And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which you have profaned in the middle of them; and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, said the Lord GOD, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Before their eyes.—The Hebrew text as it stands has your eyes, as in the margin. Many manuscripts and other authorities have their. Either of them admits of an excellent sense; but the reading your brings out the important truth that God must first be sanctified in the eyes of the people themselves by their repentance and moral reformation, and then, through them and the consequent blessing upon them, He will be sanctified in the eyes of the heathen also.
sanctified in you—that is, in respect of you; I shall be regarded in their eyes as the Holy One, and righteous in My dealings towards you (Eze 20:41; 28:22).Will sanctify, by clearing it up, and removing the objection that the Jews’ sufferings and sins among the Babylonians had raised.
My great name; they gave the heathen occasion to think meanly and contemptibly of me, but I will show I am as great as good, in both infinite.
Was profaned: see Ezekiel 36:20,22.
Which ye have profaned; God chargeth the Jews with the blasphemies the heathen cast on God, the Jews were the cause of them, and they are therefore justly imputed to the Jews.
That I am the Lord; by what I do, the heathen shall know what I am, and from the great and good things I do for you, performing my promises, and purifying you, shall see I am great, good, faithful, and holy; then shall I be sanctified in you, as I have been profaned by you in their eyes: and so it was, Psalm 127:2.
which was profaned among the Heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; this is repeated again and again, to show the heinousness of this sin, how ill he took it at their hands, and what a concern it gave him:
and the Heathen shall know that I am the Lord, saith the Lord God, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes; when the Lord shall fulfil his promises, and deliver his people; when he shall sanctify, justify, and save them; and he shall be sanctified, served, and worshipped by them, and among them: it will be taken notice of by infidels themselves; and they shall hereby know, and be obliged to acknowledge, that the God of Israel is the only Lord God; that he is true and faithful to his word, righteous and holy, in his ways, the Lord God omniscient and omnipotent.And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, saith the Lord GOD, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)23. sanctify my great name] To sanctify is the opposite of to profane. As the latter term means to detract from the power, majesty or purity of Jehovah, or from any of those attributes which belong to his godhead, to sanctify is to manifest or make these attributes conspicuous. Hence the effect of Jehovah’s sanctifying his name is that the heathen know him to be Jehovah—God alone and all that which he is who is God alone. In Ezekiel 36:22 “holy name,” here “great name”; “greatness” is an element in “holiness.”
be sanctified in you] Or reflexive: shew myself holy—where “holy” embraces the attributes of Deity as a whole. Israel is the subject through which Jehovah shews himself to be God, i.e. by his operations in Israel in the sight of the nations.
24 seq. These operations are his restoration and regeneration of Israel. It is certainly possible that the more internal operations of Jehovah on Israel (Ezekiel 36:25 seq.)—his washing them with clean water and putting a new spirit within them that they shall walk in his statutes, are considered part of Jehovah’s sanctifying of himself in the sight of the nations. They do express better what Jehovah is than a mere exhibition of power, cf. Ezekiel 39:23-24; Isaiah 61:3; Isaiah 62:2. At the same time this more general idea seems to pass from the prophet’s mind in the delight with which he dwells on Israel’s religious regeneration. The wider idea is at any rate returned to in Ezekiel 36:33 seq.Verse 23. - I will sanctify my great Name; i.e. the name of my holiness (Deuteronomy 28:58; Psalm 8:1; Malachi 1:11). As Israel's dispersion had caused that Name to be profaned, so Israel's restoration would secure that it should be magnified among the heathen (Ezekiel 38:23), who should learn from this event that their previous ideas of Jehovah, as a feeble and local divinity, had been wrong. The question whether your eyes, as in the Hebrew text, or "their eyes," as in many ancient versions, should be read is debated. The latter reading appears to be demanded by the usus loquendi of Ezekiel (see Ezekiel 20:41; Ezekiel 28:25; Ezekiel 38:16; Ezekiel 39:27), and is adopted by both English versions as well as by interpreters of eminence; but other expositors of equal name adhere to the former reading on the ground that the sanctifying of Jehovah's Name in the eyes of Israel was an indispensable preliminary to its sanctification in the eyes of the heathen. Havernick regards "their eyes" as "an obvious emendation to relieve a difficulty," to which in no case should criticism accord the preference; while Keil gives it the preference, though admitting that "your eyes" can be justified.
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