Ezekiel 20

Study the Inner Meaning

English: Darby Version         

← Ezekiel 19   Ezekiel 21 →

1 And it came to pass in the seventh year, in the fifth [month], the tenth of the month, [that] certain of the elders of Israel came to inquire of Jehovah, and they sat before me.

2 And the word of Jehovah came unto me, saying,

3 Son of man, speak unto the elders of Israel, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord Jehovah: Are ye come to inquire of me? [As] I live, saith the Lord Jehovah, I will not be inquired of by you.

4 Wilt thou judge them, wilt thou judge, son of man? Cause them to know the abominations of their fathers,

5 and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord Jehovah: In the day when I chose Israel, and lifted up my hand unto the seed of the house of Jacob, and made myself known unto them in the land of Egypt, when I lifted up my hand unto them, saying, I [am] Jehovah your God,

6 in that day I lifted up my hand unto them, to bring them out of the land of Egypt into a land that I had espied for them, flowing with milk and honey, which is the ornament of all lands;

7 and I said unto them, Cast ye away every man the abominations of his eyes, and defile not yourselves with the idols of Egypt: I [am] Jehovah your God.

8 But they rebelled against me, and would not hearken unto me: none of them cast away the abominations of his eyes, neither did they forsake the idols of Egypt. Then I thought to pour out my fury upon them, so as to accomplish mine anger against them in the midst of the land of Egypt.

9 But I wrought for my name's sake, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations among whom they were, in whose sight I had made myself known unto them in bringing them forth out of the land of Egypt.

10 And I caused them to go forth out of the land of Egypt, and brought them into the wilderness.

11 And I gave them my statutes, and made known unto them mine ordinances, which if a man do, he shall live by them.

12 And I also gave them my sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them, that they might know that I [am] Jehovah that hallow them.

13 But the house of Israel rebelled against me in the wilderness: they walked not in my statutes, and they rejected mine ordinances, which if a man do, he shall live by them; and my sabbaths they greatly profaned: and I said I would pour out my fury upon them in the wilderness, to consume them.

14 But I wrought for my name's sake, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations, in whose sight I had brought them out.

15 And I also lifted up my hand unto them in the wilderness, that I would not bring them into the land that I had given [them], flowing with milk and honey, which is the ornament of all lands;

16 because they rejected mine ordinances and walked not in my statutes, and profaned my sabbaths: for their heart went after their idols.

17 But mine eye spared them so as not to destroy them, neither did I make a full end of them in the wilderness.

18 And I said unto their children in the wilderness, Walk not in the statutes of your fathers, neither keep their ordinances, nor defile yourselves with their idols.

19 I [am] Jehovah your God: walk in my statutes, and keep mine ordinances, and do them;

20 and hallow my sabbaths; and they shall be a sign between me and you, that ye may know that I [am] Jehovah your God.

21 And the children rebelled against me: they walked not in my statutes, neither kept mine ordinances to do them, which if a man do, he shall live by them; they profaned my sabbaths: and I said I would pour out my fury upon them, to accomplish mine anger against them in the wilderness.

22 But I withdrew my hand, and wrought for my name's sake, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations, in whose sight I had brought them out.

23 I lifted up my hand also unto them in the wilderness, that I would scatter them among the nations, and disperse them through the countries;

24 because they performed not mine ordinances, and rejected my statutes, and profaned my sabbaths, and their eyes were after their fathers' idols.

25 And I also gave them statutes that were not good, and ordinances whereby they should not live;

26 and I defiled them by their own gifts, in that they devoted all that opened the womb, that I might make them desolate, to the end that they might know that I [am] Jehovah.

27 Therefore, son of man, speak unto the house of Israel, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord Jehovah: In this moreover have your fathers blasphemed me, in that they have wrought unfaithfulness against me.

28 When I had brought them into the land which I had lifted up my hand to give unto them, then they saw every high hill and all the thick trees, and they offered there their sacrifices, and there they presented the provocation of their offering; and there they placed their sweet savour, and there poured out their drink-offerings.

29 And I said unto them, What is the high place whither ye go? And the name thereof is called Bamah unto this day.

30 Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord Jehovah: Do ye defile yourselves after the manner of your fathers? and do ye commit fornication after their abominations?

