Ezekiel 16-19 Make Yourself a New Heart

Ezekiel 16-19 Make Yourself a New Heart



Psalm 96:1-6 Blessing in Song and Sayings
Ps 96:1 “Sing to Yahweh a new song! Sing to Yahweh, all the earth. 2 Sing to Yahweh! Bless his name! Proclaim his salvation from day to day! 3 Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples. 4 For great is Yahweh, and greatly to be praised! He is to be feared above all gods. 5 For all the gods of the peoples are idols, but Yahweh made the heavens. 6 Honor and majesty are before him. Strength and beauty are in his sanctuary...13 for He comes, for He comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world with righteousness, the peoples with his truth.“

Observations: 96:1-6 The psalmist exhorts us to praise, and bless (speak well of) the name/power of God in song and declaration. God's greatness, honor and glory is manifested not just in His creation and salvation of His people, but also in His works among the peoples. He is to be feared above all gods. Both among the nations and in His sanctuary, people praise God for how He works in protecting and providing for them. We'll visit the last half of the psalm in the future, but note the last verse as a basis for joyful praise.
Application: When you praise God, don't just sing a song, but express how He has worked in your life.
Prayer: God, I praise You for not just being my Creator, but also the great Sustainer of my life; for meeting my needs, and answering my prayers. Amen.
Proverbs 22:16-23 Own It and Give It
Pr 22:16 “Whoever oppresses the poor for his own increase and whoever gives to the rich, both come to poverty.
17 Turn your ear, and listen to the words of the wise. Apply your heart to my teaching. 18 For it is a pleasant thing if you keep them within you, if all of them are ready on your lips. 19 That your trust may be in Yahweh, I teach you today, even you.
20 Haven’t I written to you thirty excellent things of counsel and knowledge, 21 To teach you truth, reliable words, to give sound answers to the ones who sent you?
22 Don’t exploit the poor, because he is poor; and don’t crush the needy in court; 23 for Yahweh will plead their case, and plunder the life of those who plunder them.“

Observations: 22:16-23 This section is bracketed by warnings not to oppress the poor, nor try to impress the rich with bribes. Either illegitimate activity will lead to opposition by God and your own poverty. In the middle are two couplets, advocating the acquisition of wisdom. You know you have gained wisdom (the right objectives and the right means of attaining them) when your trust is in God and His ways, rather than oppression or perversion of justice through bribery. One has to put effort into making God's ways and values the center of one's life. If you can apply wisdom and pass it on to others, you've got it! You can't give to others what you do not own or can't recall :)
Application: How much time to put into acquiring an understanding of God and His ways? Is it enough to counteract the pervasive influence of the world? If you own it, and are passing it on to others, you're doing well!
Prayer: God, thanks for making Your wisdom accessible and trustworthy; may I make my choices in accord with it, and be faithful to bless others with it. Amen.


Ezekiel 16-19 These chapters address the incorrect thinking and sins of the nation, mainly through parables and metaphor. Chapter 18 is a great chapter on individual responsibility, repentance and individual renewal, and worth spending a little extra time on, especially the last verses. The rest of the parables are tough to unravel, and are just elaborations of the previous warnings. If the people didn't pay attention to the clear statements, it's unlikely they would “get” the parables, but maybe some would repent.


