Showing posts with label Ezekiel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ezekiel. Show all posts

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Ezekiel 48

In the final chapter of his book, Ezekiel gives a  description of the several portions of the land belonging to each tribe, together with the portion allotted to the sanctuary, city, suburb, and prince.

Then Ezekiel gives an account of the new city. This will be the special place of LORD's presence and will be surrounded by twelve gates – three facing north, three south, three east and three west, each named after a tribe.
Ezekiel 48:35 “The distance all around will be 18,000 cubits And the name of the city from that time on will be: THE LORD IS THERE"

Ezekiel 47

Ezekiel then observed water coming out of the temple, towards the east. These waters coming out of the temple created a new paradise. First the water was a shallow stream that was ankle deep, then it became knee-deep, then upto the waist, and later it was deep enough to swim in.

A great number of trees were seen growing on both sides of the river, indicating the fertility of the land, and a large number of fish will be in the river. The water finally reaches the dead sea, and a garden with surplus productivity is recorded on it's banks.
Ezekiel 47:12 Fruit trees of all kinds will grow on both banks of the river. Their leaves will not wither, nor will their fruit fail. Every month they will bear fruit, because the water from the sanctuary flows to them. Their fruit will serve for food and their leaves for healing.
Boundaries of land were announced for the twelve tribes of Israel in the coming age.

My Thoughts
That river which has it's source from the LORD, is the only one which gives abundant life. 

Ezekiel 46

In this chapter, Ezekiel provides instructions related to everyday worship. The gate of the inner court facing east is to closed for six working days. It would stay open on the Sabbath day and on the day of the New moon. The east gate was to be permanently closed.

On these holy days, the prince was to enter through the portico, and shall offer six male lambs and a ram all without defect on the Sabbath. Further stipulations for new moon offerings are explained.

As a means of crowd control, the prince will leave by the gate he entered, but the people would leave by the opposite gate. Stipulations for princely peace offerings along with daily offerings are given.

The last section of this chapter addresses the function of the temple kitchen. Finally, the guide took Ezekiel to the outer court and it's four corners, where he observed enclosed courts in the four corners. These were the kitchens
Ezekiel 46:24 He said to me, “These are the kitchens where those who minister at the temple are to cook the sacrifices of the people.”

Ezekiel 45

First part of this chapter gives specific instructions about the land - a sacred district that was to be appropriated for the new age.
Ezekiel 45:1 When you allot the land as an inheritance, you are to present to the LORD a portion of the land as a sacred district, 25,000 cubits long and 20,000 cubits wide; the entire area will be holy. 
The next part discusses about those regulations concerning weights and measures. We then read about those ordinances regarding provisions for the ordinary and extraordinary sacrifices. Ezekiel instructs about appropriate offerings to be made in the temple so that people can maintain their relationship with the LORD during appointed feasts.

Ezekiel 44

The guide then took Ezekiel to the East Gate and it was shut.
2 The LORD said to me, “This gate is to remain shut. It must not be opened; no one may enter through it. It is to remain shut because the Lord, the God of Israel, has entered through it.
3 The prince himself is the only one who may sit inside the gateway to eat in the presence of the Lord. He is to enter by way of the portico of the gateway and go out the same way.”
As the glory of the LORD filled the temple, Ezekiel fell face-down. Next, Ezekiel is instructed about the regulations for the new temple, especially regarding who and how someone is to approach the Temple.
Ezekiel 44:6 Say to rebellious Israel, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Enough of your detestable practices, people of Israel! 
Levites would have a different role in the new sanctuary. Since the Levites transgressed LORD's law by worshiping idols, their service in the sanctuary will be limited. They could not come near to serve LORD. Those functions would be carried out by Zadokies, who would be appropriately dressed. They would not shave their hair, and would not drink wine in the inner court. They would marry either a virgin or the widow of another priest.

Zadokites - the descendants of Zadok have been faithful to the LORD and received a reward - greater access to the LORD. 

Ezekiel 43

After all those measurements were done, the guide brought Ezekiel to the East Gate, and the tour was almost about to end. Ezekiel then saw something wonderful.
Ezekiel 43:2 and I saw the glory of the God of Israel coming from the east. His voice was like the roar of rushing waters, and the land was radiant with his glory.
The vision was similar to what Ezekiel saw in his very first vision, and he fell face-down. The glory of the LORD filled the temple.
Ezekiel 43:4 The glory of the LORD entered the temple through the gate facing east.
5 Then the Spirit lifted me up and brought me into the inner court, and the glory of the LORD filled the temple.
Ezekiel heard the LORD speak from inside the temple
Ezekiel 43:7 He said: “Son of man, this is the place of my throne and the place for the soles of my feet. This is where I will live among the Israelites forever. The people of Israel will never again defile My Holy name - neither they nor their kings - by their prostitution and the funeral offerings for their kings at their death. 
All surrounding areas will remain Holy as well.