31 And when ye offer your gifts, making your sons to pass through the fire, ye defile yourselves with all your idols, even unto this day; and shall I be inquired of by you, O house of Israel? [As] I live, saith the Lord Jehovah, I will not be inquired of by you.

32 And that which cometh into your mind shall not be at all, that ye say, We will be as the nations, as the families of the countries, in serving wood and stone.

33 [As] I live, saith the Lord Jehovah, verily with a mighty hand, and with an outstretched arm, and with fury poured out, will I reign over you.

34 And I will bring you out from the peoples, and will gather you out of the countries wherein ye are scattered, with a mighty hand, and with an outstretched arm, and with fury poured out;

35 and I will bring you into the wilderness of the peoples, and there will I enter into judgment with you face to face.

36 Like as I entered into judgment with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so will I enter into judgment with you, saith the Lord Jehovah.

37 And I will cause you to pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant.

38 And I will purge out from among you the rebels, and them that transgress against me; I will bring them forth out of the country where they sojourn, but they shall not enter into the land of Israel: and ye shall know that I [am] Jehovah.

39 As for you, O house of Israel, thus saith the Lord Jehovah: Go ye, serve every one his idols henceforth also, if none of you will hearken unto me; but profane my holy name no more with your gifts and with your idols.

40 For in my holy mountain, in the mountain of the height of Israel, saith the Lord Jehovah, there shall all the house of Israel serve me, the whole of it, in the land; there will I accept them, and there will I require your heave-offerings and the first-fruits of your offerings, with all your holy things.

41 As a sweet savour will I accept you, when I bring you out from the peoples, and gather you out of the countries wherein ye have been scattered; and I will be hallowed in you in the sight of the nations.

42 And ye shall know that I [am] Jehovah, when I have brought you into the land of Israel, into the country which I lifted up my hand to give to your fathers.

43 And there shall ye remember your ways, and all your doings, wherein ye have been defiled; and ye shall loathe yourselves in your own sight for all your evils which ye have committed.

44 And ye shall know that I [am] Jehovah, when I have wrought with you for my name's sake, not according to your wicked ways, nor according to your corrupt doings, O house of Israel, saith the Lord Jehovah.

45 And the word of Jehovah came unto me, saying,

46 Son of man, set thy face toward the south, and drop [words] against the south, and prophesy against the forest of the south field;

47 and say to the forest of the south, Hear the word of Jehovah. Thus saith the Lord Jehovah: Behold, I will kindle a fire in thee, and it shall devour every green tree in thee, and every dry tree: the flashing flame shall not be quenched; and all that it meets from the south to the north shall be burned thereby.

48 And all flesh shall see that I Jehovah have kindled it: it shall not be quenched.

49 And I said, Ah, Lord Jehovah! they say of me, Doth he not speak parables?

← Ezekiel 19   Ezekiel 21 →
   Study the Inner Meaning
From Swedenborg's Works

Main explanations:

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 143


Other references to this chapter:

Arcana Coelestia 349, 566, 574, 795, 878, 925, 1260, ...

Apocalypse Revealed 278, 316, 400, 401, 543, 546, 586, ...

Conjugial Love 156

The Lord 28, 48

True Christian Religion 156, 468


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 97, 109, 183, 324, 376, 405, 412, ...

Scriptural Confirmations 9, 74

Other New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:


Hop to Similar Bible Verses

Exodus 3:8, 17, 6:6, 8, 20:2, 8, 31:13

Leviticus 17:5, 18:2, 4, 5

Numbers 14:12, 13, 21, 35, 20:13

Deuteronomy 1:34, 35, 3:25, 4:5, 27, 5:32, 7:6, 7, 9:7, 24, 28, 30:19, 31:27

Joshua 24:14, 15

Judges 10:14

1 Samuel 12:22

1 Kings 8:42, 18:39

2 Kings 16:3, 17:9, 10, 12

2 Chronicles 30:7

Nehemiah 9:9, 12, 13, 14, 19, 13:17

Psalms 33:10, 47:5, 78:8, 10, 17, 38, 58, 79:9, 81:12, 106:26, 27, 37, 39, 119:4, 147:19

Proverbs 6:23, 19:21

Isaiah 56:7, 57:5, 58:2, 65:7

Jeremiah 2:7, 3:19, 7:9, 31, 11:10, 21:5, 29:32, 31:2, 8, 12, 32:30, 37, 44:14, 17

Ezekiel 6:9, 13, 7:8, 8:1, 11:16, 17, 13:9, 14:1, 3, 16:2, 20, 21, 24, 61, 17:23, 18:9, 14, 20:3, 6, 8, 9, 11, 13, 14, 15, 16, 21, 31, 22:2, 8, 23:3, 8, 36, 37, 28:22, 25, 33:15, 16, ...

