Also, thou son of man, prophesy unto the mountains of Israel, and say, Ye mountains of Israel, hear the word of the LORD:
I. This portion of Scripture, extending onwards from the sixteenth verse, presents an epitome or outline of the Gospel. (1) In Ezekiel 36:17 we have man sinning. (2) In Ezekiel 36:18 we have man suffering. (3) In Ezekiel 36:19 man appears an object of mercy, but I had pity. (4) In Ezekiel 36:22 man is an object of free mercy—mercy without merit; 1 do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel. (5) In Ezekiel 36:24 man's salvation is resolved on. (6) In Ezekiel 36:25 man is justified. (7) In Ezekiel 36:26-27, man is renewed and sanctified. (8) In Ezekiel 36:28 man is restored to the place and privileges which he forfeited by his sins.
II. Notice the party who is commissioned to deliver God's message. "Son of man," says the Lord. "Son of man" is so constantly sounded both in the ears of Ezekiel and in ours that it forces on our attention this remarkable fact that God deals with man through the instrumentality of man, and by men communicates His will to men. In this arrangement observe— (1) The kindness of God to man; (2) the honour conferred on man; (3) the wisdom of God.
T. Guthrie, The Gospel in Ezekiel, p. 1.
Ezekiel 36:17I. Look at man sinning. "Ye have defiled the land." The text sets sin before us as a defilement, and it is the only thing that in the eye of God does deform and defile us.
II. Look at the nature of the defilement. (1) It is internal. (2) It is universal. (3) It is incurable.
T. Guthrie, The Gospel in Ezekiel, p. 23.
Leaving the question of original, to speak of actual, sin we remark:—
I. Apart from derived sin, we have personal sins to answer for.
II. The guilt of these actual sins is our own.
T. Guthrie, The Gospel in Ezekiel, p. 43.
Reference: Ezekiel 36:17.—T. Guthrie, Gospel in Ezekiel, p. 42.
Ezekiel 36:18-19Assuming that God is love, it may be asked, How does that harmonise with the text? How is it to be reconciled with words where God represents Himself as pouring down His fury like a thunder-shower, and scattering His people in a storm of indignation, as light and worthless chaff blown away upon the wind. How, it may be asked, does this consist with God's love and mercy? Now, there is no greater mistake than to imagine that God, as a God of justice and a God of mercy, stands in antagonism to Himself. It is not mercy, but injustice, which is irreconcilable with justice. It is cruelty, not justice, that stands opposed to mercy. Like two streams, which unite their waters to form a common river, justice and mercy are combined in the work of redemption. On Calvary, mercy and truth meet together, righteousness and peace embrace each other. Observe—
I. That God is slow to punish. He does punish; He shall punish; with reverence be it spoken, He must punish. Yet no hand of clock goes so slow as God's hand of vengeance. Where, when God's anger has burned hottest, was it ever known that judgment trod on the heels of sin? A period always intervenes, room is given for remonstrance on God's part and repentance upon ours. The stroke of judgment is indeed like the stroke of lightning, irresistible, fatal; it kills—kills in the twinkling of an eye. But the clouds from which it flashes are slow to gather, and thicken by degrees; and he must be deeply engaged with the pleasures, or engrossed in the business, of the world, whom the flash and peal surprise. Heeded or unheeded, many are the warnings you get from God.
II. Observe how God punished His ancient people. Look at Judah sitting amid the ruins of Jerusalem, her temple without a worshipper and her streets choked with the dead; look at that bound, weeping, bleeding remnant of a nation, toiling on its way to Babylon, and may I not warn you with the Apostle: "If God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest He spare not thee"?
