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Nave's Topical Bible - Backsliders; Gifts from God; Heart; Regeneration; Repentance; Scofield Reference Index - Kingdom; Thompson Chain Reference - Blessings-Afflictions; Creature, New; Endowments; Gifts; God; Heart; Man; New; Promises, Divine; Renewed Heart; Spiritual; The Topic Concordance - Covenant; Holy Spirit; Newness; Torrey's Topical Textbook - Gifts of God, the; Heart, the; Heart, Character of the Unrenewed; New Birth, the;
Verse Ezekiel 11:19. And I will give them one heart — A whole system of renewed affections.
And I will put a new spirit within you — To direct and influence these new affections.
And I will take the stony heart out of their flesh — That which would not receive the impressions of my Spirit.
And will give them a heart of flesh — One that is capable of receiving and retaining these impressions.
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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Ezekiel 11:19". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/​commentaries/​acc/​ezekiel-11.html. 1832.
Hope for the future (11:14-25)
Those left in Jerusalem thought they were God’s favoured people. They thought their security was guaranteed because they lived in the city where his temple was situated. They looked upon the exiles as having been cast off by God, forsaken and unclean in a foreign land (14-15). To the contrary, Ezekiel points out that the exiles are God’s favoured people, the remnant whom he has preserved. When they repent of their idolatry and rebellion, he will bring them back to their land (16-18). He will restore them to a new covenant relationship with himself, and put within them a new spirit that will make them more responsive to his will. The rebellious, however, will be punished (19-21).
As a final demonstration that God would no longer dwell among or protect the people living in Jerusalem, the chariot-throne bearing the glory of God departed from the temple, went out of the city and came to rest on a nearby mountain. God had left Jerusalem, but he was still within reach if the people decided to repent (22-23).
Now that the series of visions was finished, Ezekiel returned to normal. In spirit he was no longer in Jerusalem, but back in Babylon, where he recounted his experiences to the exiles (24-25; cf. 8:1-4).
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Flemming, Donald C. "Commentary on Ezekiel 11:19". "Fleming's Bridgeway Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/​commentaries/​bbc/​ezekiel-11.html. 2005.
One heart - So long as the Israelites were distracted by the service of many gods, such unity was impossible; but now, when they shall have taken away the “abominations” from the land, they shall be united in heart to serve the true God.
Stony heart ... heart of flesh - The heart unnaturally hardened, and the heart reawakened to feelings proper to man.
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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Ezekiel 11:19". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/​commentaries/​bnb/​ezekiel-11.html. 1870.
As God had already spoken concerning the piety of the Israelites, he shows that they could not forsake their sins until they were renewed, and so born again by his Spirit. Therefore he seemed in the last verse to praise the Israelites; but because men too eagerly claim as their own what has been given them from above, now God claims to himself glow of their virtues, of which he had formerly spoken. Their zeal in purging the land of all abominations was worthy of praise; hence the survivors of the people of Israel are deservedly celebrated, because they were impelled by the fervor of zeal to free the worship of God from all corruptions; but lest they should boast, that they had done it in their own strength, and from the impulse of their own hearts, God now modifies his former assertions, and shows that such pursuit of piety would exist among the Israelites, after he had regenerated them by his Spirit. And this plea alone may suffice to refute the Papists, as often as they seize upon such passages from the Scriptures, where God either exacts something from his people, or proclaims their virtues. David does this; hence he does it of his own free will: God requires this; hence it is in the will of men that they are equal to the performance of all things. Thus they trifle. But we see that the Prophet unites two things together, namely, the faithful elect of God strenuously attending to their duty, and intent on promoting his glory, even with ardor in the pursuit of his worship; and yet they were nothing by themselves. Hence it is added immediately afterwards — I will give them one heart, and will put a new spirit in their breasts But we must defer the rest to the next lecture.
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Calvin, John. "Commentary on Ezekiel 11:19". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/​commentaries/​cal/​ezekiel-11.html. 1840-57.
Let's turn now in our Bibles to Ezekiel, chapter 11.
Now Ezekiel is in Babylon during the time of these prophecies, but the Spirit of God transports him back to Jerusalem. And there he sees things that are transpiring in Jerusalem.
Now as a background, there are some Jewish zealots who are still in Jerusalem who have rebelled against Nebuchadnezzar and they are thinking that they are going to be successful in their rebellion. There are false prophets in Jerusalem that are encouraging the people in their rebellion, telling them that they are going to push Nebuchadnezzar right out of the picture. Jeremiah is in Jerusalem saying, "Don't listen to the false prophets. They are prophesying to you lies in the name of the Lord. You'd be much better off to surrender to the Babylonians, because if you try to resist you will be slain by the sword and the pestilence and the famine. So, surrender to Nebuchadnezzar." But Jeremiah is accused of treason and is imprisoned by Zedekiah the king.
