From Ezekiel 25-27
Ezekiel proclaims judgment on Judah’s immediate neighbours: Ammon, Moab, Edom, and Philistia. These nations regarded the downfall of Israel with delight (Ammon) and derision (Moab). They had even taken the opportunity to execute revenge on Judah (Edom and Philistia). Ezekiel’s oracle warns that retribution will come.
This post is part of my bible in a year series.
Passage and Comments
Chapters 24 through to 32 of Ezekiel are a long series of judgments on the nations surrounding Israel. Today we look at what the LORD says about Israel’s four closest neighbours. Moving from east to south in a clockwise direction.
Prophecy Against Ammon
25 The word of the LORD came to me: 2 “Son of man, set your face toward the Ammonites and prophesy against them. 3 Say to the Ammonites, Hear the word of the Lord GOD: Thus says the Lord GOD, Because you said, ‘Aha!’ over my sanctuary when it was profaned, and over the land of Israel when it was made desolate, and over the house of Judah when they went into exile,
4 therefore behold, I am handing you over to the people of the East for a possession, and they shall set their encampments among you and make their dwellings in your midst. They shall eat your fruit, and they shall drink your milk. 5 I will make Rabbah a pasture for camels and Ammon a fold for flocks.
Then you will know that I am the LORD.
6 For thus says the Lord GOD:
Because you have clapped your hands and stamped your feet and rejoiced with all the malice within your soul against the land of Israel,
7 therefore, behold, I have stretched out my hand against you, and will hand you over as plunder to the nations. And I will cut you off from the peoples and will make you perish out of the countries; I will destroy you. Then you will know that I am the LORD. (Eze 25.1-7)
The LORD judges Ammon because they rejoiced with all malice in seeing the temple of the LORD profaned and God’s people sent into exile.
The LORD cares about how the world treats his people.
The LORD promises to completely destroy them.
Prophecy Against Moab and Seir
8 “Thus says the Lord GOD: Because Moab and Seir said, ‘Behold, the house of Judah is like all the other nations,’ 9 therefore I will lay open the flank of Moab from the cities, from its cities on its frontier, the glory of the country, Beth-jeshimoth, Baal-meon, and Kiriathaim. 10 I will give it along with the Ammonites to the people of the East as a possession, that the Ammonites may be remembered no more among the nations, 11 and I will execute judgments upon Moab. Then they will know that I am the LORD. (Eze 25.8-11)
Once again the LORD proclaims judgment on Moab and Seir because of the way they have treated Israel.They said Judah was like the other nations.
But Judah is not like all the other nations. They are God’s chosen people. When they ridicule Judah, they ridicule God.
They will share the same fate as Ammon and be remembered no more.
Prophecy Against Edom
12 “Thus says the Lord GOD: Because Edom acted revengefully against the house of Judah and has grievously offended in taking vengeance on them, 13 therefore thus says the Lord GOD, I will stretch out my hand against Edom and cut off from it man and beast. And I will make it desolate; from Teman even to Dedan they shall fall by the sword. 14 And I will lay my vengeance upon Edom by the hand of my people Israel, and they shall do in Edom according to my anger and according to my wrath, and they shall know my vengeance, declares the Lord GOD. (Eze 25.12-14)
Like the other three nations, Edom is judged because they acted against God’s people. They took vengeance on Judah.
The LORD protects his own people. Blessing those who bless them. Cursing those who curse them.
“The prophecies against other nations presuppose that Yahweh is sovereign over the whole world. They presuppose that other nations are subject to moral and social demands, or that the moral and social demands presupposed in Israel are not merely Israel’s cultural peculiarities. They also presuppose that these nations ought to have recognized the significance of Yahweh’s dealings with Israel.” (Goldingay, J.A., 2003. Ezekiel. In J. D. G. Dunn & J. W. Rogerson, eds. Eerdmans Commentary on the Bible. Grand Rapids, MI; Cambridge, U.K.: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, pp. 645–646.)
Ezekiel’s judgments against the nations is a reflection of what will happen when Jesus returns. When he returns all the nations will confess he is LORD and he will judge them.
31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. (Mt 25.31-32)
He will judge people according to what they have done. Have they treated the LORD and those he cares about with respect? They will receive eternal life. If not, they will suffer punishment.
How have you treated the LORD’s people? Are there things you need to change?
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