What did the Hebrews author want God to do for those to whom he was writing?
What do we think of this word of exhortation?
The New and Living Way | Episode 47 | Hebrews 13:18-25
Pray for us: for we are persuaded that we have a good conscience, desiring to live honorably in all things. And I exhort you the more exceedingly to do this, that I may be restored to you the sooner.
Now the God of peace, who brought again from the dead the great shepherd of the sheep with the blood of an eternal covenant, even our Lord Jesus, make you perfect in every good thing to do his will, working in us that which is well-pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be the glory for ever and ever. Amen.
But I exhort you, brethren, bear with the word of exhortation: for I have written unto you in few words. Know ye that our brother Timothy hath been set at liberty; with whom, if he come shortly, I will see you. Salute all them that have the rule over you, and all the saints. They of Italy salute you. Grace be with you all. Amen.
Why should Christians remember and honor those who have responsibility over them?
What does it look like for Christians to share in Jesus' reproach "outside the camp"?
The New and Living Way | Episode 46 | Hebrews 13:7-17
Remember them that had the rule over you, men that spake unto you the word of God; and considering the issue of their life, imitate their faith.
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and to-day, (yea) and for ever.
Be not carried away by divers and strange teachings: for it is good that the heart be established by grace; not by meats, wherein they that occupied themselves were not profited. We have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat that serve the tabernacle. For the bodies of those beasts whose blood is brought into the holy place by the high priest as an offering for sin, are burned without the camp. Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people through his own blood, suffered without the gate. Let us therefore go forth unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach. For we have not here an abiding city, but we seek after the city which is to come.
Through him then let us offer up a sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of lips which make confession to his name. But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.
Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit to them: for they watch in behalf of your souls, as they that shall give account; that they may do this with joy, and not with grief: for this were unprofitable for you.
Why does the Hebrew author now make exhortations regarding conduct in the community?
Why is such conduct crucial for the health of the community of God's people?
The New and Living Way | Episode 45 | Hebrews 13:1-6
Let love of the brethren continue. Forget not to show love unto strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; them that are ill-treated, as being yourselves also in the body. Let marriage be had in honor among all, and let the bed be undefiled: for fornicators and adulterers God will judge. Be ye free from the love of money; content with such things as ye have: for himself hath said, "I will in no wise fail thee, neither will I in any wise forsake thee."
So that with good courage we say, "The Lord is my helper; I will not fear: What shall man do unto me?"
Why should Christians hold firm to that which cannot be shaken?
Why must we all get burned in order to grow in holiness?
The New and Living Way | Episode 44 | Hebrews 12:25-29
See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not when they refused him that warned them on earth, much more shall not we escape who turn away from him that warneth from heaven: whose voice then shook the earth:
but now he hath promised, saying, "Yet once more will I make to tremble not the earth only, but also the heaven."
And this word, "Yet once more," signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that have been made, that those things which are not shaken may remain.
Wherefore, receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us have grace, whereby we may offer service well-pleasing to God with reverence and awe: for our God is a consuming fire.
Why does it matter that we have come to the heavenly Mount Zion?
What is so powerful and compelling about the Hebrews author's comparison and contrast between Sinai and Zion?
The New and Living Way | Episode 43 | Hebrews 12:18-24
For ye are not come unto a mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, and unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest, and the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which voice they that heard entreated that no word more should be spoken unto them; for they could not endure that which was enjoined, "If even a beast touch the mountain, it shall be stoned";
and so fearful was the appearance, that Moses said, "I exceedingly fear and quake":
but ye are come unto mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable hosts of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, and to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaketh better than that of Abel.
Why is it so important to heal properly, even though it may hurt?
How can we make sure we do not fall short of God's grace?
The New and Living Way | Episode 42 | Hebrews 12:12-17
Wherefore lift up the hands that hang down, and the palsied knees; and make straight paths for your feet, that that which is lame be not turned out of the way, but rather be healed.
Follow after peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no man shall see the Lord: looking carefully lest there be any man that falleth short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby the many be defiled; lest there be any fornication, or profane person, as Esau, who for one mess of meat sold his own birthright. For ye know that even when he afterward desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected; for he found no place for a change of mind in his father, though he sought it diligently with tears.
How can Jesus' example encourage us to persevere?
How does God use our situations and conditions to train us toward holiness?
The New and Living Way | Episode 41 | Hebrews 12:3-11
For consider him that hath endured such gainsaying of sinners against himself, that ye wax not weary, fainting in your souls.
Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin: and ye have forgotten the exhortation which reasoneth with you as with sons, "My son, regard not lightly the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art reproved of him; for whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth."
It is for chastening that ye endure; God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father chasteneth not? But if ye are without chastening, whereof all have been made partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. Furthermore, we had the fathers of our flesh to chasten us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed good to them; but he for our profit, that we may be partakers of his holiness. All chastening seemeth for the present to be not joyous but grievous; yet afterward it yieldeth peaceable fruit unto them that have been exercised thereby, even the fruit of righteousness.
What is the race we run, and how?
How will we endure the race?
The New and Living Way | Episode 40 | Hebrews 12:1-3
Therefore let us also, seeing we are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising shame, and hath sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that hath endured such gainsaying of sinners against himself, that ye wax not weary, fainting in your souls.
Why is it important for Christians to identify with their heritage as the people of God, and to consider their spiritual ancestors as heroic?
What do Christians have that those who came before did not, and why?
How important is our role in the story of God's purposes?
The New and Living Way | Episode 39 | Hebrews 11:36-40
And others had trial of mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: they were stoned, they were sawn asunder, they were tempted, they were slain with the sword: they went about in sheepskins, in goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, ill-treated (of whom the world was not worthy), wandering in deserts and mountains and caves, and the holes of the earth.
And these all, having had witness borne to them through their faith, received not the promise, God having provided some better thing concerning us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect.
Who is the Hebrews author talking about with all of these activities?
Does the story of the people of God end with Malachi?
The New and Living Way | Episode 38 | Hebrews 11:32-35
And what shall I more say? For the time will fail me if I tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah; of David and Samuel and the prophets: who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, from weakness were made strong, waxed mighty in war, turned to flight armies of aliens.
Women received their dead by a resurrection: and others were tortured, not accepting their deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection.
Why does the Hebrews author speak of two events and a Canaanite prostitute who lied as exemplars of faith?
Why does he now shift from specific people and circumstances to more generalized exhortation?
The New and Living Way | Episode 37 | Hebrews 11:29-32
By faith they passed through the Red Sea as by dry land: which the Egyptians assaying to do were swallowed up.
By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they had been compassed about for seven days.
By faith Rahab the harlot perished not with them that were disobedient, having received the spies with peace.
And what shall I more say? for the time will fail me if I tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah; of David and Samuel and the prophets.
Why does the Hebrews author focus on Moses before Exodus 3?
What significance does Passover have for the Christian?
The New and Living Way | Episode 36 | Hebrews 11:24-28
By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; choosing rather to share ill treatment with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; accounting the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt: for he looked unto the recompense of reward. By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible. By faith he kept the passover, and the sprinkling of the blood, that the destroyer of the firstborn should not touch them.
How did Amram and Jochebed manifest their faith in God?
What part of Moses' story does the Hebrews author emphasize, and why?
The New and Living Way | Episode 35 | Hebrews 11:23-26
By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months by his parents, because they saw he was a goodly child; and they were not afraid of the king's commandment. By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; choosing rather to share ill treatment with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; accounting the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt: for he looked unto the recompense of reward.
How did Abraham display great faith in his reasoning about God's commands to him regarding Isaac?
What faith stories would we tell about Jacob or Joseph? What stories does the Hebrews author tell? Why?
The New and Living Way | Episode 34 | Hebrews 11:17-22
By faith Abraham, being tried, offered up Isaac: yea, he that had gladly received the promises was offering up his only begotten son; even he to whom it was said, "In Isaac shall thy seed be called:" accounting that God is able to raise up, even from the dead; from whence he did also in a figure receive him back.
By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau, even concerning things to come.
By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph; and worshipped, leaning upon the top of his staff.
By faith Joseph, when his end was nigh, made mention of the departure of the children of Israel; and gave commandment concerning his bones.
What are we to make of Abraham's faith in God's promises?
How do the examples of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob relate to the Christian life?
The New and Living Way | Episode 33 | Hebrews 11:11-16
By faith even Sarah herself received power to conceive seed when she was past age, since she counted him faithful who had promised: wherefore also there sprang of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of heaven in multitude, and as the sand, which is by the sea-shore, innumerable.
These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things make it manifest that they are seeking after a country of their own. And if indeed they had been mindful of that country from which they went out, they would have had opportunity to return. But now they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed of them, to be called their God; for he hath prepared for them a city.
Upon what details does the Hebrew author focus when speaking of Abraham?
What was his audience to gain from Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob's experience? What can we learn from it as well?
The New and Living Way | Episode 32 | Hebrews 11:8-10
By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed to go out unto a place which he was to receive for an inheritance; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. By faith he became a sojourner in the land of promise, as in a land not his own, dwelling in tents, with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: for he looked for the city which hath the foundations, whose builder and maker is God.
Why Enoch? Why is Hebrews 11:6 connected to his example?
How did Noah condemn the world? How should we do likewise?