But they have sent messengers, the false prophets, to those in Babylon, saying, "Hang loose, it won't be long. We'll defeat the Babylonians and you're going to be allowed to come back to Jerusalem. You'll be allowed to dwell in Jerusalem, so don't build houses. Just hang loose, deliverance is coming soon." But Ezekiel is there in Babylon saying, "Settle down, build houses. It's going to be a long time before there is any return back to Jerusalem. So, just realize that those that are in Jerusalem are going to be destroyed and the false prophets with them."
So, you have a confusing situation in that you have false prophets that are encouraging a soon victory over the Babylonian army. You have the true prophets of God, Ezekiel and Jeremiah, that are speaking God's truth and saying, "No, we are not going to conquer over Babylon, that God is judging the nation Israel for their sins, because they've turned against God and it's going to be a long period of judgment. You're going to be in Babylon," as Jeremiah said, "for seventy years, so make the best of it. Settle down, make the best of it there, because you're not coming back in a hurry."
Now Ezekiel is in Babylon, but there in Babylon occasionally he gets carried by the Spirit back to Jerusalem where he beholds the things that are happening in Jerusalem and he relates them to the people there in Babylon. And so in chapter 11 we have another one of these instances where:
The spirit lifted me up, and brought me unto the east gate of the LORD'S house, which looks eastward: and behold at the door of the gate there were twenty-five men; among whom I saw Jaazaniah the son of Azur ( Ezekiel 11:1 ),
Now, this is not the Jaazaniah among the twenty-five men that he had seen earlier in a vision. That was the son of Shalman, I think it was. But this is a different Jaazaniah, probably a popular name. I don't know why.
and Pelatiah the son of Benaiah, and they were the princes of the people. Then said he unto me, Son of man, these are the men that devise mischief, and they are giving wicked counsel to the city: They are saying to them, [Look,] it isn't near; let us build houses: this city is the caldron, and we be the flesh ( Ezekiel 11:1-3 ).
The destruction isn't near. The city is like a caldron in which we are protected from the fire. Babylon's fires may burn, but they won't burn us, because the city is the caldron and we are like the flesh. It's going to be a long time before the heat will ever get to us. So just go ahead and build your houses and settle down, because we are protected by this city from Babylon.
Therefore prophesy against them, prophesy, O son of man. And the Spirit of the LORD fell upon me, and said unto me, Speak; Thus saith the LORD; Thus have ye said, O house of Israel: for I know the things that come into your mind, every one of them ( Ezekiel 11:4-5 ).
Notice that. God says, "I know the things that are coming into your mind, everything." That's sort of a heavy thought isn't it? " I the Lord," He said, "do search the hearts." God knows every thought that comes into your mind; nothing is hid from Him with whom we have to deal. Actually, the Bible says, "All things are naked and open before Him" ( Hebrews 4:13 ). "I know everything that comes into your minds."
Ye have multiplied your slain in this city, and ye have filled the streets thereof with slain ( Ezekiel 11:6 ).
That is, by their false counsel they have encouraged the people to rebel, but all it's going to do is multiply the number of people that will be killed. As Jeremiah was saying to them, "Surrender and you can save your lives. They will be merciful to you if you surrender. You know, they'll take you to Babylon, give you a nice place to live an all, but surrender to them, don't resist." But these men by their false prophecies encouraging them to resist were only multiplying the number of people who were to be killed.
Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Your slain whom ye have laid in the midst of it, they are the flesh, and this city is the caldron: but I will bring you forth out of the midst of it ( Ezekiel 11:7 ).
So the people that have already died, they're the only ones that are going to be protected from the fire of Babylon. They are the flesh, they are the ones who are going to be protected, but you are going to be carried away captive. You're going to be led out of this city.
You have feared the sword; and I will bring a sword upon you, saith the Lord GOD. I will bring you out of the midst thereof, and deliver you into the hands of strangers, and will execute judgments among you. Ye shall fall by the sword; I will judge you in the border of Israel; and ye shall know that I am the LORD ( Ezekiel 11:8-10 ).
Interesting prophecy, "I shall judge you in the border of Israel." Now, when the Babylonian army came against Jerusalem and conquered it, the king, Nebuchadnezzar, remained in the city of Riblah, which is on the border of Israel. And they brought them to Nebuchadnezzar in Riblah where he judged them. Zedekiah you remember was captured and brought to Nebuchadnezzar at Riblah, and there Nebuchadnezzar killed his sons, right before his eyes, and then put his eyes out and he took him captive unto Babylon. And so a very fascinating prophecy of Ezekiel who is over in Babylon, really not knowing what's going on except by the Spirit of God, as he is taken back and sees these things and he predicts the fact that they will be judged in the borders of Israel, which indeed they were.
