The book of Ezekiel covers a period in the life of Israel spanning from the judgment of the nation to its entering the millennium; a period where Israel receives the blessing promised in Deuteronomy.  It is nearly impossible to understand the end-times and Godís plan for the present age without understanding the role Israel plays.  Both the Old and New Testament revolve around Godís plan of redemption in which Israel plays a central role.

The tension between Israel and the nations of the world dominates the end-times.  Essentially, the end-time in scripture is the transition between the kingdoms of this world and the Kingdom of God. During this transition, the nations are judged as God pours out His wrath on a fallen world.  Through this process, God also deals with His chosen people, Israel, as the plan of redemption is accomplished through that nation.  Prior to this time, the gentile Church has been grafted into the promises of Israel. Paul makes this point in Romans 11 where he makes a distinction between Israel and the gentile believers.  The gentiles have been grafted into the New Covenant promises made to Israel in Jeremiah and Ezekiel.

 

Romans 11

24 For if you were cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, who are natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree?  25 For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.  26 And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: "The Deliverer will come out of Zion, And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob;  27 For this is My covenant with them (Israel), When I take away their sins."  28 Concerning the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but concerning the election they are beloved for the sake of the fathers. Romans 11:24-28

 

The end-time is accomplished when Israel receives the promises of blessing because at that time the transition to the Kingdom of God will be accomplished. 

After Noahís flood (Genesis 7-9), God calls Abraham of Ur out of his home and sends him to Mt. Moriah, later known as Jerusalem, where Melchizadek reigned as King and Priest over the city (Genesis 14).  Here, God promised Abraham that through him, He would bless the nations of the earth.  Later, we find that the plan of redemption would be promised to Jacob (Israel), Abrahamís grandson through Isaac.  Jacob, later renamed Israel by God, would grow from having a family of 12 sons to a nation of over 1 million people when God calls them out of Egypt.  Israel becomes Godís chosen people; through them He will judge the nations as He calls a people for Himself out of the fallen earth.

Through Israel God would bring forth the King of the Earth, the Messiah, who would rule in righteousness. The King of the Earth is the Glory of the Lord who will reign on the earth from Jerusalem (Ezekiel 43-44).  This is the message behind the words of the prophets as God prepared the earth for its redemption through the Messiah who became Godís sacrifice for sin.  In this process of redemption, Israel is pitted against the nations of the world as it comes to term with its own sin.   In the book of Ezekiel, we see a nation which has exhausted the mercy of God. God, in-turn, punishes His chosen people who turn from Him.  He also promises a day of redemption, when His Kingdom will rule over the nations. Ezekiel pictures a day when His people, Israel, would receive the blessings promised them as they turn to Him (Ezekiel 40-48).

In the process of Israel coming into a true relationship with God, they in-turn come into conflict with the nations.  This dynamic between Israel and the other nations is the focus of the end-times.  The process of Israel understanding their sinful condition and turning to the Lord in repentance is contrasted against the nations of the world who seek their destruction. 

The book of Ezekiel gives us this dual picture of judgment and redemption. In chapters one through twenty-four, God deals with the sins of Judah, Israel and Jerusalem. In chapter 25 to 32 he deals with the nations which surround Israel and who gloat about their judgment. Then, in chapters 33 to 48, God details the redemption of His people; this process begins with the True Shepherd (Ezekiel 34), the Messiah, God Himself who will shepherd His people.

 

 

"therefore I will save My flock, and they shall no longer be a prey; and I will judge between sheep and sheep. Ezekiel 34:22

First & Second Coming of Christ 

 

 

 Chapter 25: Proclamation against Ammon, Moab, Edom and Philistia

 

The enemies of Israel rejoiced at its destruction and judgment under Nebuchadnezzar.  God then proclaims judgment against them as they cheer Israelís destruction and plot to take possession of the land.  Israel is related to Ammon and Moab through Lot, and to Edom through Esau; from the beginning of the exodus out of Egypt, Israel was opposed by these nations.   Philistines are the descendents of the people of Crete who migrated and settled on the coastland of Israel.  Each of these nations, through their idolatry, was involved in the fall of Israel. God not only deals with Israelís sins, but with the sin of all the nations.

 

3 "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, 6 'For thus says the Lord God: "Because you clapped your hands, stamped your feet, and rejoiced in heart with all your disdain for the land of Israel,  Ezekiel 25:3,6 

 

8 'Thus says the Lord God: "Because Moab and Seir say, 'Look! The house of Judah is like all the nations,'

12 'Thus says the Lord God: "Because of what Edom did against the house of Judah by taking vengeance, and has greatly offended by avenging itself on them,"

15 'Thus says the Lord God: "Because the Philistines dealt vengefully and took vengeance with a spiteful heart, to destroy because of the old hatred,"  Ezekiel 25:8,12,15

 

Today these same nations have been recreated and they despise the existence of Israel, just like they did in ancient times.