T. Guthrie, The Gospel in Ezekiel, p. 60.
Although the permission of sin is a mystery, the fact of its punishment is no mystery at all; for while every answer to the question, How did God permit sin? leaves us unsatisfied, to my mind nothing is plainer than this, that, whatever was His reason for permitting it to exist, God could not permit it to exist unpunished. In proof of this, I observe—
I. The truth of God requires the punishment of sin. "Line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little," God has recorded His irrevocable resolution, not in one but in a hundred passages, and reiterated in a thousand ways the awful sentence: "The soul that sinneth it shall die."
II. The love of God requires that sin should be punished. Divine love is no blind divinity: that love being as wise as tender, sinners may rest assured, that out of mere pity to them, God will neither sacrifice the interests, nor peril the happiness, of His people. Love herself,—bleeding, dying, redeeming love—with her own hand will bar the door of heaven, and from its happy, holy precincts exclude all that could hurt or defile.
III. Unless sin is to be awfully punished, the language of Scripture appears extravagant.
T. Guthrie, The Gospel in Ezekiel, p. 79.
Ezekiel 36:22The text divides itself into two branches: first, what does not; secondly, what does; move God to save us. To the first question our answer is—Not anything in us; to the second—His regard to His own holy Name.
I. The doctrine that God is not moved to save man by any merit or excellence of his, is a truth of the highest importance and consequence to sinners. Man must be emptied of self before he can be filled with grace. We must be stripped of our rags, before we can be clothed with righteousness; we must be unclothed, that we may be clothed upon; wounded, that we may be healed; killed, that we may be made alive; buried in disgrace, that we may rise in grace.
II. It is as important for the saint as for the sinner to remember that he is not saved through personal merit or for his own sake. When age has stiffened its bark and fibres, if you bend a branch into a new direction, it is long before it loses the tendency to resume its old position. Even so, when God has laid hands upon us, and grace has given our earthly soul a heavenward bent, how prone it is to start back again! Who, that has endeavoured to keep his heart with diligence, has not felt and mourned over the tendency to be working out a righteousness of his own, to be pleased with himself, and, by taking some satisfaction from his own merits, to undervalue those of Christ?
III. This doctrine, while it keeps the saint humble, will help to make him holy. As the tree grows best skyward that grows most downward, the lower the saint grows in humility. the higher he grows in holiness. Piety and pride are not less opposed to each other than light and darkness.
T. Guthrie, The Gospel in Ezekiel, p. 116.
Ezekiel 36:22In entering upon the question, What moved God to save man? let us—
I. Attend to the expression "My Name's sake." This is a most comprehensive term. It indicates much more that what, in common language, is involved in a name. The Name of God comprehends everything which directly or remotely affects the Divine honour and glory.
II. We are to understand that the motive which moved God to save man, was regard to His own glory. Grace glorifies man, no doubt; but for what purpose? that he may glorify God. It saves man, but saves him that he may sing, not his own praises, but a Saviour's. It exalts man, but exalts him that, like an exhalation, sun-drawn from the ground and raised to heaven, each of us may form a sparkling drop in the bow which encircles the head that God crowns with glory, and man once crowned with thorns.
III. Observe, that in saving man for His "holy Name's sake," or for His own honour and glory, God exhibits the mercy, holiness, love, and other attributes of the Godhead. The truth is, that God saves man for much the same reasons as at first He made him. The whole fabric of creation appears to prove that Jehovah delights in the evolution of His powers, in the display of His wisdom, love, and goodness; and just as it is to the delight which God enjoys in the exercise of them that we owe this beautiful creation, so it is to His delight in the exercise of His pity, love, and mercy, that we owe salvation, with all its blessings.
T. Guthrie, The Gospel in Ezekiel, p. 99.
Ezekiel 36:23I. The mercy of God is glorified in redemption.
II. In redemption, God is glorified in the complete discomforture of all His and our enemies. (1) He is glorified by Satan's defeat. (2) He is glorified by the time and manner of it. (3) He is glorified in the instrument of that defeat.
