Bible Study: Ezekiel 11 – God’s Promise to Restore Israel

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 eleventh chapter of Ezekiel is about God’s promise to restore Israel.

Wicked Counsel & Judgement

Ezek 11:1-3 Then the Spirit lifted me up and brought me to the East Gate of the LORD’s house, which faces eastward; and there at the door of the gate were twenty-five men, among whom I saw Jaazaniah the son of Azzur, and Pelatiah the son of Benaiah, princes of the people. And He said to me: “Son of man, these are the men who devise iniquity and give wicked counsel in this city, who say, ‘The time is not near to build houses; this city is the caldron, and we are the meat.’

Jaazaniah the son of Azzur, and Pelatiah the son of Benaiah are the princes of the people. They are the rulers in the kingdom of Judah who devise iniquity and give wicked counsel.

Prov 6:16,18 These six things the LORD hates, Yes, seven are an abomination to Him: … A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that are swift in running to evil,

God hates the heart that devices wicked plans.

Ezek 11:4-13 “Therefore prophesy against them, prophesy, O son of man!” Then the Spirit of the LORD fell upon me, and said to me, “Speak! ‘Thus says the LORD: “Thus you have said, O house of Israel; for I know the things that come into your mind. You have multiplied your slain in this city, and you have filled its streets with the slain. Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: “Your slain whom you have laid in its midst, they are the meat, and this city is the caldron; but I shall bring you out of the midst of it. You have feared the sword; and I will bring a sword upon you,” says the Lord GOD. And I will bring you out of its midst, and deliver you into the hands of strangers, and execute judgments on you. You shall fall by the sword. I will judge you at the border of Israel. Then you shall know that I am the LORD. This city shall not be your caldron, nor shall you be the meat in its midst. I will judge you at the border of Israel. And you shall know that I am the LORD; for you have not walked in My statutes nor executed My judgments, but have done according to the customs of the Gentiles which are all around you.” Now it happened, while I was prophesying, that Pelatiah the son of Benaiah died. Then I fell on my face and cried with a loud voice, and said, “Ah, Lord GOD! Will You make a complete end of the remnant of Israel?

The analogy of meat and caldron is used to describe the people slain in the city through the counsel of these wicked princes. Therefore, God is executing judgment on these wicked men using their own greatest fear. When Ezekiel saw Pelatiah son of Benaiah died in the vision, Ezekiel was devastated that the remnant of Israel will also be gone. In Ezekiel’s perspective, he was already in exile and he viewed the people who remained in Jerusalem or escaped the initial exile were the remnant. But the remnant later refers to those who are in exile when the nation of Judah was defeated by the Babylonians and Jerusalem destroyed.

New Covenant

Ezek 11:14-21 Again the word of the LORD came to me, saying, “Son of man, your brethren, your relatives, your countrymen, and all the house of Israel in its entirety, are those about whom the inhabitants of Jerusalem have said, ‘Get far away from the LORD; this land has been given to us as a possession.’ Therefore say, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “Although I have cast them far off among the Gentiles, and although I have scattered them among the countries, yet I shall be a little sanctuary for them in the countries where they have gone. Therefore say, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “I will gather you from the peoples, assemble you from the countries where you have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel. And they will go there, and they will take away all its detestable things and all its abominations from there. Then I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within them, and take the stony heart out of their flesh, and give them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in My statutes and keep My judgments and do them; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God. But as for those whose hearts follow the desire for their detestable things and their abominations, I will recompense their deeds on their own heads,” says the Lord GOD.

Even though God is judging Israel for their iniquity and evil, He has not completely forsaken them. He is comforting that one day in future, He will gather all the scattered Jews into Israel and give them one heart and new spirit and they shall walk in the ways of the Lord. We had seen this fulfilling in the past century when Israel became a nation in 1948 AD. While there are Messianic Jews who believe in Jesus Christ in Israel, many Jews are yet to accept Jesus Christ as their Messiah so that they all can have new spirit according to the promise of New Covenant.

Jer 31:31-34 “Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah– not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the LORD. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”

This New Covenant was also prophesied by Jeremiah. But the new covenant is not just for the house of Israel and Judah but to all nations and peoples through Christ and given to whoever believes in His Name and obey His commandments, which is to love one another.
While most of Israel is currently blind to their Messiah, one day they will accept their Messiah and the prophecy of Ezekiel will be fulfilled. 

Rev 11:8,13 And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. ….  In the same hour there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell. In the earthquake seven thousand people were killed, and the rest were afraid and gave glory to the God of heaven.

It will be fulfilled during the days of the sounding of the sixth trumpet and the second woe, after the earthquake, they will give praise to God.

Vision Gone

Ezek 11:22-25 So the cherubim lifted up their wings, with the wheels beside them, and the glory of the God of Israel was high above them. And the glory of the LORD went up from the midst of the city and stood on the mountain, which is on the east side of the city. Then the Spirit took me up and brought me in a vision by the Spirit of God into Chaldea, to those in captivity. And the vision that I had seen went up from me. So I spoke to those in captivity of all the things the LORD had shown me.

The glory of God stood on the mountain which is on the east side of the city

Zech 14:4 And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, Which faces Jerusalem on the east. And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two, From east to west, Making a very large valley; Half of the mountain shall move toward the north And half of it toward the south.

The mountain which is on the east side of the city is the Mount of Olives. 
The last verses were concluding sections and the vision is gone from Ezekiel and he shared what he saw in the vision to the other Jews in exile.