 

The Land of Tyre

 

Tyre is an ancient city state located in modern day Lebanon.  This city had two parts, one on the coast and the other in the sea.  This was a Phoenician city which traded with other Phoenician and Greek colonies throughout the Mediterranean and Black Seas.  Through its trade, the city became exceedingly wealthy.  The city in the sea was virtually impregnable because of the water which surrounded its rock island.  The city took great pride in its wealth, power and strength; boasting of its greatness.

In Ezekiel, Tyre and its king become a picture of what God despises; its pride, arrogance and sin come under Godís judgment.  God uses the imagery of the King of Tyre as a picture of Satan, echoing his pride and judgment.

 

Chapter 26 Proclamation Against Tyre

 

 

Tyre, like the other nations, rejoiced in Israelís destruction and judgment, prompting God to proclaim judgment on the city-state by sending King Nebuchadnezzar as His instrument of judgment.

 

1 And it came to pass in the eleventh year, on the first day of the month, that the word of the Lord came to me, saying,

2 "Son of man, because Tyre has said against Jerusalem, 'Aha! She is broken who was the gateway of the peoples; now she is turned over to me; I shall be filled; she is laid waste.'

3 "Therefore 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 its waves to come up.  Ezekiel 26:1-3

7 "For thus says the Lord God: 'Behold, I will bring against Tyre from the north Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, king of kings, with horses, with chariots, and with horsemen, and an army with many people. Ezekiel 26:1-3,7

 

God is opposed to the pride of man. Satan appealed to the pride of Adam and Eve causing them to reject Godís command by telling them, ďyou will be like God, knowing good and evilĒ. They fell and all of humanity with them.  God not only deals with the sin of Israel, but with the sin of the other nations of the world in the process of redemption.

 

15 "Thus says the Lord God to Tyre: 'Will the coastlands not shake at the sound of your fall, when the wounded cry, when slaughter is made in the midst of you?

16 'Then all the princes of the sea will come down from their thrones, lay aside their robes, and take off their embroidered garments; they will clothe themselves with trembling; they will sit on the ground, tremble every moment, and be astonished at you.

17 'And they will take up a lamentation for you, and say to you: "How you have perished, O one inhabited by seafaring men, O renowned city, Who was strong at sea, She and her inhabitants, Who caused their terror to be on all her inhabitants!  Ezekiel 26:15-17

 

 Today, Tyre is still a city on the coastland of Lebanon, a stronghold of hatred against the land of Israel as was seen in ancient days. Hezzbollah claims to have 40,000 missiles pointed at Israel, ready to launch.  In the end-times God will deal with Israel as well as the other nations of the earth.

 

Chapter 27 Lamentation of Tyre

 

Capitalism is not a creation of Western society; it is an ancient practice dating from the start of humanity.  There is no sin in capitalism, the sin lies in manís pride and arrogance.  Ezekiel gives us a picture of this fallen pride of self-power and glory as pictured by Tyre.  The arrogance of this nation is despised by God; their people are deceived in their wealth. 

 

Ezekiel 27

1 The word of the Lord came again to me, saying,

2 "Now, son of man, take up a lamentation for Tyre,

3 "and say to Tyre, 'You who are situated at the entrance of the sea, merchant of the peoples on many coastlands, thus says the Lord God: "O Tyre, you have said, 'I am perfect in beauty.'

4 Your borders are in the midst of the seas. Your builders have perfected your beauty.

5 They made all your planks of fir trees from Senir; They took a cedar from Lebanon to make you a mast.

6 Of oaks from Bashan they made your oars; The company of Ashurites have inlaid your planks With ivory from the coasts of Cyprus.

7 Fine embroidered linen from Egypt was what you spread for your sail; Blue and purple from the coasts of Elishah was what covered you.

8 "Inhabitants of Sidon and Arvad were your oarsmen; Your wise men, O Tyre, were in you; They became your pilots.

9 Elders of Gebal and its wise men Were in you to caulk your seams; All the ships of the sea And their oarsmen were in you To market your merchandise.

10 "Those from Persia, Lydia, and Libya Were in your army as men of war; They hung shield and helmet in you; They gave splendor to you.

