Chapter 22, Part 1 Preview: The reality of Ezekiel’s warnings to the twelve nations of Israel (and Gog & Magog) will come as a complete shock to the millions of survivors of the Tribulation as they learn that the captivity and eventual escape from captivity of the millions of primarily English speaking people of the world is all recorded in extreme detail in their dust covered copies of the Scriptures that lie around as good luck charms. Our friends, those fortunate enough to survive, will learn about these things when they are summonsed by Yehovah (God) to the New Israel!
Today there are some men teaching that the twelve tribes of Israel will not be taken into captivity. To believe that is to misunderstand most of Biblical prophecy! This summarization of the book of Ezekiel shows from a single book of prophecy the overwhelming error of the rose tinted glasses approach. Only a few complementary scriptures are added.
The purpose of this overview of the book of Ezekiel is to emphasize what Ezekiel had to say about the suffering of the twelve nations of Israel before the Battle of Gog and Magog! The twelve tribes-turned-nations will be reduced to being tribes again before the next population explosion.
Lamentations 2:14 The visions your prophets have seen were false and foolish. They haven’t exposed your guilt to prevent your captivity. They presented to you false revelations [not oracles] and deceptions. —The Gabriel Bible
There are many articles on the Battle of Gog and Magog. Google finds nearly half a million references on the web. It is the purpose of this chapter to use the entire book of Ezekiel as the context for this battle rather than begin the explanation toward the end of Ezekiel’s prophecy. The entire book is a cohesive account. If you don’t factor in the first 37 chapters you will not understand the punch line! The battle of Gog and Magog takes place after the “Great Tribulation”, that is The Time After Jacob’s Trouble. If you are not familiar with prophecies concerning all twelve tribes of Israel (Jacob) then you would really be advised to read the “troubling” untold story of the Second Exodus at the above link! What almost all commentators ride roughshod over is the simple fact that all twelve tribes of Israel are the intended victims of this great army, not simply today’s Jewish state of “Israel”. There are separate prophecies for “Judah and Jerusalem”. So we need to understand that there are still twelve tribes of Israel today and they are part of a very well thought out plan.
Unless you live in Gog and Magog, the other 46 chapters of Ezekiel are likely to be of far more personal relevance to you. The fact that you are reading this information—written in English—means that you are more likely of Israelite descent, or a grafted in Israelite and that these other chapters are likely to be about your own future!
Matthew 19:27-29 Then Cephas said in reply, “Look, we’ve forsaken everything to follow You. What is in store for us?” 28 Yeshua told them, “I assure you that when the Human Son sits on His magnificent throne on the Renewed Earth, those of you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, presiding over the twelve tribes of Israel. 29 Anyone who has had to abandon their homes or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or fields because of My name will receive a hundred times as much, and inherit eternal Life.
Weren’t most of the tribes “lost”? Was Paul speaking figuratively when on trial for his life?
Acts 26:6-7 I now stand on trial for believing the promise that YHVH made to our ancestors. 7 This is the promise that our twelve tribes expect to see fulfilled, praying for it diligently day and night. It is because of this very hope, king Agrippa, that the Jews are accusing me.
Was James confused about who he addressed his book to? Yes, there are twelve tribes in the diaspora—not just the Jews!
This is by no means the place to digress into finding out who Israel is today, but if you want historic, scientific and Scriptural proof that Israel is the foundational stock of the USA and the British commonwealth nations of Canada, Australia and South Africa etc., then you should absolutely check out the Brit-Am website and begin checking out his sources. Of course, I always add this disclaimer!
The whole purpose for this chapter of Mysteries of the Everlasting Kingdom book series is to demonstrate that the entire book of Ezekiel is about the future CAPTIVITY of these modern tribes of Israel during the Great Tribulation. It’s about a Second Exodus out of that captivity, followed by the incredible battle of Gog and Magog waged against the newly reunited twelve tribes of Israel. The final nine chapters of Ezekiel describe the time after Israel conquers the kadosh (holy) Land and the temple at the beginning of the Everlasting Kingdom.
There are many “prophecy buffs”. A small minority understand who Israel is, but the message of our captivity is very unpopular and some are trying to divorce the captivity from end time prophecy. Ezekiel has something to say about these people as we are about see!
Here is how Matthew Henry’s Commentary begins the book of Ezekiel. While, as Henry states “our salvation does not depend upon” understanding the book—your life may very well depend on it! (as Ezekiel explained in chapters 3 & 33):
“... Here is one continued vision, beginning at this chapter, to the end of the book, which is justly looked upon to be one of the most difficult portions of scripture in all the book of God. The Jews will not allow any to read it till they are thirty years old, and tell those who do read it that, though they cannot understand every thing in it, ‘when Elias comes he will explain it.’ Many commentators, both ancient and modern, have owned themselves at a loss what to make of it and what use to make of it. But because it is hard to be understood we must not therefore throw it by, but humbly search concerning it, get as far as we can into it and as much as we can out of it, and, when we despair of satisfaction in every difficulty we meet with, bless God that our salvation does not depend upon it, but that things necessary are plain enough, and wait till God shall reveal even this unto us ....”