The New and Living Way | Episode 31 | Hebrews 11:5-7
By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and he was not found, because God translated him: for he hath had witness borne to him that before his translation he had been well-pleasing unto God: and without faith it is impossible to be well-pleasing unto him; for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that seek after him.
By faith Noah, being warned of God concerning things not seen as yet, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; through which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.
The Hebrews author began the "hall of faith." Yet to what end? Why does the Hebrews author speak of faith, the creation, and Abel?
The New and Living Way | Episode 30 | Hebrews 11:1-4
Now faith is assurance of things hoped for, a conviction of things not seen.
For therein the elders had witness borne to them.
By faith we understand that the worlds have been framed by the word of God, so that what is seen hath not been made out of things which appear.
By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he had witness borne to him that he was righteous, God bearing witness in respect of his gifts: and through it he being dead yet speaketh.
The Hebrews author exhorted his audience to persevere and endure in living by faith. We should take heed.
Why are Christians tempted to fall away after having endured for a time?
The New and Living Way | Episode 29 | Hebrews 10:32-39
But call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were enlightened, ye endured a great conflict of sufferings; partly, being made a gazingstock both by reproaches and afflictions; and partly, becoming partakers with them that were so used. For ye both had compassion on them that were in bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling of your possessions, knowing that ye have for yourselves a better possession and an abiding one. Cast not away therefore your boldness, which hath great recompense of reward.
For ye have need of patience, that, having done the will of God, ye may receive the promise.
"For yet a very little while, He that cometh shall come, and shall not tarry. But my righteous one shall live by faith: And if he shrink back, my soul hath no pleasure in him."
But we are not of them that shrink back unto perdition; but of them that have faith unto the saving of the soul.
With the ultimate exhortation comes the ultimate warning.
Why is it so important to deeply investigate the Hebrews author's Old Testament references so as to understand what he means to say?
The New and Living Way | Episode 28 | Hebrews 10:26-31
For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and a fierceness of fire which shall devour the adversaries. A man that hath set at nought Moses' law dieth without compassion on the word of two or three witnesses: of how much sorer punishment, think ye, shall he be judged worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant wherewith he was sanctified an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? For we know him that said, "Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense". And again, "The Lord shall judge his people." It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
Draw near to God; hold fast the confession of our hope; consider one another to provoke to love and good works. Everything the Hebrews author spoke has led to this; everything he will continue to say refers back to it.
The New and Living Way | Episode 27 | Hebrews 10:22-25
Let us draw near with a true heart in fulness of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience: and having our body washed with pure water, let us hold fast the confession of our hope that it waver not; for he is faithful that promised: and let us consider one another to provoke unto love and good works; not forsaking our own assembling together, as the custom of some is, but exhorting one another; and so much the more, as ye see the day drawing nigh.
Hebrews 10:19-25 represents the core exhortation of the whole sermon-letter, the climax of all that has come before, and the basis of all that follows. We consider the ground upon which the exhortation is based.
The New and Living Way | Episode 26 | Hebrews 10:19-21
Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holy place by the blood of Jesus, by the way which he dedicated for us, a new and living way, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; and having a great priest over the house of God.
Jesus' sacrifice perfects those who are sanctified in Him. Why is it so important for believers to require no further offering for sin?
The New and Living Way | Episode 25 | Hebrews 10:5-18
Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, "Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, But a body didst thou prepare for me; In whole burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hadst no pleasure: Then said I, Lo, I am come (In the roll of the book it is written of me) To do thy will, O God."
Saying above, "Sacrifices and offerings and whole burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein" (the which are offered according to the law), then hath he said, "Lo, I am come to do thy will." He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second.
By which will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest indeed standeth day by day ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, the which can never take away sins: but he, when he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; henceforth expecting till his enemies be made the footstool of his feet. For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.
And the Holy Spirit also beareth witness to us; for after he hath said, "This is the covenant that I will make with them After those days, saith the Lord: I will put my laws on their heart, And upon their mind also will I write them;" then saith he, "And their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more."
Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.
The Law and the priesthood were a shadow of the reality. They were not the fullness of God's purposes, but they weren't useless, either. They pointed the way; the Hebrews author did not want any to be so enraptured with the shadow so as to turn away from its reality and fulfillment.
How do we find relief and strength in Jesus' sacrifice for sin? Why would we eagerly await Jesus' return?
The New and Living Way | Episode 24 | Hebrews 9:23-10:4
It was necessary therefore that the copies of the things in the heavens should be cleansed with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Christ entered not into a holy place made with hands, like in pattern to the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear before the face of God for us: nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place year by year with blood not his own; else must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once at the end of the ages hath he been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.
And inasmuch as it is appointed unto men once to die, and after this cometh judgment; so Christ also, having been once offered to bear the sins of many, shall appear a second time, apart from sin, to them that wait for him, unto salvation.
For the law having a shadow of the good things to come, not the very image of the things, can never with the same sacrifices year by year, which they offer continually, make perfect them that draw nigh. Else would they not have ceased to be offered? because the worshippers, having been once cleansed, would have had no more consciousness of sins. But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance made of sins year by year. For it is impossible that the blood of bulls and goats should take away sins.
Covenant or testament? Both are inaugurated in death, and sanctified in blood.
How does the sketch reflect the real, even if in a glimpse? What does this tell us about how God has created the world?
The New and Living Way | Episode 23 | Hebrews 9:15-23
And for this cause he is the mediator of a new covenant, that a death having taken place for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first covenant, they that have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.
For where a testament is, there must of necessity be the death of him that made it. For a testament is of force where there hath been death: for it doth never avail while he that made it liveth.
Wherefore even the first covenant hath not been dedicated without blood. For when every commandment had been spoken by Moses unto all the people according to the law, he took the blood of the calves and the goats, with water and scarlet wool and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people, saying, "This is the blood of the covenant which God commanded to you-ward." Moreover the tabernacle and all the vessels of the ministry he sprinkled in like manner with the blood. And according to the law, I may almost say, all things are cleansed with blood, and apart from shedding of blood there is no remission. It was necessary therefore that the copies of the things in the heavens should be cleansed with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.
The Hebrews author is saturated in the Israelite world and way of looking at things. We take a moment to focus on the particulars in Hebrews to address the means by which he communicates regarding the atonement.
What comes to mind when you hear the term "atonement"? In what ways do the Scriptures connect Jesus' humiliating, degrading death with the reconciliation of God and man?
The New and Living Way | Episode 22 | Hebrews 9:13-15
For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling them that have been defiled, sanctify unto the cleanness of the flesh: how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish unto God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
And for this cause he is the mediator of a new covenant, that a death having taken place for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first covenant, they that have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.
The Hebrews author speaks at some length about the tabernacle to show how Jesus entered the more perfect tabernacle to atone for sin. Jesus would provide full forgiveness for those who sinned under the old covenant; Israel would only find full salvation, therefore, in Christ.
The New and Living Way | Episode 21 | Hebrews 9:1-15
Now even the first covenant had ordinances of divine service, and its sanctuary, a sanctuary of this world. For there was a tabernacle prepared, the first, wherein were the candlestick, and the table, and the showbread; which is called the Holy place. And after the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the Holy of holies; having a golden altar of incense, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein was a golden pot holding the manna, and Aaron's rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant; and above it cherubim of glory overshadowing the mercy-seat; of which things we cannot now speak severally.
Now these things having been thus prepared, the priests go in continually into the first tabernacle, accomplishing the services; but into the second the high priest alone, once in the year, not without blood, which he offereth for himself, and for the errors of the people: the Holy Spirit this signifying, that the way into the holy place hath not yet been made manifest, while the first tabernacle is yet standing; which is a figure for the time present; according to which are offered both gifts and sacrifices that cannot, as touching the conscience, make the worshipper perfect, being only (with meats and drinks and divers washings) carnal ordinances, imposed until a time of reformation.
But Christ having come a high priest of the good things to come, through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation, nor yet through the blood of goats and calves, but through his own blood, entered in once for all into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption. For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling them that have been defiled, sanctify unto the cleanness of the flesh: how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish unto God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
And for this cause he is the mediator of a new covenant, that a death having taken place for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first covenant, they that have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.
What the Hebrews author is suggesting regarding the new covenant in Christ is not all that new. Jeremiah anticipated a new covenant, rendering the covenant old.
The New and Living Way | Episode 20 | Hebrews 8:7-13
For if that first covenant had been faultless, then would no place have been sought for a second.
For finding fault with them, he saith, "Behold, the days come," saith the Lord, "that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah; Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers In the day that I took them by the hand to lead them forth out of the land of Egypt; For they continued not in my covenant, And I regarded them not," saith the Lord. "For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel After those days," saith the Lord; "I will put my laws into their mind, And on their heart also will I write them: And I will be to them a God, And they shall be to me a people: And they shall not teach every man his fellow-citizen, And every man his brother, saying, 'Know the Lord': For all shall know me, From the least to the greatest of them. For I will be merciful to their iniquities, And their sins will I remember no more.
In that he saith, "A new covenant," he hath made the first old. But that which is becoming old and waxeth aged is nigh unto vanishing away.
The Hebrews author summed up his argument: Jesus is a great high priest. He serves in heaven, the reality of which the earthly tabernacle was a sketch. Jesus mediates a better covenant founded on better promises.
