And there they will dwell securely, build houses, and plant vineyards. They will dwell securely when I execute judgments against all those around them who treat them with contempt. Then they will know that I am the LORD their God.'"
In the writings of Ezekiel, as in those of other prophets, we cannot but observe the remarkable conjunction of passages denouncing judgment with passages revealing Divine grace and promising Divine clemency. The attentive reader cannot but be surprised and charmed upon meeting with such a promise as is contained in these two verses, coming in between the denunciation of Tyre and the denunciation of Egypt. Undoubtedly, the fate of surrounding nations had relation to the history and prospects of Israel, though it would be presumption in us to define those relations too exactly. It was not a mere rhetorical art which led to the introduction of this portion of the prophecies just in this place. Yet we feel that its position both enhances its beauty and deepens its interest and significance.
I. THE FAVOR TO BE SHOWN TO ISRAEL IS IN CONTRAST TO THE FATE OF OTHER NATIONS. Tyre should perish from off the earth; Egypt should be trodden underfoot, and should be degraded in the scale of nations; but Israel should dwell in their own land with confidence.
II. THE FAVOR SHOWN TO ISRAEL IS CONSEQUENT UPON ISRAEL'S DEPRESSION, CONQUEST, AND CAPTIVITY. It is not to be supposed that Israel, because the chosen nation, was exempt from calamity and discipline. On the contrary, it was because, to some extent, the discipline was answering its intended purpose, that brightness followed the storm, that the winter of Israel's discontent was succeeded by the genial and happy springtime.
III. THE FAVOR SHOWN TO ISRAEL WAS, HOWEVER, UNDESERVED BY ISRAEL'S OWN CHARACTER AND ACTION. So it had been from the beginning. Israel was a rebellious and stiff-necked people, lapsing now into idolatry and again into murmuring or licentiousness. God had a purpose in Israel's election, and that purpose must needs be carried out. But in any case, it was no virtue, excellence, or merit in Israel that accounted for the forbearance continually and repeatedly extended towards the people of the covenant.
IV. THE FAVOR SHOWN TO ISRAEL WAS OWING TO THE CLEMENCY OF THE DIVINE RULER. Why such clemency was extended to Israel, and was withheld from Tyre, it may not be possible for us to explain. But there is no caprice in the government of God; justice and mercy are his attributes, and it would be folly in man to impugn them. Who is there who is not indebted to Divine long-suffering and loving-kindness? What nation has not been spared and delivered from its enemies, once and again in the course of its history? Certainly, the mercy of the God of Abraham towards the people that sprang from the father of the faithful was great and marvelous.
V. THE FAVOR SHOWN TO ISRAEL WAS MANIFEST IN THE DELIVERANCE OF THE PEOPLE FROM CAPTIVITY AND EXILE. They were "gathered from the people among whom they were scattered." Instead of being reduced to perpetual bondage or absorbed by their conquerors, the Hebrew people, though appointed to exile, were in due time redeemed from their subjection, dependence, and expatriation.
VI. THE FAVOR SHOWN TO ISRAEL WAS MANIFEST IN THEIR PEACEFUL RE-ESTABLISHMENT IN THEIR OWN LAND. It was the land given by Jehovah to his servant Jacob, the land of promise, the land of the covenant. God had his own wise purposes to work out by this replanting and resettling of the people of Israel upon the sacred soil. There it was appointed for them to dwell in safety and confidence, to build their houses and to plant their vineyards, and above all to worship the God of their fathers in his chosen sanctuary.
VII. THE FAVOR SHOWN TO ISRAEL WAS INTENDED TO AWAKEN THE ACKNOWLEDGMENTS OF GRATEFUL PIETY. The services and their motives may not always have been spiritual and pure, free from every taint of selfishness and self-satisfaction. The Israelites, thinking of the judgments God had executed upon all those who had despised them round about them, congratulating themselves that, whilst their foes had been humiliated or destroyed, they had been spared, restored, and blessed, may, perhaps, have allowed some feelings of self-righteousness to take possession of their hearts. Yet they could not fail to acknowledge Jehovah as their true Friend and mighty Deliverer; they could not but offer grateful sacrifices of adoring praise to him who had remembered them in their low estate; for his mercy endureth forever. They could not but know and confess him as the Lord their God. - T.
By the iniquity of thy traffic.
