on Magog,* Scythia, South Russia, the Ukraine, and among them that dwell in indifference in the isles: that is the nations round about,** and they shall know that I [am] the LORD.(3)
* This has got to be the same FIRE as that spoken of in Revelation 20:8 where the same features are noticed: (1) direct intervention of God, it is fire out of heaven, (2) The fire of God is to be poured out in the Ukraine, Russia's industrial heartland. [Note: I have used this verse, since the 1970's, to predict a revival of the Christian religion beginning in the Ukraine in my own lifetime. It is on this point which the greatest disputes had risen with my contemporaries who still insist on a literal Palestinian Armageddon and the same insist there will be a revival of communism in Russia. Note added 1993]
** When this great destruction is to begin we do not know but it is near. The location of its beginning is here made certain. The fire of God is to be poured out in the Ukraine and its power to destroy his enemies will engulf all the armies posed against him as well as those who are indifferent to him.
39:7 So will I make my holy name known (4) in the midst of my people [spiritual] Israel; and I will not [let them] pollute my holy name any more: and the heathen shall know that I [am] the LORD,(5) the Holy One in [spiritual] Israel.*
*A revival of knowledge of the Lord and repentance among his own people and those who do not know him is indicated here.
39:8 Behold, it is come, and it is done, says the Lord GOD; this [is] the day whereof I have spoken.*
*The Armageddon we are all looking for.
39:9 And they that dwell in the cities of [spiritual] Israel shall go forth, and shall set on fire and burn the weapons, both the shields and the bucklers, the bows and the arrows, and the handstaves, and the spears, and they shall burn them with fire seven years: as fuel! 39:10 So that they shall take no wood out of the field, neither cut down [any] out of the forests; for they shall burn the weapons with fire: and they shall spoil those that spoiled them, and rob those that robbed them, says the Lord GOD.*
* They have no need for fuel due to the acquisitions from the armies of Gog.
39:11 And it shall come to pass in that day, [that] I will give unto Gog a place there of graves in [spiritual] Israel, the valley of the passengers on the east of the sea: and it shall stop the noses] of the passengers: and there shall they bury Gog and all his multitude: and they shall call [it] The valley of Hamongog. 39:12 And seven months shall the house of [spiritual] Israel be burying of them, that they may cleanse the land. 39:13 Yes, all the people of the land shall bury [them]; and it shall be to them a renown the day that I shall be glorified, says the Lord GOD.*
* The date will be marked as a "holiday" year by year among those members of spiritual Israel, that is, the church of Jesus Christ.
39:14 And after the seven month season of universal involvement in the burying (baptizing) they shall hire salaried men of continual employment, passing through the land to bury with the passengers those that remain upon the face of the earth, to cleanse it: after the end of seven months shall they search.*
* As there is to be a wholesale destruction of the armies led by the Russians which will leave 83 1/3% dead and lying to be buried, one must hazard a guess as to whether the fulfillment is to be literal or figurative, spiritual. That is, are we reading here of the prediction of almost total destruction of a nation physically needing literal burying which is to involve every member of the church of Christ in the labor for many months, or is it a picture of one grand destruction of God's enemies through their death to self and consequent conversion? Time will tell.
39:15 And the passengers [that] pass through the land, when [any] sees a man's bone, then shall he set up a sign by it, till the buriers have buried it in the valley of Hamongog.*
* Note the division of labor. One class of itinerant simply finds the dead and leaves them with a sign for those who bury while they move on for further discovery of bodies.
39:16 And also the name of the city [shall be] Hamonah. Thus shall they cleanse the land. 39:17 And, you son of man, thus says the Lord GOD; Speak unto every feathered fowl, and to every beast of the field, Assemble yourselves, and come; gather yourselves on every side to my sacrifice that I do sacrifice for you, [even] a great sacrifice upon the mountains of [spiritual] (2) Israel, that you all may eat flesh, and drink blood. 39:18 You all shall eat the flesh of the mighty, and drink the blood of the princes of the earth, of rams, of lambs, and of goats, of bullocks, all of them fatlings of Bashan. 39:19 And you all shall eat fat till you all be full and drink blood till you all be drunken, of my sacrifice which I have sacrificed for you. 39:20 Thus you all shall be filled at my table with horses and chariots, with mighty men, and with all men of war, says the Lord GOD.*
* As noted above this feast for the birds is laid out in Revelation 19 as accompanying the victory supper of the Lamb of God. It is likely figuratively fulfilled as it is unlikely that birds will eat chariots. It is a picture of the total destruction and annihilation of the enemies of God gathered by Gog. It pictures the moment of destruction to be followed by the time when the enemies of God's people will have disappeared and the people of God gained the ascendancy in the affairs of men. Daniel 7:18 says the saints shall take the kingdom. The chapter closes with the passing away of worldly kingdoms and the government being given to the people of God. Revelation 11:15 says of this moment, "The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and His Christ."
39:21 And I will set my glory among the heathen, (6) and all the heathen shall see (7) my judgment that I have executed, and my hand that I have laid upon them. 39:22 So the house of [spiritual] Israel shall know (8) that I [am] the LORD their God from that day and forward. 39:23 And the heathen shall know (9) that the house of [spiritual] Israel went into captivity for their iniquity: because they trespassed against me, therefore hid I my face from them, and gave them into the hand of their enemies: so fell they all by the sword. 39:24 According to their uncleanness and according to their transgressions have I done unto them, and hid my face from them. 39:25 Therefore thus says the Lord GOD; Now will I bring again the captivity of Jacob, and have mercy upon the whole house of [spiritual] Israel, and will be jealous for my holy name; 39:26 After that they have borne their shame, and all their trespasses whereby they have trespassed against me, when they dwelt safely in their land, and none made [them] afraid. 39:27 When I have brought them again from the people, and gathered them out of their enemies' lands, and am sanctified in them in the sight of many nations;(10) 39:28 Then shall they know that I [am] the LORD their God, (11) which caused them to be led into captivity among the heathen: but I have gathered them unto their own land, and have left none of them any more there.*
* Israel after the flesh is thought by many to be referred to in these final passages. If the conversion of the Jews is referred to one must remember that they have been cut off from the root and need to be grafted back into the true and continuing Israel, the church of Christ. The majority, if not all the references in these two chapters must be seen in the context of the fulfillment as to the Israel whom God would recognize in the time-frame of that fulfillment. Neither the Jewish state nor the diaspora is the Israel of these prophecies nor of God.
39:29 Neither will I hide my face any more from them: for I have poured out my spirit upon the house of [spiritual] Israel, says the Lord GOD.*
*These chapters speak of an attempt led by Russia to gather the nations against God's people due to an evil thought device. Referred to in Revelation and elsewhere this passage is taken to refer to the battle of Armageddon. The battle in all likelihood is spiritual and refers to an epoch rather than a moment, beginning in 1917 and ending in the not too distant future, probably within the lifetime of most of those reading this material. The current black outlook for the church in western Europe and the United States is due for a change to the victory side. The Ukraine is the place pinpointed where the intervention of God will begin. The wise will watch for revival. A great and sweeping world revival seems to be predicted as a result of the overthrow of the opposing powers whether by physical death or conversion. Young people have a great world to look forward to. Wise men will prepare for great things coming in the kingdom of our Lord and His Christ!