The New and Living Way | Episode 18 | Hebrews 8:1-6
Now in the things which we are saying the chief point is this: We have such a high priest, who sat down on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, a minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, not man. For every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices: wherefore it is necessary that this high priest also have somewhat to offer.
Now if he were on earth, he would not be a priest at all, seeing there are those who offer the gifts according to the law; who serve that which is a copy and shadow of the heavenly things, even as Moses is warned of God when he is about to make the tabernacle: for, "See," saith he, "that thou make all things according to the pattern that was showed thee in the mount."
But now hath he obtained a ministry the more excellent, by so much as he is also the mediator of a better covenant, which hath been enacted upon better promises.
Jesus is the high priest of the oath God swore. If we do not draw encouragement and strength from the ability to draw near to God through Jesus' continual mediation, we ought to repent of how much we have taken for granted what God has done in Christ.
The New and Living Way | Episode 18 | Hebrews 7:18-28
For there is a disannulling of a foregoing commandment because of its weakness and unprofitableness (for the law made nothing perfect), and a bringing in thereupon of a better hope, through which we draw nigh unto God.
And inasmuch as it is not without the taking of an oath (for they indeed have been made priests without an oath; but he with an oath by him that saith of him, "The Lord sware and will not repent himself, Thou art a priest for ever)";
by so much also hath Jesus become the surety of a better covenant.
And they indeed have been made priests many in number, because that by death they are hindered from continuing: but he, because he abideth for ever, hath his priesthood unchangeable. Wherefore also he is able to save to the uttermost them that draw near unto God through him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.
For such a high priest became us, holy, guileless, undefiled, separated from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; who needeth not daily, like those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people: for this he did once for all, when he offered up himself. For the law appointeth men high priests, having infirmity; but the word of the oath, which was after the law, appointeth a Son, perfected for evermore.
The Hebrews author had explained who Melchizedek was. Now he explains the imperfection of the Levitical priesthood, the change of law that comes from a change of priesthood, and the eternal priesthood of Jesus according to the type of priesthood of Melchizedek.
The New and Living Way | Episode 17 | Hebrews 7:11-19
Now if there was perfection through the Levitical priesthood (for under it hath the people received the law), what further need was there that another priest should arise after the order of Melchizedek, and not be reckoned after the order of Aaron? For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law. For he of whom these things are said belongeth to another tribe, from which no man hath given attendance at the altar. For it is evident that our Lord hath sprung out of Judah; as to which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priests.
And what we say is yet more abundantly evident, if after the likeness of Melchizedek there ariseth another priest, who hath been made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life: for it is witnessed of him, "Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek."
For there is a disannulling of a foregoing commandment because of its weakness and unprofitableness (for the law made nothing perfect), and a bringing in thereupon of a better hope, through which we draw nigh unto God.
The Hebrews author finally speaks about Melchizedek. He proved to be an incisive and careful reader of the Genesis text. We do well to heed his argument while being careful to not push it beyond what it can sustain.
The New and Living Way | Episode 16 | Hebrews 7:1-10
For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of God Most High, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him, to whom also Abraham divided a tenth part of all (being first, by interpretation, King of righteousness, and then also King of Salem, which is, King of peace; without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like unto the Son of God), abideth a priest continually.
Now consider how great this man was, unto whom Abraham, the patriarch, gave a tenth out of the chief spoils. And they indeed of the sons of Levi that receive the priest's office have commandment to take tithes of the people according to the law, that is, of their brethren, though these have come out of the loins of Abraham: but he whose genealogy is not counted from them hath taken tithes of Abraham, and hath blessed him that hath the promises. But without any dispute the less is blessed of the better. And here men that die receive tithes; but there one, of whom it is witnessed that he liveth. And, so to say, through Abraham even Levi, who receiveth tithes, hath paid tithes; for he was yet in the loins of his father, when Melchizedek met him.
God swore by Himself to bless Abraham, and He was faithful to His promise. God swore to make David's Lord a priest after the order of Melchizedek. God's faithfulness to that promise ought to provide great encouragement and hope for the Christian.
The New and Living Way | Episode 15 | Hebrews 6:13-20
For when God made promise to Abraham, since he could swear by none greater, he sware by himself, saying, "Surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee."
And thus, having patiently endured, he obtained the promise. For men swear by the greater: and in every dispute of theirs the oath is final for confirmation. Wherein God, being minded to show more abundantly unto the heirs of the promise the immutability of his counsel, interposed with an oath; that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we may have a strong encouragement, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us: which we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and stedfast and entering into that which is within the veil; whither as a forerunner Jesus entered for us, having become a high priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.
The Hebrews author moved to assure his audience of his confidence in their salvation and awareness of their faith and works. He was not nearly as concerned about their heritage and present as he was with their continued endurance in the faith in Christ Jesus.
The New and Living Way | Episode 14 | Hebrews 6:9-12
But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak: for God is not unrighteous to forget your work and the love which ye showed toward his name, in that ye ministered unto the saints, and still do minister. And we desire that each one of you may show the same diligence unto the fulness of hope even to the end: that ye be not sluggish, but imitators of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
The Hebrews author was deeply concerned about the growth and standing of those to whom he wrote. If they were to quit now there would be no hope for them. He provided a sober warning Christians do well to consider deeply.
The New and Living Way | Episode 13 | Hebrews 6:1-8
Wherefore leaving the doctrine of the first principles of Christ, let us press on unto perfection; not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, of the teaching of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. And this will we do, if God permit.
For as touching those who were once enlightened and tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the age to come, and then fell away, it is impossible to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.
For the land which hath drunk the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them for whose sake it is also tilled, receiveth blessing from God: but if it beareth thorns and thistles, it is rejected and nigh unto a curse; whose end is to be burned.
The Hebrews author made a full stop and chastised his audience a bit. He certainly would get their attention!
The New and Living Way | Episode 12 | Hebrews 5:11-14
Of whom we have many things to say, and hard of interpretation, seeing ye are become dull of hearing. For when by reason of the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need again that some one teach you the rudiments of the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of solid food. For every one that partaketh of milk is without experience of the word of righteousness; for he is a babe. But solid food is for fullgrown men, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern good and evil.
As fully God, fully man, Jesus represented the ideal High Priest for mankind. Thus the Hebrews author sets forth the thesis statement for his argument, rooted in Psalm 110.
The New and Living Way | Episode 11 | Hebrews 5:5-10
So Christ also glorified not himself to be made a high priest, but he that spake unto him, "Thou art my Son / this day have I begotten thee": as he saith also in another place, "Thou art a priest for ever / after the order of Melchizedek."
Who in the days of his flesh, having offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and having been heard for his godly fear, though he was a Son, yet learned obedience by the things which he suffered; and having been made perfect, he became unto all them that obey him the author of eternal salvation; named of God a high priest after the order of Melchizedek.
Jesus is fully God; Jesus is fully man. He has great power and can sympathize with us. The Hebrews author would have Christians hold firm to their faith and trust in Him.
The New and Living Way | Episode 10 | Hebrews 4:14-5:4
Having then a great high priest, who hath passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we have not a high priest that cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but one that hath been in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore draw near with boldness unto the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy, and may find grace to help us in time of need.
For every high priest, being taken from among men, is appointed for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins: who can bear gently with the ignorant and erring, for that he himself also is compassed with infirmity; and by reason thereof is bound, as for the people, so also for himself, to offer for sins. And no man taketh the honor unto himself, but when he is called of God, even as was Aaron.
The Hebrews author had demonstrated the importance of remaining faithful to the end from Psalm 95. Now he turned to the other emphasis in the psalm: entering God's rest.
The New and Living Way | Episode 9 | Hebrews 4:1-13
Let us fear therefore, lest haply, a promise being left of entering into his rest, any one of you should seem to have come short of it. For indeed we have had good tidings preached unto us, even as also they: but the word of hearing did not profit them, because it was not united by faith with them that heard.
For we who have believed do enter into that rest; even as he hath said, "As I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest": although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.
For he hath said somewhere of the seventh day on this wise, "And God rested on the seventh day from all his works;" and in this place again, "They shall not enter into my rest."
Seeing therefore it remaineth that some should enter thereinto, and they to whom the good tidings were before preached failed to enter in because of disobedience, he again defineth a certain day, To-day, saying in David so long a time afterward (even as hath been said before), "Today if ye shall hear his voice, Harden not your hearts."
For if Joshua had given them rest, he would not have spoken afterward of another day.
There remaineth therefore a sabbath rest for the people of God. For he that is entered into his rest hath himself also rested from his works, as God did from his.
Let us therefore give diligence to enter into that rest, that no man fall after the same example of disobedience. For the word of God is living, and active, and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing even to the dividing of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and quick to discern the thoughts and intents of the heart. And there is no creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and laid open before the eyes of him with whom we have to do.
The Hebrews audience was growing weary. And yet they were so close. The Hebrews author knew just the reference to explore: Psalm 95.
The New and Living Way | Episode 8 | Hebrews 3:7-19
Wherefore, even as the Holy Spirit saith,
"To-day if ye shall hear his voice, Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, Like as in the day of the trial in the wilderness, Where your fathers tried me by proving me, And saw my works forty years. Wherefore I was displeased with this generation, And said, 'They do always err in their heart': But they did not know my ways; As I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest."
