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Bible Commentaries

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Ezekiel 36

 

 

Verse 1

Ezekiel 36:1 Also, thou son of man, prophesy unto the mountains of Israel, and say, Ye mountains of Israel, hear the word of the LORD:

Ver. 1. Prophesy to the mountains of Israel.] Better things than thou didst to Mount Seir in the foregoing chapter. See Isaiah 3:10-11. {See Trapp on "Isaiah 3:10"} {See Trapp on "Isaiah 3:11"}

Ye mountains.] That is, ye mountaineers, qui sere asperi atque inculti. Sed

Nemo adeo ferus est qui non mitescere possit,

Si modo culturae patientem accommodet aurem. ”

- Horace


Verse 2

Ezekiel 36:2 Thus saith the Lord GOD Because the enemy hath said against you, Aha, even the ancient high places are ours in possession:

Ver. 2. Because the enemy hath said.] The Church fareth the better for her enemies petulancies and insolencies against her.

Even the ancient high places.] Or, The everlasting altitudes. Judea lay high; the Church is much higher.

Are ours in possession.] Thus the Edomites triumphed before the victory. So did the Spaniards in 1588, and God heard them, {as Ezekiel 35:13} for he is all-ear, all-eye, &c. He is jealous for his people, [Zechariah 1:14] and jealousy is quick sighted, quick conceited.


Verse 3

Ezekiel 36:3 Therefore prophesy and say, Thus saith the Lord GOD Because they have made [you] desolate, and swallowed you up on every side, that ye might be a possession unto the residue of the heathen, and ye are taken up in the lips of talkers, and [are] an infamy of the people:

Ver. 3. Because they have.] Heb., Because and because; importing earnestness and heat of indignation. So Leviticus 26:43.

And ye are taken up in the lips of talkers.] Heb., Ye are made to ascend upon the lip of the tongue, and upon the evil fame of the people. God takes it extreme ill that his people should be traduced and defamed; which yet hath been their lot in all ages; but he will not fail to vindicate them, and to avenge them.


Verse 4

Ezekiel 36:4 Therefore, ye mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord GOD Thus saith the Lord GOD to the mountains, and to the hills, to the rivers, and to the valleys, to the desolate wastes, and to the cities that are forsaken, which became a prey and derision to the residue of the heathen that [are] round about;

Ver. 4. Therefore thus saith the Lord God to the mountains.] For men there were hardly any left, or not very fit to be dealt with. See Ezekiel 36:1.

Which became a prey.] To those man eaters, [Ezekiel 36:3] qui diruerunt et devoraverunt, who did eat up God’s people as they ate bread, [Psalms 14:4] making themselves merry with their misery.


Verse 5

Ezekiel 36:5 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD Surely in the fire of my jealousy have I spoken against the residue of the heathen, and against all Idumea, which have appointed my land into their possession with the joy of all [their] heart, with despiteful minds, to cast it out for a prey.

Ver. 5. Surely in the fire of my jealousy.] Jealousy is hot as hell; [Song of Solomon 8:6] it is implacable, [Proverbs 6:34-35] and very vindictive. See Zechariah 1:14. {See Trapp on "Zechariah 1:14"} Here God swears he will be even with these Edomites.

Which have appointed my land.] This the Lord hath never done with, so ill be took it.


Verse 6

Ezekiel 36:6 Prophesy therefore concerning the land of Israel, and say unto the mountains, and to the hills, to the rivers, and to the valleys, Thus saith the Lord GOD Behold, I have spoken in my jealousy and in my fury, because ye have borne the shame of the heathen:

Ver. 6. Say unto the mountains and to the hills.] To those lifeless creatures he directeth his speech, to show that every creature groaneth and waiteth for the redemption of our bodies. It fareth the better also in this life present, for the elect’s sake, as it was once cursed for man’s sin, and hath lain bedridden, as it were, ever since.

Because ye have borne the shame of the heathen.] This the Lord could not bear with any patience.


Verse 7

Ezekiel 36:7 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD I have lifted up mine hand, Surely the heathen that [are] about you, they shall bear their shame.

Ver. 7. I have lifted up mine hand.] Sworn solemnly. Men, when they swear, do so as taking God to witness. Three fingers they do often lift up, and hold down two, to signify, saith Lavater, that God, who is three in one, hath prepared a place in heaven for such as swear rightly, but will thrust down to hell those that forswear themselves.

They shall bear their shame.] They shall be paid home in their own coin, be overshot in their own bow, be covered with their own confusion.


Verse 8

Ezekiel 36:8 But ye, O mountains of Israel, ye shall shoot forth your branches, and yield your fruit to my people of Israel; for they are at hand to come.

