Ezekiel 36:26
A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.
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(26) A new heart.—Comp. Ezekiel 11:18-20, where the same promise is given, although somewhat less fully than here. On the expression “heart of flesh,” see Note there on Ezekiel 36:19. With this prophetic preaching of the Gospel comp. Jeremiah 31:31-34, and particularly the connection of that passage with the temporal promises in its continuation (Ezekiel 36:35-38).

Ezekiel 36:26-27. A new heart also will I give you — A new disposition of mind, excellent in itself, and vastly different from what it was before; a frame of soul changed from sinful to holy, from carnal to spiritual; a heart in which the law of God is written, Jeremiah 31:33; a sanctified spirit, in which the almighty grace of God is victorious, and turns it from the world to God, and from all sin to all holiness; a state of mind which is the supernatural gift of God, and not wrought in any man by his own power. And I will take away the stony heart — The hard, senseless, unfeeling, inflexible heart; the heart unapt and averse to receive any divine impressions, and to return any devout affections. Out of your flesh — That is, out of you. And I will give you a heart of flesh — A soft and tender heart, that has spiritual senses exercised, and is conscious to itself of spiritual pains and pleasures; a heart of quite another temper, hearkening to God’s law, trembling at his threats, moulded into a compliance with his whole will; disposed to do, to be, or to suffer what God wills; receiving the divine impress as soft wax receives the impress of the seal. I will put my Spirit within you — My enlightening, regenerating, and sanctifying Spirit; that Holy Spirit which is given to and dwells in all true believers; and cause you — Sweetly and powerfully, yet without compulsion; to walk in my statutes — In all my ordinances and commandments, and that from judgment, choice, and affection. For our spirits, when renewed by God’s Spirit to a disposition conformed to his holiness, readily comply with his will in all things, concur with his designs, and become workers together with him. And ye shall keep my judgments, and do them — Ye shall be willing and able to perform all acceptable obedience, and to live a life of universal holiness and righteousness.

36:25-38 Water is an emblem of the cleansing our polluted souls from sin. But no water can do more than take away the filth of the flesh. Water seems in general the sacramental sign of the sanctifying influences of the Holy Ghost; yet this is always connected with the atoning blood of Christ. When the latter is applied by faith to the conscience, to cleanse it from evil works, the former is always applied to the powers of the soul, to purify it from the pollution of sin. All that have an interest in the new covenant, have a new heart and a new spirit, in order to their walking in newness of life. God would give a heart of flesh, a soft and tender heart, complying with his holy will. Renewing grace works as great a change in the soul, as the turning a dead stone into living flesh. God will put his Spirit within, as a Teacher, Guide, and Sanctifier. The promise of God's grace to fit us for our duty, should quicken our constant care and endeavour to do our duty. These are promises to be pleaded by, and will be fulfilled to, all true believers in every age.Ezekiel the priest has in view the purifying rites prescribed by the Law, the symbolic purport of which is exhibited in Hebrews 9:13-14; Hebrews 10:22. As the Levites were consecrated with sprinkling of water, so should the approved rite "sprinkling of water" thus prescribed by the Law and explained by the prophets, give occasion to the use of water at the admission of proselytes in later days, and so to its adoption by John in his baptism unto repentance. It was hallowed by our Lord when in His discourse with Nicodemus, referring, no doubt, to such passages as these, He showed their application to the Church of which He was about to be the Founder; and when He appointed Baptism as the sacrament of admission into that Church. In this sacrament the spiritual import of the legal ordinance is displayed - the second birth by water and the Spirit. As Israel throughout the prophecy of Ezekiel prefigures the visible Church of Christ, needing from time to time trim or purification - so does the renovated Israel represent Christ's mystical Church Ephesians 5:26. The spiritual character of the renovation presumes a personal application of the prophet's words, which is more thoroughly brought out under the new covenant (e. g., Hebrews 11:16). Thus the prophecy of Ezekiel furnishes a medium through which we pass from the congregation to the individual, from the letter to the spirit, from the Law to the Gospel, from Moses to Christ. 26. new heart—mind and will.

spirit—motive and principle of action.

stony heart—unimpressible in serious things; like the "stony ground" (Mt 13:5, 20), unfit for receiving the good seed so as to bring forth fruit.

heart of flesh—not "carnal" in opposition to "spiritual"; but impressible and docile, fit for receiving the good seed. In Eze 18:31 they are commanded, "Make you a new heart, and a new spirit." Here God says, "A new heart will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you." Thus the responsibility of man, and the sovereign grace of God, are shown to be coexistent. Man cannot make himself a new heart unless God gives it (Php 2:12, 13).

A new heart; a renewed frame of soul, a disposition and mind changed from sinful to holy, from evil to good, from carnal to spiritual. See Ezekiel 11:19. A heart in which the law of God is written, as Jeremiah 31:33. It is a sanctified heart, in which the almighty grace of God is victorious, and turns it from sin to God.

Will I give you; God takes it to himself, as indeed it is his only work, see Ezekiel 11:19.