Next, Ezekiel is shown the new temple altar that will be consecrated by sacrificial offerings. The procedure to be followed is narrated in detail.

Ezekiel 42

Ezekiel's guide then took him to those rooms on the north and south side of the temple courtyard. This is where the priests would eat the most holy offerings - the grain offering, the sin offering, and the guilt offerings.
Ezekiel 42:13 Then he said to me, “The north and south rooms facing the temple courtyard are the priests’ rooms, where the priests who approach the LORD will eat the most holy offerings. There they will put the most holy offerings - the grain offerings, the sin offerings and the guilt offerings - for the place is holy.
In this chapter, Ezekiel describes the priests’ chambers, along with the dimensions of the holy mount on which the temple stood.

Ezekiel 41

Along with other places, the temple was measured and found to be 100 cubits long. The building walls also measured 100 cubits. The display of the temple was in perfect symmetry.

It also contained three parts or rooms like that of King Solomon's. Each room became narrower indicating the increasing holiness of drawing closer to special place of LORD's dwelling.

The man then took prophet Ezekiel into the inner sanctuary, which contained carved palm trees and cherubim, similar to that of King Solomon's temple.

The most Holy Place had rectangular double doors, and the man showed Ezekiel the table that was in front of the LORD.

Ezekiel 40

Chapters 40 through 48 describe the vision of Ezekiel about the new temple that is not yet built. In the climax of his book, Ezekiel shares the vision of the LORD he had in the new temple, with LORD in the midst of His people, and never departing.

Ezekiel in his vision is given a tour of the outer and inner courts of the new temple. With all the detail Ezekiel gives, it serves more than a mere blueprint. He met a man with an appearance of brass, with a linen cord and a measuring rod in his hand.
Ezekiel 40:4 The man said to me, “Son of man, look carefully and listen closely and pay attention to everything I am going to show you, for that is why you have been brought here. Tell the people of Israel everything you see.”
A temple is described: the exact dimensions of the east, north and south gates are given. There is further description of the eight tables for the preparation of sacrifices, the chambers, and the porch.

  • The East Gate to the Outer Court
  • The Outer Court
  • The North Gate
  • The South Gate
  • The Gates to the Inner Court
  • The Rooms for Preparing Sacrifices
  • The Rooms for the Priests
  • The New Temple 

All measurements are given precisely in cubits.

Ezekiel 39

This chapter continues from the previous one. LORD will make sure His Holy name is no longer profaned and is known among nations.
Ezekiel 39:7 ‘I will make known My holy name among My people Israel. I will no longer let My holy name be profaned, and the nations will know that I the LORD am the Holy One in Israel. 
Gog has a vast army. Their weapons will provide Israel with seven years of fuel supply.
Ezekiel 39:10 They will not need to gather wood from the fields or cut it from the forests, because they will use the weapons for fuel. And they will plunder those who plundered them and loot those who looted them, declares the Sovereign LORD.
The slaughter and burial of the forces of Gog are described. Birds and wild animals will feast on those who are slain. The LORD will have mercy on the whole house of Israel, and restore it.
Ezekiel 39:25 Therefore this is what the Sovereign LORD says: I will now restore the fortunes of Jacob and will have compassion on all the people of Israel, and I will be zealous for My holy name.
26 They will forget their shame and all the unfaithfulness they showed toward me when they lived in safety in their land with no one to make them afraid.

Ezekiel 38

The next two chapters speak about the prophecy against Gog, prince of Rosh. A little background - Magog, Meshech, Tubal, and Gomer were the sons of Japheth, who was Noah's son. They were located in the Indo European region of the black sea. They are scheming with other nations to come together and attack Israel.
Ezekiel 38:14 Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say to Gog: ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: In that day, when my people Israel are living in safety, will you not take notice of it?
15 You will come from your place in the far north, you and many nations with you, all of them riding on horses, a great horde, a mighty army.
16 You will advance against my people Israel like a cloud that covers the land. In days to come, Gog, I will bring you against my land, so that the nations may know me when I am proved holy through you before their eyes.
The LORD is planning to intervene and execute furious judgment against Gog. The LORD will be known in the eyes of many nations.

Ezekiel 37

LORD sent Ezekiel into the midst of a valley full of dry bones. Ezekiel is then told to prophesy to those dry bones, saying ‘Hear the word of the LORD.’

As Ezekiel prophesies, the bones are joined together, and covered with flesh.
Ezekiel 37:7 So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone.
8 I looked, and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them.
Then LORD asked him to prophesy so that breath may enter them.
Ezekiel 37:10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet - a vast army.
In the same way, LORD shall open up the grave and Israel shall be brought up from its grave.

