I dedicate this website to the memory of my dear mother Doris Harmon, seen here in one of her high school pictures.  I expect to see her again.


To my sweet wife Gloria who is a great source of joy to me every day.


EZEKIEL 1:3 The Hand of the LORD January 14, 2012

 R ev. A. R. Fausset, A.M. reminds us that there were three deportations. The first in the 3rd or 4th year of Jehoiakim which included Daniel; the second was under Jehoiachin which involved Ezekiel and the third was at the taking of Jerusalem under Zedekiah. The 30th year probably refers to Ezekiel’s age and is reflected in reference to his being “a priest” since their ministry began at that time of life. It is suggested that since Jehovah was to be a “little sanctuary” to the exiles, Ezekiel was called to be its priest (11:16). “Thus the opening vision follows naturally as the formal institution of that spiritual temple in which he was to minister” (Fairbairn).

 Chebar flows into the Euphrates 200 miles north of Babylon, but in this first vision the prophet perceives himself to be in the temple at Jerusalem.

 As to the vision itself, we are at once astounded by such overwhelmingly awesome insights into the heavenly aspect of reality. We tend to measure what is real by what we experience in our daily earth-bound existence. Here the curtain is drawn back to expose us to the ways and means of heavenly doings and it is difficult for our minds to take the leap. That there are such living creatures as cherubim and seraphim, we have been aware from the beginning, but we find out here in this chapter that our understanding on the subject has been limited to say the least. Suffice it to say that we have a great deal to learn. Let us be open-minded and let us be reminded that this too is the Word of God. May the “hand of the LORD” be upon us, leading us to the One on the throne (v.26) Who, after all we have seen here, is a Man like us. May we behold His glory and like Isaiah, “speak of him” (John 12:14)





Ezekiel 2:4 Impudent Children

 Jehovah chose Israel (Isa.44:1) and bound Himself to that nation in an unconditional covenant (Gen.15), of that we can be certain, but the question is why? We understand from Isa.46:9&10 that He knows the end from the beginning. Did He know how rebellious these people would be? Could He have foreseen how “impudent and stiff-hearted” they would become (v.4) and if so, why did He choose them? Could He not have found some nation that would have appreciated His magnanimity? Some city other than Jerusalem which so spurned His love (ch.16)?

Well, it stands to reason that if Jehovah wished to magnify His grace He would choose a nation that would present the greatest test of His love. Apparently the all-time winner of that title goes to Israel. What other people have been so blessed as they? Think of the miraculous powers to which they have been treated. The Red Sea crossing alone should have won their hearts forever but the golden calf expressed their gratitude.

Today it is individual recipients of God’s grace that marvel at His love. Paul, the chief of sinners, has writ it large in Ephesians 2, “not of works.” We who belong to the human race have crucified the Son of God and in return Jehovah chooses to bless us with eternal riches.

Let those who fear the loss of salvation due to their sin or unfaithfulness contemplate the phenomenon of God’s grace to such a “rebellious children” as these to whom Ezekiel is being sent. Are they getting what they deserve? No, and neither do we. It is all of grace, not of works lest any should boast. If we can do nothing to earn heaven, then what can we do to lose it? Have we received the gift? That is the only question!





Ezekiel 3:27 “I Will Open Thy Mouth”

 It is very important when approaching this chapter here before us to remember the difference between interpreting a passage and applying it. I think that there is a tendency in fundamental churches for us to be intimidated by the concept of God expecting us all as Christians to be watchmen as He called Ezekiel to be. Let us first interpret the call of Ezekiel carefully.

You will note from verse seventeen that Jehovah specifically made Ezekiel the watchman unto a specific group, namely Israel. There is only one true interpretation of this passage as is the case in all other Scripture. To find the true interpretation one must determine certain facts. Who is speaking and to whom are the words addressed. Other questions to be answered are when, where, how, etc.

Perhaps we might discern principles in these verses that we could apply to our own hearts but there is no command to do so. Even when Paul speaks (Acts 20:26) of being “pure from the blood of all men,” it is spoken as a testimony and not a command. He was especially chosen and commissioned (Acts 9:15). There was only one apostle Paul and only one Ezekiel and we should be thankful for them both but also thankful that we are not called to walk in their shoes. If God does call us to special tasks be sure He will equip us for them. Note all of the special experiences in this chapter alone that this prophet went through and be prepared for seeing many more before we reach the end of this book.





Ezekiel 4:17 For Their Iniquity

 If you will turn first to Jeremiah 29 you will see that the chapter records the fact that the prophet was writing to the elders, the priests and prophets and all the people whom Nebuchednezzar had carried away captive to Babylon telling them to resume a normal life for it would be many years before any of them would get back to their homeland (v.10). This was to confirm the fact that Jerusalem would be destroyed.

This prophecy was being written about 4 years before the events in our present chapter of Ezekiel where we see the prophet illustrating the destruction of Jerusalem to this same remnant who have been settled on the Chebar River (Ez.1:3). Thus we have both of these great prophets working in harmony to counteract the contaminating influence of the false prophets (Jer.31 and 32).

The object lesson of the siege of Jerusalem is one of several in these early chapters, portraying God’s judgement. Ironside says that at the very time the prophet was illustrating the siege of the city the armies of the Chaldeans had thrown a cordon around it. All the while the false prophets contended that God would never allow its destruction.

The use of dung as fuel for cooking was common on American prairies – there is no thought here of it being mixed with the grain as some have thought. Note Jehovah’s willingness to change His directive.

As revolting or extreme as were some of God’s requirements nothing equaled the dire straits of the siege itself. We see His hatred of iniquity and idolatry.




Ezekiel 5:13 I Will Be Comforted

 It is comforting for us to know that the hairs of our head are numbered (Matt.10:30) which is the Lord’s way of assuring us that He is watching over us in minutest scrutiny. There was not much comfort, however, in the message communicated to Ezekiel concerning the talley of the hair of his head (and beard). It represented not what would happen to him, but what God had in store for his brethren, the Jews of Jerusalem, probably actually representing all of Israel (J.F.B.).

It is comforting to know that a very small remnant was to be preserved though even they would pass through the fires of God’s judgement (see also 6:8 and following).

The severe judgements enumerated here were only begun in Zedekiah’s day and probably refer to all of the terrible sufferings Israel would experience, most especially during the Great Tribulation, yet future, known as Jacob’s Trouble (Jer.30:7). As we know, it is the horrors of that seven year period that will finally cause Israel’s repentance (Zech.12:10). They shall, apparently for the first time, supernaturally, see our Lord Jesus as the One they had “pierced” and “a nation shall be born at once” (Isa,66:8).

In the meantime, seeing this word “comforted” in verse 13 serves as a reminder of the important doctrine of satisfaction which speaks to us of the necessity of God’s vengeance against man’s wickedness, a vindication of His holiness, i.e. His righteous indignation. The word translated “comforted” here in v.13 which is used in Gen.24:67 when Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death, has very wide usage. It is the word used of God “repenting” and also of the “avenging” of oneself.

We can be thankful when we read this chapter to know that God’s wrath against sin was fully satisfied by the death of His Son producing complete reconciliation for those of us who are in Christ.




 Ezekiel 6:9 I Am Broken

 There are a couple of unusual features in this chapter that should perhaps be noted before we take a more in-depth perusal of a facet of Jehovah’s character mentioned here but probably often overlooked.

First we see that this prophecy is directed toward nature. In verse 3 Jehovah tells Ezekiel to address the mountains, the hills, the rivers and the valleys but actually it is the idolaters in these places that shall feel the edge of the sword. Secondly, the purpose for all of this death and destruction is in order that it may be known that Jehovah is the One wreaking such judgement. This is repeated four times (verses 7,10,13 and 14).

I believe we have in verse nine, however, a unique statement as to why God is carrying out these severities and it ties back with verse 13 in the previous chapter and with that special word “comforted.” In our verse here (nine) this thought seems to be continued by the use of another very interesting word.

As suggested in our opening paragraph, we have here an insight into the deep character of Jehovah. He says, “I am broken with their whorish heart ...and eyes.” The Hebrew word here seems exceptional as Strong indicates that it means to burst and that it is translated in other places as “to break in pieces.” He goes on, with such words as “broken-hearted” “crushed” “hurt.” We see Jesus weeping over Jerusalem (Luke 10:34) as a N.T. enactment of this anthropomorphism in the Old.

I thought of how as a child when I grieved my mother by some wayward action which had seemingly broken her heart. Her tears would, in turn, break my own heart. Hasten O LORD the day when your broken heartedness will cause Israel to indeed “lothe themselves for the evils they have committed.” (See F.B. Meyer- Our Daily Homily).





Ezekiel 7:9 The LORD That Smiteth

 Patrick Fairbairn in his classic work on Ezekiel says of this chapter that what it amounts to is poetic dirge or lamentation over the attitudes and conditions of the times. In fact, aside from a couple of pages of footnotes appearing at the end of the book, he makes absolutely no comments on the text of this chapter. My reaction is that if this profound scholar was left speechless here, where does that leave me?

Perhaps one thing we could think about is those recurring words here and in the previous chapter, “and ye shall know that I am the LORD.” This statement appears in six and seven, a total of seven times. Perhaps you could find them and underline them as I have done. Note especially that this chapter ends with this emphatic declaration.

I wish that each of you could have heard the brief message that our pastor brought to the nearly 20 of us who attended the local pastors’ fellowship last Monday (Feb.5th, 2012) here in the Searsport church. It had to do with the attitudes and conditions of our present day and time but primarily with our need to know personally our God Whom we serve.

