June 26, 2015: Daily Bible Reading with Commentary for Ezekiel 13-18
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Context: Chapter 13 and the beginning of chapter 14 deal with false prophets. First they are denounced by God (13:1-7), and then God announces the stages of His judgment (8-12) before the false prophets are condemned (17-19). God's declaration of judgment (20-23) concludes chapter 13. The first eleven verses of chapter 14 concludes the judgment against the false prophets and prophetess as the elders seek advice for Ezekiel (1-5) and judgment against Israel is announced (6-11). In the remainder of chapter 14, a four-fold judgment against Israel is announced. This chapter refers back to what was written in chapter 5:1-17. The judgment will include famine (12-14), wild beasts (15-16), the sword (17-18), and pestilence (19-21). Chapter 15 also contains many similarities to chapter 5. The first five verses contain the parable, while the remainder of the chapter explains the parable. Chapter 16 contains the story of an unfaithful queen, which represents Israel. An orphan becomes queen (1-14), the queen becomes a harlot (15-34), the harlot becomes a convict (35-43), the convict becomes a proverb (44-52), the convict and companions repent (53-58), and the convict is saved cleansed and restored (59-63). How does this parable related to Israel's unfaithfulness to God? Chapter 17 contains an undated prophecy, unusual for Ezekiel who usually provides events from which to date his prophecies. This prophecy may be after the 3rd invasion by Babylon in 586 BC, when they destroyed the temple. Chapter 18 looks a personal responsibility for actions. Many believed that Israel was being punished for the sins of their ancestors; there was nothing about which they could do. This belief kept them from accepting personal responsibility for their actions and changing their actions to ones that were pleasing to the Lord. We are not to blame others for what has fallen upon us.