Though we are not the prophet specifically being addressed we should assume that there is a responsibility in the same sense of ours to our stiff-necked generation as well. A man may well die in his sin regardless, but, that is not for our interpretation. Our concern is that he is presented with the Gospel and has the opportunity whether he accepts it or not to choose not to die in his sin otherwise his blood in some measure is on us.
The picture I find interesting is that with all of these fallen nations laid into the pit, their swords (weapons of war) are laid behind their heads (as if their iniquity was detached and behind them) yet their iniquity remains in their bones. We might think of iniquity as this gun or this bomb or this weapon of mass destruction. What is truly evil is the heart that devised it, the intent of that heart towards it's use. When the weapon is removed it does not remove the heart the remains devising and intending.
What we are seeing here is an end of a world age. All of these nations are either no more or radically changed into a mere shadows of their former selfs. The world that follows is of much larger more empirical momentums and shifts. It is the beginning of the very ages revealed as a statue in a dream to the king of Babylon interpreted by Daniel, a time of major world players.
The way of the Lord unequal? I doubt that anything He could choose to say or do would be perceived as fair. It has nothing to do with His fairness and everything to do with our perception of who we want Him to be. For those that do not want Him to be at all absolutely everything about even the notion of Him is defiled. To those that want him to be their good luck charm and means to prosperity anything other than that which He would do is unnecessary and labeled as the work of the devil.
A person could do right for all of their lives, trust in this track record and yet fail at one point and that record be stained as if no right ever happened. Likewise, a person could do wrong for life and at one point finally do what is right and wipe his wrong clean. How can this logically be? The only way these two opposites can prove true is if the righteousness relied upon is not the righteousness of the individual but the righteousness imputed from an intermediary. One man trusts in the righteousness of Jesus though everything that he has done up to now is sinful, another trusts that he has done nothing but right and in that opinion alone he is terribly wrong for the righteousness of true righteousness has not been imputed. Righteousness apart from our Lord's righteousness is no righteousness at all.
The iniquity of others is of their own doing. However, their blood can be charged to another if the other knew to warn them and did not. It is interesting how the elements of equity/responsibility/and true righteousness inter play with each other in this chapter's context.
The flock here is identified as Israel. The Lord had set shepherds over them; they fed themselves on the flock instead. Some were driven away, some lost, some diseased, many scattered. Their good pasture was trampled and their good water muddied. These shepherds are no doubt spiritual and civic leaders. The answer is that the Lord himself becomes the shepherd; He is the Good Shepherd. In the end, when His glory is come, He will set David over them (David is not the Shepherd himself). There is a shame of the heathen that they bare (perhaps that the heathen recognize this Shepherd before they do).
The descendants of Esau from the Seir mountains, the Edomites are to be judged. Esau and Jacob had reconciled, but, his seed had renewed the quarrel and become frequent enemies of Israel shedding their blood. They had supposed that both lands Judah and Israel would one day be their own and had taken strength in the desolation of Israel. I am unsure of the time frame for this judgment as it seems to be when the whole earth rejoices (which may refer to the Millennium?). The Geneva notes call the people mentioned Idumeans, I'm not sure if there is a link.
Israel is blessed more in the end then in the beginning not because of their goodness but because of His holy name. How can this be true if the Israel spoken of here is someone other than the Jews as some cults claim? They claim that the Jews are apostate, it says here that they will be given a new heart of flesh. They claim that God has moved on, it says that the prophesy directed to the mountains of Israel and the land that will be fruitful. Like the Edomites, these cults presume that it is over for Israel, that they are the true Israel, that they will inherit what was once the Jews. Theirs is not some special higher knowledge of the will of God it is a resentment.
Some of the dispersed have been regathered here since 1947 + 1968. Many are still left to come. Judah and Israel are again solidified as one. The things not yet achieved is the revelation of the true Shepherd, the cleansing of their hearts, the installment of David as His king. Whether the raising of the bones is literal or symbolic, it would have to be at least in the case of David. These things are moving ahead quickly.
We see some of these names appear again in Revelations. Here they often interpreted to be a confederacy of mid Asian Baltic and Caspian tribes/states Rosh (Russia) and Meshech (Moscow) Gog and Magog (northern). I do not know of a particular king in Ezekiel's time that this would be addressed to, many believe this to be addressed to a pre-tribulation president. It is not completely agreed upon however.
You can just imagine the size of the force that could be mounted right now by a combination of Russia Iran Ethiopia Libya Europe (at least the southern and/or Celtic union). Imagine them all descending upon little Israel being the size of Rhode Island. Imagine that God has drawn them in to a terrible defeat so that other heathen nations will know that He is God.
Seven years of burning nothing but weapons for fuel. A gathering of many birds and creeping things to eat on the carcasses. Seven months of flagging and burying the dead. A national effort by every citizen to cleanse the land. This would be an effective way of making yourself known again to your people. It would certainly lift the veil from their eyes. Imagine being in Israel at this time. Given the odds of the battle this sight would only be by the hand of God.
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