Ezekiel 20

Study the Inner Meaning

English: Young's Literal Translation         

← Ezekiel 19   Ezekiel 21 →

1 And it cometh to pass, in the seventh year, in the fifth [month], in the tenth of the month, come in have certain of the elders of Israel to seek Jehovah, and they sit before me;

2 and there is a word of Jehovah unto me, saying,

3 `Son of man, speak with the elders of Israel, and thou hast said unto them, Thus said the Lord Jehovah: To seek Me are ye coming in? I live -- I am not sought by you -- an affirmation of the Lord Jehovah.

4 Dost thou judge them? Dost thou judge, son of man? The abominations of their fathers cause them to know,

5 and thou hast said unto them: Thus said the Lord Jehovah: In the day of My fixing on Israel, I lift up My hand, To the seed of the house of Jacob, And am known to them in the land of Egypt, And I lift up My hand to them, Saying, I [am] Jehovah your God.

6 In that day I did lift up My hand to them, To bring them forth from the land of Egypt, Unto a land that I spied out for them, Flowing with milk and honey, A beauty it [is] to all the lands,

7 And I say unto them, Let each cast away the detestable things of his eyes, And with the idols of Egypt be not defiled, I [am] Jehovah your God.

8 And -- they rebel against Me, And have not been willing to hearken to Me, Each, the detestable things of their eyes, They have not cast away, And the idols of Egypt have not forsaken, And I say -- to pour out My fury on them, To complete Mine anger against them, In the midst of the land of Egypt.

9 And I do [it] for My name's sake, Not to pollute [it] before the eyes of the nations, In whose midst they [are], Before whose eyes I became known to them, To bring them out from the land of Egypt.

10 And I bring them out of the land of Egypt, And I bring them in unto the wilderness,

11 And I give to them My statutes, And my judgments I caused them to know, Which the man who doth -- liveth by them.

12 And also My sabbaths I have given to them, To be for a sign between Me and them, To know that I [am] Jehovah their sanctifier.

13 And -- rebel against me do the house of Israel in the wilderness, In My statutes they have not walked, And My judgments they have despised, Which the man who doth -- liveth by them. And My sabbaths they have greatly polluted, And I say to pour out My fury on them in the wilderness, to consume them.

14 And I do [it] for My name's sake, Not to pollute [it] before the eyes of the nations, Before whose eyes I brought them forth.

15 And also, I, I have lifted up My hand to them in the wilderness, Not to bring them in to the land that I had given, Flowing with milk and honey, A beauty it [is] to all the lands,

16 Because against My judgments they did kick, And in My statutes they have not walked, And My sabbaths they have polluted, For after their idols their heart is going.

17 And Mine eye hath pity on them -- against destroying them, And I have not made of them an end in the wilderness.

18 And I say to their sons in the wilderness: In the statutes of your fathers ye walk not, And their judgments ye do not observe, And with their idols ye are not defiled.

19 I [am] Jehovah your God, in My statutes walk, And My judgments observe, and do them,

20 And My sabbaths sanctify, And they have been for a sign between Me and you, To know that I, Jehovah, [am] your God.

21 And -- the sons rebel against Me, In My statutes they have not walked, And My judgments they have not observed -- to do them, Which the man who doth -- liveth by them. My sabbaths they have polluted, And I say to pour out My fury upon them, To complete Mine anger against them in the wilderness.

22 And I have turned back My hand, And I do [it] for My name's sake, Not to pollute [it] before the eyes of the nations, Before whose eyes I brought them out.

23 I also, I have lifted up My hand to them in the wilderness, To scatter them among nations, And to spread them through lands.

24 Because My judgments they have not done, And My statutes they have despised, And My sabbaths they have polluted, And after idols of their fathers have their eyes been.

25 And I also, I have given to them statutes not good, And judgments by which they do not live.

26 And I defile them by their own gifts, By causing to pass away every opener of a womb, So that I make them desolate, So that they know that I [am] Jehovah.

27 Therefore, speak unto the house of Israel, son of man, and thou hast said unto them, Thus said the Lord Jehovah: Still in this have your fathers reviled Me, In their committing against Me a trespass.

28 And I bring them in unto the land, That I did lift up My hand to give to them, And they see every high hill, and every thick tree, And they sacrifice there their sacrifices, And give there the provocation of their offering, And make there their sweet fragrance, And they pour out there their libations.

29 And I say unto them: What [is] the high place whither ye are going in? And its name is called `high place' to this day.

