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Bible Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
Ezekiel 20

 

 

Introduction
1God refuses to be consulted by the elders of Israel.
4He shews the story of their rebellions in Egypt,
10in the wilderness,
27and in the land.
33He promises to gather them by the Gospel.
45Under the name of a forest he shews the destruction of Jerusalem.

Verse 1
And it came to pass in the seventh year, in the fifth month, the tenth day of the month, that certain of the elders of Israel came to enquire of the LORD, and sat before me.
A. M. 3411. B.C. 593. in the seventh. The seventh year of the captivity of Jeconiah, and according to Usher, Monday, Aug. 27, 3411
1:2; 8:1; 24:1; 26:1; 29:1,17; 30:20; 31:1; 32:1; 40:1
that certain
14:1-3; 33:30-33; 1 Kings 14:2-6; 22:15-28; 2 Kings 3:13; Isaiah 29:13; 58:2; Jeremiah 37:17; Matthew 22:16
and sat
8:1; Luke 2:46; 8:35; 10:39; Acts 22:3

Verse 3
Son of man, speak unto the elders of Israel, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Are ye come to enquire of me? As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I will not be enquired of by you.
Are
Isaiah 1:12; Matthew 3:7; Luke 3:7
As I
31; 14:3,4,7,8; 1 Samuel 28:6; Psalms 50:15-21; Proverbs 15:8; 21:27; 28:9; Isaiah 1:15; Micah 3:7; Matthew 15:8,9; John 4:24

Verse 4
Wilt thou judge them, son of man, wilt thou judge them? cause them to know the abominations of their fathers:
judge them
or, plead for them.
14:14,20; 22:2; 23:36,45; Isaiah 5:3; Jeremiah 7:16; 11:14; 14:11-14; 15:1; 1 Corinthians 6:2
cause
16:2,3; Matthew 23:29-37; Luke 11:47-51; 13:33-35; Acts 7:51,52

Verse 5
And say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; In the day when I chose Israel, and lifted up mine hand unto the seed of the house of Jacob, and made myself known unto them in the land of Egypt, when I lifted up mine hand unto them, saying, I am the LORD your God;
In the
Exodus 6:6,7; 19:4-6; Deuteronomy 4:37; 7:6; 14:2; Psalms 33:12; Isaiah 41:8,9; 43:10; Isaiah 44:1,2; Jeremiah 33:24; Mark 13:20
lifted up mine hand
or, sware. (and so ver. 6, etc. Ex 6:8, 9.)
15,23; 47:14; Genesis 14:22; Deuteronomy 32:40; Revelation 10:5
and made
35:11; Exodus 3:8; 4:31; Deuteronomy 4:34; 11:2-7; Psalms 103:7
I am
Exodus 3:6,16; 20:2,3

Verse 6
In the day that I lifted up mine hand unto them, to bring them forth of the land of Egypt into a land that I had espied for them, flowing with milk and honey, which is the glory of all lands:
lifted
5,15,23,42
to bring
Genesis 15:13,14; Exodus 3:8,17; 14:1-15
into
Deuteronomy 8:7-9; 11:11,12; 32:8
flowing
Exodus 13:5; 33:3; Leviticus 20:24; Numbers 13:27; 14:8; Deuteronomy 6:3; 11:9; 26:9,15; 27:3; Deuteronomy 31:20; 32:13,14; Joshua 5:6; Jeremiah 11:5; 32:22
which is
15; Psalms 48:2; Daniel 8:9; 11:16,41; Zechariah 7:14

Verse 7
Then said I unto them, Cast ye away every man the abominations of his eyes, and defile not yourselves with the idols of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.
Cast
8; 18:6,15,31; Isaiah 2:20,21; 31:7
the abominations
6:9; 14:6; 2 Chronicles 15:8
defile
23:3,8; Leviticus 17:7; 18:3; Deuteronomy 29:16-18; Joshua 24:14
I am
19; Exodus 16:12; Leviticus 11:44; 20:7

Verse 8
But they rebelled against me, and would not hearken unto me: they did not every man cast away the abominations of their eyes, neither did they forsake the idols of Egypt: then I said, I will pour out my fury upon them, to accomplish my anger against them in the midst of the land of Egypt.
they rebelled
Deuteronomy 9:7; Nehemiah 9:26; Isaiah 63:10
they did
7; Exodus 32:4-6
then I
13,21; 5:13; 7:8