Ezekiel is then commanded to write ‘Judah’ on one stick, and ‘Ephraim’ on another stick. He was then told to join those two sticks, which will become one stick in his hand. At the time of restoration, there shall be no more idolatry in Israel. David's kingdom will reign in the land given to Jacob. LORD will be in His sanctuary.

Ezekiel 36

This chapter provides hope and assurance about the future. LORD's children will soon come home, increase in number and and produce good fruits. All of that which was ruined will be rebuilt and people will settle down and LORD will help them prosper more than before.

People have shed blood due to their idolatry practices - which is their reason for dispersion and captivity.

LORD is concerned about His holy name. He wants to prove that He is Holy. He will bring His people back to the land, and at that time, all nations will witness this and know it was the hands of God the LORD. He asked Ezekiel to say so:
Ezekiel 36:22 “Therefore say to the Israelites, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: It is not for your sake, people of Israel, that I am going to do these things, but for the sake of My holy name, which you have profaned among the nations where you have gone.
23 I will show the holiness of My great name, which has been profaned among the nations, the name you have profaned among them. Then the nations will know that I am the LORD, declares the Sovereign LORD, when I am proved holy through you before their eyes.
Once people return from captivity, they will be clean. LORD has a wonderful plan for those who return.
Ezekiel 36:24 For I will take you out of the nations; I will gather you from all the countries and bring you back into your own land.
25 I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols.
26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.
27 And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.
28 Then you will live in the land I gave your ancestors; you will be my people, and I will be your God.

My Thoughts
During the course of my life, from childhood, I have been to many unclean places. I sincerely wish LORD will cleanse me by sprinkling some of that clean water upon me, do a heart transplant so that LORD's thoughts fill my heart, then put in His Holy Spirit so that I gain some wisdom - all without going to a hospital or without having to meet any doctors.

What a transformation that would be - a complete makeover!

Ezekiel 35

Prophet Ezekiel makes a prophecy against Edom. This is because of their callous reaction to Israel's downfall. Edom was planning to make a capital out of it.
Ezekiel 35:7 I will make Mount Seir a desolate waste and cut off from it all who come and go.
Mount Seir of Idumea will be filled with the bodies of slain men, because of all those blasphemies they spoke against Israel.

Ezekiel 34

This chapter is one of those heart breaking and pivotal chapter. Sheep are the most commonly and frequently mentioned animals in the Bible. Since they are helpless when left to themselves, a shepherd with the qualities of care and compassion leads them to the appropriate locations. Both civil and religious leaders are referred to as 'shepherds' in the Bible.

Prophet Ezekiel first condemns those selfish shepherds. They have greedily, cruelly, and selfishly exploited those committed to their care. Several direct accusations are raised against them:
Ezekiel 34:3 You eat the curds, clothe yourselves with the wool and slaughter the choice animals, but you do not take care of the flock. 
The shepherds were not doing their assigned job, and in practice there was no shepherd at all. Hence the sheep have scattered and become food for wild animals who lurk around.
Ezekiel 34:5 So they were scattered because there was no shepherd, and when they were scattered they became food for all the wild animals.
6 My sheep wandered over all the mountains and on every high hill. They were scattered over the whole earth, and no one searched or looked for them.
LORD has lost faith in these shepherds. He has seen their selfish performances - one that misleads everyone. Hence, LORD is going to take direct control over His sheep. He cannot afford to loose a single soul. He will be the True Good Shepherd.
Ezekiel 34:15 I myself will tend my sheep and have them lie down, declares the Sovereign LORD.
16 I will search for the lost and bring back the strays. I will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak, but the sleek and the strong I will destroy. I will shepherd the flock with justice.
These unjust shepherds, using their power and strength, have deprived those helpless ones by trampling the pasture and muddy the clear water. Moreover, these leaders have kept the fat sheep for themselves and driven away those week sheep with their horns.
Ezekiel 34:21 Because you shove with flank and shoulder, butting all the weak sheep with your horns until you have driven them away,
22 I will save my flock, and they will no longer be plundered. I will judge between one sheep and another.
The LORD will appoint a Good Shepherd - a new David, to take care of His sheep, so that they will dwell securely. He will get rid of those savage beasts to spread peace in the land. LORD once again confirms that He is there for them.
Ezekiel 34:31 You are my sheep, the sheep of my pasture, and I am your God, declares the Sovereign LORD.

My Thoughts
Jesus Christ is credited as the Good Shepherd who goes after that one lost sheep, leaving behind ninety nine of them.

In real life, events unfold in front of certain people because, LORD chose to show certain events to certain people.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Ezekiel 33

This chapter talks about Prophet Ezekiel being called back to take up the role of watchman once again. In this role, he is commanded by LORD to speak to His people, and issue them warnings.
Ezekiel 33:11 Say to them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways! Why will you die, people of Israel?’
LORD encourages people to shun their evil ways and get on the path of righteousness.

