Scriptures

Ezekiel 11

Introduction

Threatening of judgment and promise of mercy. Conclusion of the vision

Judgment upon the rulers of the nation. Ezekiel 11:1-13.

The twenty-five men, chiefs of the nation. Ezekiel 11:1-4.

Prophecy against the ungodly counsel, which is confirming the people in their sins. Ezekiel 11:5-12.

Sudden death of Pelatiah. Ezekiel 11:13.

Promise of gathering of Israel out of the nations. Ezekiel 11:14-21.

The glory of Jehovah forsakes the doomed city. Ezekiel 11:22-25.

Summary

1. Ezekiel is shown political and moral corruption in Jerusalem.

2. We learn that the exiles and not the inhabitants of Jerusalem are being protected by God.

3. The glory of the Lord leaves Jerusalem.

‘Then the Spirit lifted me up and brought me to the gate of the house of the LORD that faces east. There at the entrance of the gate were twenty-five men, and I saw among them Jaazaniah son of Azzur and Pelatiah son of Benaiah, leaders of the people. The LORD said to me, ‘Son of man, these are the men who are plotting evil and giving wicked advice in this city. They say, ‘Haven’t our houses been recently rebuilt? This city is a pot, and we are the meat in it.’ Therefore, prophesy against them; prophesy, son of man.’ Ezekiel 11:1-4

The 2 wicked counsellors

Two men are singled out amongst 25 men who are giving council. Jaazaniah and Pelatiah were obviously well-known men which is why they are named, they would definitely be known to the prophet. These princes of the people are giving wicked counsel according to God. Again, there might be the inference that the prophet is surprised, for these are men he would know and would not expect to be involved in anti-Jehovah propaganda.

Their counsel was,

‘The time is not here to build houses, this city is the Caldron, and we are the flesh’.

With an illustration of a cooking pot with fresh meat in it ready to be cooked, they were saying,

‘Don’t relax and settle, prepare for war’.

Now this contradicted what God was saying through Jeremiah to those in Jerusalem. Jerusalem was being told to submit to Nebuchadnezzar. Jeremiah 21:8-10. This was not only the way to save their lives, but it was also the will of God. The people in Jerusalem thought that God was with them, they believed Jeremiah was wrong. They thought that because they were left and Jehoiachin and the rest were away in Babylon, that they were the good guys and the exiles were the bad guys. They were doing what God had said, Jeremiah 29:5.

Ellison says, in Jeremiah, they were trusting in themselves not God.

‘For them the exiles under Jehoiachin were the offal thrown out on the dung-heap of Babylonia, they were the good flesh preserved by God in Jerusalem.’

This is exactly the thought in Ezekiel 11:15, the pot, the city and the people.

‘Then the Spirit of the LORD came on me, and he told me to say: ‘This is what the LORD says: That is what you are saying, you leaders in Israel, but I know what is going through your mind. You have killed many people in this city and filled its streets with the dead. ‘Therefore, this is what the Sovereign LORD says: The bodies you have thrown there are the meat and this city is the pot, but I will drive you out of it. You fear the sword, and the sword is what I will bring against you, declares the Sovereign LORD. I will drive you out of the city and deliver you into the hands of foreigners and inflict punishment on you. You will fall by the sword, and I will execute judgment on you at the borders of Israel. Then you will know that I am the LORD. This city will not be a pot for you, nor will you be the meat in it; I will execute judgment on you at the borders of Israel. And you will know that I am the LORD, for you have not followed my decrees or kept my laws but have conformed to the standards of the nations around you.’ Ezekiel 11:5-12

Paul says that God will one day judge the secret things of men. Here are men whose hearts are open to God, He knows exactly what they are thinking. Then God agrees with them, the city is a cauldron of sorts, but it is that because of what the leaders have done. They have made it a cauldron and the flesh are all those who have suffered death because of the wicked counsel of these men.

However, God’s message for these men shows His sovereignty which they would not accept. Their statement showed that they feared the sword coming on them in the city. God would not even allow that small privilege of ever saying they were right, for they would be judged by the sword outside the city. They would be judged at the ‘border of Israel’.

This undoubtedly refers to the historical account of the times in 2 Kings 25:18-21 and Jeremiah 52:3-11. This tells us that the king, his sons, and the leaders of Israel were taken by Nebuzaradan and judged at Riblah. Riblah was on the extreme border of the promised land, even beyond Damascus.

‘Now as I was prophesying, Pelatiah son of Benaiah died. Then I fell facedown and cried out in a loud voice, ‘Alas, Sovereign LORD! Will you completely destroy the remnant of Israel? The word of the LORD came to me: ‘Son of man, the people of Jerusalem have said of your fellow exiles and all the other Israelites, ‘They are far away from the LORD; this land was given to us as our possession.’ ‘Therefore say: ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Although I sent them far away among the nations and scattered them among the countries, yet for a little while I have been a sanctuary for them in the countries where they have gone.’ ‘Therefore say: ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I will gather you from the nations and bring you back from the countries where you have been scattered, and I will give you back the land of Israel again.’ ‘They will return to it and remove all its vile images and detestable idols. I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh. Then they will follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. They will be my people, and I will be their God. But as for those whose hearts are devoted to their vile images and detestable idols, I will bring down on their own heads what they have done, declares the Sovereign LORD’. Ezekiel 11:13-21

The death of Pelatiah

In the vision Pelatiah drops dead. This shocked the prophet to exclaim,

‘Are you going to kill everyone?’

Ezekiel is worrying and hurting for his people, because he thinks God is going to wipe them all out. God says,

‘Let me tell you the kind of people we are talking about’.

Here is where Ellison’s quote above fits in exactly. That is exactly what the people in Jerusalem thought, but God shows Ezekiel that they have got it the wrong way round. Those in Jerusalem may have the temple for a sanctuary, but we will soon see God’s glory leave that sanctuary at the end of the vision.

However, for those in exile, God will be their sanctuary. He will provide them with the care, protection and presence which they needed from Him, until He chooses to send the book. To the exiles is given all the promises for the future.

This is signified in the example of heart surgery. God will give them a new heart, but only those who want a new heart. There are always too many who harden their hearts continually and who will now allow the stone heart to be touched or removed by the Lord.

‘Then the cherubim, with the wheels beside them, spread their wings, and the glory of the God of Israel was above them. The glory of the LORD went up from within the city and stopped above the mountain east of it. The Spirit lifted me up and brought me to the exiles in Babylonia in the vision given by the Spirit of God. Then the vision I had seen went up from me, and I told the exiles everything the LORD had shown me.’ Ezekiel 11:22-25

So, we see the Lord forced out of His own sanctuary. He clearly stated that he had been driven out, Ezekiel 8:6. No longer did He dwell in the midst of His people. The ritual may continue, but the offerings and sacrifices meant even less than they had done. God’s temple without God is useless. God’s temple without God is no longer God’s temple. Revelation 2:5 / Revelation 3:14-22.

So, he returns from his vision to the elders in Telabib, Ezekiel 8:1. They are waiting for some word from him, he tells them all that God had shown him in the vision. Tempting to only mention the man in linen marking out the righteous. Ezekiel tells it all, the whole counsel of God.

This vision is now ended. The Glory that left the temple was the same that had:

Guided Israel, Exodus 13:21 / Exodus 14:19ff.

Covered Sinai. Exodus 24:15-18.

Filled the Temple. 2 Chronicles 7:1.

Filled the Tabernacle. Exodus 40:34.

Go To Ezekiel 12

 

DAILY BIBLE VERSE

"No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it."

1 Corinthians 10:13

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