Jehovah not only wants us to know that He is (Heb.11:6) but that He wants our love and fellowship. How much time do we spend just talking with Him, enjoying His presence, learning to love and appreciate Him for Who He is and glorying in His mighty works of creation and salvation?

As we read these terrible words of judgement let us realize that Israel in all of its wickedness did not nearly approach the sins of carelessness and indifference of professed believers who tread under foot the Son of God doing despite unto the Spirit of grace. “ It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Heb.10:31). “The Lord shall judge His people.”





Ezekiel 8:4 The Vision That I Saw

 Here begins a section which encompasses four chapters. In it the prophet has a vision in which, though he was sitting with the captives in Babylon, he was spirited, while in a trance, to Jerusalem, and later shared what he had experienced (11:25).

In our present chapter we have four scenes that were shown to Ezekiel, any one of which would be enough to warrant Jehovah’s wrath upon Jerusalem. Many of the Jewish leaders were like the later Diests, believing that Jehovah had abandoned His creation (8:12).

In the first one he was shown an altar that had been placed in prominence before the brazen altar and was called “the image of jealousy.” God said that this was enough to cause Him to vacate the temple (which He later did as recorded in 10:18). Exodus 34:14 is one place where the word jealous is used of God. We are not told the name of this idol but we do know that Manasseh had set one up in the temple court (II K.21:7) to Astarte (Venus) who was “worshiped with licentious rites” (J.F.B.)

Secondly, Ezekiel was shown a secret door in the temple which led to a room where the priests were worshiping all sorts of Egyptian-type gods. In their secret chamber they thought no one could see them, but God knew all about it! And so now did the captives at Chebar, probably causing them to be less surprised at what Jehovah was going to do with His beautiful temple.

In the last two scenes, the women are weeping for Tammuz and the men are worshiping the sun. Hyslop in The Two Babylons, pg.62, cites Maimonides (deeply read by the Babylonians - Chaldees)who tells the story of Tammuz and the custom of weeping for him on the first day of the month. The account of his death and resurrection are, of course, part of Satan’s warfare against Christ.

There are many applications that can be made to the Christian’s heart and life from this chapter and can be easily found by the reader (J.F.B., Ironside, Meyer, etc.).





Ezekiel 9:4 Men That Sigh and Cry

 Of course, this is still part of the prophet’s vision. It isn’t actually happening, but the end of the story is as if it were. The marked men will survive and they are marked in the mind of God. The others are destroyed in effect and it will be only a matter of time, i.e. from this moment their fate was sealed.

The two words sigh and cry look alike and sound alike in the Hebrew as they do in English and they both mean practically the same thing, to shriek or to groan. We are not told how many such men were seen to be in this category. Relatively few there probably were.

The reason for their obvious compunction was their deep distress over the idolatrous activity symbolized by the occupations of the leaders portrayed in the previous chapter and the awareness of Jehovah’s displeasure in it all. In spite of the fact that these, who in the heart of God were singled out and set apart from those upon whom His judgement was about to fall, could not escape being involved. Their wives and children would be exposed to the Babylonian fire power, the deprivation of life’s necessities and all else that accompanies the ravages of war and especially siege.

As believers today we greatly desire the return of the Lord Jesus but how prepared are we for the upheaval of life style we probably would experience during the period leading up to the reign of the Anti-Christ. It is wonderful to know that we who belong to the Lord are not appointed to wrath as the unsaved are, and we are set apart in Jehovah’s heart as those whose names are written in His book. There might be some sighing and crying, on our part however if we were to be swept along by momentous events like the necessary fall of capitalism to socialism and a new world order. Who really knows what might happen before the rapture?





Ezekiel 10:18 The Glory of the LORD Departed

 Seeking for insight regarding the strange creatures which appeared at the beginning of this book and now in this chapter take center stage, the Lord has led me in a very interesting way to some satisfactory conclusions.

First, let us establish that they are referred to throughout Scripture from Genesis (3:24) to Revelation (chs.4 and 5) and though in the KJV they are called by different terms they are obviously one and the same (viz. living creatures, beasts, cherubim). For example, note in today’s chapter verses 15 and 20, the clear statement of Ezekiel. A study of the words in Hebrew and Greek will show that the primary meaning of them all is that they were living beings.

Regarding God’s leading as I sought for understanding He led me to a book on Revelation by James B. Ramsey, published by Banner of Truth, which was purchased at a local yard sale a few years ago and never opened. This little known author humbly presents a credible and deeply spiritual explanation that I wish all might read but since that is unlikely, I will try in a short space to elucidate. Patience and prayerful meditation will be rewarded, believe me. I will quote:

“No more strange, mysterious, and unearthly object was ever presented, ...than that described in these verses. It is nothing less than a visible picture of what the boldest human imagination would have pronounced impossible to be represented by a visible image. It is a symbol of THE LIFE OF GOD IN THE SOUL OF MAN, of THE SPIRITUAL LIFE OF REDEEMED SINNERS. Or to express the same idea in a somewhat more concrete form as it presents itself in those who possess this life – it is human nature as redeemed and regenerated, united to Christ and made partakers of the divine nature”. (Caps and italics are the author’s.)

Of course, Ramsey is commenting on the Revelation passages and the appearance of the so-called beasts there are somewhat different than those which appear in Ezekiel 1 and 10, but since they are essentially the same symbols, we must attempt to extrapolate (look up the meaning) on the subject, keeping in mind “the glory of the LORD” which was departing from the temple. It came back to the temple at Pentecost!





Ezekiel 11:16 A Little Sanctuary



This chapter concludes the vision that Ezekiel experienced which is seen as beginning in chapter eight. In it Ezekiel sees the company of men again who were worshiping the sun in 8:16 this time being led by Jaazani the son of Azur. We had seen, also in chapter 8 another by the same name only with a different father, Shaphan. These two may be singled out because of their name which meant God hears. He would have heard if they had but called upon Him.

Instead, the men he represented were devising mischief and giving wicked counsel in Jerusalem, mocking Jeremiah’s message on the seething pot (1:13). In his vision Ezekiel was told to preach against them, the result of which one of them dropped dead (apparently both in the vision and in actuality in Jerusalem at the same time) (v.13).

Again, we are reminded that the purpose of all of this was to convince the remnant in Babylon that the message of the cauldron would come true and Jerusalem really would be destroyed, therefore they should indeed build houses, etc. and settle in for the long haul (seventy years). When Ezekiel was finished with his vision he explained it all to the captives (v.25).

All of this we have heard over and over again many times, that is true, but here there is a special glimpse into the grace of God. He says to the remnant that though He had scattered them among the heathen, He would be to them “a little sanctuary in the countries where they should come” (v.16).

Though the Shekinah Glory is seen leaving the temple and ascending from the Mount of Olives (v.23) a great day is yet to come when Jehovah shall stand upon that mountain in the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ (Zech.14:4; Acts 1:11 &12) and “in that day” the LORD shall be king over all the earth. Today the earth is peppered with “little sanctuaries”- local churches (Eph.2:22) from whence the cry goes up, “Even so come Lord Jesus” (Rev.22:20).





Ezekiel 12:2 A Rebellious House


Ezekiel is made a sign unto the rebellious house of Israel that were now captives in Babylon (v.11) and a prophetic picture of what would happen to King Zedekiah in a few years. It was very accurate and in 5 years he was captured as he was trying to escape from Jerusalem, blinded and carried to Babylon in chains where he remained until his death (Jer.32:7-11).

The proverb in verse 22 showed the unbelief of the people for it said, in effect, it will be a long time before any of these calamities take place (v.27) and we don’t think much of these visions that some of the prophets tell us about. God said that the days of fulfillment were “at hand” and events seen in the visions are now taking “effect” (v.23).

Five times we read the words that Israel was “a rebellious house” so that there is no doubt about the theme of this chapter. Find and underline them so that the next time you open to this passage the words will pop out. We need to make notes in our Bibles so that we do not have to break ground each time we come here again but we can rather build upon our knowledge with additional insights. Plan that your next Bible will have margins so that you may write notes in them from your pastors’ sermons. Notes on separate papers are too often lost or are not at hand when needed. Think about it.

Unfortunately all too often it is true today as then that we also dwell in the midst of a rebellious house. What else is it when all around us are people like these who have eyes but see not and ears but hear not (v.2), and we must examine our own hearts as well. While God’s Word is being faithfully preached, believers are apparently seeing and hearing but there is little effect on the life. If it were really believed, there would be a better attendance on Sunday night and at prayer meeting, would there not? In our little church, a third of the Sunday morning crowd do not even see the need of being members. Intelligent men act as if they are listening but no change in behavior can be noted. What is this if it be not rebellion? Shall we pray about it?





Ezekiel 13: 12 Wall-Daubers



Don’t be hornswoggled by the false prophets. Don’t know what that word means? It means don’t be bamboozled by them. Both of these words are in Webster and it simply means, don’t be taken in - misled by them.

According to the dictionary it means to be taken in by a hoax. The illustration being used by the prophet is that of daubing a stone wall with worthless mortar (v.10). It is as if someone told you that by using a certain brand of whitewash (Fairbairn) one could strengthen a wall. This would be pure hogwash – like someone trying to sell the George Washington Bridge. There are some things that you just know are a hoax.

The term “day of the LORD” (v.5) refers to the immediate judgement that Jerusalem would soon experience but certainly looks forward to a “day” yet future. The Babylonian army would soon test the wall around that city and it would take more than chalk (Young’s Literal Translation) to keep it out.

The problem was that the prophets that were preaching peace (v.10) were misleading the people and in some cases were themselves misled. Peace is a great message when it is properly taught but it must have as its basis a firm foundation in the Word of God.

