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Ezekiel 36:16-38

Context

36:16 The word of the Lord came to me: 36:17 “Son of man, when the house of Israel was living on their own land, they defiled it by their behavior 1  and their deeds. In my sight their behavior was like the uncleanness of a woman having her monthly period. 36:18 So I poured my anger on them 2  because of the blood they shed on the land and because of the idols with which they defiled it. 3  36:19 I scattered them among the nations; they were dispersed throughout foreign countries. In accordance with their behavior and their deeds I judged them. 36:20 But when they arrived in the nations where they went, they profaned my holy name. It was said of them, ‘These are the people of the Lord, yet they have departed from his land.’ 36:21 I was concerned for my holy reputation 4  which the house of Israel profaned among the nations where they went.

36:22 “Therefore say to the house of Israel, ‘This is what the sovereign Lord says: It is not for your sake that I am about to act, O house of Israel, but for the sake of my holy reputation 5  which you profaned among the nations where you went. 36:23 I will magnify 6  my great name that has been profaned among the nations, that you have profaned among them. The nations will know that I am the Lord, declares the sovereign Lord, when I magnify myself among you in their sight.

36:24 “‘I will take you from the nations and gather you from all the countries; then I will bring you to your land. 36:25 I will sprinkle you with pure water 7  and you will be clean from all your impurities. I will purify you from all your idols. 36:26 I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit within you. I will remove the heart of stone 8  from your body and give you a heart of flesh. 9  36:27 I will put my Spirit within you; 10  I will take the initiative and you will obey my statutes 11  and carefully observe my regulations. 12  36:28 Then you will live in the land I gave to your fathers; you will be my people, and I will be your God. 13  36:29 I will save you from all your uncleanness. I will call for the grain and multiply it; I will not bring a famine on you. 36:30 I will multiply the fruit of the trees and the produce of the fields, so that you will never again suffer the disgrace of famine among the nations. 36:31 Then you will remember your evil behavior 14  and your deeds which were not good; you will loathe yourselves on account of your sins and your abominable deeds. 36:32 Understand that 15  it is not for your sake I am about to act, declares the sovereign Lord. Be ashamed and embarrassed by your behavior, O house of Israel.

36:33 “‘This is what the sovereign Lord says: In the day I cleanse you from all your sins, I will populate the cities and the ruins will be rebuilt. 36:34 The desolate land will be plowed, instead of being desolate in the sight of everyone who passes by. 36:35 They will say, “This desolate land has become like the garden of Eden; the ruined, desolate, and destroyed cities are now fortified and inhabited.” 36:36 Then the nations which remain around you will know that I, the Lord, have rebuilt the ruins and replanted what was desolate. I, the Lord, have spoken – and I will do it!’

36:37 “This is what the sovereign Lord says: I will allow the house of Israel to ask me to do this for them: 16  I will multiply their people like sheep. 17  36:38 Like the sheep for offerings, like the sheep of Jerusalem 18  during her appointed feasts, so will the ruined cities be filled with flocks of people. Then they will know that I am the Lord.”

1 tn Heb “way.”

2 sn See Ezek 7:8; 9:8; 14:19; 20:8, 13, 21; 22:22; 30:15.

3 sn For the concept of defiling the land in legal literature, see Lev 18:28; Deut 21:23.

4 tn Heb “name.”

5 sn In Ezek 20:22 God refrained from punishment for the sake of his holy name. Here God’s reputation is the basis for Israel’s restoration.

6 tn Or “sanctify,” Heb “make holy.”

7 sn The Lord here uses a metaphor from the realm of ritual purification. For the use of water in ritual cleansing, see Exod 30:19-20; Lev 14:51; Num 19:18; Heb 10:22.

8 sn That is, a heart which symbolizes a will that is stubborn and unresponsive (see 1 Sam 25:37). In Rabbinic literature a “stone” was associated with an evil inclination (b. Sukkah 52a).

9 sn That is, a heart which symbolizes a will that is responsive and obedient to God.

10 tn Or “in the midst of you.” The word “you” is plural.

11 tn Heb “and I will do that which in my statutes you will walk.” The awkward syntax (verb “to do, act” + accusative sign + relative clause + prepositional phrase + second person verb) is unique, though Eccl 3:14 contains a similar construction. In the last line of that verse we read that “God acts so that (relative pronoun) they fear before him.” However, unlike Ezek 36:27, the statement has no accusative sign before the relative pronoun.

12 tn Heb “and my laws you will guard and you will do them.” Jer 31:31-34 is parallel to this passage.

13 sn This promise reflects the ancient covenantal ideal (see Exod 6:7).

14 tn Heb “ways.”

15 tn Heb “Let it be known.”

16 tn The Niphal verb may have a tolerative function here, “Again (for) this I will allow myself to be sought by the house of Israel to act for them.” Or it may be reflexive: “I will reveal myself to the house of Israel by doing this also.”

17 sn Heb “I will multiply them like sheep, human(s).”

18 map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.



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