Chapter 39:23 to 29 may be a return to the future of the nation during the silent years and not be the conclusion to the spiritual events of chapter 39. The return of the whole nation, all 12 tribes, was desvribed in chapter 37 and this may very well be the same conclusion that was described there. That is that all 12 tribes would be constituted in the singal nation of Judah. And there is to be a literal return to the land, with the establishment of the second commoinwealth and the restored Temple which will be descibed beginning in the next chapter. And during that period the branch of David would appear.

23And the heathen shall know that the house of Israel went into captivity for their iniquity: because they trespassed against me, therefore I hid my face from them and gave them into the hand of their enemies: so they all fell by the sword. 24 I have done to them the same as their uncleanness and the same as their transgressions and I hid my face from them. 25Therefore thus says the Lord GOD; Now I will bring again the captivity of Jacob and have mercy on the whole house of Israel and will be jealous for my holy name; 26After that they have borne their shame, and all their trespasses by which they have trespassed against me, when they dwelled safely in their land and no one made them afraid. 27When I have brought them again from the people and gathered them out of their enemies' lands and am sanctified in them in the sight of many nations; 28Then shall they know that I am the LORD their God, who caused them to be led into captivity among the heathen: but I have gathered them to their own land and have left none of them there any more. 29nor will I hide my face from them any more: for I have poured out my spirit on the house of Israel, says the Lord GOD.
Chapters 38 and 39 were written in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, U.K. May 1988

The Future Restoration of the Temple

Chapter 40 begins a section in the prophecy of a future restoration of the Temple and its progress through several differing stages decribed actually, allegorically and euphemistically. Ezekiel says in 40:1 that these visions came to him about 14 years after the Temple was destroyed by the Babylonians, or about 572 or 571 BCE.
This section is very difficult and among Jews there was a time that young men were discouraged from reading the section until they were older. I think that the best view of these passages is to see the prophecies as describing the Temple in each stage of its future. In general terms this opinion of mine works for most of the chapters seeing the Temple rebuilt and then perhaps Herod's restoration and the visit of the messiah to the Temple, then the temple becoming the church and finally the temple in heaven itself. For instance Chapter 40 to 42 would describe the physical rebuilding and restoration in hyperbolic terms. Charter 43 describes the return of the Glory of the Lord, commonly called Shekinah, to the Temple after it was rebuilt but before its dedication and then extending through the silent years to Chapter 44 which describes the vist of Jesus of Nazareth to the temple; the visit that we call the triumphal entry and the ensuing results. Chapters 45 and 46 are more difficult because they decribe the division of rewards round the temple. Perhaps in prospect because the events of Mt Calvary open the way to the Gospel age. Chapter 47 is obviously the church described as the River of Life coming out of the Temple. And Chapter 48 must describe the redeemed round about the temple in heaven itself. See a further enlargement of this outline in chapter 44: 1ff below.

Chapter 40

574 - 575 BCE

1In the twenty fifth year of our captivity, in the beginning of the year, in the tenth day of the month, in the fourteenth year after that the city was struck, in the selfsame day the hand of the LORD was on me and brought me there. 2In the visions of God he brought me into the land of Israel and set me on a very high mountain, by which was as the shape of a city on the south. 3And he brought me there and, behold, there was a man, whose appearance was like the appearance of brass, with a line of flax in his hand and a measuring reed; and he stood in the gate. 4And the man said to me, Son of man, behold with your eyes and hear with your ears and set your heart on all that I shall show you; you are brought here to the intent that I might show them to you: declare all that you see to the house of Israel.