The tendency is to measure all things by a money standard. The business that cannot be ruled by Christianity is wrong. What this does for a land, if it grows unchecked, is to make men sell the best things. Phoenicia did, and the spirit of her people died. Her inhabitants became the ministers of vice in every Eastern city. And the man eaten up by love of gain is preparing for himself and all he influences a like fate. Men object that business is a sort of neutral world in which the maxims of New Testament morality cannot come into play. But if this is true, either Christianity cannot be a faith for the whole of a man's life, or the business that cannot be ruled by it is wrong. It is to rule my eating and drinking, my clothing and housing of myself and mine, my buying and selling, my work am! play. Whatsoever ye do, "buying or booking," do all in the name of the Lord Jesus. But men object today that the severity of the competition by which they are pressed makes some moral laxity in the conduct of business most difficult to avoid. They have to contend with others who are not hampered by scrupulosity in the methods by which they obtain orders or make profits. Some time ago, the Rev. Mr. Carter, the Secretary of the Christian Social Union, informs us, the Oxford branch of that society sent out a number of queries to practical men on the subject of commercial morality. In answer to the question: "Do you find it difficult to apply the principles of Christian truth and justice to the conduct of business?" two employers write: "Business is based on the gladiatorial theory of existence. If Christian truth and justice is not consistent with this, business is in a bad case." A commercial traveller writes: "Not only difficult, but impossible, for a man is not master of himself. If one would live, and avoid the bankruptcy court, one must do business on the same lines as others do, without troubling whether, the methods are in harmony with the principles of Christian truth and justice or not. A draper's assistant answers: "Extremely so. The tendency to misrepresent, deceive, or take unfair advantage under circumstances that daily offer the opportunity of so doing is generally too strong to resist where self-interest is the motive power of action, the conventional morality the only check. To me they appear to be opposing principles — the first of self-sacrifice, the second of self-interest." Another says: "If it were possible to do away with competition, the excuse and justification for a large proportion of commercial immorality would be gone." As it is, it is quite plain that honourable trade has to meet with and fight what is unjust. As Arthur Hugh Clough says in one of his poems "Thou shalt not covet, but tradition Approves all forms of competition."
, Tigris-Euphrates Region
TopicsBuild, Builded, Building, Confidence, Confidently, Contempt, Despise, Despised, Despising, Despite, Disdain, Dwell, Dwelt, Execute, Executed, Fear, Houses, Inflict, Judgments, Maligned, Neighbors, Plant, Planted, Planting, Punishment, Punishments, Round, Safe, Safely, Safety, Scorn, Securely, Shame, Therein, Treated, Vine-gardens, Vineyards, Yea, Yes
Outline1. God's judgment upon the prince of Tyrus for his sacrilegious pride11. A lamentation of his great glory corrupted by Sidon20. The judgment of Zion24. The restoration of Israel
Dictionary of Bible ThemesEzekiel 28:26
8105 assurance, basis of
Text: Philippians 2, 5-11. 5 Have this mind in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6 who, existing in the form of God, counted not the being on an equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men; 8 and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, becoming obedient even unto death, yea, the death of the cross. 9 Wherefore also God highly exalted him, and gave unto him the name which is above every name; 10 that …
Martin Luther—Epistle Sermons, Vol. II
The Doctrine of Satan.
I. HIS EXISTENCE AND PERSONALITY. 1. EXISTENCE. 2. PERSONALITY. II. HIS PLACE AND POWER. 1. A MIGHTY ANGEL. 2. PRINCE OF POWER OF THE AIR. 3. GOD OF THIS WORLD. 4. HEAD OF KINGDOM OF DARKNESS. 5. SOVEREIGN OVER DEATH. III. HIS CHARACTER. 1. ADVERSARY. 2. DIABOLOS. 3. WICKED ONE. 4. TEMPTER. IV. OUR ATTITUDE TOWARDS SATAN. 1. LIMITED POWER OF SATAN. 2. RESIST HIM. V. HIS DESTINY. 1. A CONQUERED ENEMY. 2. UNDER ETERNAL CURSE. VI. DEMONS. THE DOCTRINE OF SATAN. Throughout the Scriptures Satan is set …
Rev. William Evans—The Great Doctrines of the Bible
Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:10 We are now come to the last beatitude: Blessed are they which are persecuted . . '. Our Lord Christ would have us reckon the cost. Which of you intending to build a tower sitteth not down first and counteth the cost, whether he have enough to finish it?' (Luke 14:28). Religion will cost us the tears of repentance and the blood of persecution. But we see here a great encouragement that may …
Thomas Watson—The Beatitudes: An Exposition of Matthew 5:1-12
Sign Seekers, and the Enthusiast Reproved.
(Galilee on the Same Day as the Last Section.) ^A Matt. XII. 38-45; ^C Luke XI. 24-36. ^c 29 And when the multitudes were gathering together unto him, ^a 38 Then certain of the scribes and Pharisees answered him, saying, Teacher, we would see a sign from thee. [Having been severely rebuked by Jesus, it is likely that the scribes and Pharisees asked for a sign that they might appear to the multitude more fair-minded and open to conviction than Jesus had represented them to be. Jesus had just wrought …
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel
To a modern taste, Ezekiel does not appeal anything like so powerfully as Isaiah or Jeremiah. He has neither the majesty of the one nor the tenderness and passion of the other. There is much in him that is fantastic, and much that is ritualistic. His imaginations border sometimes on the grotesque and sometimes on the mechanical. Yet he is a historical figure of the first importance; it was very largely from him that Judaism received the ecclesiastical impulse by which for centuries it was powerfully …
John Edgar McFadyen—Introduction to the Old Testament
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