T. Guthrie, The Gospel in Ezekiel, p. 167.
Ezekiel 36:23-24Passing over the special application of these words to the Jews and looking at them in their prophetical connection with the scheme of redemption, I remark—
I. That God might have vindicated His honour and sanctified His Name in our destruction. Two methods of glorifying His Name are open to God. He is free to choose either; but by the one or the other way He will exact His full tale of glory from every man. In Egypt, for instance, He was glorified in the high-handed destruction of His enemies; and in the same land, by the high-handed salvation of His people. He might, at the fall, have vindicated His justice by swift and unsparing vengeance—by destroying the whole human family. He did so, in the case of fallen angels. He might have meted out the same measure to fallen men.
II. God sanctifies His Name and glorifies Himself in our redemption. It is easy to destroy—to destroy character, virtue, life, anything. It needs but a devil to ruin the spirit, but it needs a Divinity to redeem it. It needs but a villain to steal virtue, it needs a Divine power to restore the stolen jewel. As man's glory is more illustrated by curing than by killing, so God's glory is more pre-eminent in our redemption than it had been in our final and everlasting ruin.
III. The scheme of redemption is eminently illustrative of the attributes of Jehovah. It illustrates (1) His power, (2) His wisdom, (3) His holiness, (4) His justice.
T. Guthrie, The Gospel in Ezekiel, pp. 137, 151.
Ezekiel 36:24I. In carrying out the work of redemption, God will call His people out of the world.
II. The power of Divine grace is strikingly displayed in this effectual calling.
III. God will make up the number of His people. "I will gather you out of all countries."
IV. We are assured that God will bring all His people to glory, by the fact that His own honour, as well as their welfare, is concerned in the matter.
T. Guthrie, The Gospel in Ezekiel, p. 185.
Ezekiel 36:25I. God's people are not chosen because they are holy; they are chosen that they may become holy.
II. In redemption, the saved are not justified by themselves, but by God.
III. We are not justified or cleansed from the guilt of sin through the administration or efficacy of any outward ordinance.
IV. We are justified, or cleansed from the guilt of sin by the blood of Christ. "Without the shedding of blood there is no remission."
T. Guthrie, The Gospel in Ezekiel, pp. 205, 224.
Reference: Ezekiel 36:25.—Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. xxxii., No. 1921.
Ezekiel 36:26I. The old heart is taken away and a new one put in its place. The substitution of one heart for another implies an entire change in the character and current of our affections. Now a change may be simply a reform, or extending farther, it may pass into a revolution. The spiritual change, which we call conversion, is not a mere reform. It is a revolution. It changes the heart, the habits, the eternal destiny of an immortal being. For the old mischievous laws which it repeals, it introduces a new code of statutes; it changes the reigning dynasty, wrenches the sceptre from a usurper's hand, and banishing him forth of the kingdom, in restoring the throne to God, restores it to its rightful monarch.
II. Consider the view which our text gives of the natural heart. It is a heart of stone. "I will take the stony heart out of your flesh." Notice some of the characteristic properties of a stone. (1) A stone is cold. But what stone so cold as that in man's breast? Sin has quenched a fire that once burned bright and holy there, and has left nothing now on that chill hearth, but embers and ashes—cold as death. (2) A stone is hard. Fire melts wax, but not stone; water softens clay, but not stone; a hammer bends the stubborn iron, but not stone. Stone resists these influences; and emblem of a heart crushed, but not sanctified by affliction, it may be shattered into fragments or ground to powder, yet its atoms are as hard as ever. (3) A stone is dead. It has no vitality, no feeling, no power of motion. It lies where it is laid; speak to it, it returns no answer; weep to it, it sheds no tears; image of a lost and loved one, it feels not the grief that itself can move. How many sit in the house of God as unmoved! Careless as spectators who have no concern in what takes place before them, they take no interest in anything that was done on Calvary; one would think it is of stones, and yet it is of living men that these words are spoken: "Having eyes, they see not; having ears, they hear not; neither do they understand." T. Guthrie, The Gospel in Ezekiel, p. 268.
