Ezekiel 28:25
Thus saith the Lord GOD; When I shall have gathered the house of Israel from the people among whom they are scattered, and shall be sanctified in them in the sight of the heathen, then shall they dwell in their land that I have given to my servant Jacob.
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(25) Sanctified in them in the sight of the heathen.—The course of God’s providence is very distinctly marked out in these verses of promise. The judgment upon Judah had already come, in the fall of their holy city and the captivity of the people. This leads them to repentance, and thus God is “sanctified in the sight of the heathen;” His holiness and justice are exhibited to the world. Then comes the promise of the return, and the judgment of the ungodly enemies who have despised Judah (Ezekiel 28:26). This, too, shall be accomplished in its time, and then peace and prosperity shall return to Israel.

The immediate point of this prophecy is the return of the Jews to their own land; yet, as the struggle between them and their enemies has been a struggle between the Church of God and the powers of the world, and as this particular struggle thus in some sort symbolises the greater contest between religion and the world in all ages, so this promise of rest looks forward in some sense to the final victory over all evil.

28:20-26. The Zidonians were borderers upon the land of Israel, and they might have learned to glorify the Lord; but, instead of that, they seduced Israel to the worship of their idols. War and pestilence are God's messengers; but he will be glorified in the restoring his people to their former safety and prosperity. God will cure them of their sins, and ease them of their troubles. This promise will at length fully come to pass in the heavenly Canaan: when all the saints shall be gathered together, every thing that offends shall be removed, all griefs and fears for ever banished. Happy, then, is the church of God, and every living member of it, though poor, afflicted, and despised; for the Lord will display his truth, power, and mercy, in the salvation and happiness of his redeemed people.The contrast of the future of Israel with that of the surrounding nations. This prophecy reaches far beyond a mere temporal restoration. It points to times of more permanent security, when from all nations and kingdoms the Church of Christ, the Israel of God, shall be gathered in, when the power of the world shall be forever broken, and the kingdom of Christ shall be established forever.

This transition from the enemies to the people of God closes the portion of the prophecies against the nations in the immediate vicinity of the Israelites, before passing to the more distant Egypt.

25, 26. Fulfilled in part at the restoration from Babylon, when Judaism, so far from being merged in heathenism, made inroads by conversions on the idolatry of surrounding nations. The full accomplishment is yet future, when Israel, under Christ, shall be the center of Christendom; of which an earnest was given in the woman from the coasts of Tyre and Sidon who sought the Saviour (Mt 15:21, 24, 26-28; compare Isa 11:12).

dwell safely—(Jer 23:6).

When seventy years is expired, which is the term of their captive state.

I shall have gathered; moved the hearts of my people to come together upon Cyrus’s proclamation, and from all parts of that vast kingdom, to prepare for a return to the country most of them never saw: it was God who moved Cyrus to give them leave; it was as much God’s work to stir up the people to return.

The house of Israel; the generality of them, those that were Israelites indeed.

From the people; several nations subjects to the king of Babylon.

Scattered, by the Babylonish king at first, and afterward by incident, necessity, or their own choice.

Shall be sanctified; have vindicated my name, which by them was blasphemed.

In the sight of the heathen: I was dishonoured by the Jews in the sight of the heathen, and I will be honoured by the Jews in their sight, they shall be witnesses of my vindication.

Dwell; settle in peace, and for continuance.

In their land; in a land that is theirs,

their own, as it is often called.

That I have given; their title is of me by deed of gift, not of late, but to one that was long since my servant; to Jacob, father to these returning captives. The Hebrew repeats the preposition,

to my servant, to Jacob, with an emphasis, to mind them of God’s faithfulness.

Thus saith the Lord God, when I shall have gathered the house of Israel,.... Not at the return of them from captivity in Babylon; for the ten tribes or house of Israel did not then return; though there might some few of those tribes, as a pledge of what would be hereafter; but in the latter day, upon the destruction of antichrist, when all Israel shall be saved: and when they will be collected

from the people among whom they are scattered; in the several nations of the world, in Asia, Africa, and Europe:

and shall be sanctified in them in the sight of the Heathen; being believed in by them; prayed unto and worshipped in a spiritual manner by them; professed and owned to be their Saviour and Redeemer in the face of the whole world, Christians and even Heathens, whom before they rejected: then shall they dwell in their land that I have given to my servant Jacob; the land of Canaan, given by promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; which last is only here mentioned, because it was his posterity that was to possess it; not all Abraham's, only those in the line of Isaac; nor all Isaac's, only those in the line of Jacob; but all his; and this they will do when they are converted in the latter day, and be no more a vagabond people, as they now are.

Thus saith the Lord GOD; When I shall have gathered the house of Israel from the people among whom they are scattered, and shall be {n} sanctified in them in the sight of the nations, then shall they dwell in their land that I have given to my servant Jacob.

(n) He shows why God will assemble his Church and preserve it, though he destroy his enemies: that is, that they should praise him, and give thanks for his great mercies.

25. Read peoples for people.

sanctified in them] i.e. through them, in their restoration. Jehovah is sanctified through the chastisement of the nations who distress His people, and He is sanctified through His people’s restoration. On “sanctify” cf. Ezekiel 28:22.

my servant Jacob] Cf. ch. Ezekiel 37:25; the phrase already in Jeremiah 30:10, and frequently in Isaiah 40-66.

Verse 25. - My servant Jacob. The use of "Jacob" for "Israel" is not common in Ezekiel, but Ezekiel 20:5; Ezekiel 27:25; Ezekiel 34:25 may be noted as parallels. Ezekiel 28:25Thus saith the Lord Jehovah, When I shall gather the house of Israel out of the peoples among whom they have been scattered, I shall sanctify myself upon them before the eyes of the heathen nations, and they will dwell in their land which I have given to my servant Jacob. Ezekiel 28:26. They will dwell there securely, and build houses and plant vineyards, and will dwell securely when I execute judgments upon all who despise them of those round about them; and they shall learn that I Jehovah am their God. - Whilst the heathen nations succumb to the judgments of God, Israel passes on to a time of blessed peace. The Lord will gather His people from their dispersion among the heathen, bring them into the land which He gave to the patriarch Jacob, His servant, and give them in that land rest, security, and true prosperity. (For the fact itself, compare Ezekiel 11:17; Ezekiel 20:41; Ezekiel 36:22.)
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