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Ezekiel 20:1-7

Context
Israel’s Rebellion

20:1 In the seventh year, in the fifth month, on the tenth of the month, 1  some of the elders 2  of Israel came to seek 3  the Lord, and they sat down in front of me. 20:2 The word of the Lord came to me: 20:3 “Son of man, speak to the elders of Israel, and tell them: ‘This is what the sovereign Lord says: Are you coming to seek me? As surely as I live, I will not allow you to seek me, 4  declares the sovereign Lord.’ 20:4 “Are you willing to pronounce judgment? 5  Are you willing to pronounce judgment, son of man? Then confront them with the abominable practices of their fathers, 20:5 and say to them:

“‘This is what the sovereign Lord says: On the day I chose Israel I swore 6  to the descendants 7  of the house of Jacob and made myself known to them in the land of Egypt. I swore 8  to them, “I am the Lord your God.” 20:6 On that day I swore 9  to bring them out of the land of Egypt to a land which I had picked out 10  for them, a land flowing with milk and honey, 11  the most beautiful of all lands. 20:7 I said to them, “Each of you must get rid of the detestable idols you keep before you, 12  and do not defile yourselves with the idols of Egypt; I am the Lord your God.”

1 sn The date would be August 14th, 591 b.c. The seventh year is the seventh year of Jehoiachin’s exile.

2 tn Heb “men from the elders.”

3 tn See the note at 14:3.

4 tn Or “I will not reveal myself to you.”

5 tn Heb “will you judge.” Here the imperfect form of the verb is probably used with a desiderative nuance. Addressed to the prophet, “judge” means to warn of or pronounce God’s impending judgment.

6 tn Heb “I lifted up my hand.”

7 tn Heb “seed.”

8 tn Heb “I lifted up my hand.”

9 tn Heb “I lifted up my hand to them.”

10 tn Or “searched out.” The Hebrew word is used to describe the activity of the spies in “spying out” the land of Canaan (Num 13-14); cf. KJV “I had espied for them.”

11 sn The phrase “a land flowing with milk and honey,” a figure of speech describing the land’s abundant fertility, occurs in v. 15 as well as Exod 3:8, 17; 13:5; 33:3; Lev 20:24; Num 13:27; Deut 6:3; 11:9; 26:9; 27:3; Josh 5:6; Jer 11:5; 32:23 (see also Deut 1:25; 8:7-9).

12 tn Heb “each one, the detestable things of his eyes, throw away.” The Pentateuch does not refer to the Israelites worshiping idols in Egypt, but Josh 24:14 appears to suggest that they did so.



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