1Moreover the spirit lifted me up, and brought me unto the east gate of the LORD's house, which looketh eastward: and behold at the door of the gate five and twenty men; among whom I saw Jaazaniah the son of Azur, and Pelatiah the son of Benaiah, princes of the people.
The Holy Spirit then takes Ezekiel back to the gate where the 25 men were worshipping the sun. Jaazaniah the son of Azur/Shaphan (same guy) and Pelatiah son of Benaiah. These guys are leaders of the southern tribes, likely representing Judah and Benjamin.
2Then said he unto me, Son of man, these are the men that devise mischief, and give wicked counsel in this city: 3Which say, It is not near; let us build houses: this city is the caldron, and we be the flesh.
These two named men were ring leaders of the apostasy in the city. They have told the people that the predicted destruction (by Jeremiah in the days of Josiah) has not yet come. They mock Jeremiah’s prophecy (Jer. 1:13) referring to the caldron of flesh saying in essence that if the city is a caldron and the people the flesh, they will live with the city or die with it. In this they show their bravado against something they think will never come. It’s like the atheist saying “if God is real, may he strike me down by lightning right now” and then crowing in triumph when the lightning is not forth coming.
4Therefore prophesy against them, prophesy, O son of man. 5And the Spirit of the LORD fell upon me, and said unto me, Speak; Thus saith the LORD; Thus have ye said, O house of Israel: for I know the things that come into your mind, every one of them. 6Ye have multiplied your slain in this city, and ye have filled the streets thereof with the slain. 7Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Your slain whom ye have laid in the midst of it, they are the flesh, and this city is the caldron: but I will bring you forth out of the midst of it. 8Ye have feared the sword; and I will bring a sword upon you, saith the Lord GOD. 9And I will bring you out of the midst thereof, and deliver you into the hands of strangers, and will execute judgments among you. 10Ye shall fall by the sword; I will judge you in the border of Israel; and ye shall know that I am the LORD. 11This city shall not be your caldron, neither shall ye be the flesh in the midst thereof; but I will judge you in the border of Israel: 12And ye shall know that I am the LORD: for ye have not walked in my statutes, neither executed my judgments, but have done after the manners of the heathen that are round about you.
Ezekiel’s prophecy against this mockery is to say that Jehovah God does know what they are thinking. They have given every citizen over to be slain if the Babylonians come attempting to seal their fate with the city. But God will not allow them even this hollow victory of death. He tells them that many of them will be taken captive out of the city. Though some would die by the sword, many would be given over into the hands of the Gentiles.
The reference to the border is a specific reference to Zedekiah and his family (2 Kings 25:6-7) who were taken to Riblah (northern frontier of Israel – 2 Kings 23, 25; Jer. 39; 52). There Zedekiah’s sons were slain and his eyes put out.
13And it came to pass, when I prophesied, that Pelatiah the son of Benaiah died. Then fell I down upon my face, and cried with a loud voice, and said, Ah Lord GOD! wilt thou make a full end of the remnant of Israel?
As Ezekiel is making his prophecy, Pelatiah died (similar to Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5). Ezekiel then cries out for his people asking of God will utterly destroy Israel.
14Again the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 15Son of man, thy brethren, even thy brethren, the men of thy kindred, and all the house of Israel wholly, are they unto whom the inhabitants of Jerusalem have said, Get you far from the LORD: unto us is this land given in possession. 16Therefore say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Although I have cast them far off among the heathen, and although I have scattered them among the countries, yet will I be to them as a little sanctuary in the countries where they shall come.
God answers by saying that all those who have and will be taken into captivity, if they turn to God, He will be a refuge and a blessing to them in those lands.
17Therefore say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; I will even gather you from the people, and assemble you out of the countries where ye have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel. 18And they shall come thither, and they shall take away all the detestable things thereof and all the abominations thereof from thence. 19And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh: 20That they may walk in my statutes, and keep mine ordinances, and do them: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God.
Out of those who have been taken into captivity, God will gather them again into their land. Those who are allowed to return will have learned the lesson and will remove all of the contaminations of the surrounding cultures. God will give them a new heart and a new spirit (this is not the Holy Spirit, but a mindset) of unity and humility based on God’s Law. The heart represents their feelings toward God and the spirit (to be spiritually minded – Romans 7-8) is the guide to those feelings. The spirit, the part of man that is made in the image of God is the center for reason. Here the people are said to have a new spirit, a new way of thinking that is God centered.
The history of the Jewish people is a great lesson against the evils of multiculturalism.
21But as for them whose heart walketh after the heart of their detestable things and their abominations, I will recompense their way upon their own heads, saith the Lord GOD.
For those who do not learn the lesson, God will cause them to die in the captivity, cleansing the Jews of all the wicked.
22Then did the cherubims lift up their wings, and the wheels beside them; and the glory of the God of Israel was over them above. 23And the glory of the LORD went up from the midst of the city, and stood upon the mountain which is on the east side of the city.
As God had left the temple earlier, now He slowly leaves the city, going from the temple grounds to the midst of the city, to the edge, and finally to the mountain on the east side (the Mount of Olives – which is no coincidence) before leaving for Heaven. This is representative of the long suffering He has toward His people. He does not leave all at once, but little by little.
24Afterwards the spirit took me up, and brought me in a vision by the Spirit of God into Chaldea, to them of the captivity. So the vision that I had seen went up from me. 25Then I spake unto them of the captivity all the things that the LORD had shewed me.
With the prophecy ended and the Lord gone, Ezekiel is released from the vision. He then preaches his message received from the Holy Spirit to those in captivity with him in Babylon.
In Truth and Love,