Ezekiel 20

Study the Inner Meaning

English: World English Bible         

← Ezekiel 19   Ezekiel 21 →

1 It happened in the seventh year, in the fifth [month], the tenth [day] of the month, that certain of the elders of Israel came to inquire of Yahweh, and sat before me.

2 The word of Yahweh came to me, saying,

3 Son of man, speak to the elders of Israel, and tell them, Thus says the Lord Yahweh: Is it to inquire of me that you have come? As I live, says the Lord Yahweh, I will not be inquired of by you.

4 Will you judge them, son of man, will you judge them? Cause them to know the abominations of their fathers;

5 and tell them, Thus says the Lord Yahweh: In the day when I chose Israel, and swore to the seed of the house of Jacob, and made myself known to them in the land of Egypt, when I swore to them, saying, I am Yahweh your God;

6 in that day I swore to them, to bring them forth out of the land of Egypt into a land that I had searched out for them, flowing with milk and honey, which is the glory of all lands.

7 I said to them, Cast away every man the abominations of his eyes, and don't defile yourselves with the idols of Egypt; I am Yahweh your God.

8 But they rebelled against me, and would not listen to me; they did not every man cast away the abominations of their eyes, neither did they forsake the idols of Egypt. Then I said I would pour out my wrath on them, to accomplish my anger against them in the midst of the land of Egypt.

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

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

11 I gave them my statutes, and showed them my ordinances, which if a man does, he shall live in them.

12 Moreover also I gave them my Sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am Yahweh who sanctifies them.

13 But the house of Israel rebelled against me in the wilderness: they didn't walk in my statutes, and they rejected my ordinances, which if a man keep, he shall live in them; and my Sabbaths they greatly profaned. Then I said I would pour out my wrath on them in the wilderness, to consume them.

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

15 Moreover also I swore to them in the wilderness, that I would not bring them into the land which I had given them, flowing with milk and honey, which is the glory of all lands;

16 because they rejected my ordinances, and didn't walk in my statutes, and profaned my Sabbaths: for their heart went after their idols.

17 Nevertheless my eye spared them, and I didn't destroy them, neither did I make a full end of them in the wilderness.

18 I said to their children in the wilderness, Don't walk in the statutes of your fathers, neither observe their ordinances, nor defile yourselves with their idols.

19 I am Yahweh your God: walk in my statutes, and keep my ordinances, and do them;

20 and make my Sabbaths holy; and they shall be a sign between me and you, that you may know that I am Yahweh your God.

21 But the children rebelled against me; they didn't walk in my statutes, neither kept my ordinances to do them, which if a man do, he shall live in them; they profaned my Sabbaths. Then I said I would pour out my wrath on them, to accomplish my anger against them in the wilderness.

22 Nevertheless I withdrew my hand, and worked for my name's sake, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations, in whose sight I brought them forth.

23 Moreover I swore to them in the wilderness, that I would scatter them among the nations, and disperse them through the countries;

24 because they had not executed my ordinances, but had rejected my statutes, and had profaned my Sabbaths, and their eyes were after their fathers' idols.

25 Moreover also I gave them statutes that were not good, and ordinances in which they should not live;

26 and I polluted them in their own gifts, in that they caused to pass through [the fire] all that opens the womb, that I might make them desolate, to the end that they might know that I am Yahweh.

27 Therefore, son of man, speak to the house of Israel, and tell them, Thus says the Lord Yahweh: In this moreover have your fathers blasphemed me, in that they have committed a trespass against me.

28 For when I had brought them into the land, which I swore to give to them, then they saw every high hill, and every thick tree, and they offered there their sacrifices, and there they presented the provocation of their offering; there also they made their pleasant aroma, and they poured out there their drink offerings.

29 Then I said to them, What does the high place where you go mean? So its name is called Bamah to this day.

30 Therefore tell the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord Yahweh: Do you pollute yourselves in the way of your fathers? and do you play the prostitute after their abominations?

31 and when you offer your gifts, when you make your sons to pass through the fire, do you pollute yourselves with all your idols to this day? and shall I be inquired of by you, house of Israel? As I live, says the Lord Yahweh, I will not be inquired of by you;

32 and that which comes into your mind shall not be at all, in that you say, We will be as the nations, as the families of the countries, to serve wood and stone.

33 As I live, says the Lord Yahweh, surely with a mighty hand, and with an outstretched arm, and with wrath poured out, will I be king over you:

34 and I will bring you out from the peoples, and will gather you out of the countries in which you are scattered, with a mighty hand, and with an outstretched arm, and with wrath 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, says the Lord Yahweh.

37 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 those who disobey against me; I will bring them forth out of the land where they live, but they shall not enter into the land of Israel: and you shall know that I am Yahweh.

39 As for you, house of Israel, thus says the Lord Yahweh: Go, serve everyone his idols, and hereafter also, if you will not listen to me; but my holy name you shall no more profane with your gifts, and with your idols.

40 For in my holy mountain, in the mountain of the height of Israel, says the Lord Yahweh, there shall all the house of Israel, all of them, serve me in the land: there will I accept them, and there will I require your offerings, and the first fruits of your offerings, with all your holy things.

41 As a pleasant aroma will I accept you, when I bring you out from the peoples, and gather you out of the countries in which you have been scattered; and I will be sanctified in you in the sight of the nations.

42 You shall know that I am Yahweh, when I shall bring you into the land of Israel, into the country which I swore to give to your fathers.

43 There you shall remember your ways, and all your doings, in which you have polluted yourselves; and you shall loathe yourselves in your own sight for all your evils that you have committed.

44 You shall know that I am Yahweh, when I have dealt with you for my name's sake, not according to your evil ways, nor according to your corrupt doings, you house of Israel, says the Lord Yahweh.

45 The word of Yahweh came to me, saying,

46 Son of man, set your face toward the south, and drop [your word] toward the south, and prophesy against the forest of the field in the South;

47 and tell the forest of the South, Hear the word of Yahweh: Thus says the Lord Yahweh, Behold, I will kindle a fire in you, and it shall devour every green tree in you, and every dry tree: the flaming flame shall not be quenched, and all faces from the south to the north shall be burnt thereby.

48 All flesh shall see that I, Yahweh, have kindled it; it shall not be quenched.

49 Then I said, Ah Lord Yahweh! they say of me, Isn't he a speaker of 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

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

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...

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...

Yahweh
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 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...

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...

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...

Tell
'To tell' signifies perceiving, because in the spiritual world, or in heaven, they do not need to tell what they think because they communicate every...

says
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...

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...

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...

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

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...

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...

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...

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...

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
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...

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...

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.

walk
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....

observe
'To observe' stands for all aspects of the Word in general.

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...

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

scatter
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"...

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...

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...

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.

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...

aroma
Fragrance means the affection of truth derived from good.

Offerings
'Offerings' signify worship.

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

Way
In John 14:6, 'the way is doctrine,' 'the truth' is every thing pertaining to doctrine, and 'the life' is the essential good which is the...

prostitute
'A harlot' signifies the affection of falsities, thus the church corrupted.

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...

fire
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...

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)

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...

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.

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...

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.

First fruits
First fruits signify that which first springs up, and afterwards grows as a child grows up to a man… and hence they signify all which...

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...

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...

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.

evil
'Wickedness' signifies evil, and 'iniquity' signifies falsities.

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.

hear
'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...

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...

see
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...


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