their wickedness while remaining in their own sin. They needed, every single one of
them, to turn from their evil ways (33:11).
In all the oracles of judgment, concerning Israel and the rest of the nations, the
great underlying strategy is that all involved might come to know who Yahweh really is
and humbly respond to Him in faith. Hence, the continual repetition of the phrase “they
shall know that I am Yahweh.” This is the underlying reason for all the messages to the
various nations with respect to their culpability before the Lord. God’s intent is to bring
the blessing of Abraham to all the families of the earth. Thus, He is always working,
through both salvation and judgment, to bring people to an understanding of that great
Ezekiel proclaims hope and encouragement for Judah in the future (33:21—48:35).
Jerusalem’s captivity is announced, thus shifting Ezekiel’s focus (33:21–
Finally, the extensively predicted and enacted judgment of Jerusalem is com-
pleted, as announced by an escaped messenger (33:21). This allows Ezekiel the liberty of
turning his attention completely to Israel’s eschatological hope, communicated in two
main sections dealing with the restoration of the people and the eschatological temple.12
Ezekiel had continually maintained that Yahweh’s judgment of His people and His city
was disciplinary and restorative. Now that the reality of that discipline had really begun
to set in the restoration could be prophetically depicted.
12 Each section begins with a date notation (33:21; 40:1) with a minor division at 37:1 marked off by the phrase “the hand of the Lord.”