And this city shall not be your caldron ( Ezekiel 11:11 ),
It will not be a protection to you. It's not going to save you from the Babylonian fire.
neither shall ye be the flesh in the midst thereof; but I will judge you in the border of Israel ( Ezekiel 11:11 ):
Again repeated, and thus they were.
And ye shall know that I am the LORD: for ye have not walked in my statutes ( Ezekiel 11:12 ),
God's indictment against them, "Now, you've not walked in My statutes."
neither have you executed my judgments, but have done after the manners of the heathen round about you ( Ezekiel 11:12 ).
So their failure was to not walk in the ways of the Lord, but to follow the patterns of the heathen society around them, or to succumb to the mores.
Now, there is strong pressure upon us as Christians to forsake the statutes of God and to walk according to the popular mores of our society. There's tremendous pressure in our society today to accept things that God has condemned. And this pressure of the society is such that if you dare to condemn those things that God has condemned then you're looked upon as some kind of a religious nut, a prude, a backwards individual. "Don't you realize that times have changed? We're not living back in the Victorian age any longer. This isn't a Puritan society." And this tremendous pressure, to do what? Exactly what the children of Israel did that brought their destruction. Forsake the commandments, the statutes, the judgments of God, and start living like the people around you. But we dare not, for as sure as God did judge the nation Israel, so will He judge us if we do the same things.
Now, it came to pass, when I was prophesying, that [this fellow] Pelatiah, the son of Benaiah died ( Ezekiel 11:13 ).
So while he was there prophesying to them, this guy fell over dead. That's powerful preaching.
Then I fell on my face ( Ezekiel 11:13 ),
Now, it wasn't something that Ezekiel was expecting, because it shocked him.
I fell on my face, and I cried with a loud voice, and said, Ah Lord GOD! wilt thou make a full end of the remnant of Israel? ( Ezekiel 11:13 )
Are you going to wipe them all out, Lord?
Again the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, your brothers, even your brothers, the men of your own family, and all of the house of Israel wholly, are they unto whom the inhabitants of Jerusalem have said, Get you far from the LORD: unto us is this land given for a possession ( Ezekiel 11:13-15 ).
They're saying that this land is ours, we are not going to be defeated; we are not going to fall.
Therefore say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Although I have cast them far off among the heathen, and although I have scattered them among the countries, yet will I be to them as a little sanctuary in the countries where they shall come ( Ezekiel 11:16 ).
God said, "I will watch over them in the lands where they've been driven. I will be to them a little sanctuary there." God will preserve His people even though they've been driven throughout the world.
Now, that of course, again, is another amazing prophecy, because though the Jews have been hated, scorned, discriminated against, perhaps more fiercely than any other nationality, yet, in spite of two thousand years without a homeland, they have continued to exist as a race of people. Nothing short of a divine miracle. There has been no other national ethnic group in the history of man that has been able to remain as a national identity for more than five generations without a homeland. If they don't have a nation that they can say, "That's our homeland," they have lost their national ethnic identity in five generations. That is why you never meet an Ammonite, a Hittite, Perizzite, or any of these other people that were once great and powerful nations. Because without a national homeland, they've lost their national ethnic identity. And yet the Jew remain because God made them a little sanctuary. God was watching over to preserve them and they remained an ethnic group, a national identity, for more than two thousand years after having been driven from their homeland in the first captivity of Nebuchadnezzar. Of course, they went back for a period of time, but then since 70 A.D. they've been driven out of the land and still to the present day, whether they be in China, whether they be in Germany, whether they be in Russia, whether they be in Yemen or Africa, or the United States, the Jew has been able to maintain his national identity because God has made them a sanctuary. And you can only explain it by that fact. Because no other nation, no other ethnic group has been able to maintain an identity. So the Lord promises to be a little sanctuary in all of the lands where they've been scattered.
Therefore say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; I will even gather you from the people, and assemble you out of the countries where ye have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel ( Ezekiel 11:17 ).
Now this is not referring to the re-gathering after the Babylonian captivity, but is more of a reference to the present re-gathering.