Verse 9
But I wrought for my name's sake, that it should not be polluted before the heathen, among whom they were, in whose sight I made myself known unto them, in bringing them forth out of the land of Egypt.
I wrought
14,22; 36:21,22; 39:7; Exodus 32:12; Numbers 14:13-25; Deuteronomy 9:28; 32:26,27; Joshua 7:9; 1 Samuel 12:22
in whose
Joshua 2:10; 9:9,10; 1 Samuel 4:8

Verse 10
Wherefore I caused them to go forth out of the land of Egypt, and brought them into the wilderness.
Exodus 13:17,18; 14:17-22; 15:22; 20:2

Verse 11
And I gave them my statutes, and shewed them my judgments, which if a man do, he shall even live in them.
I gave
Deuteronomy 4:8; Nehemiah 9:13,14; Psalms 147:19,20; Romans 3:2
shewed them
Heb. made them to know. which.
13,21; Leviticus 18:5; Deuteronomy 20:15,16; Luke 10:28; Romans 10:5; Galatians 3:12

Verse 12
Moreover also I gave them my sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the LORD that sanctify them.
I gave
Genesis 2:3; Exodus 16:29; 20:8-11; 35:2; Leviticus 23:3,24,32,39; 25:4; Deuteronomy 5:12-15; Nehemiah 9:14; Mark 2:27,28; Colossians 2:16
to be
20; Exodus 31:13-17
I am
37:28; Exodus 19:5,6; Leviticus 20:8; 21:8,15,23; John 17:17-19; 1 Thessalonians 5:23; Jude 1:1

Verse 13
But the house of Israel rebelled against me in the wilderness: they walked not in my statutes, and they despised my judgments, which if a man do, he shall even live in them; and my sabbaths they greatly polluted: then I said, I would pour out my fury upon them in the wilderness, to consume them.
rebelled
8; Exodus 16:28; 32:8; Numbers 14:22; Deuteronomy 9:12-24; 31:27; 1 Samuel 8:8; Nehemiah 9:16-18; Psalms 78:40,41; 95:8-11; 106:13-33; Isaiah 63:10
and they
16,24; Leviticus 26:15,43; 2 Samuel 12:9; Proverbs 1:25; 13:13; Amos 2:4; 1 Thessalonians 4:8; Hebrews 10:28,29
which
and my
21; Exodus 16:27,28; Numbers 15:31-36; Isaiah 56:6
I said
8,21; Exodus 32:10; Numbers 14:11,12,29; 16:20,21,45; 26:25; Deuteronomy 9:8; Psalms 106:23

Verse 14
But I wrought for my name's sake, that it should not be polluted before the heathen, in whose sight I brought them out.
9,22; 36:22,23; Ephesians 1:6,12

Verse 15
Yet also I lifted up my hand unto them in the wilderness, that I would not bring them into the land which I had given them, flowing with milk and honey, which is the glory of all lands;
I lifted
23; Numbers 14:23-30; 26:64,65; Deuteronomy 1:34,35; Psalms 95:11; 106:26; Hebrews 3:11; Hebrews 3:18; 4:3
flowing

Verse 16
Because they despised my judgments, and walked not in my statutes, but polluted my sabbaths: for their heart went after their idols.
they
13,14
for their
They still had a hankering after the idolatries they had learned in Egypt, to which they added new idols, which they had seen in countries through which they had travelled, as those of the Midianites, Amorites, etc.
8; 14:3,4; 23:8; Exodus 32:1-8; Numbers 15:39; 25:2; Amos 5:25,26; Acts 7:39-43

Verse 17
Nevertheless mine eye spared them from destroying them, neither did I make an end of them in the wilderness.
mine
8:18; 9:10; 1 Samuel 24:10; Nehemiah 9:19; Psalms 78:37,38
neither
7:2; 11:13; Jeremiah 4:27; 5:18; Nahum 1:8,9

Verse 18
But I said unto their children in the wilderness, Walk ye not in the statutes of your fathers, neither observe their judgments, nor defile yourselves with their idols:
I said
Numbers 14:32,33; 32:13-15; Deuteronomy 4:3-6; Psalms 78:6-8
the statutes
Zechariah 1:2-4; Luke 11:47,48; Acts 7:51; 1 Peter 1:18
defile
7; Jeremiah 2:7; 3:9

Verse 19
I am the LORD your God; walk in my statutes, and keep my judgments, and do them;
the Lord
Exodus 20:2,3; Deuteronomy 5:6,7; 7:4-6; Psalms 81:9,10; Jeremiah 3:22,23
walk
11:20; 36:27; 37:24; Deuteronomy 4:1; 5:1,32,33; 6:1-8; 10:1-12; Nehemiah 9:13,14; Psalms 19:7-11; 105:45; Titus 2:11-14

