Ezekiel 20:43
And there shall ye remember your ways, and all your doings, wherein ye have been defiled; and ye shall lothe yourselves in your own sight for all your evils that ye have committed.
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(43) Ye shall lothe yourselves.—The especial sin above all others for which Israel had been reproved in past ages, and which still formed the burden of Ezekiel’s denunciations, was idolatry; from this they were weaned, once for all, at the restoration, and whatever other sins may have been committed by them, into this, as a nation, they have never since relapsed.

With Ezekiel 20:44 this prophecy ends, and here the chapter closes in the Hebrew and in the ancient versions.

Ezekiel 20:43-44. And there shall ye remember your ways — There, in my holy mountain, in Zion, when you are restored to your own land; and more especially in the Christian Church, when, in consequence of your conversion, you enter into it, and enjoy the privileges of it, ye shall remember and be humbled on account of your doings, whereby you have been defiled. When you find how gracious I am to you, notwithstanding your long-continued disobedience and repeated rebellions, you will be overcome with my kindness, and blush to think of your refractory conduct toward so good a God. And ye shall loathe yourselves in your own sight — See notes on Ezekiel 6:9; Ezekiel 16:63. Thus the prophet fore-tels that the restoration of the Jews to their own land would be accompanied with a general repentance, and a deep remorse for their former mis-doings. And we find, from the books of Ezra and Nehemiah, that this was in fact the case with multitudes of them: they fasted and made public confessions of their sins upon their returning to Judea, and entered into a general and solemn engagement to be obedient to God, and observe his laws for the future. And, undoubtedly, this humiliation, godly sorrow, and true repentance, will more especially take place, and be more abundantly manifested in and among that people, when they shall be converted to Christianity in the latter days.

20:33-44 The wicked Israelites, notwithstanding they follow the sinful ways of other nations, shall not mingle with them in their prosperity, but shall be separated from them for destruction. There is no shaking off God's dominion; and those who will not yield to the power of his grace, shall sink under the power of his wrath. But not one of God's jewels shall be lost in the lumber of this world. He will bring the jews to the land of Israel again; and will give them true repentance. They will be overcome with his kindness: the more we know of God's holiness, the more we see the hateful nature of sin. Those who remain unaffected amidst means of grace, and would live without Christ, like the world around them, may be sure it is the way to destruction.This points to the consummation indicated by the vision of the temple.

In the mountain of the height - Or, Upon a very high mountain Ezekiel 40:2. Compare Isaiah 2:2-3.

The house of Israel, all of them - All the separation between Israel and Judah shall cease. This points to times yet future, when in Messiah's kingdom Jews and Gentiles alike shall be gathered into one kingdom - the kingdom of Christ. Jerusalem is the Church of Christ Galatians 4:26, into which the children of Israel shall at last be gathered, and so the prophecy shall be fulfilled Revelation 21:2.

43. there—not merely in exile when suffering punishment which makes even reprobates sorry for sin, but when received into favor in your own land.

remember—(Eze 16:61, 63). The humiliation of Judah (Ne 9:1-38) is a type of the future penitence of the whole nation (Ho 5:15; 6:1; Zec 12:10-14). God's goodness realized by the sinner is the only thing that leads to true repentance (Ho 3:5; Lu 7:37, 38).

In your restored state, and in your prosperity, in the land whither you are returned, ye shall review your former ways with sorrow; remember, and grieve.

Your ways of your folly, explained by their doings, which defiled them, i.e. all their more notorious sins.

Loathe: see Ezekiel 6:9.

In your own sight; your own heart and conscience shall see what you have done, and they shall take shame, and be humbled, though none else see it.

