Ezekiel 36:20
And when they entered unto the heathen, whither they went, they profaned my holy name, when they said to them, These are the people of the LORD, and are gone forth out of his land.
Jump to: BarnesBensonBICalvinCambridgeClarkeDarbyEllicottExpositor'sExp DctGaebeleinGSBGillGrayGuzikHaydockHastingsHomileticsJFBKDKellyKJTLangeMacLarenMHCMHCWParkerPoolePulpitSermonSCOTTBWESTSK
(20) When they said to them.—We are not here to understand that the Israelites profaned God’s name among the heathen in the way spoken of in Romans 2:24, though this also may have been done; but they profaned it by the very fact of their captivity, the consequence of their former sins. The heathen regarded Jehovah as merely the national God of the Israelites, and seeing them dispersed, in distress, and in captivity, concluded that He was unable to protect them. Hence, for the vindication of His name (Ezekiel 36:21-24) God would restore His people to their land.

Ezekiel 36:20. When they entered unto the heathen, they profaned my holy name — 1st, By their evil practices they brought a scandal on God’s name, and gave occasion to the heathen to say, See what profligate wretches these are, who call themselves Jehovah’s peculiar people; judge what sort of a God he is who has such worshippers. The Jews were no credit to their profession wherever they went; but, on the contrary, a reproach to it, and the name of God and his holy religion was blasphemed through them, Romans 2:24. Observe, reader, when those that pretend to stand related to God, as his servants and children, and to be in covenant and communion with him, are nevertheless found corrupt in their morals, slaves to their appetites and passions, dishonest in their dealings, and false to their words, and the trusts reposed in them, the enemies of the Lord have thereby great cause given them to blaspheme both him and his religion. 2d, God’s name was profaned by the sufferings of Israel; for from them the enemies of God took occasion to reproach God, as unable to protect his own worshippers, and to make good his own grants. They said in scorn, These are the people of the Lord; these wicked people! you see he could not keep them in their obedience to his precepts; these miserable people! he could not keep them in the enjoyment of his favours. These are the people that came out of Jehovah’s land; they are the very scum of the nations!

36:16-24 The restoration of that people, being typical of our redemption by Christ, shows that the end aimed at in our salvation is the glory of God. The sin of a people defiles their land; renders it abominable to God, and uncomfortable to themselves. God's holy name is his great name; his holiness is his greatness, nor does any thing else make a man truly great.They profaned my holy name - Caused it to be dishonored by the pagan who said in scorn, "This is the people of God." The pagan, seeing the miserable state of the exiles, fancied that Yahweh was no more than a national god, powerless to protect his subjects. 20. profaned my holy name, when they—the heathen

said to them—the Israelites.

These, &c.—The Israelites gave a handle of reproach to the heathen against God, who would naturally say, These who take usury, oppress, commit adultery, &c., and who, in such an abject plight, are "gone forth" as exiles "out of His land," are specimens of what Jehovah can or will effect, for His people, and show what kind of a God this so-called holy, omnipotent, covenant-keeping God must be! (Isa 52:5; Ro 2:24).

When they entered; when they were come into Babylon, and entered into familiarity with the inhabitants as neighbours.

Profaned my holy name; did profanely sin against those precepts of my law, which heathens did know, venerate, and observe better than the Jews; or it may include the misery their sins had brought them to, which misery reflected upon their God in the opinion of the heathen.

They said, their heathen neighbours, to them, the miserable and profane Jews,

These are the people of the Lord; with taunt and cutting reprimand. These, these captive slaves, that are most forlorn of men, will have it that their God is the Lord, the mighty and the good God, the true and faithful One, that gave them the land out of which they are driven. If he be good, as they boast, how comes it to pass his people are in such ill state? Or is he not able to better their state? Was he weak, and could not keep them in their own land? or doth he falsify his word? You miserable Jews, say what this meaneth. But by their impure life they opened the mouths of the heathen more to blaspheme, and call the holiness of God into question; when they saw his people so unholy, they concluded. As is the people so is their God; and this, as it was a great offence and scandal to the heathen, so it was a great dishonour to God.

