Ezekiel 20:27
Therefore, son of man, speak unto the house of Israel, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Yet in this your fathers have blasphemed me, in that they have committed a trespass against me.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(27) Your fathers have blasphemed me.—The fourth period of Israelitish history, though actually far the longest, is very briefly passed over (Ezekiel 20:27-29). It includes the whole period of the settlement in Canaan, from the conquest to the prophet’s own time, and was marked by the same characteristics as before. The particular way here specified by which they blasphemed was by the erection of idolatrous altars on every high place.

Ezekiel 20:27-29. Therefore, son of man, speak, &c. — Here the prophet proceeds with the story of their rebellions for their further humiliation, and shows that they persisted in them after they were settled in the land of Canaan. Thus saith the Lord, Yet in this, &c. — Or, Moreover in this, your fathers have blasphemed me — Have dishonoured me in acting contrary to my commandments. For when I had brought them into the land, &c. — As soon as they were settled in the land promised to Abraham and his seed; then they saw every high hill, &c. — When they saw the high hills and shady groves, they made choice of them as proper places whereon to erect altars for the worship of idols. The Jews were wont to offer sacrifices upon mountains or high places to the true God before the temple was built, 1 Kings 3:2; 1 Kings 3:5. And this custom was afterward, permitted by godly kings, who were zealous in putting down all sorts of idolatry, 1 Kings 15:14; and 1 Kings 22:43; 2 Chronicles 33:17. But by degrees those places became appropriated to idolatrous worship, and upon that score are severely condemned. There they presented the provocation of their offering — There they presented the offerings whereby they provoked me. This, being distinguished from their sacrifices already mentioned, is to be understood of their meat-offerings, of which see the note on Leviticus 2:1. These were especially styled offerings of a sweet savour. Then I said, What is the high place whereunto ye go? — What mean you that you go to the high place? What do you find so inviting there, that you will leave my altar, where I require your attendance, to frequent such places as I have forbidden you to worship in, and which I will avenge? And the name thereof is called Bamah — That is, the high place; unto this day — “Notwithstanding my reproof, the name continues, and the practice, unto this day.” So Bishop Newcome, who adds, “It may be doubted whether the last six (Hebrew words) of this verse have not been taken into the text from the margin, where they anciently stood as a note.” “All the old versions have this verse, which yet seems out of its place here. If the verse should stand, it relates to something not to be explained now.” — Secker.

20:27-32 The Jews persisted in rebellion after they settled in the land of Canaan. And these elders seem to have thought of uniting with the heathen. We make nothing by our profession if it be but a profession. There is nothing got by sinful compliances; and the carnal projects of hypocrites will stand them in no stead.The probation in the land of Canaan from their entry to the day of Ezekiel.

Ezekiel 20:27

Yet in this - It was an aggravation of their guilt that they defiled with idolatry the land given them for their glory.

27-29. The next period, namely, that which followed the settlement in Canaan: the fathers of the generation existing in Ezekiel's time walked in the same steps of apostasy as the generation in the wilderness.

Yet in this—Not content with past rebellions, and not moved with gratitude for God's goodness, "yet in this," still further they rebelled.

blasphemed—"have insulted me" [Calvin]. Even those who did not sacrifice to heathen gods have offered "their sacrifices" (Eze 20:28) in forbidden places.

Since all this evil and wicked carriage in Egypt and in the wilderness is too true, and cause of a Divine wrath against them, go on; tell what the deportment of those was whom I brought into the land.

Unto the house of Israel; to those elders that were now come to him, that they might tell others at Jerusalem.

Yet; or further yet, beside all the rest, this is added by them.

Blasphemed me; profanely and frowardly lessened my mercy, my law, my worship, cast a reproach upon it all, as less desirable than that of their own; theirs more august and stately, more taking and pleasing: or thus reproached my wisdom, as if it needed their additions to complete religion and Divine worship; or reproached my bounty, as if not I, but their idols, gave them what they enjoyed, as Hosea 2:5,7,8: the word speaks a reproach and blasphemy that comes from a heart full of enmity, as where it is used, Numbers 15:30 2 Kings 19:22 Psalm 44:16 Isaiah 37:23 43:28; they spitefully reproached.

