Ezekiel 20:30
Why say to the house of Israel, Thus said the Lord GOD; Are you polluted after the manner of your fathers? and commit you prostitution after their abominations?
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(30) Are ye polluted?—This and the two following verses constitute the fifth and concluding portion of this historical review, and relate to the then existing generation. The questions asked answer themselves, and yet in the following verse are answered for the sake of emphasis. They bring home to Ezekiel’s own contemporaries the sins which had characterised their race through nearly all the ages of their history, and show the justice of those long-threatened judgments which were now bursting upon them.

Ezekiel 20:30-32. Say unto the house of Israel — To the elders now sitting before thee, and through them to the rest of their brethren; Are ye polluted after the manner of your fathers — After all that God hath said to and against you by a succession of prophets, and done against you by a series of judgments, yet will you take no warning? Will you still be as wicked as your fathers were, and commit the same abominations that they committed? Some prefer rendering the words, Are ye not polluted, and do ye not commit whoredom, &c.? Do ye not walk in your fathers’ sins and idolatries, notwithstanding all the warnings I have given you, and the severe instances of my displeasure against their practices, which ought to have terrified you from following their bad example? For when ye offer your gifts, &c., ye pollute yourselves — You render yourselves filthy and abominable in my sight. And shall I be inquired of by you — Are you fit to come and ask counsel of me, whom you have so shamefully and so obstinately forsaken and reproached? I will not be inquired of by you — I will answer you as little as you regard me. And that which cometh into your mind shall not be at all — Shall be quite frustrated. God, to convince them, here tells them what was in their thoughts, and what they had purposed. We find by the Scripture history, that the Jews had all along a fond desire of worshipping the gods of their neighbours, and could not bear that imputation of singularity, which their peculiar way of worship exposed them to. They thought also by this means to live more quietly among the heathen whither they were led captive. God tells them here that he would prevent this purpose of theirs from taking effect. And we find, from the very time of their return from the Babylonish captivity, they have been very cautious of committing idolatry, and scrupulous of making the least approaches to it. — Lowth.20:27-32 The Jews persisted in rebellion after they settled in the land of Canaan. And these elders seem to have thought of uniting with the heathen. We make nothing by our profession if it be but a profession. There is nothing got by sinful compliances; and the carnal projects of hypocrites will stand them in no stead.The present state of the people. Those who came to inquire were the representatives of the whole people though belonging to the exiles. 30. The interrogation implies a strong affirmation, as in Eze 20:4, "Are ye not polluted … ? Do ye not commit?" &c. Or, connecting this verse with Eze 20:31, "Are ye thus polluted … and yet (do ye expect that) I shall be inquired of by you?" The house of Israel; those elders that were come to him, as Ezekiel 20:1, which see. They come to make inquiry, and now the prophet inquires of them, that their own conscience might make answer, and tell them what to expect: Your fathers, where are they? What became of some, that bore their iniquity? And what had become of the rest, if God had not withdrawn his hand? And all this hath been no warning to you, but, as they, so you, have polluted yourselves, and been idolaters. Wherefore say unto the house of Israel, thus saith the Lord God,.... To the elders, as before:

are ye polluted after the manner of your fathers? they were:

and commit ye whoredoms after their abominations? spiritual adultery; that is, idolatry, in the same abominable manner? they did, as appears by what follows:

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?
30. Are ye polluted] do ye pollute yourselves?

30, 31. The Lord will not give himself to be enquired of by such men. What they desire to know about others or themselves they shall be left in ignorance of; but he has something to tell them regarding himself.

30–44. Jehovah’s regard to his own name will fashion the history of the people to come as it has fashioned the past

Having reviewed the past and shewn the elders their own picture in the doings of their fathers, and how the thing which has fashioned the history in the past has been Jehovah’s regard for his own name, the prophet now comes to read to them the history of the future as the same regard of Jehovah to his name will model it.

First, Ezekiel 20:30-34. The Lord will not give any answer to such enquirers who follow the ways of their fathers. But they may be assured that their resolution to assimilate themselves to the heathen and become like them worshippers of wood and stone shall not be permitted to have effect. Jehovah will assert his sovereignty over them, and will disentangle them out from among the heathen as he gathered their fathers from among the Egyptians.

Secondly, Ezekiel 20:35-40. He will bring them out from the nations into the wilderness of the peoples, as he brought their fathers into the wilderness of Egypt, and will plead with them anew as he pleaded with their fathers in days long ago—and with the same result that the rebels among them shall fall in the wilderness, but the remnant shall again in the mountain height of Israel serve the Lord, who will accept them.

