Ezekiel 36

Mountains of Israel

1 You, human one, prophesy to Israel's mountains and say, Hear the LORD's word, mountains of Israel!
2 The LORD God proclaims: The enemy mocked you and said, "The ancient heights belong to us."
3 Therefore, prophesy and say, The LORD God proclaims: When the surviving nations pressed in and ravaged you from all around to lay claim to you, you became an object of the people's slander and derision.
4 Hear the LORD God's word, mountains of Israel! The LORD God proclaims to the mountains and the hills, the watercourses and the valleys, the desolate ruins and the abandoned cities that were contemptuously looted by the surviving nations all around you.
5 So now, says the LORD God, I will speak in my fiery passion against the surviving nations and against Edom, all those who gleefully and spitefully took my land for themselves as a possession only for plunder.
6 Prophesy concerning Israel's fertile land, and say to the mountains and to the hills, to the ravines and to the valleys, The LORD God proclaims: Because you endured the ridicule of the nations, my passion and fury lead me to speak.
7 So now the LORD God proclaims: I myself swear that the nations round about you will themselves suffer ridicule.
8 But you, mountains of Israel, will extend your branches and bear your fruit for my people Israel, because they will come home very soon.
9 Look, I'm here for you, and I will turn toward you, and you will be farmed and sown.
10 I will populate you with human beings, the whole house of Israel, all of them. The cities will be inhabited, the ruins rebuilt.
11 When I make people and animals increase on you, they will multiply and be fruitful. I will cause you to be inhabited as you were before. I will do more good for you than in the beginning, and you will know that I am the LORD.
12 I will let people walk through you, my people Israel! They will lay claim to you, you will be their inheritance, and you will no longer deprive them of anything.
13 The LORD God proclaims: Because people say, "You are a devourer of human beings" and "You are depriving your nation,"
14 therefore, you will no longer devour human beings or deprive your nation of anything. This is what the LORD God says.
15 You won't have to listen anymore to the taunts of the nations or endure the scorn of the peoples. And you will no longer deprive your nation of anything. This is what the LORD God says.

A new heart

16 The LORD's word came to me:
17 Human one, when the house of Israel lived on their fertile land, they polluted it with their ways and deeds. Their ways before me were polluted like the blood of menstruation,
18 and so I poured out my fury on them for all the blood they had poured out on the land and for all the defilement of their idols.
19 When I scattered them to the nations and dispersed them into other lands, I judged them according to their ways and deeds.
20 But then when they entered the other nations, they degraded my holy name because it was said of them, "These are the LORD's people, yet they had to leave his land."
21 So I had compassion on my holy name, which the house of Israel degraded among the nations where they had gone.
22 Therefore, say to the house of Israel, The LORD God proclaims: House of Israel, I'm not acting for your sake but for the sake of my holy name, which you degraded among the nations where you have gone.
23 I will make my great name holy, which was degraded among the nations when you dishonored it among them. Then the nations will know that I am the LORD. This is what the LORD God says. When I make myself holy among you in their sight,
24 I will take you from the nations, I will gather you from all the countries, and I will bring you to your own fertile land.
25 I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be cleansed of all your pollution. I will cleanse you of all your idols.
26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you. I will remove your stony heart from your body and replace it with a living one,
27 and I will give you my spirit so that you may walk according to my regulations and carefully observe my case laws.
28 Then you will live in the land that I gave to your ancestors, you will be my people, and I will be your God.
29 I will save you from all your uncleanness, and I will summon the grain and make it grow abundantly so that you won't endure famine.
30 I will make abundant the orchards' fruit and the fields' produce so that you will never again endure the shame of famine among the nations.
31 Then you will remember your evil ways and no-good deeds, and you will feel disgust for yourselves because of your sinful and detestable practices.
32 Not for your sake do I act. This is what the LORD God proclaims. Let that be known to you! Be ashamed and be humiliated because of all your ways, house of Israel.
33 The LORD God proclaims: On the day that I cleanse you of all your guilt, I will cause the cities to be inhabited, and the ruins will be rebuilt.
34 The desolate land will be farmed, and it won't be like it was when it seemed a wasteland to all who passed by.
35 They will say, "This land, which was a desolation, has become like the garden of Eden." And the cities that were ruined, ravaged, and razed are now fortified and inhabited.
36 The surviving nations around you will know that I, the LORD, have rebuilt what was torn down and have planted what was made desolate. I, the LORD, have spoken, and I will do it.
37 The LORD God proclaims: I will also allow the house of Israel to ask me to do this for them: that I increase them like a human flock.
38 Like the holy flock, like the flock of Jerusalem at its festivals, the ruined cities will be filled with a human flock. Then they will know that I am the LORD.