Ver. 8. Ye shall shoot forth your branches.] Reflourish and fructify; the Christian churches (those spiritual mountains) shall especially. [Revelation 22:2]

For they are at hand to come.] To come home out of captivity, or to return to God by repentance. The fall of Antichrist cannot be far off.


Verse 9

Ezekiel 36:9 For, behold, I [am] for you, and I will turn unto you, and ye shall be tilled and sown:

Ver. 9. For, behold, I am for you.] Or, I come to you, and I come with a cornucopia in mine hand.


Verse 10

Ezekiel 36:10 And I will multiply men upon you, all the house of Israel, [even] all of it: and the cities shall be inhabited, and the wastes shall be builded:

Ver. 10. All the house of Israel, even all of it.] The Israel of God in the kingdom of the Messiah, totum totum, quantum quantum, not one of them shall be missing.


Verse 11

Ezekiel 36:11 And I will multiply upon you man and beast; and they shall increase and bring fruit: and I will settle you after your old estates, and will do better [unto you] than at your beginnings: and ye shall know that I [am] the LORD.

Ver. 11. And will do better unto you.] This must necessarily be understood of spiritual blessings by Christ; for temporals, they never had the like to those in the days of Joshua, David, Solomon, Hezekiah, &c.


Verse 12

Ezekiel 36:12 Yea, I will cause men to walk upon you, [even] my people Israel; and they shall possess thee, and thou shalt be their inheritance, and thou shalt no more henceforth bereave them [of men].

Ver. 12. Thou shalt be their inheritance.] Yea, a type and pledge of that heavenly inheritance. [1 Peter 1:4 Revelation 21:1-10; Revelation 21:22-27; Revelation 22:1-5]

And thou shalt no more henceforth bereave them.] Provoke God to bereave them.


Verse 13

Ezekiel 36:13 Thus saith the Lord GOD Because they say unto you, Thou [land] devourest up men, and hast bereaved thy nations;

Ver. 13. Thou land devourest up men,] (a) scil., By pestilence, famine, sword, evil beasts: thou art an unlucky land, an unblest country, feral and fatal to thine inhabitants. Hesiod saith the like of his country Ascre; and another (b) of St David’s in Wales, that it is a place neither pleasant, fertile, nor safe. Strabo saith the like of Judea, but with a despiteful mind. {as Ezekiel 36:5} Those malevolent spies said no less. [Numbers 13:32]


Verse 14

Ezekiel 36:14 Therefore thou shalt devour men no more, neither bereave thy nations any more, saith the Lord GOD.

Ver. 14. Neither bereave thy nations any more.] Either by consuming them, or spuing them out. {as Leviticus 18:28; Leviticus 20:22; Leviticus 26:20; Leviticus 26:22} See what is said of heaven, Revelation 22:3-5.


Verse 15

Ezekiel 36:15 Neither will I cause [men] to hear in thee the shame of the heathen any more, neither shalt thou bear the reproach of the people any more, neither shalt thou cause thy nations to fall any more, saith the Lord GOD.

Ver. 15. Neither will I cause men to hear.] I will cut off all occasions, and remove all such stumblingblocks as whereat the nations dash and split themselves.


Verse 16

Ezekiel 36:16 Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,

Ver. 16. Moreover the word.] See Ezekiel 18:1


Verse 17

Ezekiel 36:17 Son of man, when the house of Israel dwelt in their own land, they defiled it by their own way and by their doings: their way was before me as the uncleanness of a removed woman.

Ver. 17. When the house of Israel.] Ubique Scriptura vindicat gloriam Dei, maxime autem hoc loco. (a) This place of Scripture doth singularly set forth the glory of God’s grace, while it showeth that man’s destruction is wholly of himself, his help only of God.

As the uncleanness.] As a menstruous clout, abhorred by all.


Verse 18

Ezekiel 36:18 Wherefore I poured my fury upon them for the blood that they had shed upon the land, and for their idols [wherewith] they had polluted it:

Ver. 18. For the blood which they had shed.] These two gross sins are instanced, viz., murder and idolatry, lest they should plead, as in Jeremiah 2:35, "I have not sinned"; or as in Hosea 12:8, "In all my works they shall find none iniquity in me; that were sin."


Verse 19

Ezekiel 36:19 And I scattered them among the heathen, and they were dispersed through the countries: according to their way and according to their doings I judged them.

Ver. 19. And I scattered them among the heathen.] Whose idols they had worshipped, and whose manners they had imitated.


Verse 20

Ezekiel 36:20 And when they entered unto the heathen, whither they went, they profaned my holy name, when they said to them, These [are] the people of the LORD, and are gone forth out of his land.

