Ezekiel Chapter 33 to 36

Israel's Redemption

 

The book of Ezekiel covers two similar periods of time, one the foreshadowing of the other.  Ezekiel was a prophet to the captives in Babylon; he also corresponded with the Jews in Israel.  He foretold the coming destruction of Jerusalem in 586 B.C., when the Lord would not only judge Judah (Southern Israel), but also the surrounding nations (Ezekiel 25-32).  Israelís future seemed bleak by all accounts, how could this destroyed nation ever hope to be a strong nation again?

God responds to these events by promising His future relationship with Israel was intact.  Even these judgments seemed final and horrendous; God was not finished with the descendents of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. They will still receive the promises made to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, and David. Ezekiel and Jeremiah were contemporaries; Ezekiel delivered his message to the captives of Babylon, while Jeremiah delivered it to the rebellious Jews in Judah and Jerusalem.

The destruction of Jerusalem takes place in 586 B.C., as the armies of Babylon destroy the city and the Temple, fulfilling the words of both Jeremiah and Isaiah. About 50-years later, the Persians defeat Babylon under the reign of Cyrus the Great.  Cyrus allowed the Jews to return to Judah and to rebuild the Temple which was completed 70 years after its destruction in 516 B.C.  The Jews were restored to the land, the Temple was rebuilt and yet they were not an independent nation, but only part of the Persian Kingdom. The Persian Kingdom lasted from 539 B.C. to 331 B.C. when Alexander the Great led the armies of Greece to victory.  This caused the Jews to become a part of the Greek Empire.

The Greek Empire of Alexander the Great was later divided between his generals, establishing four separate kingdoms out of his empire.  Two of these kingdoms, the Seleucids and the Ptolemaics vied for control of the lands of Israel.  In 162 B.C., after the Seleucids tried to impose the Greek culture and religion on Israel, the Jews rebelled under the leadership of Judas Maccabees. Finally, after more than 400-years, a Jewish kingdom came into existence.  This kingdom would last about 100-years before the Romans would bring it to an end in 63-64 B.C., when the Roman general Pompey conquered Jerusalem.  The Romans began their rule of Jerusalem and, according to the New Testament, were in control when Jesus of Nazareth was born in Bethlehem.  Jesus presented himself as the Good Shepherd to the nation; the Messiah, yet he was rejected and crucified.  The death of Jesus fulfilled the words of the prophets foretelling how the Messiah would die for the sins of the world.  

Israel gathered 

Understanding the historical background of Israel is important because prophetic revelation takes place through historical events.  God uses historical events to validate his Word; He proclaims the events before they take place so we can trust His Word.

 

4 Because I knew that you were obstinate, And your neck was an iron sinew, And your brow bronze, 5 Even from the beginning I have declared it to you; Before it came to pass I proclaimed it to you, Lest you should say, 'My idol has done them, And my carved image and my molded image Have commanded them.'Isaiah 48;4-5 

Through the nation of Israel, God is working out His plan of redemption for the world.  The prophets of Israel foretold a day when a Son of David, would rule on Davidís throne for eternity.  The Messiah is portrayed in two portraits in scripture; in one he is the suffering servant, the son of man, who would die for the sins of the world, in the other, he is King of the Earth, ruling over the nations for eternity.

In the first coming, Jesus is born as a baby in Bethlehem; God enters our world and becomes a son of man, a son of Adam. He is rejected in the first coming but returns in His second coming when the nation of Israel turns to Him at the end of the age and cries out for redemption.  At this point, Jesus the Messiah establishes the Kingdom of God, ruling from Jerusalem over the nations. 

6 For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (First Coming)

7 Of the increase of His government and peace There will be no end, Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, To order it and establish it with judgment and justice From that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this. (Second Coming)  Isaiah 9:6-7 

Both the first and second coming require that there be Jews in the land of Israel to fulfill the words of the prophets.   These words foretell the coming of the Messiah who would rule on the physical, literal throne of David, in the physical and literal city of Jerusalem.  In fulfillment of this, the Jews were gathered in the land of Israel after they were dispersed by the Babylonians (first coming) and now the descendents of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob have returned to the land in fulfillment of prophecy to prepare for the second coming. They have been given another opportunity to accept the Messiah, who came to the nation at the first coming.  When they rejected Messiah, they were scattered to the nations a second time but in the end of the age the nation would be gathered again, this time the prophets tell us the Jewish nation will accept the Messiah.  At the second coming, the Messiah saves Israel from the nations which come against it. 