Of course, the false teachers abound in our present day and a large number of them are religious leaders. They offer a great variety of alternatives to the sound teaching of the Holy Scriptures. Peace for a troubled conscience is that which is grounded in forgiveness for sin and the gift of eternal life which can only come through the vicarious death of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Unfortunately a great many of our friends and neighbors and in many cases our own loved ones are completely bamboozled by the “saved by works” mentality. They think we are crazy. That’s what they thought about Ezekiel too!





Ezekiel 14:23 Not Without Cause



The opening verses of this chapter indicate the principle problem that Jehovah had with these elders of Israel that came to enquire of Ezekiel. It was idolatry, pure and simple! Or, we should say, impure and complex!

The Amplified Old Testament helps us here by indicating that the idols of the heart are self-will and unsubmissiveness and the “stumbling block of their iniquity before their face” is their idols of silver and gold.

The sense of the first section (to v.12) is that Jehovah Himself will answer these hypocritical enquirers and if they should get an answer (from a false prophet), He will punish both the seeker and the prophet alike (v.10). Only on this basis can these be His people and He be their God.

In the latter section (12-23) a subtle contrast is presented. By using two well-known names from Israel’s history and the contemporary Daniel, who apparently was already known for his righteousness, God emphasizes the thorough going nature of His four-fold judgement (v.21), that as great as these men are, even their sons and daughters could not escape His fury upon Jerusalem. “Yet”, to paraphrase, He says, “I have left you a remnant (of sons and daughters) bringing them here to Babylon (Amplified) and when you see how ungodly they are, you will know how right I was in bringing such judgement upon Jerusalem.”

It was certainly an act of grace that any should escape the judgement of God, especially since such godly men as these three could not expect even their own children to be spared. A weird sense of consolation would thus prevail when the evil “doings” would prove God’s justice in dealing with Jerusalem as He had done. (Comforted, i.e. their minds eased).

God always has good cause for doing what he does (v.23).




Ezekiel 15:7 When I Set My Face Against Them



It was a point well made, especially in that day, that a vine made a poor peg and if you worked in the building trade, there was really not much use for that kind of wood. Even for fuel it is not all that great! This short chapter makes a clear point and we can easily visualize the fiery destruction of Jerusalem by means of this dramatic illustration.

On the other hand, however, being reminded of a vine and being the positive creatures that we are, we can think of lots of good things about that kind of a tree in another chapter fifteen somewhat in the Bible, now can’t we?

The problem is that it is a greater leap of faith than the proverbial one of Schliermacker to get to something positive from this chapter and frankly, I don’t think the Holy Spirit who inspired it had much very positive in mind, do you really?

So, my reader friend, what shall you do? Shall you stick with the theme and pass on to the next illustration which is even more forceful or do you pause here in the midst of the historical nightmare of the citizens left in Jerusalem fleeing from one fiery scene to be devoured by another. There is nowhere to hide from the wrath of Jehovah. His face is set against them (v.7).

It is assumed that most of Ezekiel’s prophecies prior to chapter 24 were written 4 or 5 years before Nebuchednezzar began his siege of Jerusalem (see 24:1&2) which was in the year 590 B.C. According to Jeremiah 39:1 and II Kings 25 these events transpired during the reign of King Zedekiah. Verses 8&9 of the latter chapter speak specifically of the burning of the city by the captain of the guard.

So, it hasn’t happened yet at the writing of this chapter but it will soon take place and did take place. Those who believed the prophets got out, the others didn’t.

Those who believe that there is a place called hell and that there is only one way to escape it will take the Biblical way of salvation but those who don’t will know that Jehovah’s face is against them for sure.




Ezekiel 16:8 The Time of Love



Who doesn’t like a good love story? This one has all the ingredients. A poor helpless maiden and a strong hero type. The maiden is not only rescued from death by the hero but is wooed and won by her savior- lover. Sadly, the beautiful young bride who is showered with gifts of expensive clothing and jewelry spurns the love of her gracious husband and is unfaithful to him and becomes a harlot.

Next there unfolds a long and horrible tale of wickedness on the part of this wretched creature which we wish we did not have to read. If it were a novel I would throw it in the trash.

This is the story of a city, in fact, of several cities. We might call them, for short, Jerus, Sammy and Sodo. What evil one could not think of, the other one did and furthermore taught their own daughter to follow their example (v.48).

Jehovah is telling the story, a parable, and He the rejected lover (v.14). Isn’t it something for Him to think like this?

It is like God to offer life to the hopeless, He did the same for me. He said “Live” and I was born again! It is like Him to visit His love upon the unworthy, to impart His own comeliness (v.14), to wash us, anoint us, to clothe and bejewel us. Oh, how He loves you and me!

We want our stories to end on a happy note and it is suggested at the end of this chapter that this one will, but it takes another prophet who has told a similar story to give us a really great ending. In Hosea chapter two we have Jehovah speaking of His wife (unfaithful though she has been) “I will betroth thee unto me forever; yea I will betroth thee unto me in righteousness, and in judgement, and in loving-kindness and in mercies. I will even betroth thee unto me in faithfulness: and thou shalt know the LORD” (v.20). And there you have it, the end of the story!





Ezekiel 17:3 Of Eagles and Trees



In the parable, commentators are agreed that the first eagle represents Nebuchednezzar. Lebanon is the temple at Jerusalem (because its woodwork was wholly of cedars of Lebanon- Eusebius). The top twig (v.4) is Jehoiachin who was carried away to Babylon six years before this parable was uttered.

Zedekiah is represented in the parable by the term “seed of the land” (v.5) who is seen as revolting against Nebuchednezzar and turning to Egypt (the second eagle) for which he is punished by being taken to Babylon where he would die (II Kings 25:6&7). All of this was prophesied before in chapter 12 verses 10-15.

Jehovah asks the question here in verse 12 “know ye not what these things mean?” He then gives the explanation of the parable.

This is all just the same message as we have seen throughout the book couched in different terminology. God is using Babylon to discipline Israel and to resist it is to defy His will. This Zedekiah did by going down to Egypt after making a covenant with Nebuchednezzar which he then broke and this as much as anything incurred God’s anger (vs.15&16).

From verse 22 to the end of the chapter we find another parable which also uses trees as object lessons. In this, it is generally thought that the prophet is looking forward to the coming of the Messiah. Ironside in his book ends this chapter as follows:

 "When He came in God’s appointed time He was rejected by His own people, but when He returns in power and might He will take the kingdom and administer the affairs of this universe for the glory of God and the blessing of all mankind. Then the high tree of Gentile supremacy will be cut down, and the low tree of Judah shall be made to flourish when the kingdoms of this world become the kingdoms of our God and His Christ. This is decreed by Him who cannot lie, and will be brought to pass in the day of Jehovah’s power."



Ezekiel 18:4 The Soul that Sinneth



This is a straight forward situation here in today’s chapter. From where and why this proverb developed we are not told. It is certainly one we do not agree with in principle nor, obviously, neither does Jehovah and He takes the entire chapter contending against it.

First we must be aware that the conclusions drawn are entirely based upon the fact that this is written to Israel (v.2) and is Old Testament truth. Of course, as Christians we have appropriated the statement at the end of verse four, “the soul that sinneth it shall die” and while it is true in every dispensation we have lifted it out of its context when we use it. Furthermore, it is not exactly stated correctly when used as a New Testament principle. The soul that sinneth is already dead in trespasses and sins according to Ephesians 2:11. We are not sinners because we sin (which seems the emphasis here) but we sin because we are sinners from being born into Adam’s race.

In the lengthy three generational illustration the implication is that the difference between eternal life and death is predicated upon keeping the statutes and judgements (v.9), a long list of which is clearly delineated.

On the contrary, as believers under grace, nothing could be further from the truth for us. It is not what we do in matters of right and wrong that determines our eternal destiny, but what the Lord Jesus Christ has done for us by His substitutionary death on the cross. Theoretically, we might be guilty of every sin in the list and yet have eternal life. A true Christian will learn to hate sin and love righteousness but the thief on the cross had no time to do any learning.

In Adam all sin and all die and this is, as we have said, true in all dispensations, so it is not wrong to use the words but it is important that we understand what we are talking about. Furthermore we heartily agree with the conclusion of the illustration (v.17) that we do not die for the sins of others, with one exception. We do die for the sin of our father Adam (I Cor:15:22) physically, but since Christ has completely satisfied the demands of the law on our behalf, now, “we being dead to sins should live unto righteousness” (I Peter 2:20)





Ezekiel 19:2 The Lion’s Whelp and the Vine



Judea is the “mother” of King Jehoichin, one of the “young lions” who was carried captive to Egypt by Pharaoh-necho. He was currently in exile in Babylon along with Ezekiel (II K.23:33; JFB). The second of her whelps (v.5), Jehoiakim, was placed on the throne of Judah by the pharaoh but due to his evil ways “learned to catch the prey and devoured men” (v.6) and was eventually taken as a prisoner to Babylon (v.9). All of this is recorded in II Chron.36:3-6.

Verse ten begins a second metaphor, that of a vine. Judea was planted by Jehovah in a well watered land (Canaan) and was fruitful but because of unfaithfulness she was removed (taken to Babylon) where she languished as a transplanted vine in a dry place (her present captive state).

Judah is all done ruling until the lion of the tribe of Judah comes to reign as in Genesis 49:9-11where both of these pictures of Judah are spoken of in Jacob’s prophetic fore-view. “This is a lamentation” (Jehoichin and Jehoiakim were already history as Ezekiel here is “rubbing it in” to the captives to whom he was ministering) “and shall be for a lamentation concerning Zedekiah.”