And they shall come thither, and they shall take away all the detestable things thereof and all the abominations thereof from thence. And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you ( Ezekiel 11:18-19 );
Now, that has not yet been fulfilled. God is gathering them back in the land, but this new Spirit that God has promised has not yet been fulfilled. It will take place when God defeats Russia's invasion of Israel. And we'll get to that as we move on in Ezekiel chapter 39, the last verse of 39, God declares that in the day in which He is sanctified before the nations of the earth, He will again put His Spirit upon the nation of Israel. So this prophecy is relating to chapter 39 and to a day that is yet future, when God manifests Himself unto these people in such a dramatic way and He puts His Spirit upon them again.
I will give them one heart, I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them a heart of flesh ( Ezekiel 11:19 ):
Now Paul the apostle tells us in the New Testament that blindness has happened to Israel in part until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in. God's Spirit in the present time is working primarily among the Gentile nations, among you who have been called of God. Actually, among all men. Not that the Jews are excluded, because the gospel is open to all men, but there seems to be a national blindness on these people in regards to Jesus Christ. And it is interesting, I have talked to some of them who are extremely knowledgeable of the scriptures. And you wonder, when they know the scriptures so well, why is it that they do not see that Jesus was indeed the promised Messiah? You wonder how they can just explain away those prophecies, Daniel chapter 9, Isaiah 53 , Psalm 22 , Zechariah chapters 11 through 12 and all. You wonder, how can they not see the truth that Jesus is indeed the promised Messiah? And there can only be one explanation, and that is what Paul gave us, that there is a blindness that has happened to these people.
A couple of years ago when we were in Israel and I was speaking at a congress in which the Christians from all over the world were seeking to demonstrate to Israel our support of them as a people, I received a letter from one of the rabbis in Jerusalem. And the letter was a rebuke for my being there at that congress showing support for the nation of Israel. He said, "You have no right being here, for Israel has no right to be existing as a nation." This same rabbi had sent a letter to King Hussein in Jordan and asked the Jordanian king to annex Measharim into Jordan, because they wanted nothing to do with the modern state of Israel. They said, "Israel has no right being a state, and you as a minister have no right being here supporting the nation of Israel."
Well, I had been witnessing to these guides for quite some time and they do know the scripture quite well. And I showed them the letter and I said, "Look what one of your rabbis sent me." And they read the letter and they were horrified, because they appreciate the fact that I love Israel and had been supporting Israel. And they said, "Ah, don't pay any attention to that, Chuck, they're a bunch of religious nuts. They're radicals, you know. They don't know what they're talking about. They're just religious radicals. Don't pay any attention to that." I said, "But they're rabbis." "Ah, it doesn't make any difference. They're nuts, you know, just don't pay any attention to them." And I said, "Have you ever stopped to think that those rabbis that rejected Jesus from being the Messiah were perhaps just like them, some religious fanatics? And that Jesus was indeed the Messiah, but these religious fanatics rejected Him, and here you are two thousand years later, in spite of all of the evidence, still following the religious nuts of those days." They didn't have any answer. But surely anyone looking at the evidence of prophecy and of the life of Jesus Christ must conclude that if Jesus wasn't the Messiah, there never will be a Messiah. It would be impossible for any man to come along today and prove that he was of the lineage of David. No one has his genealogy and can trace it back to David any longer. So, God is going to change their hearts, though. This stony heart is going to be turned to a heart of flesh.
Ya know, one thing about the Jewish people is that they are a very dynamic people. They're very alive. They love to sing, they love to show their feelings in dancing and in singing. And quite often over there, the bus drivers and the guides, they'll get together and they'll sit at a table and they'll start singing their Jewish, typically Jewish, songs and they really get into it. I mean it's a ya know, "Hah..." and the whole thing ya know and the dancing and they get up and they start dancing around and singing. They really get into it. And it's a lot of fun, because they are such a dynamic people. They're exciting to be around. Oh, I can hardly wait until they get turned on to Jesus Christ. With all of that excitement and all of that expression that they have when they really discover the true Messiah, what a glorious day when the heart of stone is replaced; God does a heart transplant and He puts in a heart of flesh.
That they may walk in my statutes ( Ezekiel 11:20 ),
You see, this is the thing they had failed to do and that's why the judgment was coming.
that they will keep my ordinances, and do them: that they shall be my people, and I will be their God. But as for them whose heart walks after the heart of their detestable things and their abominations, I will recompense their way upon their own heads, saith the Lord GOD ( Ezekiel 11:20-21 ).
Now, at this point, these cherubims representing the glory of God and the presence of God that was once there in the temple but was lifted from the temple, out to the porch, from the porch to the east gate. Now he watches as the Spirit of God is removed even from the east gate of the temple to the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem.
