The idol sacrifices in high places (Ezek 20:28-20:29)

“I had brought them

Into the land

That I swore

To give them.

Then wherever they saw

Any high hill

Or any leafy tree,

There they offered

Their sacrifices.

They presented

The provocation

Of their offering.

There they sent up

Their pleasing odors.

There they poured out

Their drink offerings.

I said to them.

What is the high place

To which you go?

It is called Bamah

To this day.”

Now Yahweh reminded them, via Ezekiel, that when he brought them into the land that he swore to give to their ancestors, they ran to every high hill or leafy tree. There they set up altars of sacrifice. They provoked Yahweh with their sacrifices. They presented their offerings with sweet smelling incense and drink offerings. This may have been some sort of Canaanite or Egyptian fertility rite, since they had not given up their old ways. There is a play on words as Yahweh wanted to know what this high place was called. Bamah meant a high place of worship that had been used by the Canaanites, but still existed at the time of Ezekiel.

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Death at the idol worship sites (Ezek 6:13-6:14)

“You shall know

That I am Yahweh.

Their slain

Shall lie

Among their idols,

Around their altars.

On every high hill,

On all the mountain tops,

Under every green tree,

Under every leafy oak,

Wherever they offered

Pleasing odor

To all their idols,

I will stretch out

My hand

Against them.

I will make

The land desolate.

I will make

The land waste

Throughout all their settlements,

From the wilderness

To Riblah.

Then they will know

That I am Yahweh.”

These false worshippers would know that Yahweh was in charge. All these worshippers would die and lie with their idols, around their altars, on every high hill, on all the mountain tops, under every green tree, and under every leafy oak. This is the first mention of the green trees and leafy oaks, instead of the vague high places. Wherever they offered the pleasing odor to their idols, Yahweh was going to stretch out his hand against them. He was going to make their land desolate and a waste, no matter where they lived, from the wilderness in the south to Riblah in the north on the Syrian border. They would all come to know that Yahweh was in charge. He was Yahweh.