Thus said the Lord GOD; I will yet for this be inquired of by the house of Israel, to do it for them; I will increase them with men like a flock.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)I will yet for this be enquired of.—Comp. Ezekiel 14:3-4; Ezekiel 20:3. Formerly God refused to be inquired of by a people whose hearts were far from Him; now that He has given them a new heart He is ready to hear them.Ezekiel 36:37-38. I will yet be inquired of by the house of Israel — The house of Israel must, 1st, Pray for these blessings; for by prayer God is sought unto and inquired after. What is the matter of God’s promises, must be the matter of our prayers. By asking for the mercy promised, we give glory to the donor, express our value of the gift, our own dependance upon God, and put honour upon prayer, upon which he has put honour. Christ himself must ask, and then God will give him the heathen for his inheritance; must pray the Father, and then he will send the Comforter; much more must we ask that we may receive. 2d, They must consult the oracles of God, for thus also God is sought unto and inquired after: the mercy must not be an act of providence only, but a child of promise; and therefore the promise must be looked at, and prayer made for it, with an eye of faith fixed upon it, which must be both the guide and the ground of our expectations. In both these ways we find Daniel inquiring of God, in the name of the house of Israel: then when God was about to do these great things for them, he consulted the oracles of God, for he understood by books, namely, the book of the Prophet Jeremiah, both what was to be expected, and when; and then he set his face to seek God by prayer, Daniel 9:2-3. As the holy flock, &c. — Flocks designed for holy uses, as sacrifices, and therefore further described by the place where they were presented, namely, Jerusalem; in her solemn feasts — The three great annual feasts. These flocks were for quality the best of all, and for numbers very great on these solemn occasions: see 2 Chronicles 35:7; and 1 Kings 8:63. Thus shall men multiply, and fill the cities of replanted Judah. And the increase of the numbers of a people is then honourable, when they are all dedicated to God as a holy flock, to be presented to him as living sacrifices. Crowds are a lovely sight in God’s temple.
like a flock—resuming the image (Eze 34:23, 31).
I will increase them with men like a flock; as a flock of sheep is increased, which is a very increasing creature: or, "as a flock of men" (p); it signifies that the people of the Jews will be very numerous at their conversion; see Hosea 1:10.Thus saith the Lord GOD; I will yet for this be enquired of by the house of Israel, to do it for them; I will increase them with men like a flock.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)37. yet … be inquired of] Almost: I will let myself be inquired of, which embraces not merely the enquiry or request on the part of the people, but the response to it on the part of the Lord. Cf. Ezekiel 14:3, Ezekiel 20:3; Ezekiel 20:31. As usual “this” refers to what follows—the multiplication of the people.
37, 38. A single point in the Lord’s restoration of Israel is made prominent, the multiplication of the people. The terrible threats of the diminution of their numbers (Ezekiel 36:12), and of the destruction both of those remaining in the land and those going into exile, were no doubt to a great extent fulfilled (Lamentations 5). The scanty population of Jerusalem is referred to by Nehemiah nearly a century after the first exiles returned (Ezekiel 7:4). The old promise that they should be as the sand of the sea is here repeated, cf. Ezekiel 36:10-11; Ezekiel 36:33; Jeremiah 31:27; Hosea 1:10; Zechariah 2:4.Verse 37. - I will yet for this be inquired of by the house of Israel. On two previous occasions (Ezekiel 14:3; Ezekiel 20:3), Jehovah had declined to be inquired of by the hypocritical and idol-loving elders of Israel, who pretended to consult him through his prophet; now he makes it known that in the future era no barrier of moral and spiritual unfitness on their part will prevent their free approach to his throne, but rather that they will come to him with fervent supplications for the very blessings he has pro-raised. In answer to their prayers, he engages, going back to the language of Ezekiel 34:22, to increase them with men like a flock - incorrectly rendered by Kliefoth to "multiply them so that they shall become the flock of mankind." Thus he meets the despondency of those among the exiles who, fixing their attention on the small number of them who should form the new Israel - those who should return with those, perhaps, who still remained in the land-could not see how Israel's future prosperity was to be secured.
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