This commentary was written in 1712, so the fantasy about the creation of the State of “Israel” fulfilling all of these prophecies beginning in 1948, as so many teach today, was not a part of his thinking. The pains that people often take in accurately identifying the peoples of Gog and Magog are of almost no value until you understand who they are going to attack—who Israel is in prophecy. Even now, some of the wise are falling—people who know who Israel is are falling for deceptions and flatteries about a future United States of Israel becoming a nation again without the birth pangs of slaughter and slavery. Ezekiel’s prophecy is not a collection of disconnected prophecies laid out like a smorgasbord where you can pick out just what you like. The 1948 crowd must leave out of their scenario the vast number of Bible chapters that do not fit their ideas. They call these Scriptures “figurative”, a code word for irrelevant, or fulfilled long ago—essentially saying that you should cover certain passages with your finger as you read around them. They would prefer that you just read their commentary and their carefully isolated passages.
The following is a bare bones (dry bones) chapter by chapter sketch of the of the book of Ezekiel.
We begin the book with Ezekiel already in captivity. So to believe that most of this prophecy is really the history of the fall of ancient Israel is to miss the whole point of the book!
The Promised Land will again be the possession of the twelve tribes of Israel by Jubilee 2028 AD. Again, quoting from Matthew Henry’s Commentary he notes that the prophecies concerning the promised land are a future hope.
“... The date of this vision. It was in the twenty-fifth year of Ezekiel’s captivity (v. 1), which some compute to be the thirty-third year of the first captivity, and is here said to be the fourteenth year after the city was smitten. See how seasonably the clearest and fullest prospects of their deliverance were given, when they were in the depth of their distress, and an assurance of the return of the morning when they were in the midnight of their captivity: “Then the hand of the Lord was upon me and brought me thither to Jerusalem, now that it was in ruins, desolate and deserted”—a pitiable sight to the prophet. 2. The scene where it was laid. The prophet was brought, in the visions of God, to the land of Israel, v. 2. And it was not the first time that he had been brought thither in vision. We had him carried to Jerusalem to see it in its iniquity and shame (ch. viii. 3); here he is carried thither to have a pleasing prospect of it in its glory, though its present aspect, now that it was quite depopulated, was dismal. He was set upon a very high mountain, as Moses upon the top of Pisgah, to view this land, which was now a second time a land of promise, not yet in possession ....”
This was more than a simple vision because Yehovah was doing some literal hands on teaching:
The very first thing that Ezekiel saw was Yehovah’s awesome set of wheels! Surely this was to impress on Ezekiel the importance of the phenomenon that he would be witnessing.
VS 15-20 As I was watching the living creatures, I saw a wheel on the ground beside each of the four faced creatures! 16 The wheels looked as if they were constructed of ‘sparkling’ beryl, and all four of them were identical, they looked like wheels within wheels [gyroscopes?]. 17 Whenever they ‘moved’, no matter which of the four directions, they ‘moved’ without turning as they ‘moved’. 18 As for their rims, they were dreadfully high, and all four had rims full of eyes all the way around. 19 When the living creatures ‘moved’, the wheels ‘moved’ with them, and when the living creatures lifted off the ground, the wheels retracted. 20 Wherever the spirit wanted to go, they went with her. The wheels lifted up ‘simultaneously’, because the spirit of the living creatures was collectively in the wheels.
I don’t recall anyone else seeing Yehovah’s radiance in color, yet Ezekiel said that His appearance was like a “rainbow”.
V 28 It looked like a rainbow in a cloud on a rainy day. That’s how the surrounding brilliant light appeared. The splendor of Yehovah appeared in this form. When I saw it, I fell facedown and heard a voice speaking.
Yehovah told Ezekiel that the message that he was going to give to the “nations” of Israel would be met with resistance but that eventually they would know that he had truly “been a prophet among them”.
VS 3-5 3 He said: “Son of Adam, I’m sending you to the descendants of Israel, to two rebellious heathen nations [goim] that have rebelled against Me. They and their ancestors have rebelled against Me to this very day. 4 The descendants are unyielding and ‘headstrong’. You must tell them, ‘The Sovereign Yehovah says’. 5 And whether they listen or not—since they are such a rebellious ‘people’—they’ll realize that a prophet had been among them.
Again we are told, so that we do not forget, that the first captivity was already finished, so we need to figure out what Ezekiel was warning about. Was he really warning the captives about their present captivity? Here we find Yehovah explaining to Ezekiel the importance of his warning the wicked, as well as the righteous but ignorant. Not only are the lives of the Israelites at risk but a principle is being explained: if you see a fire in the building but you don’t yell “fire” then their “blood will I require at your hand”.
VS 15-21 Then I went to where the exiles in Tel Aviv lived, near the Kebar River. I sat there among them for seven days in astonishment.
16 At the end of seven days, the Word of Yehovah came to me. He said: 17 “Human son, I’ve made you a watchman for the ‘nation’ of Israel, so listen to the words I ‘say’, and give them a warning from Me. 18 When I say to the wicked, ‘You will certainly die’, and you don’t give them a warning, or attempt to warn the wicked of their wicked ways, and save their lives, that wicked person will die a sinner, but I’ll hold you responsible for their blood. 19 But if you warn the wicked, and they don’t turn from their wickedness, or from their wicked way, they’ll die a sinner; but you will have saved yourself. 20 Again, when a righteous person turns from their righteousness and does evil, and I set a stumbling block in front of them, they’ll die, because you haven’t given them a warning. They’ll die a sinner, and the righteous things that they did won’t be remembered, but I’ll hold you responsible for their blood. 21 But if you warn righteous people not not sin, and they don’t sin, they’ll certainly live, because they listened to your warning, and you will have saved yourself.”
