The Land of Israel in the Future
Ezekiel 35 is an introduction to Ezekiel 36, the connexion being shown by Ezekiel 36:5. The claim of Edom to the land having been repudiated (Ezekiel 35), its reoccupation by Israel is promised (Ezekiel 36:1-15), and the reason of the restoration is explained (Ezekiel 36:16-38).
(a) The Punishment of Edom's Presumption (Ezekiel 35)
Edom has already been included by Ezekiel among the nations whose humiliation would prepare the way for the restoration of Israel (Ezekiel 25:12-14), and this new prophecy requires a special explanation, which is easily found. Before the land could be given to its true owners all false claimants had to be disposed of. The claim of the wicked survivors of Jerusalem has already been set aside (Ezekiel 33:23-29), and the claim of the surrounding heathen has to be dealt with in the same way. Edom is introduced here as their representative (Ezekiel 35:10, Ezekiel 35:12). Its former enmity and malice are recalled (Ezekiel 35:5), and the arrogance and blasphemy of its pretensions to possess the land of Israel are specially denounced. Ezekiel foretells that God will repay the Edomites in their own coin, making their land desolate, and compelling them to recognise Him as the true God.
2. Mount Seir] Edom: see on Ezekiel 25:12-14.
5. Time.. end] RV 'time of the iniquity of the end,' as in Ezekiel 21:25, Ezekiel 21:29.
9. Return] RV 'be inhabited.'
10. These two.. countries] the territories of Israel and Judah. The Lord was there] God might seem to abandon His Temple and forsake His people, but He never gave up His choice of them or His possession of their land.
14. When.. rejoiceth] rather, 'to the rejoicing of the whole earth.'
15. Idumea] RV 'Edom.'
(b) The Mountain Land of Israel repeopled (Ezekiel 36:1-15)
This prophecy is the counterpart of Ezekiel 6. The land, made desolate for the people's sin, as was foretold, and presumptuously claimed by Edom and the other surrounding nations, will again become fertile, fruitful, and populous. Israel will inhabit it once more, and will no longer suffer famine, or be oppressed by the heathen.
1. The mountains of Israel] the mountain land of Israel, as in Ezekiel 6:1, Ezekiel 6:2.
2. The ancient high places] the everlasting hills, with no reference to the idolatrous worship associated with them: see Deuteronomy 33:15.
5 Idumea] RV 'Edom.' This v. makes clear the connexion of Ezekiel 35 with the present passage. To cast it out] better, perhaps, 'to possess it.'
7. Have Hfted up mine hand] have sworn.
8. They are at hand to come] The restoration of Israel is viewed as close at hand.
13. Bereaved thy nations] RV 'been a bereaved of thy nation.' The famines to which the land of Israel had been subject had given rise to the reproach that it bereaved and devoured its inhabitants (Numbers 13:32). This would be the case no longer.
14. Nations] RV 'nation': so in Ezekiel 36:15.
15. Cause.. to fall] rather, 'bereave,' as in Ezekiel 36:14.
(c) God's Reason for restoring Israel (Ezekiel 36:16-38)
God had justly sent Israel into exile for their sins (Ezekiel 36:17-19), but the heathen had misunderstood this event, taking it as a sign of God's inability to save His people (Ezekiel 36:20). In this way the exiles had occasioned the profanation of God's name, and to vindicate His own honour He was compelled to restore them (Ezekiel 36:21-24). This high argument passes into a promise of the moral renewal, as well as of the outward blessings, which would accompany the restoration (Ezekiel 36:25-30). Yet the fact is reiterated that all this will be done, not because Israel has deserved it, but because God's glory has required it. It must minister not to pride, but to humility (Ezekiel 36:31-32). When the sinful nation has been purified, and the desolate land repeopled, the heathen will know that the whole is God's doing (Ezekiel 36:33-36). The blessing, too, though undeserved, will be sent in response to Israel's prayers (Ezekiel 36:37-38).
20. Profaned] not now by actual wickedness, but indirectly, as the v. goes on to explain. When they said to them] RV 'in that men said of them.'
23. Sanctify] the exact opposite of 'profane.'
25-28. These vv. expand the promise in Ezekiel 11:19, Ezekiel 11:20. They include purification from guilt, inward renewal, the spirit of obedience, and the privileges of the people of God. In its essence this passage repeats Jeremiah's promise of the New Covenant (Jeremiah 31:31-34).
26. Heart of flesh] see 2 Corinthians 3:3; (RV).
31, 32. Cp. Ezekiel 16:61; Jeremiah 29:11-14.
36. Build.. and plant] RV 'have builded.. and planted.'
37. I will yet for this] RV 'for this moreover will I.'
38. Holy flock] RV 'flock for sacrifice,' the point of comparison being the great numbers: see 1 Chronicles 29:21; 2 Chronicles 7:5; 2 Chronicles 29:33; 2 Chronicles 35:7-9.
Solemn] RV 'appointed.'
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Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Ezekiel 35". "John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/
the Second Week after Epiphany