Ezekiel 36:26(with 2 Corinthians 5:17, and Revelation 21:5)
I. Human hearts unappeasably cry out after change. Something new we all need, and because we need, we crave for it; and what we crave after, we hope for. The old we have tried, and it is not enough. In the future there may be what we need, and so long as there is a future, there is hope; but the past is dead. Now the best lesson which the years can teach us is, perhaps, this one, that the new thing we need is, not a new world, but a new self. No change can count for much to a man save one which changes him.
II. At this point the Gospel meets us. It is the singular pretension of the Christian Gospel that it does make men new. It professes to alter character, not as all other religious and ethical systems in the world have done, by mere influence of reason or of motives, or by a discipline of the flesh; it professes to alter human character by altering human nature. The Gospel is a message from Him who made us, that He is among us re-making us. Out of the fact of the Incarnation springs the hope of our renewal. God now is not outside of mankind, but inside. From the inside He can work and does work, renewingly. A race which includes God need not despair of Divine life; it can be divinely re-created from within itself. "The Head of every man is Christ." He that is in Christ is a new creature. Attach yourself to Him; hang on by Him. He is God in man, renewing man; and He will renew you in this new year.
III. Let us stir ourselves up to compare the life we are this day leading with the life we should lead were we made new by the Holy Ghost. Set the one against the other. Spiritual things are distasteful, and we drag ourselves to religious duty; we ought to rejoice in the Lord and run in His pleasant paths. This world absorbs and conquers us; we ought to rule it and use it for heaven. Internal restlessness and dissatisfaction with ourselves gnaw our hearts, but the saints have peace. "A new heart will I give you." Do we not need it? Shall we not, every one of us, go to this daring much-promising Man, who claims to regenerate his fellows, and say: "Never men needed this renewing more than we do. Give us a new temper and a new spirit; yea, a new self, Lord, like Thyself."
IV. Change the man and you change his world. The new self will make all around it as good as new, though no actual change should pass on it; for, to a very wonderful extent, a man creates his own world.
J. Oswald Dykes, Sermons, p. 249.
I. When God gives a new heart, our affections are engaged in religion. The Gospel is accommodated to our nature; its light is adapted to our darkness; its mercy to our misery; its pardon to our guilt; its comforts to our griefs, and in substituting the love of Christ for the love of sin, in giving us an object to love, it meets our constitution and satisfies the strongest cravings of our nature. It engages our affections, and in taking away an old heart, supplies its place with a new one and a better.
II. Consider the new heart. It mainly consists in a change of the affections as they regard spiritual objects. In obedience to a Divine impulse, their course is not only in a different, but in a contrary, direction; for the grace of God works such a complete change of feeling, that what was once hated you now love, and what was once loved you now loathe; you fly from what you once courted, and pursue what you once shunned.
III. In conversion God gives a new spirit. By this change (1) the understanding and judgment are enlightened; (2) the will is renewed; (3) the temper and disposition are changed and sanctified.
IV. In conversion God gives a heart of flesh. In conversion a man gets (1 a warm heart; (2) a soft heart; (3) a living heart.
V. By conversion man is ennobled.
T. Guthrie, The Gospel in Ezekiel, p. 287.
References: Ezekiel 36:26.—T. Guthrie, The Gospel in Ezekiel, p. 247; G. Brooks, Outlines of Sermons, p. 62; Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. iv., No. 212; vol. viii., No. 456; vol. xix., No. 1129; Ibid., Evening by Evening, p. 230; D. B. James, Christian World Pulpit, vol. vi., p. 125. Ezekiel 36:26, Ezekiel 36:27.—Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. xviii., No. 1046; J. Sherman, Thursday Penny Pulpit, vol. ix., p. 13.
