And I will make them and the places round about my hill a blessing; and I will cause the shower to come down in his season; there shall be showers of blessing.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Bound about my hill.—“My hill” is Zion. (Comp. the similar figurative language in Isaiah 31:4.) The centre of the old theocracy is always spoken of in Scripture as also the centre from which goes forth the new covenant of salvation, and this was historically fulfilled in the coming of Christ and the cradling of His Church in the Jewish Church. The continuity of the Church was preserved quite as fully through the Christian era as through the Babylonian captivity, quite as large a number of the Jews having embraced Christianity as ever returned from the exile in Chaldea.Ezekiel 34:26-28. I will make them and the places round about my hill a blessing — I will there give remarkable instances of my favour, and of the happiness which flows from it. God’s hill is the same with his holy mountain, mentioned Ezekiel 20:40, where see the note. There shall be showers of blessings — Blessings in great abundance, and of all sorts, temporal and spiritual, earthly and heavenly. The tree of the field shall yield her fruit — There shall be great fertility and plenty in every part of the land. The spiritual blessings of the gospel are often described under the emblems of fruitfulness and abundance. And they shall be safe in their land — In no danger of being invaded and enslaved, though their great plenty might be supposed to be a temptation to their neighbours to desire their land. And they shall know that I am the Lord — They shall indeed know that I, and I only, am the living and true God, and their God and Saviour; when I have broken the bands of their yoke — Those bands by which they had been brought down, and long held under oppression; had been made slaves, and used as such. The same expression is used of the deliverance of Israel out of Egypt, (Leviticus 26:13; Jeremiah 2:20,) their final restoration being represented as the greater deliverance of the two. And none shall make them afraid — The experience of my particular care over them, shall inspire them with that confidence in me which shall preserve them from all disquieting fears and anxieties.I will make them, my returned captives, who were looked upon as cursed, reproached, and hated.
The places round about; all the country.
My hill; Jerusalem, or the temple, Zion, which is called holy hill, Psalm 2:6.
A blessing; very prosperous, that men shall report them to be in a blessed condition, or a blessing to others among whom they dwell, or a pattern of blessing others, whom we shall wish like to them, whom we wish greatest good to.
I will cause the shower to come down in his season; their land shall be most fruitful in the products of it, corn, wine, oil, &c., and all these blessed to them; whereas formerly their blessings were so cursed that they were no blessings, now they shall be blessed, and so be double blessings to them.
"I will cause them to dwell round about the house of my sanctuary;''
and so Kimchi interprets it of the temple. Some Christian interpreters, by the "hill" or mountain, understand Christ; and not amiss; who may be compared to one for height; he being higher than the kings of the earth, or than the heavens and angels there, as man and Mediator; as well as is God over all, blessed for ever; and for fruitfulness, from whom the saints have all theirs, either in grace or good works; and for shade, he being the shadow of a great rock in a weary land; which yields delight and refreshment, and is a protection from the heat of a fiery law, flaming justice, the wrath of God and man, and the fiery darts of Satan; and for shelter and security, there being salvation in him, when none in other hills and mountains; and for duration and immovableness, being the same today, yesterday, and for ever: and now the persons about him are such who are made nigh by his blood; brought to him by his powerful and efficacious grace; are worshippers about the throne where he sits; such as cleave to him, and follow him wherever he goes, and shall be with him to all eternity; these he makes a blessing, or most blessed. So the Targum renders it,
"and they shall be blessed;''
they are blessed in Christ their head; they are blessed through him as their Redeemer and Saviour, who was made a curse for them; they are blessed through being in him, and by the imputation of blessings to them from him, and through the application of them by his Spirit; their persons are blessed, and so are the places or habitations where they dwell: or rather this may be understood of the church of God, often compared to a hill for its height and eminence; for its fertility and fruitfulness; for its stability and firmness; and in allusion to the hill of Zion for its holiness, and being the place of the divine residence; see Psalm 15:1 now, the persons about this hill are those who are come to Mount Zion the church of God; being brought there by the Lord himself, and who take up their abode there; who lie about this hill, as flocks of sheep, in their several folds or congregated churches; see Jeremiah 23:3 and these the Lord makes a blessing to one another, by their spiritual conversation, prayers, and services of love; and to the world, to kingdoms and states, to cities, towns, and neighbourhoods, and to particular families, where they are placed; and even to the world in general; for they are the light, stay, and stability of it; and without which it would be in darkness, corrupt and putrefy, and not continue long:
and I will cause the shower to come down in his season; which, in the spiritual sense, may design the Gospel; which, like a shower of rain, comes from God; descends from heaven; is a gift of God; which falls according to divine direction; refreshes, revives, and makes fruitful; brings a plenty of divine blessings with it; and comes in season, at its proper time; and is a word in season to weary souls:
there shall be showers of blessings; which the Gospel brings with it; spiritual blessings, blessings of grace; such as peace, pardon, righteousness, and eternal life: these, like showers, come from God; are free grace gifts of his, of which there is a large abundance; and which descend on Mount Zion the church of God; which is another Gerizim, on which the blessings are pronounced, Psalm 133:3.And I will make them and the places round about my hill a blessing; and I will cause the shower to come down in his season; there shall be showers of blessing.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)26. make them … a blessing] i.e. altogether blessed, Genesis 12:2; Isaiah 19:24, as the last words of the verse imply. Cf. construction Ezekiel 16:38, Ezekiel 27:36, Ezekiel 28:19, Ezekiel 33:28. The language of the clause is not very natural; LXX. reads: and I will set them round about my hill (the word “blessing” wanting).
