Ezekiel 36:28
And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God.
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(28) Ye shall dwell in the land.—The Israelites were not yet able to seek the spiritual, except as con. nected with the temporal blessing; and, indeed, the temporal was, in the ordering of Providence, a necessary means to the spiritual. Therefore the promise of earthly restoration must yet be made, and must in due time be literally fulfilled.

Ezekiel 36:28-30. And ye shall dwell in the land — Spiritual blessings, promised in the last three verses, are now followed with temporal blessings. Thus does earth often follow heaven, and godliness hath the promise of the life that now is, as well as of that which is to come. When the Israelites are thus prepared for mercy, then shall they return to their possessions, and be settled again in them. And there God will acknowledge them for his people, and will protect and bless them as such, bestowing liberally upon them all good things. I will also save you — Will continue to save you; from all your uncleannesses — I will take away the guilt of them, deliver you from the power and pollution of them, and preserve you from the punishments due to them. Salvation from all uncleanness includes justification, entire sanctification, and meetness for glory. And I will call for the corn, &c. — All necessaries are here comprised in one. And lay no famine upon you — This was one of the judgments which they had laboured under; and it had been as much as any other a reproach to them, that they should be starved in a land so famed for fruitfulness. But it is here promised, that now this calamity should afflict them no more, nor should they any more bear the reproach of it, but should have the credit of possessing abundance; the fruit of the tree, and the increase of the field, being multiplied to them.

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.Ye shall be my people - (Compare 2 Corinthians 6:16-18; Hebrews 8:10. The writers of the New Testament appropriated these and similar phrases of the Old Testament to the Church of Christ. Between the restoration of the Jews (the first step) there are many steps toward the end - the spread of Christ's Church throughout the world, the conversion of the Gentiles, and the acknowledgment of the true God - which justify men in looking forward to a time when the Gospel shall be preached in all the world, and the earth become the kingdom of God in a fuller sense than it has ever yet been. But all these are "steps." Our prophecies look beyond all this to a new heaven to a new earth, and to a new Jerusalem Revelation 21:3. 28. ye … my people, … I … your God—(Eze 11:20; Jer 30:22). Spiritual blessings, promised in Ezekiel 36:25-27, are now followed with temporal blessings; so earth doth follow heaven.

Ye shall dwell: God adds this to his taking, gathering, and bringing into the land, Ezekiel 36:24; when they are there, they shall settle and continue proprietors, possessing their own houses and lands.

Which I gave; they were greatly pleased to think Canaan their land was by God given to their fathers; in this land under this character you shall dwell, the land that was your right by promise to Abraham, 1346 years or near it.

My people, as your fathers were, who reverenced, loved, worshipped, obeyed, and believed in me.

Your God, as I was their God, to protect, guide, comfort, and enrich, &c.; see Ezekiel 11:20; to perform my promise to their faith and patience; and so you shall inherit the blessing.

And ye shall dwell in the land which I gave to your fathers,.... Not only shall be brought into it, but shall inhabit it, and continue there, and that in great safety and plenty; and which will be the more valued and esteemed, and reckoned a great blessing to enjoy; because this land is the gift of God, and what he gave to their fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, by promise so long ago, and to their seed; of which promise it appears he is not unmindful:

and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God; which is the sum and substance of the covenant of grace; which will now be renewed, and the blessings of it applied. The Jews will appear to be the people of God by their effectual calling and conversion; and God will show himself to be their God, by his presence with them, his protection of them, and that communion with himself he will admit them to: see Jeremiah 31:1, "the loammi" will be taken off, and they will be again declared to be the covenant people of God, Hosea 1:9.

And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God.
28. Again, the consequence of walking in Jehovah’s statutes will be that they shall inherit the land for ever, cf. Ezekiel 28:25, Ezekiel 37:25. The promise attached to the fifth commandment—the first commandment with promise—belongs to the commandments given to Israel as a whole. The keeping of them was the condition of remaining in the land. When the people disregarded them they were driven out, and only when their former sins were forgiven could they be restored (Isaiah 40:2). It may be a question whether there be now any connexion between Israel and the land of Canaan. If there be, the condition of restoration to it is faith and obedience on the part of the people. A restoration of Jews still in unbelief to Canaan, even if it should occur, could have no meaning so far as the redemptive providence of God is concerned, and would not enter into any relation with the Old Testament scriptures. Comp. the order stated Ezekiel 36:33.

Verses 28-31 describe the results which should follow in Israel's experience when God should have thus gathered, cleansed, and renewed them. They should then have

(1) permanent occupation of the land (ver. 28);

(2) covenant relationship with God as his people (ver. 28);

(3) protection against future lapsing into idolatry and immorality (ver. 29);

(4) abundant supply for every want (vers. 29, 30); and

(5) a deepening sense of self-humiliation on account of and repentance for past sin (ver. 31). Ver. 28. - Ye shall dwell in the land. As the Jews who returned from Babylon did not permanently dwell in the land, but were again ejected from it, the promise contained in these words must be viewed as having been conditional on the realization of the moral and spiritual purity above described. If, therefore, it be aroused that inasmuch as this promise must be fulfilled (2 Corinthians 1:20; Hebrews 10:23), the Jews must yet be restored to Palestine, the reply is that their return can only take place when they have been converted to Christianity; so that the whole promise must be regarded as receiving its highest fulfillment in the experiences of the Church of Christ. That this view is correct is vouched for by the fact that the words, Ye shall be my people and I will be your God (comp. Ezekiel 11:20: Jeremiah 7:23; Jeremiah 11:4; Jeremiah 30:22), descriptive of the covenant relationship in which Jehovah stood towards Israel (Exodus 19:5; Leviticus 26:12; Deuteronomy 26:17, 18), have been chosen by New Testament writers to set forth the relationship of God towards the Christian Church, first here on earth (2 Corinthians 6:16-18), and afterwards in the heavenly Jerusalem (Revelation 21:3). Ezekiel 36:28For 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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