Take heed, brethren, lest haply there shall be in any one of you an evil heart of unbelief, in falling away from the living God: but exhort one another day by day, so long as it is called To-day; lest any one of you be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin: for we are become partakers of Christ, if we hold fast the beginning of our confidence firm unto the end: while it is said, "To-day if ye shall hear his voice, Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation."
For who, when they heard, did provoke? nay, did not all they that came out of Egypt by Moses? And with whom was he displeased forty years? was it not with them that sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness? And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that were disobedient? And we see that they were not able to enter in because of unbelief.
God has built His house; Jesus is a faithful Son in God's house, and Moses had been a faithful servant in it. The Hebrews author exhorted his audience to remain part of that house, holding firm their boldness and confidence to the end.
The New and Living Way | Episode 7 | Hebrews 3:1-6
Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of a heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, even Jesus; who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also was Moses in all his house. For he hath been counted worthy of more glory than Moses, by so much as he that built the house hath more honor than the house. For every house is builded by some one; but he that built all things is God. And Moses indeed was faithful in all his house as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were afterward to be spoken; but Christ as a son, over his house; whose house are we, if we hold fast our boldness and the glorying of our hope firm unto the end (Hebrews 3:1-6).
The Hebrews author affirmed the great power and majesty of the Son of God. Then he declared how fitting it was for the Son of God to take on flesh and fully experience the life of flesh and blood to become the perfect High Priest. Jesus, fully God, fully man.
The New and Living Way | Episode 6 | Hebrews 2:10-18
For it became him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the author of their salvation perfect through sufferings. For both he that sanctifieth and they that are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren, saying,
"I will declare thy name unto my brethren, In the midst of the congregation will I sing thy praise."
And again, "I will put my trust in him."
And again, "Behold, I and the children whom God hath given me."
Since then the children are sharers in flesh and blood, he also himself in like manner partook of the same; that through death he might bring to nought him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; and might deliver all them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. For verily not to angels doth he give help, but he giveth help to the seed of Abraham. Wherefore it behooved him in all things to be made like unto his brethren, that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succor them that are tempted.
Jesus had accomplished a powerful salvation, well beyond anything anyone had expected. What was unthinkable before was now to be seen as becoming and fitting. For those who believed in Jesus the world could never look the same again; all must be viewed by the way of the cross.
The New and Living Way | Episode 5 | Hebrews 2:5-10
For not unto angels did he subject the world to come, whereof we speak. But one hath somewhere testified, saying,
What is man, that thou art mindful of him? Or the son of man, that thou visitest him? Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; Thou crownedst him with glory and honor, And didst set him over the works of thy hands: Thou didst put all things in subjection under his feet.
For in that he subjected all things unto him, he left nothing that is not subject to him. But now we see not yet all things subjected to him. But we behold him who hath been made a little lower than the angels, even Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that by the grace of God he should taste of death for every man.
For it became him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the author of their salvation perfect through sufferings.
The Hebrews author brings home a forceful, powerful exhortation: since Jesus is the Son of God, greater than the angels, and God Himself, and if the consequences of a Law delivered by lesser beings remained firm, how much more then will Christians escape if they neglect such a great salvation in Jesus?
The New and Living Way | Episode 4 | Hebrews 2:1-4
Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things that were heard, lest haply we drift away from them. For if the word spoken through angels proved stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense of reward; how shall we escape, if we neglect so great a salvation? which having at the first been spoken through the Lord, was confirmed unto us by them that heard; God also bearing witness with them, both by signs and wonders, and by manifold powers, and by gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to his own will.
The Hebrews author provides a litany of Scriptural quotations to show the superiority of the Son over the angels. Yet what else is he accomplishing through what he quotes and how?
The New and Living Way | Episode 3 | Hebrews 1:4-14
Having become by so much better than the angels, as he hath inherited a more excellent name than they.
For unto which of the angels said he at any time, "Thou art my Son, This day have I begotten thee?"
and again, "I will be to him a Father, And he shall be to me a Son?"
And when he again bringeth in the firstborn into the world he saith, "And let all the angels of God worship him."
And of the angels he saith, "Who maketh his angels winds, And his ministers a flame of fire:"
but of the Son he saith, "Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever; And the sceptre of uprightness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; Therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee With the oil of gladness above thy fellows."
And, "Thou, Lord, in the beginning didst lay the foundation of the earth, And the heavens are the works of thy hands: They shall perish; but thou continuest: And they all shall wax old as doth a garment; And as a mantle shalt thou roll them up, As a garment, and they shall be changed: But thou art the same, And thy years shall not fail."
But of which of the angels hath he said at any time, "Sit thou on my right hand, Till I make thine enemies the footstool of thy feet?"
Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to do service for the sake of them that shall inherit salvation?
The Hebrews sermon-letter begins with a strong exordium, a powerful and beautifully composed "thesis statement" for the whole message. God is speaking in Jesus; in Jesus we find the character, glory, and power of God, and thus God Himself.
The New and Living Way | Episode 2 | Hebrews 1:1-4
God, having of old time spoken unto the fathers in the prophets by divers portions and in divers manners, hath at the end of these days spoken unto us in his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, through whom also he made the worlds; who being the effulgence of his glory, and the very image of his substance, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had made purification of sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; having become by so much better than the angels, as he hath inherited a more excellent name than they.
A Jewish Christian in the first century provided a word of exhortation to his fellow Christians to hold firm to their faith in Jesus according to His new and living Way; we call the record of his sermon-letter the Letter to the Hebrews.
As we begin exploring Hebrews we do well to consider the text in its context. Of all the books of the New Testament Hebrews is the most challenging in this regard. Today we consider what we can know about the context of the letter and many of the various theories regarding authorship, audience, destination, and purpose.
The New and Living Way | Episode 1
The book of Ezekiel concludes with the river flowing from the Most Holy Place and the idealized divisions of the land. Its name would be YHWH is There. YHWH is with His people, then to now. The Israel of God knows He is YHWH.
And You Shall Know That I Am YHWH | Episode 44 | Ezekiel 47:1-48:35
Gog has perplexed and petrified people for generations. We do best to understand the narrative in terms of YHWH demonstrating His power to save to His restored people.
And You Shall Know That I Am YHWH | Episode 40 | Ezekiel 38:1-39:29
Israel had profaned YHWH's name by their unfaithfulness. YHWH would yet cleanse them and restore them to Himself.
And You Shall Know That I Am YHWH | Episode 38 | Ezekiel 36:16-38
Moreover the word of YHWH came unto me, saying, "Son of man, when the house of Israel dwelt in their own land, they defiled it by their way and by their doings: their way before me was as the uncleanness of a woman in her impurity. Wherefore I poured out my wrath upon them for the blood which they had poured out upon the land, and because they had defiled it with their idols; and I scattered them among the nations, and they were dispersed through the countries: according to their way and according to their doings I judged them. And when they came unto the nations, whither they went, they profaned my holy name; in that men said of them, 'These are the people of YHWH, and are gone forth out of his land.' But I had regard for my holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the nations, whither they went."
Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord YHWH: "I do not this for your sake, O house of Israel, but for my holy name, which ye have profaned among the nations, whither ye went. And I will sanctify my great name, which hath been profaned among the nations, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the nations shall know that I am YHWH," saith the Lord YHWH, "when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes. For I will take you from among the nations, and gather you out of all the countries, and will bring you into your own land. And I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you; and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep mine ordinances, and do them. And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God. And I will save you from all your uncleannesses: and I will call for the grain, and will multiply it, and lay no famine upon you. And I will multiply the fruit of the tree, and the increase of the field, that ye may receive no more the reproach of famine among the nations. Then shall ye remember your evil ways, and your doings that were not good; and ye shall loathe yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities and for your abominations. Nor for your sake do I this," saith the Lord YHWH, "be it known unto you: be ashamed and confounded for your ways, O house of Israel."
Thus saith the Lord YHWH: "In the day that I cleanse you from all your iniquities, I will cause the cities to be inhabited, and the waste places shall be builded. And the land that was desolate shall be tilled, whereas it was a desolation in the sight of all that passed by. And they shall say, This land that was desolate is become like the garden of Eden; and the waste and desolate and ruined cities are fortified and inhabited. Then the nations that are left round about you shall know that I, YHWH, have builded the ruined places, and planted that which was desolate: I, YHWH, have spoken it, and I will do it."
Thus saith the Lord YHWH: "For this, moreover, will I be inquired of by the house of Israel, to do it for them: I will increase them with men like a flock. As the flock for sacrifice, as the flock of Jerusalem in her appointed feasts, so shall the waste cities be filled with flocks of men; and they shall know that I am YHWH."
The news had arrived: Jerusalem was struck. Ezekiel's mouth was opened. A message was necessary for those who remained. Ezekiel would prove popular, but the people would still not listen.
And You Shall Know That I Am YHWH | Episode 35 | Ezekiel 33:21-33
And it came to pass in the twelfth year of our captivity, in the tenth month, in the fifth day of the month, that one that had escaped out of Jerusalem came unto me, saying, "The city is smitten."
Now the hand of YHWH had been upon me in the evening, before he that was escaped came; and he had opened my mouth, until he came to me in the morning; and my mouth was opened, and I was no more dumb.
And the word of YHWH came unto me, saying, "Son of man, they that inhabit those waste places in the land of Israel speak, saying, 'Abraham was one, and he inherited the land: but we are many; the land is given us for inheritance.'"