11 Men of Arvad with your army were on your walls all around, And the men of Gammad were in your towers; They hung their shields on your walls all around; They made your beauty perfect.

12 "Tarshish was your merchant because of your many luxury goods. They gave you silver, iron, tin, and lead for your goods.

13 "Javan, Tubal, and Meshech were your traders. They bartered human lives and vessels of bronze for your merchandise.

14 "Those from the house of Togarmah traded for your wares with horses, steeds, and mules.

15 "The men of Dedan were your traders; many isles were the market of your hand. They brought you ivory tusks and ebony as payment.

16 "Syria was your merchant because of the abundance of goods you made. They gave you for your wares emeralds, purple, embroidery, fine linen, corals, and rubies.

17 "Judah and the land of Israel were your traders. They traded for your merchandise wheat of Minnith, millet, honey, oil, and balm.

18 "Damascus was your merchant because of the abundance of goods you made, because of your many luxury items, with the wine of Helbon and with white wool.

32 In their wailing for you They will take up a lamentation, And lament for you: 'What city is like Tyre, Destroyed in the midst of the sea?

33 'When your wares went out by sea, You satisfied many people; You enriched the kings of the earth With your many luxury goods and your merchandise.

34 But you are broken by the seas in the depths of the waters; Your merchandise and the entire company will fall in your midst.

35 All the inhabitants of the isles will be astonished at you; Their kings will be greatly afraid, And their countenance will be troubled.

36 The merchants among the peoples will hiss at you; You will become a horror, and be no more forever. Ezekiel 27

 

God judges Tyre as an example to the world because the kings of the earth are terrified that such a city could fall.  Nebuchadnezzar was the first wave, followed by Persia, and then Alexander the Great destroyed the city in the sea after he built a road to the city by filling the Mediterranean Sea with debris. 

Today, as in the past, we take great pride in our ability to trade and amass wealth.  Like the past, nations boast in the wealth they gain, oblivious to sin and Godís judgment.  In the end-times, like in the past, God will deal with the pride of man as judgment rains down on the earth.  Revelation, as in Ezekiel, pictures this same pride in the last-days before the return of Christ.  Babylon, the future capital city of the earth, will be a city of great wealth that is mourned by all the earth when God destroys her.

 

9 "The kings of the earth who committed fornication and lived luxuriously with her will weep and lament for her, when they see the smoke of her burning,

10 "standing at a distance for fear of her torment, saying, 'Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! For in one hour your judgment has come.'

11 "And the merchants of the earth will weep and mourn over her, for no one buys their merchandise anymore:

 12 "merchandise of gold and silver, precious stones and pearls, fine linen and purple, silk and scarlet, every kind of citron wood, every kind of object of ivory, every kind of object of most precious wood, bronze, iron, and marble;

13 "and cinnamon and incense, fragrant oil and frankincense, wine and oil, fine flour and wheat, cattle and sheep, horses and chariots, and bodies and souls of men.

14 "The fruit that your soul longed for has gone from you, and all the things which are rich and splendid have gone from you, and you shall find them no more at all.

15 "The merchants of these things, who became rich by her, will stand at a distance for fear of her torment, weeping and wailing,

16 "and saying, 'Alas, alas, that great city that was clothed in fine linen, purple, and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls!

17 'For in one hour such great riches came to nothing.' Every shipmaster, all who travel by ship, sailors, and as many as trade on the sea, stood at a distance

18 "and cried out when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, 'What is like this great city?' Revelation 18:9-18

 

Today, we see the markets collapsing and the nations in turmoil.  Why would God allow such tribulation in the financial markets?  Could God be judging the world?  Has the world today rejected God and His laws, while still desiring His blessings? 

 

 

 

Chapter 28 Proclamation against the King of Tyre

 

The king of the city of Tyre becomes a picture of the fallen pride of man and the fallen pride of Satan.  How many times do we feel like this king in our accomplishments?  Notice the utter disdain God takes in human pride.

 

1 The word of the Lord came to me again, saying,

2 "Son of man, say to the prince of Tyre, 'Thus says the Lord God: "Because your heart is lifted up, And you say, 'I am a god, I sit in the seat of gods, In the midst of the seas,' Yet you are a man, and not a god, Though you set your heart as the heart of a god

3 (Behold, you are wiser than Daniel! There is no secret that can be hidden from you!

4 With your wisdom and your understanding You have gained riches for yourself, And gathered gold and silver into your treasuries;

5 By your great wisdom in trade you have increased your riches, And your heart is lifted up because of your riches),"

6 'Therefore thus says the Lord God: "Because you have set your heart as the heart of a god,

7 Behold, therefore, I will bring strangers against you, The most terrible of the nations; And they shall draw their swords against the beauty of your wisdom, And defile your splendor.