showers of blessing] i.e. bringing blessing, not, composed of blessing, Ezekiel 34:27, Joel 2:23-27; Leviticus 26:4.Verse 26. - Round about my hill. Ezekiel's thoughts, like those of Micah 4:1 and Isaiah 2:2, cluster round the hill of Zion, the mountain of Jehovah, as the center of the restored Israel. In that land, as the prophet saw it here, and still more in the closing vision of his book (Ezekiel 47:12), there were, outwardly as well as spiritually, to be showers of blessing (the phrase is peculiar to Ezekiel), and the land should yield its fruits.
The first word of God, which Ezekiel received after the arrival of the fugitive with the intelligence of the destruction of Jerusalem, was not of a consolatory, but of a rebuking nature, and directed against those who, while boasting in an impenitent state of mind of the promise given to the patriarchs of the everlasting possession of the Holy Land, fancied that they could still remain in possession of the promised land even after the destruction of Jerusalem and of the kingdom of Judah. This delusion the prophet overthrows by the announcement that the unrighteous are to have no share in the possession of the land of Israel, but are to perish miserably, and that the land is to be utterly waste and without inhabitants (Ezekiel 33:23-29). The Lord then shows him that his countrymen will indeed come to him and listen to his words, but will only do that which is pleasant to themselves; that they will still seek after gain, and not do his words; and that it will not be till after his words have been fulfilled that they will come to the knowledge of the fact that he really was a prophet (Ezekiel 33:30-33). We perceive from these last verses that the threat uttered in Ezekiel 33:24-29 was to form the basis for Ezekiel's further prophecies, so that the whole of this word of God has only the force of an introduction to his further labours. But however the two halves of this word of God may appear to differ, so far as their contents are concerned, they are nevertheless closely connected. The state of heart disclosed in the first half, with reference to the judgment that has already fallen upon the land and kingdom, is to preclude the illusion, that the fact of the people's coming to the prophet to hear his words is a sign of penitential humiliation under the punishing hand of God, and to bring out the truth, that the salvation which he is about to foretell to the people is only to be enjoyed by those who turn with sincerity to the Lord.
False reliance upon God's Promises
Ezekiel 33:23. And the word of Jehovah came to me, saying, Ezekiel 33:24. Son of man, the inhabitants of these ruins in the land of Israel speak thus: Abraham was one, and received the land for a possession; but we are many, the land is given to us for a possession. Ezekiel 33:25. Therefore say to them, Thus saith the Lord Jehovah, Ye eat upon the blood, and lift up your eyes to your idols, and shed blood, and would ye possess the land? Ezekiel 33:26. Ye rely upon your sword, do abomination, and one defileth another's wife, and would ye possess the land? Ezekiel 33:27. Speak thus to them, Thus saith the Lord Jehovah, By my life, those who are in the ruins shall fall by the sword, and whoever is in the open field him do I give to the beasts to devour, and those who are in the fortresses and caves shall die of the pestilence. Ezekiel 33:28. And I make the land devastation and waste, and its proud might shall have an end, and the mountains of Israel shall be waste, so that no one passeth through. Ezekiel 33:29. And they shall know that I am Jehovah, when I make the land devastation and waste because of all the abominations which they have done. - This threat is directed against the people who remained behind in the land of Judah after the destruction of Jerusalem. ישׁבי are the Israelites who dwelt amidst the ruins of the Holy Land, the remnant of the people left behind in the land. For it is so evident as to need no proof that Kliefoth is wrong in asserting that by החרבות we are to understand the district bordering on the Chaboras, which was not properly cultivated; and by the inhabitants thereof, the exiles who surrounded Ezekiel. It is only by confounding אמר and דּבּר that Kliefoth is able to set aside the more precise definition of the inhabitants of these ruins contained in the words על אדמת ישׂראל, and to connect ישׂ 'על אד with אמרים, "they speak concerning the land of Israel;" and in Ezekiel 33:27 it is only in a forced manner that he can generalize החרבות and take it as referring to the waste places both in the Holy Land and on the Chaboras. The fact, moreover, that Ezekiel 33:30-33 treat of the Israelites