Wherefore say unto them, Thus saith the Lord YHWH: "Ye eat with the blood, and lift up your eyes unto your idols, and shed blood: and shall ye possess the land? Ye stand upon your sword, ye work abomination, and ye defile every one his neighbor's wife: and shall ye possess the land?"
Thus shalt thou say unto them, Thus saith the Lord YHWH: "As I live, surely they that are in the waste places shall fall by the sword; and him that is in the open field will I give to the beasts to be devoured; and they that are in the strongholds and in the caves shall die of the pestilence. And I will make the land a desolation and an astonishment; and the pride of her power shall cease; and the mountains of Israel shall be desolate, so that none shall pass through. Then shall they know that I am YHWH, when I have made the land a desolation and an astonishment, because of all their abominations which they have committed."
"And as for thee, son of man, the children of thy people talk of thee by the walls and in the doors of the houses, and speak one to another, every one to his brother, saying, 'Come, I pray you, and hear what is the word that cometh forth from YHWH.' And they come unto thee as the people cometh, and they sit before thee as my people, and they hear thy words, but do them not; for with their mouth they show much love, but their heart goeth after their gain. And, lo, thou art unto them as a very lovely song of one that hath a pleasant voice, and can play well on an instrument; for they hear thy words, but they do them not. And when this cometh to pass, (behold, it cometh,) then shall they know that a prophet hath been among them.
Pharaoh would find comfort in Hades. In anticipation of the end it will be revealed to Israel how Ezekiel was a watchman. Israel did not need to die in their sins.
And You Shall Know That I Am YHWH | Episode 34 | Ezekiel 32:1-33:20
Ezekiel's last prophecy in time is placed "out of order," here in the midst of the nation oracles. The prophecy regarding Tyre required "updating." What Ezekiel promised would be accomplished; it would just not happen as expected.
And You Shall Know That I Am YHWH | Episode 32 | Ezekiel 29:13-21
For thus saith the Lord YHWH: "At the end of forty years will I gather the Egyptians from the peoples whither they were scattered; and I will bring back the captivity of Egypt, and will cause them to return into the land of Pathros, into the land of their birth; and they shall be there a base kingdom. It shall be the basest of the kingdoms; neither shall it any more lift itself up above the nations: and I will diminish them, that they shall no more rule over the nations. And it shall be no more the confidence of the house of Israel, bringing iniquity to remembrance, when they turn to look after them: and they shall know that I am the Lord YHWH."
And it came to pass in the seven and twentieth year, in the first month, in the first day of the month, the word of YHWH came unto me, saying, "Son of man, Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon caused his army to serve a great service against Tyre: every head was made bald, and every shoulder was worn; yet had he no wages, nor his army, from Tyre, for the service that he had served against it. Therefore thus saith the Lord Jehovah: Behold, I will give the land of Egypt unto Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon; and he shall carry off her multitude, and take her spoil, and take her prey; and it shall be the wages for his army. I have given him the land of Egypt as his recompense for which he served, because they wrought for me, saith the Lord Jehovah. In that day will I cause a horn to bud forth unto the house of Israel, and I will give thee the opening of the mouth in the midst of them; and they shall know that I am YHWH."
Ezekiel now turns to prophesy against Egypt. There's a history there; there will also be an unthinkable future.
And You Shall Know That I Am YHWH | Episode 31 | Ezekiel 29:1-12
In the tenth year, in the tenth month, in the twelfth day of the month, the word of YHWH came unto me, saying, "Son of man, set thy face against Pharaoh king of Egypt, and prophesy against him, and against all Egypt; speak, and say,"
Thus saith the Lord YHWH: "Behold, I am against thee, Pharaoh king of Egypt, the great monster that lieth in the midst of his rivers, that hath said, 'My river is mine own, and I have made it for myself.' And I will put hooks in thy jaws, and I will cause the fish of thy rivers to stick unto thy scales; and I will bring thee up out of the midst of thy rivers, with all the fish of thy rivers which stick unto thy scales. And I will cast thee forth into the wilderness, thee and all the fish of thy rivers: thou shalt fall upon the open field; thou shalt not be brought together, nor gathered; I have given thee for food to the beasts of the earth and to the birds of the heavens. And all the inhabitants of Egypt shall know that I am YHWH, because they have been a staff of reed to the house of Israel. When they took hold of thee by thy hand, thou didst break, and didst rend all their shoulders; and when they leaned upon thee, thou brakest, and madest all their loins to be at a stand."
Therefore thus saith the Lord YHWH: "Behold, I will bring a sword upon thee, and will cut off from thee man and beast. And the land of Egypt shall be a desolation and a waste; and they shall know that I am YHWH. Because he hath said, 'The river is mine, and I have made it'; therefore, behold, I am against thee, and against thy rivers, and I will make the land of Egypt an utter waste and desolation, from the tower of Seveneh even unto the border of Ethiopia. No foot of man shall pass through it, nor foot of beast shall pass through it, neither shall it be inhabited forty years. And I will make the land of Egypt a desolation in the midst of the countries that are desolate; and her cities among the cities that are laid waste shall be a desolation forty years; and I will scatter the Egyptians among the nations, and will disperse them through the countries."
The King of Tyre had been glorified, but would now be laid low. Sidon would not be spared. But Israel, the people of God, would know YHWH is their God when they saw their vindication in the sight of the nations.
And You Shall Know That I Am YHWH | Episode 30 | Ezekiel 28:11-26
Moreover the word of YHWH came unto me, saying, "Son of man, take up a lamentation over the king of Tyre, and say unto him,"
Thus saith the Lord YHWH: "Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. Thou wast in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, the topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was in thee; in the day that thou wast created they were prepared. Thou wast the anointed cherub that covereth: and I set thee, so that thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till unrighteousness was found in thee. By the abundance of thy traffic they filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore have I cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God; and I have destroyed thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. Thy heart was lifted up because of thy beauty; thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I have cast thee to the ground; I have laid thee before kings, that they may behold thee. By the multitude of thine iniquities, in the unrighteousness of thy traffic, thou hast profaned thy sanctuaries; therefore have I brought forth a fire from the midst of thee; it hath devoured thee, and I have turned thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee. All they that know thee among the peoples shall be astonished at thee: thou art become a terror, and thou shalt nevermore have any being."
And the word of YHWH came unto me, saying, "Son of man, set thy face toward Sidon, and prophesy against it, and say,
Thus saith the Lord YHWH: "Behold, I am against thee, O Sidon; and I will be glorified in the midst of thee; and they shall know that I am Jehovah, when I shall have executed judgments in her, and shall be sanctified in her. For I will send pestilence into her, and blood into her streets; and the wounded shall fall in the midst of her, with the sword upon her on every side; and they shall know that I am YHWH.
And there shall be no more a pricking brier unto the house of Israel, nor a hurting thorn of any that are round about them, that did despite unto them; and they shall know that I am the Lord YHWH.
Thus saith the Lord YHWH: "When I shall have gathered the house of Israel from the peoples among whom they are scattered, and shall be sanctified in them in the sight of the nations, then shall they dwell in their own land which I gave to my servant Jacob. And they shall dwell securely therein; yea, they shall build houses, and plant vineyards, and shall dwell securely, when I have executed judgments upon all those that do them despite round about them; and they shall know that I am YHWH their God."
Ezekiel lamented the destruction of Tyre and its wealth along with its haughty prince. It would become a template for lamentations to come.
And You Shall Know That I Am YHWH | Episode 29 | Ezekiel 27:26-28:10
Thy rowers have brought thee into great waters: the east wind hath broken thee in the heart of the seas. Thy riches, and thy wares, thy merchandise, thy mariners, and thy pilots, thy calkers, and the dealers in thy merchandise, and all thy men of war, that are in thee, with all thy company which is in the midst of thee, shall fall into the heart of the seas in the day of thy ruin.
At the sound of the cry of thy pilots the suburbs shall shake. And all that handled the oar, the mariners, and all the pilots of the sea, shall come down from their ships; they shall stand upon the land, and shall cause their voice to be heard over thee, and shall cry bitterly, and shall cast up dust upon their heads, they shall wallow themselves in the ashes: and they shall make themselves bald for thee, and gird them with sackcloth, and they shall weep for thee in bitterness of soul with bitter mourning.
And in their wailing they shall take up a lamentation for thee, and lament over thee, saying, "Who is there like Tyre, like her that is brought to silence in the midst of the sea? When thy wares went forth out of the seas, thou filledst many peoples; thou didst enrich the kings of the earth with the multitude of thy riches and of thy merchandise. In the time that thou wast broken by the seas in the depths of the waters, thy merchandise and all thy company did fall in the midst of thee. All the inhabitants of the isles are astonished at thee, and their kings are horribly afraid; they are troubled in their countenance. The merchants among the peoples hiss at thee; thou art become a terror, and thou shalt nevermore have any being."