Israelís Redemption Ezekiel 33 to 48 (Part 3)

 The book of Ezekiel can be divided into three parts; the first part (Ezekiel 1-24) deals with the sin and judgment of the nation of Israel which had become apostate, the second part (Ezekiel 25-32) deals with the judgment of the nations and in the third part of Ezekiel we see the redemption of a fallen people by a merciful God, who wants to bless the nation under judgment (Ezekiel 33-48).  Their blessing begins by being called back into the land; their God will deal with the nations and the world.  We must remember, through Israel, God also deals with the sins of the whole world and works His plan of redemption. 

 

Chapter 33:  The Watchman and his message 

In the third part of Ezekiel, Ezekiel is again commissioned to be Israelís watchman as he was in Chapter 3. This time he is watchman for their restoration, calling out to the world Godís plan of redemption for His people and Godís warning of judgment.   The job of the watchman is to warn the people of the land of impending disaster.  

 

Ezekiel 33
1 Again the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 2 "Son of man, speak to the children of your people, and say to them: 'When I bring the sword upon a land, and the people of the land take a man from their territory and make him their watchman, 3 'when he sees the sword coming upon the land, if he blows the trumpet and warns the people, 4 'then whoever hears the sound of the trumpet and does not take warning, if the sword comes and takes him away, his blood shall be on his own head. 7 "So you, son of man: I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore you shall hear a word from My mouth and warn them for Me. Ezekiel 33:1-4,7 

Israelís problem was the condition of the peopleís hearts; they would not take the message Ezekiel or Jeremiah delivered to heart.  Even after the city was destroyed by the Babylonians and the people were left living in the ruins of the destroyed city, they still made up what they wanted to hear in rejection of Godís Word.

 23 Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying: 24 "Son of man, they who inhabit those ruins in the land of Israel are saying, 'Abraham was only one, and he inherited the land. But we are many; the land has been given to us as a possession.' 25 "Therefore say to them, 'Thus says the Lord God: "You eat meat with blood, you lift up your eyes toward your idols, and shed blood. Should you then possess the land? 26 "You rely on your sword, you commit abominations, and you defile one another's wives. Should you then possess the land?" ' 27 "Say thus to them, 'Thus says the Lord God: "As I live, surely those who are in the ruins shall fall by the sword, and the one who is in the open field I will give to the beasts to be devoured, and those who are in the strongholds and caves shall die of the pestilence. 28 "For I will make the land most desolate, her arrogant strength shall cease, and the mountains of Israel shall be so desolate that no one will pass through. 29 "Then they shall know that I am the Lord, when I have made the land most desolate because of all their abominations which they have committed." '   Ezekiel 33:23-29 

The rebellious condition of the nationís heart is illustrated as a people who love to hear music, but refuse to act on the words.  Listening to the words of God, but refusing to act on them is merely a form of entertainment.  This was Israelís problem, they loved tradition, but to them God was a source of entertainment.  

30 "As for you, son of man, the children of your people are talking about you beside the walls and in the doors of the houses; and they speak to one another, everyone saying to his brother, 'Please come and hear what the word is that comes from the Lord.' 31 "So they come to you as people do, they sit before you as My people, and they hear your words, but they do not do them; for with their mouth they show much love, but their hearts pursue their own gain. 32 "Indeed 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. 33 "And when this comes to pass-surely it will come-then they will know that a prophet has been among them."Ezekiel 33:30-33

 Chapter 34:  Irresponsible shepherds and the True Shepherd 

Because of the message, Chapter 34 is a pivotal chapter in Ezekiel.  Here, God establishes His unique relationship with Israel; He is the shepherd of Israel, contrasted to the shepherds who do not care for the flock.  Israel in Ezekielís time had leaders who were not interested in Godís words or message; they were concerned with themselves and their own station in life. 

