Ezekiel (Ch 19-20)

The house of Israel verses the house of Judah

Although Isaiah 8:14 refers to “both houses of Israel” or the “two houses of Israel” it implies the single house of Jacob, the full twelve tribes.

But Jacob was given a new name, Israel, in which the full house of Israel as in Ezekiel 20:40, the twelve tribes are all included. And after King Solomon, the single house of Jacob or now call Israel was broken into two, the kingdom of Israel and the kingdom of Judah.

Hence, the names of the two houses are separated, namely the 10-tribes “house of Israel” and the 2-tribes “house of Judah.” Further, the “two houses of Israel” in Isaiah 8:14 is redefined as “the house of Jacob” in Isaiah 8:17.

State it in another way in more details, the word “Israel” has four (or even five) possible meanings:

(1) Israel in place of Jacob, since the angel gave Jacob a new name, Israel;

(2) the children of Israel, or all the house of Israel as in Ezekiel 20:40 in the sense of all the progeny of Jacob, all twelve tribes; sometimes expressed as the “whole house of Israel;”

(3) the “two houses of Israel” in Isaiah 8:14 or “both houses of Israel” would mean the ‘first’ house of Israel as the house of 10-tribes Israel; and the ‘second’ house of Israel as the 2-tribes house of Judah;

(4) the ‘second’ house of Israel as the 2-tribes house of Judah; this happened during Rehoboam reign when the kingdom was broken into the house of Israel (north) and the house of Judah (south); in this context, the house of Israel could be the 2-tribes Israel as in Ezekiel 8:6,11,12 and Matthew 15:24;

(5) Israel, the modern state of Israel, established in 1917 by the Balfour declaration and gained independence in 1948.

In understanding prophecies, the second and third meanings are mostly in use; the fourth very rarely. Still, it may seem confusing, but one should be able to separate the two by sounding out the context.


Chapter 19 starts with a riddle of a lioness with her two whelps among other young lions. So what does each of them represent? The riddle seems to be a prophecy over the complexities of the house of Israel and the royal house of Judah spread out over the next two and a half thousands years. The scepter, which belongs to the royal house of Judah, are mentioned only twice in the book of Ezekiel, both in this chapter. And earlier, we have established that this Ezekiel prophecy was for a time far into the future (Ezekiel 12:27). In fact it’s for the endtime, our time, and so here it is.

Coffman commented that this chapter is a dirge (a lament for the dead, especially one forming part of a funeral rite) written by Ezekiel as a prophetic funeral for the earthly end of the House of David. As Cooke stated it:

“Ezekiel could write fine poetry when he chose; and on this occasion the impulse came from a mixed emotion, his pride in the royal house of Judah, and his pity for the misfortunes of the young princes.”

Correction; not the royal house of Judah as Cooke says, but “for the princes of Israel” as the first verse below shows.

Ezekiel 19

The best book to have expounded this riddle is “Judah’s Sceptre and Joseph’s Birthright” by J.H. Allen (1847-1930).

In summary, this riddle is a continuation of chapter 17 concerning a mysterious prophecy regarding both the house of Judah and the house of Israel. Here in this chapter it shows how the planting and rebuilding of David’s throne had survived beyond captivity into the land of Israel and beyond.

1“Moreover take thou up a lamentation for the princes of Israel, — so this chapter is a lamentation; notice it started at the beginning with a lamentation and at the end it says: “This is a lamentation and shall be a lamentation,” for the princes of Israel; but who are the princes of Israel?

— from Ezekiel 11:1 these are not those who administer his temple, but further out; that is, rulers and governor; cities chiefs; mayors and their rich and influential: “princes” of a city; and the likes of Bill Gates, George Soros, Michael Bloomberg, Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk and Rupert Murdoch; but most important, the Rothschilds, who spaned many generations centered in the City of London.

— but princes of Israel in this chapter are from the royal house of Judah but sprung off into the land of Israel and beyond; kings and princes who were entrusted with power and authority to exercise the laws of the nation; and who should have been wise counsellors of the people, but to God, these are the men who give wicked counsel and Ezekiel was asked to mourn for them!