Committed a trespass against me; grievously sinned, as the phrase is rendered, Ezekiel 14:13: what this was in particular the next verse will account to us.

Therefore, son of man, speak unto the house of Israel, and say unto them,.... The elders of Israel, Ezekiel 20:1; who came in the name of the whole body, and represented them, and by whom the following message is sent unto them; or the prophet by them might speak unto them, as he is ordered:

thus saith the Lord God, yet in this your fathers have blasphemed me; besides what they did in Egypt, and in the wilderness, when they were come into the land of Canaan, such was their ingratitude, that to all the rest they added this wickedness, to sacrifice to other gods on every high hill, and in all thick trees; which was a blaspheming the name of God, and casting reproach upon him:

in that they have committed a trespass against me; idolatry is meant, described in Ezekiel 20:28; and which they committed, not through ignorance and weakness, but voluntarily, against light and knowledge; and obstinately, notwithstanding all the remonstrances made unto them, and cautions, exhortations, and reproofs given them.

Therefore, son of man, speak unto the house of Israel, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Yet in this your fathers have blasphemed me, in that they have committed a trespass against me.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
27. Yet in this] i.e. the following act, Ezekiel 20:28, cf. Ezekiel 23:38.

have blasphemed] Past tense: blasphemed … they committed. The blasphemy is not in words, but in high-handed disregard of his commands, Numbers 15:30.

27–29. The people on their entry and in their abode in Canaan.

Ezekiel 20:27Israel committed these sins in Canaan also, and to this day has not given them up; therefore God will not allow the idolatrous generation to inquire of Him. - Ezekiel 20:27. Therefore speak to the house of Israel, O son of man, and say to them, Thus saith the Lord Jehovah, Still further have your fathers blasphemed me in this, with the faithlessness which they have shown toward me. Ezekiel 20:28. When I had brought them into the land, which I had lifted my hand to give them, then they looked out every high hill and every thickly covered tree, and offered their sacrifices there, and gave their irritating gifts there, and presented the fragrance of their pleasant odour there, and poured out their drink-offerings there. Ezekiel 20:29. And I said to them, What height is that to which ye go? And its name is called Height to this day. Ezekiel 20:30. Therefore say to the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord Jehovah, What? Do ye defile yourselves in the way of your fathers; and go whoring after their abominations; Ezekiel 20:31. And defile yourselves in all your idols to this day, by lifting up your gifts, and causing your sons to pass through the fire; and should I let myself be inquired of by you? As I live, is the saying of the Lord Jehovah, I will not let myself be inquired of by you. - The לכן in Ezekiel 20:27 is resumed in Ezekiel 20:30; and there the answer given by God to the elders, who had come to inquire of Him, is first communicated, after an express declaration of the fact that Israel had continued its idolatry in the most daring manner, even after its entrance into Canaan. But the form in which this is done - עוד זאת, "still further in this" - is to be understood as intimating that the conduct of the fathers of the existing generation, and therefore not merely of those who grew up in the wilderness, but also of those who had lived in Canaan, has already been described in general terms in the preceding verses, and that what follows simply adds another novel feature. But this can only be the case if Ezekiel 20:23-26 are taken in the sense given above. זאת is an accusative; and גּדּף is construed with the accusative both of the person and thing. The more precise definition of זאת is not given in בּמעלם בּי ni nev at the end of the verse, but in the idolatry depicted in Ezekiel 20:28. מעל refers to the faithlessness involved in the breach of the covenant and in idolatry. This is the general description; whilst the idolatry mentioned in Ezekiel 20:28 constituted one particular feature, in which the faithlessness appeared in the form of blasphemy. For the fact itself, namely, the worship on high places, which was practised on every hand, see Ezekiel 6:13; Ezekiel 16:24-25; 1 Kings 14:23; 2 Kings 17:10.