Then did the cherubims lift up their wings, and the wheels beside them; and the glory of the God of Israel was over them above [them]. And the glory of the LORD went up from the midst of the city, and stood upon the mountain which is on the east side of the city [the Mount of Olives]. And afterwards the spirit took me up, and brought me in a vision by the Spirit of God [back] into Chaldea [back to Babylon], to them of the captivity. So the vision that I had seen went up from me. Then I spake to them of the captivity all of the things that the LORD had showed me ( Ezekiel 11:22-25 ).
So, he was taken by the Spirit, went through these interesting experiences, and then brought back and shared with these people that were around him there the vision that God did give to him.
Now, it is interesting, the glory of the Lord, the last place there on the mount to the east of Jerusalem. It was on this same mountain that Jesus ascended into glory. It was on this same mountain that Jesus came in His entry to Jerusalem as the King, as the Messiah, fulfilling the prophecy of Zechariah, "Behold, rejoice greatly, oh daughter of Jerusalem, behold thy King cometh unto thee, but He is lowly, sitting on the colt, the foal of an ass" ( Zechariah 9:9 ). And it is upon this same mount that Jesus will return. As Zechariah said, "And He shall set His foot in that day on the Mount of Olives, and it will split in the middle" ( Zechariah 14:4 ), an all, and right there where he saw the glory of the Lord departing from the mountain there on the east, there is where the glory of God in the person of Jesus Christ will come. And again, as He comes into Jerusalem, the glory of God's presence once more returning to the land and the beautiful restoration of God and the glorious kingdom of God when it comes.
Copyright © 2014, Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa, Ca.
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Ezekiel 11:19". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/​commentaries/​csc/​ezekiel-11.html. 2014.
The assurance of restoration in the future 11:14-21
Block entitled this modified disputation speech "The Gospel according to Ezekiel." [Note: Block, The Book . . ., p. 341.]
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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Ezekiel 11:19". "Dr. Constable's Expository Notes". https://www.studylight.org/​commentaries/​dcc/​ezekiel-11.html. 2012.
The Lord also promised to give His people a united desire and commitment (cf. Ezekiel 36:26; Exodus 14:5; 1 Samuel 14:7; 1 Samuel 27:1; 2 Samuel 7:3; Jeremiah 32:39). He would put a new attitude within them (cf. Psalms 51:10). This "spirit" would enter into them when God would pour out His Spirit on them (Ezekiel 36:26-27; Deuteronomy 30:6; Jeremiah 31:33; Joel 2:28-29). He would remove their hard hearts and give them hearts that were responsive to Him so they would obey His commands and do His will. Then they would enjoy an intimate relationship with God and He with them. On the individual level this change takes place through a new birth (cf. John 3:3-10). On the national level it will happen when the nation of Israel experiences a new birth (cf. Romans 11:25-27).
"The term berit [covenant] is absent, but in the declaration They will become my people, and I will become their God, the reader is introduced for the first time to what is generally known as ’the covenant formula.’ Derived from ancient legal terminology, specifically the marriage ceremony, this formula expresses a relationship of commitment and intimacy. It’s prominence in both Ezekiel and Jeremiah is based on a long history, beginning with Yahweh’s commitment to be the God of Abraham and his descendants (Genesis 17:7-8)." [Note: Block, The Book . . ., p. 354.]
"After the exile when many Jews returned to a restored province of Judah in fulfillment of prophecy (Ezra 1:1), they were careful to avoid idolatry (Ezra 4:1-3; Ezra 6:19-21; Nehemiah 8-10). Nevertheless, their obedience was not complete (Ezra 9:1-2; Ezra 9:10-15; Ezra 10:15; Ezra 10:44; Nehemiah 5:1-9; Nehemiah 13:7-29), nor was their experience of promised blessings (Ezra 9:8-9; Nehemiah 9:32-37). Thus the radical spiritual transformation of the people and the associated physical blessings promised in this and other prophecies of the new covenant (Jeremiah 31:31-34; Ezekiel 34:20-31; Ezekiel 36:24-38; Ezekiel 37:15-28) await fulfillment in a future messianic age." [Note: Cooper, p. 144. See also Feinberg, p. 66; and Dyer, "Ezekiel," p. 1248.]
Many amillennialists take the fulfillment as happening on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2). [Note: See Taylor, p. 112.] Single-minded devotion to God is what He always requires and what His grace makes possible (cf. Matthew 4:10; Matthew 6:24-34; Ephesians 6:5; Colossians 3:22).
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Ezekiel 11:19". "Dr. Constable's Expository Notes". https://www.studylight.org/​commentaries/​dcc/​ezekiel-11.html. 2012.
