Ezekiel: Chapter 36
This chapter is about the restoration of the land promised to Abraham and his descendents through Isaac, Genesis 26:1-5. The land of Canaan was given to Abram soon after he entered into the land by the direction of the Lord, Genesis 15:13-18. The web page on this site concerning notes on Ezekiel 47 provides background on the borders the Lord laid out for the children of Israel, and the timeframe that they will occupy the land in complete peace. The pinnacle of their geographic influence over the land of promise occurred during the days of King Solomon, 2Chronicles 9:26-27, 1Kings 4:20-21, and 1Kings 9:26, but they did not fully attain the promises made by God to Abraham. When Abraham first entered the land he was looking for a city made by God, Hebrews 11:9-10. They died not receiving the promises of God in their life time, but they were looking forward to the time when it will be established by the Lord during His millennial reign, Hebrews 11:13-16. After King Solomon's reign, Israel gradually lost control and influence over the land as both the northern and southern tribes of Israel fell into disbelief and entered into open rebellion against the Lord their God. The original boundaries promised to the descendents of Abraham through his son Isaac, will be populated by the children of Israel during the millennial reign of the Lord Jesus Christ, Ezekiel 47:13-23 and Ezekiel 48:1-29.
After leaving Egypt and while they were on their exodus in the desert, Moses delivered God's laws, promises, and His word to children of Israel before they entered into the land of Canaan. Before their entry into the promised land, Moses gave them a:
- Reason for possessing the land, Deuteronomy 9:4-5
- Blessing, Deuteronomy 28:1-10
- Warning, Deuteronomy 28:62-67, Leviticus 26:32-35
As God judged Israel during the days of Daniel, Ezekiel, and Jeremiah, He gave His word to Ezekiel to prophesy against the land of Israel during the time of the 3rd campaign of King Nebuchadnezzar against Jerusalem, particularly against those who practiced idolatry, Ezekiel 6:3-7. In this judgment, they and all their worship implements were to be utterly destroyed so that they as a nation would never fall into that vile practice again.
In Ezekiel 36:1-5, the Lord announces that the enemies not only looked upon the abandoned lands by Israel because they were taken away in captivity, but that they also spoiled the land. The most condemning statement is that the Lord tells all those who did these terrible deeds that the land is the Lord's, and the great amount of blame is laid upon Edom, Ezekiel 36:5.
Compare the current violence and efforts in peace between Israel and her neighbors, at the expense of Israel giving up land to achieve a false sense of peace. The neighboring countries to Israel covet her land, and they will be judged by God for their efforts against Israel, Psalms 83:1-5. The land is the Lord’s, Leviticus 25:23-24, and He had promised the land to Israel, Genesis 35:9-12.
In Ezekiel 36:6-7, the Lord expresses His fury over the matter, and His judgment against the nations. This has a dual application, to Edom and the surrounding countries during the days that the Jews were led away captive by King Nebuchadnezzar, and also during the time leading up to the battle of Armageddon when the armies of the Gentiles surround Jerusalem, Zechariah 12:1-3, Isaiah 63:1-3, Revelation 14:17-20, and Revelation 19:11-13. This judgment will occur because the Lord had sworn an oath unto Himself that this will happen. No word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord ever returns void, Isaiah 55:6-11.
In Ezekiel 36:8-15, the Lord now pronounces that the land of Israel will be restored as before and that:
- It will yield the fruit to the Lord's people, Israel
- In contrast, the surrounding nations' lands will not compare in the productivity of the land
- The land will again be used for agricultural purposes
- The land will be able to support a great increase in the population of Israel over the course of the millennium
- The ruins in the land will be rebuilt
- The land's ability to support all these things will be a result of the Lord blessing the land more than at first
- The inhabitants of the land will be able to subdivide the land as an inheritance for the children, and there will still be no want
- No other land will be able to compare to the wealth spawned by the land of Israel
- The land will no longer devour men
As with the account of the creative works of God in Genesis, the Lord is talking directly to one of the entities He created Genesis 1:1, and Genesis 1:9-13 (the third day). In Ezekiel 36:11, the land will know the Lord and respond. Recall that the Lord made the Sabbath for man to rest, and the Sabbath year for the land to rest. Leviticus 25:1-7.