5And behold a wall on the outside of the house round about and in the man's hand a measuring reed of six cubits long by the cubit and an hand breadth: so he measured the breadth of the building, one reed; and the height, one reed. 6Then he came to the gate which looks toward the east and went up its stairs and measured the threshold of the gate, which was one reed broad; and the other threshold of the gate, which was one reed broad. 7And every little chamber was one reed long and one reed broad; and between the little chambers were five cubits; and the threshold of the gate by the porch of the gate within was one reed. 8He measured also the porch of the gate in side, one reed. 9Then he measured the porch of the gate, eight cubits; and its posts, two cubits; and the porch of the gate was inward. 10And the little chambers of the gate eastward were three on this side and three on that side; they three were of one measure: and the posts had one measure on this side and on that side. 11And he measured the breadth of the entry of the gate, ten cubits; and the length of the gate, thirteen cubits. 12The space also before the little chambers was one cubit on this side and the space was one cubit on that side: and the little chambers were six cubits on this side and six cubits on that side. 13He measured then the gate from the roof of one little chamber to the roof of the other: the breadth was twenty five cubits, door against door. 14He made also posts of sixty cubits, even to the post of the court round about the gate. 15And from the face of the gate of the entrance to the face of the porch of the inner gate were fifty cubits. 16And there were narrow windows to the little chambers and to their posts within the gate round about and likewise to the arches: and windows were round about inward: and on each post were palm trees. 17Then he brought me into the outward court and, lo, there were chambers, and a pavement made for the court round about: thirty chambers were on the pavement. 18And the pavement by the side of the gates opposite the length of the gates was the lower pavement. 19Then he measured the breadth from the forefront of the lower gate to the forefront of the inner court without, a hundred cubits eastward and northward. 20And the gate of the outward court that looked toward the north, he measured its length and its breadth. 21And its little chambers were three on this side and three on that side; and its posts and the arches of it were after the measure of the first gate: its length was fifty cubits and the breadth twenty five cubits. 22And their windows and their arches and their palm trees, were after the measure of the gate that looks toward the east; and they went up to it by seven steps; and its arches were before them.23And the gate of the inner court was opposite the gate toward the north and toward the east; and he measured from gate to gate a hundred cubits. 24After that he brought me toward the south and behold a gate toward the south: and he measured its posts and its arches according to these measures. 25And there were windows in it and in its arches round about, like those windows: the length was fifty cubits and the breadth twenty five cubits. 26And there were seven steps to go up to it and its arches were before them: and it had palm trees on its posts, one on this side and another on that side.

27And there was a gate in the inner court toward the south: and he measured from gate to gate toward the south a hundred cubits. 28And he brought me to the inner court by the south gate: and he measured the south gate according to these measures; 29And its little chambers and its posts and the arches, according to these measures: and there were windows in it and in its arches round about: it was fifty cubits long and twenty five cubits broad. 30And the arches round about were twenty five cubits long and five cubits broad. 31And its arches were toward the outer court; and palm trees were on its posts: and the going up to it had eight steps. 32And he brought me into the inner court toward the east: and he measured the gate according to these measures. 33And its little chambers and its posts and its arches were according to these measures: and there were windows there and in its arches round about: it was fifty cubits long, and twenty five cubits broad. 34And its arches were toward the outward court; and palm trees were on its posts on this side and on that side: and the going up to it had eight steps. 35And he brought me to the north gate and measured it according to these measures; 36Its little chambers, its posts and its arches and its windows round about: the length was fifty cubits and the breadth twenty five cubits. 37And its posts were toward the outer court; and palm trees were on its posts , on this side and on that side: and the going up to it had eight steps. 38And the chambers and its entries were by the posts of the gates, where they washed the burnt offering.

39And in the porch of the gate were two tables on this side and two tables on that side, to kill there the burnt offering and the sin offering and the trespass offering. 40And at the side out side, as one goes up to the entry of the north gate, were two tables; and on the other side, which was at the porch of the gate, were two tables. 41Four tables were on this side and four tables on that side, by the side of the gate; eight tables, on which they killed their sacrifices. 42And the four tables were of hewn stone for the burnt offering, of a cubit and an half long and a cubit and an half broad and one cubit high: on which also they laid the instruments with which they killed the burnt offering and the sacrifice. 43And within were hooks, a hand broad, fastened round about: and on the tables was the flesh of the offering. 44And out side the inner gate were the chambers of the singers in the inner court, which was at the side of the north gate; and their prospect was toward the south: one at the side of the east gate having the prospect toward the north. 45And he said to me, This chamber, whose prospect is toward the south, is for the priests, the keepers of the charge of the house. 46And the chamber whose prospect is toward the north is for the priests, the keepers of the charge of the altar: these are the sons of Zadok among the sons of Levi, which come near to the LORD to minister to him. 47So he measured the court, a hundred cubits long, and an hundred cubits broad, foursquare; and the altar that was before the house. 48And he brought me to the porch of the house and measured each post of the porch, five cubits on this side and five cubits on that side: and the breadth of the gate was three cubits on this side and three cubits on that side. 49The length of the porch was twenty cubits and the breadth eleven cubits; and he brought me by the steps by which they went up to it: and there were pillars by the posts, one on this side and another on that side.

Chapter 41

1Afterward he brought me to the temple and measured the posts, six cubits broad on the one side and six cubits broad on the other side, which was the breadth of the tabernacle. 2And the breadth of the door was ten cubits; and the sides of the door were five cubits on the one side and five cubits on the other side: and he measured its length, forty cubits: and the breadth, twenty cubits. 3Then he went inside and measured the post of the door, two cubits; and the door, six cubits; and the breadth of the door, seven cubits. 4So he measured its length, twenty cubits; and the breadth, twenty cubits, before the temple: and he said to me, This is the most holy place. 5After he measured the wall of the house, six cubits; and the breadth of every side chamber, four cubits, round about the house on every side. 6And the side chambers were three, one over another and thirty in order; and they entered into the wall which was of the house for the side chambers round about, that they might have store, but they had no store in the wall of the house. 7And there was an enlarging and a winding about still upward to the side chambers: for the winding about of the house went still upward round about the house: therefore the breadth of the house was still upward and so increased from the lowest chamber to the highest by the midst. 8I saw also the height of the house round about: the foundations of the side chambers were a full reed of six great cubits. 9The thickness of the wall, which was for the side chamber without, was five cubits: and that which was left was the place of the side chambers that were in side. 10And between the chambers was a wideness of twenty cubits round about the house on every side. 11And the doors of the side chambers were toward the place that was left, one door toward the north and another door toward the south: and the breadth of the place that was left was five cubits round about.