Here we see Ezekiel prophesying against BOTH houses—the ‘people’ of Israel and the ‘people’ of Judah. He is predicting yet another siege of Jerusalem! Surely death and captivity will follow this as we will see.
VS 1-7 And you, son of Adam, take a tile and set it in front of you, and draw an outline of the city of Jerusalem. 2 Then lay siege to it by building a seige wall against it, build a ramp, pitch camps and place battering rams around it. 3 Then take an iron plate and set it up as an iron wall between you and the city, then face it and besiege it. You’ll personally besiege it. This will serve as a sign to the ‘people’ of Israel. 4 “Then as you lie on your left side, lay the sins of the people of Israel on it. You must bear their sins for the number of days that you lie on your side. 5 For I’ve assigned you a number of days equal to the number of years of their sins. So for three hundred ninety days you’ll bear the sins of the ‘people’ of Israel. 6 When you’ve finished these, you must lie on your right side this time, and bear the sins of the ‘people’ of Judah for forty days. I’ve assigned you a day for each year. 7 You must be facing Jerusalem under siege with your arm uncovered, as you prophesy against it.
In this part of Ezekiel’s prophecy he gets very specific as to the number of Israelites who will be killed in the coming attack. There will only be a remnant of survivors who come “out of the Great Tribulation”. Of the hundreds of millions of Israelites alive today, only a small fraction will survive! Revelation 7:1-8 describes only 144,000 Israelites in particular plus a vast number of others of other nations. It specifies 12,000 from each of the twelve named tribes. These are not spirit born Israelites as many want to believe. Notice that a spirit messenger is told not to “harm the earth, nor the sea, or the trees, until we have sealed the bondservants of Yehovah on their foreheads!” it goes on to say that ... 14 “These are those who came out of the Great Tribulation”.
I hope that there will be other Israelites among that “great multitude” of survivors of the Great Tribulation who are not among this “virgin” group and who are not of course among those who will be protected—those “counted worthy to escape all these things that will happen, and to stand before the Son of Man”.
VS 1-7 You, son of Adam, take a sharp sword and use it like a barber’s razor on your head and beard. Then take set of scales and divide the hair. 2 A third you must burn in the fire at the city center when the days of the siege are finished. Then take another third and slash it with a sword all around the city; the other third you must scatter to the wind, and I’ll unsheathe a sword behind them. 3 But take from these a small number of hairs and bind them in folds of your robe. 4 Take some more of them and throw them into the fire and burn them up. From there a fire will spread to the entire ‘nation’ of Israel. 5 The Sovereign Yehovah says: This is Jerusalem. I’ve set her in the center of the nations with countries all around her. 6 But she rebelled against My ordinances more wickedly than the heathen nations, and against My statutes more than the countries that surround her. She has rejected My ordinances and not ‘lived by’ My statutes. 7 “Therefore, this is what the Sovereign Elohim says: You have been more insubordinate than the nations around you. You have not ‘lived by’ My statutes or kept My ordinances; you have not even ‘lived up to’ the ordinances of the nations around you.
Chapter 6 is entirely about the coming slaughter and captivity:
VS 3-9 and say, ‘You mountains of Israel, listen to the Word of the Sovereign Elohim, the Sovereign Elohim says to the mountains the hills, the ravines and the valleys: I am Personally going to bring a sword against you, and I will destroy your high worship places! 4 Your altars will be demolished and your obelisks will be shattered. I’ll have your slain cut down right in front of their sun god idols. 5 I’ll also lay other Israelite corpses before their idols, and I’ll scatter your bones around your altars. 6 Wherever you live, the cities will become wastelands and the high worship places obliterated, so that your altars will lie in ruins and rubble, your idols smashed and desolate, your obelisks broken down, and your relics wiped out. 7 The ‘wounded’ will fall among you, and you’ll realize that I am Yehovah. 8 But I will leave a remnant. You’ll have some who escape the sword when you are dispersed among the nations. 9 Then the survivors among the nations will remember Me where they were taken captive, and how I’ve been grieved by the adulterous mindset of those who abandoned Me, who with wonton eyes prostituted themselves to their idols. They’ll be loathsome in their own sight for all of the abominable evils that they have committed.
Chapter 7 is also exclusively about what is to happen to the nations of Israel. Perhaps tribes of Israel will become the better term again. We grew from tribes of Israel into nations of Israel as was prophesied: “A nation and a ‘commonwealth’ of nations will come from you. Kings will be among your ‘descendants’! 12 The land that I gave to Abraham and Isaac, I’ll give to you and to your descendants after you. I will give the land.” (Genesis 35:11) It looks as tho we will be reduced to tribes again.
VS 1-2, 6-7,11,16,24-25 The Word of Yehovah came to me. He said, 2 “You, human son, this is what the Sovereign Yehovah says to the people in the land of Israel: An end! The end has come on the four extremeties of the land. ... 6 The end has come! The end has come! It has awakened against you. Look, it’s coming! 7 Your doom has come to you, inhabitants of the land. The time is coming. The day of trouble is near. There will be chaos rather than joyful shouting on the mountains. ... 11 Violence has grown into a rod of wickedness. None of them will remain, none of their people, none of their wealth. Nothing of value will be left. ... 16 But those who survive and escape will be in the mountains, all of them moaning like doves of the valleys, each one over their wickedness. ... 24 So I’ll bring the worst of the nations, and they’ll take possession of their houses. I’ll also put an end to the pride of the strong, and their ‘Kadosh Places’ will be profaned. 25 When destruction comes, they’ll seek peace, but there won’t be any.
