And they shall say, This land that was desolate is become like the garden of Eden; and the waste and desolate and ruined cities are become fenced, and are inhabited.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Like the garden of Eden.—This may be meant merely to describe the exceeding excellence and prosperity of the land; but, in connection with what has been previously said, it seems rather to point forward to that state in which man shall again be entirely freed from sin, which has been the state for which the Church in all ages has been preparing.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.
Eden—as Tyre (the type of the world powers in general: so Assyria, a cedar "in the garden of God, Eden," Eze 31:8, 9), in original advantages, had been compared to "Eden, the garden of God" (Eze 28:13), from which she had fallen irrecoverably; so Israel, once desolate, is to be as "the garden of Eden" (Isa 51:3), and is to be so unchangeably.They shall say; strangers or foreigners, who had heard or seen the sad wastes, and now either hear or see the replanting of it, and how it succeedeth.
Like the garden of Eden; see the phrase Ezekiel 28:13; most fruitful, pleasant, and desirable. This is true of the church of Christ without an hyperbole, but here it is to be accommodated by a comparative, thus; that good state the Jews are now in, compared with what they were in, is as an Eden to a wilderness. Fenced; not only built for habitation, but fortified for defence. Ezekiel 36:36, or rather the travellers, as before, who having as they passed by observed what it had been, and now see what it is; these shall say to one another:
this land that was desolate is become like the garden of Eden; for delight and fruitfulness: this may well be applied to the flourishing and fruitful state of the church of God, consisting of converted Jews, in the latter day:
and the waste and desolate and ruined cities are become fenced, and are inhabited; which, as it will be true of cities in a literal sense, so of the churches of Christ in Judea in a spiritual sense; which will be rebuilt by the grace of God, fenced and fortified by his almighty power, and inhabited by true believers.And they shall say, This land that was desolate is become like the garden of Eden; and the waste and desolate and ruined cities are become fenced, and are inhabited.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Verse 35. - This land that was desolate is become like the garden of Eden. (For the reverse picture, see Joel 2:3.) The thought of the first Paradise (Genesis 2:8), in the historicity of which clearly Ezekiel believed, was one on which his mind often dwelt (Ezekiel 28:13; Ezekiel 31:9) as an ideal of earthly beauty and fertility which should recur in the closing age of the world - a hope which appears to have been shared by Isaiah (Isaiah 51:3), and taken up by John (Revelation 2:7; Revelation 22:1-3). In the day when that hope should be realized for Israel, the waste, desolate, and ruined cities, on which the passers-by who visited Palestine gazed, should be fenced and inhabited; literally, inhabited as fortresses. The three predicates, "waste," "desolate," and" ruined," have been distinguished as signifying "stripped of its inhabitants," "untilled in its lands," and "broken down in its buildings;" in contrast with which, in the golden era of the future, the towns should be inhabited, the fields tilled, and the ruined fortresses built.
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