Ezekiel 36

Hope for the Mountains of Israel

1 “Son of man, prophesy to the mountains of Israel and say, ‘Mountains of Israel, hear the word of the LORD.
2 This is what the Sovereign LORD says: The enemy said of you, “Aha! The ancient heights have become our possession.” ’
3 Therefore prophesy and say, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Because they ravaged and crushed you from every side so that you became the possession of the rest of the nations and the object of people’s malicious talk and slander,
4 therefore, mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Sovereign LORD: This is what the Sovereign LORD says to the mountains and hills, to the ravines and valleys, to the desolate ruins and the deserted towns that have been plundered and ridiculed by the rest of the nations around you—
5 this is what the Sovereign LORD says: In my burning zeal I have spoken against the rest of the nations, and against all Edom, for with glee and with malice in their hearts they made my land their own possession so that they might plunder its pastureland.’
6 Therefore prophesy concerning the land of Israel and say to the mountains and hills, to the ravines and valleys: ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I speak in my jealous wrath because you have suffered the scorn of the nations.
7 Therefore this is what the Sovereign LORD says: I swear with uplifted hand that the nations around you will also suffer scorn.
8 “ ‘But you, mountains of Israel, will produce branches and fruit for my people Israel, for they will soon come home.
9 I am concerned for you and will look on you with favor; you will be plowed and sown,
10 and I will cause many people to live on you—yes, all of Israel. The towns will be inhabited and the ruins rebuilt.
11 I will increase the number of people and animals living on you, and they will be fruitful and become numerous. I will settle people on you as in the past and will make you prosper more than before. Then you will know that I am the LORD.
12 I will cause people, my people Israel, to live on you. They will possess you, and you will be their inheritance; you will never again deprive them of their children.
13 “ ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Because some say to you, “You devour people and deprive your nation of its children,”
14 therefore you will no longer devour people or make your nation childless, declares the Sovereign LORD.
15 No longer will I make you hear the taunts of the nations, and no longer will you suffer the scorn of the peoples or cause your nation to fall, declares the Sovereign LORD.’ ”

Israel’s Restoration Assured

16 Again the word of the LORD came to me:
17 “Son of man, when the people of Israel were living in their own land, they defiled it by their conduct and their actions. Their conduct was like a woman’s monthly uncleanness in my sight.
18 So I poured out my wrath on them because they had shed blood in the land and because they had defiled it with their idols.
19 I dispersed them among the nations, and they were scattered through the countries; I judged them according to their conduct and their actions.
20 And wherever they went among the nations they profaned my holy name, for it was said of them, ‘These are the LORD’s people, and yet they had to leave his land.’
21 I had concern for my holy name, which the people of Israel profaned among the nations where they had gone.
22 “Therefore say to the Israelites, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: It is not for your sake, people of Israel, that I am going to do these things, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations where you have gone.
23 I will show the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, the name you have profaned among them. Then the nations will know that I am the LORD, declares the Sovereign LORD, when I am proved holy through you before their eyes.
24 “ ‘For I will take you out of the nations; I will gather you from all the countries and bring you back into your own land.
25 I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols.
26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.
27 And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.
28 Then you will live in the land I gave your ancestors; you will be my people, and I will be your God.
29 I will save you from all your uncleanness. I will call for the grain and make it plentiful and will not bring famine upon you.
30 I will increase the fruit of the trees and the crops of the field, so that you will no longer suffer disgrace among the nations because of famine.
31 Then you will remember your evil ways and wicked deeds, and you will loathe yourselves for your sins and detestable practices.
32 I want you to know that I am not doing this for your sake, declares the Sovereign LORD. Be ashamed and disgraced for your conduct, people of Israel!
33 “ ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: On the day I cleanse you from all your sins, I will resettle your towns, and the ruins will be rebuilt.
34 The desolate land will be cultivated instead of lying desolate in the sight of all who pass through it.
35 They will say, “This land that was laid waste has become like the garden of Eden; the cities that were lying in ruins, desolate and destroyed, are now fortified and inhabited.”
36 Then the nations around you that remain will know that I the LORD have rebuilt what was destroyed and have replanted what was desolate. I the LORD have spoken, and I will do it.’
37 “This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Once again I will yield to Israel’s plea and do this for them: I will make their people as numerous as sheep,
38 as numerous as the flocks for offerings at Jerusalem during her appointed festivals. So will the ruined cities be filled with flocks of people. 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.