Verse 20
And hallow my sabbaths; and they shall be a sign between me and you, that ye may know that I am the LORD your God.
12; 44:24; Exodus 20:11; 31:13-17; Nehemiah 13:15-22; Isaiah 58:13; Jeremiah 17:22,24,27

Verse 21
Notwithstanding the children rebelled against me: they walked not in my statutes, neither kept my judgments to do them, which if a man do, he shall even live in them; they polluted my sabbaths: then I said, I would pour out my fury upon them, to accomplish my anger against them in the wilderness.
the children
Numbers 21:5; 25:1-8; Deuteronomy 9:23,24; 31:27; Psalms 106:29-33; Acts 13:18
if a man
11,13
I would
8,13; 21:31; 2 Chronicles 34:21,25; Revelation 16:1
accomplish
7:8; 13:15; Lamentations 4:11; Daniel 11:36

Verse 22
Nevertheless I withdrew mine hand, and wrought for my name's sake, that it should not be polluted in the sight of the heathen, in whose sight I brought them forth.
I withdrew
17; Job 13:21; Psalms 78:38; Lamentations 2:8
wrought
9,14,22; Psalms 25:11; 79:9,10; 115:1; Isaiah 48:9-11; Jeremiah 14:7,21; Daniel 9:17,19

Verse 23
I lifted up mine hand unto them also in the wilderness, that I would scatter them among the heathen, and disperse them through the countries;
lifted
15; Deuteronomy 32:40; Revelation 10:5,6
that I
The predictions of the dispersion of Israel, delivered by Moses just before his death, are evidently here referred to: they received a partial accomplishment at the Babylonian captivity, but are more exactly fulfilling at this day.
Leviticus 26:33; Deuteronomy 28:64-68; 32:26,27; Psalms 106:27; Jeremiah 15:4

Verse 24
Because they had not executed my judgments, but had despised my statutes, and had polluted my sabbaths, and their eyes were after their fathers' idols.
they had
13,16
their eyes
6:9; 18:6,12,15; Deuteronomy 4:19; Job 31:26,27; Amos 2:4

Verse 25
Wherefore I gave them also statutes that were not good, and judgments whereby they should not live;
I gave
The simple meaning of this place is, that when the Israelites had rebelled against God, despised his statutes, and polluted his sabbaths, in effect cast him off, and given themselves up wholly to their idols, then He, in a just judgment for their disobedience, abandoned them, "gave them up to a reprobate mind," (Ro 1:28,) and suffered them to walk after the idolatrous, cruel, and impious customs and ordinances of the heathen; by which they were ripened for the destruction which he intended to bring upon them, that they might learn to know God by his judgments, seeing they had despised his mercies. In the same sense God is said judicially to "send a strong delusion, that they should believe a lie," to those who "received not the love of the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness."
26,39; 14:9-11; Deuteronomy 4:27,28; 28:36; Psalms 81:12; Isaiah 66:4; Romans 1:21-28; 2 Thessalonians 2:9-11

Verse 26
And I polluted them in their own gifts, in that they caused to pass through the fire all that openeth the womb, that I might make them desolate, to the end that they might know that I am the LORD.
polluted
31; Isaiah 63:17; Romans 11:7-10
in that
16:20,21; Leviticus 18:21; 2 Kings 17:17; 21:6; 2 Chronicles 28:3; 33:6; Jeremiah 32:35
all that
Exodus 13:12; Luke 2:23
to the end
6:7

Verse 27
Therefore, son of man, speak unto the house of Israel, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Yet in this your fathers have blasphemed me, in that they have committed a trespass against me.
speak
2:7; 3:4,11,27
Yet
Romans 2:24; Revelation 13:5
committed
Heb. trespassed.