8 They shall throw you down into the Pit, And you shall die the death of the slain In the midst of the seas.

Ezekiel 28:1-8

 

The final end of this king is in the Pit or Hell.  His pride was a self-deception; he sets an example for all of us of human pride.  This is the same sin dealt with in the last-days as God judges the pride of man.  The nation of Israel in the last days turns to God in repentance, while the nations turn against God. Israel cries out to the Lord in repentance when they finally understand their fallen condition and their false sense of power.

 

Lamentation for the King of Tyre

 

The King of Tyre also becomes an illustration of the fall of Satan.  Satan is pictured as the King of Tyre who, like Satan, saw himself as a god.  God judges Satan for this pride by casting him to the earth

 

12 "Son of man, take up a lamentation for the king of Tyre, and say to him, 'Thus says the Lord God: "You were the seal of perfection, Full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.

13 You were in Eden, the garden of God; Every precious stone was your covering: The sardius, topaz, and diamond, Beryl, onyx, and jasper, Sapphire, turquoise, and emerald with gold. The workmanship of your timbrels and pipes Was prepared for you on the day you were created.

14 "You were the anointed cherub who covers; I established you; You were on the holy mountain of God; You walked back and forth in the midst of fiery stones.

15 You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, Till iniquity was found in you.

16 "By the abundance of your trading You became filled with violence within, And you sinned; Therefore I cast you as a profane thing Out of the mountain of God; And I destroyed you, O covering cherub, From the midst of the fiery stones.

17 "Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; You corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor; I cast you to the ground, I laid you before kings, That they might gaze at you.

18 "You defiled your sanctuaries By the multitude of your iniquities, By the iniquity of your trading; Therefore I brought fire from your midst; It devoured you, And I turned you to ashes upon the earth In the sight of all who saw you.

19 All who knew you among the peoples are astonished at you; You have become a horror, And shall be no more forever." ' "  Ezekiel 28:12-19

 

We have inherited this fallen nature from Adam and Eve.  We are like Satan in our fallen nature; our hearts are lifted up by our beauty and pride and corrupted by our splendor.  Advertisements are geared toward our fallen nature and pride. 

 

Israel contrasted with the nations

 

25 'Thus says the Lord God: "When I have gathered the house of Israel from the peoples among whom they are scattered, and am hallowed in them in the sight of the Gentiles, then they will dwell in their own land which I gave to My servant Jacob.

26 "And they will dwell safely there, build houses, and plant vineyards; yes, they will dwell securely, when I execute judgments on all those around them who despise them. Then they shall know that I am the Lord their God." Ezekiel 28;25-26

The Land of Egypt

 

Israel put their hope in Egypt rather than turning to God; they looked for Egypt to rescue them from Babylon.  The nation rejected Godís word through the prophet Jeremiah, who instructed the nation to repent and be obedient to Nebuchadnezzar, who God had sent in judgment.   They rejected Jeremiahís words and conspired against their judgment by looking to Egypt, the land of their captivity, for help. Here, God brings judgment against Egypt.

 

 

Chapter 29: Proclamation against Egypt, Babylonia will plunder Egypt

 

 

Ezekiel 29

 

Nebuchadnezzar is given Egypt as his reward for the siege against the city of Tyre.  The kingdom of Babylon is Godís instrument of judgment against the nations.

 

1 In the tenth year, in the tenth month, on the twelfth day of the month, the word of the Lord came to me, saying,

2 "Son of man, set your face against Pharaoh king of Egypt, and prophesy against him, and against all Egypt.

3 "Speak, and say, 'Thus says the Lord God: "Behold, I am against you, O Pharaoh king of Egypt, O great monster who lies in the midst of his rivers, Who has said, 'My River is my own; I have made it for myself.'

4 But I will put hooks in your jaws, And cause the fish of your rivers to stick to your scales; I will bring you up out of the midst of your rivers, And all the fish in your rivers will stick to your scales.

6 "Then 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.

7 When they took hold of you with the hand, You broke and tore all their shoulders; When they leaned on you, You broke and made all their backs quiver."

8 'Therefore thus says the Lord God: "Surely I will bring a sword upon you and cut off from you man and beast.

19 "Therefore thus says the Lord God: 'Surely I will give the land of Egypt to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon; he shall take away her wealth, carry off her spoil, and remove her pillage; and that will be the wages for his army.