12Now the building that was before the separate place at the end toward the west was seventy cubits broad; and the wall of the building was five cubits thick round about and its length ninety cubits. 13So he measured the house, a hundred cubits long; and the separate place and the building, with its walls, a hundred cubits long; 14Also the breadth of the face of the house, and of the separate place toward the east, a hundred cubits. 15And he measured the length of the building opposite the separate place which was behind it and its galleries on the one side and on the other side, a hundred cubits, with the inner temple and the porches of the court; 16The door posts and the narrow windows and the galleries round about on their three stories, opposite the door, cieled with wood round about and from the ground up to the windows and the windows were covered; 17To that above the door, even to the inner house and out side and by all the wall round about in side and out side, by measure. 18And it was made with cherubim and palm trees, so that a palm tree was between a cherub and a cherub; and every cherub had two faces;19So that the face of a man was toward the palm tree on the one side and the face of a young lion toward the palm tree on the other side: it was made through all the house round about. 20From the ground to above the door were cherubim and palm trees made and on the wall of the temple.21The posts of the temple were squared and the face of the sanctuary; the appearance of one like the appearance of the other. 22The altar of wood was three cubits high and its length two cubits; and its corners and its length and its walls were of wood: and he said to me, This is the table that is before the LORD. 23And the temple and the sanctuary had two doors. 24And the doors had two leaves each, two turning leaves; two leaves for the one door and two leaves for the other door. 25And there were made on them, on the doors of the temple, cherubim and palm trees, like those made on the walls; and there were thick planks on the face of the porch out side.26And there were narrow windows and palm trees and thick planks on the one side and on the other side, on the sides of the porch and on the side chambers of the house.

Chapter 42

1Then he brought me out into the outer court, the way toward the north: and he brought me into the chamber that was opposite the separate place and which was before the building toward the north. 2Before the north door was the length of a hundred cubits and the breadth was fifty cubits. 3Opposite the twenty cubits which were for the inner court and opposite the pavement which was for the outer court, was a gallery opposite in three stories. 4And before the chambers was a walk of ten cubits breadth in side, a way of one cubit; and their doors toward the north. 5Now the upper chambers were shorter: for the galleries were higher than these, than the lower, and than the middlemost of the building. 6For they were in three stories, but had no pillars as the pillars of the courts: therefore the building was narrowed more than the lowest and the middlemost from the ground. 7And the wall that was out side opposite the chambers, toward the outer court on the forepart of the chambers, its length was fifty cubits. 8For the length of the chambers that were in the outer court was fifty cubits: and, lo, before the temple was a hundred cubits. 9And from under these chambers was the entry on the east side, as one goes into them from the outer court. 10The chambers were in the thickness of the wall of the court toward the east, opposite the separate place and opposite the building. 11And the way before them was like the appearance of the chambers which were toward the north, as long as they were and as broad as they were: and all their goings out were both the same as their fashions and the same as their doors. 12And the same as the doors of the chambers that were toward the south was a door in the head of the way, even the way directly before the wall toward the east, as one enters into them. 13Then he said to me, The north chambers and the south chambers, which are before the separate place, they are holy chambers, where the priests who approach to the LORD shall eat the most holy things: there shall they lay the most holy things and the meat offering and the sin offering and the trespass offering; for the place is holy. 14When the priests enter there, then they shall not go out of the holy place into the outer court, but there they shall lay their garments in which they minister; for they are holy; and shall put on other garments and shall approach to those things which are for the people.

15Now when he had made an end of measuring the inner house, he brought me out toward the gate whose prospect is toward the east and measured it round about. 16He measured the east side with the measuring reed, five hundred reeds, with the measuring reed round about. 17He measured the north side, five hundred reeds, with the measuring reed round about. 18He measured the south side, five hundred reeds, with the measuring reed. 19He turned about to the west side and measured five hundred reeds with the measuring reed. 20He measured it by the four sides: it had a wall round about, five hundred reeds long and five hundred broad, to make a separation between the sanctuary and the profane place.

Chapter 43

The return of the Shekinah: There is a very extensive description of the Shekinah covering most of chapter one. It is further pictured in chapters 10 and the last verses of 11 where the departure from the temple (and the land) about a year before its destruction by the Babylonians is recorded. The verses that follow record the prophecy that pictures the future return of the Shekinah to the second temple. The announcement of the imminency of the return seventy years after its departure is found in Zechariah 2:8-11 and the event of the return as having taken place is in Zechariah 8:1-3.

1Afterward he brought me to the gate, even the gate that looks toward the east: 2And, behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east: and his voice was like a noise of many waters: and the earth polished with his glory. 3And it was the same as the appearance of the vision which I saw, even the same as the vision that I saw when I came to destroy the city: and the visions were like the vision that I saw by the river Chebar; and I fell on my face. 4And the glory of the LORD came into the house by the way of the gate whose prospect is toward the east.

Verses 1-4 The Glory of the Lord: The Shekinah is given extensive description in Chapter one and many other chapters in Ezekiel. The return to the Temple took place shortly before the dedication of the second Temple which is described in Ezra 6:1ff The Glory of the Lord came back in to the Temple from the same direction that he, she, it, departed in chapter 11:22.. Feminine pronouns describe the action of the Shekinah more than any other gender.

5So the spirit took me up and brought me into the inner court; and, behold, the glory of the LORD filled the house. 6And I heard him speaking to me out of the house; and the man stood by me.

7And he said to me, Son of man, the place of my throne and the place of the soles of my feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel for ever and the house of Israel shall not defile my holy name anymore, neither they, nor their kings, by their whoredom, nor by the carcases of their kings in their high places.

Verse 7; "Forever:" God's "forever" promises are conditional. The return of the Shekinah to the second Temple lasted "forever" from the of Darius I to the crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth. From 516 BCE to about 30 AD -- aperiod of 546 years. The Temple was destroyed in 70 AD but according to Daniel 9 it was "desolate" no one lived there. Titus did not make the Temple desolate, he destroyed a desplate Temple.
8In their setting of their threshold by my thresholds, and their post by my posts and the wall between me and them, they have even defiled my holy name by their abominations that they have committed: wherefore I have consumed them in my anger. 9Now let them put away their whoredom and the carcases of their kings, far from me, and I will dwell in the midst of them for ever. 10Son of man, show the house to the house of Israel, that they may be ashamed of their iniquities: and let them measure the pattern. 11And if they are ashamed of all that they have done, show them the form of the house and its fashion, and its exits and its entrances and all its forms and all its ordinances and all its forms and all its laws: and write it in their sight, so that they may keep its whole form and all its ordinances and do them. 12This is the law of the house; On the top of the mountain its whole limit round about shall be most holy. Behold, this is the law of the house.

