Ezekiel 11:13-25

 

 

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Ezekiel 11:13 Now it came about as I prophesied, that Pelatiah son of Benaiah died. Then I fell on my face and cried out with a loud voice and said, "Alas, Lord GOD! Will You bring the remnant of Israel to a complete end?  (NASB: Lockman)

Amplified:  And you shall know (understand and realize) that I am the Lord; for you have not walked in My statutes nor executed My ordinances, but have acted according to the ordinances of the nations around you.  (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
Young's Literal
: And it cometh to pass, at my prophesying, that Pelatiah son of Benaiah is dying, and I fall on my face, and cry--a loud voice--and say, `Ah, Lord Jehovah, an end Thou art making of the remnant of Israel.'

NOW IT CAME ABOUT AS I PROPHESIED, THAT PELATIAH SON OF BENAIAH DIED: (Ezek 11:1; 37:7; Nu14:35, 36, 37; Dt 7:4; 1Ki13:4; Pr6:15; Jer 28:15, 16, 17; Hos6:5; Ac 5:5,10; 13:11)

Pelatiah...died - This gave clear confirmation to Ezekiel that his message was true in addition to foreshadowing ("Pelatiah Preview" of coming attractions) the certain judgment that would soon destroy all the other evil leaders in Jerusalem. There is a ironic play on words for Pelatiah's name means "deliverance of the LORD", "the LORD has set free", "Yahweh delivers" or "Yah (God) has rescued"! Far from "living up to his good name"

Pelatiah became a symbol of those who had planned evil and gave wicked advice in Jerusalem as well as continually committing murder even filling the streets of Jerusalem with their victims. (Ezek11:2 11:6) Only one "good name" every delivered anyone...for

"there is salvation (rescue from peril) in no one else; for there is no other Name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved (delivered)." (Acts 4:12)

THEN I FELL ON MY FACE AND CRIED OUT WITH A LOUD VOICE AND SAID, "ALAS, LORD GOD! WILL YOU BRING THE REMNANT OF ISRAEL TO A COMPLETE END: (Dt9:18,19; Josh 7:6, 7, 8, 9; 1Chr21:16,17; Ps106:23; 119:120) (Ezek9:8; Am7:2,5)

The remnant (click here for more detailed discussion of this important term) - The death of this leader was a sign that God would indeed carry out His judgment on all of Jerusalem just as He had prophesied. Upon seeing this vision, Ezekiel once again expressed his fear that this death implied death for all Israelites. His reaction was similar in the previous chapter upon hearing of the striking of everyone in the city who did not have the "protective" mark --

"Then it came about as they were striking and I alone was left, that I fell on my face and cried out saying, “Alas, Lord God! Art Thou destroying the whole remnant of Israel by pouring out Thy wrath on Jerusalem?” (Ezek 9:8)

Keep in mind that the exiles were a "physical remnant" but this does not necessarily indicate that they were a "spiritual remnant" reckoned righteous by faith.

 

Ezekiel 11:14 Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying,  (NASB: Lockman)
Amplified:  And the word of the Lord came to me, saying,  (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
Young's Literal: And there is a word of Jehovah unto me, saying,
THEN THE WORD OF THE LORD CAME TO ME, SAYING: (Ex 27:1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7; 40:29; 2Ch4:1)

In answer to Ezekiel's query, the Lord gives him a comforting assurance that He will preserve a remnant among the exiles, and restore His people (Ezek 11:14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21), which represents the first promise in Ezekiel of future restoration.

