Ezekiel 20:16
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
because they rejected my rules and did not walk in my statutes, and profaned my Sabbaths; for their heart went after their idols.

King James Bible
Because they despised my judgments, and walked not in my statutes, but polluted my sabbaths: for their heart went after their idols.

American Standard Version
because they rejected mine ordinances, and walked not in my statutes, and profaned my sabbaths: for their heart went after their idols.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Because they cast off my judgments, and walked not in my statutes, and violated my sabbaths: for their heart went after idols.

English Revised Version
because they rejected my judgments, and walked not in my statutes, and profaned my sabbaths: for their heart went after their idols.

Webster's Bible Translation
Because they despised my judgments, and walked not in my statutes, but profaned my sabbaths: for their heart went after their idols.

Ezekiel 20:16 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

The date given in Ezekiel 20:1 applies not only to Ezekiel 20, but also to Ezekiel 20-23 (compare Ezekiel 24:1); the prophetic utterances in these four chapters being bound together into a group of connected words of God, both by their contents and by the threefold repetition of the expression, "wilt thou judge?" (vid., Ezekiel 20:4; Ezekiel 22:2, and Ezekiel 23:36). The formula התשׁפּוט, which is only omitted from the threat of punishment contained in Ezekiel 21, indicates at the same time both the nature and design of these words of God. The prophet is to judge, i.e., to hold up before the people once more their sinful abominations, and to predict the consequent punishment. The circumstance which occasioned this is narrated in Ezekiel 20:1-3. Men of the elders of Israel came to the prophet to inquire of the Lord. The occasion is therefore a similar one to that described in the previous group; for we have already been informed, in Ezekiel 14:1, that elders had come to the prophet to hear God's word from him; but they had not gone so far as to inquire. Here, however (Ezekiel 20), they evidently address a question to the prophet, and through him to the Lord; though the nature of their inquiry is not given, and can only be gathered from the answer, which was given to them by the Lord through the prophet. The ground for the following words of God is therefore essentially the same as for those contained in Ezekiel 14-19; and this serves to explain the relation in which the two groups stand to each other, namely, that Ezekiel 20-24 simply contain a further expansion of the reproachful and threatening addresses of Ezekiel 14-19.

In Ezekiel 20 the prophet points out to the elders, in the form of a historical survey, how rebellious Israel had been towards the Lord from the very first, even in Egypt (Ezekiel 20:5-9) and the desert (Ezekiel 20:10-17 and Ezekiel 20:18-26), both the older and the later generations, how they had sinned against the Lord their God through their idolatry, and how it was only for His own name's sake that the Lord had not destroyed them in His anger (Ezekiel 20:27-31). And as Israel hath not given up idolatry even in Canaan, the Lord would not suffer Himself to be inquired of by the idolatrous generation, but would refine it by severe judgments among the nations (Ezekiel 20:32-38), and sanctify it thereby into a people well-pleasing to Him, and would then gather it again out of the dispersion, and bring it into the land promised to the fathers, where it would serve Him with sacrifices and gifts upon His holy mountain (Ezekiel 20:39-44). This word of God is therefore a more literal repetition of the allegorical description contained in Ezekiel 16.

Date, occasion, and theme of the discourse which follows. - Ezekiel 20:1. And it came to pass in the seventh year, in the fifth (moon), on the tenth of the moon, there came men of the elders of Israel, to inquire of Jehovah, and sat down before me. Ezekiel 20:2. Then the word of Jehovah came to me, saying, Ezekiel 20:3. Son of man, speak to the elders of Israel, and say to them, Thus saith the Lord Jehovah, Have ye come to inquire of me? As I live, if I suffer myself to be inquired of by you, is the saying of the Lord Jehovah. Ezekiel 20:4. Wilt thou judge them? Wilt thou judge, O son of man? Make known the abominations of their fathers to them. - If we compare the date given in Ezekiel 20:1 with Ezekiel 8:1, we shall find that this word of God was uttered only eleven months and five days after the one in Ezekiel 8; two years, one month, and five days after the call of Ezekiel to be a prophet (Ezekiel 1:2); and two years and five months before the blockading of Jerusalem by the Chaldeans (Ezekiel 24:1). Consequently it falls almost in the middle of the first section of Ezekiel's prophetic work. דּרשׁ את , to seek Jehovah, i.e., to ask a revelation from Him. The Lord's answer in Ezekiel 20:3 is similar to that in Ezekiel 14:3. Instead of giving a revelation concerning the future, especially with regard to the speedy termination of the penal sufferings, which the elders had, no doubt, come to solicit, the prophet is to judge them, i.e., as the following clause explains, not only in the passage before us, but also in Ezekiel 22:3 and Ezekiel 23:36, to hold up before them the sins and abominations of Israel. It is in anticipation of the following picture of the apostasy of the nation from time immemorial that the sins of the fathers are mentioned here. "No reply is given to the sinners, but chiding for their sins; and He adds the oath, 'as I live,' that the sentence of refusal may be all the stronger" (Jerome). The question התשׁפּוט, which is repeated with emotion, "gives expression to an impatient wish, that the thing could have been done already" (Hitzig). The interrogative form of address is therefore adopted simply as a more earnest mode of giving expression to the command to go and do the thing. Hence the literal explanation of the word התשׁפּוט is also appended in the form of an imperative (הודיעם). - The prophet is to revert to the sins of the fathers, not merely for the purpose of exhibiting the magnitude of the people's guilt, but also to hold up before the sinners themselves, the patience and long-suffering which have hitherto been displayed by the Lord.

Ezekiel 20:16 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

they

Ezekiel 20:13,14 But the house of Israel rebelled against me in the wilderness: they walked not in my statutes, and they despised my judgments...

for their They still had a hankering after the idolatries they had learned in Egypt, to which they added new idols, which they had seen in countries through which they had travelled, as those of the Midianites, Amorites, etc.

Ezekiel 20:8 But they rebelled against me, and would not listen to me: they did not every man cast away the abominations of their eyes...

Ezekiel 14:3,4 Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their heart, and put the stumbling block of their iniquity before their face...

Ezekiel 23:8 Neither left she her prostitutions brought from Egypt: for in her youth they lay with her...

Exodus 32:1-8 And when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down out of the mount, the people gathered themselves together to Aaron...

Numbers 15:39 And it shall be to you for a fringe, that you may look on it, and remember all the commandments of the LORD, and do them...

Numbers 25:2 And they called the people to the sacrifices of their gods: and the people did eat, and bowed down to their gods.

Amos 5:25,26 Have you offered to me sacrifices and offerings in the wilderness forty years, O house of Israel...

Acts 7:39-43 To whom our fathers would not obey, but thrust him from them, and in their hearts turned back again into Egypt...

Cross References
Ezekiel 11:21
But as for those whose heart goes after their detestable things and their abominations, I will bring their deeds upon their own heads, declares the Lord GOD."

Ezekiel 14:3
"Son of man, these men have taken their idols into their hearts, and set the stumbling block of their iniquity before their faces. Should I indeed let myself be consulted by them?

Ezekiel 20:8
But they rebelled against me and were not willing to listen to me. None of them cast away the detestable things their eyes feasted on, nor did they forsake the idols of Egypt. "Then I said I would pour out my wrath upon them and spend my anger against them in the midst of the land of Egypt.

Ezekiel 20:38
I will purge out the rebels from among you, and those who transgress against me. I will bring them out of the land where they sojourn, but they shall not enter the land of Israel. Then you will know that I am the LORD.

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