13And these are the measures of the altar by cubits: The temple cubit is a cubit and an hand breadth; even the bottom shall be a cubit and the breadth a cubit and its border by its edges round about shall be a span: and this shall be the higher place of the altar. 14And from the bottom on the ground even to the lower settle shall be two cubits and the breadth one cubit; and from the lesser settle even to the greater settle shall be four cubits and the breadth one cubit.15So the altar shall be four cubits; and from the altar and upward shall be four horns. 16And the altar shall be twelve cubits long, twelve broad, square in its four squares. 17And the settle shall be fourteen cubits long and fourteen broad in its four squares; and the border about it shall behalf a cubit; and its bottom shall be a cubit about; and its stairs shall look toward the east.18And he said to me, Son of man, thus says the Lord GOD; These are the ordinances of the altar in the day when they shall make it, to offer burnt offerings on it and to sprinkle blood on it.19And you shall give to the priests the Levites who are of the seed of Zadok, who approach me, to minister to me, a young bullock for a sin offering, says the Lord GOD,. 20And you shall take of its blood and put it on its four horns and on the four corners of the settle and on the border round about: thus shall you cleanse and purge it. 21You shall take the bullock also of the sin offering, and he shall burn it in the appointed place of the house, outside the sanctuary.22And on the second day you shall offer a kid of the goats without blemish for a sin offering; and they shall cleanse the altar, as they cleansed it with the bullock. 23When you have made an end of cleansing it, you shall offer a young bullock without blemish and a ram out of the flock without blemish. 24And you shall offer them before the LORD and the priests shall cast salt on them and they shall offer them up for a burnt offering to the LORD. 25Seven days you shall prepare a goat for a sin offering everyday: they shall also prepare a young bullock and a ram out of the flock, without blemish. 26Seven days shall they purge the altar and purify it; and they shall consecrate themselves. 27And when these days are expired, it shall be, that on the eighth day and so on forward, the priests shall make your burnt offerings on the altar and your peace offerings; and I will accept you, says the Lord GOD.

Chapter 44

1Then he brought me back the way of the gate of the outward sanctuary which looks toward the east; and it was shut. 2Then the LORD said to me; This gate shall be shut, it shall not be opened, and no man shall enter in by it; because the LORD, the God of Israel, has entered in by it, therefore it shall be shut. 3It is for the prince; the prince, he shall sit in it to eat bread before the LORD; he shall enter by the way of the porch of that gate and shall go out by the way of the same.

This Gate -- The Eastern Gate: is also called the Golden Gate. It was this Gate through which Jesus entered the city at the begining of His last Passover week. We now celebrate that event (albeit not on the anniversary) on a Sunday that the Christian world calls "Palm Sunday" and the event is known as "The Triumphal Entry." Jesus entered the city and went into the Temple and overthrew the tables of the money changers and "cleansed" the Temple. There was no denying His authority, as those in charge asked Him where He got that authority. Depending on your "end time" interpretations you will have to decide whether Jesus triumphed on that day or not. Sadly the premillenial dispensationalists do not see this prophecy fulfilled when Jesus declared that the stones would cry out if the celebrants on that Palm Sunday ceased proclaiming the coming of the kingdom of David.


The Eastern Gate Closed since about 640 AD
Notice the cemetary in front of and flanking the Gate
The Dome of the Rock with the Gold Dome is the approximate site of the Jewish Temple.

This prophecy is literally fulfilled and continues every day. In the rebuilding of the city by the Muslims in the seventh and eighth centuries the gate was sealed shut. The Muslims understood that the Jews believed the Messiah was to enter that gate. Thus they sealed the Gate (to keep the Messiah from entering) and it has remained shut for over 1300 years. Further the Muslims knew the Jews believe Messiah to be a King Priest. Thus the Muslims put a cemetary spread along the wall in front of this gate knowing that Jewish priests can not pass through a cemetary of dead bodies. The Golden gate is thus sealed shut and has been a living reminder of the fulfillemt of this prophecy for over 1300 years. The irony of course is that the sealing was too late for the Muslim's purpose. Jesus of Nazareth had already passed through that gate, then laid claim to the temple and passed out again just as the prophecy says. And then as the prophecy says that after the Messiah Prince passed in and out of the gate it was to be shut.


A closer view of the gate
The graves are clearly seen in this view.

Those who do not see the spiritual nature of the kingdom nor the church of Christ as the Israel of God will fail to see the chronology of Ezekiel's visions of the rebuilding of the Temple. Beginning with chapters 40 to 42 the actual stones and rooms of the Temple are described in hyperbolic terms, and then after the buildings are completed see in Chapter 43 the return of the Shekinah to the second Temple fulfilled just before the dedication in the sixth year of Darius; and then in Chapter 44, that we are describing here, see triumphal entry of the Messiah Jesus through the "Eastern Gate" or the Golden gate in "those days and at that time." Then the spiritual rewards won for all of us on Golgotha are described in human and earthly terms in chapters 45 and 46. The Temple as the church changed form on Golgotha into a "River of Life" flowing out of the Temple where the Spirit of the Almighty resides described in chapter 47. In chapter 48 see the temple as the final reward in Beulah Land.

4Then he brought me the way of the north gate before the house: and I looked and, behold, the glory of the LORD filled the house of the LORD: and I fell on my face. 5And the LORD said to me, Son of man, mark well and behold with your eyes and hear with your ears all that I say to you concerning all the ordinances of the house of the LORD and all its laws; and mark well the entering in of the house, with every going out of the sanctuary. 6And you shall say to the rebellious, even to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord GOD; O you house of Israel, let all your abominations be enough for you. 7In that you have brought into my sanctuary strangers, uncircumcised in heart and uncircumcised in flesh, to be in my sanctuary, to pollute it, even my house, when you offer my bread, the fat and the blood and they have broken my covenant because of all your abominations. 8And you have not kept the charge of my holy things: but you have set keepers of my charge in my sanctuary for yourselves. 9Thus says the Lord GOD; No stranger, uncircumcised in heart, nor uncircumcised in flesh of any stranger who is among the children of Israel, shall enter into my sanctuary.

