Bible Study: Ezekiel 6 – God’s Judgment and Mercy

The book of Ezekiel is one of the major prophets in the Old Testament. It was authored by Ezekiel who was set as a watchman to the house of Israel.

Ezek 3:17 “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore hear a word from My mouth, and give them warning from Me:

The sixth chapter of Ezekiel is again about God’s judgment for Jerusalem but leaves a remnant.

God’s Judgment for Idolatry

Ezek 6:1-7 Now the word of the LORD came to me, saying: “Son of man, set your face toward the mountains of Israel, and prophesy against them, and say, ‘O mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord GOD! Thus says the Lord GOD to the mountains, to the hills, to the ravines, and to the valleys: “Indeed I, even I, will bring a sword against you, and I will destroy your high places. Then your altars shall be desolate, your incense altars shall be broken, and I will cast down your slain men before your idols. And I will lay the corpses of the children of Israel before their idols, and I will scatter your bones all around your altars. In all your dwelling places the cities shall be laid waste, and the high places shall be desolate, so that your altars may be laid waste and made desolate, your idols may be broken and made to cease, your incense altars may be cut down, and your works may be abolished. The slain shall fall in your midst, and you shall know that I am the LORD.

In the above verses, God is declaring His judgment against the kingdom of Judah. God lists 14 things things He will do against the house of Judah.
  1. Bring a sword against them
  2. Destroy their high places
  3. Make their altars desolate
  4. Break their incense altars
  5. Cast down the slain before their idols
  6. Lay their corpses before their idols, 
  7. Scatter their bones all around their altars. 
  8. Cities laid waste
  9. High places shall be desolate
  10. Altars laid waste and made desolate
  11. Idols broken and made to cease
  12. Incense altars cut down
  13. Their works may be abolished
  14. Slain shall fall in their midst 

Mercy on The Remnant

Ezek 6:8-10 “Yet I will leave a remnant, so that you may have some who escape the sword among the nations, when you are scattered through the countries. Then those of you who escape will remember Me among the nations where they are carried captive, because I was crushed by their adulterous heart which has departed from Me, and by their eyes which play the harlot after their idols; they will loathe themselves for the evils which they committed in all their abominations. And they shall know that I am the LORD; I have not said in vain that I would bring this calamity upon them.”

In the midst of God’s judgment, He leaves a remnant for the sake of His servant David.

1Kgs 15:4 Howbeit for David’s sake the Lord gave him a remnant, that he might establish his children after him, and might establish Jerusalem (LXX).

These remnant will loathe for the sins which they had committed against God and remember Him.

God’s Fury on the rest

Ezek 6:11-14 ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “Pound your fists and stamp your feet, and say, ‘Alas, for all the evil abominations of the house of Israel! For they shall fall by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence. He who is far off shall die by the pestilence, he who is near shall fall by the sword, and he who remains and is besieged shall die by the famine. Thus will I spend My fury upon them. Then you shall know that I am the LORD, when their slain are among their idols all around their altars, on every high hill, on all the mountaintops, under every green tree, and under every thick oak, wherever they offered sweet incense to all their idols. So I will stretch out My hand against them and make the land desolate, yes, more desolate than the wilderness toward Diblah, in all their dwelling places. Then they shall know that I am the LORD.’ 

The remnant shall know that He is the LORD who did all these with the rest of the people who do not belong to the remnant were killed. God explains the three forms of death.

  • Those who are far off shall die by the pestilence
  • Those who are near shall fall by the sword
  • Those who remain and is besieged shall die by the famine

Like the wilderness of Diblah? It’s Riblah

Diblah occurs only once in Masoretic text and Septuagint translates Diblah as Deblatha. Interestingly, Deblatha occurs many times in LXX and the word used for other instances in Masoretic is Riblah.

Riblah in the land of Hamath.
Photo by Ferrell Jenkins

God says, the land of Judah will be desolate like Riblah, as in the photo above. God is angry and He is executing His judgment on His people. In spite of their evil deeds, God is faithful to His covenant to David to leave a remnant.