A new spirit: this is exegetical, and tells us what the new heart is; it is a new holy frame in the spirit of man, which is put in him, not found in him; given to him, not wrought by his own power.

The stony heart; stubborn, senseless, untractable heart, that receives no kindly impressions from the word, providences, or Spirit of God in its ordinary operations and influences, that hardens itself in a day of provocation, that is hardened by the deceitfulness of sin; this evil heart shall be taken away, and this God will do, who only can do it.

Out of your flesh, put for the man. An heart of flesh; that is, a heart different from the stony, hard heart, quite of another temper and frame, hearkening to God’s law, trembling at his threats, by gentlest providences mounded to a compliance with his will; to forbear, do, be, or suffer what God will, receiving the impress of God, as softened wax receiveth the impress of the seal.

A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you,.... A "new heart" and a "new spirit" are one and the same; that is, a renewed one; renewed by the Spirit and grace of God; in which a new principle of life is put; new light is infused; a new will, filled with new purposes and resolutions; where new affections are placed, and new desires are formed; and where there are new delights and joys, as well as new sorrows and troubles; the same which in the New Testament is called the "new man", and the new creature, Ephesians 4:24. The Targum paraphrases it,

"a heart fearing, and a spirit fearing;''

where the true fear of God is, a truly gracious heart; and which is purely the gift of God, and is the fruit of his rich grace, abundant mercy, and great love:

and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh; the Targum is,

"and I will break the heart of the wicked, which is hard as a stone;''

this is a heart hardened by sin, and confirmed in it; destitute of spiritual life and motion; senseless and stupid, stubborn and inflexible; on which no impressions are made; and which remains hard and impenitent: now this is in "the flesh", in corrupt nature; and this hardness of heart is natural to men; and all who have it are after the flesh, or are carnal; and it requires omnipotence to remove it; it cannot be taken out by men of themselves: nor by ministers of the word; nor by the bare mercies and judgments of God; but by the powerful and efficacious grace of God; giving repentance unto life; working faith in the soul, to look to a crucified Christ; and shedding abroad the love of God in the heart, which softens and melts it; all which is done by the Spirit, and frequently by means of the word. This is interpreted, in the Talmud (n), of the evil imagination, or corruption of nature; and is one of the names of it, a stone; and it refers, it is said (o), to the time or world to come, the days of the Messiah:

and I will give you an heart of flesh; a heart sensible of sin and danger; a penitent one, soft and tender, through the love and fear of God; a spiritual and sanctified heart; submissive to the will of God; flexible and obsequious to the commands of Christ; on which impressions are made by the grace of God; where the laws of God are written, the Gospel of Christ is put; where Christ himself is formed; where are the fear of God, faith, hope, and love, and every other grace.

(n) T. Bab. Succah, fol. 52. 1.((o) Debarim Rabba, fol. 242. 2. & Shirhashirim Rabba, fol. 3. 2.

A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.
26. A new heart] The “heart” is used here generally of the nature. Formerly their heart was strong, obdurate, unimpressible and rebellious (Ezekiel 2:4, Ezekiel 3:7); now they shall receive a “heart of flesh,” impressible and soft, sensitive to the divine admonitions and will. The phrase shews that in the Old Testament no idea of corrupt inclination attaches to the term “flesh” (Ezekiel 11:19). According to usage “spirit” expresses the ruling principle in the mind, the force that gives direction and motion to the current of thought and conduct, or that prevailing current itself. The heart is more passive and receptive and but responds to influences, the spirit is active and regulative. Jeremiah 32:37-39.

Verses 26, 27. - A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you. The third step in the progress of sanctifying Jehovah's Name (comp. Ezekiel 11:19, where a similar promise is made, and Ezekiel 18:31, where the new heart is represented as a thing Israel must make for herself). This antinomy frequently occurs in Scripture, which never shrinks from holding man responsible for the production of that, as e.g. faith, for which he is incompetent without the help of Divine grace. Besides the cleansing of her guilt and her restitution in consequence to Jehovah's favor, Israel is promised such an inward renovation of her moral and spiritual disposition as to secure that she shall in future adhere to the worship and service of Jehovah. This change is described in a fourfold way.

(1) Negatively, as a removal of the old, stony, unsusceptible heart, which had remained impervious to all appeals and insertsible to all higher feelings (Zechariah 7:12).

(2) Positively, as a new heart and a new spirit, called elsewhere "one heart" and "a heart of flesh" (Ezekiel 11:19; Jeremiah 32:39), "a heart to know God" (Jeremiah 24:7).

(3) Causally, its existence being traced to the indwelling of God's Spirit, who writes God's Law upon the new heart, and inclines it to a life of obedience thereto (Jeremiah 31:33).

(4) Practically, by its manifestation, walking in God's statutes and keeping God s judgments (Ezekiel 11:20). The account here furnished of the moral and spiritual change proposed to be inwrought on Israel cot-responds exactly with that given in the New Testament of the regeneration of the individual soul (John 3:3-8; Romans 8:2, 5, 9; Galatians 5:22; Titus 3:5, 6; 1 Peter 1:22). Ezekiel 36:26For 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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