Examining Book of Ezekiel 3
Mike Ervin


Examining the Book of Exekiel - the Week 3 Text

Ezekiel Week 3 – The Text

Examining the Book of Ezekiel 3

The Outline for Week 3

After All of These Condemnations - We begin the Move into the Restoration – the Last Large Part of Ezekiel.

Also Complicated and, at Times, Highly Visionary, But More Encouraging as the Lord Offers Restoration!

And as a reminder of the literary structure of Ezekiel, after the first three chapters of visionary experiences of Ezekiel, we encountered Ezekiel chapters 4 thru 24, which, while still including some visionary experiences , tended to focus heavily on the sins and “detestable”practices of the Kingdoms of Israel and Judah.

And then in chapters 25-32 continued with condemnations of foreign nations surrounding Israel.

And then, beginning in chapter 34 of Ezekiel’s 48 chapters chapters we will see a decided shift in tone, as the Lord begins to focus on the sins of the  “Shepards” (leaders) for neglecting and exploiting the “Sheep” (people).

The Shepards were more concerned with their own well being than the welfare of the flock.

Ezekiel 34: 1- 16

34 1The Lord’s word came to me: 2 Human one, prophesy against Israel’s shepherds. Prophesy and say to them, The Lord God proclaims to the shepherds: Doom to Israel’s shepherds who tended themselves! Shouldn’t shepherds tend the flock? 

3 You drink the milk, you wear the wool, and you slaughter the fat animals, but you don’t tend the flock. 

34 1The Lord’s word came to me: 2 Human one, prophesy against Israel’s shepherds. Prophesy and say to them, The Lord God proclaims to the shepherds: Doom to Israel’s shepherds who tended themselves! Shouldn’t shepherds tend the flock? 

3 You drink the milk, you wear the wool, and you slaughter the fat animals, but you don’t tend the flock. 

4 You don’t strengthen the weak, heal the sick, bind up the injured, bring back the strays, or seek out the lost; but instead you use force to rule them with injustice. 

5 Without a shepherd, my flock was scattered; and when it was scattered, it became food for all the wild animals. 

 6 My flock strayed on all the mountains and on every high hill throughout all the earth. My flock was scattered, and there was no one to look for them or find them. 

7 So now shepherds, hear the Lord’s word! 

10 The Lord God proclaims: I’m against the shepherds! I will hold them accountable for my flock, and I will put an end to their tending the flock. The shepherds will no longer tend them, because I will rescue my flock from their mouths, and they will no longer be their food.

11 The Lord God proclaims: I myself will search for my flock and seek them out.

12 As a shepherd seeks out the flock when some in the flock have been scattered, so will I seek out my flock. I will rescue them from all the places where they were scattered during the time of clouds and thick darkness. 

13 I will gather and lead them out from the countries and peoples, and I will bring them to their own fertile land. I will feed them on Israel’s highlands, along the riverbeds, and in all the inhabited places.

14 I will feed them in good pasture, and their sheepfold will be there, on Israel’s lofty highlands. On Israel’s highlands, they will lie down in a secure fold and feed on green pastures. 15 I myself will feed my flock and make them lie down. This is what the Lord God says. 

16 I will seek out the lost, bring back the strays, bind up the wounded, and strengthen the weak. But the fat and the strong I will destroy, because I will tend my sheep with justice.

17 As for you, my flock, the Lord God proclaims: I will judge between the rams and the bucks among the sheep and the goats. 

18 Is feeding in good pasture or drinking clear water such a trivial thing that you should trample and muddy with your feet? 19 But now my flock must feed on what your feet have trampled and drink water that your feet have muddied.

20 So the Lord God proclaims to them: I will judge between the fat and the lean sheep. 21 You shove with shoulder and flank, and with your horns you ram all the weak sheep until you’ve scattered them outside. 

22 But I will rescue my flock so that they will never again be prey. I will even judge between the sheep!

23 I will appoint for them a single shepherd, and he will feed them. My servant David will feed them. He will be their shepherd. 

24 I, the Lord, will be their God, and my servant David will be their prince. I, the Lord, have spoken. 

And I Give You a New Heart

Ezekiel 36: 22-32

When I make myself holy among you in their sight, 24 I will take you from the nations, I will gather you from all the countries, and I will bring you to your own fertile land. 25 I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be cleansed of all your pollution. I will cleanse you of all your idols. 26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you. I will remove your stony heart from your body and replace it with a living one,

27 and I will give you my spirit so that you may walk according to my regulations and carefully observe my case laws. 28 Then you will live in the land that I gave to your ancestors, you will be my people, and I will be your God. 29 I will save you from all your uncleanness, and I will summon the grain and make it grow abundantly so that you won’t endure famine. 

30 I will make abundant the orchards’ fruit and the fields’ produce so that you will never again endure the shame of famine among the nations. 31 Then you will remember your evil ways and no-good deeds, and you will feel disgust for yourselves because of your sinful and detestable practices. 32 Not for your sake do I act. This is what the Lord God proclaims. Let that be known to you! Be ashamed and be humiliated because of all your ways, house of Israel.