Chapter 8 deals with the aftermath of the antimessiah taking over the Temple of Yehovah as Paul described, only in far more detail! The focal point of the coming apostasy is within the Third Temple! This is the time when Yehovah is going to bring destruction upon the people in Jerusalem who followed the Beast, yet even some of these people are marked by Yehovah for salvation.
2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 Don’t let anyone deceive you with some scheme, because that Day won’t come prior to the apostasy [Gr. apostasia] and a certain man of lawlessness appears—the son of destruction. 4 He is an adversary who exalts himself above every so-called “god” and anything religiously venerated. He’ll sit in YHVH’s Temple and “prove” that he is YHVH.
5 Don’t you remember that when I was with you, I told you these things?
Yeshua also mentioned the abominator and the apostasy, citing Daniel, and explaining its benchmark significance. This is the point in time when Israel must “flee” or else go into captivity—this captivity being the primary purpose of this commentary on the book of Ezekiel:
Here is some of Ezekiel’s very detailed elaboration concerning the aftermath of the Beast’s original abomination:
V 3-17 ... the spirit lifted me up between earth and the sky, and brought me as a mode of revelation from Elohim to Jerusalem, to the door of the gate of the inner court that faces toward the north, where there was the seat of the image of Jealousy [the Queen of Heaven], that provokes to jealousy! ... 5 ... and I saw to the north of the altar gate an idol of jealousy in the entrance! 6 He told me, “Human son, do you see what they’re doing? The great abominations that the nation of Israel is committing here to drive Me far from My ‘Temple’? But you’ll see even greater abominations than these.” ... 12 Then said he to me, “Human son, have you seen what the elders of the ‘nation’ of Israel do in the dark, each of them in his bedchamber of imagery? Because they say, ‘Yehovah doesn’t see us; Yehovah has abandoned the land.’” 13 He also said to me, “You’ll see even more abominations that they’re doing.”
14 Then he brought me to the entrance of the north gate of Yehovah’s ‘Temple’, and I saw women sitting there, mourning for Tammuz! 15 Then said he to me, “Do you seen this, human son? You’re about to see even worse abominations than these.”
16 Then he brought me into the inner courtyard of Yehovah’s ‘Temple’, and I saw at the door of the ‘Temple’ of Yehovah, between the porch and the altar, that there were about twenty-five men with their backs toward the ‘Temple’ of Yehovah, facing east, and they were ‘bowing’ toward the sun! 17 Then he asked me, “Have you seen this, human son? Is it a trivial thing for the tribe of Judah to be committing the abominations that that they’re doing here? Must they filled the land with violence, and provoke Me to anger repeatedly? They’re thumbing their nose at Me!
Yehovah showed Ezekiel that the (or a) priesthood had adopted a new religion—a revival of a sun worshiping religion (verse16)! I don’t believe that this is just a vestige of ancient sun worship (as in an Easter sunrise service), this is the Beast’s newly proposed one world religion. The key to the prophecy here is the duality. We saw that four times Ezekiel was told that Israel would “again” be in religious depravity when the second captivity would take place.
This chapter is about Judgment Day in Jerusalem. Jerusalem’s immediate future is not pretty! Yehovah is able to distinguish the wicked from the righteous even among children. Either you come to that conclusion or you must conclude that Yehovah enjoys slaughtering innocent bystanders! You’ve heard of the mark of the Beast, but have you heard of the mark of Yehovah? Certainly nothing quite like this has ever happened. In this turn of events rather than the righteous being martyred; Yehovah will strike dead any Israelite who continues to follow the Beast. The judgment in Jerusalem will be similar to that of Sodom and Gomorrah, in fact Yehovah equates Jerusalem to those cities:
Revelation 11:8 Their dead bodies will be in the open street of the great city that is spiritually called Sodom and Egypt, where their Master was crucified.
Ezekiel 9:4-11 Yehovah said to him, “Go thruout the the city, thru central Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and cry over all the abominations that are committed in it.” 5 Then I heard him say to the others, “Go thru the city after him, and kill. Don’t look on them with pity, or spare them. 6 Kill all of the old men, young men, maidens, little children and the women. But don’t come near anyone who has the mark, and begin at My Kadosh Place. So they began with the elders who were in front of the ‘Temple’.” 7 He told them, “Defile the house by filling the courtyards with the dead. Go!” So they went out and began killing in the city.
8 As they were killing the people, I was left alone, and I fell face down and cried, “Oye Sovereign Yehovah, are You going to destroy the entire remnant of Israel as You’re pouring out Your anger on Jerusalem?” 9 Then He told me, “The wickedness of the nation of Israel and Judah is exceedingly great, and the land is full of bloodshed, and the city is full of perversion. They’re saying, ‘Yehovah has abandoned the land’, and ‘Yehovah isn’t watching.’ 10 But as for Me, I won’t show any pity or spare them, but I’ll bring down on their own heads what they have done.” 11 Then the man in linen, who had the inkhorn by his side, reported back, “I’ve done what you commanded me!”
