Study 12 From the Book of Ezekiel is: Ezekiel 18 and 19
The teaching of national retribution in chapter 16 and other passages seems to have raised doubts as to the justice of God’s dealings with individuals (18:2, 29). This is the subject of chapter 18. Chapter 19 is a lament.
- Two fundamental principles are stated in 18:4 in answer to the people’s complaint in 18:2. How would you express these in your own words? What verses in the New Testament can you think of which emphasize the same ideas?
- In the remainder of chapter 18 two questions are answered: (a) Is each man responsible to God for his own acts, and for these alone (see verses 5-20)? (b) If a man turn from his past way of life, will that past affect God’s judgment upon him (see verses 21-29)? How does this teaching reveal not only God’s justice, but also His mercy? Why does it lead on immediately to the call to repentance of verses 30-32?
- Chapter 19 is a lament over three of the kings of Judah. Try to identify these by comparing verses 3 and 4 with 2 Ki. 23:31-34; verses 5-9 with 2 Ki. 24:8-15; and verses 10-14 with 2 Ki. 25:4-11. What did they all have in common?
- 18:6, 11, 15. ‘Eat upon the mountains’: i.e., join in idolatrous forms of worship. Cf. 6:1-4.
- 19:14. The fire which brought destruction sprang from the ruler himself, i.e., Zedekiah. See 17:19-21.