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Ezekiel;- Return to the land

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posted on Jun, 15 2018 @ 05:02 PM
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Ezekiel is the prophet of the fall of Jerusalem to the Babylonians..
Once Jerusalem has fallen, his work is nearly complete.
But the relationship between God and his people has not lapsed, and his final task is to explain the new conditions of that relationship.

He has talked about new leadership, and the next topic is the question of what happens to the land.
“The inhabitants of the waste places of the land” stake their claim (ch33 vv23-29).
These will be the remnants of the kingdom of Judah, outside Jerusalem, probably combined with those descendants of the original inhabitants who have never identified with the community of Israel.
They expect to be able to maintain their occupation of the land and re-build their society. If Abraham could fill the land with his seed, being only one man, then these people, starting from their existing numbers, should be able to do the same thing.
“The land is surely given us to possess”.
But this will not be allowed, because they are continuing to offend God.
They eat flesh with the blood, they lift up their eyes to idols, they shed blood, each one defiles his neighbour’s wife.
They are as bad as the kingdom that has been destroyed, and they will be destroyed in the same way.
They will fall by the sword and by wild beasts and by pestilence, and the land will be made a desolation and a waste.

The idea of a new property with vacant possession is attractive to the Edomites (ch35), but that isn’t going to be allowed either.
The Lord is against “Mount Seir” for a number of reasons.
They “cherished perpetual enmity and gave over the people of Israel to the sword at the time of their calamity”.
They reviled Israel and gloated over their calamities, and magnified their words against the God of Israel.
They also “rejoiced over the inheritance of the house of Israel because it was desolate”. They said ”These two nations and these two countries shall be mine, and we will take possession of them”, ignoring his ownership of the land.
Therefore he will respond to their enmity with enmity. He will respond to their anger and envy with his own anger. He will make their own land a desolation and a waste, just as they were rejoicing over what happened to Judah.
“Then they will know that I am the Lord”.

Next the Lord addresses the desolate land itself, in words of sympathy (ch36 vv1-15).
It has become the talk and evil gossip of the nations.
“The enemy has said of you Aha! and ’The ancient heights have become our possession’”.
So the Lord speaks in his “hot jealousy” against the other nations; just as they have reproached the land of Israel, so they will suffer reproach.
As for the mountains of Israel themselves, “you shall shoot forth your branches” and yield fruit to the people of Israel, who will soon come home.
The land will be tilled and sown, the population will be multiplied. The cities will be inhabited and the waste places rebuilt.
Because the mountains have been reproached as “devouring men”, they will be filled with children.
“They shall possess you and you shall be their inheritance…
Then you will know that I am the Lord”.

Finally, there is another word from the Lord about changing the conduct of the future inhabitants (ch36 vv16-38).
When they occupied the land before, their conduct was unclean. That was why he judged them and scattered them amongst the nations. This had the side-effect of profaning his holy name, because the nations said of them “These are the people of the Lord, and yet they had to go out of his land”.
Therefore he will act to protect his holy name, which he will accomplish by bringing them back to the land.

At the same time, he cannot allow them to remain unclean, because that would be just as bad for his holy name.
Firstly, then, he will cleanse them; “I will sprinkle water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you”.
Beyond that, he will take steps to keep them clean, which is the long-term solution to the problem.
“A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will take out of your flesh the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.
And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to observe my ordinances” (vv24-27).

This will establish a fresh relationship between God and his people.
“You shall be my people, and I will be your God”.
Nevertheless, it will be part of this new relationship that they will “remember your evil ways and your deeds that were not good”- not to continue them, but to mourn over them. As he has said before in this book, they will loathe themselves for their former iniquities and abominable deeds.
That will help them to understand their true place in front of God, and their dependence upon his mercy.

They will dwell in the land of their fathers, He will make the grain abundant, and the fruit of the trees, so that they will never again suffer the disgrace of famine.
The cities will be inhabited, and the waste places will be rebuilt.
People will say “The land that was desolate has become like the garden of Eden”.
He will also increase their numbers. To be exact, he will allow the house of Israel to ask him to increase their numbers, and he will willingly give them that blessing.
Thus the formerly waste cities will be filled with “flocks of men”.

“Then they will know that I am the Lord”.




posted on Jun, 15 2018 @ 05:03 PM
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The people did return from Babylon in the time of Cyrus, but the rest of the Old Testament shows that they were not yet cleansed.
Malachi complains about it, Zechariah ch11 complains about it, Daniel looks for another way to interpret the “70 years” interval predicted by Jeremiah.
So that return was not a complete fulfilment of this prophecy. It was a provisional return, which could be revoked.
Arguably, the same assessment might be applicable to the twentieth century return.



posted on Jun, 15 2018 @ 05:25 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

So when he mentions " they eat flesh with blood" is that an injunction against eating meat, IE animals?

Just curious, Ive heard various resposnses, but Im interested as it seemingly ranks up there as a serious evil in the passage.



posted on Jun, 15 2018 @ 05:34 PM
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a reply to: BlueJacket
No, that's about breaking one of the laws of Moses.
The principle is that blood belongs to God (a symbol of the fact that life belongs to God).
So the law demands that the animal's blood be given back to God instead of being consumed along with the flesh.
The blood of sacrificed animals would be poured onto the altar, the blood of animals killed for ordinary meals would be poured onto the ground and get back to God that way.



posted on Jun, 15 2018 @ 05:41 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

excellent...could there be any variance to the "altar?"