The day is coming when Judah will not only produce a Lion Who shall rule with a rod of iron but also as a root out of dry ground, the Vine which will have many branches and will produce much fruit (John15). It is doubtful that Ezekiel saw in these prophetic utterances the ultimate plan of God being fulfilled through His Son, but it is impossible but that God must have planted these thoughts in his mind or these words on his tongue fully knowing how Jesus would, as the Lion’s Whelp and the Vine, round out these pictures and fulfill Jacob’s thoughts of the future of his son Judah.





Ezekiel 20:15 The Glory of All Lands



The date affixed to this chapter is 590 B.C. (according to Halley) and the reference point is the carrying away captive of King Jeconiah. Calvin says that the reason for stating the time this way is to remind them of the date their captivity began and thus by adding 70 years (the prophesied length of the captivity) they could be encouraged to anticipate its end.

Thirteen times Ezekiel’s visions are dated this way from chapters 1 to 40. Halley gives the list on page 289 (21st edition). There are some slight variations by commentators on these chronologies but we will follow Halley for consistency.

While discussing dates it may help at this point to include a few more. J.F.B. reminds us that there were three deportations of Jews into captivity. The first which included Daniel and his three friends was in 606 B.C.; the second which involved Ezekiel was about nine years later in 597 B.C. and the third was at the taking of Jerusalem on July 9th, 586 B.C.

By a quick glance at these dates we can easily see that the episode of today’s chapter takes place about 4 years before Israel’s total collapse including the destruction of the temple. As Ezekiel is here ministering to the captives, in fact, the siege of Jerusalem had not yet begun. His predictions concerning its fall covered a period of 22 years.

Here in chapter 20, verses 1-32 the prophet reminds his audience of their rebellious history as he points out 5 separate instances of failure. In the latter section Jehovah promises that in spite of this He will ultimately be sanctified in them before the heathen and they will know that He is the LORD.

God reminds Israel that the land of Canaan was “the glory of all lands” and when He gave it to them (vs.6&15) it flowed with milk and honey, was exceedingly fruitful and was theirs for the taking. It was surely a wonderful type of the land upon which we stand as believers, the place of victory and blessing. May we abide in it and bear much fruit (John 15).






Ezekiel 21:9 A Sword is Sharpened



Another illustration foreshadowing the judgement of Jehovah on his people - this time that of a sword. Remember, these were not written to be read daily as we usually do but were posted where the people could read them or were given in person periodically.

This time the prophet was even instructed by Jehovah as to the manner in which he was to present it, that is, with sighing so deep that it would be accompanied by gestures similar to those of a woman in travail (Jer.30:6&7). When asked about it he was to respond by telling his hearers how they would be affected (v.7), how their hearts would melt, their hands be enfeebled, their spirits would faint and their knees would buckle.

The message that would cause such a reaction was the picture of a glittering sword suspended over the land of Israel and sharpened to make a sore slaughter.

Perhaps this was given at a time when the captives were making mirth at a holiday celebration or a wedding feast. At such a time to hear the prophet crying and howling must have been quite impressive but apparently one of the reasons was because the righteous were seen to be “cut off” as well as the wicked (v.3).

The sword was the lethal weapon of the day and by it were perpetrated the distinct horrors of war against the innocent (Hos.13:16). These things indeed touch us deeply and we shudder to think of such suffering and misery. But, what should have an even more profound affect upon us is to contemplate the suffering of our loved ones in hell. The experience of death by whatever means is relatively transient but the lake of fire is eternal. It grieves me to think of my grandfather and my aunt Evelyn being there as only a few of the vast multitude suffering its torment. We should be moved with compassion for those with whom we mingle daily knowing that apart from salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ this is their ultimate destiny.






Ezekiel 22:30 I Sought for a Man



Nine times in verses six to twelve are the words “in thee” repeated as Jehovah accentuated the sins being committed in Jerusalem and for which His judgement is due to fall. This time the picture is that of dross of various metals being melted in a furnace (v.20). The unusual feature of this parable is the fact that it is not the metals that are being purified by having the dross skimmed off in the process, but the focus is on the dross itself being destroyed by the melting fire of God’s fury.

Towards the end of the chapter in verses 26 thru 29 we have an interesting alliteration as four entities are arraigned before the bar of Jehovah’s justice, the priests, the princes, the prophets and the people.

Of course, the key verse of the chapter is one familiar to most of us. “And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land that I should not destroy it: but I found none” (v.30).

There were certainly some very good men alive and available at the very moment these words were spoken. To name a few; Daniel, his three friends, Jeremiah and of course, the prophet Ezekiel. Why would not one of these fill the gap in the hedges?

It may help to answer this question if we should refer to the Septuagint version of this verse. It reads, “And I sought from among them a man behaving uprightly, and standing before me perfectly in the time of wrath,” etc.

The Man had not yet been born Who could stand before Jehovah perfectly in the time of wrath.Is this verse here to remind us of that? In fact, was there no sin in a Daniel or a Jeremiah that deserved the wrath of God? Who could be their Daysman? There is but One Who could efficiently mediate between even an ardent Ezekiel and an angry God! It is Messiah Jesus! All they had were lambs but at that time they were adequate.





Ezekiel 23:45 After the Manner of Adulteresses



The entire chapter is a parable, again emphasizing the sin of spiritual adultery of both the northern and southern kingdoms, Samaria representing the former and Jerusalem, the latter. Two fictitious women are invented by Jehovah, Aholah and Aholibah, and throughout, their evil relationships with the nations of Egypt, Assyria and Babylon are described in vivid terms. Judgement for their misbehavior is pronounced and the whole purpose is summed up in the last verse, “and ye shall know that I am the LORD GOD.”

We are aware, of course, that sexual drives and relationships are generally the strongest of all those known to man second only to self-preservation, and it is to that familiar theme that Jehovah goes to give His most powerful lessons. A wholesome marriage sets forth the beauty and wonder of all the best there is in the human realm for us to experience and it is God Himself Who has designed and given it to us. He uses it in a positive fashion to illustrate His relationship to us as in that superb passage of Ephesians 5:21-33 where it is called “a great mystery” as He speaks about “Christ and the church.”

Since this analogy is used so frequently in the Old Testament, i.e. Jehovah as the husband of Israel and since the Holy Spirit must have nudged the Apostle Paul to use it in the New as well, it is not at all surprising that the negative aspect of the subject should find its way into Holy Writ.

We know from Malachi 2:15&16 that Jehovah hates divorce because He made the two parties one flesh and it follows that He certainly hates everything that violates that oneness.

Obviously He can think of no greater way to call attention to man’s unfaithfulness to Him than to illustrate it by using such horrible analogies as the one before us in this chapter. We dislike having to read it but let this very fact serve to underscore the depth of His divine displeasure at all travesties such as those which caused our Lord Jesus Christ to decry against what might seem to the lost to be the slightest of infringements (Matt.5:28) or James to level such a charge as he does against those guilty of “friendship of (with) the world” (4:4).





Ezekiel 24:24 A Sign



There are two major events in today’s chapter in addition to the parable of the boiling pot. That the two are related is evident by verse 21. The date of Babylon’s assault upon Jerusalem (590 B.C.) must have been difficult for Jehovah since the city was “the apple of his eye” (Zech.2:8) and the loss to Ezekiel of his dearest wife, the desire of his eyes, took place on this same day.

Yesterday I received word from a dear friend that her husband had pancreatic cancer which was inoperable. The desire of her eyes would soon be taken away with a stroke and before the day was done I also learned that a fellow radio ham had lost his wife a few days ago by the same disease. My heart was wrenched by these events. I am sure that no one knows the deep pain that comes as a result of such loses, however, until they pass through a similar experience.

Our text makes it clear that Jehovah knew the depths of His servant’s sorrow whose wife was the desire of his eyes and we can be certain that God sympathized deeply with Ezekiel though He required a super human response from him, no tears! And here I shed them just thinking about it.

Jerusalem was spoken of as Jehovah’s wife and we might think that heaven would have rained tears on the day it was taken away “with a stroke” so dearly did He love her (Luke 19:41; Mt. 23:37). We do not see things, however, as He does Who might have reminded Ezekiel of Ps.115:16.

God’s reason for Ezekiel not to shed tears was an object lesson to the captives to whom he ministered who had not believed his prophecies about the fall of Jerusalem and thus their grieving would be delayed til such news reached them from some who escaped (v.26). Until then they would not know that those left behind (v.21) of their sons and daughters, the desire of their eyes “the joy of their glory” had been slain “by the sword.” The fact that the “dumb” prophet could now speak (and probably mourn his wife’s death) was a sign unto those who also mourned the death of their loved ones at the same time. This was arranged in order that they might know that all along Ezekiel’s prophecies had been true as was also the closing statement of this chapter “that I am the LORD” (v.27).







Ezekiel 25:14 They Shall Know My Vengeance



Perhaps you have already noted the way this chapter is structured. If not, observe the repetition of the word because and then note the word therefore which for five times always follows in the next verse; because - therefore, because - therefore, etc. 5 times. The recipients of these five declarations of judgements are the nations Ammon, Moab, Edom and Philistia. God says He is taking great vengeance and exacting furious rebukes upon these people because of the way they have treated Israel.

It is a definite pattern in the Scriptures that Jehovah may inflict whatever punishment He deems best for His children (like Job) but He grows very angry with those who enjoy helping “forward the affliction” (Zech.1:15). It is here in Zechariah that we discover rich statements of God’s love for Jerusalem. “I am jealous for Jerusalem and for Zion with a great jealousy” (1:14). “The LORD shall yet comfort Zion and shall yet choose Jerusalem” (1:17).