Daniel 8:9

Hosea 2:16, 4:12

Amos 4, 5:26, 9:10

Malachi 3:4

Matthew 25:33

John 5:39

Romans 7:9

2 Corinthians 6:17

Ephesians 5:2

1 Peter 1:18

Word/Phrase Explanations

came
As with common verbs in general, the meaning of “come” in the Bible is highly dependent on context – its meaning is determined largely by...

month
'A month' has respect to the state of truth in a person. 'A month' signifies a full state. Month,' as in Genesis 29, signifies the...

elders
Elders are mentioned in the Bible mainly in two ways: First the elders of Israel: and second the 24 elders seated about the throne of...

israel
'Israel,' in Jeremiah 23:8, signifies the spiritual natural church. The children of Israel dispersed all the literal sense of the Word by falsities. 'The children...

jehovah
The Lord, in the simplest terms, is love itself expressed as wisdom itself. In philosophic terms, love is the Lord's substance and wisdom is His...

sat
If you think about sitting, it seems fair to say that where you're sitting is more important than that you're sitting. Sitting in a movie...

before
In most cases, the meaning of "before" is pretty straightforward, both as a way of assessing relative time, and in its use meaning "in someone's...

the Word
In general, we tend to be very aware of how knowing what's true leads to doing what is good. That starts as children, with parents...

word
'Word,' as in Psalms 119:6-17, stands for doctrine in general. 'The Word,' as in Psalms 147:18, signifies divine good united with divine truth. 'Word,' as...

Son
'A son,' as in Genesis 5:28, signifies the rise of a new church. 'Son,' as in Genesis 24:3, signifies the Lord’s rationality regarding good. 'A...

son of man
The Lord, in some places, calls Himself 'the son of God,' at other times, 'the son of man (ἄνθρωπος).' This is always according to the...

speak
Like "say," the word "speak" refers to thoughts and feelings moving from our more internal spiritual levels to our more external ones – and ultimately...

Elders of Israel
The elders of Israel (Deut. 1:13, 15) represent celestial men.

come
Coming (Gen. 41:14) denotes communication by influx.

judge
It’s easy to see the connection between judging and truth. In a court of law, the judge’s whole purpose is to find the truth. In...

know
In a general sense, men represent things of the intellect – facts, ideas, knowledge, everything from the deepest truths to the most pernicious falsities about...

fathers
Father in the Word means what is most interior, and in those things that are following the Lord's order, it means what is good. In...

the Lord
The Bible refers to the Lord in many different ways, which from the text seem indistinguishable and interchangeable. Understood in the internal sense, though, there...

day
The expression 'even to this day' or 'today' sometimes appears in the Word, as in Genesis 19:37-38, 22:14, 26:33, 32:32, 35:20, and 47:26. In a...

lifted
The idea of "lifting" is used in a number of different ways in the Bible. In general, it means connecting with a higher spiritual state...

hand
In Genesis 27:22, 'voice' relates to truth, and 'hand,' to good.

the seed of
'The seed of Sihor,' as in Isaiah 23:3, signifies scientific truth.

Seed
'A seed' signifies love, and everyone who has love, as in Genesis 12:7. 8:15, 16. 'A seed' signifies faith grounded in charity. 'A seed' signifies...

house
A "house" is essentially a container - for a person, for a family, for several families or even for a large group with shared interests...

jacob
Jacob is told twice that his name will now be Israel. The first time is when he wrestles with an angel on his journey to...

egypt
'Mizraim' signifies the same thing as Egypt.

God
The Lord is love itself, expressed in the form of wisdom itself. Love, then, is His essence, His inmost. Wisdom - the loving understanding of...

milk
Water represents true ideas about day-to-day life, and other drinks and liquids in general represent different forms of truth. Milk is a drink that contains...

honey
'Honey' signifies the delight derived from good and truth or from the affection thereof, and specifically the external delight. Thus it signifies the delight of...

