The blessings of Israel

September 15, 2012

The prophecy of Ezekiel chapter 34 distinguishes between the mountains of Israel, and the mountains of other lands.

Ezekiel 34:6 says, “My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and upon every high hill: yea, my flock was scattered upon all the face of the earth, and none did search or seek after them.”

God’s sheep are scattered upon the face of the earth, in tens of thousands of sects and denominations, and ministries, with many different beliefs.

The mountains where these sheep wander, are mountains in other lands. I suggest those foreign mountains are metaphorical, and represent beliefs, theories, philosophies, interpretations, that are alien to the “better land,” which is foreshadowed by the land promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The desolation and forsaking of the better land was foreshadowed by the people of Israel going into exile, where they were ruled by Gentiles. The land of promise was a type of the knowledge of God, and the people of Israel were removed from it because they had not kept the covenant, and the commandments. Daniel said, in his prayer of confession in Babylon,

Daniel 9:4-6
And I prayed unto the Lord my God, and made my confession, and said, O Lord, the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love him, and to them that keep his commandments;
We have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from thy precepts and from thy judgments:
Neither have we hearkened unto thy servants the prophets, which spake in thy name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land.

Ezekiel’s prophecy says that God searches for his sheep, and will bring them back to their land, the land of Israel, where they will feed upon the mountains of Israel by the rivers. They are brought back one by one to the better land of the saints.

Ezekiel 34:13-14
And I will bring them out from the people, and gather them from the countries, and will bring them to their own land, and feed them upon the mountains of Israel by the rivers, and in all the inhabited places of the country.
I will feed them in a good pasture, and upon the high mountains of Israel shall their fold be: there shall they lie in a good fold, and in a fat pasture shall they feed upon the mountains of Israel.

Just as the sheep in the prophecy are not literal sheep, the mountains of Israel in the prophecy are not literal mountains, but they represent God’s blessings, and revelations, and promises to the saints. This was revealed when Jacob blessed his son Joseph. He said: “The blessings of thy father have prevailed above the blessings of my progenitors unto the utmost bound of the everlasting hills.” [Gen. 49:26]

The mountains, being the highest parts of the promised land, represent divine revelations, and promises of a lofty spiritual nature, which are also eternal, and so Jacob associated them with the “everlasting hills.”

At Bethel, where Jacob dreamed of a ladder set up upon the earth and reaching to heaven, and angels ascending and descending on it, God promised to give him the land of Canaan. Jacob anointed the rock which he had used for his pillow, and set it up as a pillar, and called it the house of God. The things he saw and heard in his dream connected the land with God’s revelations. In the centuries following, many revelations were given there, and the land promise, and Israel’s anticipation of the land, and their taking possession of it under Joshua, and governing the land, and loss of the land, when they went into exile in Assyria and Babylon were the focus of those revelations. The Old Testament was the record of all of God’s promises to his people and how they were fulfilled, as well as promises of their ultimate fulfilment in the future.

In the New Testament Jesus alluded to the events at Bethel, in the life of Jacob, and put himself in the place of the land, on which the ladder to heaven was set up, on which the angels ascend and descend. [John 1:47-51]

Ezekiel 35:12 says that blasphemies are spoken about the mountains of Israel. These mountains of Israel are not the literal mountains of Canaan, but the spiritual things that those earthly mountains represent, the promises of God to his saints. These mountains are made desolate, and a people who are unworthy claim to possess them. Ezekiel wrote:

Ezekiel 35:11-13
Therefore, as I live, saith the Lord God, I will even do according to thine anger, and according to thine envy which thou hast used out of thy hatred against them; and I will make myself known among them, when I have judged thee.
And thou shalt know that I am the Lord, and that I have heard all thy blasphemies which thou hast spoken against the mountains of Israel, saying, They are laid desolate, they are given us to consume.
Thus with your mouth ye have boasted against me, and have multiplied your words against me: I have heard them.

This prophecy continues in chapter 36.

Ezekiel 36:1-3
Also, thou son of man, prophesy unto the mountains of Israel, and say, Ye mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord:
Thus saith the Lord God; Because the enemy hath said against you, Aha, even the ancient high places are ours in possession:
Therefore prophesy and say, Thus saith the Lord God; Because they have made you desolate, and swallowed you up on every side, that ye might be a possession unto the residue of the heathen, and ye are taken up in the lips of talkers, and are an infamy of the people:

The phrase “ancient high places” is similar to the phrase used by Jacob in Genesis 49:26, “the utmost bound of the everlasting hills.” The prophecy is about God’s blessings, and promises, and prophecies, which have been made desolate because they are misunderstood and misinterpreted, and wrongly applied. For example, many commentators assume that the mountains in Ezekiel’s prophecies refer to the literal mountains and hills of Canaan, or they represent ethnic Jews. Most do not recognize any symbolic connection between mountains and the blessings of God!

Ezekiel 36:4
Therefore, ye mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord GOD; Thus saith the Lord GOD 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 became a prey and derision to the residue of the heathen that are round about;

The mountains that represent God’s blessings, promises, and prophecies are a prey, when interpreting prophecy is considered a business, and a commercial enterprise. Flawed interpretations and failed predictions make the subject of bible prophecy an object of derision to unbelievers. But Ezekiel said that this will change.

Ezekiel 36:5-8
Therefore thus saith the Lord God; Surely in the fire of my jealousy have I spoken against the residue of the heathen, and against all Idumea, which have appointed my land into their possession with the joy of all their heart, with despiteful minds, to cast it out for a prey.
Prophesy therefore concerning the land of Israel, and say unto the mountains, and to the hills, to the rivers, and to the valleys, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I have spoken in my jealousy and in my fury, because ye have borne the shame of the heathen:
Therefore thus saith the Lord God; I have lifted up mine hand, Surely the heathen that are about you, they shall bear their shame.
But ye, O mountains of Israel, ye shall shoot forth your branches, and yield your fruit to my people of Israel; for they are at hand to come.

The blessings, prophecies and promises of God to his people will be fruitful to the saints, those who are in Christ, not unbelieving ethnic Jews.

The mountains of Israel are also mentioned in the prophecy of Gog and Magog, in Ezekiel 38 and 39.

Ezekiel 38:8
After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them.

The “land brought back from the sword” in the above verse probably alludes to Eden, where a “flaming sword” was set up to “keep the way of the tree of life.” [Genesis 3:24] The “better land” of the saints is often connected with Eden.

The sword represents God’s word.

Ezekiel said the invaders come against the mountains of Israel, which represent God’s blessings to the saints, and promises, and revelations, and they also come against the prophets of Israel.

Ezekiel 38:17
Thus saith the Lord God; Art thou he of whom I have spoken in old time by my servants the prophets of Israel, which prophesied in those days many years that I would bring thee against them?

The invaders come against the prophets, because they misinterpret their words.

Ezekiel 38:21
And I will call for a sword against him throughout all my mountains, saith the Lord GOD: every man’s sword shall be against his brother.

Ezekiel said the invaders will fall “upon the mountains of Israel.” All their flawed interpretations will be destroyed, and discredited.

Ezekiel 39:4
Thou shalt fall upon the mountains of Israel, thou, and all thy bands, and the people that is with thee: I will give thee unto the ravenous birds of every sort, and to the beasts of the field to be devoured.

In this interpretation, the invading hordes of Gog and Magog are the same people as those described by John in Revelation 20.

Revelation 20:7-9
And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,
And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog, and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.
And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.

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