Scriptural text: Ezekiel 37:15-28
Lesson Context: The theme for this lesson is “God’s Servant-King,” and it comes from the prophet Ezekiel. Ezekiel was a prophet whom God called from among those who were taken into Babylonian captivity in the 6th century B.C. He was called to give hope to his fellow exiles.
Return to the Land (Ezekiel 37:21-25):
Regathering (v. 21). V. 21a. “And say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God.” The explanation, which now begins, is introduced by the familiar declarative phrase Thus saith the Lord. The speaker is authenticated, the Lord.
21b. “Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and I will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land.” They shall not be divided any more into separate kingdoms; the consequences of which was, their setting up separate ways of worship, and espousing separate interests. This promise was in a great degree fulfilled in the restoration of the Jews to their own land from their captivity in Babylon. Many of the house of Israel returned with the house of Judah, and were united in one body with them, and were under one and the same governor, Zerubbabal.
Reunification (v.22). “And I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel and one king shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all.” When no longer divided between the northern kingdom of Israel and the southern kingdom of Judah, the people would enjoy a renewed unity. This reunification would happen under one kingdom in distinction to the kings that had characterized divided between 931 and 722 BC.
Rededication (v. 23). v. 23a. “Neither shall they defile themselves any more with their idols, nor with their detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions.” The forthcoming restoration was also to be characterized by the end of idolatry in all forms. The verse at hand features two words that refer to false gods. The first, translated idols, is Ezekiel’s favorite in this regard. The second word, translated detestable things, this word is also translated “abomination.” The worship of false gods was the prime reason for all of the Israelites’ other problems. It had led to the defilement of the land in general and of the temple in particular (8:1-16). Cleaning the land and the temple of such religious filth would be important. Cleaning idolatry from hearts would be all the more so.
Reign (v. 24). 24a. “And David my servant shall be over them.” Here, David personally is described as their king and shepherd.
Covenant of Peace (Ezekiel 37:26-28).
Permanent Sanctuary (vv. 26-27). “Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them it shall be an everlasting covenant with them: and I will place them, and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore.” Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them…” So the covenant of peace is called, one principal article of which is peace and reconciliation made between God and his people by the blood of Christ, agreed on in that covenant from whence it has the name. Now here it signifies that this covenant should be made known by the covenant of Jews, and their interest in it; in virtue of which they shall see that peace is made to them by the blood of Christ, and shall have a true conscience of peace in themselves.
References: Enduring Word Bible Commentary, Gill’s Bible Commentary, Matthew Henry Bible Commentary, KJV 2022-2023 International Sunday School Lessons