Ezekiel 36:16-21

The Lord's Concern for His Holy Name

16 The word of the LORD came to me:
17 1"Son of man, when the house of Israel lived in their own land, 2they defiled it by their ways and their deeds. Their ways before me were 3like the uncleanness of a woman in her menstrual impurity.
18 So 4I poured out my wrath upon them 5for the blood that they had shed in the land, for the idols 6with which they had defiled it.
19 7I scattered them among the nations, and they were dispersed through the countries. 8In accordance with their ways and their deeds I judged them.
20 But when they came to the nations, wherever they came, 9they profaned my holy name, in that people said of them, 'These are the people of the LORD, and yet they had to go out of his land.'
21 But I had concern 10for my holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the nations to which they came.

Ezekiel 36:16-21 Meaning and Commentary

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 36:16-21 In-Context

14 therefore you shall no longer devour people and no longer bereave your nation of children, declares the Lord GOD.
15 And I will not let you hear anymore the reproach of the nations, and you shall no longer bear the disgrace of the peoples and no longer cause your nation to stumble, declares the Lord GOD."
16 The word of the LORD came to me:
17 "Son of man, when the house of Israel lived in their own land, they defiled it by their ways and their deeds. Their ways before me were like the uncleanness of a woman in her menstrual impurity.
18 So I poured out my wrath upon them for the blood that they had shed in the land, for the idols with which they had defiled it.
19 I scattered them among the nations, and they were dispersed through the countries. In accordance with their ways and their deeds I judged them.
20 But when they came to the nations, wherever they came, they profaned my holy name, in that people said of them, 'These are the people of the LORD, and yet they had to go out of his land.'
21 But I had concern for my holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the nations to which they came.
22 "Therefore say to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord GOD: It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations to which you came.
23 And I will vindicate the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, and which you have profaned among them. And the nations will know that I am the LORD, declares the Lord GOD, when through you I vindicate my holiness before their eyes.

Cross References 10

  • 1. See Ezekiel 2:1
  • 2. See Leviticus 18:25
  • 3. See Leviticus 18:19
  • 4. See Ezekiel 7:8
  • 5. Ezekiel 16:36; Ezekiel 22:3
  • 6. See Ezekiel 5:11
  • 7. See Ezekiel 5:10
  • 8. See Ezekiel 18:30
  • 9. Isaiah 52:5; [Ezekiel 22:26; Romans 2:24]
  • 10. [Ezekiel 20:9; Isaiah 43:25; Isaiah 48:11]
The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.