September 11, 2021
"The Word of the Lord came to me: ‘Human being, turn your face against Mount Se’ir, prophesy against it, and say that Adonai Elohim says: I am against you..."
“The Word of the Lord came to me: ‘Human being, turn your face against Mount Se’ir, prophesy against it, and say that Adonai Elohim says: I am against you, Mount Seir. I will stretch out My hand against you and make you utterly desolate. I will make your cities ruins and make you an utter waste, and you will know that I am Adonai. Because of your long-standing hatred, you put the people to the sword at their time of calamity, at the time of utter iniquity.’” Ezekiel 35:1-5
When nations find themselves in difficult situations, their enemies will take advantage of them. It will be very interesting to know who America’s allies will be in 5 years… Following the collapse of Jerusalem, Judah was in no position to fight its enemies to the south. Indeed, the description of things given by Jeremiah is of a land of internal violence.
Edom, one such long-standing enemy to the south-east, saw a golden opportunity to wage war. Ezekiel has already delivered a prophecy against Edom in which he warned of God’s vengeance on them for their betrayal towards Judah in her time of weakness. Now Ezekiel expands on the theme once more.
Since the previous chapter took us to the heights of the glory of Israel’s restoration, why would Ezekiel follow up with repeating a prophecy against Edom? The answer seems to lie in the fact that these chapters were delivered soon after the news of Jerusalem’s collapse had come to Ezekiel. That is to say, at the time he was prophesying of Israel’s restoration, Ezekiel received news that what he prophesied earlier, in chapter 25, was now actually coming to pass. Therefore, he was simply commenting on the Word of the Lord being fulfilled.
We should note that the word “Edom” does not occur at all in this section of prophecy. Rather, “Mount Seir” – the mountainous region east of the Arbah, the rift valley running south from the Dead Sea, where the Edomites lived. Today, this area lies in the Kingdom of Jordan. Chapters 35-36 speak of a contrast between Mount Seir (Edomites) and the “Mountains of Israel” (the Israelites).
Edom was comprised of the descendants of Esau. Israel comprised of the descendants of Jacob. Of course, the Arab peoples were descended from Ishmael. All three of these men were descended from Abraham, as was Jesus, through His mother. (After all, He is God, made flesh) There is a saying, “We are all children of Abraham.” The idea behind the statement is that it doesn’t matter what religion you choose; we are all in right-standing with God. Ezekiel would have issues with that statement because God is distinguishing between “Abraham’s children” throughout this prophecy. He even divides His own people between apostate and “remnant.” “Faithful Abraham” is as “faithful Abraham” does. (Romans 9:6-13) My main take-away from today’s short chapter is that God has a standard by which the World is being judged, and just because He takes His time (in our estimation) getting around to His judgment doesn’t mean it won’t eventually come to pass.