Chapter 10 consists entirely of another detailed description of the cherubim that escort Yehovah around the universe. He actually uses transportation because the idea of Him being “omnipresent” (everywhere at once) is a pagan trinitarian) concept:
“Bewitched Cafe—The fifth occult element, the omnipresent power which permeates the universe. It embraces the other elements (earth, air, fire, water) which are said to stem from it. Some consider it the ‘other’ of the two worlds that a witch walks between.”
This description of Yehovah’s transportation is acknowledged in verses 15 and 21 to be further elaboration on the visions of Elohim that Ezekiel saw and described in Chapter 1.
V 15-22 Then the cherubim rose up. They were the same living creatures that I had seen by the Kebar River. 16 When the cherubim moved, the wheels moved beside them, and when the cherubim spread their wings to lift off from the ground, the wheels beside them didn’t turn. 17 When ‘the cherubim’ stood still, ‘the wheels’ also stood still; and when the cherubim lifted off, ‘the wheels’ lifted off with them, because the spirit of the living creatures was in them.
18 The splendor of Yehovah moved away from the threshold of the Temple, and stood over the cherubim. 19 The cherubim spread their wings, and lifted off the ground while I watched, with the wheels beside them, and they stood still at the entrance of the east gate of Yehovah’s Temple, and the splendor of the Elohim of Israel ‘hovered’ over them. 20 These were the living creatures that I saw beneath the Elohim of Israel by the Kebar River, so I knew that they were cherubim. 21 Each one had four faces and each one had four wings, and what looked like human hands could be seen under their wings. 22 And as for the appearance of their faces, they were the same faces I had seen by the Chebar river. Each one went straight ahead.
The entire fourth chapter of Revelation also concerns the time of Yehovah’s visitation to earth in this “living vehicle”.
A most notable event in this chapter is the fact that this “living creature” will arrive “at the door of the east gate of Yehovah’s house”. The fact that all of this is taking place at location of the coming third temple should not be overlooked! The much acclaimed, and much misunderstood “sea of glass” (a part of New Jerusalem also accompanies this “portable throne room”. That these events occur at the coming physical temple should strongly reinforce the temple Scriptures that so many are “spiritualizing away” as not being literal events because they are being pawned off as “all being fulfilled by the “church”)”. The temple in Jerusalem will literally become the “house” of Elohim! John’s Revelation presupposes that you know about Ezekiel’s account. He is adding more information about Jerusalem’s future and the end time period.
Revelation 4:6-8 In front of the throne it looked like a sea of glass that sparkled like crystal. In the center near the throne and around the sides were four living beings ‘covered’ with eyes in front and behind. 7 The first living Being resembled a lion, the second living Being resembled a calf, the third living Being had a face like a man, and the fourth living Being resembled a flying eagle. 8 Each of the four living beings had six wings around them, and they were covered with eyes, inside and out. Day and night they never stop saying, “kadosh, kadosh, kadosh, YHVH Aloha, the Sovereign, who was, and is, and is to come.
Here is more of what Ezekiel saw in our future. How Ezekiel may have seen into the future is covered in Does Father Travel in Time?
V 1-3, 10,12,16-21 The spirit lifted me up, and she brought me to the eastern gate of Yehovah’s ‘Temple’, that faces east. Twenty-five men were at the entrance of the gateway, and I saw that Jaazaniah the son of Azzur, and Pelatiah the son of Benaiah, leaders of the people were among them. 2 She told me, “Human son, these are the men who plot evil and give wicked council in this city. 3 who say, ‘It isn’t the time to build houses, this city is a pot and we’re the meat.’ ... 10 You’ll fall by the sword and suffer punishment all the way to the borders of Israel. Then you’ll realize that I am Yehovah. ... 12 You’ll realize that I am Yehovah, because you didn’t live by My statutes, or obey My ordinances, but embraced the ordinances of the nations around you.” ... 16 The Sovereign Yehovah says: Tho I’ve removed them far off into the nations, and scattered them among the countries, I was a Kadosh Place for them for a little while in the countries where they had gone.” 17 The Sovereign Yehovah says, “I’ll gather you from the nations and bring you back from the countries where you’ve been scattered, and I’ll give you back the land of Israel. 18 And when they return there, they’ll remove all its detestable things and abominable practices. 19 I’ll give them ‘unity’, and I’ll put a new spirit within them, and I’ll remove the stony ‘sentiments’ from their beings, and give them ‘human’‘sentiments’, 20 so that they can ‘live by’ My statutes, and obey My ordinances, and practice them. Then they’ll be My people, and I’ll be their Elohim. [This describes the “New Covenant” as in Jeremiah 31] 21 But as for those whose minds are set on their detestable things and their abominations, I’ll bring their deeds down on their own heads, declares the Sovereign Yehovah.”
Just prior to the time when the New Covenant with Israel is implemented, Israel will be coming out of the captivity, “out of the countries where you have been scattered and I will give you the land of Israel”.
The twenty five would be the high priest and twenty four elders who were giving “wicked counsel”. I would think that the statement “The time is not near to build houses” is a statement of the continuing reluctance to live in Israel as Yehovah’s people. The attitude is no different than that of the exiles of Egypt who died in the wilderness rather than obey Yehovah and claim the Promised Land.
