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Israel’s Rebellion
1In the seventh year, in the fifth month, on the tenth day of the month, some of Israel’s elders came to inquire of the Lord,#Ezk 8:1,11-12; 14:1 and they sat down in front of me. 2Then the word of the Lord came to me: 3“Son of man, speak with the elders of Israel and tell them, ‘This is what the Lord God says: Are you coming to inquire of me? As I live, I will not let you inquire of me.#Ezk 14:3 This is the declaration of the Lord God.’
4“Will you pass judgment against them, will you pass judgment, son of man? Explain the detestable practices of their fathers to them.#Ezk 16:2; 22:2 5Say to them, ‘This is what the Lord God says: On the day I chose Israel, I swore an oath#20:5 Lit I lifted my hand#Ex 6:6-8 to the descendants of Jacob’s house and made myself known to them in the land of Egypt. I swore to them, saying, “I am the Lord your God.”#Ex 6:2-3 6On that day I swore#20:6 Lit lifted my hand, also in vv. 15,23,28,42 to them that I would bring them out#Jr 32:22 of the land of Egypt into a land I had searched out for them, a land flowing with milk and honey,#Ex 3:8 the most beautiful of all lands.#Ps 16:6; 48:2; 50:2; Jr 3:19 7I also said to them, “Throw away, each of you, the abhorrent things that you prize,#20:7 Lit things of your eyes and do not defile yourselves with the idols of Egypt.#Lv 18:3 I am the Lord your God.”#Ex 20:2
8“‘But they rebelled against me and were unwilling to listen to me. None of them threw away the abhorrent things that they prized,#20:8 Lit things of their eyes and they did not abandon the idols of Egypt. So I considered pouring out my wrath on them,#Ezk 5:13; 7:8 exhausting my anger against them within the land of Egypt. 9But I acted for the sake of my name,#Ezk 36:21-22 so that it would not be profaned in the eyes of the nations they were living among, in whose sight I had made myself known to Israel by bringing them out of Egypt.
10“‘So I brought them out of the land of Egypt and led them into the wilderness.#Ex 13:18,20 11Then I gave them my statutes and explained my ordinances to them — the person who does them will live by them.#Lv 18:5; Rm 10:5; Gl 3:12 12I also gave them my Sabbaths to serve as a sign between me and them,#Ex 31:13 so that they would know that I am the Lord who consecrates them.
13“‘But the house of Israel rebelled against me in the wilderness.#Nm 14:11-12,22 They did not follow my statutes and they rejected my ordinances — the person who does them will live by them.#Lv 18:5 They also completely profaned my Sabbaths.#Ezk 22:8; 23:38; 44:24 So I considered pouring out my wrath on them in the wilderness to put an end to them.#Ex 32:10; Dt 9:8 14But I acted for the sake of my name, so that it would not be profaned in the eyes of the nations in whose sight I had brought them out. 15However, I swore to them#Nm 14:28-30 in the wilderness that I would not bring them into the land I had given them — the most beautiful of all lands, flowing with milk and honey —  16because they rejected my ordinances, profaned my Sabbaths, and did not follow my statutes. For their hearts went after their idols.#Ezk 11:21; 14:3-7 17Yet I spared them from destruction and did not bring them to an end in the wilderness.#Ezk 11:13
18“‘Then I said to their children in the wilderness, “Don’t follow the statutes of your fathers, defile yourselves with their idols, or keep their ordinances.#Mt 15:1-3 19I am the Lord your God. Follow my statutes, keep my ordinances, and practice them.#Dt 5:32-33 20Keep my Sabbaths holy,#Jr 17:22 and they will be a sign between me and you, so you may know that I am the Lord your God.”
