- Chapter 35
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Chapter 36:1 - 38
verse 1 God tells Ezekiel "to prophesy to the mountains of
Israel." Some Bible teachers
suggest that God is really talking to Israel
and not the mountains. They
say that the mountains symbolize that.
There may well be some validity to this thinking but I tend to
believe that God is at least prophesying about the
if not to the
verse 2 you see the words "Sovereign Lord," as you do all the
way through Ezekiel. This is
important to point out. God
is sovereign. He can, and He
will, do whatever He wants to do, and, when He says He will do
something, you can bet He will do it.
All the way through the book of Ezekiel the Sovereign Lord says
He will do certain things. Many
of these things He has done. The
rest, He will do. It is
important to understand the sovereignty of God, both on an individual
level and a national level.
2 also says, "aha, the ancient heights have become our
possession". It is
's enemies who have said this, and the word "aha' tells us that
they are gloating in the fact that they have conquered
Israel. This had come true when
Ezekiel prophesied this. It
came to pass in a final sense in 70 A. D..
We need to understand that 70 A.D. is an important date in
Israeli history, and so is 1948.
is about to pronounce judgment on the nations of the world in the
following verses. We know
when this judgment will take place.
In verses 3 and 5 we see the word "nations".
This is important. It
is these nations that will come under the judgment of God spoken of
here. In Ezekiel's day
was captured by just one nation, not many nations, and that was
Babylon. It wasn't until 70 A.D.
was attacked by
and disbursed into the "many nations" of the world, where they
were, until the 20th century.
we see in verses 3 and beyond is that the nations of the world will be
judged for their treatment of the
Israel, the land that belongs to God. God
calls the land His land in verse 5.
verse 5 we see the word "glee." This suggests that
when the nations of the world
did evil against the land, they gloated and rejoiced in the things they
did. This was clearly the
case in 70 A. D. when
Jerusalem. It was also the case in
135 A. D. when
again and renamed the
, a word associated with
's long time enemy, the Philistines.
note the words "my land' in verse 5.
We should understand that God gave a particular portion of land
, but in the long run, He calls the land "His land."
God calls the land
land throughout the Bible. So,
when any nation does anything to the
Israel, they do it to God. God
takes that very personally because that land belongs to Him.
verse 6 we see God's "jealous wrath"
against the nations of the world because the land
has "suffered the scorn" of the nations of the world.
Israel, more than any other land on earth has suffered scorn from other
nations of the world. This
will escalate and find its climax in the Great Tribulation at the end of
should know this fact. When
the Jews are not in their land the land suffers, as it did from 70 A. D.
until the Jews began to return to their land in the mid 1800's.
It was only then when the desert began to bloom, which is just a
down payment of what the future will be like.
need to know, that when it comes to
, that is, the land and the nation, God is very protective and actually
jealous, because the
belongs to Him, and Him alone. This is important in the world of
politics today, but few politicians recognize this fact.
In the long run, all the judgments that God pronounces and
carries out, especially those at the end of this age are for one reason,
that is, so the world will know that God is the only God.
We see this in this chapter of Ezekiel and all the way through
verse 7 we see God swearing with "uplifted hands."
This would be similar to us swearing on the Bible in a court of
law. It is symbolic of the
fact that what God is about to declare is based on truth and will come
about. What He declares in
verse 7 is that the surrounding nations of
will become like Israel
was. That is, they will
suffer scorn as the
had suffered scorn. We need
to note here the specific nations spoken of.
Verse 7 does not say "the nations of the world."
Verse 7 is directed specifically to those few nations that
immediately surround Israel. We see these nations
mentioned in Psalm 85 as nations that come against
and will thus be judged.
8 through 12 speak of the restoration of
. They speak in geographic
terms. On the mountains and
in the valleys people and flocks will increase and be prosperous.
Note in verse 11 the reason for this prosperity.
It is so that Israel
will know that God is the Lord. Again,
this is the fundamental reason for everything God does throughout human
in verse 8 that the restoration of the land
is in connection with the return of the Jews to their land.
After the majority of Jews were scattered from
and the surrounding area once known as
, the land became desolate. It
was basically a wasteland as the Bible predicted.
The Arabs and the Muslims were not able to regenerate the land.