Also in the Psalms we find overflowing paeans of praise and love for the holy city as in 122 where we are admonished to “pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee” (v.6). In the best of days the tribes would sing these songs of ascent when climbing Mt. Zion to worship.

Perhaps it was the words of Ezekiel spoken here about Edom (12-14) that inspired the captives “by the rivers of Babylon” to remember Zion (Ps. 137) in spite of being wasted by their captors, to take down their harps from the willow tree and sing a lament about Jerusalem. “If I forget thee O Jerusalem... if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy... Remember O LORD the children of Edom in the day of Jerusalem,” who watched the Babylonians destroy the walls and smash the Holy Place with a sense of glee “Rase it, rase it” clear down to the foundation they shouted (vs.5-7)! “Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the LORD.” (Rom.12:19).

Our prayer should be, how long O LORD, how long before you build those sacred walls of the New Jerusalem where the remnant of those nations which fought in the old city will come to worship “the King, the LORD of hosts” (Zech.14:16)? Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.







Ezekiel 26:3 I am Against Thee O Tyrus


Archaeologists believe that Tyre existed well over 1000 years before Christ and in its early days was under the influence of Egypt. Under Hiram its king the city expanded out to the fortress-like island where it existed as an "Old Town" and a "New Town" about a half mile apart. These Philistines were also known in secular history as Phoenicians. The rise and fall of the proud seafaring people who dominated the eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea for a long period may be read about in a book on The Phoenicians, the Purple Empire of the Ancient World by Gerhard Herm, William Morrow and Company, Inc. New York, 1975. On page 75 an extensive passage quotes from Ezekiel 27:9-25 which, the author states, sounds like something that "might well have appeared in the trade pages of a modern newspaper as an economics article."

The basic problem with Tyre was, that like the nations in chapter 25 she made the fatal mistake of pridefully rejoicing over Jerusalem’s fall, saying, "Aha, she is broken" (and I stand to benefit, v.2). Unfortunately for Tyrus, Jehovah had other plans for her. "I am against thee O Tyrus, and will cause many nations to come up against thee."

Shalmaneser of Assyria besieging it for five years began the parade of its battles for survival ultimately giving up the unsuccessful siege (Josephus). Nebuchednezzar’s Babylonian siege lasted 13 years and was apparently successful (Jerome), but it was Alexander the Great who built a causeway to the New Tyre, scraping the site of the old city so bare that it became a place for drying fishnets (v.5). As Herm summarizes, the mole built by Alexander still links the new Tyre site with the Lebanese coast today. He crucified 2000 male citizens to make an example of his conquest and sold 30,000 women, children and elderly into slavery (p.15). J.F.B. comments "Now its harbors are choked with sand...not one entire house is left. So accurately has God’s word come to pass." But wait, there are two more chapters in Ezekiel dedicated to the subject of Tyre’s complete destruction.






Ezekiel 27:2

A Lamentation for Tyrus



As believers, we are aware that God hates pride and has told us that pride goeth before a fall. "Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall" (I Cor.10:12). Of course, Tyre was a city not an individual, but the principle is the same. Herod Agrippa would be a good example too, as found in Acts 12:20-23. One wonders if cancer might be such a worm sometimes, being dispensed by the Angel of Jehovah.

Let us get back to Tyrus which, being personified, is portrayed in our text as saying, "I am of perfect beauty." True, in those days among the Phoenicians there was nothing much prettier than a merchant ship swinging into port at sunset laden with foreign goods. We are told that these sailors, as good as they were, did not like to be at sea overnight (Hern) so they usually visited ports on the Mediterranean that were closer to home or where they were welcomed but we see from this chapter how successful they were wherever they went. That they were great merchants is noted by this word being used over 20 times. Even in warfare they were also apparently renowned (vs.10&11) their shields helping to make Tyre’s "beauty perfect."

Perhaps their downfall is prophetic of a time yet to come when it is recorded that " great men of the earth" were merchants of another city which sat as "a queen" (Rev.18:7) even Babylon the great and which like Tyre would be dealt an astonishing blow by a jealous God and be forever banished (Eze.26:21; 27:35-36 and Rev.18:21). Remember, it was because of her attitude toward Jerusalem (Israel) that Tyre was destroyed (26:3) and it makes me think of the words of Jesus in Luke 21:20 as He foretold of Armageddon and of the armies compassed around Jerusalem. If I see it correctly, this is when Christ will descend from heaven leading His army (Rev.19:14) to tread "the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God." Those who fight against Jerusalem will be smitten with a terrible plague (Zech.14:12), the armies of the Beast will be overthrown and be cast into the lake of fire (Rev.19:20). It seems that it is at this very hour that the merchant city, Babylon, is destroyed being symbolically thrown into the sea by a mighty angel (18:19-21).

The LORD Who found Jacob in a howling waste wilderness has never ceased to keep him as the apple of His eye (Deut.32:10). He has chosen Zion as His resting place forever saying, "here will I dwell" (Ps.132:14), "For thus saith the LORD of hosts" (in Zech.2:8) "After the glory hath he sent me unto the nations which spoiled you: for he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of his eye...Sing and rejoice O daughter of Zion: for lo, I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee, saith the LORD. And the LORD shall inherit Judah his portion in the holy land and shall choose Jerusalem again" (vs.10-12 with Rev.21:3&4).

Therefore we will be wise to "pray for the peace of Jerusalem. They shall prosper that love"–Jerusalem (Psalm 122:6).






Ezekiel 28:2

The Prince of Tyrus



Commentators on this chapter are divided in their interpretation, the older ones coming down on the side of this not having reference to Satan or a spirit-being and the later ones mostly being strongly in favor of the viewpoint that it is such. Personally I have vacillated back and forth seeing in the text reasons for both views. In seeking an answer from the Lord I have come up with the possible solution to the problem which I now will attempt to commit to print, asking your kind indulgence.

J.F.B. states that either Ethobal or Ethbaal II was the prince of Tyrus at the time of this prophecy. His visions of grandeur were probably due to the fact that this island was sacred to Hercules and looked up to as the mother city of their religion (Sanconiathon–a Phoenician historian). That their king was only a man is certainly the case, but once so stated perhaps Ezekiel was given a glimpse behind the scene and, such a man possibly being "caught up to the third heaven" (II Cor.12:2) might have seen that the spirit-being that was controlling the exaltation of this prince was indeed the prince of darkness himself even Satan. For such a man as Ezekiel who was given a clear view of the cherubim as he obviously was (ch.1) and who saw the millennial temple with the river of life flowing from under the throne of God (ch.40-48), it is no stretch of the imagination to think that he was given the responsibility of addressing two separate beings, the first the actual flesh and blood physical ruler of Tyre in verses 2-10 and the second (12-17) the power behind the throne of Ethbaal, the god of this world, Beelzebub denominated by the Jewish scribes in Mark 3:22, "the prince of the devil." This passage does seem to use terminology that might better apply to the latter rather than to a mere earthly being. This conclusion does not answer all of the questions, but there does seem to be a break between verses eleven and twelve.

There are other Scriptures where a similar duality is suggested, for example Daniel 10:13 and 20.

We are thankful to be able to look ahead to Revelation 20:10 to see that whether we are right or wrong about his being seen in this Ezekiel passage, there is not a single doubt about the devil being here cast into the lake of fire and brimstone for eternity.






Ezekiel 29:20

They Wrought for Me



If the dating in my Bible is accurate, this date referred to in verse 1 must be 589 B.C. Comparing this with material furnished by John Whitcomb’s chart for Old Testament Kings and Prophets, the pharaoh in verse 2 would be one I have never heard of before, namely Psamtik II whose dates are 594 to 588 B.C. Hophra was Pharaoh for 20 years beginning in 588 (see Jeremiah 44:30) which was the year of the fall of Jerusalem and thus the year that Jeremiah’s prophecy was fulfilled concerning Zedekiah.

J.F.B. points out that the period between Egypt’s overthrow by Nebuchadnezzar and their deliverance by Cyrus was about forty years (v.13). Also, under the Pharaoh Amasis Egypt became dependent on Babylon and thereafter Cambyses and the Ptolemies, and "never has it regained its ancient pre-eminence," thus fulfilling the prophecies of Jeremiah and Ezekiel. Again it is clearly the pride of this nation that brought it down. "Because he hath said, The river is mine and I have made it" (vs.3&9), God said, "I am against thee, and against thy rivers and I will make the land of Egypt utterly waste and desolate..." (v.10).

The chapter closes with the disclosure of a most unusual declaration on the part of Jehovah which wonderfully demonstrates the complete authority He exercises over the nations of the world and leaves us wondering how many events in our present day are nothing more nor less than the sovereign interplay of those juggled by His mighty hands. Surely we can be confident from reading these chapters that He is orchestrating all that transpires of major concerns in Israel all the time.

We are definitely told that Nebuchadnezzar is God’s servant (Jer.43:10) and since he didn’t get much compensation for his work on Tyre (v.18), God threw in Egypt as a little extra bonus. There is no doubt about it, He will be no man’s debtor and He will always pay His bill. "Be not deceived, God is not mocked..."






Ezekiel 30:2

Howl Ye



Usually we are in too much of a hurry to complete our Bible reading for the day and this is no doubt even more so the case when it happens that our readings for the time are in Ezekiel. I have to admit that little attention was paid personally as I breezed over verse 17 in the previous chapter (29). Now I see (prompted by Halley’s Bible Handbook) that this prophesy containing the revelation, recently covered, relating to Jehovah’s rewarding Nebuchadnezzar with the conquest of Egypt to compensate him for being short-changed at Tyrus, was actually given 16 years after the fall of Jerusalem. J.F.B. says "The departure from the chronological order occurs here ... in order to secure greater unity of subject."

