Proclamation Against Israel’s Enemies

“Vengeance is a passion to get even. It is a hot desire to give back as much pain as someone gives you. The problem with revenge is that it never gets what it wants; it never evens the score. Fairness never comes. The chain reaction set off by every act of vengeance al … More

Vengeance

These four nations (Ammon, Moab, Edom & Philistia) were geographically closer and historically more intimately connected with direct and open hostility to Israel. The prophecies should probably be dated after the destruction of Jerusalem. These nations were a constant threat to Israel’s restoration. We can visualize the prophet as he stands imaginatively in the ruins of the city and makes a semicircle in his thrust of prophetic messages. Beginning with Ammon, he moves in a clockwise motion and finishes with the message against Philistia.

The Ammonites and Moabites were the descendants of the two sons of Lot by the incestuous relationship with his daughters (Gen. 19:30-38). Fellowship between them and Israel was strained for centuries. There were frequent conflicts and wars. Ezekiel is definite in specifying their actual sin. It was the destruction of the Temple when Jerusalem was sacked in 586 b.c. Edom was actually more closely kin to Israel than Moab or Ammon. The inhabitants were descendants of Esau, brother of Jacob. Herod the Great of New Testament days was an Edomite.

Most scholars believe the Philistines came from Crete about 1500 b.c. They were non-Semitic and became the perpetual enemies of Israel. Their country was about fifty miles long on the western coast of Palestine. They lived mainly in five fortified cities (Gaza, Gath, Ashkelon, Ashdod, and Ekron) and were a constant menace to the Israelites. The prophet is not quite as definite concerning their fate as that of the others. He does, however, make it clear they will be extinguished. The verdict of history is that no group of people can oppose God and his purpose without suffering dire consequences. There is a moral law within the universe which guarantees evil will be destroyed. Sin contains within it the germ of its own self-destruction. Evil must be destroyed. The world must come to know and recognize God’s presence and his eventual triumph over all entrenched evil.

Application

“Vengeance is mine saith the Lord.” I never want to be a person who tries to get even.

Ezekiel 25:8-17 (English Standard Version)

"Thus says the Lord GOD: Because Moab and Seir said, 'Behold, the house of Judah is like all the other nations,' therefore I will lay open the flank of Moab from the cities, from its cities on its frontier, the glory of the country, Beth-jeshimoth, Baal-meon, and Kiriathaim. I will give it along with the Ammonites to the people of the East as a possession, that the Ammonites may be remembered no more among the nations, and I will execute judgments upon Moab. Then they will know that I am the LORD. "Thus says the Lord GOD: Because Edom acted revengefully against the house of Judah and has grievously offended in taking vengeance on them, therefore thus says the Lord GOD, I will stretch out my hand against Edom and cut off from it man and beast. And I will make it desolate; from Teman even to Dedan they shall 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 my anger and according to my wrath, and they shall know my vengeance, declares the Lord GOD. "Thus says the Lord GOD: Because the Philistines acted revengefully and took vengeance with malice of soul to destroy in never-ending enmity, therefore thus says the Lord GOD, Behold, I will stretch out my hand against the Philistines, and I will cut off the Cherethites and destroy the rest of the seacoast. I will execute great vengeance on them with wrathful rebukes. Then they will know that I am the LORD, when I lay my vengeance upon them."

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