And I will give them one heart,.... In opposition to a divided heart, Hosea 10:2; divided between the true God and idols, wavering and halting between two opinions, sometimes serving God, and sometimes Baal; a heart to pursue one way of worship, and to serve the Lord with one shoulder or consent, Jeremiah 32:40; a heart sincere to God and man, in opposition to a double or hypocritical one,
Psalms 12:2; a heart single to the honour and glory of God, and firmly attached to his word and worship: also concord, harmony, an unity of affections to one another, so as to be of one heart and one soul, as the first Christians were, who were Jews, Acts 4:32; and an unity of judgment, an oneness of principle and practice, as there ought to be, 1 Corinthians 1:10; and all this is the gift of God, and flows from his grace and favour. The Septuagint and Arabic versions render it, "another heart"; different from what they had before;
and I will put a new spirit within you; meaning either the Holy Spirit of God, the author of, regeneration and renovation: this is represented by the ancient Jews p as the same with the Spirit of the Messiah that moved upon the face of the waters, Genesis 1:2; or the spirit of man, the seat of this renewing work; or rather the work itself, called "a new man", "a new creature", Ephesians 4:24; and this is a new frame and disposition of mind, in which are new principles of light and life, grace and holiness; a new understanding of themselves and state, of God and of Christ, of divine things and Gospel truths; new affections for God, and all that is good; new desires after grace and righteousness, after God and communion with him, after his word and ordinances, and conformity to Christ; new purposes and resolutions to serve the Lord, and glorify him; new delights and joys, and in short all things become new. Instead of "within you", the Septuagint, and all the Oriental versions, read, "in them"; and to this the Targum agrees;
and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh; a heart hardened by sin, and confirmed in it; destitute of spiritual life, senseless and stupid as to spiritual things; stubborn and inflexible, on which no impressions are made by corrections, admonitions, and instructions of superiors; and so an impenitent one: this God only can remove; men cannot soften their own hearts; nor can ministers work upon them; nor will judgments themselves bring men to repentance: it is the work of God only; who does it by his word, with which he breaks the rock in pieces; by the discoveries of his love, with which he melts the heart that is harder than the nether millstone; by giving repentance to them, by working faith in them, to look to a crucified Christ and mourn, and all this by "his" Spirit: this is said to be taken "out of their flesh"; not their body, but their nature corrupted by sin, John 3:6; which shows that this hardness is natural to men, and rooted in them, and that it requires omnipotence to remove it;
and will give them an heart of flesh; a sensible and penitent one; a soft and tender one; a sanctified and spiritual one; one flexible and obsequious to the will of God; on which impressions are made; on which the laws of God are written; into which the doctrines of the Gospel are transcribed, Christ is formed, and the fear of God is implanted, with every other grace, all which are the gifts of God, and owing to his efficacious grace. The Targum of the whole is,
"and I will give them a fearing heart, and a spirit of fear I will put in their bowels (or in the midst of them); and I will break the heart of wickedness, which is as hard as a stone, out of their flesh, and I will give them a heart fearing before me to do my will.''
p Zokar in Gen. fol. 107. 3.
The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Gill, John. "Commentary on Ezekiel 11:19". "Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/​commentaries/​geb/​ezekiel-11.html. 1999.
|Judgments Predicted; Sufferings and Hopes of Pious Captives.||B. C. 593.|
14 Again the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 15 Son of man, thy brethren, even thy brethren, the men of thy kindred, and all the house of Israel wholly, are they unto whom the inhabitants of Jerusalem have said, Get you far from the LORD: unto us is this land given in possession. 16 Therefore say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Although I have cast them far off among the heathen, and although I have scattered them among the countries, yet will I be to them as a little sanctuary in the countries where they shall come. 17 Therefore say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; I will even gather you from the people, and assemble you out of the countries where ye have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel. 18 And they shall come thither, and they shall take away all the detestable things thereof and all the abominations thereof from thence. 19 And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them a heart of flesh: 20 That they may walk in my statutes, and keep mine ordinances, and do them: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God. 21 But as for them whose heart walketh after the heart of their detestable things and their abominations, I will recompense their way upon their own heads, saith the Lord GOD.