The land did not begin to blossom until the Jews began to return
to their land in the mid 1800's, and, it was then, when you saw more
Arabs come to this land because of what the Jews had done.
In many instances the Arabs became employed by the Jews,
something modern day people seemed to ignore or have removed from their
memory and teaching.
again to whom these verses are spoken.
God is speaking to the earth, the land
Israel. In verse 9 God says that
He is concerned about the
of Israel, and you might say, "for good reason."
God is creator and He is concerned about all that He has created.
The land was meant for people to live on, cities to be built, and
vegetation to grow. The
prophet predicts the day when the land will be restored.
Again, history tells us that the
is only productive when the Jews are in their land.
verse 12 we see that the land
is the inheritance of the Jews. I
believe I can safely say that if God willed this portion of the earth to
the Jews, He will not change His mind.
12 specifically states that the Jews will once again possess the land
that was promised them. At
this present moment, they do not have all of the land that God promised
them in the Abrahamic Covenant.
order to understand verse 13 to the end of
this section I must remind
you that God is
specifically speaking to the
and not Israel
itself as a nation. God says
here that the nations have scorned the land of the Jews, and that has
been the case for centuries when the land was a wilderness.
That will no longer be the case.
is one of the world's leaders in the exporting of fruit.
verses 16 and 17 God reminds Israel
just why they were dispersed into the nations of the world and why the
land became desolate. God
also reminds them that it was He who did the dispersing.
He in fact was behind the Roman invasion of 70 A.D..
It was an act of judgment on Israel
for them not obeying their Lord. Verse
19 says, "I dispersed them among the nations."
Again, we see the word nations here, not the word nation.
This can only be speaking of 70 A. D..
No other date is possible.
think we can learn something here concerning God's judgment on a nation.
I realize that God is specifically speaking of
here but it is my opinion that as God judged
by making its land desolate, He can do the same to other nations of the
world, which I believe He has done and is probably doing at the present.
reason why God brought the land down was not because of anything wrong
the land did, but the wrong that Israel
had done. God, thus, causes
ecological disasters because of the ungodly conduct of the people in the
area where the disasters hit.
verse 19 we also see that because of the Jews
evil conduct He not only
caused their land to be desolate, He scattered them among the nations.
Note again that it is the nations and not the nation, as in the
or Rome. I believe this is a post
70 A. D event.
the word "country" in verse 19.
It is translated from the Hebrew word "Eretz," meaning
"land," and especially land that has been designated to a
people to live in. You might
say that Theodor Herzl popularized the phrase "eretz
Israel. He was born in 1860 and
died in 1904. His book
entitled "The Jewish State" is often noted to be the founding
document or tenants of the Zionist Movement.
In this books Herzl uses the term "eretz
Israel" a lot. It became a very important phrase in the 20th century
verse 20 we note that even in all other nations of the world, the Jews
still profaned the name of their God.
They did this by not living the way they were supposed to live.
In these other nations, they were not obeying their God, and for
the most part, they still aren't. Yes,
you can see synagogues in many nations of the world, but the worship
that takes place in these synagogues is adulterated.
It is not the worship that God demanded of
in the Old Testament or the New Testament.
21 inserts a very important point into this chapter.
God said that He was concerned about His holy name that the Jews
would profane while living in the nations of the world.
God being concerned about His name is the fundamental reason why
He restores Israel, and that we will see in the next few verses.
22 and 23 show us again the reason why God judged
Israel, and why He will judge the nations of the world.
It is for His name sake. It
is so all nations, including
will know that there is only one God, and it is Yahweh, the Lord God of Israel. When it comes right down
to the end, the battles and the suffering we see in the Great
Tribulation, they all have spiritual
significance, and at that time, I believe many people will see this to
be true, but will still fight against it.
God's people, whether the Jews or the church, do not represent Him as
they should; when they misrepresent Him by their conduct, it profanes
God's good name to the world. I
think that the church over the centuries has profaned the name of God
just as much as the Jews, and the church have suffered for it.
verse 24 we note that God is now speaking to the Jews and not their
24 is important. It is clear
and direct. God simply
states that the day will come when He will gather the Jews from the
nations of the world and bring them back into their own land.