Ezekiel 16 Jerusalem the Prostitute
16:1 Again the word of Yahweh came to me, saying, 2 Son of man, cause Jerusalem to know her abominations; 3 and say...5 No eye pitied you...but you were cast out in the open field, for that your person was abhorred, in the day that you were born.
6 When I passed by you, and saw you wallowing in your blood, I said to you, Though you are in your blood, live...7 I caused you to multiply as that which grows in the field, and you increased and grew great, and you attained to excellent ornament; your breasts were fashioned, and your hair was grown; yet you were naked and bare. 8 Now when I passed by you, and looked at you, behold, your time was the time of love; and I spread my skirt over you, and covered your nakedness: yes, I swore to you, and entered into a covenant with you, says the Lord Yahweh, and you became mine. 9 Then washed I you with water; yes, I thoroughly washed away your blood from you, and I anointed you with oil. 10 I clothed you also with embroidered work, and shod you with sealskin, and I dressed you about with fine linen, and covered you with silk. 11 I decked you with ornaments, and I put bracelets on your hands, and a chain on your neck. 12 I put a ring on your nose, and earrings in your ears, and a beautiful crown on your head. 13 Thus you were decked with gold and silver; and your clothing was of fine linen, and silk, and embroidered work; you ate fine flour, and honey, and oil; and you were exceeding beautiful, and you prospered to royal estate. 14 Your renown went forth among the nations for your beauty; for it was perfect, through my glory which I had put on you, says the Lord Yahweh.
15 But you trusted in your beauty, and played the prostitute because of your renown, and poured out your prostitution on everyone who passed by; his it was. 16 You took of your garments, and made for yourselves high places decked with various colors, and played the prostitute on them: the like things shall not come, neither shall it be so. 17 You also took your beautiful jewels of my gold and of my silver, which I had given you, and made for yourself images of men, and played the prostitute with them; 18 and you took your embroidered garments, and covered them, and set my oil and my incense before them. 19 My bread also which I gave you, fine flour, and oil, and honey, with which I fed you, you even set it before them for a pleasant aroma; and thus it was, says the Lord Yahweh. 20 Moreover you have taken your sons and your daughters, whom you have borne to me, and you have sacrificed these to them to be devoured. Was your prostitution a small matter, 21 that you have slain my children, and delivered them up, in causing them to pass through the fire to them? 22 In all your abominations and your prostitution you have not remembered the days of your youth, when you were naked and bare, and were wallowing in your blood. 23 It has happened after all your wickedness, (woe, woe to you! says the Lord Yahweh), 24 that you have built for yourselves a vaulted place, and have made yourselves a lofty place in every street. 25 You have built your lofty place at the head of every way, and have made your beauty an abomination, and have opened your feet to everyone who passed by, and multiplied your prostitution. 26 You have also committed sexual immorality with the Egyptians, your neighbors, great of flesh; and have multiplied your prostitution, to provoke me to anger. 27 See therefore, I have stretched out my hand over you, and have diminished your ordinary food, and delivered you to the will of those who hate you, the daughters of the Philistines, who are ashamed of your lewd way. 28 You have played the prostitute also with the Assyrians, because you were insatiable; yes, you have played the prostitute with them, and yet you weren’t satisfied. 29 You have moreover multiplied your prostitution to the land of merchants, to Chaldea; and yet you weren’t satisfied with this. 30 How weak is your heart, says the Lord Yahweh, since you do all these things, the work of an impudent prostitute; 31 in that you build your vaulted place at the head of every way, and make your lofty place in every street, and have not been as a prostitute, in that you scorn pay. 32 A wife who commits adultery! who takes strangers instead of her husband! 33 They give gifts to all prostitutes; but you give your gifts to all your lovers, and bribe them, that they may come to you on every side for your prostitution. 34 You are different from other women in your prostitution, in that no one follows you to play the prostitute; and whereas you give hire, and no hire is given to you, therefore you are different.
35 Therefore, prostitute, hear the word of Yahweh: 36 Thus says the Lord Yahweh, Because your filthiness was poured out, and your nakedness uncovered through your prostitution with your lovers; and because of all the idols of your abominations, and for the blood of your children, that you gave to them; 37 therefore see, I will gather all your lovers, with whom you have taken pleasure, and all those who you have loved, with all those who you have hated; I will even gather them against you on every side, and will uncover your nakedness to them, that they may see all your nakedness. 38 I will judge you, as women who break wedlock and shed blood are judged; and I will bring on you the blood of wrath and jealousy. 39 I will also give you into their hand, and they shall throw down your vaulted place, and break down your lofty places; and they shall strip you of your clothes, and take your beautiful jewels; and they shall leave you naked and bare. 40 They shall also bring up a company against you, and they shall stone you with stones, and thrust you through with their swords. 41 They shall burn your houses with fire, and execute judgments on you in the sight of many women; and I will cause you to cease from playing the prostitute, and you shall also give no hire any more. 42 So will I cause my wrath toward you to rest, and my jealousy shall depart from you, and I will be quiet, and will be no more angry. 43 Because you have not remembered the days of your youth, but have raged against me in all these things; therefore, behold, I also will bring your way on your head, says the Lord Yahweh: and you shall not commit this lewdness with all your abominations.
44 Behold, everyone who uses proverbs shall use this proverb against you, saying, As is the mother, so is her daughter. 45 You are the daughter of your mother, who loathes her husband and her children; and you are the sister of your sisters, who loathed their husbands and their children: your mother was a Hittite, and your father an Amorite. 46 Your elder sister is Samaria, who dwells at your left hand, she and her daughters; and your younger sister, who dwells at your right hand, is Sodom and her daughters. 47 Yet have you not walked in their ways, nor done after their abominations; but, as if that were a very little thing, you were more corrupt than they in all your ways. 48 As I live, says the Lord Yahweh, Sodom your sister has not done, she nor her daughters, as you have done, you and your daughters. 49 Behold, this was the iniquity of your sister Sodom: pride, fulness of bread, and prosperous ease was in her and in her daughters; neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. 50 They were haughty, and committed abomination before me: therefore I took them away as I saw good. 51 Neither has Samaria committed half of your sins; but you have multiplied your abominations more than they, and have justified your sisters by all your abominations which you have done. 52 You also, bear you your own shame, in that you have given judgment for your sisters; through your sins that you have committed more abominable than they, they are more righteous that you: yes, be also confounded, and bear your shame, in that you have justified your sisters. 53 I will turn again their captivity, the captivity of Sodom and her daughters, and the captivity of Samaria and her daughters, and the captivity of your captives in their midst; 54 that you may bear your own shame, and may be ashamed because of all that you have done, in that you are a comfort to them. 55 Your sisters, Sodom and her daughters, shall return to their former estate; and Samaria and her daughters shall return to their former estate; and you and your daughters shall return to your former estate. 56 For your sister Sodom was not mentioned by your mouth in the day of your pride, 57 before your wickedness was uncovered, as at the time of the reproach of the daughters of Syria, and of all who are around her, the daughters of the Philistines, who do despite to you all around. 58 You have borne your lewdness and your abominations, says Yahweh. 59 For thus says the Lord Yahweh: I will also deal with you as you have done, who have despised the oath in breaking the covenant.
60 Nevertheless I will remember my covenant with you in the days of your youth, and I will establish to you an everlasting covenant. 61 Then you shall remember your ways, and be ashamed, when you shall receive your sisters, your elder sisters and your younger; and I will give them to you for daughters, but not by your covenant. 62 I will establish my covenant with you; and you shall know that I am Yahweh; 63 that you may remember, and be confounded, and never open your mouth any more, because of your shame, when I have forgiven you all that you have done, says the Lord Yahweh.

