Ezekiel 11:23
And the glory of the LORD went up from the midst of the city, and stood upon the mountain which is on the east side of the city.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(23) Stood upon the mountain.—This mountain, on the east of the city, is that which was afterwards known as the Mount of Olives. It is considerably higher than the city, and commands a view over its entire extent. Here the Divine glory rested after taking its departure from the Temple and the city in the vision of the prophet. Here, in the vision of a later prophet (Zechariah 14:4), the Lord is represented as standing in the day of final judgment. Here, not in vision, the incarnate Son of God proclaimed the second destruction of the obdurate city (Matthew 24; Luke 21:20); and from the same mountain He made His visible ascension into heaven (Luke 24:50-51; Acts 1:11-12). The vision is now closed, and the prophet is transported in spirit back into Chaldæa, to declare what he had seen to his fellow-captives, and show them the vanity of their trust in the preservation of the guilty city.

Ezekiel 11:23. And the glory of the Lord went up from the midst of the city — The symbol of God’s presence, which had before departed from the temple, (Ezekiel 10:18,) now quite left the city, to signify that he would acknowledge no longer his relation to either, but deliver them up to be profaned by the heathen. It deserves to be observed here, that God did not quit the temple and city all at once, but by little and little. The cloud of his presence was first withdrawn from the mercy-seat in the holy of holies, the usual place of its residence, and removed to the threshold of the house, (Ezekiel 9:1,) where it remained some time waiting for their repentance. Its second remove was from this threshold, leaving the house altogether, to settle upon the cherubim, which were hovering over the court, and upon the wing to depart, Ezekiel 10:18. It then, with these angelic ministers of the divine will, and the accompanying wheels of providence, withdrew to the east gate of the inner court, Ezekiel 10:19. And now at last it quits Jerusalem altogether, and fixes itself upon the mountain on the east side of the city. By withdrawing himself from his people by slow degrees, God gave them time for consideration and repentance, to which each remove of the Shechinah was a fresh and solemn call, and he thus also manifested with what reluctance he entirely abandoned the seed of Abraham his friend. And even his causing the symbol of his presence, before his final departure, to take its station on the mount of Olives, where it was, as it were, within call, and ready to return, if now at length in this their day they would have understood the things that made for their peace, was a further manifestation of grace as well as of justice; for while the cloud of glory lingered there, it gave fresh encouragement to them to repent, and a final warning so to do, at the same time that it was emblematical of the judgment which, if their repentance did not prevent, should begin to be executed upon them from that mount, from whence the city would be annoyed by the darts of the Chaldeans. Nor was this only a figure of the calamities which were to be brought on the Jews by Nebuchadnezzar, but it was also an emblem of the evils which were to befall them in consequence of their rejecting and crucifying their own Messiah, the Lord of glory. This Divine Saviour, after exhausting his patience in instructing, correcting, and threatening Jerusalem, at length forsook it, and ascended to heaven from this same mount of Olives, in the presence of his apostles and disciples, that he might exercise his kingly office, and inflict a just and exemplary vengeance on this obstinately wicked and irreclaimable people.

11:22-25 Here is the departure of God's presence from the city and temple. It was from the Mount of Olives that the vision went up, typifying the ascension of Christ to heaven from that very mountain. Though the Lord will not forsake his people, yet he may be driven away from any part of his visible church by their sins, and woe will be upon them when He withdraws his presence, glory, and protection.The mountain which is on the east side of the city - The Mount of Olives. The rabbis commenting on this passage said the Shechinah retired to this Mount, and there for three years called in vain to the people with human voice that they should repent. On that mountain, Christ stood, when He wept over the fair city so soon to be utterly destroyed. From that mountain he descended, amid loud Hosannas, to enter the city and temple as a Judge. 23. The Shekinah glory now moves from the east gate (Eze 10:4, 19) to the Mount of Olives, altogether abandoning the temple. The mount was chosen as being the height whence the missiles of the foe were about to descend on the city. So it was from it that Jesus ascended to heaven when about to send His judgments on the Jews; and from it He predicted its overthrow before His crucifixion (Mt 24:3). It is also to be the scene of His return in person to deliver His people (Zec 14:4), when He shall come by the same way as He went, "the way of the east" (Eze 43:2). See Ezekiel 3:23 8:4 9:3 10:18,19. The glory of the Lord removes now out of the city, over which it had stood some space of time waiting for their repentance; but no fruits of this, and God now departed from them.

