Ezekiel 36: Crisis & Consequence,
Hope & Restoration
Comment : The land has been taken. Whether the ‘mountains'
refer to Jerusalem [sometimes referred to as on seven hills situated
at an altitude of over 2000 feet] or generally the various well-known
mountains of Israel in both the north, central and southern areas,
is not clear. Nevertheless, the crisis for the Land is that it
has been taken by Nebuchadnezzar. Note the number of times the
word ‘because' is used denoting consequences or responses of the
Lord to what others have been saying and doing – He will deal
with their enemies! In conclusion, the Lord declares He will be
purging and cleansing Israel through exile so when He eventually
brings them back to their land, they will be a holy people. It
is a powerful chapter.]
The enemy boasts he has taken the mountains [see above] of the
of man, prophesy to the mountains of Israel and say, “Mountains
of Israel, hear the word of the Lord.
is what the Sovereign Lord says: the enemy said of you, ‘Aha!
The ancient heights have become our possession.'”
following prophecy has a number of ‘therefore' declarations in
it, consequences or responses of the Lord because of the enemy's
The Lord speaks to the mountains and the whole land, He has spoken
on their behalf
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,
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 –
is what the Sovereign Lord says: in my burning zeal I have
spoken against the rest of the nations, and against Edom, for
with glee and with malice in their hearts they made my land their
own possession so that they might plunder its pasture-land.”
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.
yet again the fivefold emphasis in this section that this is God
speaking. The land may have been subjugated and ruined and ridiculed
by the enemy but He now speaks against all their enemies.]
Yes, I will plunder them as they have plundered you – and then
Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord
says: I swear with uplifted hand that the nations around you
will also suffer scorn.
you, mountains of Israel, will produce branches and fruit for
my people Israel, for they will soon come home.
am concerned for you and will look on you with favour; you will
be ploughed and sown,
I will cause many people to live on you – yes, all of Israel.
The towns will be inhabited and the ruins rebuilt.
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.
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.
nations will suffer at the Lord's hand for their actions and attitudes
against Israel and then the Lord will bless His land and the people
will return [implied], towns will be rebuilt and they will flourish.]
In their idolatry [implied] they took lives, but no more as they
will be restored
is what the Sovereign Lord says: because some say to you,
‘You devour people and deprive your nation of its children,'
therefore you will no longer devour people or
make your nation childless, declares the Sovereign Lord.
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.”'
fact was that through idolatry they opened themselves up in the
past to disciplinary destruction by enemies but after the exile
[implied] this will happen no more.]
Their past behaviour had brought cleansing judgment
Again the word
of the Lord came to me:
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.
I poured out my wrath on them because they had shed blood in the
land and because they had defiled it with their idols.
dispersed them among the nations, and they were scattered through
the countries; I judged them according to their conduct and their
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.”
had concern for my holy name, which the people of Israel profaned
among the nations where they had gone.
the same theme, their sins in the land had incurred the Lord's
anger again and again and even when they were deported they took
their idolatry with them, these people who were supposed to be
holy and a light to other nations.]
So, for the sake of His name He will act against these enemy nations
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.
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.
this present cleansing-by-exile will be to change their hearts
[implied] and when that happens, the rest of the world will see
The Lord lists off ten things He will do to restore His people
I will [i] take
you out of the nations; I will [ii] gather
you from all the countries and bring you back into your own land.
will [iii] sprinkle
clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will [iv]
cleanse you from all your impurities
and from all your idols.
will [v] give
you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will [vi]
remove from you your heart of stone
and give you a heart of flesh.
I will [vii] put
my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful
to keep my laws.
you will live in the land I gave your ancestors; you will be my
people, and I will be your God.
will [viii] save
you from all your uncleanness. I will [ix] call
for the corn and make it plentiful and will not bring famine upon
will [x] 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.
purpose of the exile is made very clear – to change the hearts
of His people and transform them so that when they eventually
return they really will be a holy people. See Ezra and Nehemiah
for the changes in this people.]
A time will come when they look back to now with horror
you will remember your evil ways and wicked deeds, and you will
loathe yourselves for your sins and detestable practices.
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!
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
desolate land will be cultivated instead of lying desolate in
the sight of all who pass through it.
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.'
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.”
the Lord has completed His work of transformation with His people
in exile, when they return they will look on these days with shame,
realising how terrible they had been. Read Daniel's prayers in
Dan 9:3-19 and see his understanding of this.]
Again a concluding declaration of restoration
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,
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.'
Lord concludes that He WILL bring this restoration He has been
to Chapter 37