View Ezekiel 20 in the note window.
The prophet consulted by the elders, signifies God's displeasure
against them, ver. 1 - 3.
Gives them a history of God's dealings with their fathers, and
their treacherous dealings with God in Egypt, ver. 4 - 9.
In the wilderness, ver. 10 - 26.
In Canaan, ver. 27 - 32.
Judgments denounced against them, ver. 33 - 36.
Mercy promised to a remnant, ver. 37 - 44.
A word dropt toward Jerusalem, ver. 45 - 49.
1: The seventh year - Of Zedekiah's reign, two years and five
months before Nebuchadnezzar besieged Jerusalem. Came - Yet
resolved before - hand what they would do.
3: Are ye come - Are ye in good earnest?
4: Wilt thou - Wilt thou not convince and reprove them? And denounce
my judgments against them? The abominations - What their fathers have
done, they approve, and have outdone; by that let them know what to expect.
5: When I chose - When I shewed that I had chosen them. The history
of the rebellions of the children of Israel, begins as early, as their
beginning. So does the history of man's apostasy from his Maker. No
sooner have we read the story of his creation, but we meet with that of
his rebellion. So we see here, it was with Israel; a people designed to
represent the body of mankind, both in their dealings with God, and in
God's dealing with them. Lifted up my hand - Or stretched out and made
bare my arm; that is, magnified my power for their deliverance. When I
lifted up mine hand - Shewed my power in performing my oath, and assuring
them of doing what was farther promised.
6: I had espied - God speaks after the manner of men.
Milk and honey - Literally milk and honey in abundance were in the
land of Canaan. Proverbially it speaks the plenty and abundance
of all the blessings of life.
7: Of his eyes - To which you have looked for help.
8: To accomplish - To make an end of them.
9: For my name's sake - For the glory of my mercy and faithfulness.
Polluted - Reproached and blasphemed.
12: A sign - Of their being peculiarly my people.
13: In the wilderness - Where they most needed my care and favour;
where the preserving their life from destruction by the noxious creatures,
and from famine by the barrenness of the wilderness, was a continued
15: I lifted up my hand - I sware. Them - So all the murmuring,
disobedient, unbelieving generation was excluded, and their children
were brought in.
18: Walk ye not - Live not as your fathers did.
20: Hallow - Remember to keep them holy.
22: I withdrew - God seems to take the posture of one that was just
going to smite, yet draws back that he might spare.
23: I lifted - I sware.
25: Wherefore - Because they rejected my good laws and judgments.
I gave them - Not by enjoining, but by permitting them to make such for
themselves. Not good - That were pernicious to the users.
26: Polluted - I permitted them to pollute themselves.
Might know - Be forced to own, that the Lord is a mighty king in punishing
those that would not have him a gracious king in governing them.
29: What - What mean you that you go to the high place? What do
you find so inviting there, that you will leave God's altar, where he
requires your attendance, to frequent such places as he has forbidden
you to worship in? Bamah - That is, the high place.
31: Shall I be enquired of - Are you fit to ask counsel of me, whom
you have so obstinately forsaken and reproached?
32: And that - God to convince them, tells them what they think
and have purposed. Shall not be - Shall be quite frustrated.
We will be - Will unite with them in marriages, commerce, and religion
too; and then we shall be safe among them.
34: The people - Sidonians, Ammonites, Moabites, or whoever they
were, to whom the apostate Jews betook themselves, where they thought
to lurk, God will bring them thence into Babylonish captivity.
35: Bring you - Drive you. The wilderness - Into the most
horrid parts of the world; into the mountainous parts of
Media, Hyrcania, Iberia, Caspia, Albania, and Scythia.
Plead with you - Pass sentence, and execute it on you.
36: Your fathers - Who died there, and never entered Canaan.
37: I will cause - I will bring you out by number, so that you
shall either own my scepter, or by a conquered subjection, yield to
my sword and power. Under the rod - Referring to the manner of shepherds
in that country, who did tell their sheep in, and out of the fold.
Bring you - The voluntary and obedient into covenant with myself.
38: The rebels - The stubborn sinners.
39: But pollute - But while ye are such idolaters, forbear to take
my name into your lips.
40: Mine holy mountain - Sion, God's holy hill, (Ps 2:6).
Holy by designation, and God's own appointing it for his temple and
presence. Of the height - Sion, tho' lower than many other hills, yet
was above them all for God's peculiar presence. In the land - Their own
land. Your offerings - When I have brought you into the land, then I will
require your offerings as formerly: you shall see my temple built,
Jerusalem filled with inhabitants, and my worship restored.
41: Sanctified - Magnified and praised for the good I do to my people.
43: Remember - Review your former ways with sorrow: remember, and
46: The south - Look toward Jerusalem, and the land of Canaan.
Drop thy word - Let thy word distil, begin with softer words, before
thou shower down with the vehemency of a storm.
The forest - Jerusalem, which was become like a forest.
47: Every green tree - All that flourish, and all that are poor.
All faces - All persons and orders of men, from one end of the land
to the other.
49: Parables - So absolutely, that we cannot understand him.