Ezekiel 11:16
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New International Version
"Therefore say: 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Although I sent them far away among the nations and scattered them among the countries, yet for a little while I have been a sanctuary for them in the countries where they have gone.'

New Living Translation
"Therefore, tell the exiles, 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Although I have scattered you in the countries of the world, I will be a sanctuary to you during your time in exile.

English Standard Version
Therefore say, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: Though I removed them far off among the nations, and though I scattered them among the countries, yet I have been a sanctuary to them for a while in the countries where they have gone.’

New American Standard Bible
"Therefore say, 'Thus says the Lord GOD, "Though I had removed them far away among the nations and though I had scattered them among the countries, yet I was a sanctuary for them a little while in the countries where they had gone."'

King James Bible
Therefore say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Although I have cast them far off among the heathen, and although I have scattered them among the countries, yet will I be to them as a little sanctuary in the countries where they shall come.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Therefore say: This is what the Lord GOD says: Though I sent them far away among the nations and scattered them among the countries, yet for a little while I have been a sanctuary for them in the countries where they have gone."

International Standard Version
"Therefore you are to say, 'This is what the Lord GOD says, "Although I've removed them far away to live among the nations, and although I've scattered them throughout the earth, yet I've continued to be their sanctuary, even for the short time that they will be living in the lands to which they've gone."'

NET Bible
"Therefore say: 'This is what the sovereign LORD says: Although I have removed them far away among the nations and have dispersed them among the countries, I have been a little sanctuary for them among the lands where they have gone.'

New Heart English Bible
Therefore say, 'Thus says the Lord GOD: "Whereas I have removed them far off among the nations, and whereas I have scattered them among the countries, yet will I be to them a sanctuary for a little while in the countries where they have come."'

GOD'S WORD® Translation
"So tell them, 'This is what the Almighty LORD says: Although I sent them far away among the nations and scattered them among the countries, I have been their sanctuary for a little while among the countries where they've gone.'

JPS Tanakh 1917
therefore say: Thus saith the Lord GOD: Although I have removed them far off among the nations, and although I have scattered them among the countries, yet have I been to them as a little sanctuary in the countries where they are come;

New American Standard 1977
“Therefore say, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD, “Though I had removed them far away among the nations, and though I had scattered them among the countries, yet I was a sanctuary for them a little while in the countries where they had gone.”’

Jubilee Bible 2000
Therefore say, Thus hath the Lord GOD said: Although I have cast them far off among the Gentiles and although I have scattered them among the countries, yet I will be to them as a little sanctuary in the countries where they shall come.

King James 2000 Bible
Therefore say, Thus says the Lord GOD; Although I have cast them far off among the nations, and although I have scattered them among the countries, yet will I be to them as a little sanctuary in the countries where they shall come.

American King James Version
Therefore say, Thus said the Lord GOD; Although I have cast them far off among the heathen, and although I have scattered them among the countries, yet will I be to them as a little sanctuary in the countries where they shall come.

American Standard Version
Therefore say, Thus saith the Lord Jehovah: Whereas I have removed them far off among the nations, and whereas I have scattered them among the countries, yet will I be to them a sanctuary for a little while in the countries where they are come.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Therefore thus saith the Lord God: Because I have removed them far off among the Gentiles, and because I have scattered them among the countries: I will be to them a little sanctuary in the countries whither they are come.

Darby Bible Translation
Therefore say, Thus saith the Lord Jehovah: Although I have removed them far off among the nations, and although I have scattered them among the countries, yet will I be to them as a little sanctuary in the countries whither they are come.

English Revised Version
Therefore say, Thus saith the Lord GOD: Whereas I have removed them far off among the nations, and whereas I have scattered them among the countries, yet will I be to them a sanctuary for a little while in the countries where they are come.

Webster's Bible Translation
Therefore say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Although I have cast them far off among the heathen, and although I have scattered them among the countries, yet will I be to them as a little sanctuary in the countries where they shall come.

World English Bible
Therefore say, Thus says the Lord Yahweh: Whereas I have removed them far off among the nations, and whereas I have scattered them among the countries, yet will I be to them a sanctuary for a little while in the countries where they are come.