It is interesting to note that the issue of whether or not to settle the land is an issue right up until Judgment Day, which begins at the very temple of Yehovah.
Chapter twelve is another duality chapter which closely parallels the coming captivity. It is primarily focused on the continuing bad news of Ezekiel’s own day and age.
V 14-28 I’ll scatter everyone with him to the ‘four’ winds—his staff and all his troops, and I’ll unsheathe my sword and chase them down. 15 “They’ll realize that I am Yehovah, once I’ve dispersed them among the nations, scattering them thruout the earth 16 But I’ll spare a few of them from the sword, the famine and the plagues, so they can acknowledge all of their abominations among the nations where they go, and they’ll realize that I am Yehovah. ... i>20 The [over] populated cities will lie in ruins once the [farm] land is devastated. Then you’ll realize that I am Yehovah.” ... 26 Again The Word of Yehovah came to me. He said, 27 “Human son, the nation of Israel is saying, ‘The vision that he sees is for many years from now, he’s prophesying about the distant future.’ 28 “So tell them, ‘The Sovereign Yehovah says: Nothing I say will be postponed any longer. The message I give will be fulfilled, says the Sovereign Yehovah.’”
The people who were hearing the bad news said: “He prophesies of times that are far off”. But Yehovah said that there would be no delay. This is another classic duality segment of Scripture. When Yehovah again sends prophets (Revelation 11:10) to the people of all twelve tribes of Israel, the false prophets will continue saying that these events are for another period of time—they’re already saying it’s for ancient Israel. Yet the prophecies of Ezekiel, taken as a whole includes way too many events that never by any stretch of the imagination occurred in the past. Absolutely none of the hundreds of positive and joyful prophecies of any of the prophets concerning Israel has come to pass yet! (Tho Judah is tenuously established.)
Here is an entire chapter prophesying about the end time “prophets”. While we tend to think of prophets as people claiming to be “inspired or instructed by Yehovah to announce future events” it also means “an interpreter of [heavenly] will” as well as “one who speaks for a group or cause”, according to my Living Webster Dictionary. That definition is in agreement with the original Hebrew usage. So essentially, a prophet is referring to anyone out there preaching or teaching about Yehovah. From the context you have to wonder if there are any true prophets in the crowd! Apparently there are so few that no mention of them is made. This of course is for dramatic effect because there will be a few in the Seven Assemblies of Revelation 2-3.
V 1-5 The Word of Yehovah came to me. He said: 2 “Human son, prophesy against the prophets of Israel who continue prophesying, and tell those delusional prophets: ‘Listen to the Word of Yehovah! 3 This is what the Sovereign Yehovah says: Woe to the foolish prophets who are following their own spirit, and haven’t seen anything! 4 Israel, your prophets have been like jackals among ruins. 5 You haven’t gone up to repair the breaches, or fortify the wall for the ‘nation’ of Israel to withstand the battle on the Day of Yehovah.’
True prophets would be building up the “wall” [defenses] for Yehovah’s people so that they will be prepared to “stand in the battle in the day of Yehovah”—a reference to taking back the entire expanded land of Israel for all twelve tribes. In Acts, Paul called one of these turkeys a whitewashed wall. I take it that being whitewashed meant only paying lip service to a truth:
Acts 23:3 Paul said to him, “YHVH will hit you later, you whitewashed wall! How can you sit there and judge me by the Torah, while violating the Torah by ordering me to be struck?”
Those preachers who persist in their lies will be terminated!
V 6-9 Their dreams are shams and their divinations are lies. They’re saying, “Yehovah says,” when Yehovah hasn’t sent them, and they hope that their predictions will actually happen. 7 Haven’t you seen fraudulent visions and fabricated occult prophecies when you claimed, “Yehovah says,” even tho I never spoke? 8 So the Sovereign Yehovah says: Because you have spoken falsely and had fraudulent visions. I am against you, declares the Sovereign Yehovah. 9 My hand will oppose the prophets who see fraudulent visions and utter occult prophecies. They won’t be included in the council of My people, nor will they be recorded in the register of the 'nation' of Israel, nor will they immigrate to the land of Israel. Then you’ll realize that I am the Sovereign Yehovah.
However some preachers will shut their yaps in time:
Zechariah 13:3-5 If anyone continues to prophesy, then his father and his mother who gave birth to him, will say, “You must die, because you have told lies in the name of Yehovah.” Then his father and his mother who gave birth to him will stab him with a dagger [daqar] when he prophesies. 4 During that future time, every “prophet” will all be ashamed of the visions that they had prophesied. They’ll no longer wear a hairy mantle [religious costume] in order to deceive. 5 He’ll say, “I’m not a prophet, I’m a ‘farm worker. I’ve been one since a man bought me as a slave in my youth.”
V 10 Because they’ve seduced My people, preaching “Peace”, and there is no peace, and when someone builds a wall, they daub it with whitewash.
Paul also repeated this idea:
1 Thessalonians 4:1-4 So Friends, we ask you and strongly encourage you on behalf of our Master Yeshua, to ‘live your lives’ in the way you learned from us, and strive to please YHVH with ever increasing progress. 2 You know the instructions we gave you from our Master Yeshua Messiah.