Observations: 16:1-14 In order to show Jerusalem her sin, God gives her an overview of her history with Him. He uses two figures of speech, putting Jerusalem for her people (metonymy), and then personifying her as an unwanted child (since Israel did not have a native homeland). God took Israel from being rejected and despised, entered into a (marriage) covenant with her, made her perfect in beauty and prosperity through bestowing His glory upon her. It's an incredible display of grace.
16:15-43 Instead of being faithful to God and living happily ever after with Him, Jerusalem became the unfaithful prostitute wife, chasing after other lovers, paying them for what didn't satisfy her. Her pride/independence from God expressed itself in a lust for sensual pagan worship, to the extreme of sacrificing her children to pagan gods in orgiastic rites. Note how many times the prostitution metaphor is used. God will judge her as an unfaithful murderess, and bring her lovers against her to despoil and stone her, causing her harlotry to cease through massive pain (of her own making). She failed to remember from whence she came, and therefore will be returned there, naked and rejected.
16:44-66 God uses the lineage of the Jebusites (the first inhabitants of Jerusalem) to compare Jerusalem to her neighbors Samaria and Sodom. The Table of Nations (Gen 10:15-16) lists the Jebusites between Heth (ancestor of the Hittites, in the area where Samaria was located) and the Amorites (in the area where Sodom was located.) God says Judah's sin was worse than her “sisters,” and she made them look good by comparison. When God restored the nations disciplined for their sin, and forgave and established an everlasting covenant with Judah, they would remember their sin and be thoroughly ashamed (see 36:16-38 for new heart and shame).

Application: Living independently of God, trusting in ourselves (16:15) leads to shame and regret.

Prayer: God, You have been so gracious to me in redeeming, sanctifying, and blessing me; 
may I be ever faithful to You, so I will look back to my time on this planet with no regrets. Amen.

Ezekiel 17 Two Eagles and a Twig
17:1 The word of Yahweh came to me, saying, 2 Son of man, put forth a riddle, and speak a parable to the house of Israel; 3 and say, Thus says the Lord Yahweh: A great eagle with great wings and long feathers, full of feathers, which had various colors, came to Lebanon, and took the top of the cedar: 4 he cropped off the topmost of the young twigs of it, and carried it to a land of traffic; he set it in a city of merchants. 5 He took also of the seed of the land, and planted it in a fruitful soil; he placed it beside many waters; he set it as a willow tree. 6 It grew, and became a spreading vine of low stature, whose branches turned toward him, and its roots were under him: so it became a vine, and brought forth branches, and shot forth sprigs. 7 There was also another great eagle with great wings and many feathers: and behold, this vine bent its roots toward him, and shot forth its branches toward him, from the beds of its plantation, that he might water it. 8 It was planted in a good soil by many waters, that it might bring forth branches, and that it might bear fruit, that it might be a goodly vine. 9 Say, Thus says the Lord Yahweh: Shall it prosper? shall he not pull up its roots, and cut off its fruit, that it may wither; that all its fresh springing leaves may wither? and not by a strong arm or many people can it be raised from its roots. 10 Yes, behold, being planted, shall it prosper? shall it not utterly wither, when the east wind touches it? it shall wither in the beds where it grew. 11 Moreover the word of Yahweh came to me, saying, 12 Say now to the rebellious house, Don’t you know what these things mean? tell them, Behold, the king of Babylon came to Jerusalem, and took its king, and its princes, and brought them to him to Babylon: 13 and he took of the seed royal, and made a covenant with him; he also brought him under an oath, and took away the mighty of the land; 14 that the kingdom might be base, that it might not lift itself up, but that by keeping his covenant it might stand. 15 But he rebelled against him in sending his ambassadors into Egypt, that they might give him horses and many people. Shall he prosper? shall he escape who does such things? shall he break the covenant, and yet escape? 16 As I live, says the Lord Yahweh, surely in the place where the king dwells who made him king, whose oath he despised, and whose covenant he broke, even with him in the midst of Babylon he shall die. 17 Neither shall Pharaoh with his mighty army and great company help him in the war, when they cast up mounds and build forts, to cut off many persons. 18 For he has despised the oath by breaking the covenant; and behold, he had given his hand, and yet has done all these things; he shall not escape. 19 Therefore thus says the Lord Yahweh: As I live, surely my oath that he has despised, and my covenant that he has broken, I will even bring it on his own head. 20 I will spread my net on him, and he shall be taken in my snare, and I will bring him to Babylon, and will enter into judgment with him there for his trespass that he has trespassed against me. 21 All his fugitives in all his bands shall fall by the sword, and those who remain shall be scattered toward every wind: and you shall know that I, Yahweh, have spoken it.
22 Thus says the Lord Yahweh: I will also take of the lofty top of the cedar, and will set it; I will crop off from the topmost of its young twigs a tender one, and I will plant it on a high and lofty mountain: 23 in the mountain of the height of Israel will I plant it; and it shall bring forth boughs, and bear fruit, and be a goodly cedar: and under it shall dwell all birds of every wing; in the shade of its branches shall they dwell. 24 All the trees of the field shall know that I, Yahweh, have brought down the high tree, have exalted the low tree, have dried up the green tree, and have made the dry tree to flourish; I, Yahweh, have spoken and have done it.

