God begins to give Ezekiel prophesies to speak as he is lying on his side as a sign to Israel.
Ezekiel Chapter 6
Lessons from the text
The High Places Will Be Brought Low In this chapter, God decreed that the altars and groves in the high places of Judah would be broken down. The Jews were going to the hills to worship false gods. They were not going to the temple in Jerusalem as the Lord had commanded them (Deut. 12:2-14). Instead, they wanted to worship in the way they wanted and to whoever they wanted. God would not let this stand.
When God allowed Judah to be conquered, He was not merely punishing the Jews. God was destroying all the holy places that were dedicated to false gods. This was essential in showing that these false gods had no power or authority. The only One who has the power to protect His sanctuary is the Lord. The holy temple in Jerusalem was raided only after He warned that it would be raided (Jer. 27:16-22). All of this destruction was a means to make the Jews realize that there is only one, true God.
Verse by Verse Commentary
1 God gives Ezekiel a prophecy against Jerusalem. This is one of the prophecies that Ezekiel was commanded to speak during the time he is to lay siege against Jerusalem (Eze. 4:7).
2-7 God does not speak directly to the Jews; He directs His words to the land. While God is judging the people for their sins, the land must also bear the punishment. The soil had become tainted from all the altars and sacrifices to other gods. God will purge the land of all this sin by the blood of the idolaters. While this may seem harsh, it is vital to remember that these idolaters killed their children on the altars as child sacrifices (Jer. 7:30-31). Having the bones of the idolaters scattered on the altars defiles the altars and shows that the gods for who the altars stand are not able to deliver their own worshippers from destruction. This will cause the people to recognize that the Lord is God, since all the other gods have proven to be worthless in a time of trouble.
8-10 In Ezekiel 5:12, God says that the third part of Israel that will be scattered in the wind will have a sword chase after them. Here, God makes it clear that He will spare a remnant of that third. Webster defines remnant as “a usually small part, member, or trace remaining; a small surviving group.” Out of the entire nation, only a remnant of a third will be left, which is a very small number. These surviving Jews will realize their sins and hate themselves for what they have done. Finally recognizing the evil that they have committed, they will repent and turn back to God. This hints at God’s purpose in the judgments against Israel, to use terrible circumstances to purge Israel of sin (Isa. 27:9).
11-12 God repeats the three judgments He has already given to Ezekiel through the sign of dividing his hair into three portions (Eze. 5:12).
13 See verse 5.
14 Israel is the land that flows with milk and honey (Num. 13:27). It is the most fruitful place on the earth. However, because of the Israelites’ sins, the land is to be smitten and made unfruitful. In modern times, one can see that God has fulfilled this judgment. Israel is mostly a barren land. The fruits and plenteous harvest that are described in the times of the kings are nowhere to be found. To watch their nation go from being so fruitful to so barren, the Jews of the captivity will be forced to acknowledge that they have sinned against God.
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