Ezekiel 36

A Message About Israel

1 "Son of man, prophesy to the mountains of Israel. Tell them, 'Mountains of Israel, listen to the LORD's message.
2 The LORD and King says, "Your enemies made fun of you. They bragged, 'The hills you lived in for a long time belong to us now.' " '
3 "Ezekiel, prophesy. Say, 'The LORD and King says, "Your enemies destroyed you. They hunted you down from every side. So the rest of the nations took over your land. People talked about you. They told lies about you." ' "
4 Mountains of Israel, listen to the message of the LORD and King. He speaks to you mountains, hills, canyons and valleys. He speaks to you destroyed cities and deserted towns. The rest of the nations around you took everything of value away from you. They made fun of you.
5 So the LORD and King says, "My anger burns against those nations. I have spoken against them and the whole land of Edom. They were very happy when they took over my land. Deep down inside them they hated Israel. They wanted to take its grasslands.
6 "Ezekiel, prophesy about the land of Israel. Speak to the mountains, hills, canyons and valleys. Tell them, 'The LORD and King says, "My jealous anger burns against the nations. They have laughed at you."
7 So the LORD and King says, "I raise my hand and take an oath. I promise that the nations around you will also be laughed at.
8 " ' "Mountains of Israel, you will produce branches and bear fruit for my people Israel. They will come home soon.
9 I am concerned about you. I will look on you with favor. Farmers will plow your ground. They will plant seeds in it.
10 " ' "I will multiply the number of people who live in Israel. The towns will no longer be empty. Their broken-down houses will be rebuilt.
11 I will increase the number of your people and animals. They will have many babies. I will settle people in your towns, just as I did in the past. I will help you succeed more than ever before. Then you will know that I am the Lord.
12 " ' "I will let my people Israel walk there again. They will possess you. They will receive you as their own. You will never take their children away from them again." ' "
13 The LORD and King says, "People say to you mountains, 'You destroy people. You let your nation's children be taken away.'
14 But I will not let you destroy people anymore. I will no longer let your nation's children be taken away," announces the LORD and King.
15 "You will not have to listen to the nations laughing at you anymore. People will no longer make fun of you. You will not let your nation fall," announces the LORD and King.
16 Another message came to me from the Lord. He said,
17 "Son of man, the people of Israel used to live in their own land. But they polluted it because of how they acted and the way they lived. To me they were 'unclean' like a woman who was having her monthly period.
18 "They spilled people's blood in the land. They polluted the land by worshiping other gods. So I poured out my burning anger on them.
19 I scattered them among the nations. I sent them to other countries. I judged them based on how they acted and the way they lived.
20 "They treated my name as if it were not holy. They did it everywhere they went among the nations. People said about them, 'They are the LORD's people. But they were forced to leave his land.'
21 I was concerned about my holy name. The people of Israel treated it as if it were not holy. They did it everywhere they went among the nations.
22 "But tell the people of Israel, 'The LORD and King speaks. He says, "People of Israel, I will not take action for your benefit. Instead, I will act for the honor of my holy name. You have treated it as if it were not holy. You did it everywhere you went among the nations.
23 But I will show everyone how holy my great name is. You have treated it as if it were not holy. So I will use you to show the nations how holy I am. Then they will know that I am the Lord," announces the LORD and King.
24 " ' "I will take you out of the nations. I will gather you together from all of the countries. I will bring you back into your own land.
25 " ' "I will sprinkle pure water on you. Then you will be 'clean.' I will make you completely pure and clean. I will take all of the statues of your gods away from you.
26 I will give you new hearts. I will give you a new spirit that is faithful to me. I will remove your stubborn hearts from you. I will give you hearts that obey me.
27 " ' "I will put my Spirit in you. I will move you to follow my rules. I want you to be careful to keep my laws.
28 You will live in the land I gave your people long ago. You will be my people. And I will be your God.
29 " ' "I will save you from all of your 'uncleanness.' I will give you plenty of grain. You will have more than enough. So you will never be hungry again.
30 I will multiply the fruit on your trees. I will increase the crops in your fields. Then the nations will no longer make fun of you because you are hungry.
31 " ' "You will remember your evil ways and the sinful things you have done. You will hate yourselves because you have sinned so much. I also hate your evil practices.
32 I want you to know that I am not doing those things for your benefit," announces the LORD and King. "People of Israel, you should be ashamed of yourselves! Your conduct has brought dishonor to you." ' "
33 The LORD and King says, "I will make you pure from all of your sins. On that day I will settle you in your towns again. Your broken-down houses will be rebuilt.
34 The dry and empty land will be farmed again. "Everyone who passes through it will see that it is no longer empty.
35 They will say, 'This land was completely destroyed. But now it's like the Garden of Eden. The cities were full of broken-down buildings. They were destroyed and empty. But now they have high walls around them. And people live in them.'
36 "Then the nations that remain around you will know that I have rebuilt what was once destroyed. I have planted again the fields that were once empty. I have spoken. And I will do it. I am the Lord."
37 The LORD and King says, "Once again I will answer the prayers of the people of Israel. Here is what I will do for them. I will multiply them as if they were sheep.
38 Large flocks of animals are sacrificed at Jerusalem during the appointed feasts there. In the same way, the destroyed cities will 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.

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