Observations: 17:1-21 Nebuchadnezzar, (the great eagle 17:12), came to Jerusalem (Lebanon, so called because the cedars of the temple came from there), and took the leadership (top of cedar tree) to Babylon, and planted the captives (also seed) by the waters in Babylon. Nebuchadnezzar took the royal seed, Zedekiah, and made him a vassal, who swore an oath of loyalty to the suzerain (greater power). But Zedekiah rebelled against his oath of loyalty to Babylon, seeking help from Egypt (the second eagle Pharaoh). In breaking his oath before God (2 Chronicles 36:13), Zedekiah incurs God's judgment as well as Nebuchadnezzar's, who was God's agent.
17:22-24 God will take a twig from the tree (Davidic branch) and plant it back in Jerusalem, and exalt it so all nations (every wing) can live under its protection. This is a reference to the Messiah and His kingdom. (Isaiah 2:2-3; 11:1,10; Micah 4:1-2)

Application: God requires people to keep their oaths of loyalty to Him and others.

Prayer: God, You are loyal to all Your promises; please give me strength to be loyal to all that I have promised. Amen.

Ezekiel 18 Make Yourself a New Heart
18:1 The word of Yahweh came to me again, saying, 2 What do you mean, that you use this proverb concerning the land of Israel, saying, The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge? 3 As I live, says the Lord Yahweh, you shall not have occasion any more to use this proverb in Israel. 4 Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul who sins, he shall die. 5 But if a man is just, and does that which is lawful and right, 6 and has not eaten on the mountains, neither has lifted up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, neither has defiled his neighbor’s wife, neither has come near to a woman in her impurity, 7 and has not wronged any, but has restored to the debtor his pledge, has taken nothing by robbery, has given his bread to the hungry, and has covered the naked with a garment; 8 he who has not given forth on interest, neither has taken any increase, who has withdrawn his hand from iniquity, has executed true justice between man and man, 9 has walked in my statutes, and has kept my ordinances, to deal truly; he is just, he shall surely live, says the Lord Yahweh.
10 If he fathers a son who is a robber, a shedder of blood, and who does any one of these things, 11 and who does not any of those duties, but even has eaten on the mountains, and defiled his neighbor’s wife, 12 has wronged the poor and needy, has taken by robbery, has not restored the pledge, and has lifted up his eyes to the idols, has committed abomination, 13 has given forth on interest, and has taken increase; shall he then live? he shall not live: he has done all these abominations; he shall surely die; his blood shall be on him. 14 Now, behold, if he fathers a son, who sees all his father’s sins, which he has done, and fears, and does not such like; 15 who has not eaten on the mountains, neither has lifted up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, has not defiled his neighbor’s wife, 16 neither has wronged any, has not taken anything to pledge, neither has taken by robbery, but has given his bread to the hungry, and has covered the naked with a garment; 17 who has withdrawn his hand from the poor, who has not received interest nor increase, has executed my ordinances, has walked in my statutes; he shall not die for the iniquity of his father, he shall surely live. 18 As for his father, because he cruelly oppressed, robbed his brother, and did that which is not good among his people, behold, he shall die in his iniquity. 19 Yet you say, Why doesn’t the son bear the iniquity of the father? When the son has done that which is lawful and right, and has kept all my statutes, and has done them, he shall surely live. 20 The soul who sins, he shall die: the son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son; the righteousness of the righteous shall be on him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be on him.
21 But if the wicked turn from all his sins that he has committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die. 22 None of his transgressions that he has committed shall be remembered against him: in his righteousness that he has done he shall live. 23 Have I any pleasure in the death of the wicked? says the Lord Yahweh; and not rather that he should repent from his way, and live? 24 But when the righteous turns away from his righteousness, and commits iniquity, and does according to all the abominations that the wicked man does, shall he live? None of his righteous deeds that he has done shall be remembered: in his trespass that he has trespassed, and in his sin that he has sinned, in them shall he die. 25 Yet you say, The way of the Lord is not equal. Hear now, house of Israel: Is my way not equal? Aren’t your ways unequal? 26 When the righteous man turns away from his righteousness, and commits iniquity, and dies therein; in his iniquity that he has done shall he die. 27 Again, when the wicked man turns away from his wickedness that he has committed, and does that which is lawful and right, he shall save his soul alive. 28 Because he considers, and turns away from all his transgressions that he has committed, he shall surely live, he shall not die. 29 Yet the house of Israel says, "The way of the Lord is not fair." House of Israel, aren’t my ways fair? Aren’t your ways unfair?
30 Therefore I will judge you, house of Israel, everyone according to his ways, says the Lord Yahweh. Return, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin. 31 Cast away from you all your transgressions, in which you have transgressed; and make yourself a new spirit and a new heart: for why will you die, house of Israel?