Thirdly, Ezekiel 20:41-44. And from this restoration these things shall follow: 1. Jehovah shall be sanctified, seen to be God and acknowledged by the nations (Ezekiel 20:41). 2. Israel shall know what Jehovah is, when he fulfils his ancient promise to the fathers to give them this land (Ezekiel 20:42). 3. They shall then lay to heart their past doings and lothe themselves (Ezekiel 20:43). And 4. they shall see that not according to their evil has Jehovah dealt with them all through their history and in their restoration, but has wrought for his name’s sake (Ezekiel 20:44).Verse 30. - Say ye unto the house of Israel, etc. The words are addressed primarily to the elders who had come to consult the prophet (ver. 1), but through them to all their contemporaries and fellow countrymen. They still in heart and even in deed (comp. Isaiah 57:4-6, 11, and Isaiah 65:3, as showing the habits of the exiles) clung to the old idolatries. The question for them was whether they would continue to walk in the ways of their fathers. If so, it was true of them, as of the elders, that the Lent to whom they came would not be inquired of by them. Behaviour of Israel in the Desert

Ezekiel 20:10. And I led them out of the land of Egypt, and brought them into the desert; Ezekiel 20:11. And gave them my statutes, and my rights I made known to them, which man is to do that he may live through them. Ezekiel 20:12. I also gave them my Sabbaths, that they might be for a sign between me and them, that they might now that I Jehovah sanctify them. Ezekiel 20:13. But the house of Israel was rebellious against me in the desert: they did not walk in my statutes, and my rights they rejected, which man is to do, that he may live through them, and my Sabbaths they greatly profaned: Then I thought to pour out my wrath upon them in the desert to destroy them. Ezekiel 20:14. But I did it for my name's sake, that it might not be profaned before the eyes of the nations, before whose eyes I had led them out. Ezekiel 20:15. I also lifted my hand to them in the desert, not to bring them into the land which I had given (them), which floweth with milk and honey; it is an ornament of all lands, Ezekiel 20:16. Because they rejected my rights, did not walk in my statutes, and profaned my Sabbaths, for their heart went after their idols. Ezekiel 20:17. But my eye looked with pity upon them, so that I did not destroy them, and make an end of them in the desert. - God gave laws at Sinai to the people whom He had brought out of Egypt, through which they were to be sanctified as His own people, that they might live before God. On Ezekiel 20:11 compare Deuteronomy 30:16 and Deuteronomy 30:19. Ezekiel 20:12 is taken almost word for word from Exodus 31:13, where God concludes the directions for His worship by urging upon the people in the most solemn manner the observance of His Sabbaths, and thereby pronounces the keeping of the Sabbath the kernel of all divine worship. And as in that passage we are to understand by the Sabbaths the actual weekly Sabbaths, and not the institutions of worship as a whole, so here we must retain the literal signification of the word. It is only of the Sabbath recurring every week, and not of all the fasts, that it could be said it was a sign between Jehovah and Israel. It was a sign, not as a token, that they who observed it were Israelites, as Hitzig supposes, but to know (that they might know) that Jehovah was sanctifying them, namely, by the Sabbath rest - as a refreshing and elevation of the mind, in which Israel was to have a foretaste of that blessed resting from all works to which the people of God was ultimately to attain (see the comm. on Exodus 20:11). It is from this deeper signification of the Sabbath that the prominence given to the Sabbaths here is to be explained, and not from the outward circumstance that in exile, when the sacrificial worship was necessarily suspended, the keeping of the Sabbath as the only bond which united the Israelites, so far as the worship of God was concerned (Hitzig). Historical examples of the rebellion of Israel against the commandments of God in the desert are given in ex. EZechariah 32:1-6 and Numbers 25:1-3; and of the desecration of the Sabbath, in ex. EZechariah 16:27 and Numbers 15:32. For the threat referred to in Ezekiel 20:13, compare Exodus 32:10; Numbers 14:11-12. - Ezekiel 20:15 and Ezekiel 20:16 are not a repetition of Ezekiel 20:13 (Hitzig); nor do they introduce a limitation of Ezekiel 20:14 (Kliefoth). They simply relate what else God did to put bounds to the rebellion after He had revoked the decree to cut Israel off, at the intercession of Moses (Numbers 14:11-19). He lifted His hand to the oath (Numbers 14:21.), that the generation which had come out of Egypt should not come into the land of Canaan, but should die in the wilderness. Therewith He looked with pity upon the people, so that He did not make an end of them by following up the threat with a promise that the children should enter the land. עשׂה כלה, as in Ezekiel 11:13.

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