SOURCE FOR QUESTIONS
Ezekiel 25:1 through 32:32
KEY VERSE FOR MEMORIZATION
“And I will execute great vengeance upon them with furious rebukes; and they shall know that I am the Lord, when I shall lay my vengeance upon them.” (Ezekiel 25:17)
After relaying God’s messages of judgment to the Jewish people in previous chapters, the focus shifts in Ezekiel 25-32 as God directed the prophet to proclaim judgment upon surrounding nations. Oracles were given to seven places — Ammon, Moab, Edom, Philistia, Tyre, Sidon, and Egypt. Brief mention is also made of several additional areas.
Most of these nations bordered Judah, and they exemplified hostility toward her. God would judge them for their attitudes and aggression against His people, along with their own sins of pride and materialism. Judah’s disobedience had resulted in God’s stern rebuke and the people’s eventual captivity, and God indicated that the punishment of these other nations would be just as severe.
These neighboring countries may not have realized that the recent overthrow of Judah by Babylon was not merely a judgment upon the Jews; it was also a warning to their own countries. Although God had focused first on the sins of His people, He would not ignore the pagan nations around them that had also sinned.
Babylon was not included among the nations addressed in these chapters. While the reason for this is not given, perhaps it was because God was using the Babylonians to execute His judgment. In Ezekiel’s time, Babylon had already or would soon conquer all of these countries.
These chapters contain several important lessons:
• God is sovereign over all people and nations.
• God is just. He takes note of evil and punishes it in His own time and way.
• God sometimes uses unrighteous nations or people as His instruments of judgment.
• God’s moral law is universal and all will be judged by His standards.
A recurring theme in these messages is “they shall know that I am the Lord God.” Still today, God wants every person to understand that He is over all and is worthy of obedience, worship, and praise. Every soul will recognize this in eternity. We want to learn from the fate of Judah’s neighbors, and give God His rightful place in our lives.
- In chapter 25, Ezekiel delivered messages against Ammon, Moab, Edom, and Philistia. What was the sin of these nations, and what punishment was predicted?
- Ammon (verses 2-7)
- Moab (verses 8-11)
- Edom (verses 12-14)
- Philistia (verses 15-17)
- The messages of judgment delivered to Edom and Philistia in Ezekiel 25:12-17 include eight instances of the words vengeance and revenge. What is the definition of “vengeance”? How can we avoid God’s vengeance in our lives?
- Chapters 26-28 address Tyre, also called Tyrus, which was the capitol of Phoenicia. Built in two sections — part on an island and part on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea — the city was a commercial hub whose mariners were renowned. Greed and materialism were among the sins of Tyre. Its people were self-sufficient and intent upon obtaining wealth and all the pleasures and benefits that riches could buy. As a result, God said Tyre would be demolished. Greed and materialism continue to be a trap in our time. What could be some of the signs of a materialistic focus, and how can we prevent it in our lives?
- Chapter 27 describes Tyre’s magnificent ships, her adept mariners, and the costly merchandise that she traded. While there was much about the city to admire, God condemned Tyre for boasting, “I am of perfect beauty” (Ezekiel 27:3). The king of Tyre (also called the prince) exemplified pride as well. Ezekiel 28:2 says he considered himself to be a god and believed he had become wealthy by his own wisdom and understanding. Ultimately, pride was what caused God to determine the downfall of Tyre and its king. What is the difference between the pride that God hates and will judge, and a sense of satisfaction about a job well done?
- Zidon (also called Sidon) was a Phoenician town about twenty miles north of Tyre. While its sin is not named, Ezekiel 28:24 indicates that disdain for Israel may have been one of its problems. What did the prophecy say would happen to Zidon, and what would the people understand as a result? Ezekiel 28:22-23
- The last few verses of chapter 28 extend a message of hope to the people of Israel. What was the promise given to them? Ezekiel 28:25-26
- Chapters 29-32 contain seven messages of judgment against Egypt. In Ezekiel’s time, Pharoah and the Egyptian empire were mighty forces in the world, second only to Babylon. However, God instructed the prophet to “take up a lamentation for Pharaoh” (32:2) and “wail for the multitude of Egypt” (32:18). In Ezekiel 32:11-12, what did God say would happen to Egypt? Given the many grievous sins of Pharaoh and Egypt, what do you think God’s instruction for Ezekiel to feel sorrow for them reveals about His nature?
- Egypt had a long history of interaction with Israel, and as a result, the nation had experienced both God’s favor and His judgment. During the time of Joseph, the Egyptians enjoyed the benevolence and blessing of God. Years later, when Pharoah and his people hardened their hearts against God during the time of Moses, God sent judgment in the form of devastating plagues and the eventual drowning of the Egyptian army in the Red Sea. In Ezekiel’s time, the Egyptians had watched God’s judgment unfold upon the nation of Judah. Egypt should have understood that rebellion against God always brings consequences. In our day, many people have heard the Gospel, yet do not follow God’s instructions. How can we learn from the Egyptians and be sure that we heed what God says? And how can we encourage others, including the unsaved, to heed also?
The Bible says that all nations and people will one day be humbled before God, and only the righteous will enjoy His eternal blessings. The judgments that fell upon the nations in today’s text should both warn and encourage all those who honor God.