20 'I have given him the land of Egypt for his labor, because they worked for Me,' says the Lord God.

21 'In that day I will cause the horn of the house of Israel to spring forth, and I will open your mouth to speak in their midst. Then they shall know that I am the Lord.' "

 

 

 

Chapter 30:  Egypt and its allies will Fall

 

Nebuchadnezzar also comes against Egyptís allies.  God is judging the nations as well as His people; this will be the same in the end times.  The Day of the Lord is the day of Godís wrath; the time of the Gentiles is when Gentiles prosper over Godís people.  The existence of Israel as a nation signals a closing of this time and the beginning of the transition to the Kingdom of God.

 

1 The word of the Lord came to me again, saying,

2 "Son of man, prophesy and say, 'Thus says the Lord God: "Wail, 'Woe to the day!'

3 For the day is near, Even the day of the Lord is near; It will be a day of clouds, the time of the Gentiles.

4 The sword shall come upon Egypt, And great anguish shall be in Ethiopia, When the slain fall in Egypt, And they take away her wealth, And her foundations are broken down.

5 "Ethiopia, Libya, Lydia, all the mingled people, Chub, and the men of the lands who are allied, shall fall with them by the sword."

 

Chapter 31: Egypt cut down like a Tree

 

Like Assyria, Egypt is pictured as a great tree cut down by God.  Egypt, like Tyre, was filled with pride in its great accomplishments.

 

10 "Therefore thus says the Lord God: 'Because you have increased in height, and it set its top among the thick boughs, and its heart was lifted up in its height,

11 'therefore I will deliver it into the hand of the mighty one of the nations, and he shall surely deal with it; I have driven it out for its wickedness.

12 'And aliens, the most terrible of the nations, have cut it down and left it; its branches have fallen on the mountains and in all the valleys; its boughs lie broken by all the rivers of the land; and all the peoples of the earth have gone from under its shadow and left it.  Ezekiel 31:10-12

 

Chapter 32: Lamentation for Pharaoh and Egypt

 

The final destination for the nations and Pharaoh is the Pit or Hell.  Here we see nations of the earth gathered for their judgment.  It is a sad picture of human folly.

 

 

18 "Son of man, wail over the multitude of Egypt, And cast them down to the depths of the earth, Her and the daughters of the famous nations, With those who go down to the Pit:

19 'Whom do you surpass in beauty? Go down, be placed with the uncircumcised.'

20 "They shall fall in the midst of those slain by the sword; She is delivered to the sword, Drawing her and all her multitudes.

21 The strong among the mighty Shall speak to him out of the midst of hell With those who help him: 'They have gone down, They lie with the uncircumcised, slain by the sword.'

22 "Assyria is there, and all her company, With their graves all around her, All of them slain, fallen by the sword.

23 Her graves are set in the recesses of the Pit, And her company is all around her grave, All of them slain, fallen by the sword, Who caused terror in the land of the living.

24 "There is Elam and all her multitude, All around her grave, All of them slain, fallen by the sword, Who have gone down uncircumcised to the lower parts of the earth, Who caused their terror in the land of the living; Now they bear their shame with those who go down to the Pit.

25 They have set her bed in the midst of the slain, With all her multitude, With her graves all around it, All of them uncircumcised, slain by the sword; Though their terror was caused In the land of the living, Yet they bear their shame With those who go down to the Pit; It was put in the midst of the slain.

26 "There are Meshech and Tubal and all their multitudes, With all their graves around it, All of them uncircumcised, slain by the sword, Though they caused their terror in the land of the living.

27 They do not lie with the mighty Who are fallen of the uncircumcised, Who have gone down to hell with their weapons of war; They have laid their swords under their heads, But their iniquities will be on their bones, Because of the terror of the mighty in the land of the living.

28 Yes, you shall be broken in the midst of the uncircumcised, And lie with those slain by the sword.

29 "There is Edom, Her kings and all her princes, Who despite their might Are laid beside those slain by the sword; They shall lie with the uncircumcised, And with those who go down to the Pit.

30 There are the princes of the north, All of them, and all the Sidonians, Who have gone down with the slain In shame at the terror which they caused by their might; They lie uncircumcised with those slain by the sword, And bear their shame with those who go down to the Pit.

31 "Pharaoh will see them And be comforted over all his multitude, Pharaoh and all his army, Slain by the sword," Says the Lord God.

32 "For I have caused My terror in the land of the living; And he shall be placed in the midst of the uncircumcised With those slain by the sword, Pharaoh and all his multitude," Says the Lord God.

 

 

 

 

Ezekiel Chapters 25 to 33