2 and say: “‘What is thy mother? A lioness: she lay down among lions; she nourished her whelps among young lions. — this indicates an original royal family that had spread her wings over many nations.

3 And she brought up one of her whelps; it became a young lion, and it learned to catch the prey; it devoured men.

A Lioness and her Cubs

4 The nations also heard of him; he was taken in their pit, and they brought him with chains unto the land of Egypt. — this young lion could well be Joseph, who was sold as a slave into Egypt, later his sons, headed by Ephraim, the younger yet the ‘firstborn’ of Joseph, were to led the house of Israel.

5 Now when she saw that she had waited, and her hope was lost, then she took another of her whelps, and made him a young lion. — the house of Israel, headed by Ephraim, went into captivity, the lioness waited but her hope was lost as this young lion never came back; so the mother’s hope now lies with another whelp; the house of Judah.

6 And he went up and down among the lions; he became a young lion, and learned to catch the prey and devoured men. — the house of Judah grew and became a nation.

7 And he knew their desolate palaces, and he laid waste their cities; and the land was desolate and the fullness thereof by the noise of his roaring. — the subject ‘he’ is now her enemies, Judah’s enemies.

8 Then the nations set against him on every side from the provinces, and spread their net over him; he was taken in their pit. — first the Assyrians came to lay a siege against the house of Judah but they were repelled off. A while later the Chaldeans came and managed to conquer this young nation.

9 And they put him under guard in chains (put him in a cage as some versions say), and brought him to the king of Babylon. They brought him into prison, that his voice should no more be heard upon the mountains of Israel. — this young lion, “brought to the king of Babylon,” is clearly established to be house of Judah, the scepter holder, but its royal family had vanished;

— no more be heard upon the mountains of Israel; but yes, upon only a smaller hill of Israel: Ireland.

10 “‘Thy mother is like a vine in thy blood, planted by the waters; she was fruitful and full of branches by reason of many waters. — thy mother is like a vine in thy blood; having royal blood, this lioness is the royal family that had established herself over many nations.

11 And she had strong rods for the scepters of them that bore rule; and her stature was exalted among the thick branches, and she appeared in her height with the multitude of her branches. — a rod or scepter is an emblem of authority; with numerous offspring and prosperity this royal family would split and spread into numerous other royal families that ruled over many nations in throughout Europe, both East and West.

12 But she was plucked up in fury; she was cast down to the ground, and the east wind dried up her fruit. Her strong rods were broken and withered; the fire consumed them. — many of the royal families were overcame “cast down” by revolutions: – France (1830), Portugal (1910), Russia (1917), Germany (1918), Hungary (1918), Italy (1946), Romania (1947), Greece (1974); – they withered and fire consumed them; their monarchies died one way or another, these nations all became republics.

13 And now she is planted in the wilderness, in a dry and thirsty ground. — a few royal families remains, planted on dry and thirsty ground; powerless and without authority; instead or rule they only reign; that is, in name only: Britain, Spain, Denmark, Belgium, Netherlands, Norway and Sweden.

14 And fire has gone out from a rod of her branches, which hath devoured her fruit, so that she hath no strong rod to be a scepter to rule.’ This is a lamentation, and shall be for a lamentation.” — and fire is gone out of a rod of her; this speaks of the destruction of the royal family; she hath no strong rod; few of the royal blood of Judah or only weak ones will be left. And from that time onward, perhaps, no new royals would ever sat upon the throne of Israel;

— those that remains would end up in captivity too as fire would consume them. This chapter starts with lamentation and ends with lamentation; that is, dark days also lay ahead for their children as fire is ready to devour them as it devours her fruit. As the catastrophe shall be so complete, there will be a lot of mourning as lamentation will be compounded by further lamentation.

Ezekiel 20

This chapter is a continuation of lamentation for the princes and people of the house of Israel, on account of what had already befallen them, and what was yet to come.

Among God’s concerns, hallowing or polluting the Sabbaths being the main issue, mentioned six times (verses 12,13,16,20,21,24) in this chapter alone, more than in any other chapters.