 

Ezekiel 11:15 "Son of man, your brothers, your relatives, your fellow exiles and the whole house of Israel, all of them, are those to whom the inhabitants of Jerusalem have said, 'Go far from the LORD; this land has been given us as a possession.'  (NASB: Lockman)

Amplified:  Son of man, your brethren, even your kindred, your fellow exiles, and all the house of Israel, all of them, are they of whom the [present] inhabitants of Jerusalem have said, They have gone far from the Lord [and from this land]; therefore this land is given to us for a possession.  (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
ICB: "Human being, the people still in Jerusalem have spoken about your relatives. And they have spoken about all the people of Israel who are captives with you. The people still in Jerusalem have said, 'They are far from the Lord. This land was given to us as our property.'
NIV:  Son of man, your brothers-- your brothers who are your blood relatives and the whole house of Israel-- are those of whom the people of Jerusalem have said, 'They are far away from the LORD; this land was given to us as our possession.'
Young's Literal: Son of man, thy brethren, thy brethren, men of thy kindred, and all the house of Israel--all of it, are they to whom inhabitants of Jerusalem have said, Keep far off from Jehovah;

SON OF MAN, YOUR BROTHERS, YOUR RELATIVES, YOUR FELLOW EXILES AND THE WHOLE HOUSE OF ISRAEL, ALL OF THEM: (Jer 24:1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

"Son of man, thy brethren, and the men of thy captivity" (LXX)

MacArthur notes that

Ezekiel was told he had a new family, not the priests at Jerusalem to whom he was tied by blood, but his fellow exiles in Babylon, identified as those who were treated as outcasts. The priesthood was about to be ended and he was to have a new family.

ARE THOSE TO WHOM THE INHABITANTS OF JERUSALEM HAVE SAID, 'GO FAR FROM THE LORD; THIS LAND HAS BEEN GIVEN US AS A POSSESSION: (Ezek 33:24)(Isa 65:5; 66:5; Jn 16:2)

Go far from the LORD - translated in (NLT) "'They (the exiles) are far away from the LORD, so now He has given their land to us!" The sense is that since the exiles are out of the land, those left in now possessed it because the LORD had given to them!  

The sneer of those in Jerusalem (against the exiles of Judah and the descendants of the northern tribes that were exiled by Samaria in 722 B.C.) reflected their belief that God's power was limited to His land. The next verse contradicts that false idea.

MacArthur comments that

The contemptuous words of those still left in Jerusalem at the carrying away of Jeconiah and the exiles indicated that they felt smugly secure and believed the land was their possession.

The Jews in Jerusalem spoke these words almost as a taunt to those who were already in exile and implied that "We are here because the Lord is with us, but you in exile are far from Him. " Those who had not been removed in the first 2 Babylonian invasions brashly assumed that their right to the land was absolute, given to them as their possession. In one sense they were correct -- God had given Israel the land, but He had also decreed that He would remove them from it for disobedience (cf. Deut. 28:36, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68).

God had already promised Ezekiel "

I shall leave a remnant, for you will have those who escaped the sword among the nations when you are scattered among the countries. Then those of you who escape will remember Me among the nations to which they will be carried captive, how I have been hurt by their adulterous hearts which turned away from Me, and by their eyes, which played the harlot after their idols; and they will loathe themselves in their own sight for the evils which they have committed, for all their abominations."  (Ezek 6:8-9).

These smug, self assured, self-righteous leaders of Jerusalem however would not be part of the remnant.

 

Ezekiel 11:16 "Therefore say, 'Thus says the Lord GOD, "Though I had removed them far away among the nations and though I had scattered them among the countries, yet I was a sanctuary for them a little while in the countries where * they had gone  (NASB: Lockman)

Amplified:  Therefore say, Thus says the Lord God: Whereas I have removed [Israel] far off among the nations, and whereas I have scattered them among the countries, yet I have been to them a sanctuary for a little while in the countries to which they have come.  (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
BBE:  For this reason say, This is what the Lord has said: Though I have had them moved far off among the nations, and though I have sent them wandering among the countries, still I have been a safe place for them for a little time in the countries where they have come.
Young's Literal: it is ours, the land hath been given for an inheritance; therefore say: Thus said the Lord Jehovah: Because I put them afar off among nations, And because I scattered them through lands, I also am to them for a little sanctuary, In lands whither they have gone in.