Prophecy was designed to exalt every valley as well as to bring low every mountain and hill (Isaiah 40:4), and prophets were to speak not only conviction to the presumptuous and secure, but comfort to the despised and desponding that trembled at God's word. The prophet Ezekiel, having in the former part of this chapter received instructions for the awakening of those that were at ease in Zion, is in these verses furnished with comfortable words for those that mourned in Babylon and by the rivers there sat weeping when they remembered Zion. Observe,
I. How the pious captives were trampled upon and insulted over by those who continued in Jerusalem, Ezekiel 11:15; Ezekiel 11:15. God tells the prophet what the inhabitants of Jerusalem said of him and the rest of them that were already carried away to Babylon. God had owned them as good figs, and declared it was for their good that he had sent them into Babylon; but the inhabitants of Jerusalem abandoned them, supposing those that were really the best saints to be the greatest sinners of all men that dwelt in Jerusalem. Observe, 1. How they are described: They are thy brethren (says God to the prophet), whom thou hast a concern and affection for; they are the men of thy kindred (the men of thy redemption, so the word is), thy next of kin, to whom the right of redeeming the alienated possession belongs, but who are so far from being able to do it that they have themselves gone into captivity. They are the whole house of Israel; God so accounts of them because they only have retained their integrity, and are bettered by their captivity. They were not only of the same family and nation with Ezekiel, but of the same spirit; they were his hearers, and he had communion with them in holy ordinances; and perhaps upon that account they are called his brethren and the men of his kindred. 2. How they were disowned by the inhabitants of Jerusalem; they said of them, Get you far from the Lord. Those that were at ease and proud themselves scorned their brethren that were humbled and under humbling providences. (1.) They cut them off from being members of their church. Because they had separated themselves from their rulers and in compliance with the will of God had surrendered themselves to the king of Babylon, they excommunicated them, and said, "Get you far from the Lord; we will have nothing to do with you." Those that were superstitious were very willing to shake off those that were conscientious, and were severe in their censures of them and sentences against them, as if they were forsaken and forgotten of the Lord and were cut off from the communion of the faithful. (2.) They cut them off from being members of the commonwealth too, as if they had no longer any part or lot in the matter: "Unto us is this land given in possession, and you have forfeited your estates by surrendering to the king of Babylon, and we have thereby become entitled to them." God takes notice of, and is much displeased with, the contempt which those that are in prosperity put upon their brethren that are in affliction.
II. The gracious promises which God made to them in consideration of the insolent conduct of their brethren towards them. Those that hated them and cast them out said, Let the Lord be glorified; but he shall appear to their joy,Isaiah 66:5. God owns that his hand had gone out against them, which had given occasion to their brethren to triumph over them (Ezekiel 11:16; Ezekiel 11:16): "It is true I have cast them far off among the heathen and scattered them among the countries; they look as if they were an abandoned people, and so mingled with the nations that they will be lost among them; but I have mercy in store for them." Note, God takes occasion from the contempts which are put upon his people to speak comfort to them, as David hoped God would reward him good for Shimei's cursing. His time to support his people's hopes is when their enemies are endeavouring to drive them to despair. Now God promises,
1. That he will make up to them the want of the temple and the privileges of it (Ezekiel 11:16; Ezekiel 11:16): I will be to them as a little sanctuary, in the countries where they shall come. Those at Jerusalem have the temple, but without God; those in Babylon have God, though without the temple. (1.) God will be a sanctuary to them; that is, a place of refuge; to him they shall flee, and in him they shall be safe, as he was that took hold on the horns of the altar. Or, rather, they shall have such communion with God in the land of their captivity as it was thought could be had nowhere but in the temple. They shall there see God's power and his glory, as they used to see them in the sanctuary; they shall have the tokens of God's presence with them, and his grace in their hearts shall sanctify their prayers and praises, as well as ever the altar sanctified the gift, so that they shall please the Lord better than an ox or bullock. (2.) He will be a little sanctuary, not seen or observed by their enemies, who looked with an evil and an envious eye upon that house at Jerusalem which was high and great, 1 Kings 9:8. They were but few and mean, and a little sanctuary was fittest for them. God regards the low estate of his people, and suits his favours to their circumstances. Observe the condescensions of divine grace. The great God will be to his people a little sanctuary. Note, Those that are deprived of the benefit of public ordinances, if it be not their own fault, may have the want of them abundantly made up in the immediate communications of divine grace and comforts.
2. That God would in due time put an end to their afflictions, bring them out of the land of their captivity, and settle them again, them or their children, in their own land (Ezekiel 11:17; Ezekiel 11:17): "I will gather even you that are thus dispersed, thus despised, and given over for lost by your own countrymen; I will gather you from the people, distinguish you from those with whom you are mingled, deliver you from those by whom you are held captives, and assemble you in a body out of the countries where you have been scattered; you shall not come back one by one, but all together, which will make your return more honourable, safe, and comfortable; and then I will give you the land of Israel, which now your brethren look upon you as for ever shut out from." Note, It is well for us that men's severe censures cannot cut us off from God's gracious promises. There are many that will be found to have a place in the holy land whom uncharitable men, by their monopolies of it to themselves, had secluded from it. I will give you the land of Israel, give it to you again by a new grant, and they shall come thither. If there be any thing in the change of the person from you to them, it may signify the posterity of those to whom the promise is made. "You shall have the title as the patriarchs had, and those that come after shall have the possession."
