November 21st Ezekiel 19 A lamentation for Israel
1: Moreover take thou up a lamentation for the princes of Israel, 2: And say, What is thy mother? A lioness: she lay down among lions, she nourished her whelps among young lions. 3: And she brought up one of her whelps: it became a young lion, and it learned to catch the prey; it devoured men. 4: The nations also heard of him; he was taken in their pit, and they brought him with chains unto the land of Egypt. 5: Now when she saw that she had waited, and her hope was lost, then she took another of her whelps, and made him a young lion. 6: And he went up and down among the lions, he became a young lion, and learned to catch the prey, and devoured men. 7: And he knew their desolate palaces, and he laid waste their cities; and the land was desolate, and the fullness thereof, by the noise of his roaring. 8: Then the nations set against him on every side from the provinces, and spread their net over him: he was taken in their pit. 9: And they put him in ward in chains, and brought him to the king of Babylon: they brought him into holds, that his voice should no more be heard upon the mountains of Israel. 10: Thy mother is like a vine in thy blood, planted by the waters: she was fruitful and full of branches by reason of many waters. 11: And she had strong rods for the sceptres of them that bare rule, and her stature was exalted among the thick branches, and she appeared in her height with the multitude of her branches. 12: But she was plucked up in fury, she was cast down to the ground, and the east wind dried up her fruit: her strong rods were broken and withered; the fire consumed them. 13: And now she is planted in the wilderness, in a dry and thirsty ground. 14: And fire is gone out of a rod of her branches, which hath devoured her fruit, so that she hath no strong rod to be a sceptre to rule. This is a lamentation, and shall be for a lamentation.
Ezekiel 20 Israel defies the Lord
1: And it came to pass in the seventh year, in the fifth month, the tenth day of the month, that certain of the elders of Israel came to inquire of the LORD, and sat before me. 2: Then came the word of the LORD unto me, saying, 3: Son of man, speak unto the elders of Israel, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Are ye come to inquire of me? As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I will not be inquired of by you. 4: Wilt thou judge them, son of man, wilt thou judge them? cause them to know the abominations of their fathers: 5: And say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; In the day when I chose Israel, and lifted up mine hand unto the seed of the house of Jacob, and made myself known unto them in the land of Egypt, when I lifted up mine hand unto them, saying, I am the LORD your God; 6: In the day that I lifted up mine hand unto them, to bring them forth of the land of Egypt into a land that I had espied for them, flowing with milk and honey, which is the glory of all lands: 7: Then said I unto them, Cast ye away every man the abominations of his eyes, and defile not yourselves with the idols of Egypt: I am the LORD your God. 8: But they rebelled against me, and would not hearken unto me: they did not every man cast away the abominations of their eyes, neither did they forsake the idols of Egypt: then I said, I will pour out my fury upon them to accomplish my anger against them in the midst of the land of Egypt. 9: But I wrought for my name's sake, that it should not be polluted before the heathen, among whom they were, in whose sight I made myself known unto them, in bringing them forth out of the land of Egypt. 10: Wherefore I caused them to go forth out of the land of Egypt, and brought them into the wilderness. 11: And I gave them my statutes, and shewed them my judgments, which if a man do, he shall even live in them. 12: Moreover also I gave them my sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the LORD that sanctify them. 13: But the house of Israel rebelled against me in the wilderness: they walked not in my statutes, and they despised my judgments, which if a man do, he shall even live in them; and my sabbaths they greatly polluted: then I said, I would pour out my fury upon them in the wilderness, to consume them. 14: But I wrought for my name's sake, that it should not be polluted before the heathen, in whose sight I brought them out. 15: Yet also I lifted up my hand unto them in the wilderness, that I would not bring them into the land which I had given them, flowing with milk and honey, which is the glory of all lands; 16: Because they despised my judgments, and walked not in my statutes, but polluted my sabbaths: for their heart went after their idols. 17: Nevertheless mine eye spared them from destroying them, neither did I make an end of them in the wilderness. 18: But I said unto their children in the wilderness, Walk ye not in the statutes of your fathers, neither observe their judgments, nor defile yourselves with their idols: 19: I am the LORD your God; walk in my statutes, and keep my judgments, and do them; 20: And hallow my sabbaths; and they shall be a sign between me and you, that ye may know that I am the LORD your God. 21: Notwithstanding the children rebelled against me: they walked not in my statutes, neither kept my judgments to do them, which if a man do, he shall even live in them; they polluted my sabbaths: then I said, I would pour out my fury upon them, to accomplish my anger against them in the wilderness. 22: Nevertheless I withdrew mine hand, and wrought for my name's sake, that it should not be polluted in the sight of the heathen, in whose sight I brought them forth. 23: I lifted up mine hand unto them also in the wilderness, that I would scatter them among the heathen, and disperse them through the countries; 24: Because they had not executed my judgments, but had despised my statutes, and had polluted my sabbaths, and their eyes were after their fathers' idols. 