THEREFORE SAY, 'THUS SAYS THE LORD GOD THOUGH I HAD REMOVED THEM FAR AWAY AMONG THE NATIONS AND THOUGH I HAD SCATTERED THEM AMONG THE COUNTRIES: (Jer 24:5,6)

Although the exiles had been driven from Jerusalem and its sanctuary (the symbol of God's presence among his people), God himself became their sanctuary, Ezekiel learned that the presence of Yahweh makes the building a "sanctuary," but the "sanctuary," or building, does not insure His presence.

Note that "among the nations" and "among the countries" does not restrict this to the exiles in the country of Babylon but implies another fulfillment at the scattering (or dispersion) of the Jews after the destruction of Herod's Temple in 70AD. And so a literal, albeit partial, fulfillment of this prophecy came in the restoration of the temple under the leadership of Zerubbabel, Ezra, and Nehemiah. Christ Himself is the ultimate fulfillment of this prophecy for He became the "sanctuary" of Israel.

I had removed them - Although God used King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon to remove them to exile (cf 2Ki 24:12, 13, 14, 15, 16), Nebuchadnezzar was only a vessel in the hands of the sovereign Lord, Whose will will be accomplished. The psalmist Korah recognized God's hand declaring that "Thou dost give us as sheep to be eaten, and hast scattered us among the nations." (Ps 44:11) which was a fulfillment of the prophecy in Leviticus where God says "'You, however, I will scatter among the nations and will draw out a sword after you, as your land becomes desolate and your cities become waste.

In Leviticus God gives this assurance to the remnant, declaring that the land of Israel

shall be abandoned by them (the Jews), and shall make up for its Sabbaths while it is made desolate without them (while they are in 70 years of exile in Babylon). They, meanwhile, shall be making amends for their iniquity, because they rejected My ordinances and their soul abhorred My statutes. 'Yet in spite of this, when they are in the land of their enemies (Babylon), I will not reject them, nor will I so abhor them as to destroy them, breaking My covenant with them; for I am the LORD their God. 'But I will remember for them the covenant with their ancestors (specifically the unconditional covenant with Abraham, Isaac & Jacob), whom I brought out of the land of Egypt in the sight of the nations, that I might be their God. I am the LORD." (Lev26:44, 45)

Scattered them among the countries - In a parallel passage God speaking through Moses to Israel says

You, however, I will scatter among the nations and will draw out a sword after you, as your land becomes desolate and your cities become waste. Then the land will enjoy its sabbaths all the days of the desolation, while you are in your enemies' land; then the land will rest and enjoy its sabbaths. All the days of its desolation (70 years of exile in Babylon) it will observe the rest which it did not observe on your sabbaths, while you were living on it." (Lev 26:33, 34, 35)

The nations to which the Jews were scattered would also be recompensed for their mistreatment of the Jews, Jeremiah recording God's declaration that

"I am with you,' declares the LORD, 'to save you; for I will destroy completely all the nations where I have scattered you, only I will not destroy you completely (alluding to the remnant of believing Jews who would be preserved) but I will chasten you justly, and will by no means leave you unpunished." (Jer 30:11)

YET I WAS A SANCTUARY FOR THEM A LITTLE WHILE IN THE COUNTRIES WHERE THEY HAD GONE: (Ps 90:1, 91:1,9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16; Is 4:5; 8:14; Jer 42:11)

still I have been a safe place for them for a little time in the countries where they have come" (BBE)

Sanctuary (holy place) (miqdash = Click here for 29 of the 76 OT uses in Ezekiel) which is derived from qadash the verb which means to set apart for a specific use, to consecrate, separate or set apart from all common or secular purposes to some religious use.