Young's Literal Translation
it is ours, the land hath been given for an inheritance; therefore say: Thus said the Lord Jehovah: Because I put them afar off among nations, And because I scattered them through lands, I also am to them for a little sanctuary, In lands whither they have gone in.
Study Bible
A Promise of Restoration
15"Son of man, your brothers, your relatives, your fellow exiles and the whole house of Israel, all of them, are those to whom the inhabitants of Jerusalem have said, 'Go far from the LORD; this land has been given us as a possession.' 16"Therefore say, 'Thus says the Lord GOD, "Though I had removed them far away among the nations and though I had scattered them among the countries, yet I was a sanctuary for them a little while in the countries where they had gone."' 17"Therefore say, 'Thus says the Lord GOD, "I will gather you from the peoples and assemble you out of the countries among which you have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel."'…
Cross References
Psalm 31:20
You hide them in the secret place of Your presence from the conspiracies of man; You keep them secretly in a shelter from the strife of tongues.

Psalm 90:1
A Prayer of Moses, the man of God. Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations.

Psalm 91:9
For you have made the LORD, my refuge, Even the Most High, your dwelling place.

Isaiah 8:14
"Then He shall become a sanctuary; But to both the houses of Israel, a stone to strike and a rock to stumble over, And a snare and a trap for the inhabitants of Jerusalem.

Jeremiah 29:7
'Seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the LORD on its behalf; for in its welfare you will have welfare.'

Jeremiah 29:11
'For I know the plans that I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.

Zechariah 2:6
"Ho there! Flee from the land of the north," declares the LORD, "for I have dispersed you as the four winds of the heavens," declares the LORD.
Treasury of Scripture

Therefore say, Thus said the Lord GOD; Although I have cast them far off among the heathen, and although I have scattered them among the countries, yet will I be to them as a little sanctuary in the countries where they shall come.

Thus saith

Leviticus 26:44 And yet for all that, when they be in the land of their enemies, …

Deuteronomy 30:3,4 That then the LORD your God will turn your captivity, and have compassion …

2 Kings 24:12-16 And Jehoiachin the king of Judah went out to the king of Babylon, …

Psalm 44:11 You have given us like sheep appointed for meat; and have scattered …

Jeremiah 24:5,6 Thus said the LORD, the God of Israel; Like these good figs, so will …

Jeremiah 30:11 For I am with you, said the LORD, to save you: though I make a full …

Jeremiah 31:10 Hear the word of the LORD, O you nations, and declare it in the isles …

as a

Psalm 31:20 You shall hide them in the secret of your presence from the pride of man…

Psalm 90:1 Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations.

Psalm 91:1,9 He that dwells in the secret place of the most High shall abide under …

Proverbs 18:10 The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runs into it, and is safe.

Isaiah 4:5 And the LORD will create on every dwelling place of mount Zion, and …

Isaiah 8:14 And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and …

Jeremiah 26:7,11 So the priests and the prophets and all the people heard Jeremiah …

Jeremiah 42:11 Be not afraid of the king of Babylon, of whom you are afraid; be …

(16) Therefore say.--These words, again repeated in Ezekiel 11:17, refer to what the people of Jerusalem had said in Ezekiel 11:15. Their saying these things was a reason, not for what God would do, but for His declaring His merciful purpose beforehand.

As a little sanctuary.--Rather, as a sanctuary for a little. The original word is to be taken as an adverb rather than an adjective, and in itself may refer either to time or to amount: either a sanctuary for a little time, or a sanctuary in some degree. The connection points to the former as the true sense; for a little while, during the term of their captivity, God's presence with them spiritually would be instead of the outward symbolical presence in His Temple. The contrast is striking. God has already said that he would abandon the Temple, and give up Jerusalem to destruction, and cast out its people; but now to the exiles, scattered among the heathen, He would Himself be for a sanctuary.

Verse 16. - Yet will I be unto them as a little sanctuary; better, with the Revised Version, a little while, as marking that the state described was transient and provisional. For a time, Ezekiel and the exiles were to find the presence of Jehovah manifested as in the vision of Chebar (Ezekiel 1:4-28), or felt spiritually, and this would make the spot where they found themselves as fully a holy place as the temple had been. There also they would have a "house of God." But this was not to be their permanent lot. There was to be a restoration to "the land of Israel" (ver. 17; Ezekiel 37:21), to the visible sanctuary, to a second temple no longer desecrated by the pollutions that had defiled the first. As with all such prophecies, the words had "springing and germinant accomplishments." In Ezekiel 40-48, we have Ezekiel's ideal vision of their fulfilment. A literal but incomplete fulfilment is formed in the work of restoration achieved by Zerubbabel, Ezra, and Nehemiah, and the hopes then cherished by Haggai and Zechariah. A more complete but less literal fulfilment appears in the Church of Christ as the true Israel of God (Galatians 6:16), and in the Jerusalem which is above (Galatians 4:26). In the fact that in the seer's vision of that heavenly city there is no temple, but the presence of "the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb" Revelation 21:22), we find the crowning development of Ezekiel's thought. Intermediate expansions are found