Verse 28
For when I had brought them into the land, for the which I lifted up mine hand to give it to them, then they saw every high hill, and all the thick trees, and they offered there their sacrifices, and there they presented the provocation of their offering: there also they made their sweet savour, and poured out there their drink offerings.
when I
Joshua 23:3,4,14; Nehemiah 9:22-26; Psalms 78:55-58
the which
6,15; Genesis 15:18-21; 26:3,4; Psalms 105:8-11
they saw
6:13; Psalms 78:58; Isaiah 57:5-7; Jeremiah 2:7; 3:6
their sweet
16:19

Verse 29
Then I said unto them, What is the high place whereunto ye go? And the name thereof is called Bamah unto this day.
I said, etc
or, I told them what the high place was, or, Bamah. And the.
16:24,25,31

Verse 30
Wherefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Are ye polluted after the manner of your fathers? and commit ye whoredom after their abominations?
Are ye
Numbers 32:14; Judges 2:19; Jeremiah 7:26; 9:14; 16:12; Matthew 23:32; Acts 7:51

Verse 31
For when ye offer your gifts, when ye make your sons to pass through the fire, ye pollute yourselves with all your idols, even unto this day: and shall I be enquired of by you, O house of Israel? As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I will not be enquired of by you.
ye offer
26; Deuteronomy 18:10-12; Psalms 106:37-39; Jeremiah 7:31; 19:5
and shall
3; 14:3,4; 1 Samuel 28:5,6; 2 Kings 3:13,14; Job 27:8,10; Psalms 66:18; Proverbs 1:27,28; 28:9; Isaiah 1:15; Jeremiah 14:12; Zechariah 7:13; Matthew 25:11,12; James 4:1-3

Verse 32
And that which cometh into your mind shall not be at all, that ye say, We will be as the heathen, as the families of the countries, to serve wood and stone.
that which
11:5; 38:10; Psalms 139:2; Proverbs 19:21; Lamentations 3:37
We will
1 Samuel 8:5; Jeremiah 44:17,29; Romans 12:2
to serve
Deuteronomy 4:28; 28:36,64; 29:17; Isaiah 37:19; Daniel 5:4; Revelation 9:20

Verse 33
As I live, saith the Lord GOD, surely with a mighty hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with fury poured out, will I rule over you:
surely
8:18; Jeremiah 21:5; 42:18; 44:6; Lamentations 2:4; Daniel 9:11,12

Verse 34
And I will bring you out from the people, and will gather you out of the countries wherein ye are scattered, with a mighty hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with fury poured out.
38; 34:16; Isaiah 27:9-13; Amos 9:9,10

Verse 35
And I will bring you into the wilderness of the people, and there will I plead with you face to face.
I will
36; 19:13; 38:8; Hosea 2:14; Micah 4:10; 7:13-15; Revelation 12:14
and there
17:20; 38:22; Jeremiah 2:9,35; 25:31; Hosea 4:1; Micah 6:1,2

Verse 36
Like as I pleaded with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so will I plead with you, saith the Lord GOD.
13,21; Exodus 32:7-35; Numbers 11:1-35; 14:1-45; 16:1-50; 25:1-18; Psalms 106:15-48; 1 Corinthians 10:5-10

Verse 37
And I will cause you to pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant:
pass
34:17; Leviticus 27:32; Jeremiah 33:13; Matthew 25:32,33
I will
16:59,60; Leviticus 26:25; Psalms 89:30-32; Amos 3:2
the bond
or, a delivering.

Verse 38
And I will purge out from among you the rebels, and them that transgress against me: I will bring them forth out of the country where they sojourn, and they shall not enter into the land of Israel: and ye shall know that I am the LORD.
I will purge
11:21; 34:17,20-22; Numbers 14:28-30; Amos 9:9,10; Zechariah 13:8,9; Malachi 3:3; Malachi 4:1-3; Matthew 3:9,10,12; 25:32,33; Romans 9:27-29
they shall
13:9; Numbers 14:30; Psalms 95:11; Jeremiah 44:14; 1 Corinthians 10:5; Hebrews 4:6; Jude 1:5
and ye
6:7; 15:7; 23:49; Psalms 9:16

Verse 39
As for you, O house of Israel, thus saith the Lord GOD; Go ye, serve ye every one his idols, and hereafter also, if ye will not hearken unto me: but pollute ye my holy name no more with your gifts, and with your idols.
Go ye
25,26; Judges 10:14; 2 Kings 3:13; Psalms 81:12; Hosea 4:17; Amos 4:4,5; Romans 1:24-28; 2 Thessalonians 2:11
but
23:37-39; Proverbs 21:27; Isaiah 1:13-15; 66:3; Jeremiah 7:9-11; Zephaniah 1:4,5; Matthew 6:24; Revelation 3:15,16

Verse 40
For in mine holy mountain, in the mountain of the height of Israel, saith the Lord GOD, there shall all the house of Israel, all of them in the land, serve me: there will I accept them, and there will I require your offerings, and the firstfruits of your oblations, with all your holy things.
in mine
These predictions received a partial accomplishment by the restoration of the Jews from the Babylonian captivity; but they seem chiefly to relate to the establishment of the Christian church, and more especially to the future conversion of the Jews, and their restoration to their own land.
17:23; Psalms 2:6; 68:15,16; Isaiah 2:2,3; 66:20; Jeremiah 31:12; Joel 3:17,18; Obadiah 1:16; Micah 4:1,2; Hebrews 12:20-22; Revelation 21:10
there shall
37:22-28; Isaiah 56:7; 60:7; 66:23; Zechariah 8:20-23; Malachi 1:11; 3:4; Revelation 12:1; Hebrews 13:15; 1 Peter 2:5
first-fruits
or, chief.