Earlier through Ezekiel God had said to Israel

"you have defiled My sanctuary with all your detestable idols and with all your abominations..." (Eze 5:11)

God asked Ezekiel

"Son of man, do you see what they are doing, the great abominations which the house of Israel are committing here, so that I would be far from My sanctuary? But yet you will see still greater abominations." (Eze 8:6)

In chapter 9 God instructed the destroyers to

"Utterly slay old men, young men, maidens, little children, and women, but do not touch any man on whom is the mark; and you shall start from My sanctuary ." So they started with the elders who were before the temple." (Eze 9:6)

Miqdash is first used by Moses to predict that God would dwell in the midst of Israel, Moses recording that God "wilt bring them and plant them in the mountain of Thine inheritance, the place, O LORD, which Thou hast made for Thy dwelling, the sanctuary, O Lord, which Thy hands have established." (Ex 15:17) and in Exodus instructing Israel to "construct a sanctuary for Me, that I may dwell (shakan = to settle down & from which is derived the rabbinic word "Shekinah") among them." (Ex 25:8)

God instructed Israel "You shall keep My sabbaths and revere My sanctuary; I am the LORD" (Lev 19:30) a command  which those remaining in Jerusalem had clearly violated as we saw for example in Ezekiel 8.

Later speaking of Israel's future restoration God says that

I will make a covenant of peace with them; it will be an everlasting covenant with them. And I will place them and multiply them, and will set My sanctuary in their midst forever." (Eze 37:26)

And the nations will know that I am the LORD who sanctifies Israel, when My sanctuary is in their midst forever"' (Eze 37:28)

Here, despite all of Israel's apostasies God says that He would continue to be a "sanctuary" for them. In context He would be their sanctuary, their protection and their provision for 70 years until they were restored. But there is an additional aspect to the fulfillment of this promise for in Isaiah God says

It is the LORD of hosts whom you should regard as holy. And He shall be your fear, and He shall be your dread. Then (when? go back and read the "conditions") He shall become a sanctuary; but to both the houses of Israel, a stone to strike and a rock to stumble over, and a snare and a trap for the inhabitants of Jerusalem." (Is 8:13, 14)

Jehovah will be either your Sanctuary or your Stone of stumbling...a Sanctuary to all who rely on Him, but a Stone of stumbling to deny Him. The Lord Jesus and His gracious provision of salvation are a wonderful Sanctuary for those who truly fear the Lord, but such concepts are offensive to those who do not believe.

Webster defines a sanctuary as a place of refuge and protection from danger. Ponder the synonym for sanctuary including asylum, cover, covert, harbor, harborage, haven, port, protection, refuge, retreat, shelter.  In the context of Scripture, a "sanctuary" is a holy place set apart for worship of God.

Parallel Scriptures teach us that although God Himself was available as Israel's sanctuary, He would not force His holy presence on anyone. David (who knew about the need for a sanctuary when running for his life from King Saul) wrote

"How great is Thy goodness, which Thou hast stored up for those who fear Thee, which Thou hast wrought for those who take refuge in Thee, before the sons of men! Thou dost hide them in the secret place of Thy presence from the conspiracies of man. Thou dost keep them secretly in a shelter from the strife of tongues." (Ps 31:20)

Notice who God would be a sanctuary for...to those who chose to take refuge in Him. The psalmist adds that

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. (Ps91:1)

Spurgeon commenting on Psalm 91:1 adds that

The blessings here promised are not for all believers, but for those who live in close fellowship with God. Every child of God looks towards the inner sanctuary and the mercy-seat, yet all do not dwell in the most holy place; they run to it at times, and enjoy occasional approaches, but they do not habitually reside in the mysterious presence. Those who through rich grace obtain unusual and continuous communion with God, so as to abide in Christ and Christ in them, become possessors of rare and special benefits, which are missed by those who follow afar off, and grieve the Holy Spirit of God. Into the secret place those only come who know the love of God in Christ Jesus, and those only dwell there to whom to live is Christ. To them the veil is rent, and the awful glory of the Most High is apparent: these, like Simeon, have the Holy Spirit upon them, and like Anna they depart not from the temple; of them it is truly said that their conversation is in heaven. Special grace like theirs brings with it special immunity. Outer court worshipers little know what belongs to the inner sanctuary, or surely they would press on until the place of nearness and divine familiarity became theirs. Those who are the Lord’s constant guests will find that he will never let any be injured within his gates."