(1) in the gradual substitution of the synagogue for the temple in the religious life of Israel;

(2) in our Lord's words to the woman of Samaria (John 4:21-24); and

(3) in his promise that where two or three are gathered together in his Name, there he would be in the midst of them (Matthew 18:20). The thought that it is the presence of Jehovah that makes the sanctuary, not the sanctuary that secures the presence, Ezekiel may have learnt from the fate of Shiloh (Psalm 78:60). Therefore say, thus saith the Lord God,.... Since they were so insulted and ill treated by their brethren the Jews:

although I have cast them afar off among the Heathen; both the ten tribes, even all the house of Israel, who were carried into Assyria, and placed in the cities of the Medes, in Halath and Habor, by the river Gozan, 2 Kings 17:6; and those of the Jews in Jeconiah's captivity, among whom were Ezekiel, and his brethren, and his kindred:

and although I have scattered them among the countries; and therefore, what with the distance of the place where they were, and the dispersion of them among the people where they resided, their case might seem to be desperate; and that there was no probability, and scarce any possibility, of their being preserved as a people, and of their restoration to their own land:

yet will I be to them a little sanctuary in the countries where they shall come; their dwelling place, as he has been to his people in all generations their protection from all their enemies, in whom, and by whose power, they should be safe; and whose presence they should enjoy, though deprived of public ordinances, of temple worship and service; though they were at a distance from the great sanctuary, the temple, the inhabitants of Jerusalem boasted of, yet the Lord would make up the want of that to them with himself. The Targum, Jarchi, and Kimchi (m) interpret this of the synagogues, which were second to the temple, the Israelites had in foreign countries, where they prayed to the Lord, and worshipped him, and enjoyed his presence. It may be rendered, "the sanctuary of a few" (n); they being but few, especially that were truly godly, that were carried captive: or, "a sanctuary for a little while" (o); that is, during seventy years, and then they should be returned, as follows. The Targum is,

"I have given them synagogues, second to my sanctuary, and they are as few in the provinces where they are carried captive.''

(m) Ex T. Bab. Megilla, fol. 29. 1.((n) "ad sanctuarium paucitatis", Calvin; "in sanctuarium paucorum", Cocceius. So Ben Melech says the word is a substantive in some copies. (o) Paulisper, Junius & Tremellius, Polanus, Castalio. 16. Although—anticipating the objection of the priests at Jerusalem, that the exiles were "cast far off." Though this be so, and they are far from the outer temple at Jerusalem, I will be their asylum or sanctuary instead (Ps 90:1; 91:9; Isa 8:14). My shrine is the humble heart: a preparation for gospel catholicity when the local and material temple should give place to the spiritual (Isa 57:15; 66:1; Mal 1:11; Joh 4:21-24; Ac 7:48, 49). The trying discipline of the exile was to chasten the outcasts so as to be meet recipients of God's grace, for which the carnal confidence of the priests disqualified them. The dispersion served the end of spiritualizing and enlarging the views even of the better Jews, so as to be able to worship God everywhere without a material temple; and, at the same time, it diffused some knowledge of God among the greatest Gentile nations, thus providing materials for the gathering in of the Christian Church among the Gentiles; so marvellously did God overrule a present evil for an ultimate good. Still more does all this hold good in the present much longer dispersion which is preparing for a more perfect and universal restoration (Isa 2:2-4; Jer 3:16-18). Their long privation of the temple will prepare them for appreciating the more, but without Jewish narrowness, the temple that is to be (Eze 40:1-44:31).

a little—rather, "for a little season"; No matter how long the captivity may be, the seventy years will be but as a little season, compared with their long subsequent settlement in their land. This holds true only partially in the case of the first restoration; but as in a few centuries they were dispersed again, the full and permanent restoration is yet future (Jer 24:6).11:14-21 The pious captives in Babylon were insulted by the Jews who continued in Jerusalem; but God made gracious promises to them. It is promised, that God will give them one heart; a heart firmly fixed for God, and not wavering. All who are made holy have a new spirit, a new temper and dispositions; they act from new principles, walk by new rules, and aim at new ends. A new name, or a new face, will not serve without a new spirit. If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature. The carnal heart, like a stone, cannot be made to feel. Men live among the dead and dying, and are neither concerned nor humbled. He will make their hearts tender and fit to receive impressions: this is God's work, it is his gift by promise; and a wonderful and happy change is wrought by it, from death to life. Their practices shall be agreeable to those principles. These two must and will go together. When the sinner feels his need of these blessings, let him present the promises as prayers in the name of Christ, they will be performed.
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