This prophecy began to come to pass in the mid 1800's when Jews
began to migrate back to their land.
Even more so, when
became a nation in 1948, the fulfillment of this prophecy began to take
off. Prior to 1948, Israel
had no land they could call their own to come home to.
They now have the land, or at least part of it, and they have
been returning from all over the world.
If you visit Israel
today, you will see all nations represented in Israel, but whatever nation these people came from, the bottom line is that
they are Jews.
theologians say that verse 25, according to the Hebrew text, should
begin with the word "then".
That is to say, "then God will sprinkle …"
This would also make sense in context.
First God brings Israel
back to her land. Then at a
later date He restores His relationship with her.
At that point, all
will be saved as the apostle Paul says in Romans 11.
from verses 24 to 32 God says "I will" eleven times.
There are a number of things listed here that God will do.
won't do them. God will.
He will sovereignly do them on His own and by Himself.
Again, the text states that He will do them for Himself and His
reputation. God will do
these things to reclaim His good name among the nations of the earth.
the things that God will do. They
aren't spiritual. They are
material. They are
geographical and natural. By
these last two, I mean Israel
will get her land back and the land will produce its fruit in abundance.
thing I would like to point out here is the spiritual restoration of Israel.
God says that He will
Israel. He will
remove the heart
of stone and give the Jews a soft heart of flesh.
He will give them His Holy Spirit.
This is the Holy Spirit revival that Zechariah and others have
predicted as well. Israel
will return to their God, and it will be of God's doing.
This is still to come once God brings Israel
to her knees in the Great Tribulation.
I've just pointed out the "I wills" from God.
Note also the "you wills" in this section.
is to be "ashamed" for what the detestable things they have
done. This is speaking of
true repentance. Israel
will mourn for their sinful condition.
God will hear her cries of repentance, and He will forgive,
cleanse, heal, and pour out His Spirit on them.
Beyond reclaiming the land and nationhood,
Israel will be restored to her God.
when the final restoration of
as a nation takes place. In
verse 33 God says that on the day He will cleanse
Israel, and then the final restoration will take place.
First comes the spiritual, then the material as Paul states in 1
Corinthians 15:46. Total
Israeli prosperity will not come to the nation of
until she repents and God's cleanses them of all their sins and gives
them the Holy Spirit. This
will be a day not unlike the Day of Pentecost, but specifically for the
Jews at the end of this age.
34 and 35 speak of the land
becoming like the Garden of Eden. Many
people look at the prophecies concerning the
blossoming and producing fruit and think that has happened already.
To a degree it has, but not to the degree that is prophesied,
especially in this verse. I'm
not sure what the Garden of Eden was like, but I doubt if it looked
today. The fulfillment of
this prophecy will only take place after Jesus returns and makes it
happen. We have never seen
look the way it will eventually look.
it comes to the restoration of the land that belongs to
Israel, on that day, as verse 36 states, all the surrounding nations that are
left, will acknowledge that it is the Lord God of
that has restored Israel.
the idea the point concerning the surrounding nations that are left.
After the Great Tribulation, many of the surrounding nations will
be in great peril and destruction. Those
who are still alive will know who rebuilt Israel. It is hard for us to
imagine, but some day, the whole world will bow their knees to God, and
the Lord Jesus Christ. Finally
humanity will acknowledge the existence of the God they chose not to
37 states that God "will hear the plea of
". This is the plea
makes during the suffering of the Great Tribulation .
The one hundred and forty four thousand Israelis of the book of
Revelation will lead a national revival.
The word pleas here suggests Israeli repentance.
Only after this repentance, aided by God Himself as Zechariah and
others say, will God come and cleanse Israel, give them His Spirit, and restore them to full nationhood.
in verse 38 the point God makes concerning the number of Israelis
increasing. Although the
analogy is different, this is once again, another reference to the
Abrahamic Covenant where God promises
to have a great number of people. Some
Bible teachers, those who believe in Replacement Theology, believe that
part of the Abrahamic Covenant has already been fulfilled in Old
Testament times, but that's not so, and this verse proves it.
This verse speaks of a time yet in the future.
So we know that the Abrahamic Covenant is yet to be fulfilled,
still has a prophetic and historic future.
God is not finished with Israel.
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