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CHAPTER 36 Oct. 10 
A Prophecy about the Mountains of Israel
You, son of man, prophesy to the mountains of Israel and say, You mountains of Israel, hear the word of Yahweh. 2Thus says the Lord Yahweh: Because the enemy has said against you, Aha! and, The ancient high places are ours in possession; 3therefore prophesy and say, Thus says the Lord Yahweh. Because, even because they have made you desolate and swallowed you up on every side,  so that you became the possession of the rest of the nations, and you became the talk and evil gossip of the nations; 4therefore, you mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord Yahweh. Thus says the Lord Yahweh to the mountains and to the hills, to the rivers and to the valleys, to the desolate wastes and to the cities that are forsaken, which are become a prey and a mockery to the other nations that are all around; 5therefore thus says the Lord Yahweh: Surely in the fire of My jealousy have I spoken against the residue of the nations, and against all Edom, that have appointed My land to themselves for a possession with the joy of all their heart, with despite of soul, to cast it out for a prey. 6Therefore prophesy concerning the land of Israel, and tell to the mountains and to the hills, to the rivers and to the valleys, Thus says the Lord Yahweh: Behold, I have spoken in My zeal and in My wrath, because you have borne the shame of the nations: 7therefore thus says the Lord Yahweh: I have sworn saying, Surely the nations that are around you, they shall bear their shame. 8But you, mountains of Israel, you shall shoot forth your branches and yield your fruit to My people Israel; for they are at hand to return. 9For, behold, I am for you, and I will turn unto you, and you shall be  cultivated and sown; 10and I will multiply men on you, all the house of Israel, even all of it; and the cities shall be inhabited, and the waste places shall be built. 11I will multiply on you man and animal; and they shall increase and be fruitful; and I will cause you to be inhabited after your former manner, and I will do better to you than at your beginnings; and you shall know that I am Yahweh. 12Yes, I will cause men to walk on you, even My people Israel; and they shall possess you, and you shall be their inheritance, and you shall no more henceforth bereave them of children. 13Thus says the Lord Yahweh: Because they say to you, You are a destroyer of men, and have caused bereavement in your nation; 14therefore you shall destroy men no more, neither cause bereavement in your nation any more, says the Lord Yahweh. 15Neither will I let you hear any more the shame of the nations, neither shall you bear the reproach of the peoples any more, neither shall you cause your nation to stumble any more, says the Lord Yahweh. 16Moreover the word of Yahweh came to me saying, 17Son of man, when the people of Israel lived 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. 18Therefore I poured out My wrath on them for the blood which they had poured out on the land, and because they had defiled it with their idols; 19and 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. 20When they came to the nations where they went, they profaned My holy name; in that men said of them, These are the people of Yahweh, and are gone forth out of His land. 21But I had respect for My holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the nations where they went. 22Therefore tell the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord Yahweh: I don’t do this for your sake, house of Israel, but for My holy name, which you have profaned among the nations where you went. 23I will sanctify My great name which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst; and the nations shall know that I am Yahweh, says the Lord Yahweh, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes. 24For I will take you from among the nations, and gather you out of all the countries, and will bring you into your own land. 25I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean: from all your filthiness and from all your idols will I cleanse you. 26I will also give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh. 27I will put My Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you shall keep My laws and do them. 28You shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and you shall be My people, and I will be your God. 29I will save you from all your uncleanness, and I will call for the grain and will multiply it, and lay no famine on you. 30I will multiply the fruit of the tree and the increase of the field, that you may receive no more the reproach of famine among the nations. 31Then you shall remember your evil ways and your doings that were not good; and you shall loathe yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities and for your abominations. 32Not for your sake do I this, says the Lord Yahweh, be it known to you. Be ashamed and confounded for your ways, house of Israel. 33Thus says the Lord Yahweh: In the day that I cleanse you from all your wickedness, I will cause the cities to be inhabited and the waste places shall be built. 34The land that was desolate shall be cultivated whereas it was a desolation in the sight of all who passed by. 35They shall say, This land that was desolate has become like the garden of Eden; and the waste and desolate and ruined cities are fortified and inhabited. 36Then the nations that are left around you shall know that I, Yahweh, have built the ruined places and planted that which was desolate. I, Yahweh, have spoken it, and I will do it. 37Thus says the Lord Yahweh: For this also will I be inquired of by the house of Israel, to do it for them. I will increase them with men like a flock. 38As the flock for sacrifice, as the flock of Jerusalem in her appointed feasts, so shall the wasted cities be filled with flocks of men; and they shall know that I am Yahweh.


36:13 You are a devourer of men- This prophecy is given to the physical land of Israel. It seems the captives in Babylon didn’t want to return after the 70 years because they felt the land itself was somehow evil and would devour them. This is a similar mistake made by Israel in the wilderness, who slandered God’s land rather than accepting it was a land of blessing. Being influenced by worldly superstitions and fears leads many of God’s people to reject the hope of His Kingdom, and prefer to remain in the world rather than taking possession of the good Kingdom prepared for them. But God worked with Judah in their misunderstanding- He promises that from now on, the land will not be like that (:14). This is rather like in New Testament times, Jesus worked with the wrong ideas people had about demons, and demonstrated that even if this was what they feared, they were actually of no power compared to the inbreaking of God’s Kingdom power which was possible for those who believed. 
36:15 Neither shall you cause your nation to stumble any more- The Jews blamed the high places of the land of Israel for having bereaved them of their children (:13) and having made them stumble; but it was in fact they who had chosen to go up to the high places, build altars there for false gods, and sacrifice their children to them. God doesn’t specifically correct them, although He privately explains the real situation to Ezekiel (:17,18); rather He works through that wrong idea, supposing for a moment it were true, but assuring the people that this will no longer be the case- just as Jesus did by using the language of demons when He did healing miracles, without specifically stating the basic truth that demons in fact don’t exist.
36:27 Cause you to walk in My statutes - Entering the new covenant which God here proposed to His people involved Him promising to make them be obedient to His ways. We who have entered this same new covenant (Heb. 8:8-13) are likewise party to this same operation of God on human hearts- if we want it.
36:27-29 A new spirit was potentially given to the exiles who returned from Babylon, God put in the heart of men like Nehemiah to revive the work (Neh. 2:12 same Hebrew word). But this didn’t force them to be obedient. They chose not to be, and so the promised kingdom blessings of corn etc. were replaced by famines in the times of Nehemiah, Haggai and Malachi.
36:33 This says that although Judah had profaned God’s Name in Babylon, yet He would sprinkle their hearts by grace and make the new covenant with them; and then, “In the day that I cleanse you from all your iniquities, I will cause the cities to be inhabited”. But in recorded history, there was no apparent connection between Judah’s forgiveness and the rebuilding of the land. God enabled the exiles to return and rebuild the cities even though they didn’t repent; such was His grace and urgent desire to give His spiritually weak people the Kingdom He had potentially prepared for them. We can take strong encouragement from this.