Ezekiel 34
1 And the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 2 "Son 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?  Ezekiel 34:1-2

 

People are viewed by God as sheep; Isaiah Chapter 53 tells us ďwe all like sheep have gone astrayĒ. Sheep are followers, grazing in the field, unaware of the dangers lying all around.  Sheep wander the hills in search of food; they are prey to hunters such as wolves, bears and lions.  The job of the shepherd is to protect the flock by keeping them from danger and defending it when necessary.   David was a shepherd who defended his flock against the lion and the bear; he would later defend Israel against Goliath.  The Son of David would also be Israelís shepherd and king; the Messiah would come to His flock to feed and take care of them.

The flock referred to here is the nation of Israel, being led by false leaders.  The captives in Babylon and those in Jerusalem were led by false leaders and a priesthood who were utterly corrupt.  In Ezekiel chapter 8, Ezekiel witnesses the apostasy of the priesthood and leadership of the nation.  They commit acts of idolatry, thinking God does not see.  Ezekiel in the spirit testified against their lies:

 

6 "My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and on every high hill; yes, My flock was scattered over the whole face of the earth, and no one was seeking or searching for them." 7 'Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord: 8 "as I live," says the Lord God, "surely because My flock became a prey, and My flock became food for 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" 9 therefore, O shepherds, hear the word of the Lord! 10 'Thus says the Lord God: "Behold, I am against the shepherds, and I will require My flock at their hand; I will cause them to cease feeding the sheep, and the shepherds shall feed themselves no more; for I will deliver My flock from their mouths, that they may no longer be food for them." Ezekiel 34:6-10

 

The false leadership exhibited in Ezekielís day returns after the nation is restored to the land.  Our fallen human nature proves we will always move toward a fallen state, Israel was the living illustration of this point.  At the first coming, the nationís leadership, both political and spiritual, had fallen away again showing that only God Himself can save His people.  This is the picture of redemption, which Ezekiel clearly shows.  God describes Himself as a shepherd to His flock; feeding, nurturing, protecting and leading them.  Below, we see a prophecy looking forward to the day when God Himself, in the person of the Messiah, would come to Israel.  In the first coming, the nation rejected their shepherd; Jesus presented Himself as Israelís Shepherd (John 10). 

 Ezekiel 34:11-29

11 'For thus says the Lord God: "Indeed I Myself will search for My sheep and seek them out. 12 "As a shepherd seeks out his flock on the day he is among his scattered sheep, so will I seek out My sheep and deliver them from all the places where they were scattered on a cloudy and dark day. 13 "And I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries, and will bring them to their own land; I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, in the valleys and in all the inhabited places of the country. 14 "I will feed them in good pasture, and their fold shall be on the high mountains of Israel. There they shall lie down in a good fold and feed in rich pasture on the mountains of Israel. 15 "I will feed My flock, and I will make them lie down," says the Lord God. 16 "I will seek what was lost and bring back what was driven away, bind up the broken and strengthen what was sick; but I will destroy the fat and the strong, and feed them in judgment." 17 'And as for you, O My flock, thus says the Lord God: "Behold, I shall judge between sheep and sheep, between rams and goats. 18 "Is it too little for you to have eaten up the good pasture, that you must tread down with your feet the residue of your pasture-and to have drunk of the clear waters, that you must foul the residue with your feet? 19 "And as for My flock, they eat what you have trampled with your feet, and they drink what you have fouled with your feet." 20 'Therefore thus says the Lord God to them: "Behold, I Myself will judge between the fat and the lean sheep. 21 "Because you have pushed with side and shoulder, butted all the weak ones with your horns, and scattered them abroad, 22 "therefore I will save My flock, and they shall no longer be a prey; and I will judge between sheep and sheep. 23 "I will establish one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them-My servant David. He shall feed them and be their shepherd. 24 "And I, the Lord, will be their God, and My servant David a prince among them; I, the Lord, have spoken. 25 "I will make a covenant of peace with them, and cause wild beasts to cease from the land; and they will dwell safely in the wilderness and sleep in the woods. 26 "I will make them and the places all around My hill a blessing; and I will cause showers to come down in their season; there shall be showers of blessing. 27 "Then the trees of the field shall yield their fruit, and the earth shall yield her increase. They shall be safe in their land; and they shall know that I am the Lord, when I have broken the bands of their yoke and delivered them from the hand of those who enslaved them. 28 "And they shall no longer be a prey for the nations, nor shall beasts of the land devour them; but they shall dwell safely, and no one shall make them afraid. 29 "I will raise up for them a garden of renown, and they shall no longer be consumed with hunger in the land, nor bear the shame of the Gentiles anymore. 30 "Thus they shall know that I, the Lord their God, am with them, and they, the house of Israel, are My people," says the Lord God.' " 31 "You are My flock, the flock of My pasture; you are men, and I am your God," says the Lord God.  Ezekiel 34:11-29

