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Ezekiel 10-13

08.18.2010

10 | The crux of Zeke’s vision (the same as in Chapters 8 & 9, continued) is that the glory of God is departing the temple.  It is no longer His house, and His departure prepares the way for its destruction.  As the study Bible notes, God’s glory departs haltingly and in stages, as if to give the people time to say, ‘Wait!  Don’t go!’  Alas, they are so busy in their idolotry that they do not notice or care.

11 | Once you acknowledge (as I do) that some Bible stories are only symbolic visions and not physical ocurrences, it becomes hard to define exactly which episodes fall into which category.  Based on the context of the narrative, I believe that all of chapter 11 occurs within the extended vision that began in chapter 8.  In this case, the glowing whirly-gig of chapters 1 and 9 would really have appeared to Zeke in his vision, but not in a physical form that would be verifiable by anyone else.  The same would be true of the slaughter depicted in chapter 9; it’s a vision of a reality in that God’s people have embraced death and shunned His presence, but there is not a corresponding historical instance of angelic massacre.  I think Zeke’s episode with the false teachers is likewise wholly contained within his vision, but (I emphasize) I’m not an authority.

11:17 | Verses like this one, where God tells His people that He will gather them from around the world and give them back their land, are what fuel the theological arguments of modern Zionists.  It’s obviously not persuasive to someone who doesn’t accept the authority of scripture, but it nevertheless drives at least one side of the Middle East conflict.

11:20 | I liked the language that our ability to obey God’s commands comes from Him.  This is why we all fall short of the glory of God; we are incapable of being good on our own.  That doesn’t mean (I’m learning) that it’s God who does the obeying on our behalf.  He still requires that we make the decisions to obey, but he provides the ability and opportunity to do so.

12 | After the crazy vision of the preceding four chapters, Zeke is dropped back among the exiles in what is now Iraq and told to perform a phrophetic charades with the people, schlepping his baggage with him as a sign of the continued/futher exile to come.  This takes place between Ned’s first attack, when he took the first wave of captives (including Zeke) and the second attack, during which the temple will fall.  The message is meant for those already in exile, telling them that they will not be returning home soon and that more exile awaits God’s people.

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