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Ezekiel 20:33-44

Context
20:33 As surely as I live, declares the sovereign Lord, with a powerful hand and an outstretched arm, 1  and with an outpouring of rage, I will be king over you. 20:34 I will bring you out from the nations, and will gather you from the lands where you are scattered, with a powerful hand and an outstretched arm and with an outpouring of rage! 20:35 I will bring you into the wilderness of the nations, and there I will enter into judgment with you face to face. 20:36 Just as I entered into judgment with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so I will enter into judgment with you, declares the sovereign Lord. 20:37 I will make you pass under 2  the shepherd’s staff, 3  and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant. 20:38 I will eliminate from among you the rebels and those who revolt 4  against me. I will bring them out from the land where they have been residing, but they will not come to the land of Israel. Then you will know that I am the Lord.

20:39 “‘As for you, O house of Israel, this is what the sovereign Lord says: Each of you go and serve your idols, 5  if you will not listen to me. 6  But my holy name will not be profaned 7  again by your sacrifices 8  and your idols. 20:40 For there on my holy mountain, the high mountain of Israel, declares the sovereign Lord, all the house of Israel will serve me, all of them 9  in the land. I will accept them there, and there I will seek your contributions and your choice gifts, with all your holy things. 20:41 When I bring you out from the nations and gather you from the lands where you are scattered, I will accept you along with your soothing aroma. I will display my holiness among you in the sight of the nations. 20:42 Then you will know that I am the Lord when I bring you to the land of Israel, to the land I swore 10  to give to your fathers. 20:43 And there you will remember your conduct 11  and all your deeds by which you defiled yourselves. You will despise yourselves 12  because of all the evil deeds you have done. 20:44 Then you will know that I am the Lord, when I deal with you for the sake of my reputation and not according to your wicked conduct and corrupt deeds, O house of Israel, declares the sovereign Lord.’”

1 sn This phrase occurs frequently in Deuteronomy (Deut 4:34; 5:15; 7:19; 11:2; 26:8).

2 tn This is the same Hebrew verb used to describe the passing of the children through the fire.

3 sn The metaphor may be based in Lev 27:32 (see also Jer 33:13; Matt 25:32-33). A shepherd would count his sheep as they passed beneath his staff.

4 tn See the note at 2:3.

5 sn Compare the irony here to Amos 4:4 and Jer 44:25.

6 tn Heb “and after, if you will not listen to me.” The translation leaves out “and after” for smoothness. The text is difficult. M. Greenberg (Ezekiel [AB], 1:374) suggests that it may mean “but afterwards, if you will not listen to me…” with an unspoken threat.

7 sn A similar concept may be found in Lev 18:21; 20:3.

8 tn Or “gifts.”

9 tn Heb “all of it.”

10 tn Heb “I lifted up my hand.”

11 tn Heb “ways.”

12 tn Heb “loathe yourselves in your faces.”



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