Ezekiel 25
Ezekiel 25 Kingcomments Bible Studies

Introduction

With this chapter begins a new section containing announcements of judgments on seven nations. This section, which covers Ezekiel 25-32, contains the prophecies about:
1. Ammon (Ezekiel 25:1-7)
2. Moab (Ezekiel 25:8-11)
3. Edom (Ezekiel 25:12-14)
4. Philistines (Ezekiel 25:15-17)
5. Tyre (Ezekiel 26:1-28:19)
6. Sidon (Ezekiel 28:20-26)
7. Egypt (Ezekiel 29-32)

These chapters are a contrast to the previous chapters. In the previous chapters the LORD has sharply denounced the sins of Jerusalem. Now He is going to speak to other nations, nations that have watched the downfall of Jerusalem with great gloating. These nations are judged according to the LORD’s promise to Abraham: “The one who curses you I will curse” (Gen 12:3a; cf. Mt 25:41-45). These nations are not only full of gloating about Jerusalem, but also about the LORD. The LORD is most closely associated with His people. Among the nations, the connection with their gods is also present.

In Ezekiel 25 there are four short prophecies concerning three brother nations of Israel (Ammonites, Moabites and Edomites) and a people claiming the land of Israel (Philistines). Each time, the LORD gives the reason for His judgment with the words “because” and “therefore” (Eze 25:3-4; 6-7; 8-9; 12-13; 15-16). The conclusion is always the same: they will know that He is the LORD (Eze 25:5; 7; 11; 17). Also, it is a consolation to the faithful remnant among the exiles, for they see in the judgment of their enemies that the LORD does not forget His people.

Judgment on Ammon

The word of the LORD comes to Ezekiel (Eze 25:1). He is to set his face toward the Ammonites and prophesy against them (Eze 25:2). The phrase “son of man, set your face” occurs only in Ezekiel (Eze 6:2; Eze 13:17; Eze 20:46; Eze 21:2; Eze 25:2; Eze 28:21; Eze 29:2; Eze 35:2; Eze 38:2). By setting his face toward them, he sees sharply who it is about. The Ammonites are related to Israel through their descent from Lot, Abraham’s nephew (Gen 19:36-38). They live on the east side of the Jordan and have always had a hostile attitude toward Israel.

Ezekiel is to call on the Ammonites to listen to the word of the Lord GOD (Eze 25:3). The LORD is also the God of the Ammonites, even though they do not acknowledge Him and serve Milcom and Chemosh (Jdg 11:24; 1Kgs 11:5; 7; 33). The LORD is the God of the nations, even though they want to recognize Him (Rom 3:29). But God never gives up His rights. Every nation will have to give an account before Him one day.

The Ammonites loudly rejoiced over the destruction of the temple and over the destruction of the land of Judah and over the taking away of the inhabitants of Judah into exile. In their foolish, idolatrous mindset, they assumed that with the removal of the inhabitants of Judah, the power of the God of Israel was broken.

The LORD will make them feel that they are dealing with a God Who does discipline His people, but also disciplines those who rejoice about that (Eze 25:4). The Ammonites will be delivered as prey to “the sons of the east”, which are Arab and Syrian Bedouin tribes. These will rule over them, eat their fruit and drink their milk.

Their capital city Rabbah will be destroyed (Eze 25:5). Instead of people, animals will find a resting place there. Rabbah will become a grazing place for camels and a resting place for small livestock. When the Ammonites will see this, they will be forced to acknowledge that He, the God of Israel, is the LORD.

The LORD mentions another reason for the judgment. That is their gloating over all that has come upon the land of Israel (Eze 25:6). Gloating is an extremely sad and reprehensible form of entertainment. The Ammonites expressed it in an exuberant way, with clapping their hands and stamping their feet. The LORD sees that it comes from deep within them. He sees their hearts and what dwells therein.

Therefore He will stretch out His hand in judgment against them and give them for spoil to the nations (Eze 25:7). He will Himself “cut” them “off”, “make them perish” and “destroy” them so that they will have no place among the nations and lands. It is an additional underscore of the undeniable fact that He is the LORD.

Judgment on Moab

The next word from the LORD concerns Moab with whom Seir – that is, the territory of Edom – is mentioned in the same breath (Eze 25:8). The Moabites, like the Ammonites, are related to Israel through Lot (Gen 19:36-38). Moab despises Israel as a special people chosen by the LORD. To them, the house of Judah is like all the other nations. In doing so, they despise the LORD Himself, Who has chosen that people to be His people. Judah is certainly also to blame for this contempt, but the LORD blames Moab for its arrogant, condemning attitude. Someone who acts this way is completely blind to his own sins and brings judgment on himself.

Therefore the LORD will judge Moab (Eze 25:9). His border guards will be unable to do anything against advancing enemies. The cities of which they are proud, with which they flaunt like an ornament, will be destroyed. They will be taken possession of by people from the east, the Arab and Syrian Bedouin tribes (Eze 25:10; Eze 25:4). The memory of them among the nations will disappear. While this too is a severe judgment, it seems to be less severe and radical than that on the Ammonites (Eze 25:7). The judgments will force the Moabites to acknowledge that He is the LORD (Eze 25:11).

Judgment on Edom

The third judgment is pronounced by the LORD on Edom (Eze 25:12), which is Esau. Edom is much more closely related to Israel than Ammon and Moab. Esau is the brother of Jacob. So Edom is in a literal sense a brother people. With Edom, however, there has never been any brotherly affection. He has acted against Judah more than any other hostile people out of vindictiveness. Edom has incurred a heavy debt by taking revenge on Judah out of sheer vindictiveness. The vindictiveness toward Judah is in Esau’s blood.

God will stretch out His hand in judgment against Edom (Eze 25:13). This will be a radical judgment. Man and beast will be cut off. In other cases, cities are destroyed and people cut off, but a dwelling place for animals remains. This is not even the case with Edom. The whole land, from Teman in the extreme north to Dedan in the extreme south, will be given up to destruction.

For the destruction of Edom, God will use His people Israel (Eze 25:14; Oba 1:18). His people will cause His anger and wrath to come upon that nation. Edom was first invaded by the Babylonians and later destroyed by the Arabs. In the time of the Maccabees, Edom was completely conquered by the Jews. In the end times the final judgment will come on Edom. There seems to be no recognition with Edom that He is the LORD, as we find with the other nations in this chapter. They will only know the vengeance of the Lord GOD.

Judgment on the Philistines

The fourth announcement of judgment concerns the Philistines (Eze 25:15). These enemies also receive the charge that they acted in vengeance (as did Edom) and have been raging with heartfelt gloating (as did Ammon). Their motivation is “an everlasting enmity” (cf. Eze 35:5). They have observed the destruction of Judah and Jerusalem with devilish delight.

Therefore the LORD will stretch out His hand also against them and other groups from Crete who have joined the Philistines (“the Cherethites”) in judgment (Eze 25:16). If, after an initial judgment, some remain, a remnant hiding on the seashore, He will kill them there.

The LORD will punish their vengeance with His “great vengeance” and “wrathful rebukes” (Eze 25:17). There is a tremendous threat in these expressions. Through them the LORD makes Himself known as a righteous Judge from Whom there is no escape. The righteous punishment cannot be escaped by anyone, neither can the forced recognition that He is the LORD. Every knee will bow to Him, even those who are under the earth (Phil 2:10).

© 2021 Author G. de Koning

All rights reserved. No part of the publications may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without the prior permission of the author.



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