Ezekiel 36:23
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.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(23) 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.

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.I had pity for mine holy name - Render it: I "had" a pitiful regard to "Mine Holy Name." 23. sanctify—vindicate and manifest as holy, in opposition to the heathen reproaches of it brought on by the Jews' sins and their punishment (see on [1076]Eze 36:20).

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.

And I will sanctify my great name,.... The same with his holy name; for his greatness lies in his holiness; which name he sanctifies when he clears it from all charges and imputations; when he makes it appear to be holy and himself to be glorious in holiness; when he vindicates the honour of his name, not in a way of punishment, as he justly might, but in a way of grace and mercy; he sanctifies his name when he proclaims it, a God gracious and merciful; for it was in this way and manner he determined to make himself illustrious and glorious, and do honour to his name:

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. Ezekiel 36:23For His holy name's sake the Lord will bring Israel back from its dispersion into His own land, purify it from its sins, and sanctify it by His Spirit to be His own people. - Ezekiel 36:22. Therefore say to the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord Jehovah, I do it not for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for my holy name's sake, which ye have profaned among the nations whither ye have come. Ezekiel 36:23. I will sanctify my great name, which is profaned among the nations, which ye have profaned in the midst of them, so that the nations shall know that I am Jehovah, is the saying of the Lord Jehovah, when I prove myself holy upon you before their eyes. Ezekiel 36:24. I will take you out of the nations, and gather you out of all lands, and bring you into your land, Ezekiel 36:25. And will sprinkle clean water upon you, that ye may become clean; from all your uncleannesses and from all your idols will I cleanse you, Ezekiel 36:26. And I will give you a new heart, and give a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh, and give you a heart of flesh. Ezekiel 36:27. I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and keep my rights, and do them. Ezekiel 36:28. And ye shall dwell in the land which I have given to your fathers, and shall become my people, and I will be your God. - These verses show in what way the Lord will have compassion upon His holy name, and how He will put an end to the scoffing thereat, and vindicate His honour in the sight of the heathen. "Nor for your sake," i.e., not because you have any claim to deliverance on account of your behaviour (cf. Isaiah 48:11 and Deuteronomy 9:6), but for my holy name's sake, i.e., to manifest as holy the name which has been profaned among the heathen, I do it, namely, what follows from Ezekiel 36:23 onwards. The Lord will sanctify His name, i.e., show it to be holy by proving Himself to be holy upon Israel. קדּשׁ is not equivalent to glorify, although the holiness of God involves the idea of glory. Sanctifying is the removing or expunging of the blots and blemishes which adhere to anything. The giving up of His people was regarded by the heathen as a sign of the weakness of Jehovah. This blot through which His omnipotence and glory were dishonoured, God would remove by gathering Israel out of the heathen, and glorifying it. Instead of לעיניכם, the ancient versions have rendered לעיניהם. This reading is also found in many of the codices and the earliest editions, and is confirmed by the great Masora, and also commended by the parallel passages, Ezekiel 20:41 and Ezekiel 28:25, so that it no doubt deserves the preference, although לעיניכם can also be justified. For inasmuch as Israelites had despaired in the midst of their wretchedness through unbelief, it was necessary that Jehovah should sanctify His great name in their sight as well. The great name of Jehovah is His almighty exaltation above all gods (cf. Malachi 1:11-12). The first thing that Jehovah does for the sanctification of His name is to bring back Israel from its dispersion into its own land (Ezekiel 36:24, compare Ezekiel 11:17 and Ezekiel 20:41-42); and then follows the purifying of Israel from its sins. The figurative expression, "to sprinkle with clean water," is taken from the lustrations prescribed by the law, more particularly the purifying from defilement from the dead by sprinkling with the water prepared from the ashes of a red heifer (Numbers 19:17-19; compare Psalm 51:9). Cleansing from sins, which corresponds to justification, and is not to be confounded with sanctification (Schmieder), is followed by renewal with the Holy Spirit, which takes away the old heart of stone and puts within a new heart of flesh, so that the man can fulfil the commandments of God, and walk in newness of life (Ezekiel 36:26-28; compare Ezekiel 11:18-20, where this promise has already occurred, and the necessary remarks concerning its fulfilment have been made). - With regard to the construction 'עשׂה את אשׁר , to make or effect your walking, compare Ewald, ֗337b.
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