3. That God by his grace would part between them and their sins, Ezekiel 11:18; Ezekiel 11:18. Their captivity shall effectually cure them of their idolatry: When they come thither to their own land again they shall take away all the detestable things thereof. Their idols, that had been their delectable things, should now be looked upon with detestation, not only the idols of Babylon, where they were captives, but the idols of Canaan, where they were natives; they should not only not worship them as they had done, but they should not suffer any monuments of them to remain: They shall take all the abominations thereof thence. Note, Then it is in mercy that we return to a prosperous estate, when we return not to the sins and follies of that state. What have I to do any more with idols?
4. That God would powerfully dispose them to their duty; they shall not only cease to do evil, but they shall learn to do well, because there shall be not only an end of their troubles, but a return to their peace.
(1.) God will plant good principles in them; he will make the tree good, Ezekiel 11:19; Ezekiel 11:19. This is a gospel promise, and is made good to all those whom God designs for the heavenly Canaan; for God prepares all for heaven whom he has prepared heaven for. It is promised, [1.] That God will give them one heart, a heart entire for the true God and not divided as it had been among many gods, a heart firmly fixed and resolved for God and not wavering, steady and uniform, and not inconstant with itself. One heart is a sincere and upright heart, its intentions of a piece with its professions. [2.] That he will put a new spirit within them, a temper of mind agreeable to the new circumstances into which God in his providence would bring them. All that are sanctified have a new spirit, quite different from what it was; they act from new principles, walk by new rules, and aim at new ends. A new name, or a new face, will not serve without a new spirit. If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature. [3.] That he will take away the stony heart out of their flesh, out of their corrupt nature. Their hearts shall no longer be, as they have been, dead and dry, and hard and heavy, as a stone, no longer incapable of bearing good fruit, so that the good seed is lost upon it, as it was on the stony ground. [4.] That he will give them a heart of flesh, not dead or proud flesh, but living flesh; he will make their hearts sensible of spiritual pains and spiritual pleasures, will make them tender, and apt to receive impressions. This is God's work, it is his gift, his gift by promise; and a wonderful and happy change it is that is wrought by it, from death to life. This is promised to those whom God would bring back to their own land; for then such a change of the condition is for the better indeed when it is accompanied with such a change of the heart; and such a change must be wrought in all those that shall be brought to the better country, that is, the heavenly.
(2.) Their practices shall be consonant to those principles: I will give them a new spirit, not that they may be able to discourse well of religion and to dispute for it, but that they may walk in my statues in their whole conversation and keep my ordinances in all acts of religious worship, Ezekiel 11:20; Ezekiel 11:20. These two must go together; and those to whom God has given a new heart and a new spirit will make conscience of both; and then they shall be my people and I will be their God. The ancient covenant, which seemed to be broken and forgotten, shall be renewed. By their idolatry, it should seem, they had cast God off; by their captivity, it should seem, God had cast them off. But when they were cured of their idolatry, and delivered out of their captivity, God and his Israel own one another again. God, by his good work in them, will make them his people; and then, by the tokens of his good-will towards them, he will show that he is their God.
III. Here is a threatening of wrath against those who hated to be reformed. As, when judgments are threatened, the righteous are distinguished so as not to share in the evil of those judgments, so, when favours are promised, the wicked are distinguished so as not to share in the comfort of those favours; they have no part nor lot in the matter, Ezekiel 11:21; Ezekiel 11:21. But, as for those that have no grace, what have they to do with peace? Observe, 1. Their description. Their heart walks after the heart of their detestable things; they have as great a minds to worship devils as devils have to be worshipped. Or, in opposition to the new heart which God gives his people, which is a heart after his own heart, they have a heart after the heart of their idols; in their temper and practice they conformed to the characters and accounts given them of their idols, and the ideas they had of them, and of them they learned lewdness and cruelty. Here lies the root of all their wickedness, the corruption of the heart; as the root of their reformation is laid in the renovation of the heart. The heart has its walks, and according as those are the man is. 2. Their doom. It carries both justice and terror in it: I will recompense their way upon their own heads; I will deal with them as they deserve. There needs no more than this to speak God righteous, that he does but render to men according to their deserts: and yet such are the deserts of sin that there needs no more than this to speak the sinner miserable.
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Henry, Matthew. "Complete Commentary on Ezekiel 11:19". "Henry's Complete Commentary on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/​commentaries/​mhm/​ezekiel-11.html. 1706.