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Ezekiel 20:12-24

Context
20:12 I also gave them my Sabbaths 1  as a reminder of our relationship, 2  so that they would know that I, the Lord, sanctify them. 3  20:13 But the house of Israel rebelled against me in the wilderness; they did not follow my statutes and they rejected my regulations (the one who obeys them will live by them), and they utterly desecrated my Sabbaths. So I decided to pour out 4  my rage on them in the wilderness and destroy them. 5  20:14 I acted for the sake of my reputation, so that I would not be profaned before the nations in whose sight I had brought them out. 20:15 I also swore 6  to them in the wilderness that I would not bring them to the land I had given them – a land flowing with milk and honey, the most beautiful of all lands. 20:16 I did this 7  because they rejected my regulations, did not follow my statutes, and desecrated my Sabbaths; for their hearts followed their idols. 8  20:17 Yet I had pity on 9  them and did not destroy them, so I did not make an end of them in the wilderness.

20:18 “‘But I said to their children 10  in the wilderness, “Do not follow the practices of your fathers; do not observe their regulations, 11  nor defile yourselves with their idols. 20:19 I am the Lord your God; follow my statutes, observe my regulations, and carry them out. 20:20 Treat my Sabbaths as holy 12  and they will be a reminder of our relationship, 13  and then you will know that I am the Lord your God.” 20:21 “‘But the children 14  rebelled against me, did not follow my statutes, did not observe my regulations by carrying them out (the one who obeys 15  them will live by them), and desecrated my Sabbaths. I decided to pour out 16  my rage on them and fully vent my anger against them in the wilderness. 20:22 But I refrained from doing so, 17  and acted instead for the sake of my reputation, so that I would not be profaned before the nations in whose sight I had brought them out. 20:23 I also swore 18  to them in the wilderness that I would scatter them among the nations and disperse them throughout the lands. 19  20:24 I did this 20  because they did not observe my regulations, they rejected my statutes, they desecrated my Sabbaths, and their eyes were fixed on 21  their fathers’ idols.

1 sn Ezekiel’s contemporary, Jeremiah, also stressed the importance of obedience to the Sabbath law (Jer 17).

2 tn Heb “to become a sign between me and them.”

3 tn Or “set them apart.” The last phrase of verse 12 appears to be a citation of Exod 31:13.

4 tn Heb “and I said/thought to pour out.”

5 tn Heb “to bring them to an end.”

6 tn Heb “I lifted up my hand.”

7 tn The words “I did this” are not in the Hebrew text, but are supplied for stylistic reasons. Verses 15-16 are one long sentence in the Hebrew text. The translation divides this sentence into two for stylistic reasons.

8 tn Heb “for after their idols their heart was going.” The use of the active participle (“was going”) in the Hebrew text draws attention to the ongoing nature of their idolatrous behavior.

9 tn Heb “my eye pitied.”

10 tn Heb “sons,” reflecting the patriarchal idiom of the culture.

11 tn Or “standard of justice.” See Ezek 7:27.

12 tn Or “set apart my Sabbaths.”

13 tn Heb “and they will become a sign between me and you.”

14 tn Heb “sons.”

15 tn Or “carries them out.”

16 tn Heb “and I said/thought to pour out.”

17 tn Heb “drew my hand back.” This idiom also occurs in Lam 2:8 and Ps 74:11.

18 tn Heb “I lifted up my hand.”

19 sn Though the Pentateuch does not seem to know of this episode, Ps 106:26-27 may speak of God’s oath to exile the people before they had entered Canaan.

20 tn The words “I did this” are not in the Hebrew text, but are supplied for stylistic reasons. Verses 23-24 are one long sentence in the Hebrew text. The translation divides this sentence into two for stylistic reasons.

21 tn Or “they worshiped” (NCV, TEV, CEV); Heb “their eyes were on” or “were after” (cf. v. 16).



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