Observations: 18:1-9 God defines the righteousness He expects of His people whom He blesses. The correct response is not to give up and hope in God's mercy, but get going and bring your desires and actions into conformity with His desires, and look forward to His blessing.
18:9-20 Each person lives or dies based upon their own behavior, establishing the principle of individual responsibility before God.
18:21-31 The wicked can become righteous and the righteous can become wicked. It's their choice, which earns the appropriate consequences. Individual responsibility and free will should be obvious to all but the most hardened. God has sovereignly attached corresponding consequences to the choices that we are free to make. The last few verses (28,30-31) are particularly noteworthy:

  • 28 Repentance is the result of rationally considering the consequences of our actions;
  • 30a God judges His people, each according to his/her chosen ways, which we can change;
  • 30b Repentance is something we can and need to do in order to avoid ruin;
  • 31a We have the responsibility to cast away all our transgressors;
  • 31b We have the responsibility to make ourselves a new heart (by writing/programming God's word into the value system we use to make our decisions; we do what we value);
  • 31c We have the responsibility to make/fashion ourselves a new spirit (this is not the Holy Spirit, given in the future New Covenant but something God expects the original audience to do, involving a new way of relating to God, being submissive rather than rebellious. Again this is not the new covenant, where a new heart and spirit are given to Israel, but something God's people need to make (not get) for themselves. (See on the New Covenant in Jeremiah 31:31 and in the audio of Ezekiel's Greatest Hits Part 1);
  • 31d Failure to consider, repent and renew (Rom 12:1-2), results in death (not getting tossed into the lake of fire, but cut off from blessing in the land for the original audience, and loss of dominion/rulership/glory for NT believers (See use of “life” and “death” in Deuteronomy, and the Survey of Rewards on Truthbase.net, and in the Q&A of the above mentioned audio for more about these covenantal terms).

Application: If we want to get the most out of this life and the next, we need to clean up our act and do what God has specified He requires, otherwise we'll face ruin.

Prayer: God, You are infinitely just and fair, in what You do and require, may I respond to Your revelation with repentance where needed, and resolve to do all that pleases You everyday. Amen.

Ezekiel 19 Lament for Two Lions and a Vine
19:1 Moreover, take up a lamentation for the princes of Israel, 2 and say, What was your mother? A lioness: she couched among lions, in the midst of the young lions she nourished her cubs. 3 She brought up one of her cubs: he became a young lion, and he learned to catch the prey; he devoured men. 4 The nations also heard of him; he was taken in their pit; and they brought him with hooks to the land of Egypt. 5 Now when she saw that she had waited, and her hope was lost, then she took another of her cubs, and made him a young lion. 6 He went up and down among the lions; he became a young lion, and he learned to catch the prey; he devoured men. 7 He knew their palaces, and laid waste their cities; and the land was desolate, and its fullness, because of the noise of his roaring. 8 Then the nations set against him on every side from the provinces; and they spread their net over him; he was taken in their pit. 9 They put him in a cage with hooks, and brought him to the king of Babylon; they brought him into strongholds, that his voice should no more be heard on the mountains of Israel.
10 Your mother was like a vine, in your blood, planted by the waters: it was fruitful and full of branches by reason of many waters. 11 It had strong rods for the scepters of those who bore rule, and their stature was exalted among the thick boughs, and they were seen in their height with the multitude of their branches. 12 But it was plucked up in fury, it was cast down to the ground, and the east wind dried up its fruit: its strong rods were broken off and withered; the fire consumed them. 13 Now it is planted in the wilderness, in a dry and thirsty land. 14 Fire is gone out of the rods of its branches, it has devoured its fruit, so that there is in it no strong rod to be a scepter to rule. This is a lamentation, and shall be for a lamentation.

Observations: 19:1-14 This is the first of five lament passages in Ezekiel (see 26:17-18; 27; 28:12-19; 32:1-16 for the others). These two “parables” are about the Davidic rulers of Judah, and their inability to restore Israel to glory. The first compares Jehoahaz to a lion taken to Egypt, and Jehoiachin to a lion who was taken to Babylon (2Kg 23:31-34; 24:27-30). Each died in exile. Ezekiel switches figure to a vine, referring to Zedekiah, a Davidic descendant but a vassal, who would rebel, be cut off, and taken to Babylon as well. Thus there was no hope for the nation, and lament was appropriate.

Application: Trust in anyone other than God will result in sorrow.

Prayer: Lord, thanks that You are always faithful to rescue and redeem Your people; may You be my only source of hope. Amen.


Digging Deeper:

God in a nutshell: God gives individuals freedom of choice, but not freedom of any consequences other than those He has sovereignly attached to the choices. He judges, justly and fairly according to our deeds, and requires a high level of obedience and service for maximum blessing.

Us in a nutshell: We can chose to go from wicked to good, and good to wicked. If we desire the wrong things, we will do the latter. Changing our heart by developing a Biblical value system will ensure that we are rewarded rather than ruined.