 

 

The picture presented here between God and His flock has not been fulfilled yet, and will not be fulfilled until Israel comes to a saving knowledge of the Messiah.  Israel will come to salvation at the end of this age when the nations turn against them, and they turn to the Messiah, Jesus Christ.  The Glory of the Lord, who came in flesh will come again, when the nation of Israel cries out for Him (Matthew 23:38-39).

 

                     I Myself will search for My sheep and seek them out. vs. 11

                     I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries vs.13

                     ÖI will feed them in good pasture vs. 14

                     Ötherefore I will save My flock, vs. 22

 

The Good Shepherd of Ezekiel is the same Good Shepherd of the Gospel of John.

 

John 101 "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. 2 "But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 "To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 "And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. 5 "Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers." 6 Jesus used this illustration, but they did not understand the things which He spoke to them. 7 Then Jesus said to them again, "Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. 8 "All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. 9 "I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. 10 "The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. 11 "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.  John 10:1-11  

Chapter 36: The Blessings on Israel

 

            One issue which divides the church is the roles of Israel and the church.  Why is this so?  When we read the Old Testament, God made very specific promises.  He made promises to Abraham, Moses, David etc.

Then, in the New Testament, Jesus came to fulfill these promises, but the nation of Israel rejected Him.  Therefore, the promises of the New Covenant (New Testament) were given to the gentiles or nations.  This is what Paul covers in Romans chapter 9 through 11; this dynamic relationship between Israel and the nations (gentiles).  If the promises have been given to the gentiles is God still obliged to keep His word to Israel?

            How good is Godís Word?  Would you trust someone who makes a promise and then completely ignores the promise?  One thing we know from scripture and we learn from Israelís example, GOD KEEPS HIS WORD.

When God makes a promise, He will fulfill His promise.  Understanding this point in relation to the End-Times is a key principle.

            Many try to reinterpret the Bible by turning Israel into an allegory for the church.  For them, Israel is replaced by the church, and the church becomes the ďNew IsraelĒ.  Thus, God fulfills His promises through the church.

This cannot be the case because Israel is not an allegory, they are a literal people and land; there is a literal city, Jerusalem.  God made promises concerning all of this; to turn them into an allegory is to rewrite Godís Word.

            When we examine Ezekiel 36 through 39, we see that the restoration of Israel refers to them being a nation, restored in the land of Israel in anticipation of eternal redemption.  This fulfillment has started in our day as Israel became a nation according to the eyes of the world in May 1948.

 Ezekiel 36:1-4 The Physical Land

 

Ezekiel 361 "And you, son of man, prophesy to the mountains of Israel, and say, 'O mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord! 2 'Thus says the Lord God: "Because the enemy has said of you, 'Aha! The ancient heights have become our possession,' " ' 3 "therefore prophesy, and say, 'Thus says the Lord God: "Because they made you desolate and swallowed you up on every side, so that you became the possession of the rest of the nations, and you are taken up by the lips of talkers and slandered by the people"- 4 'therefore, O mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord God! Thus says the Lord God to the mountains, the hills, the rivers, the valleys, the desolate wastes, and the cities that have been forsaken, which became plunder and mockery to the rest of the nations all around-  

Mountains of Israel:  The promises of God to Ezekiel are very literal; here we see the physical land made desolate by Babylon, and later Rome, being the subject of Ezekielís prophecy.  God is proclaiming His word through Ezekiel to the mountains of Israel. Israel is known by its mountains, Mt. Moriah, Mt. Zion, Mt. Hebron, Mt. Sinai and Mt. Nebo.