30 Therefore, say unto the house of Israel: Thus said the Lord Jehovah: In the way of your fathers are ye defiled? And after their detestable things go a-whoring?

31 And in the offering of your gifts, In causing your sons to pass through fire, Ye are defiled by all your idols to this day, And I am sought by you, O house of Israel! I live -- an affirmation of the Lord Jehovah, I am not sought by you.

32 And that which is going up on your mind, It is not at all -- in that ye are saying: We will be as the nations, as the families of the lands, To serve wood and stone.

33 I live -- an affirmation of the Lord Jehovah, Do not I, with a strong hand, And with a stretched-out arm, And with fury poured out -- rule over you?

34 And I have brought you forth from the peoples, And assembled you from the lands In which ye have been scattered, With a strong hand and with a stretched-out arm, And with fury poured out.

35 And I have brought you in unto the wilderness of the peoples, And have been judged with you there face to face.

36 As I was judged with your fathers, In the wilderness of the land of Egypt, So I am judged with you, An affirmation of the Lord Jehovah.

37 And I have caused you to pass under the rod, And brought you into the bond of the covenant,

38 And cleared out from you the rebels, And them transgressing against Me, From the land of their sojournings I bring them out, And unto the land of Israel they come not, And ye have known that I [am] Jehovah.

39 And ye, O house of Israel, thus said the Lord Jehovah: Each his idols -- go -- serve ye, And, afterwards, if ye are not hearkening to me, And My holy name ye do not pollute any more by your gifts, and by your idols.

40 For, in My holy mountain, In the mountain of the height of Israel, An affirmation of the Lord Jehovah, There serve Me do all the house of Israel, All of it, in the land -- there I accept them, And there I do seek your heave-offerings, And with the first-fruit of your gifts, With all your holy things.

41 With sweet fragrance I do accept you, In My bringing you out from the peoples, And I have assembled you from the lands In which ye have been scattered, And I have been sanctified in you Before the eyes of the nations.

42 And ye have known that I [am] Jehovah, In My bringing you to the ground of Israel, Unto the land that I did lift up My hand To give it to your fathers,

43 And ye have remembered there your ways, And all your doings, In which ye have been defiled, And ye have been loathsome in your own faces, For all your evils that ye have done.

44 And ye have known that I [am] Jehovah, In My dealing with you for My name's sake, Not according to your evil ways, And according to your corrupt doings, O house of Israel, An affirmation of the Lord Jehovah.'

45 And there is a word of Jehovah unto me, saying,

46 Son of man, set thy face the way of Teman, and prophesy unto the south, and prophesy unto the forest of the field -- the south;

47 and thou hast said to the forest of the south: Hear a word of Jehovah: Thus said the Lord Jehovah: Lo, I am kindling in thee a fire, And it hath devoured in thee every moist tree, and every dry tree, Not quenched is the glowing flames, And burnt by it have been all faces from south to north.

48 And seen have all flesh, that I, Jehovah, have kindled it -- it is not quenched.'

49 And I say, `Ah, Lord Jehovah, They are saying of me, Is he not using similes?

← 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

cometh
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 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...

Sit
'To sit before Jehovah' is to be with Him, and so, it also means willing and acting from Him. 'To stand before Him,' is to...

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...

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...

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...

lord
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...

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

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...

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...

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...

day of
'Day of vengeance' signifies a state of damnation.

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

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...

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

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...

rebel
'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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Judgments
'Great judgments' signify the laws of divine order, or divine truths.

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.

despised
We tend to think of "despising" something or someone as just a strong way of expressing dislike, but there is a further shade of meaning...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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

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

observed
"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...

back
Everyone knows the phrase "the natural order of things." It means that everything is in its proper place, occupying the niche it is meant to...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Fragrance
Fragrance means the affection of truth derived from good.

going
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...

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...

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...

stretched-out arm
A 'stretched out arm,' as in Exodus 6:6, signifies omnipotence or divine power, because 'an arm,' when stretched out in the heavens, represents power from...

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

judged
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...

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...

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.

Offerings
'Offerings' signify worship.

fruit
In Zechariah 8:12, 'the vine shall give her fruit, and the ground her increase,' signifies that the spiritual affection of truth produces the good of...

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...

bringing
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...

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....

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.

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...

seen
To look,' as in Genesis 18:22, signifies thinking, because seeing denotes understanding. Look not back behind thee,' as in Genesis 19:17, means that Lot, who...

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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