Again one sees the important element of personal choice. In a parallel passage, Solomon reminds us that

The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous runs into it and is safe. (Pr 18:10) (Click for study on Names of God)

Jesus, before Thy face we fall—
Our Lord, our life, our hope, our all!
For we have nowhere else to flee—
No sanctuary, Lord, but Thee!
—Samuel Medley

Where is His "sanctuary" today? Paul writing to the Corinthians who were surrounded by pagan sanctuaries says

Do you not know that you are a temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?" (1Cor3:16)

And again he writes

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body." (1Cor 6:19, 20)

The sanctuary was to be a place set aside for devotion. Are you defiling the sanctuary like the Jews did? Are you guarding the entrance to the sanctuary so that nothing unholy enters? Are you taking time to enjoy the sanctuary as a place of devotion and worship?


C H Spurgeon in Faith's Checkbook - God is a Sanctuary

BANISHED from the public means of grace, we are not removed from the grace of the means. The Lord who places His people where they feel as exiles will Himself be with them, and be to them all that they could have had at home, in the place of their solemn assemblies. Take this to yourselves, O ye who are called to wander! God is to His people a place of refuge. They find sanctuary with Him from every adversary. He is their place of worship too. He is with them as with Jacob when he slept in the open field, and rising, said, “Surely God was in this place.” To them also He will be a sanctuary of quiet, like the Holy of Holies, which was the noiseless abode of the Eternal. They shall be quiet from fear of evil. God Himself, in Christ Jesus, is the sanctuary of mercy. The ark of the covenant is the Lord Jesus, and Aaron’s rod, the pot of manna, the tables of the law, all are in Christ our sanctuary. In God we find the shrine of holiness and of communion. What more do we need? O Lord, fulfill this promise and be ever to us as a little sanctuary!

In the New Jerusalem there will be no sanctuary,

for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple” (Rev 21:22)

Where all is made sacred, consecrated, and holy by God’s presence, there is no need for one specific holy place. This blessed truth should stimulate a "Hallelujah" from all of God's saints for with David we can truly say

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord my whole life long” (Ps 23:6 NRSV).
 

GOD HIMSELF IS WITH US
Click to play hymn

God Himself is with us: Let us now adore Him,
And with awe appear before Him.
God is in His temple, all within keep silence,
Prostrate lie with deepest reverence.
Him alone God we own, Him our God and Savior;
Praise His Name forever.

God Himself is with us: Hear the harps resounding!
See the crowds the throne surrounding!
“Holy, holy, holy,” hear the hymn ascending,
Angels, saints, their voices blending!
Bow Thine ear to us here: Hear, O Christ, the praises
That Thy church now raises.

O Thou fount of blessing, purify my spirit;
Trusting only in Thy merit,
Like the holy angels who behold Thy glory,
May I ceaselessly adore Thee,
And in all, great and small, seek to do most nearly
What Thou lovest dearly.
                                                 ---Gerhard Tersteegen

 

Ezekiel 11:17 "Therefore say, 'Thus says the Lord GOD, "I will gather you from the peoples and assemble you out of the countries among which you have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel  (NASB: Lockman)

Amplified:  Therefore say, Thus says the Lord God: I will gather you from the peoples and assemble you out of the countries where you have been scattered, and I will give back to you the land of Israel.  (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
Young's Literal: Therefore say: Thus said the Lord Jehovah: And I have assembled you from the peoples, And I have gathered you from the lands, Into which ye have been scattered, And I have given to you the ground of Israel.