And when they entered unto the Heathen, whither they went,.... When the Jews went into the Heathen countries, whither they were carried captive, either by the Chaldeans, or by the Romans:

they profaned my holy name; by their irreligion and immorality; by their violation of both tables of the law; by their wicked lives and conversations, whereby they gave the enemy an occasion to reproach them, their religion, and their God, Romans 2:24,

when they said to them, these are the people of the Lord, and are gone forth out of his land; these are the men that boast they are the people of the Lord, whom he has chosen above all people, and see what a wicked people they are; for their sins they are driven out of the land, and become our captives: or though they were the Lord's people, as they pretend, and were under his care and protection; yet he was not able to keep them in their own land, and deliver them out of our hands, but they are carried captive by us; and thus the name of God, his being and perfections, were blasphemed, and his word, worship, and worshippers, were ridiculed by them. The Targum is,

"if these are the people of the Lord, how is it that they are gone out of the land of the house of his majesty?''

And when they entered unto the heathen, whither they went, they profaned my holy name, when they said to them, These are the people of the LORD, and are gone forth out of his land.
20. These disasters which the people of Jehovah brought on themselves led to the desecration of his name among the heathen. The nations judged him weak and unable to protect his people. In the eyes of the nations the interests of the god and his people were one; if a people was subdued by another it was because its god was too feeble to protect it. Naturally the idea of a god exercising a moral rule over his own people would not yet occur to them. That Jehovah so rules is the lesson which the history of Israel, its dispersion and restoration, is intended to read to the nations of the earth. This lesson was one which Israel itself was slow to learn, and when Amos (Ezekiel 3:2) read it to them, it was perhaps as strange to some as it might be to the heathen.

they profaned] i.e. Israel. Israel by bringing their dispersion upon themselves led to the desecration of Jehovah’s name by the nations, and hence they are said directly to have profaned his name (Ezekiel 36:21).

when they said to them] when it was said of them, These are … and they are gone forth …, i.e. though the people of Jehovah, they have been driven into exile out of the land—he has not been able to protect them.

Verse 20. - They profaned my holy Name; or, the name of my holiness. According to Kliefoth, the subject of the verb is "the heathen," but expositors generally regard it as "the house of Israel" of ver. 17. Plumptre thinks that "while grammatically the words may refer to either the heathen or the exiles of Israel, possibly the sentence was purposely left vague, so as to describe the fact in which both were sharers," and cites in support of this view similar constructions in Isaiah 55:5 and Romans 2:24. What led to the profanation of Jehovah's Name by the heathen was the arrival among them, not of the news of the calamity which had befallen Israel (Kliefoth, Hengstenberg), but of the house of Israel itself; and the actual profanation lay in this, that, having beheld the exiles, they said, These are the people of the Lord, and they are gone forth out of his land. As the heathen recognized only local divinities, they concluded Jehovah had either behaved capriciously towards his people and east them off (comp. Jeremiah 23:40; Jeremiah 29:18; Jeremiah 33:24), or had proved unequal to the task of protecting them so that they had been driven off (comp. Ezekiel 20:5, etc.; Numbers 14:16; Jeremiah 14:9). In either case, the honor of Jehovah had been lessened in the minds and tarnished by the words of the heathen, and inasmuch as this result had been brought about by Israel's sin, on Israel properly the blame lay. Ezekiel 36:20The Salvation of Israel Founded upon Its Sanctification

Because Israel has defiled its land by its sins, God has scattered the people among the heathen; but because they also profaned His name among the heathen, He will exercise forbearance for the sake of His holy name (Ezekiel 36:16-21), will gather Israel out of the lands, cleanse it from its sins, and sanctify it by the communication of His Spirit, so that it will walk in His ways (Ezekiel 36:22-28), and will so bless and multiply it, that both the nations around and Israel itself will know that He is the Lord (Ezekiel 36:29-38). - This promise is shown by the introductory formula in Ezekiel 36:16 and by the contents to be an independent word of God; but it is substantially connected in the closest manner with the preceding word of God, showing, on the one hand, the motive which prompted God to restore and bless His people;, and, on the other hand, the means by which He would permanently establish the salvation predicted in Ezekiel 34 and Ezekiel 36:1-15. - The kernel of this promise is formed by Ezekiel 36:25-28, for which the way is prepared in Ezekiel 36:17-24, whilst the further extension is contained in Ezekiel 36:29-38.