In our present chapter in verse 20 we see that we have returned to the current chronology and it is 3 months before Jerusalem fell (586 B.C.). In verse 21, the reference to the breaking of Pharaoh’s arm probably refers to the defeat of his army as seen in Jeremiah 37:5-9 (Halley).

For an exercise, underline all of the statements in this chapter that state what Jehovah is going to do to Egypt to show them that He is the LORD. He was putting His sword in the hand of Nebuchadnezzar (v.24) to be used against Egypt and all of the surrounding nations that "upheld Egypt" even her southern neighbor Ethiopia and Libya on the east border (v.4) and many others.

A passage like this should serve to remind us that God will yet do to the nations of the world all that He has said He would do. These prophecies in Ezekiel show what a powerful sovereign God we serve and every word of prophecy that has been written will come to exact fulfillment just as did these of Ezekiel so long ago. Hallelujah!






Ezekiel 31:2

Whom Art Thou Like?



What makes this chapter unique is the fact that though it is addressed to Pharaoh and is one of a series of four chapters specifically given to the subject of the particular nation of Egypt, yet it is entirely spoken about a different nation and its king, namely, Assyria. The reason for this is that the prophet could not use any greater example to say what he wanted to say. Both Egypt and Assyria had been world leaders, the one had completely collapsed, and the other was soon to follow and both by the physical means of Babylon’s king Nebuchadnezzar, (Dan.2:37&38), but, of course, in reality because of Jehovah’s displeasure.

Witness, if you will, the scornful railing of Rabshakeh, the Assyrian general, against the God of Israel in II Kings 18&19 and the amazing deliverance wrought by the power of Jehovah in 19:35 against the army of king Sennacherib during the reign of Hezekiah of Judah.

We also note in reading this chapter that Ezekiel’s message concerning the Assyrian’s proud exaltation was given under the metaphor of a magnificent cedar tree which, growing on the Lebanese coast, was something like one of our giant redwoods in California. Writing this in the middle of May in the state of Maine with the leaves coming out to beautify the deciduous trees of the forest and the conifers all adorned with their robes of new delicate green growth, one can appreciate what is expressed here regarding the "fair branches" (v.3) of the trees " in the garden of God."

It is He Who made them "fair," envied by all the trees in Eden and it is He Who would bring them crashing down, the Assyrian to rot and disappear completely from view on the world’s landscape and Egypt to fall and rise again but never to its original height of glory. It would become a "base kingdom" (29:14). The prophet was saying, in effect, "if you don’t think that it can happen, just look at what God has done to Assyria."

As we can see, the emphasis of the prophet Ezekiel is loud and clear. God will have His way and the nations shall know that He is the LORD!






Ezekiel 32:18

Down Into the Pit



There are two prophecies here, just 15 days apart. The first is a lamentation for Pharaoh, king of Egypt and the second beginning at v.17 is a catalogue of nations (including Egypt) that are being judged.

It would seem that as the prophet ministers to the exiles in Babylon who are certainly receiving reports about the fall of Jerusalem that has just recently occurred (587 BC) he is contrasting for them their future restoration as compared with the utter hopelessness of Egypt and many of her confederates. Going back to 28:24-26 observe God’s glorious promise to Israel, keeping it in mind as you view what the end of Israel’s enemies shall be, these "pricking briars" and "grieving thorn(s)" that "despised them". Down, down, down they go into the pit of hell.

J.F.B. says, "the very monotony of the same phraseology so often repeated gives to the dirge an awe-inspiring effect." Egypt and "the daughters of the famous nations" are cast into "the nether parts of the earth with them that go down to the pit"(v.18). The term uncircumcised used nine times in fourteen verses establishes the difference between these condemned people and God’s people who are classified by Him as those circumcised in heart (Deut.30:6).

Colossians 2:11 furnishes us with the fulfillment of this type where Christ’s death on the cross is seen as the divine operation. Here the adamic nature is destroyed resulting in salvation for all who through faith are in Christ. All others are "in the flesh"(Rom.8:8&9) and destined for the pit.

What a pity that Ezekiel did not have the book of Romans to teach to his "captive audience."






Ezekiel 33:7

Ezekiel, the Watchman



According to the J.F.B. commentary, Ezekiel had been forbidden to speak from ch. 24:26&27 until now when the tidings of Jerusalem’s capture were finally known as a fact by the captives in Babylon which was a year and a half after it happened (v.21). It is suggested that the escapee who brought the news may have needed that much time to get through to them, especially making his way through enemy territory.

Returning to the passage mentioned above it should be noted that this was a special prophecy before the fact and had been given to Ezekiel as a sign to the captives as another proof to them that Jehovah is God (24:24) and that he should be "dumb" until the day that someone would escape with the bad news and tell them of the death of their sons and daughters, "the joy of their glory and the desire of their eyes" (v.25).

The commentary suggests that the sense of being "dumb" related to prophecies to the Jews being suspended, a condition that was itself foretold very early in Ezekiel’s preparation (3:26&27). We have seen that it was during the period of his being unable to speak to the Jews that he gave all of his prophecies concerning the nations (Egypt, Tyre, etc.) and now we note that from this point on he returns to dealing primarily with Israel. This possibly gives us a hint as to the structure of this part of the book.

It is clear from Ezekiel 3:17 that it is the prophet that is the primary subject of the illustration of the watchman. This theme is picked up again here in our present chapter and is repeated very forcefully, "So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth and warn them from me" (33:7).

This has to do with being a watchman to God’s people, not to the unregenerate (even in the use of the term "wicked"), which is the obvious interpretation and we must be careful that the application be consistent.






Ezekiel 34:31

Ye My Flock



This is a precious passage. It focuses on the fact that Israel is God’s flock, the sheep of His pasture. As one reads it, there is a very predominant thought, "my flock!" Who are the "shepherds" who have neglected and abused His flock? They are the false prophets, the priests, the kings, those to whom God had committed its care.

The words of our Lord Jesus are but an extension of Jehovah’s anger as He condemns the equivalent leadership of His day, "woe unto you scribes and pharisees, hypocrites, etc." The most scathing language of the Bible is leveled at a much failed leadership of God’s flock.

As we contemplate this it may help us to get things into the proper perspective by shifting our focus to what should be the norm. "The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want" (Ps.23:1). That’s right, this psalm tells it like it should be and every one of God’s shepherds should be doing for the sheep exactly what the LORD would do for this is His flock and all others are but under-shepherds, expected to carry out His will.

If we need an example, where else should we look but at the One Who said, "I am the good shepherd" (John 10:11). John 10 says it all– well almost all, to it we must add the touching story Jesus told in the Matthew and Luke. Let us turn to Luke 15:3-7 and reflect once again on the scene of our Great Shepherd of the sheep, going out to seek the lost, finding it and laying it upon His shoulder, coming home rejoicing.

As special as this picture is to the Church, let us not miss the value of its thrust here in Ezekiel as the prophet, under inspiration, reverses the role of David making Him the Shepherd, surely a Messianic glimpse of King Jesus, and the men of Israel His flock (v.31). It is they who are to enjoy the "showers of blessing." Again, this must have been an encouragement to his captive audience.

Certainly there is no harm, however, for us in closing this chapter to return for a moment to John 10 and verse 16 for a reminder that there are "other sheep" who also hear His voice. Thankfully, I am one and hopefully you are too!






Ezekiel 35:13

I Have Heard Them



Was not the prophet supposed to be turning his attention to Israel? Ah, yes, but let us not forget that Mt. Seir is Edom and Edom is Esau and Esau is Jacob’s twin brother (Obad.12). And who better than these captives in Babylon to be remembering how Edom behaved in the day of Israel’s distress (Ps.137)?

In fact, this chapter in Ezekiel is understood to be a commentary on 34:28 where it is promised that "they shall no more be a prey to the heathen" but Edom, a type of Israel’s most bitter foes, would be utterly destroyed. God says here in verse 6, "I will prepare thee unto blood and blood shall pursue thee." This sounds a lot like Isaiah 34:5-8 where Idumea (another name for the region - v.15) appears to be used as a type representing all of Israel’s enemies and also in Isaiah (63:1-6) there is a prophetic picture of Christ coming from treading the wine press in Edom with blood-red garments where again the epitomizing statement is made, "For the day of vengeance is in mine heart and the year of my redeemed is come" (compare v.4 with 8 of Isa.34).

When Mount Seir said (v.10) that the two nations, Israel and Judah "shall be mine...the LORD was there" and He heard them. Furthermore, He took it that they were boasting against Him and so He told them that what they rejoiced to see happening to Israel would be done unto them. This is important to remember. God is always listening (Num.12:2). When anything is said against His people He always takes it as being said against Him personally and He has a way of turning things around so that usually the harm wished on others comes back upon oneself.

We might wonder if and when this prophecy ever reached Mount Seir, but it was certainly good for the captives by the river Chebar to hear.






Ezekiel 36:36

I The LORD Have Spoken it



Perhaps it was because the previous prophecy was directed toward a mountain that God told Ezekiel to prophecy at this time "unto the mountains of Israel." These mountains even the ancient high places were coveted by Israel’s enemies who, with joy of heart and despiteful minds sought to capitalize on the situation of their captivity. It was surely an encouragement to these displaced people to hear Jehovah say that these mountains would be theirs once again and things would be better than before (v.11) and as a result the people would know Who He was, even the great I AM (Ex.3:14).

