Bible Commentary

Ezekiel 36

John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes

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(Read all of Ezekiel 36)

Verse 1

[1] Also, thou son of man, prophesy unto the mountains of Israel, and say, Ye mountains of Israel, hear the word of the LORD:

The mountains — The inhabitants being in captivity, speak to the mountains, that is, the land of Judah, and Israel, which was a country full of mountains.

Verse 2

[2] Thus saith the Lord GOD; Because the enemy hath said against you, Aha, even the ancient high places are ours in possession:

Because the enemy — Many were the enemies of God's people; but they so conspired in one design, that the prophet speaks of them as one, and particularly of Edom.

Verse 3

[3] Therefore prophesy and say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Because they have made you desolate, and swallowed you up on every side, that ye might be a possession unto the residue of the heathen, and ye are taken up in the lips of talkers, and are an infamy of the people:

Swallowed — Devoured you, as hungry beasts devour their prey.

Ye are taken up — You are the subject of all their discourse.

An infamy — Ever branding you as infamous.

Verse 7

[7] Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; I have lifted up mine hand, Surely the heathen that are about you, they shall bear their shame.

Lifted up mine hand — Sworn in my wrath.

The heathen — The Moabites, Ammonites, and Idumeans.

Verse 8

[8] But ye, O mountains of Israel, ye shall shoot forth your branches, and yield your fruit to my people of Israel; for they are at hand to come.

At hand — The time is near, when my people shall come out of Babylon to settle in their own land.

Verse 12

[12] Yea, I will cause men to walk upon you, even my people Israel; and they shall possess thee, and thou shalt be their inheritance, and thou shalt no more henceforth bereave them of men.

And thou — O land of Canaan.

Bereave — Consume thine inhabitants.

Verse 13

[13] Thus saith the Lord GOD; Because they say unto you, Thou land devourest up men, and hast bereaved thy nations;

They — The heathen round about.

Verse 14

[14] Therefore thou shalt devour men no more, neither bereave thy nations any more, saith the Lord GOD.

Therefore — I will so bless thee, O land, that thou shalt bring forth and breed up many sons and daughters, and this reproach shall cease for ever.

Verse 17

[17] Son of man, when the house of Israel dwelt in their own land, they defiled it by their own way and by their doings: their way was before me as the uncleanness of a removed woman.

By their doings — By their carriage, and whole conversation.

As the uncleanness — Or as one cut off from the congregation, because of some great sin.

Verse 20

[20] And when they entered unto the heathen, whither they went, they profaned my holy name, when they said to them, These are the people of the LORD, and are gone forth out of his land.

Entered — When they were come into Babylon.

Profaned — They sinned.

They — Their heathen neighbours.

Them — The profane Jews.

These — These profane slaves, call themselves the people of the Lord and say, he gave them the land out of which they are driven.

Verse 21

[21] But I had pity for mine holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the heathen, whither they went.

But I had pity — For these sins I had just cause to cut them off; but I had pity, for the glory of my name: had I destroyed them, the heathen would have concluded against my omnipotence, and my truth.

Verse 23

[23] And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, saith the Lord GOD, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes.

I will sanctify my great name — They gave the heathen occasion to think meanly of me, but I will shew I am as great as good. When God performs what he hath sworn by his holiness, then he sanctifies his name.

Verse 25

[25] Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.

Sprinkle — "This signifies both the blood of Christ sprinkled upon their conscience, to take away their guilt, as the water of purification was sprinkled, to take away their ceremonial uncleanness and the grace of the spirit sprinkled on the whole soul, to purify it from all corrupt inclinations and dispositions."

Verse 26

[26] A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.

A new heart — A new frame of soul, a mind changed, from sinful to holy, from carnal to spiritual. A heart in which the law of God is written, Jeremiah 31:33. A sanctified heart, in which the almighty grace of God is victorious, and turns it from all sin to God.

A new spirit — A new, holy frame in the spirit of man; which is given to him, not wrought by his own power.

The stony — The senseless unfeeling.

Out of your flesh — Out of you.

Of flesh — That is, quite of another temper, hearkening to God's law, trembling at his threats, moulded into a compliance with his whole will; to forbear, do, be, or suffer what God will, receiving the impress of God, as soft wax receives the impress of the seal.

Verse 27

[27] And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.

My spirit — The holy spirit of God, which is given to, and dwelleth in all true believers.

And cause you — Sweetly, powerfully, yet without compulsion; for our spirits, framed by God's spirit to a disposition suitable to his holiness, readily concurs.

Ye shall keep — Be willing; and able to keep the judgments, and to walk in the statutes of God, which is, to live in all holiness.

Verse 28

[28] And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God.

Ye shall dwell — Observe: then, and not before, are these promises to be fulfilled to the house of Israel.

And I will be your God — This is the foundation of the top-stone of a believer's happiness.

Verse 29

[29] I will also save you from all your uncleannesses: and I will call for the corn, and will increase it, and lay no famine upon you.

I will also save you — I will continue to save you.

From all your uncleannesses — Salvation from all uncleannessess, includes justification, entire sanctification, and meetness for glory.

The corn — All necessaries comprised in one.

Verse 35

[35] And they shall say, This land that was desolate is become like the garden of Eden; and the waste and desolate and ruined cities are become fenced, and are inhabited.

And they — Strangers, or foreigners.

Verse 37

[37] Thus saith the Lord GOD; I will yet for this be enquired of by the house of Israel, to do it for them; I will increase them with men like a flock.

Enquired of — Though I have repeated so often my promise to do this, yet it is their duty to intreat it, to wait on me, and then I will do it.

Verse 38

[38] As the holy flock, as the flock of Jerusalem in her solemn feasts; so shall the waste cities be filled with flocks of men: and they shall know that I am the LORD.

As the holy flock — Flocks designed to holy uses.

In her solemn feasts — These flocks were for quality, the best of all; and for numbers, very great, on the solemn feasts. Thus shall men multiply, and fill the cities of replanted Judea. And the increase of the numbers of men is then honourable, when they are all dedicated to God as a holy flock, to be presented to him for living sacrifices. Crowds are a lovely sight in God's temple.

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