Ezekiel 36:27In considering the new life which the believer lives in obedience to the law of God, I remark:
I. It is a willing obedience. Many movements take place in the universe independent of any will but that of God. The sap ascends the tree, the planets revolve round the sun, the stars rise and set in the heavens, the tides flow and ebb upon our shores, and nature walks in God's statutes, keeping His judgments and doing them, moved to obedience by no will but His. So soon, however, as, leaving inaminate matter below, we ascend into those regions where mind or even instinct and matter are united, we discover a beautiful and benevolent law, by virtue of which God at once secures the happiness and provides for the welfare of His creatures. He so orders it that their will is in perfect harmony with their work; their inclinations with their interests; and their instincts with the functions which they are called on to perform. The nature of the redeemed is so accommodated to the state of redemption, their wishes are so fitted to their wants, their hopes to their prospects, their aspirations to their honours, and their will to their works, that they would be less content to return to polluted pleasures than the beautiful butterfly to be stripped of its silken wings, and condemned to pass its days amid the old foul garbage, its former food.
II. This is a progressive obedience. To "walk" is expressive of progress in grace. (1) In this image God's people find comfort and encouragement. (2) This image stimulates to exertion, as well as comforts under failure.
III. This willing and progressive obedience is the sign and seal of salvation. The descent of the Spirit is still the evidence of sonship; its sign, however, is not a dove perched upon the heads of God's people, but the dove nestled within their hearts. By His Spirit God creates them "anew in Christ Jesus unto good works;" and by these—by the fruits of a holy life, by the joys of a Holy Ghost, by the advancing stages of a holy progress, His Spirit witnesses with their spirit that they are sons of God. A witness this as certain, and therefore as satisfactory, as the voice of the skies, or the verdict of final judgment.
T. Guthrie, The Gospel in Ezekiel, p. 329.
Ezekiel 36:27I. The Holy Spirit is the great agent in conversion and sanctification. Man cannot be saved unless elected, nor elected without the Father; nor saved unless redeemed, nor redeemed without the Son; nor saved unless converted, nor converted without the Spirit. Our necessities are those of the cripple—of that man who, for thirty years, sat uncured by Bethesda's pool, nor took his anxious eyes off the water as he waited for its first stir and ruffle. Many a time the cripple had seen the sudden spring, and heard the loud plunge, as some neighbour flashed into the water; and as the cured left the scene, many a time had he followed them with envious eyes. Even so, although seated by the fountain, where sins are lost and sinners washed, we need some one, so to speak, to help us in. In the words of Paul we are "without strength," and it is to help us to seek, to believe in, to love—in one word, to embrace the Saviour—that God puts His Spirit within us. For this end He fulfils the promise, "My grace shall be sufficient for thee," and my strength made perfect in weakness.
II. God's Spirit is not only given to His people, but dwells in them. Speaking of the man that loves Him, our Lord said, "We will come unto him." This promise is one which He fulfils in the daily communications of His word and spirit. Earth has no lovers who meet so often as Jesus and His bride. The lowliest and poorest Christian God honours with daily visits.
T. Guthrie, The Gospel in Ezekiel, p. 313.
References: Ezekiel 36:30, Ezekiel 36:31.—Spurgeon, My Sermon Notes: Ecclesiastes to Malachi, p. 291. Ezekiel 36:32.—Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. v., No. 233.
Ezekiel 36:36I. The text announces a most important truth.
II. This truth imparts certain comforts to a true Christian. (1) Through his confidence in this truth the believer commits all his earthly cares to God. (2) Through his confidence in the truth of the text the believer is sustained amid the trials of life. (3) Through his confidence in the truth of the text the believer cheerfully hopes and patiently waits for heaven.
III. Both nature and providence illustrate the truth of my text.
T. Guthrie, The Gospel in Ezekiel, p. 410.
Reference: Ezekiel 36:36.—J. Bardsley, Christian World Pulpit, vol. x., p. 305.