And Then Chapter 37

Chapter 37 is a remarkable visionary experience. A vision of Restoration and Renewal.

It is often labeled “The Valley of the Dry Bones” It is a powerful vision of how the Lord intends to restore the  people to their land. It is a must read!

37  1 The Lord’s power overcame me, and while I was in the Lord’s spirit, he led me out and set me down in the middle of a certain valley. It was full of bones. 

2 He led me through them all around, and I saw that there were a great many of them on the valley floor, and they were very dry.

3 He asked me, “Human one, can these bones live again?”

I said, “Lord God, only you know.”

4 He said to me, “Prophesy over these bones, and say to them, Dry bones, hear the Lord’s word! 

5 The Lord God proclaims to these bones: I am about to put breath in you, and you will live again. 

6 I will put sinews on you, place flesh on you, and cover you with skin. When I put breath in you, and you come to life, you will know that I am the Lord.”

7 I prophesied just as I was commanded. There was a great noise as I was prophesying, then a great quaking, and the bones came together, bone by bone. 

8 When I looked, suddenly there were sinews on them. The flesh appeared, and then they were covered over with skin. But there was still no breath in them.

9 He said to me, “Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, human one! Say to the breath, The Lord God proclaims: Come from the four winds, breath! Breathe into these dead bodies and let them live.”

10 I prophesied just as he commanded me. When the breath entered them, they came to life and stood on their feet, an extraordinarily large company.

11 He said to me, “Human one, these bones are the entire house of Israel. They say, ‘Our bones are dried up, and our hope has perished. We are completely finished.’ 

12 So now, prophesy and say to them, The Lord God proclaims: I’m opening your graves! I will raise you up from your graves, my people, and I will bring you to Israel’s fertile land.

 13 You will know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves and raise you up from your graves, my people. 

14 I will put my breath in you, and you will live. I will plant you on your fertile land, and you will know that I am the Lord. I’ve spoken, and I will do it. This is what the Lord says.”

The Divided Kingdom United

15 The Lord’s word came to me: 16 You, human one, take a stick, and write on it, “Belonging to Judah and to the Israelites associated with him.” Take another stick and write on it, “Stick of Ephraim belonging to Joseph and everyone of the house of Israel associated with him.” 

17 Join them to each other to make a single stick so that they become one stick in your hand.

18 When your people ask you, “Why won’t you tell us what these sticks mean to you?” 19 say to them, The Lord God proclaims: I’m taking Joseph’s stick, which has been in Ephraim’s hand, and the tribes of Israel associated with him, and I’m putting it with Judah’s stick, and I’m making them into a single stick so that they will be one stick in my hand.

20 When the two sticks that you’ve written on are in your hand in their sight, 21 speak to them, This is what the Lord God says: I will take the Israelites from among the nations where they’ve gone, I will gather them from all around, and I will bring them to their fertile land. 22 I will make them into a single nation in the land on Israel’s highlands. There will be just one king for all of them. They will no longer be two nations, and they will no longer be divided into two kingdoms.

23 They will no longer defile themselves with their idols or their worthless things or with any of their rebellions. I will deliver them from all the places where they sinned, and I will cleanse them. They will be my people, and I will be their God. 

24 My servant David will be king over them. There will be just one shepherd for all of them. They will follow my case laws and carefully observe my regulations.

25 They will live on the land that I gave to my servant Jacob, where their ancestors lived. They will live on it, they and their children and their grandchildren, forever. My servant David will be their prince forever. 26 I will make a covenant of peace for them. It will be their covenant forever. I will grant it to them and allow them to increase. I will set my sanctuary among them forever. 27 My dwelling will be with them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people. 28 The nations will know that I, the Lord, make Israel holy, when my sanctuary is among them forever.

And Now – Gog and Magog

And now we approach the rather strange story of Gog and Magog. Let’s begin by talking about where they are mentioned in our Bible.

1. In Ezekiel chapters 38-39. Here Gog seems to be described as the ruler of the land of Magog, , who leads a coalition of nations against Israel in the end times. God intervenes and defeats Gog and his allies, demonstrating His power and protection over His people.

2. Genesis 10:2: Magog is mentioned as one of the sons of Japheth, a son of Noah. This is a genealogical reference and does not provide much detail about the character of Magog.

 3. Revelation 20:7-10: In the final book of the Bible, Gog and Magog are referenced symbolically as nations that Satan will gather to battle against God's people after the millennium (the 1,000-year reign of Christ). Fire from heaven will consume them, and Satan will be cast into the lake of fire.

Revelation 20:7-10

7 When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison. 8 He will go out to deceive the nations that are at the four corners of the earth - Gog and Magog. He will gather them for battle. Their number is like the sand of the sea. 9 They came up across the whole earth and surrounded the saints’ camp, the city that God loves.

Gog and Magog – Let’s Read Ezekiel

Ezekiel seems to portray Gog as a powerful ruler from the land of Magog, possibly located in the far north of Israel.

The exact identities of Gog and Magog remain uncertain, but the main message may be that God will ultimately defeat all enemies of His people, regardless of their power or numbers.