It was this great name even now being profaned among the heathen that He was intent on preserving and it was the very fact of their being where they were among the heathen that sullied His holy name. It was for sake of His name that He intended to bring them back to their land that His holiness might be seen, i.e. that He would be sanctified before the eyes of the heathen. It was certainly another good reason for the captives to be encouraged when they knew that God was protecting His own vested interest, even His great name. It would seem that Jehovah was looking ahead to the millennium in verses 24-28 but, it was a fact that even this present captivity cured them of idolatry (v.25).

Much history had yet to take place, even another dispersion under the Romans and a long period during which they would not have a land to call their own. Today Israel is back in the land but they are there in unbelief and are anything but a "holy flock." Is God still interested in His holy name? Stay tuned.






Ezekiel 37:3

Can These Bones Live?



This is, of course, a vision, and, a very dramatic one. The valley of dry bones is Israel in captivity and the coming together of the bones a picture of their restoration which occurred partially under Cyrus and many Bible teachers feel was furthered when Israel returned to the holy land in 1948. This was only the coming together of the bones with the covering of flesh but since they came back in unbelief, there is "no breath in them."

In the Septuagint verse six reads "and will put my Spirit into you and ye shall live and ye shall know that I am the LORD." The words breath and spirit are the same in Greek. We know that as yet this part of the prophecy has not been fulfilled and will not be until Israel recognizes Jesus Christ to be their Messiah.

The resurrection of the bones is not to be thought of as a coming back to life of Israelis who have physically died, but rather a national resurrection which, again, occurs when the nation is, in effect, born again and is based on the resurrection of Christ. There can be no life in the Spirit apart from His triumph over death and the grave, hallelujah!

Another great event in Israel’s history will take place at a yet future time, that is, the coming together of the two kingdoms, the southern kingdom of Judah and the northern kingdom of Israel as seen in the joining of the two sticks (vs.15-20).

Ironside says of this last section that though some believe that it speaks of a resurrected king David, he does not, but rather believes it to be the Lord Jesus ruling during the millennium. This is a repetition of 34:23&24.

Once again, this whole prophecy must have been meant to be an encouragement to the captives in Babylon.






Ezekiel 38:2

Set Thy Face Against Gog



Within a year and a half of the publishing of his commentary on this book of the Bible, H.A. Ironside was in heaven where perhaps he was able to have a guided tour by Ezekiel himself. He died on January 15,1951 and it was not much more than 4 years after this date I had in my possession what I think was a complete set of Ironside’s commentaries, but not for long. And thereby hangs a tale.

Gary was a town character and a drunk when we invited him to services at the Bucksmills Community Clubhouse. He made a profession of salvation, cleaned up his life and enrolled in Bible School. While there he purchased the afore-mentioned set of books. Soon after he was back to his old ways, made me a gift of his books and within a few months, in a drunken state demanded them back. Shortly after this incident he was killed at a train crossing, perhaps an example of "sin unto death." I feel quite sure I will see him in heaven but where his books ended up I will probably never know.

I do have a copy of Ironside on Ezekiel, picked up at a yard sale, and his treatment of this chapter is typical of most dispensational expositors. He believes there is reference here to Russia and Germany as well as some Arab nations which "shall come down like a great cloud to cover the land, determined to subject it to their own authority, but will find soon who it is with whom they have to do" (p.268). Ironside ends his comments on this chapter with these words, "Anarchy and pestilence will break out among the hosts led by Gog and great natural calamities, hailstones, fire and brimstone falling from the skies, will literally annihilate the over confident armies led by the prince of Rosh.

The details of their destruction are given us in the next chapter."






Ezekiel 39:22

From That Day and Forward



The prophet’s "wild page" continues with amazing predictions of things to come, to borrow a phrase from McCheyne who applied it to Isaiah, but certainly is applicable to our present prophetic voice. This is not to minimize his writings or criticize his style for we must not forget that we are handling a sacred selection from a precious volume. We might imagine Jehovah rejoicing to have found such a servant as Ezekiel who seems to handle God’s big guns as a child would a pea-shooter.

Who would ever have thought that these northern nations would invade Israel but here we are not only told that they will, but a vivid description is given as to their defeat. Commentators are not agreed as to when this event takes place, but it would seem that it is related to Armageddon. The reference in Rev.19:17&18 about the birds feasting on the flesh of kings sounds very much like 17-21 of this chapter.

There is a sense of finality in our present text that would make us think of that last great battle that Israel will face. Verse eight says "Behold it is come and it is done, saith the Lord GOD; this is the day where of I have spoken." When I read this I think of the last chapters of the book of Zechariah where over and over we see the words "in that day" and of course at the beginning of the 14th chapter we find a striking reference to the fact that at the "day of the LORD...(He) will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle."

I like the finality of verse 22, "So the house of Israel shall know that I am the LORD their God from that day and forward." The captives would be encouraged by Ezekiel’s words at the end of this chapter, but it is unlikely that they would grasp the total implications. For example, Esther, Mordecai, Daniel and no doubt many others would stay in Babylon so the end of verse 28 did not apply at the time of the restoration under Cyrus, nor would the last verse either.






Ezekiel 40:4

Declare All That Thou Seest



These last nine chapters of Ezekiel are in class by themselves. There is nothing else like it in the whole Bible. Most of it makes difficult going to try finding inspirational thoughts. Rather than searching for them in the individual verses we must think in terms of the overall picture. The subject of this portion is the restored Jewish temple of the millennial reign of Christ along with the divisions of land and ordinances concerning the ruler.

One of the numerous problems presented to us in this scenario is the question of why there should be a temple at all in this future dispensation. Commentators have stretched themselves in all directions on this question. Simply put, we really don’t know but we don’t have to know. A temple with a return to blood sacrifices during our present age of the Church would constitute a denial of all Christ represents. I like what brother Fausset in the J.F.B. set has to say, "Faith accepts God’s word as it is, waits for the event, sure that it will clear up all such difficulties." His remarks on this chapter are excellent and I wish all might be able to have access to them.

Another problem is the dimensional one. The size of the temple described would cover, what was then, the whole area of the city of Jerusalem. Again, we must wait for God to solve these problems for us. And He will!

Meanwhile, just a reminder, though each member of the Body of Christ is a temple of God’s spirit, together we make up that greater temple mentioned in Ephesians 2:21 of which the Lord Jesus is "the chief cornerstone" and "In Whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit" (v.22).






Ezekiel 41:1

The Temple



The location of Ezekiel in his vision has changed and he is no longer on the Chebar river in Babylon but on the temple mount in Jerusalem (40:2). The doom and gloom of captivity has given way to that which was designed to inspire hope and confidence in the prisoners (Fairbairn). Lightfoot regards this vision as intended "to encourage the Jews with the prospect of having a temple again." Let us remember that since this is a vision it is totally different from the giving to Moses of the plan for the tabernacle which was done in an actual encounter between Moses and Jehovah. In this vision details are lacking that would be necessary if it were like a blueprint to be followed.

Fairbairn suggests, in his masterful analysis of the text and I do not say his is the only hypothesis to be considered, that as the original temple was basically meant to be seen as symbolic (i.e. the table of shewbread being symbolic of fellowship) so, and by far more naturally, this vision was primarily figurative, designed "to represent the leading truths of God’s character and kingdom."

Why were the delineations apparently exaggerated (i.e. the measurements of the temple larger than the whole city of Jerusalem)? He sums up by saying that the vision assured the people that all would be set right again and that greater and better things awaited them in the future than they had ever known in the past.

To complete this devotional go and read in Isa.33:13-17 of the land "afar off" and see "the king in his beauty" and in 35:10 read of the return of the ransomed with "songs and everlasting joy" while "sorrow and sighing shall flee away." Go to Malachi and read in 3:1 about the LORD coming suddenly to his temple. And so it is from Isaiah to Malachi the prophets are always writing primarily to warn and to prepare Israel for the future. They, as we know, did not even see the Church age and they tended to blend the immediate future with the distant. Let us stand back and try to appreciate the panoramic view.






Ezekiel 42:13

The Separate Place



It is an interesting fact that though the ark of the covenant, which stood in the most holy place ( or holy of holies or holiest of all), was always the center of temple worship, there is no mention of it in Ezekiel’s vision. It seems, therefore, that the emphasis is more on the subject of fellowship. True, the "most holy place" is mentioned but only in passing while much space is given to that part of the temple area which would be where people gathered. The only article of furniture mentioned is the table in 41:22 which seems to be the table of shewbread which again spoke of fellowship.

To be noted also is the repeated term, "the separate place." We find it here in this chapter in verses 1,13 and 20 while in the previous chapter it appears four times. This also defines fellowship (II Cor.6:14-17). Somehow I also think that the cherubims with their 2 faces (a lion and a man) and the palm tree between them (41:18-25) speak of our fellowship with the Lion of the tribe of Judah and its fruitful outcome. (I know that cherubim is already plural, but the "s" is in the text so I kept it).

The basis of the fellowship of the priests would be the sacrifices and those especially which were to be eaten by the priests in the "holy" chambers before "the separate place." Notice that the whole burnt offering and the peace offering, neither of which the priests did eat, are not mentioned.

Perhaps the walled area, the exaggerated measurements of which are found in the last section of the chapter may prefigure the vast number of believers which would be gathered in from the east, the north, the south and the west in the future. (1 reed equals 11 feet making the defined area over 1 square mile in circumference.) Saints mentioned in Revelation 5:11 and 7:9 in addition to the 144,000 Jewish servants of our God will be gathered before the throne.

Whatever Ezekiel’s vision of the temple means, we need to remember that he was told to declare all that he saw unto "the house of Israel." It was not given primarily to us though we may read and try to understand, the true interpretation is what it was designed to mean to the captives in Babylon regardless of how we may seek to apply it.






