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August 29, 2006

Continuing studies in Ezekiel

Chapter 35 of Ezekiel describes Israel’s enemies - who are present in all ages. As Solomon said, “There’s nothing new under the sun.” The Book of Judges relates Israel in a time of declension (backsliding) and revival, declension and revival, over and over - and that’s the way it has been to the present time. During the times of declension her enemies got the upper-hand. Then the Lord would send a deliverer and Israel would experience revival.

In the war this summer with Hizbullah in the north and Hamas in the south, it seemed Israel’s enemies got an upper-hand. Well, then, according to this pattern, a deliverer and the resulting revival is in the offing.

Let’s listen to God’s Word through Ezekiel in chapter 35:

V. 1 “Moreover [besides all the preceding] the word of the LORD came unto me [Ezekiel], saying

V. 2, “Son of man [Sounds like He is speaking to us all, doesn’t it?], set thy face against mount Seir, and prophesy against it,”

Against who? Mt. Seir in the land of Esau and in this passage it is a general term for Israel’s Arab enemies. Stay with me and we will see this when we get to the last verse of this chapter.

Prophesy what?

V. 3, “and say unto it: Thus saith the Lord GOD: Behold, O mount Seir, I am against thee, and I will stretch out My hand against thee, and I will make thee most desolate.”

V. 4, “I will lay thy cities waste, and thou shall be desolate; and thou shalt know that I am the LORD.”

Again, what is the prophecy?

1. The Lord GOD is against it

2. Will stretch out His hand against it

3. Will make it desolate

4. Lay its cities waste,

5. And they (finally) will know that “I am the LORD.”

Why all this?

V. 5, Because thou hast had a perpetual hatred, and hast shed the blood of the children of Israel by the force of the sword in the time of their calamity, in the time that their iniquity had an end.”

Perpetual [from of old, unchanging] hatred against the children of Israel. And bringing it down to the present “time of their calamity” ─ CONSIDER:

When and why was the modern nation of Israel born? After the Nazi Holocaust - certainly THE “time of their calamity”. There have been many holocausts during known history, but none compares to the planning and carrying out genocide of God’s people, the Jews, by the Nazis who by deliberate “intelligence”, used resources to extinguish a people who were the very intelligent source of those resources! (I’ve said it awkwardly, but I hope you understand. Let me try again:) The Nazis used the talented inventions of the Jewish people to perpetrate the “final solution” against them. The Nazis cleverly planned a systematic killing; this was done by the German nation which at that time was the world center for education.

And the timing of the present manifestation of the continual hatred of “Ishmael” against “Isaac is when “their [Jews’] iniquity had an end”. It was the Lord’s timing of fulfilling the prophetic Scriptures which prophecy blessing, not cursing against Israel. Read the prophets and you will see that the restoration and redemption promises far out weigh the chastening for transgression. Isaiah cries out that Israel has suffered double for her sins. (Isaiah 40) And their ‘calamity’ is to end when they come home.

To Israel's Enemies

V. 6, “Therefore, as I live, saith the Lord GOD, I will prepare thee unto blood, and blood shall pursue thee: since thou has not hated blood, even blood shall pursue thee.” Israel’s enemies are on a self-destructive path.

V. 7-9, “Thus will I make mount Seir most desolate, and cut off from it him that passeth out and him that returneth. And I will fill his mountains with his slain men: in thy hills, and in thy valleys, and in all thy rivers, shall they fall that are slain with the sword. [Remember, and compare our study in chapter 31 and 32 of Ezekiel] I will make thee perpetual desolations, and thy cities shall not return; and you shall know that I am the LORD.”


V. 10, Because thou hast said, These two nations and these two countries shall be mine, and we will possess it; whereas the LORD was there.”

At the time of Ezekiel, the “two nations” were Judah and Ephraim - the split kingdoms of Israel. Where is “Ephraim” today? Scattered throughout all the nations, but primarily the USA, as confirmed by research scholars here in Jerusalem. (Ephraim is a general term for the northern Kingdom of Israel - because Ephraim was the largest tribe and most of the kings were Ephraimites. Read Jacob’s prophecy to the two sons of Joseph in Genesis 48.) The key in this verse which shows Ezekiel’s prophecy reaches far beyond his day is, “and these two countries- not just “nations” in the same land, but in different countries. (If you are a student/scholar and disagree with my interpretation here, I welcome your input.)

Iran, producer of oil, rockets and nuclear energy, is not just a threat to Israel but to the entire “west” and especially to the USA. The goal is to take over “these two countries” - Israel and the USA. It is the battle between the culture of death and the sanctity of life - “sons of darkness and sons of light.” The culture of death considers civilized society to be a culture which should be destroyed and replaced by their ideology. It’s high time Ephraim join solidly with his brother Judah.

V. 11, “Therefore [Again the question, What is the “therefore” there for?] as I live, saith the Lord GOD [Does He live? He is life itself! He cannot be crowded into a corner and called, “religion”.], I will even do according to thine anger and according to thine envy [That’s the whatsoever-you-sow promise!] which thou hast used out of thy hatred against them [If you’ve lost sight of who the “them” is, read verse 5 again in connection with verse 10.]; and I will make myself known among them, when I have judged thee.”

That verse should knock us down with wonder! What is He saying? That when Israel’s enemies are judged according to their own deeds, God’s people Israel will come to a revelation of the One Lord God in greater measure than ever before! “for when thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness” (Isaiah 26:9).

Back to Ezekiel

V. 12-13, “And thou shalt know that I am the LORD, and that I have heard all thy blasphemies which thou hast spoken against the mountains of Israel, saying, They are laid desolate, they are given us to consume. Thus with your mouth you have boasted against Me, and have multiplied your words against Me; I have heard them.” And He is far from deaf!

This passage clearly says the mountains are the LORD's and speaking against them is speaking against the LORD Himself.

V. 14, “Thus saith the Lord GOD [He has the ultimate word power, as the world’s inhabitants will understand!] When the whole earth rejoices, I will make thee desolate.” And will not the inhabitants of this earth who loves the sanctity and culture of LIFE rejoice when the death culture is vanquished?

Some teach that the Jewish people are being ingathered to suffer another BIG holocaust and be scattered again. They teach this will happen because they haven’t accepted Jesus! Consider: many holocausts have been inflicted on the Jewish people through the centuries - claiming “because they rejected Jesus”.

Question: Have any of those Jew-hate schemes ever worked to “convert” the Jews? NO! So what makes anyone think another “great tribulation” will do it?

The prophets declare very plainly that in the end time the second time around ingathering is to cleanse and bless, not only the Jews, but to awaken the nations of the earth to the One God and Creator of us all, who so loves us He is keeping His promise to Abraham, “In thee shall ALL THE FAMILIES of the earth be blessed”. We who have heard the Gospel of the Son of His Love - have a head start!

Now the crowning verse of the chapter:

V. 15, “As thou didst rejoice at the inheritance of the house of Israel because it was desolate, so will I do unto thee: thou shalt be desolate, O mount Seir, and all Idumea, even all of it; and they shall know that I AM THE LORD.”

It is accepted by most Bible students and scholars that “Idumea” is a general term for Arab nations. This verse joins it with mount Seir. When we get into chapter 36, it will become even more clear.

Thanks for your patience in hearing me out on this chapter. And please study it for yourself, like the Bereans, to see if these things be so. (Acts 16:11). .

                       In His Caring Love,

                         Chris Josephson