Ezekiel 36:37
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)
(37) 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. 36:25-38 Water is an emblem of the cleansing our polluted souls from sin. But no water can do more than take away the filth of the flesh. Water seems in general the sacramental sign of the sanctifying influences of the Holy Ghost; yet this is always connected with the atoning blood of Christ. When the latter is applied by faith to the conscience, to cleanse it from evil works, the former is always applied to the powers of the soul, to purify it from the pollution of sin. All that have an interest in the new covenant, have a new heart and a new spirit, in order to their walking in newness of life. God would give a heart of flesh, a soft and tender heart, complying with his holy will. Renewing grace works as great a change in the soul, as the turning a dead stone into living flesh. God will put his Spirit within, as a Teacher, Guide, and Sanctifier. The promise of God's grace to fit us for our duty, should quicken our constant care and endeavour to do our duty. These are promises to be pleaded by, and will be fulfilled to, all true believers in every age.Their sin had prevented God's hearing them. Now their purification opens God's ears to their words. 37. I will yet for this be inquired of—so as to grant it. On former occasions He had refused to be inquired of by Israel because the inquirers were not in a fit condition of mind to receive a blessing (Eze 14:3; 20:3). But hereafter, as in the restoration from Babylon (Ne 8:1-9:38; Da 9:3-20, 21, 23), God will prepare His people's hearts (Eze 36:26) to pray aright for the blessings which He is about to give (Ps 102:13-17, 20; Zec 12:10-14; 13:1).

like a flock—resuming the image (Eze 34:23, 31).

Though I have repeated so often my promise to return them, to rebuild, to multiply them, yet they shall know it is their duty to entreat it, to wait on me, and then I will give a merciful answer and do it. Thus Daniel prayed, when he knew the return was sure and near. Or else it may be thus; Above all this, or yet more than all this, I will be found of them when they do seek me: thus it is a promise made to their prayer, in the other it is a requiring them to pray, so they shall increase as a flock. Thus saith the Lord God, I will yet for this be inquired of by the house of Israel,.... Besought and prayed unto for the accomplishment of the above promises, as well as what follows: for though God has promised and will perform, yet he expects that his people will apply to him for it; it is our duty to put the Lord in mind of his promises, to plead them with him, and pray unto him for the fulfilment of them. The Syriac version is, "even for this I seek Israel"; and so the Arabic version; as if the sense was, that the Lord will seek the people of Israel wherever they are, and find them out, and call them by his grace, and gather them out of all countries, and bring them into their own land: "to do it for them"; everything before promised, and what next follows:

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.

(p) "sicut gregem hominum", V. L. Syr.; "sicut pecus hominus", Montanus; "pecudes hominum", Pagninus.

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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