THEREFORE SAY, THUS SAYS THE LORD GOD, "I WILL GATHER YOU FROM THE PEOPLES AND ASSEMBLE YOU OUT OF THE COUNTRIES AMONG WHICH YOU HAVE BEEN SCATTERED, AND I WILL GIVE YOU THE LAND OF ISRAEL: (Ezek 28:25; 34:13; 36:24; 37:21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28; 39:27-29; Is 11:11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16; Jer3:12,18; Jer24:5; 30:10,11,18; 31:8, 9, 10; 32:37, 38, 39, 40, 41; Ho 1:10,11; Am 9:14,15)

This is the first mention of a future restoration in Ezekiel. The prophets held out restoration as a continual hope to the righteous. On the basis of the Mosaic covenant, judgment was all the prophets could offer Judah for her sins. The promise of restoration to the land, though declared in the blessings of the Mosaic covenant (Lev 26:40, 42, 43, 44, 45; Dt 30:1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10), was based on the eternal covenants to Abraham (Ge 12:1, 2, 3), David (2Sa 7:12, 13, 14, 15, 16), and Jeremiah (Jer 31:31, 32, 33, 34).

Even in wrath, God remembers mercy, promising the ultimate restoration of His chosen people to their promised land. The restoration will be physical (the land) and it will also be spiritual (the heart). The purging of sin results in a new "heart" (leb), referring to the "will" or "seat of volitional choice" (cf. Ezek 36:22-38). This prophecy has an initial fulfillment in Jewish believers (the spiritual remnant of Israel) in this present age but complete fulfillment awaits the millennial kingdom in the age of the Messiah when Israel will be restored physically and spiritually.

I will gather you - God gave Israel the following promise even before they entered the land declaring

"So it shall be when all of these things have come upon you, the blessing and the curse which I have set before you (for context read Dt26-29), and you call them to mind in all nations (so here the prophecy is not just to Babylonian exile but even alludes to the dispersion after the destruction of the Temple in 70AD) where the LORD your God has banished you , and you return to the LORD your God and obey Him with all your heart and soul according to all that I command you today, you and your sons, then the LORD your God will restore you from captivity, and have compassion on you, and will gather you again from all the peoples where the LORD your God has scattered you. "If your outcasts are at the ends of the earth, from there the LORD your God will gather you, and from there He will bring you back. (don't miss the reiteration of God's promise to Israel - it has yet to be fulfilled) "And the LORD your God will bring you into the land which your fathers possessed, and you shall possess it; and He will prosper you and multiply you more than your fathers." (Dt 30:1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

Jeremiah records this promise

Hear the word of the LORD, O nations, and declare in the coastlands afar off, and say, "He who scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him as a shepherd keeps his flock. (Jer 31:10)

 

Ezekiel 11:18 "When they come there, they will remove all its detestable things and all its abominations from it.   (NASB: Lockman)

Amplified: Therefore say, Thus says the Lord God: I will gather you from the peoples and assemble you out of the countries where you have been scattered, and I will give back to you the land of Israel.  (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
Young's Literal: And they have gone in thither. And turned aside all its detestable things, And all its abominations--out of it.

WHEN THEY COME THERE, THEY WILL REMOVE ALL ITS DETESTABLE THINGS AND ALL ITS ABOMINATIONS FROM IT: (Ezek 11:21; 5:11; 7:20; 37:23; 42:7,8; Is 1:25, 26, 27; 30:22; Jer16:18; Ho14:8; Micah 5:10-14; Col 3:5, 6, 7, 8; Titus 2:12)

Detestable things...abominations - Idols and all artifacts of idolatry.

 

Ezekiel 11:19 "And I will give them one heart, and put a new spirit within them. And I will take the heart of stone out of their flesh and give them a heart of flesh  (NASB: Lockman)

Amplified: And I will give them one heart [a new heart] and I will put a new spirit within them; and I will take the stony [unnaturally hardened] heart out of their flesh, and will give them a heart of flesh [sensitive and responsive to the touch of their God],(1)   (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
Young's Literal: And I have given to them one heart, And a new spirit I do give in your midst, And I have turned the heart of stone out of their flesh, And I have given to them a heart of flesh.

