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Ezekiel 35

 

PARAGRAPH DIVISIONS OF MODERN TRANSLATIONS

NASB NKJV NRSV TEV NJB
    Oracles of Restoration
(33:1-39:29)
   
Prophecy Against Mount Seir Judgment on Mount Seir The Oracle Against Edom God's Punishment on Edom Against the Mountains of Edom
35:1-9 35:1-9 35:1-9 35:1-4 35:1-9
(3b-4) (3b-4) (3b-4) (3b-4)  
      35:5-9  
35:10-15 35:10-15 35:10-15 35:10-13 35:10-15
      35:13-15  

READING CYCLE THREE (see "Guide to Good Bible Reading")

FOLLOWING THE ORIGINAL AUTHOR'S INTENT AT PARAGRAPH LEVEL

This is a study guide commentary, which means that you are responsible for your own interpretation of the Bible. Each of us must walk in the light we have. You, the Bible, and the Holy Spirit are priority in interpretation. You must not relinquish this to a commentator.

Read the chapter in one sitting. Identify the subjects (reading cycle #3). Compare your subject divisions with the five translations above. Paragraphing is not inspired, but it is the key to following the original author's intent, which is the heart of interpretation. Every paragraph has one and only one subject.

1. First paragraph

2. Second paragraph

3. Third paragraph

4. Etc.

 

WORD AND PHRASE STUDY

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT:35:1-9
 1Moreover, the word of the Lord came to me saying, 2"Son of man, set your face against Mount Seir, and prophesy against it
 3and say to it, 'Thus says the Lord God,
 "Behold, I am against you, Mount Seir,
 And I will stretch out My hand against you
 And make you a desolation and a waste.
 4I will lay waste your cities
 And you will become a desolation.
 Then you will know that I am the Lord.
 5Because you have had everlasting enmity and have delivered the sons of Israel to the power of the sword at the time of their calamity, at the time of the punishment of the end, 6therefore as I live," declares the Lord God, "I will give you over to bloodshed, and bloodshed will pursue you; since you have not hated bloodshed, therefore bloodshed will pursue you. 7I will make Mount Seir a waste and a desolation and I will cut off from it the one who passes through and returns. 8I will fill its mountains with its slain; on your hills and in your valleys and in all your ravines those slain by the sword will fall. 9I will make you an everlasting desolation and your cities will not be inhabited. Then you will know that I am the Lord."

35:2 "set your face against" See note at 1:3.

▣ "Mount Seir" This refers to the nation of Edom (cf. 25:12-14; 32:29; 36:5). I am surprised that another judgment against Edom is included (cf. 25:12-14). Edom must have a symbolic connotation. She (1) mocks and attacks God's people, vv. 5,11, cf. Ps. 137:7; Isa. 63:1-6; Obad. vv. 8-19; (2) is prideful (cf. vv. 10-11) here; and (3) had arrogant thoughts against YHWH and His people, vv. 12,13 (Edom had "everlasting enmity," v. 5). Moderns must admit that we do not know the reasons and procedures for the editing and compilation of OT books. It is possible that Edom stands for all anti-God human societies (NIDOTTE, vol. 1, p. 957).

The concept of "mountain" may be the key to this text. The high plateau of Edom, of which they were so proud, will not save them. As judgment came to the mountains of Israel (i.e., chapter 6), so too, now to the mountains of Edom (cf. vv. 8,15). As judgment comes to arrogant Edom, blessing will return to the repentant covenant people (i.e., the mountains of Israel, cf. v. 12).

35:3 "Lord God" This is literally "Adon YHWH." See SPECIAL TOPIC: NAMES FOR DEITY at 2:4.

▣ "I will stretch out My hand against you" This is an anthropomorphic idiom of God's ability to act effectively (cf. 25:7,13; Jer. 51:25). See Special Topic at 1:3.

▣ "a desolation and a waste" These two parallel terms (cf. v. 7) sound alike (i.e., BDB 1031 and BDB 1031) and have the same consonants as "Shammah," a grandson of Edom (BDB 1031, cf. Gen. 36:13,17; I Chr. 1:37). Possible meanings are

1. desolation, שׁממה, cf. vv. 4,7,9,14,15

2. waste, משׁמה, cf. v. 7; 6:14; 33:28,29

3. a grandson of Edom, שׁמה

 

35:5 "at the time of their calamity, at the time of the punishment of the end" Notice that these two phrases are parallel. The first obviously refers to the invasion of Judah by Babylon. The second must refer to the same time, which shows "the end" (BDB 893) and must be interpreted in context. Interpreters must be careful of not assigning one meaning to a word or phrase and then using it in every place the word appears. Context determines meaning, not one is systematic eschatology!

35:6 "as I live" This is an oath based on the name of YHWH, the ever-living, only-living, I Am (cf. Exod. 3:14). This is a recurrent idiom in Ezekiel (cf. 5:11; 14:16,18,20; 16:48; 17:16,19; 18:3; 20:3,31; 33:11; 34:8; 35:6,11). See Special Topic at 2:4.

▣ "blood" The term (BDB 196) can refer to one's "life force" and if it is spilt, to one's death. It is used four times in this verse.

1. I will give you over to bloodshed

2. bloodshed will pursue you

3. you have not hated bloodshed (i.e., murder)

4. therefore bloodshed will pursue you (repeated)

We reap what we sow (cf. vv. 11,15).

Just a textual note, the LXX changes #3 to "you are guilty of blood," which is followed by RSV, NEB, REB, NJB, but this demands a change of several consonants. The MT makes sense.

35:7 Mount Seir is an idiom for all the inhabitants of Edom.

35:9 Edom's destruction will be permanent (cf. Mal. 1:2-4, esp. v. 4; Jer. 49:13). Edom's permanent destruction was because of her "everlasting enmity" (v. 5; and Obadiah)!

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT:35:10-15
 10"Because you have said, 'These two nations and these two lands will be mine, and we will possess them,' although the Lord was there, 11therefore as I live," declares the Lord God, "I will deal with you according to your anger and according to your envy which you showed because of your hatred against them; so I will make Myself known among them when I judge you. 12Then you will know that I, the Lord, have heard all your revilings which you have spoken against the mountains of Israel saying, 'They are laid desolate; they are given to us for food.' 13And you have spoken arrogantly against Me and have multiplied your words against Me; I have heard it." 14'Thus says the Lord God, "As all the earth rejoices, I will make you a desolation. 15As you rejoiced over the inheritance of the house of Israel because it was desolate, so I will do to you. You will be a desolation, O Mount Seir, and all Edom, all of it. Then they will know that I am the Lord."'

35:10 Edom rejected its required brotherly love for Judah (and Israel, i.e., "two nations") and desired her lands for herself (cf. vv. 5, 10). The problem is that Judah's land belonged to YHWH (i.e., "the Lord was there"). It was only Judah's by a conditional covenant.

YHWH left Judah in chapter 10, but in 48:35 the book of Ezekiel ends with "The YHWH is there" (cf. Ps. 132:13,14).

35:12

NASB"revilings"
NKJV, NJB"blasphemies"
NRSV"abusive speech"
TEV"with contempt"

The noun (BDB 611) is found only here and Neh. 9:18. The revilings are against "the mountains of Israel," but clearly, in context, it is against Israel's God (cf. vv. 5,10-11,13). This is why Edom is often seen as a type of all anti-God nations!

35:14 "as all the earth rejoices" This is a hyperbolic metaphor. The earth, as YHWH's creation, rejoices when His will is done. The earth is affected by humanity's sin (cf. Genesis 3; Rom. 8:19-22).