The enemy: This refers to the nations who persecuted Israel.  The reason the nations came against Israel was because of their sins. God is the one who brought Babylon; He allowed the nations to prosper against His people because they turned away from Him.  The final conflict is between the nations and Israel.  Through Israel God will bring redemption to the nations.

Our possession: Who owns the land of Israel?  Who does the city of Jerusalem belong to?  These are some of the main issues of our day, as the world tries to determine the road to peace.  When the Jews were displaced from the land for their sin by the Babylonian and Roman expulsions, other nations came to occupy the vacant lands.  When Israel was allowed to return these nations were not happy and fought the return, we see this in the case of Ezra and Nehemiah as people of the land rejected the claims of the Jews.  This is the case today; many in the world reject Jewish claims to the land of Israel and the city of Jerusalem.

slandered by people: The mountains of Israel are mocked by people, God is responding to the lips of the nations. The nations mock the land of Israel and God says ďbecauseĒ, God is responding to attitude of the nations (Gentiles) toward the land of Israel. 

rivers, valleys...cites:  Here again we see that promises are made to the physical land, mountains, rivers, valleys and cities.  The Lord is going to restore these lands.  The physical land becomes a contest between God and the nations. 

 

Ezekiel 36:5-16 The nations versus Israel 

 5 'therefore thus says the Lord God: "Surely I have spoken in My burning jealousy against the rest of the nations and against all Edom, who gave My land to themselves as a possession, with whole-hearted joy and spiteful minds, in order to plunder its open country." ' 6 "Therefore prophesy concerning the land of Israel, and say to the mountains, the hills, the rivers, and the valleys, 'Thus says the Lord God: "Behold, I have spoken in My jealousy and My fury, because you have borne the shame of the nations." 7 'Therefore thus says the Lord God: "I have raised My hand in an oath that surely the nations that are around you shall bear their own shame. 8 "But you, O mountains of Israel, you shall shoot forth your branches and yield your fruit to My people Israel, for they are about to come. 9 "For indeed I am for you, and I will turn to you, and you shall be tilled and sown. 10 "I will multiply men upon you, all the house of Israel, all of it; and the cities shall be inhabited and the ruins rebuilt. 11 "I will multiply upon you man and beast; and they shall increase and bear young; I will make you inhabited as in former times, and do better for you than at your beginnings. Then you shall know that I am the Lord. 12 "Yes, I will cause men to walk on you, My people Israel; they shall take possession of you, and you shall be their inheritance; no more shall you bereave them of children." 13 'Thus says the Lord God: "Because they say to you, 'You devour men and bereave your nation of children,' 14 "therefore you shall devour men no more, nor bereave your nation anymore," says the Lord God. 15 "Nor will I let you hear the taunts of the nations anymore, nor bear the reproach of the peoples anymore, nor shall you cause your nation to stumble anymore," says the Lord God.' "

 

whole-hearted joy and spiteful minds:  Why are the existence of Israel and the Jewish people such a point of contention around the world?  For most it might merely seem like politics, but the issue is a spiritual one.  Through Israel, God is going to judge the nations and bring redemption to the earth.  What we are really witnessing is a struggle between God and the nations, being played out in the physical world.  The nations rejoiced at Israelís judgment then took the land and claimed it as their possession.  Who really owns the land?  God owns the land; he gave the land to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  The nations resist Godís claim to the land, therefore the struggle between Israel and the nations ensues.

you have borne the shame: Israelís judgment was for the worldís redemption.  God used Israel as an example of His righteousness to a fallen world.  The world was not excused from judgment, but through Israel would come the Messiah, who would bring salvation to the world; both Israel and the Gentile nations.

you shall shoot forth your branches: In the judgment against the nations the land of Israel became an enemy to the people of Israel.  The land rejected the people. When Israel is blessed, the land will welcome the nation.  God commands the land to produce fruit in anticipation of Israelís return. This applied to both the return from Babylon and the return from Rome.

to My people Israel:  God has not abandoned His people.  God keeps His Word and His promises.  How can we trust a God who doesnít keep His promises?  God tells Israel, through Jeremiah, His promises to the land are more sure than the relationship of the Sun, Moon and stars. 