In the enumeration of the offerings, there is something striking in the position in which כּעס קרבּנם stands, namely, between the slaughtered sacrifices (זבחים) and the increase- and drink-offerings; and this is no doubt the reason why the clause 'ויּתּנוּ שׁם וגו is omitted from the Cod. Vat. and Alex. of the lxx; and even Hitzig proposes to strike it out. But Theodoret found this reading in the Alex. Version; and Hitzig is wrong in affirming that קרבּן is used in connection with sacrifices, meat-offerings, and drink-offerings. The meat-offerings are not expressly named, for ריה ניחוח does not signify meat-offerings, but is used in the law for the odour of all the offerings, both slaughtered sacrifices and meat-offerings, even though in Ezekiel 16:19 it is applied to the odour of the bloodless offerings alone. And in the same way does קרבּן embrace all the offerings, even the slain offerings, in Ezekiel 40:43, in harmony with Leviticus 1:2; Leviticus 2:1, and other passages. That it is used in this general signification here, is evident from the introduction of the word כּעס, irritation or provocation of their gifts, i.e., their gifts which provoked irritation on the part of God, because they were offered to idols. As this sentence applies to all the sacrifices (bloody and bloodless), so also does the clause which follows, 'ויּשׂימוּ שׁם וגו, refer to all the offerings which were burned upon the altar, without regard to the material employed. Consequently Ezekiel mentions only slain offerings and drink-offerings, and, by the two clauses inserted between, describes the offering of the slaughtered sacrifices as a gift of irritation to God, and of pleasant fragrance to the idolatrous worshippers who presented them. He does not mention the meat-offerings separately, because they generally formed an accompaniment to the slain offerings, and therefore were included in these. But although God had called the people to account for this worship on high places, they had not relinquished it even "to this day." This is no doubt the meaning of. Ezekiel 20:29, which has been interpreted in very different ways. The context shows, in the most conclusive manner, that הבּמה is to be taken collectively, and that the use of the singular is to be explained from the antithesis to the one divinely appointed Holy Place in the temple, and not, as Kimchi and Hvernick suppose, from any allusion to one particular bâmâh of peculiar distinction, viz., "the great high place at Gibeon." The question מה is not expressive of contempt (Hitzig), but "is founded upon the assumption that they would have to give an account of their doings; and merely asks, What kind of heights are those to which you are going? Who has directed you to go thither with your worship?" (Kliefoth). There is no need to refute the trivial fancy of J. D. Michaelis, which has been repeated by Hitzig, namely, that Ezekiel has taken בּמה as a derivative from בא and מה. Again, the question does not presuppose a word addressed by God to Israel, which Ezekiel only has handed down to us; but is simply a rhetorical mode of presenting the condemnation by God of the worship of the high places, to which both the law and the earlier prophets had given utterance. The next clause, "and their name was called Height" (high place), is not to be regarded as containing merely a historical notice of the name given to these idolatrous places of worship; but the giving of the name is a proof of the continued existence of the thing; so that the words affirm, that notwithstanding the condemnation on the part of God, Israel had retained these high places, - had not abolished them to this day. - Ezekiel 20:30 and Ezekiel 20:31 facilitate the transition from the first part of this word of God to the second. What has already been said in vv. 5-29 concerning the idolatry of the people, from the time of its election onwards, is here expressly applied to the existing generation, and carries with it the declaration to them, that inasmuch as they are defiling themselves by idolatry, as their fathers did, Jehovah cannot permit Himself to be inquired of by them. The thought is couched in the form of a question, to express astonishment that those who denied the Lord, and dishonoured Him by their idolatry, should nevertheless imagine that they could obtain revelations from Him. The lifting up (שׂאת, from נשׂא) of gifts signifies the offering of sacrifices upon the altars of the high places. For Ezekiel 20:31, compare Ezekiel 20:3. - With this declaration God assigns the reason for the refusal to listen to idolaters, which had already been given in Ezekiel 20:3. But it does not rest with this refusal. God now proceeds to disclose to them the thoughts of their own hearts, and announces to them that He will refine them by severe judgments, and bring them thereby to repentance of their sins, that He may then gather them out of the dispersion, and make them partakers of the promised salvation as a people willingly serving Him. - In this way do Ezekiel 20:32-44 cast a prophetic glance over the whole of the future history of Israel.

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