Ezekiel Chapter 6
Ezekiel 6:1 “And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,“
This is Ezekiel speaking. This introduces a scathing sermon against the sin of idolatry because the people went “a whoring after their idols” (in verse 9).
Ezekiel 6:2 “Son of man, set thy face toward the mountains of Israel, and prophesy against them,“
This prophecy is against the whole land, and not just Jerusalem. Israel is used for all the land and its entire people.
“Set thy face” indicates that Ezekiel is not to fear giving this prophecy, just because this is his homeland and his people. It is harder to prophesy against your friends and neighbors, than it is to strangers.
Ezekiel 6:3 “And say, Ye mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord GOD; Thus saith the Lord GOD to the mountains, and to the hills, to the rivers, and to the valleys; Behold, I, [even] I, will bring a sword upon you, and I will destroy your high places.“
God had the prophet do this because the people worshiped at idol altars in the “high places”. The high places had been the places of false worship of Baal, as the sun god.
This prophecy against the mountains, hills, rivers, and valleys is not actually against them, but the people living there.
Ezekiel 6:4 “And your altars shall be desolate, and your images shall be broken: and I will cast down your slain [men] before your idols.“
These slain men before the idols were, probably, seeking help from these false gods. God will have them killed before the idols, partly to show the world just how helpless the idols are. Just as He defamed the false gods of Egypt, He will defame these idols. The figures of the false gods will be broken, and left with those who worshipped them.
Ezekiel 6:5 “And I will lay the dead carcases of the children of Israel before their idols; and I will scatter your bones round about your altars.“
God’s wrath is against His own people who had the law, and knew not to worship false gods. Scattering their bones on the altars of the false gods is a mockery to show the false gods had no power to resurrect the dead.
Ezekiel 6:6 “In all your dwelling places the cities shall be laid waste, and the high places shall be desolate; that your altars may be laid waste and made desolate, and your idols may be broken and cease, and your images may be cut down, and your works may be abolished.“
This speaks of total destruction from the very angry God. To destroy the idols and the high places is an attack against the false gods themselves, but the destruction of their homes, and even their own physical bodies, is an attack upon the people themselves. It is as if God is saying, “I will fix it to where you will never be able to worship false gods again”.
Ezekiel 6:7 “And the slain shall fall in the midst of you, and ye shall know that I [am] the LORD.“
This statement: “ye shall know that I am the Lord” appears in this chapter in verses 10, 13, 14 and 60 times elsewhere in the book. It shows that the essential reason for judgment is the violation of the character of God.
This is repeatedly acknowledged (in Lev. 18-26), where the motive for all obedience to God’s law is the fact that He is the Lord God.
Those who live through all of this will know beyond a doubt, that the LORD is God. Death will be on every side, but it will be apparent that God spoke judgment, and brought this death and destruction.
Ezekiel 6:8 “Yet will I leave a remnant, that ye may have [some] that shall escape the sword among the nations, when ye shall be scattered through the countries.”
The mass of people was rejected, but grace and mercy were given to a godly group in the nation. There never has been nor ever will be a complete end to Israel. God always keeps a remnant of His people, so they can multiply again. This remnant will be scattered in captivity to foreign countries, mostly Babylon.
Ezekiel 6:9 “And they that escape of you shall remember me among the nations whither they shall be carried captives, because I am broken with their whorish heart, which hath departed from me, and with their eyes, which go a whoring after their idols: and they shall loathe themselves for the evils which they have committed in all their abominations.“
Suddenly this remnant that is taken captive and taken to foreign lands will repent of their sins and remember God. It is their hearts that God has judged and found unfaithful. We have spoken before; that we are what is in our heart.
The sin came as most other sin. They looked with their eyes and lusted. Then they acted upon the sin after the desire had entered their hearts. Notice, the word “whoring”. We remember they were thought of as God’s wife. They have committed spiritual adultery by worshipping false gods. After they are captured, they hate themselves for the sins they have committed.
Abominations” are sins that are revolting in the sight of God.
Ezekiel 6:10 “And they shall know that I [am] the LORD, [and that] I have not said in vain that I would do this evil unto them.“
This had not been an idle threat that God had made. What God says, He does. They sinned, after being warned. They deserve whatever punishment God sees fit to render.
Ezekiel 6:11 “Thus saith the Lord GOD; Smite with thine hand, and stamp with thy foot, and say, Alas for all the evil abominations of the house of Israel! for they shall fall by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence.“
The smiting the hand and the stamping of the feet, would put an emphasis on how bad the woe is. People usually wring their hands when they are in terrible trouble. This is comparative to that.
The sword, famine, and pestilence come, because of their sins.
Ezekiel 6:12 “He that is far off shall die of the pestilence; and he that is near shall fall by the sword; and he that remaineth and is besieged shall die by the famine: thus will I accomplish my fury upon them.“
In another lesson in Ezekiel, and also in Jeremiah, we saw that the famine was no ordinary famine. It was so bad they ate their own children. The famine was so great that the food was weighed, giving each just enough to survive, and of course, some of them did not survive.
Since this punishment came from God, it did not matter whether they were far away, or near. God sent them their punishment for their sins. The sword was the quickest way to die.
Ezekiel 6:13 “Then shall ye know that I [am] the LORD, when their slain [men] shall be among their idols round about their altars, upon every high hill, in all the tops of the mountains, and under every green tree, and under every thick oak, the place where they did offer sweet savor to all their idols.“
The high places and grove worship were all worship of false gods. Much of the false worship was under trees, as well. The sweet smelling savor was reserved for God alone. To offer sweet savor to their idols, was to denounce God.
Ezekiel 6:14 “So will I stretch out my hand upon them, and make the land desolate, yea, more desolate than the wilderness toward Diblath, in all their habitations: and they shall know that I [am] the LORD.“
The stretching out of God’s hand brought judgment. So long as He did not reach out with His hand, they could have repented. Once the hand was extended, the judgment had begun.
This is the only mention of Diblath in the Bible. Diblath means a cake of figs. Israel is spoken of as the figs, or fig tree. This could have been used here to indicate the figs that had gone bad (Israel).
The 24th chapter of Jeremiah speaks of those figs, meaning all of Israel. This desert is very much like Sodom, where there was total devastation. The reason for all of this is so they will know this judgment is from the One True God. He states in the last verse, I Am the LORD. There is no other.
Ezekiel Chapter 6 Questions
1. What did God call Ezekiel in verse 2?
2. What did God tell Ezekiel to do?
3. Who is “me” in verse 1?
4. How do we know this is a continuation of chapter 5?
5. What message can we take from the statement “set thy face”?
6. What is this prophecy spoken against?
7. What was worshipped in the high places?
8. What happened to the altars and the images?
9. What had God done to the false gods of Egypt?
10. God lay the dead carcasses of the children of Israel before their _________.
11. What will He do with their bones?
12. What will happen to their dwelling places?
13. What is verse 6 speaking of?
14. What message will those who survive receive strongly?
15. God always leaves a __________ of His people.
16. God describes their evil hearts as ___________ hearts.
17. Where will the remnant live?
18. They have been committing _________ ________ by worshipping false gods.
19. What are “abominations”?
20. Will God follow through on His threat to destroy them?
21. What did God tell them to do, that put an emphasis on the woe?
22. Why do the sword, famine, and pestilence come?
23. What death shall come to those who are far off?
24. How severe was the famine?
25. Which was the quickest way to die?
26. What is all of this for?
27. What are the groves and the high places speaking of?
28. The stretching out of God’s hand brought ____________.