21“‘But the children rebelled against me.#Nm 21:5; 25:1-3 They did not follow my statutes or carefully keep my ordinances — the person who does them will live by them. They also profaned my Sabbaths. So I considered pouring out my wrath on them and exhausting my anger against them in the wilderness. 22But I withheld my hand and acted for the sake of my name, so that it would not be profaned in the eyes of the nations in whose sight I brought them out. 23However, I swore to them in the wilderness that I would disperse them among the nations and scatter them among the countries.#Lv 26:33 24For they did not practice my ordinances but rejected my statutes and profaned my Sabbaths, and their eyes were fixed#Ezk 6:9 on their fathers’ idols. 25I also gave them statutes that were not good and ordinances#Ps 81:12; Rm 1:21-25,28 they could not live by. 26When they sacrificed every firstborn in the fire,#20:26 Lit they made every firstborn pass through the fire#Lv 18:21 I defiled them through their gifts in order to devastate them so they would know that I am the Lord.’#Ezk 6:7
27“Therefore, son of man, speak to the house of Israel, and tell them, ‘This is what the Lord God says: In this way also your fathers blasphemed me by#Rm 2:24 committing treachery against me: 28When I brought them into the land that I swore to give them and they saw any high hill or leafy tree,#Ezk 6:13 they offered their sacrifices and presented their offensive offerings there. They also sent up their pleasing aromas and poured out their drink offerings there. 29So I asked them, “What is this high place you are going to?” And it is still called Bamah#20:29 = High Place today.’
30“Therefore say to the house of Israel, ‘This is what the Lord God says: Are you defiling yourselves the way your fathers did,#Jdg 2:19; Jr 7:26; 16:12 and prostituting yourselves with their abhorrent things? 31When you offer your gifts, sacrificing your children in the fire,#20:31 Lit gifts, making your children pass through the fire#Ezk 16:20 you still continue to defile yourselves with all your idols today. So should I let you inquire of me, house of Israel? As I live — this is the declaration of the Lord God  — I will not let you inquire of me!
Israel’s Restoration
32“‘When you say, “Let us be like the nations, like the clans of other countries, serving wood and stone,”#Dt 4:28; 2Kg 19:18; Rv 9:20 what you have in mind will never happen.#Ezk 11:5 33As I live — the declaration of the Lord God  — I will reign over you with a strong hand, an outstretched arm,#Jr 21:5 and outpoured wrath. 34I will bring you from the peoples and gather you from the countries where you were scattered,#Jr 31:8; Ezk 36:24; 37:21 with a strong hand, an outstretched arm,#Ex 6:6; Dt 4:34 and outpoured wrath. 35I will lead you into the wilderness of the peoples#Ezk 19:13 and enter into judgment with you there face to face. 36Just as I entered into judgment with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt,#Nm 14:21-23,28 so I will enter into judgment with you. This is the declaration of the Lord God. 37I will make you pass under the rod#Lv 27:32; Jr 33:13 and will bring you into the bond of the covenant. 38I will purge you of those who rebel and transgress against me.#Ezk 34:17-22 I will bring them out of the land where they live as foreign residents, but they will not enter the land of Israel. Then you will know that I am the Lord.
39“‘As for you, house of Israel, this is what the Lord God says: Go and serve your idols, each of you. But afterward you will surely listen to me, and you will no longer defile my holy name with your gifts and idols.#Is 1:13-15; Ezk 23:38-39 40For on my holy mountain, Israel’s high mountain — the declaration of the Lord God  — there the entire house of Israel, all of them,#Ezk 37:22,24 will serve me in the land. There I will accept them and will require your contributions and choicest gifts,#Is 60:7; Ezk 43:27 all your holy offerings. 41When I bring you from the peoples and gather you from the countries where you have been scattered, I will accept you as a pleasing aroma. And I will demonstrate my holiness through you in the sight of the nations.#Is 5:16; Ezk 28:25; 2Co 6:17 42When I lead you into the land of Israel, the land I swore to give your fathers, you will know that I am the Lord.#Ezk 36:23; 38:23 43There you will remember your ways and all your deeds by which you have defiled yourself,#Ezk 6:9; 16:61,63 and you will loathe yourselves for all the evil things you have done.#Ezk 36:31 44You will know that I am the Lord,#Ezk 24:24 house of Israel, when I have dealt with you for the sake of my name#Ezk 36:22 rather than according to your evil ways and corrupt acts. This is the declaration of the Lord God.’”
Fire in the South
45The word of the Lord came to me: 46“Son of man, face the south and preach against it. Prophesy against the forest land in the Negev,#Ezk 21:2 47and say to the forest there, ‘Hear the word of the Lord! This is what the Lord God says: I am about to ignite a fire in you, and it will devour every green tree and every dry tree in you. The blazing flame will not be extinguished, and every face from the south to the north will be scorched by it. 48Then all people will see that I, the Lord, have kindled it.#Jr 21:14 It will not be extinguished.’”
49Then I said, “Oh, Lord God, they are saying of me, ‘Isn’t he just composing parables?’” #Ezk 17:2