Ezekiel 20:30-31

30 "Therefore, say to the house of Israel, 'Thus says the Lord GOD, "Will you defile yourselves after the manner of your 1fathers and play the harlot after their detestable things?
31 "When you offer your gifts, when you 2cause your sons to pass through the fire, you are defiling yourselves with all your idols to this day. And shall I be inquired of by you, O house of Israel? As I live," declares the Lord GOD, "I will not be inquired of by you.

Ezekiel 20:30-31 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO EZEKIEL 20

The prophecy in this chapter is occasioned by some of the elders of Israel coming to inquire of the Lord; when the prophet is bid to tell them that he would not be inquired of by them. The reason of which were their abominations he is ordered to make known unto them, Eze 20:1-4; and then proceeds the narration of them; first of what their fathers committed in Egypt; of God's goodness to them, and their ingratitude; how that though he promised and swore that he would bring them from thence, when he charged them to abstain from the idolatry of that people where they were, nevertheless they did not, for which he threatened them with his wrath to consume them; yet such was his goodness as to spare them, and bring them out of that land, Eze 20:5-9; being brought out of Egypt into the wilderness, the Lord gave them statutes and ordinances to observe, particularly sabbaths, as a sign between him and them, but these they despised and broke; wherefore the Lord threatened to consume them in the wilderness, and not bring them into the land of Canaan; yet such was his kindness and mercy to them, that he did not make an utter end of them in the wilderness, Eze 20:10-17; and whereas he exhorted their posterity not to imitate their parents, but to walk in his statutes and judgments, and observe his sabbaths, yet they would not; which drew out his resentment against them, and he threatened to scatter them among the Heathens; but, for his name's sake, that that might not be polluted among the heathen, he spared them, and did not cut them off, only gave them up to do things very pernicious to them, Eze 20:18-26; and even when they were brought into the land of Canaan, they were guilty of blasphemy against God, and of idolatry on every high hill they saw, Eze 20:27-29; but whereas it might be objected, what is all this to the present generation? it is observed, that they imitated their fathers, and were guilty of the same idolatries, and therefore the Lord would not be inquired of by them, Eze 20:30,31; and threatens to rule them with fury, and plead with them, as he had pleaded with their fathers in the wilderness, Eze 20:32-36; nevertheless he suggests that there would be a remnant among them, when he should have purged the rebels and transgressors from them, that he would deal graciously with in a covenant way; who should serve him in his holy mountain, where he would require and accept their sacrifices, in whom he would be sanctified; and who should know him, and loathe themselves, when made sensible of the distinguishing favours bestowed upon them, Eze 20:37-44; and the chapter is closed with a prophecy dropped against Jerusalem, denouncing utter destruction on it, Eze 20:45-49.

reign, and of the captivity of Jeconiah; from whence the dates of Ezekiel's visions and prophecies are taken, Eze 1:2, 8:1; two years, one month, and five days, after Ezekiel began to prophesy, and eleven months and five days after the preceding prophecy:

\\in the fifth [month], the tenth [day] of the month\\; the month Ab, which answers to our July and August; on this day afterwards Jerusalem was twice destroyed, first by the Chaldeans, and then by the Romans:

\\[that] certain of the elders of Israel came to inquire of the Lord\\; by the prophet; these were either some of the elders that were carried captive, who came to inquire how long they should continue in this state; or what methods they should use to free themselves from it; or what they should do while they were in it; whether it would be advisable that they should conform to the customs of the Heathens among whom they were; or what would be the case of those that were left in Judea: or else these were sent by Zedekiah to pay the king of Babylon his tax, or to negotiate some affair with him relating to the captives; and who took this opportunity of consulting the Lord by the prophet what methods should be taken to throw off the yoke, and to know what was the mind of God in it; but these things are uncertain, as are also the persons the inquirers; though the Jews say {e} they were Ananias, Azarias, and Misael; which is not probable, since they were good men, whereas these seem to be hypocritical persons:

\\and sat before me\\; with great seriousness and devotion seemingly, waiting for an answer.

{e} Seder Olam Rabba apud Abarbinel in loc.

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Ezekiel 20:30-31 In-Context

28 "When I had brought them into the land which I swore to give to them, then they saw every high hill and every leafy tree, and they offered there their sacrifices and there they presented the provocation of their offering. There also they made their soothing aroma and there they poured out their drink offerings.
29 "Then I said to them, 'What is the high place to which you go?' So its name is called Bamah to this day."'
30 "Therefore, say to the house of Israel, 'Thus says the Lord GOD, "Will you defile yourselves after the manner of your fathers and play the harlot after their detestable things?
31 "When you offer your gifts, when you cause your sons to pass through the fire, you are defiling yourselves with all your idols to this day. And shall I be inquired of by you, O house of Israel? As I live," declares the Lord GOD, "I will not be inquired of by you.
32 "What comes into your mind will not come about, when you say: 'We will be like the nations, like the tribes of the lands, serving wood and stone.'
33 "As I live," declares the Lord GOD, "surely with a mighty hand and with an outstretched arm and with wrath poured out, I shall be king over you.

Cross References 2

  • 1. Judges 2:19; Jeremiah 7:26; Jeremiah 16:12
  • 2. Psalms 106:37-39; Jeremiah 7:31; Ezekiel 16:20; Ezekiel 20:26

Footnotes 2

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