Verse 41
I will accept you with your sweet savour, when I bring you out from the people, and gather you out of the countries wherein ye have been scattered; and I will be sanctified in you before the heathen.
with your
28; 6:13; Genesis 8:21; Leviticus 1:9,13,17; Ephesians 5:2; Philippians 4:18
sweet savour
Heb. savour of rest. I bring.
11:17; 34:19; 36:24; 37:25; 38:8; Isaiah 11:11-16; 27:12,13; Jeremiah 23:3; Jeremiah 30:3,18; 32:37; Amos 9:14; Obadiah 1:17-21; Micah 7:12-16
and I will
28:22,25; 38:23; 39:27-29; Leviticus 10:3; Isaiah 5:16; Luke 2:14; 1 Peter 3:15

Verse 42
And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I shall bring you into the land of Israel, into the country for the which I lifted up mine hand to give it to your fathers.
ye shall
38,44; 24:24; 26:13; 36:23; 38:23; Jeremiah 24:7; 31:34; John 17:3; 1 John 5:20
when I
11:17-20; 34:13; 36:24; 37:21,25
for the which

Verse 43
And there shall ye remember your ways, and all your doings, wherein ye have been defiled; and ye shall lothe yourselves in your own sight for all your evils that ye have committed.
shall ye
6:9; Leviticus 26:39-41; Nehemiah 1:8-10; Hosea 5:15
and ye shall
16:61-63; 36:31; Job 42:6; Jeremiah 31:18; Zechariah 12:10-14; Luke 18:13; 2 Corinthians 7:11

Verse 44
And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I have wrought with you for my name's sake, not according to your wicked ways, nor according to your corrupt doings, O ye house of Israel, saith the Lord GOD.
And ye shall
38; 24:24
when I
9,14,22; 36:21,22; Psalms 79:9; 115:1; Ephesians 1:6; 1 Timothy 1:16

Verse 45
Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
Moreover
This is the beginning of another prophecy, and properly belongs to the following chapter.

Verse 46
Son of man, set thy face toward the south, and drop thy word toward the south, and prophesy against the forest of the south field;
set
4:7; 6:2
toward
Towards Judea, which lay south of Mesopotamia, where the prophet now dwelt.
and drop
21:2; Deuteronomy 32:2; Job 29:22; Amos 7:16; Micah 2:6; *marg:
the forest
The city of Jerusalem, as full of inhabitants as the forest is of trees.
Jeremiah 13:19; 22:7; Zechariah 11:1,2

Verse 47
And say to the forest of the south, Hear the word of the LORD; Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will kindle a fire in thee, and it shall devour every green tree in thee, and every dry tree: the flaming flame shall not be quenched, and all faces from the south to the north shall be burned therein.
I will kindle
I will send war; and it shall destroy all ranks and characters of the people.
15:6,7; 19:14; 22:20,21; Deuteronomy 32:22; Isaiah 9:18,19; 30:33; Jeremiah 21:14
green
17:24; Luke 23:31
the flaming
Isaiah 66:24; Mark 9:43-49
from the south
21:3,4; Isaiah 24:1-6

Verse 48
And all flesh shall see that I the LORD have kindled it: it shall not be quenched.
Deuteronomy 29:24-28; 2 Chronicles 7:20-22; Isaiah 26:11; Jeremiah 40:2,3; Lamentations 2:16,17

Verse 49
Then said I, Ah Lord GOD! they say of me, Doth he not speak parables?
Doth
Is it not his usual custom to deal in enigmas? His figures are not to be understood; we should not trouble ourselves with them. God therefore commands the prophet to declare, in the next chapter, the same things in the plainest terms, so that they should not complain of his parables.
Matthew 13:13,14; John 16:25; Acts 17:18

 


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Bibliography Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Ezekiel 20:4". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/ezekiel-20.html.

Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, November 12th, 2019
the Week of Proper 27 / Ordinary 32
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