The returning Israelites (Ezek 39:26-39:27)

“They shall forget

Their shame.

They shall forget

All the treachery

That they have practiced

Against me.

They shall live securely

In their land

With no one

To make them afraid.

I have brought

Them back

From the various people.

I have gathered them

From their enemies’ lands.

I have vindicated

My holiness

Through them

In the sight

Of many nations.”

The Israelites were to forget their shame when they returned to Israel. They would forget their former treachery against Yahweh. They would live securely in their land, since there was no one to make them afraid. Yahweh would have brought them back from the various countries that they were in. He was going to gather them from the lands of their enemies. Yahweh would vindicate his holiness through them in the sight of many nations.

The eternal covenant of peace (Ezek 37:26-37:28)

“I will make

A covenant

Of peace

With the Israelites.

It shall be

An everlasting covenant

With them.

I will bless them.

I will multiply them.

I will set my sanctuary

Among them

Forever.

My dwelling place

Shall be with them.

I will be their God.

They shall be my people.

Then the nations

Shall know

That I,

Yahweh,

Sanctify Israel,

When my sanctuary is

Among them

Forever.”

Yahweh, via Ezekiel, was going to make an eternal covenant of peace with the Israelites. He was going to bless and multiply them. He was going to set his sanctuary among them, living with them forever. He was going to be their God. Thus, they would be his people. All the various countries would know that Yahweh had personally sanctified the land of Israel forever. There was a major emphasis on forever, which is a very long time.

The profaning of the holy name of Yahweh (Ezek 36:20-36:21)

“When the Israelites came

To the nations,

Wherever they came,

They profaned

My holy name.

It was said of them.

‘These are the people

Of Yahweh.

Yet they had to go

Out of his land.’

But I had concern

For my holy name.

The house of Israel

Had profaned it

Among the nations

To which they came.”

Yahweh complained that the Israelites had profaned his holy name in the various countries that they went into. The people there in those countries would say that Yahweh’s people had to leave the land of Yahweh. Thus, they continued to profane the name of Yahweh in their exile, in whatever country they were living.

Yahweh returns them to the good pastures of Israel (Ezek 34:13-34:15)

“‘I will bring them

Out from the various people.

I will gather them

From the various countries.

I will bring them

Into their own land.

I will feed them

On the mountains

Of Israel.

They will be

By the water fountains,

In all the inhabited places

Of the country.

I will feed them

With good pasture.

The mountain heights

Of Israel

Shall be their pasture.

They shall lie down there

In good grazing land.

They shall feed

On rich pasture

On the mountains

Of Israel.

I myself

Will be the shepherd

Of my sheep.

I will make them

Lie down.’

Says Yahweh God.”

Somewhat reminiscent of Psalm 23 about the good shepherd, Yahweh, their God, said that he was going to bring all his lost sheep together from the various countries where they had been. They were going to go back to their own land. Yahweh was going to feed them on the mountains of Israel with flowing water in all the inhabited places of their country. He was going to feed them from the good pastures in the mountain heights of Israel. There they would lie down in this good grazing land. They would eat from the rich pastures on the mountains of Israel. Yahweh was going to be their shepherd, the good shepherd of his sheep. He was going to make them lie down in great green pastures.

Against the Ammonites (Ezek 25:1-25:2)

“The word of Yahweh

Came to me.

‘Son of man!

Set your face

Toward the Ammonites,

Prophesy against them.’”

Now there are a series of oracles against the various countries around Israel and Judah. As usual, the word of Yahweh came to Ezekiel, the son of man. He was to set his face against the Ammonites and prophesy against them. Who are the Ammonites? In the biblical sense, they are the descendants of Ammon, the son of Lot from the incest incident with his daughter in Genesis, chapter 19. They seem to have been east of the Jordan and north of Moab, but south of Assyria. The country of Ammon existed from about the 10th century to the 4th century BCE in what would have been the Gad territory as outlined in Joshua, chapter 13. Today it is part of the country of Jordan. Jeremiah, chapter 49, had also spoken out against them. They along with the Moabites were the constant enemies of Judah and Israel. At some point, they became part of the Assyrian empire and eventually ceased to exist. They certainly were related to Canaan and spoke a Semitic language.