Upon the mountain; above it. It was Mount Olivet, as the description of it in this place and elsewhere doth clearly show.

And the glory of the Lord went up from the midst of the city,.... Of Jerusalem, whither it was removed from the door of the east gate of the temple, Ezekiel 10:19; though no mention is made of such removal; and now, having left the temple, it leaves the city:

and stood upon the mountain, which is on the east side of the city; either waiting for the repentance of the inhabitants of it, leaving them with reluctance; or in order to bring down his judgments upon it, and behold its destruction and ruin: this mountain was the mountain of Olives, as the Targum interprets it: and so Jarchi and Kimchi; see Zechariah 14:5. Christ stood on this mountain and wept over Jerusalem, and from hence he ascended to heaven. This Jarchi calls the third remove of the Shechinah or glory of the God of Israel. The Rabbins say (q) it removed ten times, and reckon them thus,

"from the mercy seat to the cherub; from the cherub to the cherub; from the cherub to the threshold; from the threshold to the court; from the court to the altar; from the altar to the roof; from the roof to the wall; from the wall to the city; from the city to the mountain; from the mountain to the wilderness; and from the wilderness it ascended and sat in its own place, according to Hosea 5:15.''

(q) T. Bab. Roshhashana, fol. 31. 1.

And the glory of the LORD went up from the midst of the city, and stood upon the mountain which is on the east side of the city.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Ezekiel 11:23The promise that the Lord would preserve to Himself a holy seed among those who had been carried away captive, brought to a close the announcement of the judgment that would fall upon the ancient Israel and apostate Jerusalem. All that is now wanting, as a conclusion to the whole vision, is the practical confirmation of the announcement of judgment. This is given in the two following verses. - Ezekiel 11:22. And the cherubim raised their wings, and the wheels beside them; and the glory of the God of Israel was up above them. Ezekiel 11:23. And the glory of Jehovah ascended from the midst of the city, and took its stand upon the mountain which is to the east of the city. Ezekiel 11:24. And wind lifted me up, and brought me to Chaldea to the exiles, in the vision, in the Spirit of God; and the vision ascended away from me, which I had seen. Ezekiel 11:25. And I spoke to the exiles all the words of Jehovah, which He had shown to me. - The manifestation of the glory of the Lord had already left the temple, after the announcement of the burning of Jerusalem, and had taken its stand before the entrance of the eastern gate of the outer court, that is to say, in the city itself (Ezekiel 10:19; Ezekiel 11:1). But now, after the announcement had been made to the representatives of the authorities of their removal from the city, the glory of the God of Israel forsook the devoted city also, as a sign that both temple and city had ceased to be the seats of the gracious presence of the Lord. The mountain on the east of the city is the Mount of Olives, which affords a lofty outlook over the city. There the glory of God remained, to execute the judgment upon Jerusalem. Thus, according to Zechariah 14:4, will Jehovah also appear at the last judgment on the Mount of Olives above Jerusalem, to fight thence against His foes, and prepare a way of escape for those who are to be saved. It was from the Mount of Olives also that the Son of God proclaimed to the degenerate city the second destruction (Luke 19:21; Matthew 24:3); and from the same mountain He made His visible ascension to heaven after His resurrection (Luke 24:50; cf. Acts 1:12); and, as Grotius has observed, "thus did Christ ascend from this mountain into His kingdom, to execute judgment upon the Jews."

After this vision of the judgments of God upon the ancient people of the covenant and the kingdom of God, Ezekiel was carried back in the spirit into Chaldea, to the river Chaboras. The vision then vanished; and he related to the exiles all that he had seen.

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