Ezekiel 36 Commentary

Chapter 36

The land shall be delivered from heathen oppressors. (1-15) The people are reminded of former sins, and promised deliverance. (16-24) Also holiness, and gospel blessings. (25-38)

Verses 1-15 Those who put contempt and reproach on God's people, will have them turned on themselves. God promises favour to his Israel. We have no reason to complain, if the more unkind men are, the more kind God is. They shall come again to their own border. It was a type of the heavenly Canaan, of which all God's children are heirs, and into which they all shall be brought together. And when God returns in mercy to a people who return to him in duty, all their grievances will be set right. The full completion of this prophecy must be in some future event.

Verses 16-24 The restoration of that people, being typical of our redemption by Christ, shows that the end aimed at in our salvation is the glory of God. The sin of a people defiles their land; renders it abominable to God, and uncomfortable to themselves. God's holy name is his great name; his holiness is his greatness, nor does any thing else make a man truly great.

Verses 25-38 Water is an emblem of the cleansing our polluted souls from sin. But no water can do more than take away the filth of the flesh. Water seems in general the sacramental sign of the sanctifying influences of the Holy Ghost; yet this is always connected with the atoning blood of Christ. When the latter is applied by faith to the conscience, to cleanse it from evil works, the former is always applied to the powers of the soul, to purify it from the pollution of sin. All that have an interest in the new covenant, have a new heart and a new spirit, in order to their walking in newness of life. God would give a heart of flesh, a soft and tender heart, complying with his holy will. Renewing grace works as great a change in the soul, as the turning a dead stone into living flesh. God will put his Spirit within, as a Teacher, Guide, and Sanctifier. The promise of God's grace to fit us for our duty, should quicken our constant care and endeavour to do our duty. These are promises to be pleaded by, and will be fulfilled to, all true believers in every age.

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. MT adds to drive it out.

Chapter Summary

INTRODUCTION TO EZEKIEL 36

This chapter is a prophecy concerning the desolations of the land of Israel, and the causes of them; of the return of the people to it, and the fruitfulness of it; and of spiritual blessings bestowed upon them in the latter day. And first, for the comfort of the people of Israel, it is observed that their enemies that insulted them will suffer the vengeance of God's wrath, particularly the Edomites, Eze 36:1-7, that the land of Israel should again become fruitful, its cities rebuilt, men and beasts be multiplied upon it, and be no more liable to destruction, nor bear any more the reproach of the Heathen, Eze 36:8-15, the causes of its desolation and destruction, the sins of its inhabitants, especially bloodshed, idolatry, and profanation of the name of God, Eze 36:16-20, nevertheless the Lord promises to have mercy on them, and return them to their own land, not for their sakes, but for his own name's sake, Eze 36:21-24, then follow promises of spiritual blessings to them: as purification from all sin by the blood of Christ; regeneration by his Spirit and grace; and evangelical obedience as the fruit of that, Eze 36:25-27, and others of a mixed kind, respecting partly temporal and partly spiritual blessings, Eze 36:28-36, for all which it is expected of the Lord that he should be prayed unto for them; particularly their inhabitation in their own land, and the multiplication of them in it, with which the chapter concludes, Eze 36:37,38.

Ezekiel 36 Commentaries