AND I WILL GIVE THEM ONE HEART: (Ezek 36:26,27; Dt 30:6; 2Ch 30:12; Jer 24:7; 32:39,40; Zeph3:9; Jn 7:21, 22, 23; Acts 4:32; 1Co1:10; Ep 4:3, 4, 5, 6; Php 2:1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

I shall give them a single heart  (NJB)

AND PUT A NEW SPIRIT WITHIN THEM: (Ezek 18:31; 2Ki22:19; Ps51:10; Jer31:33; Lk11:13; Jn14:26; Ro 11:2; 2Co5:17; Gal 6:15; Ep 4:23)

This gracious promise, to be fulfilled in the last days, repeats, in effect, the prophecy of the "new covenant" promised through Jeremiah (Jer 31:31, 32, 33, 34 = The principal OT passage on the new covenant (cf. Isa. 59:20, 21; Jer 32:37, 38, 39, 40; Ezek 16:60, 61, 62, 63; 37:21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28) and the only mention of a "new covenant" in the OT. It will be made in the future with the whole nation of Israel (v. 31); it will be unlike the Mosaic covenant in that it will be unconditional. Its provisions include (1) a change of heart, (2) fellowship with God, (3) knowledge of the Lord, and (4) forgiveness of sins. All of this will be fulfilled for Israel when the Lord returns (Ro 11:26, 27-note). 

This new covenant ("New Testament") applies to all twelve tribes (Israel plus Judah) as God's elect nation. In addition, the Lord Jesus Christ established it by "my blood of the New Testament, which is shed for the remission of sins" (Mt 26:28), as efficacious for Gentiles as well as the children of Israel.

"The bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world...Whoso eats my flesh, and drinks my blood, hath eternal life...the flesh profits nothing: the words that I speak unto you are spirit, and life" (John 6:51,54,63).

The new covenant is elaborated in detail in Hebrews 8-12, referring especially to Jeremiah 31:31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40. This covenant is called the "everlasting covenant" in Hebrews 13:20.

AND I WILL TAKE THE HEART OF STONE OUT OF THEIR FLESH AND GIVE THEM A HEART OF FLESH: (Ezek 36:26,27; Is 48:4; Zec 7:12; Ro2:4,5)

I shall remove the heart of stone from their bodies and give them a heart of flesh" (NJB)

This marvelous feature of the new covenant, with God's law written "not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart" (2Co 3:3), has specific application to Israel, but also applies to all believers. Note its quotation and application in Heb 8:10, 11, 12, 13  and Heb 10:15, 16, 17, the promises therein clearly applying to all believers in Christ.

 

Ezekiel 11:20 that they may walk in My statutes and keep My ordinances and do them. Then they will be My people, and I shall be their God  (NASB: Lockman)

Amplified:  That they may walk in My statutes and keep My ordinances, and do them. And they shall be My people, and I will be their God.  (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
Young's Literal: So that in My statutes they walk, And My judgments they keep, and have done them, And they have been to me for a people, And I am to them for God.

THAT THEY MAY WALK IN MY STATUTES AND KEEP MY ORDINANCES AND DO THEM; (Ezek 11:12; Ps 105:45; 119:4,5,32; Lk 1:6,74,75; Ro16:26; 1 Cor11:2; Titus2:11,12)

so that they can keep my laws and respect my judgments and put them into practice. Then they will be my people and I shall be their God (NJB)

The results of the new ”heart“ (a heart of flesh instead of a heart of stone) for Israel will be new actions and a new relationship (cp 2Cor 5:17). In their actions the people of Israel will be obedient. Their new internal condition will produce righteous actions and in the next section it will result in a new relationship with God:

THEN THEY WILL BE MY PEOPLE, AND I SHALL BE THEIR GOD: (Ezek 14:11; 36:28; 37:27; Je11:4; 24:7; 30:22; 31:33; 32:38; Ho2:23; Zec13:9; Heb 8:10; 11:16)

The oneness and intimacy of covenant.

 

Ezekiel 11:21 "But as for those whose hearts go after their detestable things and abominations, I will bring their conduct down on their heads," declares the Lord GOD.  (NASB: Lockman)

Amplified:  But as for those whose heart yearns for and goes after their detestable things and their loathsome abominations [associated with idolatry], I will repay their deeds upon their own heads, says the Lord God.  (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
Young's Literal: As to those whose heart is going unto the heart Of their detestable and their abominable things, Their way on their head I have put, An affirmation of the Lord Jehovah.'

