The Lord has spoken against Tyre a city of merchandise, yet it says here in Ezekiel 28:14 “You were an anointed guardian cherub” and in Ezekiel 28:15 “until wickedness was found in you” so the king of Tyre also represents the fall of the devil. Sidon is spoken against as, in Ezekiel 28:24 “a painful thorn and a sharp thornbush for the house of Israel”. And, Seir (Edom, Esau’s descendants) is spoken against in Ezekiel 35:5 “because there has been to you an ancient hostility” and they are representative of the enemies of the Lord and the enemies of his people. But the Lord promises blessing that will come for his people in Ezekiel 34:23 “And I will set up over them one shepherd, and he will feed them”. For these, they will not need to take the land by force because in Ezekiel 33:24 “we are many”, but the Lord will give them the land to do, in Ezekiel 33:19 “justice and righteousness”.
You Were a Perfect Model
Set Your Face Toward Sidon
You Want to Take Possession of the Land?
There is in the heart of people, in the fallen nature of man, this desire to take and the word of the Lord comes first by repeating what people are saying among themselves in Ezekiel 33:24 “we are many; the land has been given for us as a possession”. Then the Lord says to them in Ezekiel 33: 24-26 “You eat blood in your meat, and you raise your eyes to your idols and you pour out blood … You rely on your sword … each man defiles the wife of his neighbor”.
What is the Lord saying? He is saying that he has first claim on the earth and he will not give it to the wicked. In
Psalm 24:1 “The earth is Yahweh’s, with its fullness, the world and those who live in it”
1 Chronicles 29:11 “To you, O Yahweh, is the greatness and the power and the splendor and the glory and the strength, for everything in the heavens and in the earth. Yours, O Yahweh, is the kingdom and exaltation over all as head!”
The land is the Lords to give to whomever he will and he has just told them in
Ezekiel 33:19 “And when the wicked turns from his wickedness, and he does justice and righteousness, because of it he will certainly live!”
and so the prophet speaks the rhetorical question after laying out their sin he says in Ezekiel 33:25 “and yet you want to take possession of the land?” This cannot be and the Lord says, for these people, in Ezekiel 33:29 “I make my land a desolation and a wasteland, because of all of their detestable things that they have done”.
I Will Be For Them as God
Here is the heart of God, to bring “a blessing ” in Ezekiel 34:26, to have a shepherd that cares for the people, a shepherd that will feed them in
Ezekiel 34:23 “And I will set up over them one shepherd, and he will feed them; that is, my servant David. He will feed them, and he will be for them as a shepherd”.
Then in Ezekiel 34:24 he says “I will be for them as God, and my servant David will be a leader among them” and here, there is the sense that “my servant David”, “He shall be ‘prince’ (Nasi in Hebrew), not ‘king,’ under Jehovah their God”.1
In other words, that he will do exactly the will of God and will not rule as the kings of the earth have ruled, out of their own self-will and for their own benefit and desires. And the blessing is described in Ezekiel 34:25-29 in two ways:
- Positive Benefit:
- “a covenant of peace”
- “rains of blessing” (no drought)
- “the tree of the field will give its fruit”
- “the land will give its produce”
- “they will be on their land safely”
- “I will put an end to wild animals”
- “I will deliver them from the hand of the ones enslaving them”
- “they will not be any longer plunder to the nations”
- “there will not be anyone frightening them”
- “they will no longer be victims of famine in the land”
- “they will not bear any more the insult of the nations”
There Has Been to You an Ancient Hostility
Whose yoke is it that the the Lord will break? It is those that set themselves against the Lord as he now decrees in
Ezekiel 35:3 “Look! I am against you, mountain of Seir, and I will stretch out my hand against you, and I will make you a desolation and a wasteland”.
But what is it that caused this decree? In
Ezekiel 35:5 “because there has been to you an ancient hostility, and you handed over the Israelites to the power of the sword at the time of their disaster, at the time of their final punishment”.
There was an unforgiven offense that stood between them and “Mount Seir—that is, Idumea (Ge 36:9) … (is) Singled out … to represent all their enemies everywhere and in all ages … perpetual hatred—(Ps 137:7; Am 1:11; Ob 1:10–16) … derived from Esau against Jacob … (and) consummated … when he exulted over Jerusalem’s downfall, and helped the foe to destroy it (Ps 137:7; Ob 1:11)”.2
The decree against Seir was not because the Lord was against them. The Lord was, and always is, against murder. Sometimes language and culture make translation difficult and this statement is written backwards for us. It says in Ezekiel 35:6 “since you did not hate blood, it will pursue you”. What this means, or maybe a better way for us to understand it is since you held offense and took on yourself to get vengeance, since you hated your brother and sought his destruction, that same hatred, that same destruction will come on you.
I Will Deal With You According to Your Anger
- Ezekiel 33:21–33 You Want to Take Possession of the Land?
- Ezekiel 34:23-31 I Will Be For Them as God
- Ezekiel 35:1–8 There Has Been to You an Ancient Hostility
- Ezekiel 28:11-26
- Ezekiel 33:21-33
- Ezekiel 34:23-31
- Ezekiel 35:1-15
- 1. Barnes, W. E. (1942). Ezekiel. In C. Gore, H. L. Goudge, & A. Guillaume (Eds.), A New Commentary on Holy Scripture: Including the Apocrypha (Vol. 1, p. 537). New York: The Macmillan Company.
- 2. Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., & Brown, D. (1997). Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (Vol. 1, p. 608). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.