Cross References 72

  • 1. S Ezekiel 17:22
  • 2. Ezekiel 6:2-3
  • 3. S Ezekiel 25:3
  • 4. S Deuteronomy 32:13
  • 5. S Ezekiel 35:10
  • 6. Obadiah 1:13
  • 7. Psalms 44:13-14; S Lamentations 2:16; Lamentations 3:62
  • 8. Ezekiel 6:3
  • 9. Ezekiel 33:24
  • 10. S Leviticus 26:43
  • 11. S Jeremiah 2:26
  • 12. Deuteronomy 11:11; S Psalms 79:4; S Ezekiel 33:28-29; Ezekiel 34:28
  • 13. S Deuteronomy 29:20
  • 14. Isaiah 66:16; Jeremiah 25:31; Jeremiah 50:11; Ezekiel 25:12-14; S Ezekiel 35:10,15; Ezekiel 38:22; Joel 3:2,14
  • 15. Psalms 123:3-4; Ezekiel 34:29
  • 16. S Numbers 14:30
  • 17. S Jeremiah 25:9
  • 18. S Isaiah 4:2; S Isaiah 27:6; Ezekiel 47:12
  • 19. ver 34-36; Jeremiah 31:27
  • 20. S Isaiah 49:8
  • 21. ver 33; Isaiah 49:17-23; S Jeremiah 30:18
  • 22. S Genesis 1:22
  • 23. S Isaiah 49:19
  • 24. Micah 7:14
  • 25. Leviticus 26:9; Job 42:13; S Jeremiah 31:28; S Ezekiel 16:55; Zechariah 10:8
  • 26. Ezekiel 47:14,22
  • 27. S Numbers 13:32
  • 28. Psalms 89:50-51; Isaiah 54:4; S Ezekiel 34:29
  • 29. S Leviticus 5:2; S Leviticus 12:2
  • 30. Psalms 106:37-38; S Jeremiah 2:7
  • 31. S 2 Chronicles 34:21
  • 32. Deuteronomy 28:64
  • 33. Leviticus 18:24-28; S Ezekiel 7:8; S Ezekiel 24:14; Ezekiel 39:24
  • 34. S Leviticus 18:21; S Ezekiel 13:19; Romans 2:24
  • 35. Isaiah 52:5; S Jeremiah 33:24; S Ezekiel 12:16
  • 36. Psalms 74:18; Isaiah 48:9
  • 37. S Isaiah 37:35; S Ezekiel 20:44
  • 38. Romans 2:24*
  • 39. Deuteronomy 9:5-6; Psalms 106:8; S Ezekiel 20:9
  • 40. S Numbers 6:27
  • 41. S Isaiah 37:23
  • 42. S Psalms 46:10
  • 43. S Ezekiel 20:41
  • 44. Psalms 126:2; S Isaiah 5:16; Ezekiel 20:14; Ezekiel 38:23; Ezekiel 39:7,27-28
  • 45. S Isaiah 43:5-6; S Ezekiel 34:13; Ezekiel 37:21
  • 46. S Leviticus 14:7; S Leviticus 16:14-15; Hebrews 9:13; Hebrews 10:22
  • 47. S Psalms 51:2,7
  • 48. S Ezra 6:21
  • 49. Isaiah 2:18; Joel 3:21; Zechariah 3:4; Zechariah 13:2; S Acts 22:16
  • 50. Jeremiah 24:7
  • 51. S Jeremiah 5:3
  • 52. S Psalms 51:10; S Ezekiel 18:31; S 2 Corinthians 3:3; Ezekiel 11:19
  • 53. S Isaiah 44:3; Joel 2:29; John 3:5; Ezekiel 37:14
  • 54. S Ezekiel 18:21
  • 55. Jeremiah 50:20; 1 Thessalonians 4:8
  • 56. Jeremiah 30:22; Jeremiah 31:33
  • 57. S Ezekiel 11:17; S Ezekiel 14:11; Ezekiel 34:24; Ezekiel 37:14,27; Zechariah 8:8
  • 58. Ezekiel 34:29
  • 59. Leviticus 26:4-5; S Ezekiel 34:13-14; Ezekiel 34:27; Hosea 2:21-22
  • 60. Isaiah 6:5; S Jeremiah 31:19; S Ezekiel 6:9; Ezekiel 20:43
  • 61. Ezekiel 16:63
  • 62. Deuteronomy 9:5
  • 63. S Leviticus 16:30
  • 64. S Leviticus 26:31
  • 65. S Isaiah 49:8
  • 66. S Genesis 2:8; Joel 2:3
  • 67. Amos 9:14; Isaiah 51:3
  • 68. S Jeremiah 42:10; S Ezekiel 17:22; Ezekiel 22:14; Ezekiel 37:14; Ezekiel 39:27-28
  • 69. Zechariah 10:6; Zechariah 13:9
  • 70. Psalms 102:17; Jeremiah 29:12-14
  • 71. 1 Kings 8:63; 2 Chronicles 35:7-9
  • 72. S Exodus 6:2

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