10And the Levites who are gone away far from me, when Israel went astray, who went astray away from me after their idols; they shall even bear their iniquity. 11Yet they shall be ministers in my sanctuary, having charge at the gates of the house and ministering to the house: they shall kill the burnt offering and the sacrifice for the people and they shall stand before them to minister to them. 12Because they ministered to them before their idols and caused the house of Israel to fall into iniquity; therefore I have lifted up my hand against them, says the Lord GOD, and they shall bear their iniquity. 13And they shall not come near to me, to do the office of a priest to me, nor to come near to any of my holy things, in the most holy place: but they shall bear their shame and their abominations which they have committed. 14But I will make them keepers of the charge of the house, for all its service and for all that shall be done there.15But the priests the Levites, the sons of Zadok, who kept the charge of my sanctuary when the children of Israel went astray from me, they shall come near to me to minister to me and they shall stand before me to offer to me the fat and the blood, says the Lord GOD: 16They shall enter into my sanctuary and they shall come near to my table, to minister to me and they shall keep my charge.

17And it shall come to pass, that when they enter in at the gates of the inner court, they shall be clothed with linen garments; and no wool shall come on them, while they minister in the gates of the inner court and inside. 18They shall have linen bonnets on their heads and shall have linen breeches on their loins; they shall not gird themselves with any thing that causes sweat. 19And when they go into the outer court, even into the outer court to the people, they shall put off their garments in which they ministered and lay them in the holy chambers and they shall put on other garments; and they shall not sanctify the people with their other garments. 20nor shall they shave their heads, nor suffer their locks to grow long; they shall only poll their heads.21nor shall any priest drink wine, when they enter into the inner court. 22nor shall they take a widow for their wives, nor her who is put away: but they shall take maidens of the seed of the house of Israel, or a widow who had a priest before. 23And they shall teach my people the difference between the holy and profane and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean. 24And in controversy they shall stand in judgment; and they shall judge it according to my judgments: and they shall keep my laws and my statutes in all my assemblies; and they shall hallow my sabbaths. 25And they shall not come at a dead person to defile themselves: but they may defile themselves for father, or for mother, or for son, or for daughter, for brother, or for sister who has had no husband. 26And after he is cleansed, they shall reckon to him seven days. 27And in the day that he goes into the sanctuary, to the inner court, to minister in the sanctuary, he shall offer his sin offering, says the Lord GOD. 28And it shall be to them for an inheritance: I am their inheritance: and you shall give them no possession in Israel: I am their possession. 29They shall eat the meat offering and the sin offering and the trespass offering; and every dedicated thing in Israel shall be theirs. 30And the first of all the first fruits of all things, and every oblation of all, of every sort of your oblations, shall be the priest's: you shall also give to the priest the first of your dough, that he may cause the blessing to rest in your house. 31The priests shall not eat of any thing that is dead of itself, or torn, whether it is fowl or beast.

Chapter 45

1Also, when you shall divide the land by lot for inheritance, you shall offer an oblation to the LORD, a holy portion of the land: the length shall be the length of twenty five thousand reeds, and the breadth shall be ten thousand. This shall be holy in all its borders round about. 2Of this there shall be for the sanctuary five hundred in length, with five hundred in breadth, square round about; and fifty cubits round about for its suburbs. 3And of this measure shall you measure the length of twenty five thousand and the breadth of ten thousand: and in it shall be the sanctuary and the most holy place. 4The holy portion of the land shall be for the priests the ministers of the sanctuary, who shall come near to minister to the LORD: and it shall be a place for their houses and a holy place for the sanctuary. 5And the twenty five thousand of length and the ten thousand of breadth, also the Levites, the ministers of the house, shall have for themselves, for a possession for twenty chambers. 6And you shall appoint the possession of the city five thousand broad and twenty five thousand long, opposite the oblation of the holy portion: it shall be for the whole house of Israel. 7And a portion shall be for the prince on the one side and on the other side of the oblation of the holy portion and of the possession of the city, before the oblation of the holy portion and before the possession of the city, from the west side westward and from the east side eastward: and the length shall be opposite one of the portions, from the west border to the east border. 8 his possession shall be in the land in Israel: and my princes shall not oppress my people anymore; and the rest of the land they shall give to the house of Israel according to their tribes.

9Thus says the Lord GOD; O princes of Israel let it be enough for you: remove violence and spoil and execute judgment and justice, take away your exactions from my people, says the Lord GOD. 10You shall have just balances and a just ephah and a just bath. 11The ephah and the bath shall be of one measure, that the bath may contain the tenth part of an homer and the ephah the tenth part of an homer: its measure shall be after the homer. 12And the shekel shall be twenty gerahs: twenty shekels, twenty five shekels, fifteen shekels, shall be your maneh.

13This is the oblation that you shall offer; the sixth part of an ephah of an homer of wheat and you shall give the sixth part of an ephah of an homer of barley: 14Concerning the ordinance of oil, the bath of oil, you shall offer the tenth part of a bath out of the cor, which is an homer of ten baths; for ten baths are an homer: 15And one lamb out of two hundred, out of the flock for a meat offering, out of the fat pastures of Israel; and for a burnt offering and for peace offerings, to make reconciliation for them, says the Lord GOD. 16All the people of the land shall give this oblation for the prince in Israel. 17And it shall be the prince's part to give burnt offerings and meat offerings and drink offerings, in the feasts and in the new moons and in the sabbaths, in all solemnities of the house of Israel: he shall prepare the sin offering and the meat offering and the burnt offering and the peace offerings, to make reconciliation for the house of Israel. 18Thus says the Lord GOD; In the first month, in the first day of the month, you shall take a young bullock without blemish and cleanse the sanctuary: 19And the priest shall take of the blood of the sin offering and put it on the posts of the house and on the four corners of the settle of the altar, and on the posts of the gate of the inner court. 20And so you shall do the seventh day of the month for every one who errs and for him who is simple: so shall you reconcile the house. 21In the first month, in the fourteenth day of the month, you shall have the passover, a feast of seven days; unleavened bread shall be eaten. 22And on that day the prince shall prepare a bullock for a sin offering for himself and for all the people of the land. 23And seven days of the feast he shall prepare a burnt offering to the LORD, seven bullocks and seven rams without blemish daily the seven days; and a kid of the goats daily for a sin offering. 24And he shall prepare a meat offering of an ephah for a bullock and an ephah for a ram and a hin of oil for an ephah. 25In the seventh month, in the fifteenth day of the month, shall he do the same in the feast of the seven days, the same as the sin offering, the same as the burnt offering and the same as the meat offering, and the same as the oil.