Ornament
'An ornament' denotes holy truth, and something divine in externals. 'The ornament on the nose' signifies good, and 'the bracelets on the hands,' truth, because...

Lands
'Lands' of different nations are used in the Word to signify the different kinds of love prevalent in the inhabitants.

said
As with many common verbs, the meaning of “to say” in the Bible is highly dependent on context. Who is speaking? Who is hearing? What...

man
The relationship between men and women is deep and nuanced, and one entire book of the Writings – Conjugial Love or Love in Marriage –...

eyes
'Pairs of hands, eyes, etc.' relate to the will and understanding, or to good and truth. The right side to the will or good, and...

Idols
Idols of stone signify worship from falsities of doctrine. Idols of wood signify worship from evils of doctrine. Idols of silver signify worship from what...

hearken
'To hearken to father and mother,' as mentioned in Genesis 28:7, signifies obedience from affection. 'To hearken,' as mentioned in Genesis 30:22, signifies providence. See...

Pour out
Pouring out the vials upon the earth, which contained the plagues,' in Revelation 16:1, signifies influx of the reformed into the church, or into people...

fury
Fury is a receding from good, and anger is a receding from truth.

anger
'Wrath,' as in Genesis 49:7, signifies aversion from truth. 'Great wrath,' as in Revelation 12:12, signifies hatred against the new church.

midst
The "midst" of something in the Bible represents the thing that is most central and most important to the spiritual state being described, the motivation...

name
It's easy to see that names are important in the Bible. Jehovah changed Abram and Sarai to Abraham and Sarah, changed Jacob to Israel and...

sight
The symbolic meaning of "seeing" is "understanding," which is obvious enough that it has become part of common language (think about it; you might see...

nations
'Nations' signify people who are in the good of love and charity from the Lord. Two nations in the womb,' as in Genesis 25:23, signify...

Go forth
To go forth, as in Genesis 19:14, signifies to recede from, or not to remain in [evil]. To go forth, as in Genesis 41:45, denotes...

go
In the physical world, the places we inhabit and the distances between them are physical realities, and we have to get our physical bodies through...

Wilderness
'Wilderness' signifies something with little life in it, as described in the internal sense in Luke 1:80 'Wilderness' signifies somewhere there is no good because...

ordinances
'Ordinances' in the prophets, signify changes relative to spiritual and celestial things, both in general and particular, which are also compared to the changes of...

Sabbaths
In Exodus 31:13, 'verily my Sabbaths ye shall keep,' signifies continuous holy thought about the union of the Lord’s divine with His human.

sign
'A token,' as in Genesis 9:12, 13, 17, signifies causing it to be.

hallow
'To sanctify' denotes being led by the Lord. 'To sanctify' denotes being incapable of being violated.

walked
To walk in the Bible represents living, and usually means living according to the true things taught to us by the Lord -- to "walk...

bring
As with common verbs in general, the meaning of “bring” is highly dependent on context, but in general it represents an introduction to a new...

heart
The heart means love. A good heart means love to the Lord and to the neighbor while a hard or stony heart means the love...

after
According to Swedenborg, time and space don’t exist in spiritual reality; they are purely natural things that exist only on the physical plane. This means...

eye
It’s common to say “I see” when we understand something. And indeed, “seeing” in the Bible represents grasping and understanding spiritual things. So it makes...

Full
'To satiate' relates to the extent of a person's will, for good or evil.

children
A child is a young boy or girl in the care of parents, older than a suckling or an infant, but not yet an adolescent....

kept
"Keeping" in the Bible generally has to do with controlling the actual actions of life, though in some cases it can mean holding something away...

good
It seems rather circular to say that “good” in the Bible represents good, but in a general sense it’s true! The case is this: The...

own
In many cases, the spiritual meaning of "own," both as a verb and as an adjective, is relatively literal. When people are described as the...

give
Like other common verbs, the meaning of "give" in the Bible is affected by context: who is giving what to whom? In general, though, giving...

high
'Height' signifies what is inward, and also heaven.