 

35 Thus says the Lord, Who gives the sun for a light by day, The ordinances of the moon and the stars for a light by night, Who disturbs the sea, And its waves roar (The Lord of hosts is His name): 36 "If those ordinances depart From before Me, says the Lord, Then the seed of Israel shall also cease From being a nation before Me forever." 37 Thus says the Lord: "If heaven above can be measured, And the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel For all that they have done, says the Lord. Jeremiah 31:35-37

 

            So, again, we can ask, can Godís Word to Israel be trusted?  If you trust that the Bible is Godís Word, then you can be assured this dynamic relationship between the people of Israel and the land of Israel was not finished in the New Testament era.

I am for you: The descendents of Israel have the favor and blessing of God.  God promised the nation (Deut. 28:1-2), that if they were obedient they would be blessed above all nations.  As God was for their judgment, God will be for their blessing when they return to the land of Israel.

I will multiply men upon you: God continues His proclamation to the physical land of Israel.  The land will be inhabited by the descendents of Israel.

You shall know that I am the Lord:  God in the future will have a restored relationship with the nation of Israel; much greater than ever before.  Israel, in the future, will receive the New Covenant blessings of Jeremiah 31:31-33.  The people of Israel will ďknowĒ the Lord, this will be fulfilled at the Second Coming, when the LORD returns in glory and power after Israel comes to salvation.

they shall take possession of you:  Israel will take final possession of the land, never to be contested again in the future after Christís return and the nationís salvation.  Prior to this, Israel will be at odds with the nations.  Today, the nations or gentiles question Israelís right to the land; why should the land belong to the Jews and not the Arabs?  Who has the right to Jerusalem?  The Muslim nations say the Jews have no right to the city.  In the end-times, Jerusalem, as well as Israel, will be the subject of world confrontation.

Nor will I let you hear the taunts of the nations: Israel is Godís instrument of redemption. Through Israel came the Messiah.  Israelís rejection of the Messiah caused her to be judged by the Lord.  In the end, Israelís acceptance of Messiah will cause her to be scorned by the nations.  In the Second Coming an obedient nation will be blessed above all the nations of the earth as stated in Deuteronomy 28:1.  Israel will no longer suffer the scorn of the nations; the Messiah, the Glory of the Lord will rule from Jerusalem (Ezekiel 40-48).

 

Ezekiel 36:16-20 Reason for Judgment & Scattering 

 

16 Moreover the word of the Lord came to me, saying: 17 "Son of man, when the house of Israel dwelt in their own land, they defiled it by their own ways and deeds; to Me their way was like the uncleanness of a woman in her customary impurity. 18 "Therefore I poured out My fury on them for the blood they had shed on the land, and for their idols with which they had defiled it. 19 "So I scattered them among the nations, and they were dispersed throughout the countries; I judged them according to their ways and their deeds. 20 "When they came to the nations, wherever they went, they profaned My holy name-when they said of them, 'These are the people of the Lord, and yet they have gone out of His land.'  

 

When the house of Israel dwelt in their own land:  God is reminding the nation of Israel which now no longer occupies the land, why they do not occupy it.  This occurred twice, once during the time of Ezekiel and after the First Coming, when the nation rejected Christ.

I scattered them among the nations:  God fulfilled the promises of His covenant, scattering Israel amongst the nations as promised in the provisions of Deuteronomy 28.  This scattering only occurred twice in their history; in Ezekielís day and during the time of Christ.

 Ezekiel 36:21- Reason for restoration

 

21 "But I had concern for My holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the nations wherever they went. 22 "Therefore say to the house of Israel, 'Thus says the Lord God: "I do not do this for your sake, O house of Israel, but for My holy name's sake, which you have profaned among the nations wherever you went. 23 "And I will sanctify My great name, which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst; and the nations shall know that I am the Lord," says the Lord God, "when I am hallowed in you before their eyes. 24 "For I will take you from among the nations, gather you out of all countries, and bring you into your own land.  

I had concern for My holy name:  Israel, like the Church today, represents the Lord to the world and the nations.   Israelís apostasy did not only harm itself, but also the LORD.  Israel represented the true ďGodĒ to the nations. When they became apostate the worldís perception of God also came into question.  Who was the God of Israel? Was He associated with the pagan gods of other nations?  Israel brought the knowledge of God into question by the nations by their acts.