Where to Go for More:

Ezekiel complete text

Ezekiel 16
16:1 Again the word of Yahweh came to me, saying, 2 Son of man, cause Jerusalem to know her abominations; 3 and say, Thus says the Lord Yahweh to Jerusalem: your birth and your birth is of the land of the Canaanite; the Amorite was your father, and your mother was a Hittite. 4 As for your birth, in the day you were born your navel was not cut, neither were you washed in water to cleanse you; you weren’t salted at all, nor swaddled at all. 5 No eye pitied you, to do any of these things to you, to have compassion on you; but you were cast out in the open field, for that your person was abhorred, in the day that you were born.
6 When I passed by you, and saw you wallowing in your blood, I said to you, Though you are in your blood, live; yes, I said to you, Though you are in your blood, live. 7 I caused you to multiply as that which grows in the field, and you increased and grew great, and you attained to excellent ornament; your breasts were fashioned, and your hair was grown; yet you were naked and bare. 8 Now when I passed by you, and looked at you, behold, your time was the time of love; and I spread my skirt over you, and covered your nakedness: yes, I swore to you, and entered into a covenant with you, says the Lord Yahweh, and you became mine. 9 Then washed I you with water; yes, I thoroughly washed away your blood from you, and I anointed you with oil. 10 I clothed you also with embroidered work, and shod you with sealskin, and I dressed you about with fine linen, and covered you with silk. 11 I decked you with ornaments, and I put bracelets on your hands, and a chain on your neck. 12 I put a ring on your nose, and earrings in your ears, and a beautiful crown on your head. 13 Thus you were decked with gold and silver; and your clothing was of fine linen, and silk, and embroidered work; you ate fine flour, and honey, and oil; and you were exceeding beautiful, and you prospered to royal estate. 14 Your renown went forth among the nations for your beauty; for it was perfect, through my majesty which I had put on you, says the Lord Yahweh.
15 But you trusted in your beauty, and played the prostitute because of your renown, and poured out your prostitution on everyone who passed by; his it was. 16 You took of your garments, and made for yourselves high places decked with various colours, and played the prostitute on them: the like things shall not come, neither shall it be so. 17 You also took your beautiful jewels of my gold and of my silver, which I had given you, and made for yourself images of men, and played the prostitute with them; 18 and you took your embroidered garments, and covered them, and set my oil and my incense before them. 19 My bread also which I gave you, fine flour, and oil, and honey, with which I fed you, you even set it before them for a pleasant aroma; and thus it was, says the Lord Yahweh. 20 Moreover you have taken your sons and your daughters, whom you have borne to me, and you have sacrificed these to them to be devoured. Was your prostitution a small matter, 21 that you have slain my children, and delivered them up, in causing them to pass through the fire to them? 22 In all your abominations and your prostitution you have not remembered the days of your youth, when you were naked and bare, and were wallowing in your blood. 23 It has happened after all your wickedness, (woe, woe to you! says the Lord Yahweh), 24 that you have built for yourselves a vaulted place, and have made yourselves a lofty place in every street. 25 You have built your lofty place at the head of every way, and have made your beauty an abomination, and have opened your feet to everyone who passed by, and multiplied your prostitution. 26 You have also committed sexual immorality with the Egyptians, your neighbours, great of flesh; and have multiplied your prostitution, to provoke me to anger. 27 See therefore, I have stretched out my hand over you, and have diminished your ordinary food, and delivered you to the will of those who hate you, the daughters of the Philistines, who are ashamed of your lewd way. 28 You have played the prostitute also with the Assyrians, because you were insatiable; yes, you have played the prostitute with them, and yet you weren’t satisfied. 29 You have moreover multiplied your prostitution to the land of merchants, to Chaldea; and yet you weren’t satisfied with this. 30 How weak is your heart, says the Lord Yahweh, since you do all these things, the work of an impudent prostitute; 31 in that you build your vaulted place at the head of every way, and make your lofty place in every street, and have not been as a prostitute, in that you scorn pay. 32 A wife who commits adultery! who takes strangers instead of her husband! 33 They give gifts to all prostitutes; but you give your gifts to all your lovers, and bribe them, that they may come to you on every side for your prostitution. 34 You are different from other women in your prostitution, in that no one follows you to play the prostitute; and whereas you give hire, and no hire is given to you, therefore you are different.
35 Therefore, prostitute, hear the word of Yahweh: 36 Thus says the Lord Yahweh, Because your filthiness was poured out, and your nakedness uncovered through your prostitution with your lovers; and because of all the idols of your abominations, and for the blood of your children, that you gave to them; 37 therefore see, I will gather all your lovers, with whom you have taken pleasure, and all those who you have loved, with all those who you have hated; I will even gather them against you on every side, and will uncover your nakedness to them, that they may see all your nakedness. 38 I will judge you, as women who break wedlock and shed blood are judged; and I will bring on you the blood of wrath and jealousy. 39 I will also give you into their hand, and they shall throw down your vaulted place, and break down your lofty places; and they shall strip you of your clothes, and take your beautiful jewels; and they shall leave you naked and bare. 40 They shall also bring up a company against you, and they shall stone you with stones, and thrust you through with their swords. 41 They shall burn your houses with fire, and execute judgments on you in the sight of many women; and I will cause you to cease from playing the prostitute, and you shall also give no hire any more. 42 So will I cause my wrath toward you to rest, and my jealousy shall depart from you, and I will be quiet, and will be no more angry. 43 Because you have not remembered the days of your youth, but have raged against me in all these things; therefore, behold, I also will bring your way on your head, says the Lord Yahweh: and you shall not commit this lewdness with all your abominations.
44 Behold, everyone who uses proverbs shall use this proverb against you, saying, As is the mother, so is her daughter. 45 You are the daughter of your mother, who loathes her husband and her children; and you are the sister of your sisters, who loathed their husbands and their children: your mother was a Hittite, and your father an Amorite. 46 Your elder sister is Samaria, who dwells at your left hand, she and her daughters; and your younger sister, who dwells at your right hand, is Sodom and her daughters. 47 Yet have you not walked in their ways, nor done after their abominations; but, as if that were a very little thing, you were more corrupt than they in all your ways. 48 As I live, says the Lord Yahweh, Sodom your sister has not done, she nor her daughters, as you have done, you and your daughters. 49 Behold, this was the iniquity of your sister Sodom: pride, fulness of bread, and prosperous ease was in her and in her daughters; neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. 50 They were haughty, and committed abomination before me: therefore I took them away as I saw good. 51 Neither has Samaria committed half of your sins; but you have multiplied your abominations more than they, and have justified your sisters by all your abominations which you have done. 52 You also, bear you your own shame, in that you have given judgment for your sisters; through your sins that you have committed more abominable than they, they are more righteous that you: yes, be also confounded, and bear your shame, in that you have justified your sisters. 53 I will turn again their captivity, the captivity of Sodom and her daughters, and the captivity of Samaria and her daughters, and the captivity of your captives in their midst; 54 that you may bear your own shame, and may be ashamed because of all that you have done, in that you are a comfort to them. 55 Your sisters, Sodom and her daughters, shall return to their former estate; and Samaria and her daughters shall return to their former estate; and you and your daughters shall return to your former estate. 56 For your sister Sodom was not mentioned by your mouth in the day of your pride, 57 before your wickedness was uncovered, as at the time of the reproach of the daughters of Syria, and of all who are around her, the daughters of the Philistines, who do despite to you all around. 58 You have borne your lewdness and your abominations, says Yahweh. 59 For thus says the Lord Yahweh: I will also deal with you as you have done, who have despised the oath in breaking the covenant.
60 Nevertheless I will remember my covenant with you in the days of your youth, and I will establish to you an everlasting covenant. 61 Then you shall remember your ways, and be ashamed, when you shall receive your sisters, your elder sisters and your younger; and I will give them to you for daughters, but not by your covenant. 62 I will establish my covenant with you; and you shall know that I am Yahweh; 63 that you may remember, and be confounded, and never open your mouth any more, because of your shame, when I have forgiven you all that you have done, says the Lord Yahweh.

