For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
Romans 15:4



A Bible Study - Commentary by Jim Melough

Copyright 2003 James Melough

25:1.  “The word of the Lord came again unto me, saying,”


25:2.  “Son of man, set thy face against the Ammonites, and prophesy against them;”


With Jerusalem besieged and about to be destroyed, Ezekiel was commanded to deliver warnings to the Gentile nations, for if God’s own people were to be punished for their sin, then so must the nations also suffer His wrath.


The first prophecy concerned the Ammonites who were descended from Ben-ammi the incestuously begotten son of Lot by his younger daughter, Ge 19:38, and who were therefore blood relatives of the Israelites, but nonetheless their bitterest enemies.  Their territory lay east of the Dead Sea and of the southern end of the Jordan river, being separated from them by the territory of Sihon.


25:3.  “And say unto the Ammonites, Hear the word of the Lord God; Thus saith the Lord God; Because thou saidst, Aha, against my sanctuary, when it was profaned; and against the land of Israel, when it was desolate; and against the house of Judah, when they went into captivity;”


The Ammonites had gloated exultingly when the Babylonians had invaded Judah, desecrating the Temple, devastating the land, and carrying the survivors of the slaughter away as captives.


25:4.  “Behold, therefore I will deliver thee to the men of the east for a possession, and they shall set their palaces in thee, and make their dwellings in thee: they shall eat thy fruit, and they shall drink thy milk.”


The men of the east were the fierce Arab nomads who inhabited the great Arabian desert east of Palestine, and it was into their hands that God was about to deliver the Ammonites.  The invaders would overrun the land, settling in it and taking possession of cities, towns, villages, farms, pastures, crops, and flocks and herds of the Ammonites.


25:5.  “And I will make Rabbah a stable for camels, and the Ammonites a couching place for flocks: and ye shall know that I am the Lord.”


Rabbah was the capital city of the Ammonites, located about thirty miles north-east of the northern end of the Dead Sea and about the same distance east of the Jordan River.  It and its surrounding villages were to be reduced to ruins, the whole area becoming grazing for camels and sheep and goats.  The fulfillment of the prophecy would be proof that the One Who had given it was the Lord, Jehovah.


25:6.  “For thus saith the Lord God; Because thou hast clapped thine hands, and stamped with the feet, and rejoiced in heart with all thy despite against the land of Israel;”


25:7.  “Behold, therefore I will stretch out mine hand upon thee, and will deliver thee for a spoil to the heathen (nations); and I will cut thee off from the people, and I will cause thee to perish out of the countries: I will destroy thee; and thou shalt know that I am the Lord.”


The Ammonites had exulted with malicious delight at Israel’s misfortune, and because they had, God was going to destroy them, delivering them into the hands of those who would plunder them of everything they possessed until they ceased to exist as a nation and as a country.


25:8.  “Thus saith the Lord God; Because that Moab and Seir do say, Behold, the house of Judah is like unto all the heathen;”


In the days of Ezekiel Moab was bounded on the west by the Dead Sea, on the north by the kingdom of the Ammonites, on the south by the Edomites, sometimes called Seir, and on the east by the great Arabian desert.  Because Moab and Edom (Seir) had disparaged Judah, saying that she was no different from any other nation, God would also punish them.


25:9.  “Therefore, behold, I will open the side of Moab from the cities, from his cities which are on his frontiers, the glory of the country, Beth-jeshimoth, Baal-meon, and Kiriathaim,”


These cities lay on Moab’s eastern border and were her first line of defense between her and the fierce Arab nomads who dwelt in the great Arabian desert.  God was about to destroy that defense and expose her to Arab depredation.


25:10.  “Unto the men of the east with the Ammonites, and will give them in possession, that the Ammonites may not be remembered among the nations.”


The Ammonites as well as the Moabites were to be delivered into the hand of the Arab invaders, so that both would cease to exist as nations.


25:11.  “And I will execute judgments upon Moab; and they shall know that I am the Lord.”


God’s punishment of the Moabites would cause them to know Him as the omnipotent Jehovah, and it is instructive to note how often His activity is directed to that same end.  He would have all men know Him as the Almighty Who blesses obedience, and punishes disobedience.


25:12.  “Thus saith the Lord God; Because that Edom hath dealt against the house of Judah by taking vengeance, and hath greatly offended, and revenged himself upon them;”


25:13.  “Therefore thus saith the Lord God; I will also stretch out mine hand upon Edom, and will cut off man and beast from it; and I will make it desolate from Teman; and they of Dedan shall fall by the sword.”


Edom, descended from Esau, Jacob’s twin brother, was also to feel the weight of God’s displeasure, for beginning with her refusal to permit Israel passage through her land during the Exodus, her antagonism continued unabated through the years, and ended only when she herself in the intertestamental era was driven out by the Nabateans and forced to migrate into Israel where she was compelled to convert to Judaism, following which she was  gradually absorbed into Israel, thus losing not only her land but also her national identity.


Teman was an Edomite city located about 3 miles from Petra (Sela); and Dedan was a district southeast of Edom in northern Arabia.


25:14.  “And I will lay my vengeance upon Edom by the hand of my people Israel: and they shall do in Edom according to mine anger and according to my fury; and they shall know my vengeance, saith the Lord God.”


This seems to have reference to what has been mentioned in connection with the preceding verse, i.e., Israel’s compelling the fugitive Edomites to convert to Judaism.


25:15.  “Thus saith the Lord God; Because the Philistines have dealt by revenge, and have taken vengeance with a despiteful heart, to destroy it for the old hatred;”


25:16.  “Therefore thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I will stretch out mine hand upon the Philistines, and I will cut off the Cherethims, and destroy the remnant of the sea coast.”


25:17.  “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.”


There was always bitter hatred between Israel and the Philistines who resented Israel’s settlement in Canaan, but in the intertestamental era they just gradually faded out of the historical picture leaving no trace of their existence.  “Cherethims,” incidentally, is a synonym for Philistines.

[Ezekiel 26]


     Scripture portions taken from the Holy Bible, King James Version
© 2000-2005 James Melough