Trees
'Trees,' in general, signify the perceptions when discussing the celestial self, but when related to the spiritual church, they signify knowledges. A person in the...

sweet
Sweet' signifies delightful things from the good of truth and the truth of good. Everything sweet in the natural world corresponds to delightful and pleasant...

Offerings
'Offerings' signify worship.

called
'To proclaim' signifies exploration from influx of the Lord.

fornication
'And [Tyre] shall turn to her hire, and shall commit fornication,' as in Isaiah 23:17, signifies the vaunting and boasting of falsity.

sons
'Sons of the stranger' signify counterfeit truths, or falsities. 'Our sons' signify the doctrines of truth, and 'our daughters,' the doctrines of good, as in...

pass
'To pass,' as in Genesis 31:52, signifies flowing in. 'To pass the night,' as in Genesis 24:54, signifies having peace. 'To pass through,' as in...

Families
Families (Gen 8:19) signify goodnesses and truths arranged in man by the Lord, according to order. Families have respect to truths. (Nahum 3:4)

wood
To ask counsel at their stocks,' as in Hosea 4:12, signifies the good of the delight that comes from some lusts.

stone
Stones in the Bible in general represent truths, or things we know concerning the Lord and what He wants from us and for us in...

mighty
'Might' denotes the forces or power of truth.

arm
Arms and feet (Daniel 10:6) signify the exterior things of the Word, which are its literal sense.

Reign
To reign,' as in Revelation 5, signifies being in truths and goods, and so in power, from the Lord, to resist evils and falsities which...

scattered
The meaning of "scatter" in the Bible is relatively literal, but it is used in regard to spiritual things, not natural ones. So to "scatter"...

enter
All changes of place in the Bible represent changes in spiritual state. “Entering” – usually used as entering someone’s house or “going in unto” someone...

face
“The eyes are the windows of the soul.” That’s a sentiment with roots somewhere in murky antiquity, but one that has become hopelessly cliché because...

Face to face
"I have seen God face to face" (Gen. 32:30), signifies to sustain the most grievous temptations.

under
Generally speaking things that are seen as lower physically in the Bible represent things that are lower or more external spiritually. In some cases this...

rebels
'Rebel,' as in Genesis 14:4, relates to evils pertaining to a person, or to evil spirits, when they begin to arise and infest, after they...

country
Generally in the Bible a "country" means a political subdivision ruled by a king, or sometimes a tribe with a territory ruled by a king...

serve
Generally speaking, those who are at lower levels of an organization serve those at higher levels. Bosses boss and their employees serve; coaches devise strategy...

holy
'Sanctuary' signifies the truth of heaven and the church. 'Sanctuary,' as in Ezekiel 24:21, signifies the Word.

mountain
'Hills' signify the good of charity.

Require
'To require of another' denotes the state when one thing is joined to another so that it cannot be separated.

peoples
The Bible generally uses two different terms for large groups: “people” and “nation.” When it uses the term “nation,” it is talking about a group...

Remember
'To remember,' as in Genesis 41:9, signifies conjunction. 'Remembering' denotes conjunction because the remembrance of anyone in the other life joins them together, because as...

ways
These days we tend to think of "roads" as smooth swaths of pavement, and judge them by how fast we can drive cars on them....

Loathe
'To loathe' denotes aversion.

South
'South' denotes truth in light.

forest
Plants in general stand for facts, knowledge, ideas, so it makes sense that a forest in the Bible represents a collection or system of external,...

field
When we have a desire to be good people and to do good things, the natural first questions are "What does that mean?" "What should...

a
A help-meet for him,' or 'a help as before him,' as mentioned in Genesis 2:18, signifies proprium, or what is one's own. However, whereas the...

Forest of the south
The forest of the south, as in Ezekiel 20:46, 47, signifies those who are in the light of truths, and extinguish it.

tree
In general, plants in the Bible represent facts, thoughts and ideas – intellectual things. This makes sense: Plants are rooted in place, but can grow...

flame
Just as natural fire can be both comforting in keeping you warm or scary in burning down your house, so fire in the spiritual sense...

north
'North' signifies people who are in obscurity regarding truth. North,' in Isaiah 14:31, signifies hell. The North,' as in Jeremiah 3:12, signifies people who are...

flesh
Flesh has several meanings just in its most obvious form. It can mean all living creatures as when the Lord talks about the flood "destroying...


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