But Now - Let’s Read What  Ezekiel Says!

38  1 The Lord’s word came to me: 2 Human one, face Gog in the land of Magog, chief prince of Meshech and Tubal. Prophesy concerning him 3 and say, The Lord God proclaims: I challenge you, Gog, chief prince of Meshech and Tubal!

4 I will turn you about, set hooks in your jaws, and lead you out, you and all your army, horses and riders, handsomely dressed, all of them, a great assembly, with buckler and shield, all of them wielding swords. 5 Persia, Cush, and Put are with you, all of them equipped with shield and helmet.

6 Gomer and all his troops, Beth-togarmah from the far north and all his troops; many peoples are with you. 

7 Stand ready and be prepared, you and all your assembly. You will watch out for those who gather against you.

8 After many days you will be called out. In future years you will enter a country that has been freed from the sword, a gathering from many peoples on the mountains of Israel, which had become a perpetual ruin. This country was brought out from the peoples, and all of them live securely. 

9 You will invade like a sudden storm. You and all your troops, and the many peoples with you, will be like clouds covering the earth.

10 The Lord God proclaims: On that day, thoughts will come into your mind, and you will devise an evil plan.

 11 You will say, “I will go up against the open country and come against a quiet people who all live securely without walls, bars, or doors 12 to take plunder and seize loot, to use my power against the resettled waste places, against a people gathered from the nations, who are acquiring goods and cattle, and who live at the center of the earth.”

15 As the travelers cross through the land, when they see a human bone, they will set up a marker next to it until the gravediggers bury it in Hamon-gog Valley 16 (the name of the city is Hamonah). So they will purify the land.

17 And you, human one, the Lord God proclaims: Say to the birds of prey, to every kind of bird and every wild animal: Assemble and come! Come together from all around for the sacrifice that I make for you, a great sacrifice on Israel’s mountains! You will eat flesh and drink blood.

18 You will eat the flesh of warriors and drink the blood of the princes of the earth: rams, lambs, goats, bulls, all fattened animals from Bashan. 19 Gorge yourselves on their fat, and get drunk on their blood, from the sacrifice that I have made for you. 20 Satisfy yourselves at my table with horses and riders, mighty men and every warrior. This is what the Lord God says!

21 When I glorify myself among the nations, all the nations will understand the judgments that I executed and the power that I used among them. 22 And the house of Israel will know that I, the Lord, am their God, from that day on. 23 The nations will know that the house of Israel went into exile because of their guilt. Because they rebelled against me, I hid my face from them. When I handed them over to their enemies, all of them fell by the sword.

25 So the Lord God proclaims: Now I will bring back the captives of Jacob. I will have compassion on the whole house of Israel and defend my holy name. 26 They will forget their humiliation and all their rebellions against me when they live securely on their fertile land with no one to frighten them. 27 When I bring them back from the peoples and gather them from the lands of their enemies, I will be made holy through them in the sight of the many nations.

28 They will know that I am the Lord their God when, after I made them go into exile among the nations, I gathered them to their land. I won’t leave any of them behind. 29 When I pour my Spirit upon the house of Israel, I won’t hide my face from them again. This is what the Lord God says.


I am simply unable to leave you hanging about something as strange as Gog and Magog!

So the following is my attempt to describe what it may represent.

The story of Gog and Magog in the Book of Ezekiel (chapters 38 and 39) has been a subject of much interpretation and debate among biblical scholars. In the narrative, Gog is described as the ruler of the land of Magog, who leads a coalition of nations in an attack against Israel, only to be defeated by divine intervention.

Modern scholarship has varying interpretations of this account:

1.    Metaphorical interpretation: Some scholars view the story as a symbolic representation of the eternal struggle between good and evil, with Gog and Magog representing the forces that oppose God and His people.

2.    Historical interpretation: Others attempt to identify Gog and Magog with historical figures or nations. Some propose that Gog may refer to Gyges, a 7th-century BCE king of Lydia in Anatolia, while Magog could represent the Scythians, a nomadic people from the region north of the Black Sea.

3.    Apocalyptic interpretation: Many scholars see the battle with Gog and Magog as an apocalyptic event, signifying the final conflict before the end times and the establishment of God's kingdom on Earth. This view is supported by the fact that the story is also mentioned in the Book of Revelation (20:8).

4.    Political interpretation: Some suggest that the story reflects the political and military threats faced by the Jewish people during the time of Ezekiel, with Gog and Magog representing the various enemies of Israel.

Despite these interpretations, there is no conclusive historical or archaeological evidence to identify Gog and Magog with specific individuals or nations.

Most modern scholars view it as a metaphorical or apocalyptic narrative, rather than a literal historical account.

And for Week 4!

Chapters 40 thru 48 are all about a fantastic vision of the New Temple and the New Jerusalem and the new Land of Israel.

Filled with incredible description of all the measurements in the new temple – an extensive description of the temple practices – and an extensive allotment of all the land for the tribes.

And because these 9 chapters are long and complex we have no possibility of reading all of them.

So, I will be doing a lot of summarizing for you next week.

Examining the Book of Ezekiel 3

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