3 It is YHVH’s will that you remain dedicated, and that you stay away from any sexual immorality, 4 and that each of you would know how to control your ‘body’ in dedication and honor,
This is a very revealing chapter, but I’ll cut to the conclusion:
V 22-23 Because you’ve discouraged the righteous with lies, when I intended no grief, and encouraged the wicked not to turn from their wicked ways, and save their lives, 23 you’ll no longer see false visions, or practice divination. I’ll deliver My people out of your grasp, and then you’ll realize that I am Yehovah.
For more on this subject, chapter 34 condemns the “shepherds”, who are really wolves in sheep’s clothing, more than any other chapter in the Bible. It repeatedly says that they only desire to feed themselves—they are only in it for money! (Big surprise?) The second condemnation, in an end time context, is that these false shepherds could prevent Israel’s captivity. Instead, they only speak smooth things and if they deny the coming captivity or simply do not talk about it, then they actually worsen the captivity!
The first nine verses of this chapter also deal with false prophets and idolatry. Then we move to the punishment phase. Both ministry and “laity” will learn from the Great Tribulation—captivity etc., so that they will “go no more astray from Me”. So few people will escape the trials that if “Noah, Daniel, and Job” were there they would not be able to set their own children on the right course.
V 10-21 They’ll bear the consequences of their wickedness—the prophet will be as guilty as the inquirer. 11 Then the ‘nation’ of Israel will no longer stray from Me, or defile themselves any more with their rebelliousness. They can be My people, and I can be their Elohim, says the Sovereign Yehovah.’”
12 The Word of Yehovah came to me. He said, 13 “Human son, when a nation sins against Me by being unfaithful, and I reach out My hand against it and cut off its supply of ‘food’, and send famine against it, and wipe out both man and beast, 14 even if these three men—Noah, Daniel, and Job—were in it, they could only save themselves by their righteousness, declares the Sovereign Yehovah. 15 Or if I send vicious animals thru a country, and they ravage its children, and it becomes so desolate that no one will travel thru it because of the animals, 16 tho these three men were in it, as surely as I live, says the Sovereign Yehovah, they could not even save their own sons or daughters. They alone would be saved, but the country would be deserted. 17 Or if I bring a sword against that country, and say, ‘Sword, go thru the country,’ and I destroy the people and the animals, 18 tho these three men were in it, As surely as I live, says the Sovereign Yehovah, they wouldn’t save their own sons and daughters, they would only save themselves. 19 Or if I send a plague against that country, and pour out My wrath on it in blood, to wipe out man and beast, 20 even if Noah, Daniel, and Job were there, as surely as I live, says the Sovereign Yehovah, they couldn’t save their own sons or daughters, they would only save themselves by their righteousness.” 21 This is what the Sovereign Yehovah says, “How much worse will it be when I send My four severe judgments against Jerusalem—sword, famine, wild animals and plagues, to wipe out man and beast from it!
As is so often mentioned, there will be a remnant of Israel to come out of the Great Tribulation. There are 144,000 specified in Revelation 7:14 who clean up their act during the Great Tribulation. John, speaking as an eye witness, said that they “came out of the Great Tribulation”. They washed their robes, and made them white in the Lamb’s blood.
V 22 Yet there will be some survivors who will be brought out, both sons and daughters. They’ll be coming out to you, and you’ll see their conduct and actions. Then you’ll be consoled concerning the disaster that I’ve brought on Jerusalem—every disaster that I’ve brought against it!
Will it really require all of this suffering to bring about a righteous people? It may require hindsight!
V 23 They [the survivors] will comfort you [kadishea (saints)], when you see their conduct and their actions, and you’ll know that I haven’t done anything without a reason for having done it, declares the Sovereign Yehovah.
This tiny chapter makes only one point—that the residents of Jerusalem who do not flee when the time comes, as Yeshua warned of in Matthew 24:15-16, will be burned up! The wickedness of Jerusalem will be as the wickedness of Sodom (Jeremiah 23:14). Apparently the inhabitants will be burned up outside of Jerusalem as they try—far too late, to flee.
V 6-8 So the Sovereign Yehovah says: In the same way that wood from a grapevine growing on the trees of a forest is used as fuel for the fire, so will I treat the residents of Jerusalem. 7 I’ll ‘turn’ against them. They may have escaped the fire, yet a fire will completely incinerate them. Then you [survivors] will realize that I am Yehovah, when I turn against them. 8 I’ll make the land desolate because they’ve been unfaithful, declares the Sovereign Yehovah.
My commentary begins with a verse from the common theme concerning Yehovah’s marriage covenant with Israel—the first or “old” covenant.
v8 Then when I passed by you, and looked at you, and saw that you were old enough for love! I spread My robe over you, and covered your nakedness. I swore to you, and entered into a covenant with you, declares the Sovereign Yehovah, and you became Mine.
Long story short, we move to a problem with our food supply that will precede our captivity:
V 27 So, I’ve stretched out My ‘fist’ against you, and reduced your provisions, and handed you over to those Philistine women who hate you, and even they were shocked by your lewd behavior!
Here begins a long discourse on Israel’s prostitution with the surrounding nations. While imitating their heathen ways is condemned as well as marrying people with foreign religions; this segment is about trusting in political alliances with the enemy rather than trusting in Yehovah—the Elohim who made an actual marriage covenant with our ancestors. This is about buying off our enemies to appease them and to influence them to do what we want. All the while Israel builds churches on every corner.