Chapter 46

1Thus says the Lord GOD; The gate of the inner court that looks toward the east shall be shut the six working days; but on the sabbath it shall be opened and in the day of the new moon it shall be opened. 2And the prince shall enter by the way of the porch of that gate outside and shall stand by the post of the gate and the priests shall prepare his burnt offering and his peace offerings and he shall worship at the threshold of the gate: then he shall go out; but the gate shall not be shut until the evening. 3Likewise the people of the land shall worship at the door of this gate before the LORD in the sabbaths and in the new moons. 4And the burnt offering that the prince shall offer to the LORD in the sabbath day shall be six lambs without blemish and a ram without blemish. 5And the meat offering shall be an ephah for a ram and the meat offering for the lambs as he shall be able to give and an hin of oil to an ephah. 6And in the day of the new moon it shall be a young bullock without blemish and six lambs and a ram: they shall be without blemish. 7And he shall prepare a meat offering, an ephah for a bullock and an ephah for a ram and for the lambs according as his hand shall attain to and a hin of oil to an ephah. 8And when the prince shall enter, he shall go in by the way of the porch of that gate and he shall go out by its way. 9But when the people of the land shall come before the LORD in the solemn feasts, he who enters in by the way of the north gate to worship shall go out by the way of the south gate; and he who enters by the way of the south gate shall go forth by the way of the north gate: he shall not return by the way of the gate by which he came in, but shall go out opposite it.10And the prince in the midst of them, when they go in, he shall go in; and when they go out, he shall go out. 11And in the feasts and in the solemnities the meat offering shall be an ephah to a bullock and an ephah to a ram and to the lambs as he is able to give and a hin of oil to an ephah. 12Now when the prince shall prepare a voluntary burnt offering or peace offerings voluntarily to the LORD, then one shall open to him the gate that looks toward the east and he shall prepare his burnt offering and his peace offerings, as he did on the sabbath day: then he shall go out; and after his going out one shall shut the gate. 13You shall daily prepare a burnt offering to the LORD of a lamb of the first year without blemish: you shall prepare it every morning. 14And you shall prepare a meat offering for it every morning, the sixth part of an ephah and the third part of a hin of oil, to temper with the fine flour; a meat offering continually by a perpetual ordinance to the LORD. 15Thus shall they prepare the lamb and the meat offering, and the oil, every morning for a continual burnt offering.

16Thus says the Lord GOD; If the prince gives a gift to any of his sons, its inheritance shall be his sons'; it shall be their possession by inheritance. 17But if he gives a gift of his inheritance to one of his servants, then it shall be his to the year of liberty; after it shall return to the prince: but his inheritance shall be his sons' for them. 18Also the prince shall not take of the people's inheritance by oppression, to thrust them out of their possession; but he shall give his sons inheritance out of his own possession: that my people are not scattered every man from his possession.

19After he brought me through the entry, which was at the side of the gate, into the holy chambers of the priests, which looked toward the north: and, behold, there was a place on the two sides westward. 20Then he said to me, This is the place where the priests shall boil the trespass offering and the sin offering to sanctify the people, where they shall bake the meat offering; so that they do not bear them out in the outer court,. 21Then he brought me out to the outer court and caused me to pass by the four corners of the court; and, behold, in every corner of the court there was a court. 22In the four corners of the court there were courts joined of forty cubits long and thirty broad: these four corners were of one measure. 23And there was a row of buildings round about in them, round about those four and it was made with boiling places under the rows round about. 24Then he said to me, These are the places of those who boil, where the ministers of the house shall boil the sacrifice of the people.

Chapter 47

This chapter describes the the church with a metaphor. The church of Christ is the river of life. You can wade in it and find life but it is a river intended for you to swim in. See verse 5 below. Where ever the waters go and what ever they touch, they give life. See verse 9 below. It is a river that gives life no matter how deep you are in it. See verse 12 below

1Afterward he brought me again to the door of the house; and, behold, waters issued out from under the threshold of the house eastward: for the forefront of the house stood toward the east, and the waters came down from under from the right side of the house, at the south side of the altar. 2Then he brought me out of the way of the gate northward and led me about the way outside to the outer gate by the way that looks eastward; and, behold, waters ran out there on the right side. 3And when the man who had the line in his hand went out eastward, he measured a thousand cubits and he brought me through the waters; the waters were to the ankles. 4Again he measured a thousand and brought me through the waters; the waters were to the knees. Again he measured a thousand and brought me through; the waters were to the loins. 5Afterward he measured a thousand; and it was a river that I could not pass over: for the waters were risen, waters to swim in, a river that could not be passed over. 6And he said to me, Son of man, have you seen this? Then he brought me and caused me to return to the brink of the river. 7Now when I had returned, behold, at the bank of the river were very many trees on the one side and on the other. 8Then he said to me, These waters issue out toward the east country and go down into the desert and go into the sea: when they are brought out into the sea, the waters shall be healed. 9And it shall be that every thing that lives, which moves, whereever the rivers shall come, shall live: and there shall be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters shall come there: for they shall be healed; and every thing shall live where the river comes. 10And it shall come to pass, that fishermen shall stand on it from Engedi even to Eneglaim; there shall be a place to spread out nets; their fish shall be according to their kinds, exceedingly many as the fish of the great sea. 11But its miry places and its marshes shall not be healed; they shall be given to salt. 12And by the river on its bank, on this side and on that side, shall grow all trees for food, whose leaf shall not fade, nor shall its fruit be consumed: it shall bring forth new fruit according to its months, because the waters that issued out of the sanctuary: and its fruit shall be for food and its leaf for medicine.