Ezekiel 36:16-21

The Lord will extend His forbearance, for the sake of His holy name, to the people who have been rejected on account of their sins. - Ezekiel 36:16. And the word of Jehovah came to me, saying, Ezekiel 36:17. Son of man, the house of Israel dwelt in its land, and defiled it with its way and its doings; like the uncleanness of the unclean woman, was its way before me. Ezekiel 36:18. Then I poured out my fury upon them on account of the blood which they had shed in the land, and because they had defiled it through their idols, Ezekiel 36:19. And scattered them among the nations, and they were dispersed in the land; according to their way and their doings I judge them. Ezekiel 36:20. And they came to the nations whither they came, and profaned my holy name, for men said of them, "These are Jehovah's people, and they have come out of His land." Ezekiel 36:21. And so I had pity upon my holy name, which the house of Israel profaned among the nations whither they came. - The address commences with a description of the reasons why God had thrust out His people among the heathen, namely, on account of their sins and idolatrous abominations, by which the Israelites had defiled the land (cf. Leviticus 18:28 and Numbers 35:34). Their conduct resembled the most offensive uncleanness, namely, the uncleanness of a woman in her menstruation (Leviticus 15:19), to which the moral depravity of the people had already been compared in Isaiah 64:5. - In Ezekiel 36:18 the consequence of the defiling of the land by the people is introduced with the impression ואשׁפּך. In Ezekiel 36:17, ויטמּאוּ is the continuation of the participle ישׁבים; and the participle is expressive of the condition in the past, as we may see from the words 'ואשׁפּך וגו. The simile in Ezekiel 36:17 is an explanatory, circumstantial clause. For Ezekiel 36:18, compare Ezekiel 7:8, and for 'על הדּם וגו, Ezekiel 22:3, Ezekiel 22:6. The last clause, "and through their idols they have defiled it," is loosely appended; but it really contains a second reason for the pouring out of the wrath of God upon the people. For Ezekiel 36:19, compare Ezekiel 22:15. ויּבוא in Ezekiel 36:20 refers to בּית־ישׂראל; but there is no necessity to read ויבאוּ on that account. It is perfectly arbitrary to supply the subject proposed by Kliefoth, viz., "the report of what had happened to Israel" came to the heathen, which is quite foreign to the connection; for it was not the report concerning Israel, but Israel itself, which came to the heathen, and profaned the sacred name of God. This is not only plainly expressed in Ezekiel 36:21, but has been already stated in Ezekiel 36:20. The fact that the words of the heathen, by which the name of God was profaned, are quoted here, does not prove that it is the heathen nations who are to be regarded as those who profaned the name of God, as Kliefoth imagines. The words, "these are Jehovah's people, and have come out of His (Jehovah's) land," could only contain a profanation of the holy name of God, if their coming out was regarded as involuntary, i.e., as an exile enforced by the power of the heathen; or, on the other hand, if the Israelites themselves had denied the holiness of the people of God through their behaviour among the heathen. Most of the commentators have decided in favour of the former view. Vatablus, for example, gives this explanation: "if their God whom they preach had been omnipotent, He would not have allowed them to be expelled from His land." And we must decide in favour of this exposition, not only because of the parallel passages, such as Numbers 14:16 and Jeremiah 33:24, which support this view; but chiefly on account of the verses which follow, according to which the sanctification of the name of God among the nations consists in the fact that God gathers Israel out of its dispersion among the nations, and leads them back into His own land (vid., Ezekiel 36:23 and Ezekiel 36:24). Consequently the profanation of His name can only have consisted in the fact that Israel was carried away out of its own land, and scattered in the heathen lands. For, since the heathen acknowledged only national gods, and regarded Jehovah as nothing more than such a national god of Israel, they did not look upon the destruction of the kingdom of Judah and the carrying away of the people as a judgment of the almighty and holy God upon His people, but concluded that that catastrophe was a sign of the inability of Jehovah to defend His land and save His people. The only way in which God could destroy this delusion was by manifesting Himself to the heathen as the almighty God and Lord of the whole world through the redemption and glorification of His people. ואחמל על־שׁם ק: so I had pity, compassion upon my holy name. The preterite is prophetic, inasmuch as the compassion consists in the gathering of Israel out of the nations, which is announced in Ezekiel 36:22. as still in the future. The rendering, "I spared (them) for my holy name's sake" (lxx, Hvernick), is false; for חמל is construed with על, governing the person or the thing toward which the compassion is shown (vid., Ezekiel 16:5 and 2 Chronicles 36:15, 2 Chronicles 36:17).

Ezekiel 36:20 Interlinear
Ezekiel 36:20 Parallel Texts

Ezekiel 36:20 NIV
Ezekiel 36:20 NLT
Ezekiel 36:20 ESV
Ezekiel 36:20 NASB
Ezekiel 36:20 KJV

Ezekiel 36:20 Bible Apps
Ezekiel 36:20 Parallel
Ezekiel 36:20 Biblia Paralela
Ezekiel 36:20 Chinese Bible
Ezekiel 36:20 French Bible
Ezekiel 36:20 German Bible

Bible Hub

Ezekiel 36:19
Top of Page
Top of Page