In the second part of the chapter, Ezekiel shares his experience about hearing the news of Jerusalem's fall. A man who escaped Jerusalem came to him and said, "The city has fallen." The previous day Ezekiel's mouth was opened, so that he no longer remained silent.

Those who were left behind in Jerusalem were far from repenting; they were busy busy annexing land into their custody. The people are interested in listening to the word of the LORD, but do not want to put them into practice.
Ezekiel 33:32 Indeed, to them you are nothing more than one who sings love songs with a beautiful voice and plays an instrument well, for they hear your words but do not put them into practice.

Ezekiel 32

In the month of March of 585 BC, Prophet Ezekiel documents a lament for the Pharaoh, once the news of Jerusalem's fall reached the exiles.

Egypt is portrayed as a large threatening animal, such as a lion or a sea monster caught, slain and left exposed to the elements. All those shining lights including the sky will be darkened, and surrounding nations will shudder with terror. Egypt will be left so desolate, that its rivers shall flow smoothly.

Again in March 585 BC, Ezekiel indicated that Egypt will join other fallen nations. The final destination for the Pharaoh is discussed. LORD ordered the slain Pharaoh and his hosts to be dragged down to the lower regions of the earth. The Pharaoh will share these regions with uncircumcised tyrants and oppressors. Several countries are mentioned in the list - Assyria, Elam, Meshech, Tubal, Edom, Sidon, etc.

This concludes those seven prophecies of Prophet Ezekiel.


Ezekiel 31

In April 587 BC, Prophet Ezekiel indicated that Egypt, the great cedar tree due to her overbearing pride will fall down. In the ancient world, Egypt used to be the powerhouse and was unshakable. This prophecy regarding the downfall has serious implications in the lives of people and how they view powerful nations.
Ezekiel 31:10 ‘Therefore this is what the Sovereign LORD says: Because the great cedar towered over the thick foliage, and because it was proud of its height,
11 I gave it into the hands of the ruler of the nations, for him to deal with according to its wickedness. I cast it aside, 
The allegory comes to a close, and LORD turns to the Pharaoh.
Ezekiel 31:18 “‘Which of the trees of Eden can be compared with you in splendor and majesty? Yet you, too, will be brought down with the trees of Eden to the earth below; you will lie among the uncircumcised, with those killed by the sword.
“‘This is Pharaoh and all his hordes, declares the Sovereign LORD.’”

Ezekiel 30

Ezekiel depicts the judgement Nebuchadnezzar will execute against Egypt and her allies. The principal cities are referred to specifically. Wealth and gods that caused Egypt's pride will be put to an end at the hands of Nebuchadnezzar.
Ezekiel 30:10 ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says:
“‘I will put an end to the hordes of Egypt
    by the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon.
11 He and his army - the most ruthless of nations -
    will be brought in to destroy the land.
They will draw their swords against Egypt
    and fill the land with the slain.
12 I will dry up the waters of the Nile
    and sell the land to an evil nation;
by the hand of foreigners
    I will lay waste the land and everything in it.
I the LORD have spoken.
The date regarding this prophecy is not documented.

Next, in April 587 BC, Prophet Ezekiel said that Pharaoh's army made an attempt to relieve besieged Jerusalem. However, he was defeated and his power will be further drawn out.
Ezekiel 30:24 I will strengthen the arms of the king of Babylon and put my sword in his hand, but I will break the arms of Pharaoh, and he will groan before him like a mortally wounded man. 

Ezekiel 29

Egypt, the perennial foe of Israel, who kept them bondage for 430 years is warned next. Ezekiel chapters 29 thru 32 lists a collection of 7 prophecies. All of these are carefully dated by Prophet Ezekiel.

In January 587 BC, Prophet Ezekiel said:
The Pharaoh has been exposed to the LORD due to his pride has placed himself among the gods. The Lord will put a hook in the jaws of the Pharaoh, like a fish in the river. Nile river belongs to the LORD, and not to the Pharaoh. The Egyptians will be scattered, and restored after 40 years of captivity, but merely as a base kingdom of no importance.
Ezekiel 29:15 It will be the lowliest of kingdoms and will never again exalt itself above the other nations. I will make it so weak that it will never again rule over the nations. 
On the New Years day in 571 BC, Prophet Ezekiel  declared that Babylon will gobble up Egypt.
Nebuchadnezzar will be given Egypt as his reward for the siege against the city of Tyre. Babylon is LORD's instrument of judgment against the nations.
Ezekiel 29:19 Therefore this is what the Sovereign LORD says: I am going to give Egypt to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and he will carry off its wealth. He will loot and plunder the land as pay for his army.
20 I have given him Egypt as a reward for his efforts because he and his army did it for me, declares the Sovereign LORD.