Ver. 20. These are the people of the Lord.] And these are the fruits of their religion. Are these the holy people? &c. Lactantius (a) complaineth of his times, that God’s truth was evil spoken of by the heathen, because Christians lived loosely and lewdly. Whereupon Erasmus (b) crieth out, O rem miseram! Oh, lamentable! Even in those purer times the piety of Christians was so much abated, that the gospel was therefore evil spoken of, for the evil lives of many that professed it. What marvel then, saith he, that Turks cry out upon us? that the banks of blasphemy are broken down in persons disaffected to the power of godliness?


Verse 21

Ezekiel 36:21 But I had pity for mine holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the heathen, whither they went.

Ver. 21. But I had pity for my holy name.] So he hath still, or else it would be wide enough with us. Some render it, I spared, or tendered, mine holy name; and, to free it from those imputations, I freely forgave my people, and re-established them.


Verse 22

Ezekiel 36:22 Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD I do not [this] for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for mine holy name’s sake, which ye have profaned among the heathen, whither ye went.

Ver. 22. I do not this for your sakes.] To do good without respect of desert is royal, yea, it is divine.

But for mine own holy name’s sake.] God maketh our utter unworthiness a foil to set forth the freeness of his love, in making us worthy whom he found not so.


Verse 23

Ezekiel 36:23 And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I [am] the LORD, saith the Lord GOD, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes.

Ver. 23. And I will sanctify my great name.] I will recover my reputation among the heathen, by declaring my justice in your punishment, and my mercy in your restoration. God, as he is moved by his own grace to do his people good, so he aimeth therein at his own glory.


Verse 24

Ezekiel 36:24 For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land.

Ver. 24. For I will take you, &c.] I will effectually call you out of darkness into my marvellous light, and cull you out from this wicked world. And this is the first thing that God here promiseth to his covenanters. More than this, he promiseth them in the following verses justification, sanctification, and preservation, or provision of temporal blessings, that nothing may be wanting to them that may make them happy. We should be often counting of this coin, telling of this treasure.


Verse 25

Ezekiel 36:25 Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.

Ver. 25. Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you.] He alludeth to the legal purifications, especially that made by the ashes of a red cow mixed with running water, wherewith the people were sprinkled, and so cleansed from legal defilement. [Numbers 19:17-19] Semblably the saints, sprinkled with Christ’s blood from an evil conscience by the hyssop bunch of faith, and so washed with clean water [Hebrews 10:22] in baptism, the saving virtue whereof is permanent, [1 Peter 3:21] are justified and sanctified. [1 Corinthians 6:11] This blessed sprinkling David prayeth for. [Psalms 51:2] The Baptist also, and others, sprinkled those whom they baptized, both to answer the types of the law and this prediction of the prophet, understood by Jerome (a) of baptism, which is a visible sign and seal of our being washed from the filth of sin by the merit and Spirit of Jesus Christ. [Titus 3:5]


Verse 26

Ezekiel 36:26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.

Ver. 26. A new heart also will I give you.] For the old heart will never hold out the hardship of holiness; the old fabric must be taken down, and a new set up. See Ezekiel 11:19. A "new man" both in constitution and conversation one must be, or else he is no man in Christ. [2 Corinthians 5:17]

And I will taks away the stony heart.] The natural heart, which is hard and refractory, "to every good work reprobate." Hard is that which resisteth the touch. The old heart is inflexible to God’s Spirit, insensible of his word and judgments, and impenetrable to his grace. Where, then, is man’s freewill? Garriant illi, nos credamus; { a} there is no such thing, believe it. Nature is wholly stony: it is God alone that "of these stones raiseth up children to Abraham."

And I will give you an heart of flesh,] i.e., Tractable, and capable of divine impressions, ready to every good work. [Titus 3:1]


Verse 27

Ezekiel 36:27 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do [them].

Ver. 27. And I will put my Spirit within you.] Qui mulcendo et molliendo. Who, by melting and mollifying your hard hearts, shall bring you to a better obedience.

And cause you to walk in my statutes.] Lex iubet, gratia iuvat. God undertaketh for himself and his people too, viz., to work in them what he requireth of them. Therefore it is an "everlasting covenant, ordered in all things"; and the fruits of it are "sure mercies," "compassions that fail not," &c. See on Ezekiel 11:20.


Verse 28

Ezekiel 36:28 And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God.

Ver. 28. And ye shall dwell in the land,] i.e., In Judea, or rather in the Church, (a) which began in Judea, saith the Jesuit well The Church of Rome, then, is not the mother Church; no, though we take it in its primitive purity.


Verse 29

Ezekiel 36:29 I will also save you from all your uncleannesses: and I will call for the corn, and will increase it, and lay no famine upon you.

Ver. 29. I will also save you from all your uncleannesses.] This is often promised, because not easily believed. No article of our creed is so much opposed by Satan, as that of the forgiveness of sin by Christ’s merits, which is the very life and soul of a Church. All the former articles of the creed are perfected in this, and all the following articles are effects thereof: hold it fast, therefore.

