Some leaders of the nation come see Ezekiel in his house. He condemns their idolatry and tells them to stop. He says judgment is certain.
VERSE 1. Then some of the elders of Israel came to me, and sat before me.
VERSE 2. The LORD’s word came to me, saying,
VERSE 3. “Son of man, these men have taken their idols into their heart, and put the stumbling block of their iniquity before their face. Should I be inquired of at all by them?
these men. The very elders of Israel who came to meet Ezekiel. The leaders of the nation.
taken their idols into their heart. The leaders of the nation were idolators.
put the stumbling block. Their idolatry would cause other people to stumble into this sin.
of their iniquity before their face. They surround themselves with temptations to sin.
VERSE 4. Therefore speak to them, and tell them, ‘The Lord GOD says: “Every man of the house of Israel who takes his idols into his heart, and puts the stumbling block of his iniquity before his face, and comes to the prophet; I the LORD will answer him therein according to the multitude of his idols;
answer him … according to the multitude of his idols. These leaders were hypocrites. They came to Ezekiel asking for answers from the LORD God. But they had enshrined an idol in their hearts.
VERSE 5. that I may take the house of Israel in their own heart, because they are all estranged from me through their idols.” ’
they are all estranged from me through their idols. Their own sins (of idolatry) had separated them from the LORD God.
Isaiah 59:2. But your iniquities have separated you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.
In our New Testament era, can our sins separate us from the LORD God?
To sin is to violate God’s will for us. It harms our relationship with God. We all have missed the mark and sinned. Here are the verses we’ve found »
VERSE 6. “Therefore tell the house of Israel, ‘The Lord GOD says: “Return, and turn yourselves from your idols! Turn away your faces from all your abominations.
turn yourselves from your idols. The cure for idolatry is to stop it.
VERSE 7. “ ‘ “For everyone of the house of Israel, or of the strangers who live in Israel, who separates himself from me, and takes his idols into his heart, and puts the stumbling block of his iniquity before his face, and comes to the prophet to inquire for himself of me; I the LORD will answer him by myself.
VERSE 8. I will set my face against that man, and will make him an astonishment, for a sign and a proverb, and I will cut him off from among my people. Then you will know that I am the LORD.
VERSE 9. “ ‘ “If the prophet is deceived and speaks a word, I, the LORD, have deceived that prophet, and I will stretch out my hand on him, and will destroy him from among my people Israel.
I, the LORD, have deceived that prophet. In those days, people attributed to God everything that happened, whether good or bad.
In our day, we would say that the LORD God “permitted” it.
VERSE 10. They will bear their iniquity. The iniquity of the prophet will be even as the iniquity of him who seeks him;
VERSE 11. that the house of Israel may no more go astray from me, neither defile themselves any more with all their transgressions; but that they may be my people, and I may be their God,” says the Lord GOD.’ ”
VERSE 12. The LORD’s word came to me, saying,
VERSE 13. “Son of man, when a land sins against me by committing a trespass, and I stretch out my hand on it, and break the staff of its bread, and send famine on it, and cut off from it man and animal;
VERSE 14. though these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they would deliver only their own souls by their righteousness,” says the Lord GOD.
these three men. These three men were heroes of righteousness: Noah and Daniel and Job.
This brings to mind Abraham. He tried to convince the LORD God to not destroy Sodom. Abraham bargained that if there were a certain number of righteous people, then it should not be destroyed.
VERSE 15. “If I cause evil animals to pass through the land, and they ravage it, and it is made desolate, so that no man may pass through because of the animals;
VERSE 16. though these three men were in it, as I live,” says the Lord GOD, “they would deliver neither sons nor daughters. They only would be delivered, but the land would be desolate.
these three men. Even the presence of these heroes of righteousness would not prevent the judgment on Jerusalem.
VERSE 17. “Or if I bring a sword on that land, and say, ‘Sword, go through the land; so that I cut off from it man and animal;’
VERSE 18. though these three men were in it, as I live,” says the Lord GOD, “they would deliver neither sons nor daughters, but they only would be delivered themselves.
VERSE 19. “Or if I send a pestilence into that land, and pour out my wrath on it in blood, to cut off from it man and animal;
VERSE 20. though Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, as I live,” says the Lord GOD, “they would deliver neither son nor daughter; they would deliver only their own souls by their righteousness.”
VERSE 21. For the Lord GOD says: “How much more when I send my four severe judgments on Jerusalem, the sword, the famine, the evil animals, and the pestilence, to cut off from it man and animal!
my four severe judgments. Four disasters will occur:
3. evil animals
VERSE 22. Yet, behold, there will be left a remnant in it that will be carried out, both sons and daughters. Behold, they will come out to you, and you will see their way and their doings. Then you will be comforted concerning the evil that I have brought on Jerusalem, even concerning all that I have brought on it.
there will be left a remnant in it. The Bible describes a uniquely faithful group of believers called “the remnant.” Are they Jewish or Christians? Now or in the future? Who are they really? Read more »
VERSE 23. They will comfort you, when you see their way and their doings; then you will know that I have not done all that I have done in it without cause,” says the Lord GOD.
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.