Bible Commentaries

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

Ezekiel 25

Verses 1-3

The Lord directed His servant Ezekiel to set his face toward the nation of Ammon and to deliver a message of judgment from Him.

Verses 1-7

1. Judgment on Ammon25:1-7

The first oracle against Ammon consists of two messages and consequently contains a double indictment and punishment. Ezekiel previously recorded an oracle against Ammon (21:28-32). Its placement there was evidently due to the presence of "sword of the Lord" terminology in that oracle, which the other prophecies in that chapter also contain, and the sequence of prophecies there.

Verse 3

The Ammonites had rejoiced (cf26:2; 36:2) over the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem (cf24:21), the desolation of the land of Israel, and the exile of the Judahites (cf. 2 Kings 24:2; Jeremiah 49:1; Zephaniah 2:8-10).

Verse 4-5

Therefore the sovereign Lord would turn them over to the eastern invaders, the Babylonians, who would take over their country and settle in their land. The capital city, Rabbah (modern Amman), as well as the rest of the land, would become a desolation inhabited mainly by camels and flocks of sheep and goats. Nebuchadnezzar brought Ammon and Moab into subjection in the fifth year after Jerusalem fell (about581 B.C.). [Note: Josephus, Antiquities of . . ., 10:9:7.]

Verse 6-7

Because the Ammonites had rejoiced over Israel"s misfortune the Lord would punish them and give them as the spoils of war to other nations. He would end their existence as a separate nation and destroy them as a people. Ammon no longer existed as a nation after Nebuchadnezzar destroyed it and Bedouins from the east plundered it. [Note: Davidson, p180.] This judgment would teach them that Yahweh is God.

"Oracles against foreign nations are always implicitly oracles of encouragement for God"s people." [Note: Stuart, p250.]

Jeremiah predicted that Yahweh would restore the fortunes of the Ammonites ( Jeremiah 49:6). This occurred briefly after the Exile. Tobiah was a Persian governor of Ammon during the postexilic period (cf. Nehemiah 2:10; Nehemiah 2:19; Nehemiah 4:7). But restoration of this region will also take place in the Millennium (cf. Jeremiah 46:26-28; Jeremiah 48:47).

Verse 8

The residents of Moab and Seir (Edom) had regarded Judah as just one of the other nations even though the Judahites were blood relatives of theirs (cf. Jeremiah 48:27; Zephaniah 2:8-9). This attitude reflected disrespect for Yahweh. They viewed Israel"s God as no better than other pagan deities since Judah had fallen to the Babylonians.

Verses 8-11

2. Judgment on Moab25:8-11

Verse 9-10

Consequently the Lord promised to destroy the frontier cities in which the Moabites took much pride. Beth-jeshimoth lay in the Jordan Valley and guarded the eastern ascent to the Medeba Plateau. Baal-meon stood farther to the east and south in northern Moab, and Kiriathaim was another northern town on the Medeba Plateau. Its name means "the glory of the land," a play on words with the same phrase that appears earlier in Ezekiel 25:9. Yahweh would give the whole country over to the control of the eastern invaders along with Ammon, and Moab would cease to exist as a nation (cf. Ezekiel 25:7; Jeremiah 48:7-9).

Verse 11

Yahweh would judge Moab, and the Moabites would come to realize that He is God. This nation also passed out of existence during the Exile. [Note: Wevers, p197.] Yet Yahweh promised to restore the fortunes of Moab in the distant future ( Jeremiah 48:47; cf. Jeremiah 46:26; Jeremiah 49:6; Jeremiah 49:39). This happened in a limited way after the Exile, but it will happen in the eschaton when modern residents of Moab"s territory will stream to Jerusalem to worship Messiah in the Millennium.

Verse 12

The Edomites had taken vengeance on the Judahites rather than helping them (cf36:1-7; Genesis 25:30; Genesis 27:41-46; Genesis 32:4; Lamentations 4:21-22; Amos 1:11-12).

Verses 12-14

3. Judgment on Edom25:12-14

Verse 13

For this reason the Lord promised to send judgment on them. He would cause both man and beast to perish from their land, a picture of complete devastation (cf35:1-36:15). He would make the land a desolate waste from Teman to Dedan, throughout the country, as a result of an army invasion (cf. Joel 3:19; Obad.). Teman was a town in central Edom not far from Sela (Petra), and Dedan was a region southeast of Edom where Edomites evidently lived. Jeremiah revealed that this punishment would come through Nebuchadnezzar ( Jeremiah 9:26; Jeremiah 25:21; Jeremiah 27:1-11). Edomites occupied southern Judah after the Exile. [Note: Taylor, p188. Cf. 1 Esdras 4:50.]

Verse 14

The Israelites would play a part in Edom"s judgment acting as the Lord"s agents of His anger (cf35:1-36:15; Isaiah 11:14; Daniel 11:41; Amos 9:12; Obadiah 1:18). The Edomites too would come to acknowledge Yahweh as the true God.

Today the residents of the territory formerly occupied by Ammon, Moab, and Edom all go by the name "Arab."

Verse 15-16

The Philistines to Judah"s west had also scorned the Israelites and had sought to destroy them (cf. Judges 13-16; 1 Samuel 4; 1 Samuel 13; 1 Samuel 31; 2 Samuel 5:17-25; 2 Kings 18:8; 2 Chronicles 21:16-17; 2 Chronicles 28:18). Therefore the Lord would stretch out His strong hand in judgment against them and cut off the Cherethites, a group of Philistines who originated in Crete (ancient Caphtor; cf. 1 Samuel 30:14; Zephaniah 2:5), and the rest of the Philistines who lived by the Mediterranean seacoast. This is a play on words in Hebrew. The Lord said He would cut off the cutters off (i.e, the Cherethites).

Verses 15-17

4. Judgment on Philistia25:15-17

Verse 17

He would take vengeance on them for their treatment of His chosen people. He would do so by these rebukes executed in His wrath (cf. Isaiah 11:14; Jeremiah 25:20; Jeremiah 47:1-7; Joel 3:1-4; Obadiah 1:19; Zephaniah 2:4-7). There is no record of the Philistines" existence after the second century B.C, though the name of their cities remained. They would know that Yahweh was God when they experienced His judgment.

These judgments should be a warning to any nation that spitefully treats the Chosen People of God (i.e, Israel, the physical descendants of Jacob) and that sins against the sovereign God in other ways. He will punish sin and those who abuse His people.

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Bibliographical Information
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Ezekiel 25". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". 2012.