Ezekiel 17
17:1 The word of Yahweh came to me, saying, 2 Son of man, put forth a riddle, and speak a parable to the house of Israel; 3 and say, Thus says the Lord Yahweh: A great eagle with great wings and long feathers, full of feathers, which had various colours, came to Lebanon, and took the top of the cedar: 4 he cropped off the topmost of the young twigs of it, and carried it to a land of traffic; he set it in a city of merchants. 5 He took also of the seed of the land, and planted it in a fruitful soil; he placed it beside many waters; he set it as a willow tree. 6 It grew, and became a spreading vine of low stature, whose branches turned toward him, and its roots were under him: so it became a vine, and brought forth branches, and shot forth sprigs. 7 There was also another great eagle with great wings and many feathers: and behold, this vine bent its roots toward him, and shot forth its branches toward him, from the beds of its plantation, that he might water it. 8 It was planted in a good soil by many waters, that it might bring forth branches, and that it might bear fruit, that it might be a goodly vine. 9 Say, Thus says the Lord Yahweh: Shall it prosper? shall he not pull up its roots, and cut off its fruit, that it may wither; that all its fresh springing leaves may wither? and not by a strong arm or many people can it be raised from its roots. 10 Yes, behold, being planted, shall it prosper? shall it not utterly wither, when the east wind touches it? it shall wither in the beds where it grew. 11 Moreover the word of Yahweh came to me, saying, 12 Say now to the rebellious house, Don’t you know what these things mean? tell them, Behold, the king of Babylon came to Jerusalem, and took its king, and its princes, and brought them to him to Babylon: 13 and he took of the seed royal, and made a covenant with him; he also brought him under an oath, and took away the mighty of the land; 14 that the kingdom might be base, that it might not lift itself up, but that by keeping his covenant it might stand. 15 But he rebelled against him in sending his ambassadors into Egypt, that they might give him horses and many people. Shall he prosper? shall he escape who does such things? shall he break the covenant, and yet escape? 16 As I live, says the Lord Yahweh, surely in the place where the king dwells who made him king, whose oath he despised, and whose covenant he broke, even with him in the midst of Babylon he shall die. 17 Neither shall Pharaoh with his mighty army and great company help him in the war, when they cast up mounds and build forts, to cut off many persons. 18 For he has despised the oath by breaking the covenant; and behold, he had given his hand, and yet has done all these things; he shall not escape. 19 Therefore thus says the Lord Yahweh: As I live, surely my oath that he has despised, and my covenant that he has broken, I will even bring it on his own head. 20 I will spread my net on him, and he shall be taken in my snare, and I will bring him to Babylon, and will enter into judgment with him there for his trespass that he has trespassed against me. 21 All his fugitives in all his bands shall fall by the sword, and those who remain shall be scattered toward every wind: and you shall know that I, Yahweh, have spoken it.
22 Thus says the Lord Yahweh: I will also take of the lofty top of the cedar, and will set it; I will crop off from the topmost of its young twigs a tender one, and I will plant it on a high and lofty mountain: 23 in the mountain of the height of Israel will I plant it; and it shall bring forth boughs, and bear fruit, and be a goodly cedar: and under it shall dwell all birds of every wing; in the shade of its branches shall they dwell. 24 All the trees of the field shall know that I, Yahweh, have brought down the high tree, have exalted the low tree, have dried up the green tree, and have made the dry tree to flourish; I, Yahweh, have spoken and have done it.