13Thus says the Lord GOD; This shall be the border, by which you shall inherit the land according to the twelve tribes of Israel: Joseph shall have two portions. 14And you shall inherit it, one as well as another: concerning that which I lifted up my hand to give it to your fathers: and this land shall fall to you for inheritance. 15And this shall be the border of the land toward the north side, from the great sea, the way of Hethlon, as men go to Zedad; 16Hamath, Berothah, Sibraim, which is between the border of Damascus and the border of Hamath; Hazarhatticon, which is by the coast of Hauran. 17And the border from the sea shall be Hazarenan, the border of Damascus and the north northward and the border of Hamath. And this is the north side. 18And the east side you shall measure from Hauran and from Damascus and from Gilead and from the land of Israel by Jordan, from the border to the east sea. And this is the east side. 19And the south side southward, from Tamar even to the waters of strife in Kadesh, the river to the great sea. And this is the south side southward. 20The west side also shall be the great sea from the border, till a man comes opposite Hamath. This is the west side. 21So shall you divide this land to you according to the tribes of Israel. 22And it shall come to pass, that you shall divide it by lot for an inheritance to you and to the strangers who sojourn among you, who shall beget children among you: and they shall be to you as born in the country among the children of Israel; they shall have inheritance with you among the tribes of Israel. 23And it shall come to pass, that in what tribe the stranger sojourns, there shall you give him his inheritance, says the Lord GOD.

Chapter 48

1Now these are the names of the tribes. From the north end to the coast of the way of Hethlon, as one goes to Hamath, Hazarenan, the border of Damascus northward, to the coast of Hamath; for these are his sides east and west; a portion for Dan. 2And by the border of Dan, from the east side to the west side, a portion for Asher. 3And by the border of Asher, from the east side even to the west side, a portion for Naphtali. 4And by the border of Naphtali, from the east side to the west side, a portion for Manasseh. 5And by the border of Manasseh, from the east side to the west side, a portion for Ephraim. 6And by the border of Ephraim, from the east side even to the west side, a portion for Reuben. 7And by the border of Reuben, from the east side to the west side, a portion for Judah. 8And by the border of Judah, from the east side to the west side, shall be the offering which you shall offer of twenty five thousand reeds in breadth and in length as one of the other parts, from the east side to the west side: and the sanctuary shall be in the midst of it. 9The oblation that you shall offer to the LORD shall be of twenty five thousand in length, and of ten thousand in breadth. 10And for them, even for the priests, shall be this holy oblation; toward the north twenty five thousand in length and toward the west ten thousand in breadth, and toward the east ten thousand in breadth and toward the south twenty five thousand in length: and the sanctuary of the LORD shall be in the midst of it. 11It shall be for the priests who are sanctified of the sons of Zadok; which have kept my charge, who did not go astray when the children of Israel went astray, as the Levites went astray. 12And this oblation of the land that is offered shall be to them a thing most holy by the border of the Levites. 13And opposite the border of the priests the Levites shall have twenty five thousand in length and ten thousand in breadth: all the length shall be twenty five thousand and the breadth ten thousand. 14And they shall not sell it, nor exchange it, nor alienate the first fruits of the land: for it is holy to the LORD. 15And the five thousand, that are left in the breadth opposite the twenty five thousand, shall be a profane place for the city, for dwelling and for suburbs: and the city shall be in the midst of it. 16And these shall be its measures; the north side four thousand five hundred and the south side four thousand five hundred and on the east side four thousand five hundred and the west side four thousand five hundred. 17And the suburbs of the city shall be toward the north two hundred fifty and toward the south two hundred fifty and toward the east two hundred fifty and toward the west two hundred fifty. 18And the residue in length opposite the oblation of the holy portion shall be ten thousand eastward and ten thousand westward: and it shall be opposite the oblation of the holy portion; and its increase shall be for food to those who serve the city. 19And those who serve the city shall serve it out of all the tribes of Israel.20All the oblation shall be twenty five thousand by twenty five thousand: you shall offer the holy oblation foursquare, with the possession of the city. 21And the residue shall be for the prince, on the one side and on the other of the holy oblation and of the possession of the city, opposite the twenty five thousand of the oblation toward the east border and westward opposite the twenty five thousand toward the west border, opposite the portions for the prince: and it shall be the holy oblation; and the sanctuary of the house shall be in the midst of it. 22Also from the possession of the Levites and from the possession of the city, being in the midst of that which is the prince's, between the border of Judah and the border of Benjamin, shall be for the prince.23As for the rest of the tribes, from the east side to the west side, Benjamin shall have a portion. 24And by the border of Benjamin, from the east side to the west side, Simeon shall have a portion. 25And by the border of Simeon, from the east side to the west side, Issachar a portion.26And by the border of Issachar, from the east side to the west side, Zebulun a portion. 27And by the border of Zebulun, from the east side to the west side, Gad a portion. 28And by the border of Gad, at the south side southward, the border shall be even from Tamar to the waters of strife in Kadesh and to the river toward the great sea. 29This is the land which you shall divide by lot to the tribes of Israel for inheritance, and these are their portions, says the Lord GOD. 30And these are the goings out of the city on the north side, four thousand five hundred measures.

31And the gates of the city shall be after the names of the tribes of Israel: three gates northward; one gate of Reuben, one gate of Judah, one gate of Levi. 32And at the east side four thousand five hundred: and three gates; and one gate of Joseph, one gate of Benjamin, one gate of Dan. 33And at the south side four thousand five hundred measures: and three gates; one gate of Simeon, one gate of Issachar, one gate of Zebulun. 34At the west side four thousand five hundred, with their three gates; one gate of Gad, one gate of Asher, one gate of Naphtali. 35It was round about eighteen thousand measures: and the name of the city from that day shall be, The LORD is there.