V 28-36 Then you committed prostitution with the Assyrians because you were insatiable; and even after committing prostitution, you still weren’t satisfied. 29 You extended your prostitution to the land of merchants, to ‘Babylon’, and yet even then you weren’t satisfied.
30 “How weak willed you are, says the Sovereign Yehovah, when you do all these things, acting like a domineering prostitute. 31 You build your vaulted shrines on every street corner, and establish your Churches on every square. Yet unlike a prostitute, you scorned payment. 32 “‘You adulterous wife, preferring strangers to your own husband! 33 Men give gifts to every prostitute, but you give your gifts to all your lovers, bribing them [politically] to come to you from everywhere for your sexual favors. 34 So you are different from other women in your prostitution, since no one practices prostitution like you do—you hire men instead of being hired. You’re certainly different!
35 So, you prostitute, hear the Word of Yehovah. 36 This is what the Sovereign Yehovah says: Because of your overflowing lust, and because you exposed your naked body in prostitution with your lovers, and because of all your abominable idols, and because you gave ‘the idols’ your children’s blood,
The end result of these monetary contributions is that at some point all of our enemies will turn on us at once.
V 37-42 I am going to gather all the lovers you pleased—everyone you loved, and everyone you hated; I’ll gather them against you from every direction and strip you in front of them, so they can gawk at your completely naked body. 38 I’ll sentence you like women who commit adultery or shed blood are sentenced. I’ll bring about your bloodshed in wrath and jealousy. 39 I’ll hand you over to your lovers, and they’ll tear down your ‘fornication temples’ [JFB], demolish your high places, strip off your clothes, take your beautiful jewels, and leave you stark naked. 40 They’ll bring a mob against you to stone you and cut you to pieces with their swords. 41 They’ll burn down your houses, and inflict punishment on you in the plain view of many women [nations]. I’ll halt your prostitution, and you’ll no longer hire your lovers. 42 I’ll calm My fury against you, and My jealousy will vanish. I’ll be pacified and angry no longer.
Yet Yehovah says that our enemies are relatively more righteous than we are!
V 51-52 Samaria didn’t commit half the sins you did! You’ve amplified your abominations more than they. You’ve made your sisters seem righteous by all the abominations you’ve done. 52 You must bear your own shame, since you’ve been an advocate for your sisters. Your sins are more abominable than theirs, they are more righteous that you. So be ashamed, and bear your humiliation, because you’ve made your sisters look righteous by comparison.
V 53-59 “I’ll bring them back from their captivity—that is, from the captivity of Sodom and her daughters, along with the captivity of Samaria and her daughters. I’ll bring the ‘refugees’ along with them , 54 so that you can bear your humiliation and feel ashamed of everything that you’ve done as you become a consolation for them! 55 Your sisters, Sodom and her daughters will be restored to their former status, as will Samaria and her daughters to their former status, and you and your daughters will also be restored to what you were before. 56 You didn’t even mention your sister Sodom’s name in your day of pride, 57 before your wickedness was uncovered. Now you’ve been scorned by the daughters of Edom, and all her neighbors, including the daughters of the Philistines—all those surrounding you who despise you. 58 You bear the penalty of your lewdness and your abominations, declares Yehovah. 59 This is what the Sovereign Yehovah says, “I’ll cause what you’ve ‘effected’. You ‘trashed’ your oath in breaking your marriage vows [covenant].
 None of the Protestant versions I usually refer to made any sense on this verse. When I checked the Douay-Rheims (Catholic) Bible I was skeptical about what it said, until I read the very detailed Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on Ezekiel 16. These, and a close look at the puzzling translation of the Hebrew word shebuth inspired my rendering. What the commentary writers acknowledged that they couldn’t explain is explained in Are the “Unsaved” Lost?
Now for the happy ending. This is the part where duality is a certainty because the happy ending never came about in the first go around.
V 60-62 But I’ll remember the marriage vow I made with you in the days of your youth [the “Old Covenant”], and I’ll [re]establish with you an everlasting [New] Covenant. 61 Then you’ll remember the way you lived and be ashamed when I return your older and younger sisters to you. and I’ll give them to you as daughters, but not due to My covenant with you. 62 Then I’ll reaffirm My [marriage] covenant with you, and you’ll realize that I am Yehovah.
The Everlasting Covenant is what Jeremiah referred to as a New Covenant. While some refer to it as the Renewed Covenant, neither the Hebrew or the Greek support it. Oh, and it’s not just for the Jews—it’s a Covenant with all twelve tribes!
Jeremiah 31:31-34 The time is coming ,’ says Yehovah, ‘when I’ll make a New marriage Covenant with the ‘nation’ of Israel and the ‘nation’ of Judah. 32 It won’t be like the marriage Covenant that I made with their ancestors during the time when I took them by the hand and led them out of the land of Egypt, since they broke My Covenant, tho I was their Husband, says Yehovah. 33 In this marriage Covenant that I’ll make with the ‘nation’ of Israel after those days,’ says Yehovah, ‘I’ll put My Torah in the very seat of their thoughts and emotions, and I’ll write it into their minds [hearts]. I’ll be their Elohim, and they’ll be My people. 34 People will no longer teach their neighbors or their relatives, by asking, ‘Do you know Yehovah’ [the Lord], because they’ll all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says Yehovah. I’ll forgive their wickedness, and I’ll never again remember their sins.