Ezekiel 43:5

The LORD Filled The House



I believe a lot of the problems surrounding these chapters would be solved when we accept the dual nature that they serve. There is no doubt that the prophet has been given the vision that he might take it to the house of Israel (40:4) but it also has a long range prophetic value as is most evident in the river scene of chapter 47.

To the captives on Chebar in Babylon the reference to the sacrifices in this chapter would be expected since the prophet was promising them a return to normalcy. I like the way Fairbairn puts it and I quote, "Now that the Lord has taken possession of the house (temple), the prophet goes on to show how the work of fellowship and communion with Him is to proceed on the part of the people. It must, as it were, commence anew; and of course be conducted after the old manner, for no other could here come into contemplation." In other words, what should we expect but that they would return to the altar and the sacrifices as presented in this chapter and the next?

We have no problem with the way Solomon stretched the dimensions of the brazen altar and the laver, the latter being placed on the backs of twelve oxen (I Kings 7:25) etc. and when we turn to Revelation and our final destination in the holy city, there is neither altar nor sacrifice nor even a temple (Rev.21:22). Filling in between is this fantastic temple of Ezekiel’s vision exercising the imagination but it is not the first time this book has done so, to wit, the description of the cherubim in chapter one!

In conclusion it is appropriate that we be stirred to consider things as they are in our present dispensation where we are the temple with which Jehovah is concerned. As the Shekinah abandoned that which Solomon built (ch.11), so God’s spirit abandoned the creature He had made to indwell when Adam sinned but returned at Pentecost. Now the glory of the Lord is wont to fill the house (v.5 and Eph.5:18). Let us "consecrate our all upon the altar" appropriating our eighth day (resurrection) privileges and revel in our acceptability (vs. 26 &27 with Eph.1:6).






Ezekiel 44:18

No Sweat



As I read this chapter it seems quite evident that most of it relates to the restoration period. Reference to the eastern gates however, has brought to mind the concept that when Christ returns to the earth He will enter the temple through this golden gate. Hymn writers have used this theme is some of their poetic works. I think I have heard that Jews who still look for the Messiah expect Him to use this entrance which would remain sealed until that time. Little is said on this subject by the commentators I have read. Alva McClain in The Greatness of the Kingdom states, however, on p.249 "Nothing in past or current history can be equated with this prediction (43:7- ASV). There is no Shekinah Glory in the second and third temples." Also, I.M. Haldeman, The Coming of Christ commenting on 43:7 says, "This is plainly a description of the personal advent of the Lord" (p.205).

If this is the case, then both references (43:1-5 and 44:1-3) though written in past tense refer to the coming millennial period which is consistent with much of what is contained in these closing chapters (esp. 47).

In the instructions regarding the priests appear these most interesting provisions, "They shall not dress with anything that causes sweat" (v.18). This meant the changing of their garments when they went into the inner court. Woolen clothing shall be replaced with linen. Of course, this was as it had been back in Leviticus but until now, no reason had been given. Perspiration speaks of human effort and Jehovah wished that such would be minimized as they served Him. So it should be in the service of believer-priests today. God hates the flesh and had made it clear through His choice of those who would serve Him "that no flesh should glory in his presence" (I Cor.1:25). Let it be of concern to us that we might ever serve Him by spirit-filled lives and spirit-led activity (Gal.5:25).






Ezekiel 45:15

Fat Pastures



We note that much of what is covered in this chapter has to do with matters that would be familiar to the captives in Babylon as they would look forward to a restoration of temple worship in Jerusalem. In a few years Zerubbabel would return and along with Jeshua, under the ministry of Haggai and Zachariah would "build the house of God" (Ezra 5:2). It is understood that Ezekiel’s vision had a two-fold fulfillment as did many of the prophecies of that time. A familiar and striking example would be the so-called "abomination that maketh desolate" in Daniel 11:31 which had its nearer fulfillment in the Maccabean period just before N.T. times when Antiochus Epiphanes in mock derision offered a pig upon the altar of the temple which in turn prefigures the ultimate pollution of the sanctuary by the Anti-Christ during the Great Tribulation, an event which has yet to take place.

In looking through this chapter for some tidbit of inspiration my eyes fell upon an interesting expression in verse 15 where a lamb is chosen to be offered "out of the fat pastures of Israel." As near as I can tell the Hebrew word which is translated by two English words, "fat pastures"speaks of a well- watered place. The term was used in our King James version back in 34:14 but there it is two different words speaking of a rich or plenteous pasture. In both we have pictured for us a super abundant feeding place for the sheep.

It is blessed privilege as one of God’s lambs to be in a local assembly where there is "fat pasturage" and one for which I am indeed thankful. At every service we are fed from the word of God which is so rich and abundantly satisfying. To have found such "green pastures and still waters" is obviously through the guidance of our Good Shepherd Who has blessed us with a faithful under-shepherd. Let us be sure to thank our Heavenly Father and pray that all true believers will find the way to good sound local churches, especially those in third world and persecuted areas.






Ezekiel 46:2

The Prince



I can furnish no satisfactory explanation regarding the East Gate as seen here. It must be clear to us, however, that the prince spoken of is not the Messiah but perhaps as some have suggested is a descendant of king David. It seems obvious that this cannot be a divine being since it is said of him in verse 16 that his inheritance shall revert to his sons. Not only is it incredible that this be spoken of the Messiah, but also that this should be occurring in the millennium when surely the leader would have a resurrected body and as such would fit the pattern proclaimed by our Lord to the Sadducees (Luke 20:35). That being the case, it seems impossible that this could be millennial.

Not only is it difficult to conceive of a merely human prince during the 1000 year reign of Christ but it also seems that this chapter is devoid of any evidence of our Lord Jesus Christ being present or any emphasis on real spiritual activity such as we might be led to expect from Isaiah’s portrayal of conditions; "Even them shall I bring to my holy mountain and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar; for mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people" (56:7).

In conclusion it would seem that about the only positive thing about worship in this chapter is the blessing of not running up against each other by using a different gate to exit and the smell of boiled meat instead of the incense from the golden altar. The restoration temple will seem good to the captives of Chebar, but there is a whole lot more to the mil. emple than anything we see in this chapter, I’m thinking.

In fact, the next and final chapters show us sights that will thrill our souls and we will know that we are looking at some things that never were true of any temple ever designed by men. Now that will be something to see! The LORD will be there!






Ezekiel 47:5

Waters to Swim In



Conditions relative to this river and the one in Revelation 22:1 are so similar that it is possible to confuse them, but the difference is obvious upon close examination of the two texts. This river enters from under the threshold of "the house" whereas the latter one comes out from "the throne of God" and you will remember that there is "no temple" (Rev.21:22) in the New Jerusalem which is the subject in the Revelation text.

I believe that both rivers are symbolic though real and picture the life of God flowing out of Him to His created world. It is seen to be flowing into "the former sea" and "the hinder sea" which are probably the Mediterranean and the Dead Seas (Zech.14:8) and here in our present text the emphasis is the power it has to heal and bring life (v.9).

It amazes me to find commentators that cannot believe this to be a literal river largely due to the miraculous expansion. Of course they must also find a natural explanation of the smitten rock producing drinking water for a couple of million thirsty people in the wilderness (Exodus 17:6). We believe in the miraculous nature of both sources, but even so, it is not much of a stretch for the God Who makes mighty natural rivers like the Penobscot here in Maine by the tributaries of hundreds of brooks and streams!

Trees needing water (Ps.1:3) symbolize men needing God. Perhaps picturing the Lord Jesus Christ, the tree of life in the garden of Eden has multiplied to become a verdant forest of fruit bearing trees along this great river, certainly memorializing the millions of souls like the woman of Samaria which have drunk of that life-giving stream and bear fruit some 30 fold, some 60 and some 100.

I look forward to seeing this river sometime fairly soon and hopefully I will have a dwelling place beside the other, 1000 or so years later. Of course, we will never forget the great redemptive work Jehovah did on the old earth but in case we might, the crystal-flowing river will be a constant reminder and especially for those of us, who, yielding our bodies as channels,  helped to deepen its flow as it moved on through us toward the glassy sea on which will gather the myriads of beings "round about the throne" (Rev.4:6 & 5:11).






Ezekiel 48:35

The LORD is There



Another ridiculous question that some commentators come up with is the objection to a literal fulfilment of this chapter. After all, these tribes are scattered and intermarried, how could they possibly be regathered into such a neat arrangement? Dear, dear, I am sorry to be found over-estimating the power of our Creator-God again!

As to when this will take place, I think it safe to say, probably not until the 1000 year reign of Christ but it must have been quite exciting for the captives on Chebar to hear that Jehovah had such plans for Israel’s future. How He will work out the space problem will be exciting but I can’t imagine that He doesn’t have a way in mind.

Who knows what our likes and dislikes are going to be when we get our new bodies. I, for one, will have to change a whole lot to want to spend much time in the holy land. The only reason I would want to be there at all is because THE LORD IS THERE. It will be interesting, to say the least, to see how so many of us could possibly fit in the temple area even as large as Ezekiel declares it to be, so, the logistics will be something beyond anything we can imagine. Exciting times ahead eh?

I have heard numerous believers say that they think that perhaps we might be sent to keep order in the very areas where we have lived during this life. What do you think is implied by Rev.2:27 and Heb.2:5 let alone our judging the angels (I Cor.6:2)?

If things work out, I plan to have the meateaters all over for a big fish dinner with all the lobster you can eat, that is, if changing the oceans to all fresh water doesn’t change things too much. I guess there will be many changes but it will all be ok, won’t it?