The New Covenant Prophesied: Ezekiel 36

For I will take you from among the nations, and gather you out of all the countries, and will bring you into your own land. I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. I will also give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh. I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and you shall keep my ordinances, and do them. (Ezekiel 36:24-27)

What an excellent prophecy of the New Covenant!

This prophecy covers:

  1. The admission of the Gentiles: “I will take you from among the nations.” (cf. Eph. 3:4-6; “Gentiles” and “nations” are the same word in Greek)
  2. Baptism: “I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean.” (cf. Acts 22:16)
  3. The new birth and spiritual circumcision: “I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh.”(cf. Jn. 3:3-8; Rom. 2:28-29)
  4. The Holy Spirit for everyone: “I will put my Spirit within you …” (cf. Acts 2:16-18)
  5. Grace which delivers from sin: “… and cause you to walk in my statutes, and you will keep my ordinances and do them.” (cf. Rom. 6:14; Tit. 2:11-12)

The one big thing not mentioned here is the forgiveness of sins, but Ezekiel goes on to cover that, too, in the midst of promises to restore a land to dwell in:

“Thus says the Lord Yahweh: In the day that I cleanse you from all your iniquities, I will cause the cities to be inhabited, and the waste places shall be built.” (Ezek. 36:33)

If you’re wondering what cities and what built-up waste places, then I have been remiss. I need to write more, I think, in interpreting the Law and the Prophets.

Quick Lesson on Interpretation of the Hebrew Scriptures

The early Christians quoted Isaiah 2:3 and Micah 4:2 as much as any other verse in the Hebrew Scriptures:

“Many peoples shall go and say,
‘Come, let’s go up to the mountain of Yahweh,
to the house of the God of Jacob;
and he will teach us of his ways,
and we will walk in his paths.’
For out of Zion the law shall go out,
and Yahweh’s word from Jerusalem.”

Jerusalem was demolished in A.D. 70. That didn’t stop the churches from quoting this prophecy and applying it to the Gospel. The apostles did deliver the law—Christ’s new law (Heb. 7:12)—and God’s word from Jerusalem. They delivered it to all nations.

The mountain of Yahweh in this passage is not Jerusalem, however. At least, it is not earthly Jerusalem. The writer of Hebrews tells us:

“For you have not come to a mountain that might be touched, and that burned with fire … But you have come to Mount Zion, and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem.” (Heb. 12:18,22)

This city, the city of the living God, is the one that the church is building up. It is made of living stones, and when it is done, it will descend from heaven as the beauty of the whole earth, so huge that it appears in prophecy as a 1500-mile cube (Rev. 21:2,16).

Remember, what was promised to fleshly Israel under the Old Covenant is an earthly shadow of the heavenly things that are promised to spiritual Israel under the New Covenant.

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One Response to The New Covenant Prophesied: Ezekiel 36

  1. Buckstop77 says:

    Good stuff. More, please.

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