And I will call for the corn.] I have it at my call, and a mandamus from me will do it at any time. See Hosea 2:21-22. {See Trapp on "Hosea 2:21"} {See Trapp on "Hosea 2:22"}

And lay no famine.] Which comes also at God Almighty’s call. [Psalms 105:16]


Verse 30

Ezekiel 36:30 And I will multiply the fruit of the tree, and the increase of the field, that ye shall receive no more reproach of famine among the heathen.

Ver. 30. That ye shall receive no more reproach.] The heathen were often twitting God’s people with their outward wants and crosses, as if caused by their religion. So the persecutors did by the primitive Christians, and so the Papists still deal with the New Gospellers, as they scornfully call the Reformed Churches.


Verse 31

Ezekiel 36:31 Then shall ye remember your own evil ways, and your doings that [were] not good, and shall lothe yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities and for your abominations.

Ver. 31. Then shall ye remember.] The goodness of God shall lead you to repentance; so many mercies heaped upon so undeserving, nay, so illdeserving creatures, shall bring you to a deep detestation of your iniquities.

Your own evil ways, and your doings that were not good.] There are some things, saith one, that we can hardly forget, viz., our sorrows and our pleasures, as Esau; some things we can hardly remember, as our faults and our friends, as Joseph’s butler. Augustine was famous, saith another for two of his works: his Retractions, which are the confessions of his errors; and his Confessions, which are the retractions of his life. See Ezekiel 20:43.

And shall loathe yourselves.] Or, Ye shall look upon yourselves as worthy to be destroyed. Or, Ye shall scold within yourselves against your iniquities. Litigabitis intra vos contra flagitia vestra.


Verse 32

Ezekiel 36:32 Not for your sakes do I [this], saith the Lord GOD, be it known unto you: be ashamed and confounded for your own ways, O house of Israel.

Ver. 32. Not for your sakes.] See on Ezekiel 36:22.

Be ashamed.] Abashed and abased, as was Ezra, [Ezra 9:6] Ephraim, [Jeremiah 31:19] the publican. [Luke 18:13]


Verse 33

Ezekiel 36:33 Thus saith the Lord GOD In the day that I shall have cleansed you from all your iniquities I will also cause [you] to dwell in the cities, and the wastes shall be builded.

Ver. 33. I shall have cleansed you.] See on Ezekiel 36:29.

I will also cause you to dwell.] See Ezekiel 36:28.


Verse 34

Ezekiel 36:34 And the desolate land shall be tilled, whereas it lay desolate in the sight of all that passed by.

Ver. 34. And the desolate land shall be tilled.] As now, blessed be God, it is in the Palatinate and other parts of Germany, though now is no small danger of a new war, quod Dominus avertat. because she turned away from God.


Verse 35

Ezekiel 36:35 And they shall say, This land that was desolate is become like the garden of Eden; and the waste and desolate and ruined cities [are become] fenced, [and] are inhabited.

Ver. 35. This land.] Such a change can God soon make for worse or better. Fear him therefore; fear the Lord and his goodness. [Hosea 3:5]


Verse 36

Ezekiel 36:36 Then the heathen that are left round about you shall know that I the LORD build the ruined [places, and] plant that that was desolate: I the LORD have spoken [it], and I will do [it].

Ver. 36. Then the heathen.] Haec iam ex parte fata sunt, saith Oecolampadius. This day is this scripture fulfilled in our eyes: the ruined churches are rebuilt, and the matter well amended by this blessed Reformation, and Rome knows it.


Verse 37

Ezekiel 36:37 Thus saith the Lord GOD I will yet [for] this be enquired of by the house of Israel, to do [it] for them; I will increase them with men like a flock.

Ver. 37. I will yet for this be inquired of,] i.e., Though I have promised my people all these boons, yet I look they should put my promises in suite, by praying them over. Prayer is an indispensable duty, and must not on any pretence whatsoever be neglected.

I will increase them with men like a flock.] Plenty of men and store of children is a great blessing of God. Yet some are ready to say of them, as that rustic did of his afflictions, when he was told they were God’s love tokens, Ah quam velim alios amare, non me. Oh how I wish to love others, not myself. (a)


Verse 38

Ezekiel 36:38 As the holy flock, as the flock of Jerusalem in her solemn feasts; so shall the waste cities be filled with flocks of men: and they shall know that I [am] the LORD.

Ver. 38. As the holy flock.] The sheep that come up for sacrifice, at the passover especially; so will I multiply the sheep of Christ, the true shepherd.

 


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Bibliography Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Ezekiel 36:4". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/ezekiel-36.html. 1865-1868.

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