25: Wherefore I gave them also statutes that were not good, and judgments whereby they should not live; 26: And I polluted them in their own gifts, in that they caused to pass through the fire all that openeth the womb, that I might make them desolate, to the end that they might know that I am the LORD. 27: Therefore, son of man, speak unto the house of Israel, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Yet in this your fathers have blasphemed me, in that they have committed a trespass against me. 28: For when I had brought them into the land, for the which I lifted up mine hand to give it to them, then they saw every high hill, and all the thick trees, and they offered there their sacrifices, and there they presented the provocation of their offering: there also they made their sweet savour, and poured out there their drink offerings. 29: Then I said unto them, What is the high place whereunto ye go? And the name thereof is called Bamah unto this day. 30: Wherefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Are ye polluted after the manner of your fathers? and commit ye whoredom after their abominations? 31: For when ye offer your gifts, when ye make your sons to pass through the fire, ye pollute yourselves with all your idols, even unto this day: and shall I be inquired of by you, O house of Israel? As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I will not be inquired of by you. 32: And that which cometh into your mind shall not be at all, that ye say, We will be as the heathen, as the families of the countries, to serve wood and stone.
The Lord punishes and forgives
33: As I live, saith the Lord GOD, surely with a mighty hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with fury poured out, will I rule over you: 34: And I will bring you out from the people, and will gather you out of the countries wherein ye are scattered, with a mighty hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with fury poured out. 35: And I will bring you into the wilderness of the people, and there will I plead with you face to face. 36: Like as I pleaded with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so will I plead with you, saith the Lord GOD. 37: And I will cause you to pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant: 38: And I will purge out from among you the rebels, and them that transgress against me: I will bring them forth out of the country where they sojourn, and they shall not enter into the land of Israel: and ye shall know that I am the LORD. 39: As for you, O house of Israel, thus saith the Lord GOD; Go ye, serve ye every one his idols, and hereafter also, if ye will not hearken unto me: but pollute ye my holy name no more with your gifts, and with your idols. 40: For in mine holy mountain, in the mountain of the height of Israel, saith the Lord GOD, there shall all the house of Israel, all of them in the land, serve me: there will I accept them, and there will I require your offerings, and the firstfruits of your oblations, with all your holy things. 41: I will accept you with your sweet savour, when I bring you out from the people, and gather you out of the countries wherein ye have been scattered; and I will be sanctified in you before the heathen. 42: And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I shall bring you into the land of Israel, into the country for the which I lifted up mine hand to give it to your fathers. 43: And there shall ye remember your ways, and all your doings, wherein ye have been defiled; and ye shall lothe yourselves in your own sight for all your evils that ye have committed. 44: And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I have wrought with you for my name's sake, not according to your wicked ways, nor according to your corrupt doings, O ye house of Israel, saith the Lord GOD.
Prophecy against the South
45: Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 46: Son of man, set thy face toward the south, and drop thy word toward the south, and prophesy against the forest of the south field; 47: And say to the forest of the south, Hear the word of the LORD; Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will kindle a fire in thee, and it shall devour every green tree in thee, and every dry tree: the flaming flame shall not be quenched, and all faces from the south to the north shall be burned therein. 48: And all flesh shall see that I the LORD have kindled it: it shall not be quenched. 49: Then said I, Ah Lord GOD! they say of me, Doth he not speak parables?
The Lord instructs Ezekiel to take up a song of mourning for the Princes of Israel. He is to weep and describes the glory and fall of Israel in the story of the young lion. The young lion was fed of her mother until he became strong. She taught him to catch prey until he was big enough to kill a man yet they snared him in a pit. Israel is also like a vine which grew and became strong yet died in the drought and fire. Some of the Elders of Israel come to enquire of the Lord by Ezekiel (He records the date) the Lord answers them that he will not speak to them. Then he is to remind them of the deliverance for Egypt yet they rebelled against the Lord. Then he reminds them of their refusal to repent and serve the Lord. Even when the Children of Israel came into the Land they offered to their idols and burnt their infants to idols. But there will come a day in the future in which Israel will be disgusted by their own vileness and they will know that The Lord is their God. Then the Lord told Ezekiel to speak to the southern forest to break into fire, a fire that will destroy the whole forest. Yet in all this the people thought that what he said was fiction.