*THE BOOK OF THE PROPHET
Ezekiel 20 ©
Some of the elders of the people come again unto the prophet to ask counsel of God, v. 1. God tells them by the prophet that He will not be inquired of by them, but sets before them His great forbearance, and the continual obstinate idolatries of their forefathers in Egypt, 5. In the wilderness, 13. And in Canaan, 28. Yet He promises to gather His people again, and to restore them by the Gospel, 33. Prophesying again under the name of the forest of the south, of the destruction of Jerusalem, and Judah, 46. The prophet complains of his being derided by his countrymen, 49.
AND it came to pass in the 1seventh year, in the 2fifth month, the tenth day of the month, that certain of the 3elders of Israel came 4to enquirea of the LORD, and sat before me.
Then came the word of the LORD unto me, saying,
Son of man, speak unto the elders of Israel, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Are ye come to enquire of me? 5As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I will not be enquired of by you.
Wilt thou 6judgeb them, son of man, 7wilt thou judge them? cause them to know the 8abominations of their fathers:
¶And say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; In the day when I 9chose Israel, andc10lifted up mine hand unto the 11seed of the house of Jacob, and made myself 12knownd unto them in the land of Egypt, when I lifted up mine hand unto them, saying, I am the LORD your God;
In the day that I lifted up mine hand unto them, to bring them forth of the land of Egypt into a land that I had espied for them, 13flowing with milk and honey, 14which is the glory of all lands:
Then said I unto them, Cast ye away every man 15the abominations of his eyes, and 16defile not yourselves with 17the idols of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.
But they rebelled against me, and would not hearken unto me: they did not 18every man cast away the abominations of their eyes, neither did they forsake the idols of Egypt: then I said, I will pour out 19my fury upon them, to accomplish 20my anger against them in the midst of the land of Egypt.
But I 21wrought 22for my name's sake, that it should not be 23polluted before the heathen, among whom they were, 24in whose sight I made myself known 25unto them, in bringing them forth out of the land of Egypt.
¶Wherefore I caused them to go forth out of the lande of Egypt, and brought them into the 26wilderness.
And I 27gave them my statutes, and shewed them my judgments, 28whichfif a man do, he shall even live in them.
Moreover also I gave them my 29sabbaths,g to be a 30sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the LORD 31that sanctify them.
But the house of Israel rebelled against me in the wilderness: they walked not in my statutes, and they despised my judgments, which if a man do, he shall even live in them; and my sabbaths they greatly 32polluted:h then I said, I would pour out my fury upon them in the wilderness, to consume them.
But I 33wrought for my name's sake, that it should not be polluted before the heathen, in whose sight I 34brought them out.
Yet also I 35lifted up my hand unto them in the wilderness, that I would not bring them into the land which I had given them, 36flowing with milk and honey, which is the glory of all lands;
Because they despised my judgments, 37and walked not in my statutes, but polluted my sabbaths: for their heart 38went after their idols.
Nevertheless mine eye spared them from 39destroying them, neither did I make an end of them in the wilderness.
But I said 40unto their children in the wilderness, 41Walk ye not in the statutes of your fathers, neither observe 42their judgments, nor 43defile yourselves with their idols:
I am the LORD your God; 44walk in my statutes, and keep my judgments, and do them;
And 45hallow my sabbaths; and they shall be a 46sign between me and you, that ye may know that I am the LORD your God.
Notwithstanding the children rebelled against me: they walked not in my statutes, neither kept my judgments to do them, which if a man do, he shall even live in them; they polluted my sabbaths: then 47I said, I would pour out 48my fury upon them, to 49accomplish my anger against them in the wilderness.
Nevertheless 50I withdrew mine hand, and 51wrought for my name's sake, that it should not be 52polluted in the sight of the heathen, in whose sight I brought them forth.
I 53lifted up mine hand unto them also in the wilderness, that I would scatter them among the heathen, and disperse them through the countries;
Because they had not executed my judgments, but had despised my statutes, and had polluted my sabbaths, and 54their eyes were after their fathers' idols.
Wherefore I gave them also 55statutes that were 56not good, and judgments 57whereby they should not live;
And I 58polluted them in their own gifts, in that they caused to pass through 59the firei60all that openeth the womb, 61that I might make them desolate, to the end that they might know that I am the LORD.
¶Therefore, son of man, speak unto the house of Israel, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Yet in this your fathers have blasphemed me, in that they have committed a 62trespass against me.
For 63when I had brought them 64into the land, for the which I lifted up mine hand to give it to them, then they saw every high hill, and all the 65thick trees, and they offered there their sacrifices, and there they presented the 66provocation of their offering: there also they made their sweet savour, and 67poured out there their drink offerings.
Then I said unto them, What is the 68high place whereunto ye go? And the name thereof is called Bamah unto this day.
Wherefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD; 69Are ye 70polluted 71after the manner of your fathers? and 72commit ye whoredom after their abominations?
73For when ye offer your gifts, when ye make your sons to pass through the fire, ye pollute yourselves with all your idols, even unto this day: and shall I be enquired of by you, O house of Israel? As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I will not be enquired of 74by you.
And that which cometh 75into your mind 76shall not be at all, that ye say, We will be as the heathen, as the families of the countries, to serve 77wood and stone.
¶As I live, saith the Lord GOD, surely with a 78mighty hand, and with a 79stretched out arm, and with 80fury poured out, will I rule 81over you:
And I will bring you out 82from the people, and will gather you out of the countries wherein ye are scattered, with a mighty hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with fury poured out.
And I will bring you 83into the wilderness of the people, and there will I 84plead with you 85face to face.
Like as I pleaded with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so will I plead with you, saith the Lord GOD.
And I will cause you to pass 86under the rod, and I will bring 87you 88into the bond of the covenant:
And I will 89purge out from among you 90the rebels, and them that transgress against me: I will 91bring them forth 92out of the country where they sojourn, and they shall 93not enter 94into the land of Israel: and ye shall know that I am the LORD.
As for you, O house of Israel, thus saith the Lord GOD; 95Go ye, serve ye every one his idols, and 96hereafter also, if ye will not hearken unto me: but pollute ye 97my holy name no more 98with your gifts, and with your idols.
For 99in mine holy mountain, in the mountain of the height of Israel, saith the Lord GOD, there shall 100all the house of Israel, all of them in the land, serve me: there will I accept 101them, and there will I require your 102offerings, and the firstfruits of your oblations, with all your 103holy things.
I will accept you with your 104sweet savour, when I bring you out from the people, and gather you out of the countries wherein ye have been scattered; and I will be 105sanctified in you before the heathen.
And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I shall bring you into the land of Israel, into the country for the which I lifted up mine hand to give it to your fathers.
And there 106shall ye remember your ways, and all your doings, wherein ye have been 107defiled; and ye shall 108lothe yourselves in your own sight for all your evils that ye have committed.
And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I have wrought with you 109for my name's sake, not according to your wicked ways, nor according to your corrupt doings, O ye house of Israel, saith the Lord GOD.
¶Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
Son of man, 110set thy face 111toward the south, and 112drop thy word toward the south, and prophesy against the 113forest of the south field;
And say to the 114forest of the south, Hear the word of the LORD; Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will kindle 115a fire in thee, and it shall devour 116every greenj tree in thee, and every dry tree: 117the flaming flame shall not be quenched, and 118all faces from the south to the north shall be burned therein.
And all 119flesh shall see that I the LORD have kindled it: it shall not be quenched.
Then said I, Ah Lord GOD! 120they say of me, Doth he not speak 121parables?