by the Chaboras, is no proof whatever that they must also be referred to in Ezekiel 33:24-29. For the relation in which the two halves of this word of God stand to one another is not that "Eze 33:30-33 depict the impression made upon the hearers by the words contained in Ezekiel 33:24-29," so that "the persons alluded to in Ezekiel 33:30-33 must necessarily be the hearers of Ezekiel 33:24-29." Ezekiel 33:30-33 treat in quite a general manner of the attitude which the prophet's countrymen would assume towards his words - that is to say, not merely to his threats, but also to his predictions of salvation; they would only attend to that which had a pleasant sound to them, but they would not do his words (Ezekiel 33:31, Ezekiel 33:32). It is quite in harmony with this, that in Ezekiel 33:23-29 these people should be told of the state of heart of those who had remained behind on the ruins of the Holy Land, and that it should be announced to them that the fixed belief in the permanent possession of the Holy Land, on which those who remained behind in the land relied, was a delusion, and that those who were victims of this delusion should be destroyed by sword and pestilence. Just as in the first part of this book Ezekiel uttered the threatened prophecies concerning the destruction of Jerusalem and Judah in the presence of his countrymen by the Chaboras, and addressed them to these, because they stood in the same internal relation to the Lord as their brethren in Jerusalem and Judah; so here does he hold up this delusion before them as a warning, in order that he may disclose to them the worthlessness of such vain hope, and preach repentance and conversion as the only way to lie.
The meaning of the words spoken by these people, "Abraham was one," etc., is, that if Abraham, as one solitary individual, received the land of Canaan or a possession by the promise of God, the same God could not take this possession away from them, the many sons of Abraham. The antithesis of the "one" and the "many" derived its significance, in relation to their argument, from the descent of the many from the one, which is taken for granted, and also from the fact, which is assumed to be well know from the book of Genesis, that the land was not promised and given to the patriarch for his own possession, but for his seed or descendants to possess. They relied, like the Jews of the time of Christ (John 8:33, John 8:39), upon their corporeal descent from Abraham (compare the similar words in Ezekiel 11:15). Ezekiel, on the other hand, simply reminds them of their own sinful conduct (Ezekiel 33:25, Ezekiel 33:26), for the purpose of showing them that they have thereby incurred the loss of this possession. Eating upon the blood, is eating flesh in which the blood is still lying, which has not been cleansed from blood, as in Leviticus 19:26 and 1 Samuel 14:32-33; an act the prohibition of which was first addressed to Noah (Genesis 9:4), and is repeatedly urged in the law (cf. Leviticus 7:26-27). This is also the case with the prohibition of idolatry, lifting up the eyes to idols (cf. Ezekiel 18:6), and the shedding of blood (cf. Ezekiel 18:10; Ezekiel 22:3, etc.). עמד, to support oneself, or rely (עמד, used as in Ezekiel 31:14) upon the sword, i.e., to put confidence in violence and bloodshed. In this connection we are not to think of the use of the sword in war. To work abomination, as in Ezekiel 18:12. עשׂיתן is not a feminine, "ye women," but ן is written in the place of מ on account of the ת which follows, after the analogy of פּדיון for פּדיום (Hitzig). On the defiling of a neighbour's wife, see the comm. on Ezekiel 18:6. Such daring sinners the Lord would destroy wherever they might be. In v. 37 the punishment is individualized (cf. Ezekiel 14:21). Those in the חרבות shall fall by the חרב (the play upon the word is very obvious); those in the open country shall perish by wild beasts (compare 2 Kings 17:25; Exodus 23:19; Leviticus 26:22); those who are in mountain fastnesses and caves, where they are safe from the sword and ravenous beasts, shall perish by plague and pestilence. This threat is not to be restricted to the acts of the Chaldeans in the land after the destruction of Jerusalem, but applies to all succeeding times. Even the devastation and utter depopulation of the land, threatened in Ezekiel 33:28, are not to be taken as referring merely to the time of the Babylonian captivity, but embrace the devastation which accompanied and followed the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans. For גּאון ע, see the comm. on Ezekiel 7:24. For Ezekiel 33:29, compare Ezekiel 6:14.
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