And there ye shall remember your ways, and all your doings, wherein ye have been defiled,.... Their rejection of the Messiah; their continued disbelief of him; their obstinacy, hardness, and impenitence; their adherence to the traditions of the elders, to the making void the word of God; together with the most flagrant immoralities that ever any people were guilty of, and which are of a very defiling nature, and made them abominable in the sight of God; these now the Spirit of God convincing them of, they will remember with shame and confusion, and mourn over them in an evangelical way; and the more so, when they shall find themselves reinstated in their own land, enjoying all civil and religious privileges and liberties under Christ their King, whom they will now know, own, and serve; see Zechariah 12:10,

and ye shall loath yourselves in your own sight for all your evils that ye have committed; against God and Christ; against the law of the one, and the Gospel of the other. Sin is a loathsome thing to God; and it is so to his people When they are thoroughly convinced of it, and they loath themselves for it; and never more so than when they have the greatest instances and clearest discoveries of the love and grace of God in Christ to them; then they blush, are ashamed of themselves and their sins, and are confounded when they perceive the Lord is pacified towards them, and their sins are forgiven for Christ's sake: sin never appears more odious and loathsome than when viewed in the glass of pardoning love; see Ezra 9:6.

And there shall ye remember your ways, and all your doings, in which ye have been defiled; and ye {u} shall lothe yourselves in your own sight for all your evils that ye have committed.

(u) Your own consciences will convict you after you have felt my mercies.

43. The goodness of Jehovah in restoring them shall fill their hearts with abhorrence of their own past doings, cf. Ezekiel 16:61.

lothe … in your own sight] Omit in your own sight, ch. Ezekiel 6:9.

Verse 43. - And there shall ye remember, etc. The words stretch far and wide, and throw light on many of the problems that connect themselves with the conversion of the sinner and the eschatology of the Divine government. The whole evil past is still remembered after repentance and forgiveness. There is no water of Lethe, such as the Greeks fabled, such as Dante dreamt of as the condition of entering Paradise ('Purg.,' 31:94-105). The self-loathing and humility which grow out of that memory, the acceptance of all the punishment of the past as less than had been deserved, - these are the conditions and safeguards of the new blessedness. Ezekiel teaches us, i.e., that it is possible to conceive of an eternal punishment, the punishment of memory, shame, self-loathing, as compatible with eternal life. So (in ver. 44) the prophet ends what is perhaps, the profoundest and the noblest of his discourses, his "vindication of the ways of God to man." Ezekiel 20:43The Ultimate Gathering of Israel, and Its Conversion to the Lord

Ezekiel 20:39. Ye then, O house of Israel, thus saith the Lord Jehovah, Go ye, serve every one his idols! but afterwards - truly ye will hearken to me, and no longer desecrate my holy name with your sacrificial gifts and your idols, Ezekiel 20:40. But upon my holy mountain, upon the high mountain of Israel, is the saying of the Lord Jehovah, there will all the house of Israel serve me, the whole of it in the land; there will I accept them gladly; there will I ask for your heave-offerings and the first-fruits of your gifts in all that ye make holy. Ezekiel 20:41. As a pleasant odour will I accept you gladly, when I bring you out from the nations, and gather you out of the lands, in which you have been scattered, and sanctify myself in you before the eyes of the heathen nations. Ezekiel 20:42. And ye shall know that I am Jehovah, when I bring you into the land of Israel, into the land which I lifted up my hand to give to your fathers; Ezekiel 20:43. And there ye will think of your ways and your deeds, with which ye have defiled yourselves, and will loathe yourselves (lit., experience loathing before yourselves) on account of all your evil deeds. which ye have performed; Ezekiel 20:44. And ye will know that I am Jehovah, when I deal with you for my name's sake, not according to your evil ways and according to your corrupt deeds, O house of Israel, is the saying of Jehovah. - After the Lord has declared to the people that He will prevent its being absorbed into the heathen world, and will exterminate the ungodly by severe judgments, the address passes on, with the direction henceforth to serve idols only, to a prediction of the eventual conversion, and the restoration to Canaan of the purified nation. The direction, "Go ye, serve every one his idols," contains, after what precedes it, a powerful appeal to repent. God thereby gives up the impenitent to do whatever they will, having first of all told them that not one of them will come into the land of Canaan. Their opposition will not frustrate His plan of salvation. The words which follow from ואחר onwards have been interpreted in different ways. It is opposed to the usage of the language to connect ואחר with עבדוּ, serve ye hereafter also (De Wette, etc.), for ו has not the force of the Latin et equals etiam, and still less does it signify "afterwards just as before." Nor is it allowable to connect ואחר closely with what follows, in the sense of "and hereafter also, if ye will hearken to me, profane ye my name no more" (Rosenmller, Maurer). For if תּחלּלוּ were used as an imperative, either it would have to stand at the beginning of the sentence, or it would be preceded by אל instead of לא. Moreover, the antithesis between not being willing to hear and not profaning the name of God, is imported arbitrarily into the text. The name of the Lord is profaned not only by sacrifices offered in external form to Jehovah and in the heart to idols, but also by disobedience to the word and commandments of God. It is much better to take ואחר by itself, and to render the following particle, אם, as the ordinary sign of an oath: "but afterwards (i.e., in the future)...verily, ye will hearken to me;" that is to say, ye will have been converted from your idolatry through the severe judgments that have fallen upon you. The ground for this thought is introduced in Ezekiel 20:40 by a reference to the fact that all Israel will then serve the Lord upon His holy mountain. כּי is not "used emphatically before a direct address" (Hitzig), but has a causal signification. For 'הר מרום ישׂ, see the comm. on Ezekiel 17:23. In the expression "all Israel," which is rendered more emphatic by the addition of כּלּה, there is an allusion to the eventual termination of the severance of the people of God (compare Ezekiel 37:22). Then will the Lord accept with delight both them and their sacrificial gifts. תּרוּמות, heave-offerings (see the comm. on Exodus 25:2 and Leviticus 2:9), used here in the broader sense of all the sacrificial gifts, along with which the gifts of first-fruits are specially named. משׂאות, as applied to holy offerings in the sense of ἀναθήματα, belongs to the later usage of the language. בּכל־קדשׁיכם, consisting of all your consecrated gifts. קדשׁים, as in Leviticus 22:15. This promise includes implicite the bringing back of Israel from its banishment. This is expressly mentioned in Ezekiel 20:41; but even there it is only introduced as self-evident in the subordinate clause, whereas the cheerful acceptance of Israel on the part of God constitutes the leading thought.

