Ezekiel 36

1 And you, mortal, prophesy to the mountains of Israel, and say: O mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord.
2 Thus says the Lord God: Because the enemy said of you, "Aha!" and, "The ancient heights have become our possession,"
3 therefore prophesy, and say: Thus says the Lord God: Because they made you desolate indeed, and crushed you from all sides, so that you became the possession of the rest of the nations, and you became an object of gossip and slander among the people;
4 therefore, O mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord God: Thus says the Lord God to the mountains and the hills, the watercourses and the valleys, the desolate wastes and the deserted towns, which have become a source of plunder and an object of derision to the rest of the nations all around;
5 therefore thus says the Lord God: I am speaking in my hot jealousy against the rest of the nations, and against all Edom, who, with wholehearted joy and utter contempt, took my land as their possession, because of its pasture, to plunder it.
6 Therefore prophesy concerning the land of Israel, and say to the mountains and hills, to the watercourses and valleys, Thus says the Lord God: I am speaking in my jealous wrath, because you have suffered the insults of the nations;
7 therefore thus says the Lord God: I swear that the nations that are all around you shall themselves suffer insults.
8 But you, O mountains of Israel, shall shoot out your branches, and yield your fruit to my people Israel; for they shall soon come home.
9 See now, I am for you; I will turn to you, and you shall be tilled and sown;
10 and I will multiply your population, the whole house of Israel, all of it; the towns shall be inhabited and the waste places rebuilt;
11 and I will multiply human beings and animals upon you. They shall increase and be fruitful; and I will cause you to be inhabited as in your former times, and will do more good to you than ever before. Then you shall know that I am the Lord.
12 I will lead people upon you—my people Israel—and they shall possess you, and you shall be their inheritance. No longer shall you bereave them of children.
13 Thus says the Lord God: Because they say to you, "You devour people, and you bereave your nation of children,"
14 therefore you shall no longer devour people and no longer bereave your nation of children, says the Lord God;
15 and no longer will I let you hear the insults of the nations, no longer shall you bear the disgrace of the peoples; and no longer shall you cause your nation to stumble, says the Lord God.
16 The word of the Lord came to me:
17 Mortal, when the house of Israel lived on their own soil, they defiled it with their ways and their deeds; their conduct in my sight was like the uncleanness of a woman in her menstrual period.
18 So I poured out my wrath upon them for the blood that they had shed upon the land, and 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 conduct and their deeds I judged them.
20 But when they came to the nations, wherever they came, they profaned my holy name, in that it was 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 I will sanctify my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, and which you have profaned among them; and the nations shall know that I am the Lord, says the Lord God, when through you I display my holiness before their eyes.
24 I will take you from the nations, and gather you from all the countries, and bring you into your own land.
25 I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you.
26 A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will remove from your body the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.
27 I will put my spirit within you, and make you follow my statutes and be careful to observe my ordinances.
28 Then you shall live in the land that I gave to your ancestors; and you shall be my people, and I will be your God.
29 I will save you from all your uncleannesses, and I will summon the grain and make it abundant and lay no famine upon you.
30 I will make the fruit of the tree and the produce of the field abundant, so that you may never again suffer the disgrace of famine among the nations.
31 Then you shall remember your evil ways, and your dealings that were not good; and you shall loathe yourselves for your iniquities and your abominable deeds.
32 It is not for your sake that I will act, says the Lord God; let that be known to you. Be ashamed and dismayed for your ways, O house of Israel.
33 Thus says the Lord God: On the day that I cleanse you from all your iniquities, I will cause the towns to be inhabited, and the waste places shall be rebuilt.
34 The land that was desolate shall be tilled, instead of being the desolation that it was in the sight of all who passed by.
35 And they will say, "This land that was desolate has become like the garden of Eden; and the waste and desolate and ruined towns are now inhabited and fortified."
36 Then the nations that are left all around you shall know that I, the Lord, have rebuilt the ruined places, and replanted that which was desolate; I, the Lord, have spoken, and I will do it.
37 Thus says the Lord God: I will also let the house of Israel ask me to do this for them: to increase their population like a flock.
38 Like the flock for sacrifices, like the flock at Jerusalem during her appointed festivals, so shall the ruined towns be filled with flocks of people. Then they shall 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]. Heb [flock of holy things]

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