Ezekiel 18
18:1 The word of Yahweh came to me again, saying, 2 What do you mean, that you use this proverb concerning the land of Israel, saying, The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge? 3 As I live, says the Lord Yahweh, you shall not have occasion any more to use this proverb in Israel. 4 Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul who sins, he shall die. 5 But if a man is just, and does that which is lawful and right, 6 and has not eaten on the mountains, neither has lifted up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, neither has defiled his neighbour’s wife, neither has come near to a woman in her impurity, 7 and has not wronged any, but has restored to the debtor his pledge, has taken nothing by robbery, has given his bread to the hungry, and has covered the naked with a garment; 8 he who has not given forth on interest, neither has taken any increase, who has withdrawn his hand from iniquity, has executed true justice between man and man, 9 has walked in my statutes, and has kept my ordinances, to deal truly; he is just, he shall surely live, says the Lord Yahweh.
10 If he fathers a son who is a robber, a shedder of blood, and who does any one of these things, 11 and who does not any of those duties, but even has eaten on the mountains, and defiled his neighbour’s wife, 12 has wronged the poor and needy, has taken by robbery, has not restored the pledge, and has lifted up his eyes to the idols, has committed abomination, 13 has given forth on interest, and has taken increase; shall he then live? he shall not live: he has done all these abominations; he shall surely die; his blood shall be on him. 14 Now, behold, if he fathers a son, who sees all his father’s sins, which he has done, and fears, and does not such like; 15 who has not eaten on the mountains, neither has lifted up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, has not defiled his neighbour’s wife, 16 neither has wronged any, has not taken anything to pledge, neither has taken by robbery, but has given his bread to the hungry, and has covered the naked with a garment; 17 who has withdrawn his hand from the poor, who has not received interest nor increase, has executed my ordinances, has walked in my statutes; he shall not die for the iniquity of his father, he shall surely live. 18 As for his father, because he cruelly oppressed, robbed his brother, and did that which is not good among his people, behold, he shall die in his iniquity. 19 Yet you say, Why doesn’t the son bear the iniquity of the father? When the son has done that which is lawful and right, and has kept all my statutes, and has done them, he shall surely live. 20 The soul who sins, he shall die: the son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son; the righteousness of the righteous shall be on him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be on him.
21 But if the wicked turn from all his sins that he has committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die. 22 None of his transgressions that he has committed shall be remembered against him: in his righteousness that he has done he shall live. 23 Have I any pleasure in the death of the wicked? says the Lord Yahweh; and not rather that he should return from his way, and live? 24 But when the righteous turns away from his righteousness, and commits iniquity, and does according to all the abominations that the wicked man does, shall he live? None of his righteous deeds that he has done shall be remembered: in his trespass that he has trespassed, and in his sin that he has sinned, in them shall he die. 25 Yet you say, The way of the Lord is not equal. Hear now, house of Israel: Is my way not equal? Aren’t your ways unequal? 26 When the righteous man turns away from his righteousness, and commits iniquity, and dies therein; in his iniquity that he has done shall he die. 27 Again, when the wicked man turns away from his wickedness that he has committed, and does that which is lawful and right, he shall save his soul alive. 28 Because he considers, and turns away from all his transgressions that he has committed, he shall surely live, he shall not die. 29 Yet the house of Israel says, "The way of the Lord is not fair." House of Israel, aren’t my ways fair? Aren’t your ways unfair?
30 Therefore I will judge you, house of Israel, everyone according to his ways, says the Lord Yahweh. Return, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin. 31 Cast away from you all your transgressions, in which you have transgressed; and make yourself a new heart and a new spirit: for why will you die, house of Israel?


Ezekiel 19
19:1 Moreover, take up a lamentation for the princes of Israel, 2 and say, What was your mother? A lioness: she couched among lions, in the midst of the young lions she nourished her cubs. 3 She brought up one of her cubs: he became a young lion, and he learned to catch the prey; he devoured men. 4 The nations also heard of him; he was taken in their pit; and they brought him with hooks to the land of Egypt. 5 Now when she saw that she had waited, and her hope was lost, then she took another of her cubs, and made him a young lion. 6 He went up and down among the lions; he became a young lion, and he learned to catch the prey; he devoured men. 7 He knew their palaces, and laid waste their cities; and the land was desolate, and its fulness, because of the noise of his roaring. 8 Then the nations set against him on every side from the provinces; and they spread their net over him; he was taken in their pit. 9 They put him in a cage with hooks, and brought him to the king of Babylon; they brought him into strongholds, that his voice should no more be heard on the mountains of Israel.
10 Your mother was like a vine, in your blood, planted by the waters: it was fruitful and full of branches by reason of many waters. 11 It had strong rods for the sceptres of those who bore rule, and their stature was exalted among the thick boughs, and they were seen in their height with the multitude of their branches. 12 But it was plucked up in fury, it was cast down to the ground, and the east wind dried up its fruit: its strong rods were broken off and withered; the fire consumed them. 13 Now it is planted in the wilderness, in a dry and thirsty land. 14 Fire is gone out of the rods of its branches, it has devoured its fruit, so that there is in it no strong rod to be a sceptre to rule. This is a lamentation, and shall be for a lamentation.