Ezekiel 36:36-37I. Prayer is founded on knowledge. Before we can speak to God we must know God. "How shall they call," the Apostle asks, "on Him in whom they have not believed?" Even the prayer of the heathen, so far as it is prayer, rests upon knowledge. (1) Let the man who would pray aright begin by studying his Bible. Let him first acquaint himself with God, and then speak to Him. The Word of God tells us in a thousand manners what He is in Himself, and what He is in His doings towards the children of men. He who would ask of God must first know God, and he must carry that knowledge into the asking. He must never ask of God anything which it would contradict the character of God to grant. The prayer which presupposes knowledge must also be a prayer which recognizes and remembers it. (3) In Christ, God is revealed; and upon the knowledge of Christ, therefore, is prayer to God founded. The words with which Christian supplication is always winged and speeded—through Jesus Christ our Lord—are a perpetual memento of that first condition of prayer, that it be founded on the true knowledge of God, and carry that knowledge with it to the mercy-seat of God's Presence.
II. Prayer founded on knowledge is prompted by desire. The man who asks of God must desire too.
III. Prayer, founded on knowledge and prompted by desire, must be bounded by promise. The promise of which we speak is no single, separate utterance; no number, no multitude, of bare, literal engagements, which must be found somewhere in the bond, and then rehearsed by page and clause, as the justification of the particular demand. The promise of God, like the revelation of God, like the counsel of God, like the character of God, is at once ample to magnificence and simple even to unity. There is no limit to prayer but promise, and no limit to promise but the soul's good.
C. J. Vaughan, Voices of the Prophets, p. 158.
Ezekiel 36:37The text summons us to prayer. Constant prayer, unceasing watchfulness are what our interests imperatively demand. These the Christian life requires, and these the crown of redemption rewards.
I. Nature itself teaches us to pray. Like our intuitive belief in the existence of the soul, or in man's responsibility, there seems to be lodged in every man's breast, what I may call an instinct to pray, and an intuitive belief in the efficacy of prayer. Prayer must be natural, because it is universal. Man is, as it were, instinctively moved to cast himself into the arms of God, to seek Divine help in times of danger, and in times of sorrow to weep on the bosom of a Father who is in heaven.
II. Notice some difficulties connected with this duty. (1)The decrees of God, say some, render prayer useless. Are not all things, they ask, fixed by these decrees—irrevocably fixed? This objection is not honestly, at least not intelligently, entertained by any man. For, if the objection is good against prayer, it is good against many things besides. If it stops action in the direction of prayer,—it ought to stop the wheels of our daily business. If a good objection against prayer, it is an equally good objection to sowing, ploughing, taking meat or medicine, and a thousand other things. (2) Others, more earnest and honest, reading that "without faith it is impossible to please God," say that from want of faith, their prayers must be useless. Most false reasoning. The Apostle says, "I will that men pray everywhere." "God will have all men to be saved." We take the simple word, nor trouble ourselves about the metaphysics of the question.
III. Prayer must be earnest. Prayers without wishes are like birds without wings; while the eagle soars away to heaven, these never leave the ground. If you would have your prayers accepted, they must be arrows shot from the heart.
IV. Prayer is powerful. Prayer changes impotence into omnipotence; for, commanding the resources of divinity, there is nothing it cannot do, and there is nothing it need want. It has just two limits. The first is that its range is confined to the promises; the second, that God will grant or deny our requests as is best for His glory and our good.
V. Prayer is confident. "Jesus, our High Priest, has entered within the veil, and having reconciled us to God, we have boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus."
T. Guthrie, The Gospel in Ezekiel, p. 369.
References: Ezekiel 36:37.—Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. iii. No. 138; Ibid., Morning by Morning, p. 50; Preacher's Monthly, vol. ix., p. 187. Ezekiel 36:37, Ezekiel 36:38.—Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. xxii., No. 1304; J. Sherman, Thursday Penny Pulpit, vol. ii., p. 347.