בּריח ניחח, as an odour of delight (ב, the so-called Beth essentiae), will God accept His people. ריח ניחח, odour of satisfaction, is the technical expression for the cheerful (well-pleased) acceptance of the sacrifice, or rather of the feelings of the worshipper presenting the sacrifice, which ascend to God in the sacrificial odour (see the comm. on Genesis 8:21). The thought therefore is the following: When God shall eventually gather His people out of their dispersion, He will accept them as a sacrifice well-pleasing to Him, and direct all His good pleasure towards them. ונקדּשׁתּי בכם does not mean, I shall be sanctified through you, and is not to be explained in the same sense as Leviticus 22:32 (Rosenmller), for ב is not equivalent to בּתוך; but it signifies "I will sanctify myself on you," as in Numbers 20:13; Leviticus 10:3, and other passages, where נקדּשׁ is construed with ב pers. (cf. Ezekiel 28:25; Ezekiel 36:23; Ezekiel 38:16; Ezekiel 39:27), in the sense of proving oneself holy, mostly by judgment, but here through having made Israel into a holy nation by the refining judgment, and one to which He can therefore grant the promised inheritance. - Ezekiel 20:42. Then will Israel also recognise its God in His grace, and be ashamed of its former sins. For Ezekiel 20:43, compare Ezekiel 6:9 and Ezekiel 16:61. - With regard to the fulfilment, as Kliefoth has correctly observed, "in the prediction contained in Ezekiel 20:32-38, the whole of the searching judgments, by which God would lead Israel to conversion, are summed up in one, which includes not only the Babylonian captivity, the nearest and the first, but the still more remote judgment, namely, the present dispersion; for it is only in the present dispersion of Israel that God has really taken it into the wilderness of the nations, just as it was only in the rejection of Christ that its rebellious attitude was fully manifested. And as the prophecy of the state of punishment combines in this way both the nearer and more remote; so are both the nearer and more distant combined in what Ezekiel 20:40 to 44 affirm with regard to the ultimate fate of Israel." The gathering of Israel from among the heathen will be fulfilled in its conversion to Christ, and hitherto it has only taken place in very small beginnings. The principal fulfilment is still to come, when Israel, as a nation, shall be converted to Christ. With regard to the bringing back of the people into "the land of Israel," see the comm. on Ezekiel 37, where this promise is more fully expanded.

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