No uncircumcised foreigners in the sanctuary (Ezek 44:9-44:9)

“Therefore,

Thus says Yahweh God!

‘No foreigner

Shall enter my sanctuary!

No uncircumcised in heart

Shall enter my sanctuary!

No uncircumcised in flesh

Shall enter my sanctuary!

None of all the foreigners,

Who are among

The people of Israel,

Shall enter my sanctuary.’”

There was no doubt about what Yahweh wanted. No foreigners were to be allowed to enter into his sanctuary. No one uncircumcised in heart or flesh would be allowed into the sanctuary of Yahweh. This even included the foreigners who were living among the Israelites. Only the circumcised, but more precisely, only the Zadok Levitical priests were allowed into his sanctuary.

Sidon in the pit (Ezek 32:30-32:30)

“The princes of the north

Are there,

All of them.

All the Sidonians,

Have gone down

In shame

With the slain.

They caused terror

With their might.

They lie uncircumcised

With those

Who were killed

By the sword.

They bear

Their shame

With those

Who go down

To the pit.”

As with the people of the south, so too the princes of the north are there in the pit. This includes the Sidonians from the coastal city of Sidon, north of Israel in the Lebanon area. They have all gone down in shame with the slain. They had caused terror with their might. Now they lie uncircumcised with those killed by the sword. They bear the same shame with the others in the pit.

Edom in the pit (Ezek 32:29-32:29)

“Edom is there.

Its kings,

All its princes,

With all their might,

Are laid

With those

Who were killed

By the sword.

They lie

With the uncircumcised.

They lie

With those

Who go down

To the pit.”

The people of Edom, the southern neighbor of Judah, with its kings and princes are also in the pit. Despite all their might, they were laying there with the uncircumcised and those killed by the sword.

Meshech and Tubal in the grave (Ezek 32:26-32:26)

“Meshech

With Tubal

Are there.

All their multitude

Is there.

Their graves are

All around them.

All of them were

Uncircumcised.

They had been killed

By the sword.

They had spread terror

In the land

Of the living.”

Ezekiel had mentioned both these obscure kingdoms in chapter 27 when he was talking about the trading partners of Tyre. Meshech were the Assyrians in the mountain country of present day Turkey. Tubal seemed to be some Assyrians who had settled in today’s southern Turkey. Like those preceding, these two groups of people were uncircumcised. They, too, had spread terror in the land of the living, but also died by the sword.

Elam in the pit (Ezek 32:24-32:25)

“Elam is there.

All its hordes are

Around its grave.

All of them

Were killed,

Fallen by the sword.

They went down,

Uncircumcised,

Into the world below.

They had spread

Terror

In the land

Of the living.

They bear their shame

With those who go down

To the pit.

They have made Elam

A bed

Among the slain

With all its hordes of people.

Their graves are

All around it.

All of them

Are uncircumcised.

They were killed

By the sword.

Terror of them

Was spread

In the land

Of the living.

They bear their shame

With those who go down

To the pit.

They are placed

Among the slain.”

Elam was the grandson of Noah or a people in present day southern Iran or Persia. Thus, Elam, with its inhabitants around its grave, was there in the pit, the shadowy afterlife. They had all been killed by the sword. They went down into the pit uncircumcised. While they were living, they had spread terror. Thus, they bear the same shame of the others who have gone down into the pit. They were in a bed with graves all around them, filled with uncircumcised people who were killed by the sword. The worst place in the pit was with these uncircumcised people who had died by the sword.

The explanation of the allegory of the cedar tree (Ezek 31:18-31:18)

“Which among the trees

Of Eden

Was like you

In glory,

Or in greatness?

Now you shall be

Brought down

With the trees

Of Eden

To the world below.

You shall lie

Among the uncircumcised.

You shall lie

With those who were killed

By the sword.

‘This is Pharaoh

With his entire hoard.’

Says Yahweh God.”

Yahweh God revealed the meaning of the big cedar tree. There is very little suspense, since it is Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, and the multitude of his people with him. The other trees were those kings and people associated with Egypt that relied on him for their existence. Once again, there was a comparison of this great cedar tree with the trees from the Garden of Eden. Which was more glorious or great? The great cedar tree would be brought down with the trees from the Garden of Eden to the world below. Thus, they would lie down with the uncircumcised and those killed by the sword.

The false circumcision (Jer 9:25-9:26)

“Says Yahweh.

‘The days are surely coming

When I will attend to

All those who are circumcised

Only in the foreskin.

This includes

Egypt,

Judah,

Edom,

The Ammonites,

Moab,

As well as all those with shaven temples

Who live in the desert.

All these nations are uncircumcised.

All the house of Israel

Is uncircumcised in heart.’”

Yahweh, via Jeremiah, criticizes those who are uncircumcised in their hearts. He seems to indicate that that Egyptians, the Edomites, the Moabites are also circumcised, as it must have been a common custom. He also indicates that Judah is also circumcised along with the Arabs in the desert with their shaven temples. However, the harshest treatment is for the house of Israel that is uncircumcised in the heart.