The word of YHWH came again unto me, saying, "Son of man, say unto the prince of Tyre," Thus saith the Lord YHWH: "Because thy heart is lifted up, and thou hast said, 'I am a god, I sit in the seat of God, in the midst of the seas'; yet thou art man, and not God, though thou didst set thy heart as the heart of God;-- behold, thou art wiser than Daniel; there is no secret that is hidden from thee; by thy wisdom and by thine understanding thou hast gotten thee riches, and hast gotten gold and silver into thy treasures; by thy great wisdom and by thy traffic hast thou increased thy riches, and thy heart is lifted up because of thy riches;"
Therefore thus saith the Lord YHWH: "Because thou hast set thy heart as the heart of God, therefore, behold, I will bring strangers upon thee, the terrible of the nations; and they shall draw their swords against the beauty of thy wisdom, and they shall defile thy brightness. They shall bring thee down to the pit; and thou shalt die the death of them that are slain, in the heart of the seas. Wilt thou yet say before him that slayeth thee, 'I am God?' But thou art man, and not God, in the hand of him that woundeth thee. Thou shalt die the death of the uncircumcised by the hand of strangers: for I have spoken it," saith the Lord YHWH.
Tyre would experience great distress. It would take longer and come from a different hand than originally expected, but prosperity would not be theirs.
And You Shall Know That I Am YHWH | Episode 27 | Ezekiel 26:1-14
And it came to pass in the eleventh year, in the first day of the month, that the word of YHWH came unto me, saying, "Son of man, because that Tyre hath said against Jerusalem, 'Aha, she is broken that was the gate of the peoples; she is turned unto me; I shall be replenished, now that she is laid waste'": therefore thus saith the Lord YHWH, "Behold, I am against thee, O Tyre, and will cause many nations to come up against thee, as the sea causeth its waves to come up. And they shall destroy the walls of Tyre, and break down her towers: I will also scrape her dust from her, and make her a bare rock. She shall be a place for the spreading of nets in the midst of the sea; for I have spoken it, saith the Lord Jehovah; and she shall become a spoil to the nations. And her daughters that are in the field shall be slain with the sword: and they shall know that I am Jehovah. For thus saith the Lord Jehovah: Behold, I will bring upon Tyre Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, king of kings, from the north, with horses, and with chariots, and with horsemen, and a company, and much people. He shall slay with the sword thy daughters in the field; and he shall make forts against thee, and cast up a mound against thee, and raise up the buckler against thee. And he shall set his battering engines against thy walls, and with his axes he shall break down thy towers. By reason of the abundance of his horses their dust shall cover thee: thy walls shall shake at the noise of the horsemen, and of the wagons, and of the chariots, when he shall enter into thy gates, as men enter into a city wherein is made a breach. With the hoofs of his horses shall he tread down all thy streets; he shall slay thy people with the sword; and the pillars of thy strength shall go down to the ground. And they shall make a spoil of thy riches, and make a prey of thy merchandise; and they shall break down thy walls, and destroy thy pleasant houses; and they shall lay thy stones and thy timber and thy dust in the midst of the waters. And I will cause the noise of thy songs to cease; and the sound of thy harps shall be no more heard. And I will make thee a bare rock; thou shalt be a place for the spreading of nets; thou shalt be built no more: for I, YHWH, have spoken it," saith the Lord YHWH.
As Jerusalem endured siege, Ezekiel turned to prophesy against the nations around Israel. YHWH noticed their glee at Israel's expense; YHWH would repay.
And You Shall Know That I Am YHWH | Episode 26 | Ezekiel 25:1-17
And the word of YHWH came unto me, saying, "Son of man, set thy face toward the children of Ammon, and prophesy against them: and say unto the children of Ammon, Hear the word of the Lord YHWH: Thus saith the Lord YHWH, Because thou saidst, 'Aha,' against my sanctuary, when it was profaned; and against the land of Israel, when it was made desolate; and against the house of Judah, when they went into captivity: therefore, behold, I will deliver thee to the children of the east for a possession, and they shall set their encampments in thee, and make their dwellings in thee; they shall eat thy fruit, and they shall drink thy milk. And I will make Rabbah a stable for camels, and the children of Ammon a couching-place for flocks: and ye shall know that I am YHWH.
For thus saith the Lord YHWH: Because thou hast clapped thy hands, and stamped with the feet, and rejoiced with all the despite of thy soul against the land of Israel; therefore, behold, I have stretched out my hand upon thee, and will deliver thee for a spoil to the nations; and I will cut thee off from the peoples, and I will cause thee to perish out of the countries: I will destroy thee; and thou shalt know that I am YHWH."
Thus saith the Lord YHWH: "Because that Moab and Seir do say, 'Behold, the house of Judah is like unto all the nations'; therefore, behold, I will open the side of Moab from the cities, from his cities which are on his frontiers, the glory of the country, Beth-jeshimoth, Baal-meon, and Kiriathaim, unto the children of the east, to go against the children of Ammon; and I will give them for a possession, that the children of Ammon may not be remembered among the nations. and I will execute judgments upon Moab; and they shall know that I am YHWH."
Thus saith the Lord YHWH: "Because that Edom hath dealt against the house of Judah by taking vengeance, and hath greatly offended, and revenged himself upon them; therefore thus saith the Lord YHWH, I will stretch out my hand upon Edom, and will cut off man and beast from it; and I will make it desolate from Teman; even unto Dedan shall they fall by the sword. And I will lay my vengeance upon Edom by the hand of my people Israel; and they shall do in Edom according to mine anger and according to my wrath; and they shall know my vengeance, saith the Lord YHWH."
Thus saith the Lord YHWH: "Because the Philistines have dealt by revenge, and have taken vengeance with despite of soul to destroy with perpetual enmity; therefore thus saith the Lord YHWH, Behold, I will stretch out my hand upon the Philistines, and I will cut off the Cherethites, and destroy the remnant of the sea coast. And I will execute great vengeance upon them with wrathful rebukes; and they shall know that I am YHWH, when I shall lay my vengeance upon them."
Ezekiel's final indictment of Jerusalem is another vulgar portrayal of whoring women: Oholah ("my tent"; Samaria) and Oholibah ("my tent is in her"; Jerusalem). They were corrupted in Egypt; Oholah had met her humiliating fate, and Oholibah was about to join her.
And You Shall Know That I Am YHWH | Episode 24 | Ezekiel 23:1-49
YHWH looked for a man to stand in the breach of Israel. None was found. Ezekiel thus provided a most succinct indictment of YHWH against Jerusalem. Judgment was imminent.
And You Shall Know That I Am YHWH | Episode 23 | Ezekiel 22:1-31
The decision had been made. The judgment was now imminent. Nebuchadnezzar was on the march. The sword was being prepared. Woe, woe to Israel!
And You Shall Know That I Am YHWH | Episode 22 | Ezekiel 20:45-21:32
Ezekiel's generation had walked in the ways of their fathers. Judgment was coming. Restoration would come for another generation, but with tears and lamentation for the traumas endured.
And You Shall Know That I Am YHWH | Episode 21 | Ezekiel 20:27-44
Therefore, son of man, speak unto the house of Israel, and say unto them, "Thus saith the Lord YHWH: In this moreover have your fathers blasphemed me, in that they have committed a trespass against me. For when I had brought them into the land, which I sware to give unto 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 sweet savor, and they poured out there their drink-offerings. Then I said unto them, 'What meaneth the high place whereunto ye go?'"
So the name thereof is called Bamah unto this day.
"Wherefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord YHWH: Do ye pollute yourselves after the manner of your fathers? and play ye the harlot after their abominations? and when ye offer your gifts, when ye make your sons to pass through the fire, do ye pollute yourselves with all your idols unto this day? and shall I be inquired of by you, O house of Israel? As I live," saith the Lord YHWH, "I will not be inquired of by you; and that which cometh into your mind shall not be at all, in that ye say, We will be as the nations, as the families of the countries, to serve wood and stone."
"As I live," saith the Lord YHWH, "surely with a mighty hand, and with an outstretched arm, and with wrath poured out, will I be king over you. 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 wrath poured out; and I will bring you into the wilderness of the peoples, and there will I enter into judgment with you face to face. 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 YHWH. And I will cause you to pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant; and I will purge out from among you the rebels, and them that transgress against me; I will bring them forth out of the land where they sojourn, but they shall not enter into the land of Israel: and ye shall know that I am YHWH."
As for you, O house of Israel, thus saith the Lord YHWH: "Go ye, serve every one his idols, and hereafter also, if ye will not hearken unto me; but my holy name shall ye no more profane with your gifts, and with your idols. For in my holy mountain, in the mountain of the height of Israel, saith the Lord YHWH, 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 firstfruits of your oblations, with all your holy things. As a sweet savor 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 sanctified in you in the sight of the nations. And ye shall know that I am YHWH, when I shall bring you into the land of Israel, into the country which I sware to give unto your fathers. And there shall ye remember your ways, and all your doings, wherein ye have polluted yourselves; and ye shall loathe yourselves in your own sight for all your evils that ye have committed. And ye shall know that I am YHWH, when I have dealt with you for my name's sake, not according to your evil ways, nor according to your corrupt doings, O ye house of Israel," saith the Lord YHWH.
Elders of Israel inquired of YHWH through Ezekiel. He would not be inquired of by them, for they persisted in the sins of their fathers.
And You Shall Know That I Am YHWH | Episode 20 | Ezekiel 20:1-26
Two kings of Judah, Jehoahaz and Jehoiachin, had been taken away into exile. Ezekiel laments for their fate, which is the end of the Davidic kingdom.
And You Shall Know That I Am YHWH | Episode 19 | Ezekiel 19:1-14
Moreover, take thou up a lamentation for the princes of Israel, and say,
What was thy mother? A lioness: she couched among lions, in the midst of the young lions she nourished her whelps. And she brought up one of her whelps: he became a young lion, and he learned to catch the prey; he devoured men. The nations also heard of him; he was taken in their pit; and they brought him with hooks unto the land of Egypt.