In Ezekiel 36:16-19, the Lord provides a very graphic view of sin, and that is not hidden from His sight, Ezekiel 36:17. The sins Israel committed that caused the Lord to thrust them out of the promised land were listed as:
- Shed blood in the land
- Defiled the land with their idols
The result of their sins was a worldwide dispersion of the people Israel. The judgment against them was comprehensive, it covered both their way in life and their actual deeds. Nothing has gone unpunished for them.
Despite all of this, the children of Israel continued to rebel against the Lord, and wherever they were they profaned the holy name of God, Ezekiel 36:20. Even the nations to whom the Jews escaped to, had a saying that they were the people of the Lord, yet they have gone from His hand. No matter where the people of Israel were dispersed, they continually profaned His holy name, Ezekiel 36:21.
In Ezekiel 36:22-23, The Lord took action out of concern for His name, that Israel profaned in they nations they were located. For the reason of His name, the Lord “IS” bringing the Jews back into the land of Israel . Through this action of making Israel a nation again, the nations will know that He is Lord, when the Lord is hallowed among Israel before the nations. How they respond to that knowledge is not necessarily appropriate nor in obedience to His word that was given through the Jews, John 4:21-24. The return of the children of Isarel to the land and their obedience to the Lord will reach its full conclusion during the millennial reign of Christ, when everything in Jerusalem and Judah will be marked as "HOLINESS TO THE LORD," Zechariah 14:20-21.
In Ezekiel 36:24-27, the Lord reveals that He will enter into a new covenant with Israel, just as he revealed to Jeremiah 31:33-34. The Lord will:
- Restore them back into the land
- Cleanse them by sprinkling water (the Holy Spirit) on them
- Put a new spirit in them for regeneration
- Give them a heart of flesh instead of stone so that they respond faithfully
As a result of this spiritual transformation, they will be the Lord’s people and He will be their God , Ezekiel 36:28. In Ezekiel 36:29-30, the Lord indicates that as a result of their obedience, the land will respond and give its abundance to them. During those days, there will be the confession by the nation of Israel for her past sins against the Lord, Ezekiel 36:31-32. As Israel remembers her sins before the Lord, there will be shame and great mourning, Zechariah 12:10-14, Psalms 51:1-12. The resultant change in the heart of a repentant person who is made right through the Lord Jesus Christ, Psalms 51:13-19.
After the renewed relationship with the Lord, and their cleansing, Israel will enjoy the fruits from the land that no one in their lineage had ever experienced. The land will give its increase, and the curse of toiling, Genesis 3:17, will be removed. The land will be like the Garden of Eden, Ezekiel 36:33-35. This will be a witness to the nations of God’s greatness, holiness, and His faithfulness to His word, Ezekiel 36:36. The land will be populated with God fearing people, as the Lord promised the land earlier. There will be an utter population explosion that land will be able to support. There will be no need for worldwide trade to supplement the staples of the vast population living in Israel, for the Lord will provide.
In the days of the kings of Israel, they offered thousands of animals that were spotless for sacrifices during the feasts. An incredible number of clean animals were offered in those days, 2Chronicles 7:4-11, 1Kings 8:62-63, 2Chronicles 35:5-7. During the millennial reign of the Lord Jesus Christ, there will be great joy and satisfaction among the people of Israel, as they remember all that the Lord had done. At that time, the ruined cities will be rebuilt and populated with spotless children of God and whose sacrifice is a broken and contrite heart, Psalms 51:16-17. They too will experience great joy and fulfillment in the presence of their God, the Lord Jesus Christ, Ezekiel 36:37-38. By this, all the nations of the world will know and recognize the work done by the Lord God of Israel, Ezekiel 36:36.
A reason for such an emphasis on the repopulation of Israel is several fold:
- During the tribulation the population of the world and Israel will be decimated, Isaiah 57:1-2
- JOnly a third of Israel will remain after the tribulation and into the beginning of Christ’s millennial reign, Zechariah 13:8-9
- Men will be few, as women will seek them out to marry and take on all the responsibility of having children, Isaiah 4:1, Isaiah 13:9-12
Despite all of the hardships in the world following the great tribulation, the Lord will heal Israel and the world, and prosper Israel and the world will follow the Lord who will rule and reign in His temple in Israel.