I will sanctify My great name:  The word sanctify in Hebrew is Qodesh , which means separate or sacred.  The God of Israel had become associated with the nations, and their pagan customs.  God wants the nations to know He is Holy and distinct from the pagan gods of the lands.

when I am hallowed in you:  Through Israel, the identity of God will be made known as God uses Israel as his instrument.  God has identified himself as the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. While the world relegates the God of the Bible to being one of many gods, God will separate Himself from the paganism of the nations through the nation of Israel and His promises in His Word.   

 Ezekiel 36:25- Israel receives the Spirit 

25 "Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. 26 "I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 "I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them. 28 "Then you shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; you shall be My people, and I will be your God. 29 "I will deliver you from all your uncleannesses. I will call for the grain and multiply it, and bring no famine upon you. 30 "And I will multiply the fruit of your trees and the increase of your fields, so that you need never again bear the reproach of famine among the nations. 31 "Then you will remember your evil ways and your deeds that were not good; and you will loathe yourselves in your own sight, for your iniquities and your abominations. 32 "Not for your sake do I do this," says the Lord God, "let it be known to you. Be ashamed and confounded for your own ways, O house of Israel!"

 

"I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; In the future, Israel will receive the New Covenant.  Israel will receive the ďredemptionĒ promised when Jesus Christ came the first time. They will receive it at the Second Coming, when they turn from their sins. They will be a ďborn againĒ people, who will know Jesus Christ as their Lord and savior.

"I will put My Spirit within you: This is a future fulfillment of Jeremiah and Isaiah, when Israel will be established with the Lord through the Holy Spirit dwelling in each believer, as those of the body of Christ who are born again can claim.

 21 "As for Me," says the Lord, "this is My covenant with them: My Spirit who is upon you, and My words which I have put in your mouth, shall not depart from your mouth, nor from the mouth of your descendants, nor from the mouth of your descendants' descendants," says the Lord, "from this time and forevermore."  Isaiah 59:21

You need never again bear the reproach of famine among the nations:  This will be fulfilled in the Millennium when Israel is established with the God of Israel and receiving His blessings.

 Ezekiel 36:33-38- On the Day

 

33 'Thus says the Lord God: "On the day that I cleanse you from all your iniquities, I will also enable you to dwell in the cities, and the ruins shall be rebuilt. 34 "The desolate land shall be tilled instead of lying desolate in the sight of all who pass by. 35 "So they will say, 'This land that was desolate has become like the garden of Eden; and the wasted, desolate, and ruined cities are now fortified and inhabited.' 36 "Then the nations which are left all around you shall know that I, the Lord, have rebuilt the ruined places and planted what was desolate. I, the Lord, have spoken it, and I will do it." 37 'Thus says the Lord God: "I will also let the house of Israel inquire of Me to do this for them: I will increase their men like a flock. 38 "Like a flock offered as holy sacrifices, like the flock at Jerusalem on its feast days, so shall the ruined cities be filled with flocks of men. Then they shall know that I am the Lord." ' " Ezekiel 36:33-38

 

On the day that I cleanse you from all your iniquities: This refers to ďThe DayĒ Israel is cleansed from iniquity as the day of their national salvation.  On that day the nations will come to know Jesus Christ as their Messiah.   

9 "It shall be in that day that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. 10 "And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn. 11 "In that day there shall be a great mourning in Jerusalem, like the mourning at Hadad Rimmon in the plain of Megiddo. Zechariah 12:9-11

 the nations which are left:  This is a reference to the surviving nations on the earth which enter the Millennium.  The nations are gathered before Christ in the judgment of the sheep and the goats, Matthew 25:39-46.  The nations will understand what happened and why Israel suffered for their sins.  

I will increase their men like a flock:  Israel is pictured as the flock of God; Israel which will multiply as the flocks of sheep. This promise regards the Millennium when the Messiah will rule from Jerusalem over the nations.

 4 who said to him, "Run, speak to this young man, saying: 'Jerusalem shall be inhabited as towns without walls, because of the multitude of men and livestock in it. 5 'For I,' says the Lord, 'will be a wall of fire all around her, and I will be the glory in her midst.' " Zechariah 2;4-5

 

 

 

Ezekiel Chapters 33 to 36