Now when she saw that she had waited, and her hope was lost, then she took another of her whelps, and made him a young lion. And he went up and down among the lions; he became a young lion, and he learned to catch the prey; he devoured men. And he knew their palaces, and laid waste their cities; and the land was desolate, and the fulness thereof, because of the noise of his roaring. Then the nations set against him on every side from the provinces; and they spread their net over him; he was taken in their pit. And they put him in a cage with hooks, and brought him to the king of Babylon; they brought him into strongholds, that his voice should no more be heard upon the mountains of Israel.
Thy mother was like a vine, in thy blood, planted by the waters: it was fruitful and full of branches by reason of many waters. And it had strong rods for the sceptres of them that bare rule, and their stature was exalted among the thick boughs, and they were seen in their height with the multitude of their branches. But it was plucked up in fury, it was cast down to the ground, and the east wind dried up its fruit: its strong rods were broken off and withered; the fire consumed them. And now it is planted in the wilderness, in a dry and thirsty land. And fire is gone out of the rods of its branches, it hath devoured its fruit, so that there is in it no strong rod to be a sceptre to rule.
This is a lamentation, and shall be for a lamentation.
Zedekiah had proven traitorous and faithless to his covenant with Nebuchadnezzar. To YHWH, it was the same as being traitorous and faithless against Him. Judgment was coming.
And You Shall Know That I Am YHWH | Episode 17 | Ezekiel 17:1-24
YHWH directed Ezekiel to declare a metaphorical condemnation of Jerusalem. What he uttered proved ribald and vulgar, certainly not suitable for work and remains offensive even to modern sensibilities. But why? To what end?
And You Shall Know That I Am YHWH | Episode 15 | Ezekiel 16:1-34
Grape vines produce wonderful grapes, but what of grape vines themselves? Otherwise pretty worthless! And so Jerusalem proved to be, and destined for fire.
And You Shall Know That I Am YHWH | Episode 14 | Ezekiel 15:1-8
And the word of YHWH came unto me, saying, "Son of man, what is the vine-tree more than any tree, the vine-branch which is among the trees of the forest? Shall wood be taken thereof to make any work? or will men take a pin of it to hang any vessel thereon? Behold, it is cast into the fire for fuel; the fire hath devoured both the ends of it, and the midst of it is burned: is it profitable for any work? Behold, when it was whole, it was meet for no work: how much less, when the fire hath devoured it, and it is burned, shall it yet be meet for any work!"
Therefore thus saith the Lord YHWH: "As the vine-tree among the trees of the forest, which I have given to the fire for fuel, so will I give the inhabitants of Jerusalem. And I will set my face against them; they shall go forth from the fire, but the fire shall devour them; and ye shall know that I am YHWH, when I set my face against them. And I will make the land desolate, because they have committed a trespass, saith the Lord YHWH."
Israel could have its idols or it could serve their God. Judgment was coming, and only the righteous could escape it. God's judgment was righteous; its righteousness would provide cold comfort.
And You Shall Know That I Am YHWH | Episode 13 | Ezekiel 14:1-23
Why did the Israelites not heed what the prophets said? But they did! They listened to prophets. It was just the false prophets they heeded, who promised peace and security for Jerusalem. The false prophets would be excised from Israelite memory, just as Ezekiel prophesied.
And You Shall Know That I Am YHWH | Episode 12 | Ezekiel 13:1-23
The Israelites remained a rebellious house, able to see and hear but refusing to do so. The prince would be humiliated. They presumed the time of judgment was far off, yet it proved very near. Disaster was close at hand.
And You Shall Know That I Am YHWH | Episode 11 | Ezekiel 12:1-28
The abominations and the judgment were one thing. Now Ezekiel saw something truly astonishing and horrifying: the glory of YHWH departed from Jerusalem. He would be a Sanctuary for His people in exile, but all hope for Jerusalem was gone.
And You Shall Know That I Am YHWH | Episode 10 | Ezekiel 10:15-11:25
Ezekiel had been shown the abominations of Jerusalem. Now he would see God's judgment upon it. He would despair of hope for any remnant of Israel.
And You Shall Know That I Am YHWH | Episode 9 | Ezekiel 9:1-10:14
Ezekiel is transported in a vision to see Jerusalem. He would see great abominations. All who heard would understand why YHWH had no other remedy than judgment in His wrath.
And You Shall Know That I Am YHWH | Episode 8 | Ezekiel 8:1-18
And it came to pass in the sixth year, in the sixth month, in the fifth day of the month, as I sat in my house, and the elders of Judah sat before me, that the hand of the Lord YHWH fell there upon me. Then I beheld, and, lo, a likeness as the appearance of fire; from the appearance of his loins and downward, fire; and from his loins and upward, as the appearance of brightness, as it were glowing metal. And he put forth the form of a hand, and took me by a lock of my head; and the Spirit lifted me up between earth and heaven, and brought me in the visions of God to Jerusalem, to the door of the gate of the inner court that looketh toward the north; where was the seat of the image of jealousy, which provoketh to jealousy. And, behold, the glory of the God of Israel was there, according to the appearance that I saw in the plain.
Then said he unto me, "Son of man, lift up thine eyes now the way toward the north."
So I lifted up mine eyes the way toward the north, and behold, northward of the gate of the altar this image of jealousy in the entry.
And he said unto me, "Son of man, seest thou what they do? even the great abominations that the house of Israel do commit here, that I should go far off from my sanctuary? But thou shalt again see yet other great abominations."
And he brought me to the door of the court; and when I looked, behold, a hole in the wall.
Then said he unto me, "Son of man, dig now in the wall:"
and when I had digged in the wall, behold, a door.
And he said unto me, "Go in, and see the wicked abominations that they do here."
So I went in and saw; and behold, every form of creeping things, and abominable beasts, and all the idols of the house of Israel, portrayed upon the wall round about. And there stood before them seventy men of the elders of the house of Israel; and in the midst of them stood Jaazaniah the son of Shaphan, every man with his censer in his hand; and the odor of the cloud of incense went up.
Then said he unto me, "Son of man, hast thou seen what the elders of the house of Israel do in the dark, every man in his chambers of imagery? for they say, 'YHWH seeth us not; YHWH hath forsaken the land.'"
He said also unto me, "Thou shalt again see yet other great abominations which they do."
Then he brought me to the door of the gate of YHWH's house which was toward the north; and behold, there sat the women weeping for Tammuz.
Then said he unto me, "Hast thou seen this, O son of man? thou shalt again see yet greater abominations than these."
And he brought me into the inner court of YHWH's house; and behold, at the door of the temple of YHWH, between the porch and the altar, were about five and twenty men, with their backs toward the temple of Jehovah, and their faces toward the east; and they were worshipping the sun toward the east.
Then he said unto me, Hast thou seen this, "O son of man? Is it a light thing to the house of Judah that they commit the abominations which they commit here? for they have filled the land with violence, and have turned again to provoke me to anger: and, lo, they put the branch to their nose. Therefore will I also deal in wrath; mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity; and though they cry in mine ears with a loud voice, yet will I not hear them."
In the midst of the sign-acts Ezekiel would indict the Israelites for their transgressions. Their idolatry would come at a heavy cost. They had trusted in these gods; they would learn far too late how they would not deliver in the hour of distress.
And You Shall Know That I Am YHWH | Episode 7 | Ezekiel 6:1-7:27
Ezekiel was called upon to endure a most harrowing shave. But it would be nothing like the terror and devastation which he prophesied would come upon his people in Jerusalem.
And You Shall Know That I Am YHWH | Episode 6 | Ezekiel 5:1-17
"And thou, son of man, take thee a sharp sword; as a barber's razor shalt thou take it unto thee, and shalt cause it to pass upon thy head and upon thy beard: then take thee balances to weigh, and divide the hair. A third part shalt thou burn in the fire in the midst of the city, when the days of the siege are fulfilled; and thou shalt take a third part, and smite with the sword round about it; and a third part thou shalt scatter to the wind, and I will draw out a sword after them. And thou shalt take thereof a few in number, and bind them in thy skirts. And of these again shalt thou take, and cast them into the midst of the fire, and burn them in the fire; therefrom shall a fire come forth into all the house of Israel."
Thus saith the Lord YHWH: "This is Jerusalem; I have set her in the midst of the nations, and countries are round about her. And she hath rebelled against mine ordinances in doing wickedness more than the nations, and against my statutes more than the countries that are round about her; for they have rejected mine ordinances, and as for my statutes, they have not walked in them."
Therefore thus saith the Lord YHWH: "Because ye are turbulent more than the nations that are round about you, and have not walked in my statutes, neither have kept mine ordinances, neither have done after the ordinances of the nations that are round about you;"
therefore thus saith the Lord YHWH: "Behold, I, even I, am against thee; and I will execute judgments in the midst of thee in the sight of the nations. And I will do in thee that which I have not done, and whereunto I will not do any more the like, because of all thine abominations. Therefore the fathers shall eat the sons in the midst of thee, and the sons shall eat their fathers; and I will execute judgments on thee; and the whole remnant of thee will I scatter unto all the winds.
