Author: Ron Graham
Ezekiel Chapters 6, 7, and 8
—Outline and Notes
1 Context Overview
The Israelites, after Solomon’s reign, divided into two kingdoms. The larger of those kingdoms no longer existed in Ezekiel’s time. The Assyrians had made ruin of it. God had spared the smaller kingdom, because of the good kings Hezekiah and Josiah. These kings got rid of idols. This smaller kingdom was called Judah and its capital was Jerusalem. The little tribe of Benjamin was included.
However, other kings were bad kings who led Judah back into idolatry. In Ezekiel s time, God allowed Judah and Jerusalem to be overthrown by Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and the Chaldean empire. The chapters we are studying in this lesson continue to predict the coming destruction of Jerusalem.
In our previous lesson on chapters 4 and 5, Ezekiel was instructed how to prophesy the siege of Jerusalem with a model made of brick and sticks. Then God spoke briefly about Jerusalem to introduce further prophecies that we now examine.
2 Outline of Ezekiel 6, 7, and 8
God’s Judgment of Israel
❖ In chapter 6, God speaks of the judgment he will bring upon the Israelites for their sinful rebellion in Judah and Jerusalem.
- God tells Ezekiel to prophesy against the mountains and valleys of Israel where the people worshiped idols (Ezekiel 6:1-3).
- God promises to lay the dead bodies of the people of Israel before their idols and to make waste and ruin of their works (Ezekiel 6:4-7).
- God also promises to let a remnant of the people survive. Though scattered captive among the nations, they will remember God, and how they broke his heart by their "whoring after idols". They will realise that God does not destroy without reason (Ezekiel 6:8-10).
- God describes how he will vent his fury and make the land desolate and waste (Ezekiel 6:11-13).
❖ The first half of chapter 7 is a set of three short poems. The theme in each poem is "The end has come... I will judge them according to their ways".
- (1) The end has come. God will judge and punish (Ezekiel 7:1-4).
- (2) The time has come, a day of tumult. God will punish them according to their ways (Ezekiel 7:5-8).
- (3) Doom has come. Society, business, wealth —nothing of it shall remain among all the multitude (Ezekiel 7:9-13).
The Fall of the City
❖ The latter half of chapter 7 is a poem about the destruction of Jerusalem. The poem concludes with a repeat of the theme in the trilogy, "I will judge them according to their ways".
- Any attempt to do battle, in defence of the city, will fail. Outside the walls they will die by the sword; inside the walls they will die by starvation. (Ezekiel 7:14).
- If any survivors escape, each one will moan over his iniquity. (Ezekiel 7:15).
- Shame is on every face and their silver and gold cannot deliver them or satisfy their hunger (Ezekiel 7:16-19).
- The temple will be ransacked. The temple treasures and ornaments, which they made into abominable images, will be given into the profane hands of foreigners. (Ezekiel 7:20-22).
- The worst of the nations will take possession of their houses (Ezekiel 7:23-24).
- Neither prophet, priest, nor prince can command peace, and the people are paralyzed by terror. God will judge them according to their ways (Ezekiel 7:25-27).
A Vision of Abominations
❖ In Chapter 8 Ezekiel records a vision that God gave him to show how God is justified in punishing Israel and destroying the city and its temple.
- Ezekiel, while being visited by the elders of Judah, sees a vision of the likeness of a fiery being representing the judgment of God (Ezekiel 8:1-2).
- Ezekiel saw the glory of the LORD as he had on the plain in a previous vision (Ezekiel 8:4).
- God begins to show Ezekiel the great abominations within the temple, letting him enter through a hole in the wall which led to a door. God told Ezekiel to go in.(Ezekiel 8:5-9).
- (1) The sanctuary was full of abominations and seventy elders of Israel were worshiping their idols, led by Jaazaniah. They thought God did not see them (Ezekiel 8:10-12).
- (2) Ezekiel then sees women weeping for Tammuz (probably a fertility idol) (Ezekiel 8:13-14).
- (3) Next Ezekiel sees 25 men in the Holy Place, worshipping the sun in the east (Ezekiel 8:15-16).
- God says that these abominations are not trivial and they justify his fury without mercy (Ezekiel 8:17-18).
3 God’s Judgment and Blessing (Ezekiel 6)
The chapters outlined above are most depressing. God speaks of wrath and ruin. For instance we read, "This is what the Lord GOD says: Clap your hands, stamp your feet, and cry out ‘Alas!’ because of all the evil abominations that the house of Israel has done. They will fall by sword and by famine and plague... So I will vent My fury upon them" (Ezekiel 6:11-12)
That sort of statement is repeated through the three chapters (Ezekiel 6,7,8). Yet immediately before the statement above, there is a remarkable promise that shines like a beacon of hope in all the gloom.
¶“8Yet I will leave a remnant, for some of you will escape the sword when you are scattered among the nations and throughout the lands” (Ezekiel 6:8).
¶“9Then in the nations to which they have been carried captive, your survivors will remember me and how I have been grieved by their adulterous hearts that turned away from me, and by their eyes that lusted after idols. So they will loathe themselves because of the evil they have done and for all their abominations. 10And they will know that I am the LORD and I did not declare in vain that I would bring this calamity upon them.” (Ezekiel 6:9-10).
Sword, famine, and plague, would almost wipe out the children of Israel. However a remnant would escape. This promise came true. Israelites returned to Jerusalem and rebuilt it. By the time Jesus was born, Jerusalem and Judea were populated by descendants of the remnant who were called Jews.
God did not preserve a remnant to be merciful primarily. He preserved a remnant so that his promises of the coming Messiah could be fulfilled. The coming Saviour of the world was to be a descendant of David.
God had promised David, "I will raise up your descendant after you... and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. Your house and your kingdom... and your throne shall be established forever" (2Samuel 7:12 13,16).
So that was why, in all the crying and dying, in all the calamity, God spared a few, and the few could take heart. God would keep his promise. In generations to come Christ the Saviour would be born.