And I will bring you out of the nations, and gather you out of the lands in which ye have been scattered, with strong hand and with outstretched arm, and with wrath poured out, Ezekiel And will bring you into the desert of the nations, and contend with you there face to face. As I contended with your fathers in the desert of the land of Egypt, so will I contend with you, is the saying of the Lord Jehovah.
And I will cause you to pass through under the rod, and bring you into the bond of the covenant. And I will separate from you the rebellious, and those who are apostates from me; out of the land of their sojourning will I lead them out, but into the land of Israel shall they not come; that ye may know that I am Jehovah. What this thought was is shown in Ezekiel , viz. This shall not take place; on the contrary, God will rule over them as King with strong arm and fury. The words, "with strong hand and stretched-out arm," are a standing expression in the Pentateuch for the mighty acts by which Jehovah liberated His people from the power of the Egyptians, and led them out of Egypt cf.
By the introduction of the clause "with fury poured out," the manifestation of the omnipotence of God which Israel experience in its dispersion, and which it was still to experience among the heathen, is described as an emanation of the divine wrath, a severe and wrathful judgment. The leading and gathering of Israel out of the nations Ezekiel is neither their restoration from the existing captivity in Babylon, nor their future restoration to Canaan on the conversion of the people who were still hardened, and therefore rejected by God.
Moreover, neither of the assumptions is reconcilable with the context, more especially with Ezekiel According to the context, this leading out is an act of divine anger, which Israel is to feel in connection therewith; and this cannot be affirmed of either the redemption of the people out of the captivity in Babylon, or the future gathering of Israel from its dispersion.
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According to Ezekiel , God will conduct those who are brought out from the nations and gathered together out of the lands into the desert of the nations, and contend with them there. The "desert of the nations" is not the desert lying between Babylonia and Palestine, on the coastlands of the Mediterranean, through which the Israelites would have to pass on their way home from Babylon Rosenmller, Hitzig, and others.
For there is no imaginable reason why this should be called the desert of the nations in distinction from the desert of Arabia, which also touched the borders of several nations.
Ezekiel 20 Bible Commentary - Wesley’s Explanatory Notes
The expression is doubtless a typical one, the future guidance of Israel being depicted as a repetition of the earlier guidance of the people from Egypt to Canaan; as it also is in Hosea All the separate features in the description indicate this, more especially Ezekiel and Ezekiel , where it is impossible to overlook the allusion to the guidance of Israel in the time of Moses. The more precise explanation of the words must depend, however, upon the sense in which we are to understand the expression, "desert of the land of Egypt. It touched the border of Canaan as well.
Why then did not Ezekiel name it after the land of Canaan? Evidently for no other reason than that the time spent by the Israelites in the Arabian desert resembled their sojourn in Egypt much more closely than their settlement in Canaan, because, while there, they were still receiving their training for their entrance into Canaan, and their possession and enjoyment of its benefits, just as much as in the land of Egypt. And in a manner corresponding to this, the "desert of the nations" is a figurative expression applied to the world of nations, from whom they were indeed spiritually distinct, whilst outwardly they were still in the midst of them, and had to suffer from their oppression.
Consequently the leading of Israel out of the nations Ezekiel is not a local and corporeal deliverance out of heathen lands, but a spiritual severance from the heathen world, in order that they might not be absorbed into it or become inseparably blended with the heathen. God will accomplish this by means of severe chastisements, by contending with them as He formerly contended with their fathers in the Arabian desert.
God contends with His people when He charges them with their sin and guilt, not merely in words, but also with deeds, i. The words "face to face" point back to Deuteronomy : "Jehovah talked with you face to face in the mount, out of the midst of the fire.
The Preacher's Commentary Series, Volume 20: Ezekiel
This contending is more precisely defined in Ezekiel and Ezekiel I will cause you to pass through under the shepherd's rod. A shepherd lets his sheep pass through under his rod for the purpose of counting them, and seeing whether they are in good condition or not vid. The truths of the Bible are not parables, but eternal realities, Divine revelations for us all. There are truths in which every soul has an interest—that involve the destruction or salvation of every spirit to whom they are addressed. They are truths whose lightest whisper is weighted by Divine meaning and commended by Divine truthfulness; and heaven and earth may pass away, but not a jot or tittle of these till all shall be fulfilled.
As you see the wicked pass from the left hand of the Judge into everlasting death you feel that it is no parable. As you hear the crowd of those who call on the rocks and mountains to fall on them, and, though they crush them, to hide them from the presence of Him who sits upon the throne, you feel that it is no parable. And as you see at last the separation of the righteous and the wicked, and those ascending with their Saviour and these departing to reap the dreadful harvest of their own folly, you feel that there is stern truth—no parable there; but that which demands your careful attention and is worthy of your most devout regard.
Butler, Harrow Sermons, p. Brooks, Outlines of Sermons, p. Moore, Penny Pulpit, No. Foster, Lectures, 2nd series, p. Mackennal, Homiletic Magazine, vol. Cox, Expositions, 1st series, p. Ezek 29—P. Thomson, Expositor, 1st series, vol. Ezekiel , Ezekiel Cox, Expositions, 3rd series, p.
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Miscellaneous Bible Maps. Finding the new version too difficult to understand? Go to classic. Resource Toolbox. Verses Ezekiel I. The contents of Ezekiel and Ezekiel rest upon Exodus The election of the Israelites to be the people of Jehovah, contained eo ipso the command to give up the idols of Egypt, although it was at Sinai that the worship of other gods was for the first time expressly prohibited Exodus , and Egyptian idolatry is only mentioned in Leviticus cf. Joshua Ezekiel calls the idols "abominations of their eyes," because, "although they were abominable and execrable things, they were looked upon with delight by them" Rosenmller.
It is true that there is nothing expressly stated in the Pentateuch as to the refusal of the Israelites to obey the command of God, or their unwillingness to give up idolatry in Egypt; but it may be inferred from the statements contained in Exodus and Exodus , to the effect that the Israelites did not hearken to Moses when he communicated to them the determination of God to lead them out of Egypt, and still more plainly from their relapse into Egyptian idolatry, from the worship of the golden calf at Sinai Exodus 32 , and from their repeated desire to return to Egypt while wandering in the desert.
Note: The remarks of Calvin upon this point are very good. And assuredly, if they had embraced what Moses promised them in the name of God with promptness of mind, the execution of the promise would have been more prompt and swift. But we may learn that it was their own obtuseness which hindered God from stretching out His hand forthwith and actually fulfilling all that He had promised. It was necessary, indeed, that God should contend with Pharaoh, that His power might be more conspicuously displayed; but the people would not have been so tyrannically afflicted if they had not closed the door of divine mercy.
We need not indeed assume on this account that Ezekiel derived his information from some special traditional source, as Vitringa has done ObservV. The words do not disclose to us either a particular fact or a definite decree of God; they simply contain a description of the attitude which God, from His inmost nature, assumes towards sinners who rebel against His holy commandments, and which He displayed both in the declaration made concerning Himself as a zealous, or jealous God, who visits iniquities Exodus , and also in the words addressed to Moses when the people fell into idolatry at Sinai, "Let me alone, that my wrath may wax not against them, and that I may consume them" Exodus All that God expresses here, His heart must have felt in Egypt towards the people who would not desist from idolatry.
For the words themselves, compare Ezekiel ; Ezekiel ; Ezekiel The heathen might then have said that Jehovah had been unable to liberate His people from their hand and power cf. Numbers and Exodus