"Wherefore, as I live," saith the Lord YHWH, "surely, because thou hast defiled my sanctuary with all thy detestable things, and with all thine abominations, therefore will I also diminish thee; neither shall mine eye spare, and I also will have no pity. A third part of thee shall die with the pestilence, and with famine shall they be consumed in the midst of thee; and a third part shall fall by the sword round about thee; and a third part I will scatter unto all the winds, and will draw out a sword after them. Thus shall mine anger be accomplished, and I will cause my wrath toward them to rest, and I shall be comforted; and they shall know that I, YHWH, have spoken in my zeal, when I have accomplished my wrath upon them. Moreover I will make thee a desolation and a reproach among the nations that are round about thee, in the sight of all that pass by. So it shall be a reproach and a taunt, an instruction and an astonishment, unto the nations that are round about thee, when I shall execute judgments on thee in anger and in wrath, and in wrathful rebukes; (I, YHWH, have spoken it); when I shall send upon them the evil arrows of famine, that are for destruction, which I will send to destroy you. And I will increase the famine upon you, and will break your staff of bread; and I will send upon you famine and evil beasts, and they shall bereave thee; and pestilence and blood shall pass through thee; and I will bring the sword upon thee: I, YHWH, have spoken it."
YHWH began speaking to Israel through Ezekiel through sign-acts. They would not like the fate of Jerusalem he would vividly enact.
And You Shall Know That I Am YHWH | Episode 5 | Ezekiel 4:1-17
"Thou also, son of man, take thee a tile, and lay it before thee, and portray upon it a city, even Jerusalem: and lay siege against it, and build forts against it, and cast up a mound against it; set camps also against it, and plant battering rams against it round about. And take thou unto thee an iron pan, and set it for a wall of iron between thee and the city: and set thy face toward it, and it shall be besieged, and thou shalt lay siege against it. This shall be a sign to the house of Israel. Moreover lie thou upon thy left side, and lay the iniquity of the house of Israel upon it; according to the number of the days that thou shalt lie upon it, thou shalt bear their iniquity. For I have appointed the years of their iniquity to be unto thee a number of days, even three hundred and ninety days: so shalt thou bear the iniquity of the house of Israel. And again, when thou hast accomplished these, thou shalt lie on thy right side, and shalt bear the iniquity of the house of Judah: forty days, each day for a year, have I appointed it unto thee. And thou shalt set thy face toward the siege of Jerusalem, with thine arm uncovered; and thou shalt prophesy against it. And, behold, I lay bands upon thee, and thou shalt not turn thee from one side to the other, till thou hast accomplished the days of thy siege.
Take thou also unto thee wheat, and barley, and beans, and lentils, and millet, and spelt, and put them in one vessel, and make thee bread thereof; according to the number of the days that thou shalt lie upon thy side, even three hundred and ninety days, shalt thou eat thereof. And thy food which thou shalt eat shall be by weight, twenty shekels a day: from time to time shalt thou eat it. And thou shalt drink water by measure, the sixth part of a hin: from time to time shalt thou drink. And thou shalt eat it as barley cakes, and thou shalt bake it in their sight with dung that cometh out of man."
And YHWH said, "Even thus shall the children of Israel eat their bread unclean, among the nations whither I will drive them." Then said "I, Ah Lord YHWH! behold, my soul hath not been polluted; for from my youth up even till now have I not eaten of that which dieth of itself, or is torn of beasts; neither came there abominable flesh into my mouth."
Then he said unto me, "See, I have given thee cow's dung for man's dung, and thou shalt prepare thy bread thereon. Moreover he said unto me, Son of man, behold, I will break the staff of bread in Jerusalem: and they shall eat bread by weight, and with fearfulness; and they shall drink water by measure, and in dismay: that they may want bread and water, and be dismayed one with another, and pine away in their iniquity."
Ezekiel was appointed as a watchman to warn Israel in exile regarding the coming of the Day of YHWH. The Word of YHWH would be the only words he could speak for years. Thus Ezekiel began to represent a sign-act before all Israel in exile regarding their hardness of heart.
And You Shall Know That I Am YHWH | Episode 4 | Ezekiel 3:16-27
And it came to pass at the end of seven days, that the word of YHWH came unto me, saying, "Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me. When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thy hand. Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.
Again, when a righteous man doth turn from his righteousness, and commit iniquity, and I lay a stumblingblock before him, he shall die: because thou hast not given him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteous deeds which he hath done shall not be remembered; but his blood will I require at thy hand. Nevertheless if thou warn the righteous man, that the righteous sin not, and he doth not sin, he shall surely live, because he took warning; and thou hast delivered thy soul."
And the hand of YHWH was there upon me; and he said unto me, "Arise, go forth into the plain, and I will there talk with thee."
Then I arose, and went forth into the plain: and, behold, the glory of YHWH stood there, as the glory which I saw by the river Chebar; and I fell on my face.
Then the Spirit entered into me, and set me upon my feet; and he spake with me, and said unto me, "Go, shut thyself within thy house. But thou, son of man, behold, they shall lay bands upon thee, and shall bind thee with them, and thou shalt not go out among them: and I will make thy tongue cleave to the roof of thy mouth, that thou shalt be dumb, and shalt not be to them a reprover; for they are a rebellious house. But when I speak with thee, I will open thy mouth, and thou shalt say unto them, 'Thus saith the Lord YHWH': He that heareth, let him hear; and he that forbeareth, let him forbear: for they are a rebellious house."
The glory of YHWH appeared to Ezekiel in Babylon. YHWH had not abandoned His people, but they would not like what He had to tell them. YHWH was calling Ezekiel to go and speak to them. It would not be easy.
And You Shall Know That I Am YHWH | Episode 3 | Ezekiel 2:1-3:15
And he said unto me, Son of man, stand upon thy feet, and I will speak with thee. And the Spirit entered into me when he spake unto me, and set me upon my feet; and I heard him that spake unto me.
And he said unto me, "Son of man, I send thee to the children of Israel, to nations that are rebellious, which have rebelled against me: they and their fathers have transgressed against me even unto this very day. And the children are impudent and stiffhearted: I do send thee unto them; and thou shalt say unto them, 'Thus saith the Lord YHWH.' And they, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear, (for they are a rebellious house), yet shall know that there hath been a prophet among them. And thou, son of man, be not afraid of them, neither be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns are with thee, and thou dost dwell among scorpions: be not afraid of their words, nor be dismayed at their looks, though they are a rebellious house. And thou shalt speak my words unto them, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear; for they are most rebellious.
But thou, son of man, hear what I say unto thee; be not thou rebellious like that rebellious house: open thy mouth, and eat that which I give thee. And when I looked, behold, a hand was put forth unto me; and, lo, a roll of a book was therein; and he spread it before me: and it was written within and without; and there were written therein lamentations, and mourning, and woe."
And he said unto me, "Son of man, eat that which thou findest; eat this roll, and go, speak unto the house of Israel."
So I opened my mouth, and he caused me to eat the roll.
And he said unto me, "Son of man, cause thy belly to eat, and fill thy bowels with this roll that I give thee.
Then did I eat it; and it was in my mouth as honey for sweetness.
"And he said unto me, Son of man, go, get thee unto the house of Israel, and speak with my words unto them. For thou art not sent to a people of a strange speech and of a hard language, but to the house of Israel; not to many peoples of a strange speech and of a hard language, whose words thou canst not understand. Surely, if I sent thee to them, they would hearken unto thee. But the house of Israel will not hearken unto thee; for they will not hearken unto me: for all the house of Israel are of a hard forehead and of a stiff heart. Behold, I have made thy face hard against their faces, and thy forehead hard against their foreheads. As an adamant harder than flint have I made thy forehead: fear them not, neither be dismayed at their looks, though they are a rebellious house. Moreover he said unto me, Son of man, all my words that I shall speak unto thee receive in thy heart, and hear with thine ears. And go, get thee to them of the captivity, unto the children of thy people, and speak unto them, and tell them, 'Thus saith the Lord YHWH'; whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear.
Then the Spirit lifted me up, and I heard behind me the voice of a great rushing, saying, "Blessed be the glory of YHWH from his place."
And I heard the noise of the wings of the living creatures as they touched one another, and the noise of the wheels beside them, even the noise of a great rushing.
So the Spirit lifted me up, and took me away; and I went in bitterness, in the heat of my spirit; and the hand of YHWH was strong upon me. Then I came to them of the captivity at Tel-abib, that dwelt by the river Chebar, and to where they dwelt; and I sat there overwhelmed among them seven days.
Ezekiel saw a vision of the likeness of the glory of YHWH at the Chebar canal in Babylon. Much is made of a lot of the detail of the vision; that it was seen, and in Babylon, is of the greatest importance.
And You Shall Know That I am YHWH | Episode 2 | Ezekiel 1:4-28
Some of Judah had gone into exile in 597 BCE; some remained in Jerusalem. In 593 YHWH called Ezekiel the priest in Babylon to speak to His people in exile.
Join us as we begin our exploration into the book of Ezekiel.
And You Shall Know That I Am YHWH | Episode 1 | Ezekiel 1:1-3
Now it came to pass in the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, in the fifth day of the month, as I was among the captives by the river Chebar, that the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God.
In the fifth day of the month, which was the fifth year of king Jehoiachin's captivity, the word of YHWH came expressly unto Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans by the river Chebar; and the hand of YHWH was there upon him.