BUT AS FOR THOSE WHOSE HEARTS GO AFTER THEIR DETESTABLE THINGS AND ABOMINATIONS: (Eccl 11:9; Jer17:9; Mk7:21, 22, 23; Heb 3:12,13; 10:38; Jas1:14,15; Jude 19) (Ezek 11:18; Jer 1:16; 2:20)

I WILL BRING THEIR CONDUCT DOWN ON THEIR HEADS," DECLARES THE LORD GOD: (Ezek 11:9:10; 20:31,38; 22:31; Jer 29:16, 17, 18 19)

 

Ezekiel 11:22 Then the cherubim lifted up their wings with the wheels beside them, and the glory of the God of Israel hovered * over them.  (NASB: Lockman)

Amplified: Then the cherubim lifted up their wings with the wheels which were beside them, and the glory of the God of Israel [the Shekinah, cloud] was over them.  (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
Young's Literal: And the cherubs lift up their wings, and the wheels are over-against them, and the honour of the God of Israel is over them above.

THEN THE CHERUBIM LIFTED UP THEIR WINGS WITH THE WHEELS BESIDE THEM, AND THE GLORY OF THE GOD OF ISRAEL HOVERED * OVER THEM: (Ezek 1:19,20; 10:19)

 

Ezekiel 11:23 The glory of the LORD went up from the midst of the city and stood over the mountain which is east of the city.  (NASB: Lockman)

Amplified: Then the glory of the Lord rose up from over the midst of the city and stood over the mountain which is on the east side of the city.  (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
Young's Literal: And the honour of Jehovah goeth up from off the midst of the city, and standeth on the mountain, that is on the east of the city.

THE GLORY OF THE LORD WENT UP FROM THE MIDST OF THE CITY AND STOOD OVER THE MOUNTAIN WHICH IS EAST OF THE CITY: (Ezek 8:4; 9:3; 10:4,18; 43:4; Zech 14:4; Mt23:37, 38, 39; 24:1,2) (Ezek 43:2)

This is the last mention of the glory until we come to Ezek 43:2, 4, 5.

 

Ezekiel 11:24 And the Spirit lifted me up and brought me in a vision by the Spirit of God to the exiles in Chaldea. So the vision that I had seen left me  (NASB: Lockman)

Amplified:  And the Spirit lifted me up and brought me in a vision by the Spirit of God into Chaldea, to the exiles. Then the vision that I had seen went up from me.  (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
Young's Literal: And a spirit hath lifted me up, and bringeth me in to Chaldea, unto the Removed, in a vision, by the Spirit of God, and go up from off me doth the vision that I have seen;

AND THE SPIRIT LIFTED ME UP AND BROUGHT ME IN A VISION BY THE SPIRIT OF GOD TO THE EXILES IN CHALDEA: (Ezek 11:1; 8:3; 2Ki 2:16; 2Co12:3) (Ezek 1:3; 3:12,15; Ps 137:1)

SO THE VISION THAT I HAD SEEN LEFT ME: (Ge 17:22; 35:13; Ac 10:16)

 

Ezekiel 11:25 Then I told the exiles all the things that the LORD had shown me  (NASB: Lockman)

Amplified:  And I told the exiles everything that the Lord had shown me.  (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
Young's Literal: and I speak unto the Removed all the matters of Jehovah that He hath shewed me.

THEN I TOLD THE EXILES ALL THE THINGS THAT THE LORD HAD SHOWN ME: (Ezek 2:7; 3:4,17,27)

Put yourself for just a moment in that audience of exiles. What would they have been thinking? Remember the final destruction of the Temple and Jerusalem has not yet occurred. Clearly Ezekiel brought bad news but he also brought good news (look back over chapter 11 to see the points of "good news"). One wonders whether Ezekiel's "sermon" yielded any "spiritual fruit"?

 


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Last Updated July, 2013

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