For instance we use it dried on our homestead (blood meal) to nourish plants



posted on Jun, 15 2018 @ 05:47 PM
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a reply to: BlueJacket
If you wanted to live by the law of Moses, that would probably do. It's going back to the earth, anyway.
(I can't say what ruling a rabbi might give on the point)
Not being a Jew myself, I just cook the meat until the juices are running clear.



posted on Jun, 15 2018 @ 05:57 PM
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Sounds like god had a lot of problem's with the Israelite people in the bible. He was always punishing them. They couldn't listen, they flaunted their gold in fancy articles, screwed the neighbors wife which led to civil unrest in the population, and they were not draining the blood out of their meat properly which meant it didn't preserve right. Most of those rules were to make everyone get along good and not draw thieves and conquerors. If there was gold and silver on display, crooks would target the villages and reap the rewards of plunder and murder.

People do not listen well.



posted on Jun, 15 2018 @ 06:03 PM
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a reply to: rickymouse
Quite right. So there is the practical demonstration of Paul's point, that you can't make people good just by giving them rules to follow. They keep breaking them.



posted on Jun, 15 2018 @ 06:10 PM
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originally posted by: DISRAELI
a reply to: rickymouse
Quite right. So there is the practical demonstration of Paul's point, that you can't make people good just by giving them rules to follow. They keep breaking them.



Yup. Common sense says you should not flaunt your wealth. Common sense tells you that you should get along with your fellow villiagers, since you have to fight together if needed. Common sense say that you should not steal from your neighbors. If you killed your neighbors cow there and you lost in court because you did something to cause it, you could be liable to give him your cow or be forced to become his slave for a period of time. Keeping civility between their countrymen seemed to be important back then. You can learn a lot if you read the bible with an open mind instead of just reading the words. It almost seems like the people back two to three thousand years ago were almost like the people today, we really have not changed that much.



posted on Jun, 15 2018 @ 06:14 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

I tend to resonate more with the old testament, not to start anything, I just feel it shares a practical approach with how God looks for man to steward nature. My family aspires to some sort of union, call it spiritual with God by how we use what was given us...



posted on Jun, 15 2018 @ 06:15 PM
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a reply to: rickymouse
Exactly. I've done a whole thread series on the "social" laws of the Pentateuch.



posted on Jun, 15 2018 @ 06:23 PM
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originally posted by: DISRAELI
a reply to: rickymouse
Exactly. I've done a whole thread series on the "social" laws of the Pentateuch.



Most of the laws governing our country came from Christians interpretations of what was said to be good in the bible. If you have an open mind, you can learn a lot of living in a society by reading it.

I do see some problems with some of the stuff in the old testament as related to treatment of women, but I do not see much of anything bad in the new testament, remember, the law of the land still existed when those disciples were around.



posted on Jun, 15 2018 @ 06:32 PM
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a reply to: rickymouse
I saw it as a matter of disentangling two different threads in the laws- God's input and the human contribution. "You can have as many wives as you like and get rid of them when it suits your convenience" was part of the human contribution, and there is the authority of Jesus for saying so.



posted on Jun, 15 2018 @ 07:22 PM
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originally posted by: DISRAELI
a reply to: rickymouse
I saw it as a matter of disentangling two different threads in the laws- God's input and the human contribution. "You can have as many wives as you like and get rid of them when it suits your convenience" was part of the human contribution, and there is the authority of Jesus for saying so.



What do you mean by that last sentence? Are you saying that Jesus have the authority to have as many wives as one wanted??



posted on Jun, 15 2018 @ 07:42 PM
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a reply to: KansasGirl
No, I meant the opposite.
We have the explicit authority of Jesus for saying that God did not want men to get rid of wives to suit their own convenience. He says this was a human idea, "because of the hardness of your hearts".
And since Jesus is quoting "husband shall cleave to his wife and they shall be one flesh", we have his implied authority for saying that God did not really want men to have multiple wives.
That's why it's important to distinguish, as Jesus does, between what God wants and what the letter of the law says.




edit on 15-6-2018 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 15 2018 @ 07:51 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

Thank you. I was just making sure, because the way that sentence is worded it was not at all clear.



posted on Jun, 15 2018 @ 07:55 PM
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a reply to: KansasGirl
My apologies for the ambiguity. I'm glad you checked.
The last phrase was meant to go with "that is the human contribution", but I can see how it could have been taken with the previous words.



posted on Jun, 15 2018 @ 07:58 PM
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a reply to: rickymouse

They suffered from pride and thought they were and are a superior race . But if the truth be told and it was



posted on Jun, 15 2018 @ 10:14 PM
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originally posted by: DISRAELI
a reply to: KansasGirl
My apologies for the ambiguity. I'm glad you checked.
The last phrase was meant to go with "that is the human contribution", but I can see how it could have been taken with the previous words.



I'm good at reading things wrongly or weirdly! Fortunately I'm aware of this trait sometimes and ask for clarification. 😊

Thanks for this thread- I've recently read a little bit about different eschatological views and how none of them are self-evident. And how really, a lot of a person's beliefs on that subject will depend on how they answer the question of what is meant by "All Israel will be saved." So I've been looking a little bit at the history of Israel but it's a pretty daunting subject, so this thread was good timing for me!



posted on Jun, 15 2018 @ 10:28 PM
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originally posted by: DISRAELI
a reply to: KansasGirl
No, I meant the opposite.
We have the explicit authority of Jesus for saying that God did not want men to get rid of wives to suit their own convenience. He says this was a human idea, "because of the hardness of your hearts".
And since Jesus is quoting "husband shall cleave to his wife and they shall be one flesh", we have his implied authority for saying that God did not really want men to have multiple wives.
That's why it's important to distinguish, as Jesus does, between what God wants and what the letter of the law says.





Actually, that is sort of what I got from reading in the New Testament too. That is probably why Christians went to the one wife stance, others probably saw that too.



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