Thus saith the Lord GOD; Because the enemy hath said against you, Aha, even the ancient high places are ours in possession:
Therefore prophesy and say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Because they have made you desolate, and swallowed you up on every side, that ye might be a possession unto the residue of the heathen, and ye are taken up in the lips of talkers, and are an infamy of the people:
Therefore, ye mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord GOD; Thus saith the Lord GOD to the mountains, and to the hills, to the rivers, and to the valleys, to the desolate wastes, and to the cities that are forsaken, which became a prey and derision to the residue of the heathen that are round about;
Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Surely in the fire of my jealousy have I spoken against the residue of the heathen, and against all Idumea, which have appointed my land into their possession with the joy of all their heart, with despiteful minds, to cast it out for a prey.
Prophesy therefore concerning the land of Israel, and say unto the mountains, and to the hills, to the rivers, and to the valleys, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I have spoken in my jealousy and in my fury, because ye have borne the shame of the heathen:
Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; I have lifted up mine hand, Surely the heathen that are about you, they shall bear their shame.
But ye, O mountains of Israel, ye shall shoot forth your branches, and yield your fruit to my people of Israel; for they are at hand to come.
For, behold, I am for you, and I will turn unto you, and ye shall be tilled and sown:
And I will multiply men upon you, all the house of Israel, even all of it: and the cities shall be inhabited, and the wastes shall be builded:
And I will multiply upon you man and beast; and they shall increase and bring fruit: and I will settle you after your old estates, and will do better unto you than at your beginnings: and ye shall know that I am the LORD.
Yea, I will cause men to walk upon you, even my people Israel; and they shall possess thee, and thou shalt be their inheritance, and thou shalt no more henceforth bereave them of men.
Thus saith the Lord GOD; Because they say unto you, Thou land devourest up men, and hast bereaved thy nations;
Therefore thou shalt devour men no more, neither bereave thy nations any more, saith the Lord GOD.
Neither will I cause men to hear in thee the shame of the heathen any more, neither shalt thou bear the reproach of the people any more, neither shalt thou cause thy nations to fall any more, saith the Lord GOD.
Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
Son of man, when the house of Israel dwelt in their own land, they defiled it by their own way and by their doings: their way was before me as the uncleanness of a removed woman.
Wherefore I poured my fury upon them for the blood that they had shed upon the land, and for their idols wherewith they had polluted it:
And I scattered them among the heathen, and they were dispersed through the countries: according to their way and according to their doings I judged them.
And when they entered unto the heathen, whither they went, they profaned my holy name, when they said to them, These are the people of the LORD, and are gone forth out of his land.
But I had pity for mine holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the heathen, whither they went.
Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD; I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for mine holy name's sake, which ye have profaned among the heathen, whither ye went.
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.
For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land.
Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.
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.
And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.
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.
I will also save you from all your uncleannesses: and I will call for the corn, and will increase it, and lay no famine upon you.
And I will multiply the fruit of the tree, and the increase of the field, that ye shall receive no more reproach of famine among the heathen.
Then shall ye remember your own evil ways, and your doings that were not good, and shall lothe yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities and for your abominations.
Not for your sakes do I this, saith the Lord GOD, be it known unto you: be ashamed and confounded for your own ways, O house of Israel.
Thus saith the Lord GOD; In the day that I shall have cleansed you from all your iniquities I will also cause you to dwell in the cities, and the wastes shall be builded.
And the desolate land shall be tilled, whereas it lay desolate in the sight of all that passed by.
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.
Then the heathen that are left round about you shall know that I the LORD build the ruined places, and plant that that was desolate: I the LORD have spoken it, and I will do it.
Thus saith the Lord GOD; I will yet for this be inquired of by the house of Israel, to do it for them; I will increase them with men like a flock.
As the holy flock, as the flock of Jerusalem in her solemn feasts; so shall the waste cities be filled with flocks of men: and they shall know that I am the LORD.