Ezekiel 25-26
(Judgment Against Other Nations)
September 1st

Produced by The Listening for God Ministry
Copyright 2016

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Please refer to one or more Bible versions of your choice to read this section. We recommend that you read at least two versions for added understanding. For your convenience, we have provided six links below, each of which takes you directly to today's chapters in a specific version:

Key Verse

"And I will execute great vengeance upon them with furious rebukes; and they shall know that I am the Lord, when I shall lay my vengeance upon them."

- Ezekiel 25:17 (KJV)

Summary of Chapters

These chapters begin a section that describes judgments against other nations, similar to some of the passages in Jeremiah and Isaiah. Chapter 25 comprises prophesies against four long-term adversaries of Israel and Judah: Ammon, Moab, Edom, and Philistia. They are addressed in geographical clockwise order, beginning with Ammon. The LORD says that these nations will be punished because they rejoiced when Judah fell and took advantage of the situation:

    Son of man, face Ammon and preach against the people: Listen to the Message of God, the Master. This is what God has to say: Because you cheered when my Sanctuary was desecrated and the land of Judah was devastated and the people of Israel were taken into exile, I知 giving you over to the people of the east. They値l move in and make themselves at home, eating the food right off your tables and drinking your milk. I値l turn your capital, Rabbah, into pasture for camels and all your villages into corrals for flocks. Then you値l realize that I am God.

    敵od, the Master, says, Because you clapped and cheered, venting all your malicious contempt against the land of Israel, I値l step in and hand you out as loot庸irst come, first served. I値l cross you off the roster of nations. There値l be nothing left of you. And you値l realize that I am God.

    - Ezekiel 25:1-7 (MSG)

In the case of each of the other nations he names specific places or tribes and describes what will happen. A force from the east will come to deliver the LORD痴 punishment, and then these nations will know that the LORD is in charge of the world.

    "And I will execute great vengeance upon them with furious rebukes; and they shall know that I am the Lord, when I shall lay my vengeance upon them."

    - Ezekiel 25:17 (KJV)

The entirety of chapter 26 is dedicated to a prophecy against Tyre. It also said 羨ha when Jerusalem fell and sought to prosper from the city痴 misfortune. Tyre was further from Judah than the other nations but was still in the region of the Holy Land. The main city consisted of two sections, one on the mainland and the other on a rocky island, which was their stronghold.

The LORD goes into great detail regarding the terror of the impending attack and declares that these people will never again be found. The LORD said the following to Tyre:

    I will make you a bare rock;
        you shall be a place for spreading nets.
    You shall never again be rebuilt,
        for I the Lord have spoken,
        says the Lord God."

    Ezekiel 26:14 (NRSV)

Reflection and Application

One of the reasons that God punished these other nations is that they rejoiced at the sorrow of Israel and Judah. This may be a natural human reaction, but it痴 not a good idea. In the financial markets, there is a saying in some circles that 登ne should never dance on someone else痴 grave, meaning that if one of your competitors falters, it痴 not right to celebrate. One reason is that it痴 not respectful, but the other reason is that trouble has a way of finding others to infect, and the ones who celebrate the demise of others might just attract trouble somehow. When others suffer, we ought to pray for them, even if they are our enemies. This is what God wants from us.

The people of Tyre made the mistake of celebrating when Judah fell and they were subsequently conquered by the nation of Babylon, which destroyed both parts of the city. To this day, all that remains is a rock, where fisherman spread their nets, just as the LORD declared (1).

When the LORD sets out to do a thorough job it gets done. What job is he calling us to do today, and how will we measure the thoroughness of our effort? It痴 one matter if we tried hard but lacked ability, but it痴 another if we had the ability, but stopped short because we were tired or busy or distracted or discouraged. If it痴 truly an assignment for the LORD, then we need to keep pressing on.

One final comment on these two chapters: Verse 25:17 is one of the more well-known passages from Ezekiel among the general population because it's quoted a number of times by a character named Jules, who was played by Samuel Jackson, in the popular movie, "Pulp Fiction." Jules makes a brief statement when he is about to execute his own vengeance, and claims that it's a quote that he memorized from Ezekiel 25:17 but only the last part of his monologue is actually from this verse, whereas the first part is a blend from a few sources. Here is the set of verses that the character Jules attributes to Ezekiel 25:17 and the actual verse:

    "The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides with the iniquities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who in the name of charity and good will shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon those with great vengeance and with furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know that my name is the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon thee."

    - Jules in "Pulp Fiction"

    And I will execute great vengeance upon them with furious rebukes; and they shall know that I am the Lord, when I shall lay my vengeance upon them.

    - Ezekiel in Ezekiel 25:17 (KJV)

At one point in the movie the character named Jules tries to explain what the verse means to him - that perhaps he is the righteous man, or the shepherd, and he is doing the LORD's will, but clearly this interpretation is out of sync with the real meaning of the passage. The movie includes a lot of violence and bad language, so we would not recommend it as a good Christian film. But if someone should ask you about this verse and the scenes in the movie, you can be prepared to clarify some of the misrepresentations about the actual content. Be a witness, but leave the vengeance to the LORD. It's his.

Questions and Prayers for Further Reflection

    Related Questions
    1. When was the last time you went fishing?
    2. What enemy does God want us to pray for today?
    3. What job is God calling you to do today, and how will you measure the thoroughness of your effort?
    Recommended Prayer
    Father in heaven, we know that vengeance is yours. Help us to trust you.

    Suggested Prayer Concerns
    Fishermen and others who make their living on the water


    (1) Taylor, John B, Ezekiel, an Introduction and Commentary, Inter-Varsity Press, Leicester England and Downers Grove, IL, 1969 , page 190

    Looking Ahead
    Tomorrow's reading: Ezekiel 27-28 (No Miracle Catch for This Tyre)

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