These are those that are left after one third died of famine and pestilence, another third of the sword, and these are those left over or those that survive in captivity.

More on (1) Ephraim / The United States; (2) Ephraim and Manasseh

1 And it came to pass in the seventh year, in the fifth month, the tenth day of the month, that certain of the elders of Israel came to inquire of the Lord, and sat before me. — these were either some of the elders that were carried captive, who came to inquire how long they should continue in exile; or what methods they should use to free themselves from it;

— and sat before me; it is usually after some great calamities would these elders humble themselves and come to seek the Lord, by which time (verse 3 below) Ezekiel is forbidden to tell them that he would not be inquired of by them. During peace time these same people are usually contented to ignore God.

2 Then came the word of the Lord unto me, saying,

3 “Son of man, speak unto the elders of Israel and say unto them, ‘Thus saith the Lord God: Have ye come to inquire of Me? As I live, saith the Lord God, I will not be inquired of by you.’ — as I live, saith the Lord God, I will not be inquired of by you; knowing their wickedness and hypocrisy, which were detestable to him, and therefore would not hear what they had to say, nor give them any answer, or direct them what they should do.

4 Wilt thou judge them, son of man, wilt thou judge them? Cause them to know the abominations of their fathers; — cause them to know the abominations of their fathers: God reminded them of the sins which were abominable in themselves and unto God, by which they would be led to see the abominable evils which they also had been guilty of, in which they had imitated their fathers.

5 and say unto them, ‘Thus saith the Lord God: On the day when I chose Israel, and lifted up Mine hand unto the seed of the house of Jacob, and made Myself known unto them in the land of Egypt, when I lifted up Mine hand unto them, saying, “I am the Lord your God.” — here begins the account of their fathers; of God’s unmerited goodness to them since their deliverance from Egypt, and of their sins and how it fared with them.

6 on the day that I lifted up Mine hand unto them to bring them forth out of the land of Egypt into a land that I had espied for them, flowing with milk and honey, which is the glory of all lands, — which is the glory of all lands; that is, either which fertility, signified by milk and honey, is the glory of all lands, being so fruitful, is more glorious or desirable than any other country; it greatly surpassing all others in its situation, soil, and climate.

— the Targum says, “which is the praise of all provinces:” that is, was praised and commended by the inhabitants of all other provinces for the plenty in it; which must needs be very great, to support so large a number of inhabitants in it, and yet its compass but small.

7 then said I unto them: “Cast away every man of ye the abominations of his eyes, and defile not yourselves with the idols of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.” — evidence from this verse shows the Israelites were still deeply indulged in things Egypt’s; the golden calf being the principle idol.

8 But they rebelled against Me and would not hearken unto Me. They did not every man cast away the abominations of their eyes, neither did they forsake the idols of Egypt. “‘Then I said, “I will pour out My fury upon them, to accomplish My anger against them in the midst of the land of Egypt.”

9 But I wrought for My name’s sake, that it should not be polluted before the nations among whom they were, in whose sight I made Myself known unto them in bringing them forth out of the land of Egypt.

— “I wrought for my name’s sake…” this is a reference to the fact that God on several occasions did not judge Israel according to what they certainly deserved; but, that in order to prevent the nations from questioning God’s ability to protect his people, simply went on and blessed them in spite of their sins. Two examples of this are found in Exodus 32:12 and in Numbers 14:16.

10 Therefore I caused them to go forth out of the land of Egypt and brought them into the wilderness.

11 And I gave them My statutes and showed them My judgements, which if a man do, he shall even live in them. — God’s statutes and Judgements are dedicated to his servants to implement, starting with the Great Assembly, later the Sanhedrin. Today this Sanhedrin has been re-established here, inheriting and embedded with the following mandates:

Deuteronomy 16:18 “Judges and officers shalt thou make thee in all thy gates which the Lord thy God giveth thee, throughout thy tribes; and they shall judge the people with just judgement.

19 Thou shalt not distort judgement; thou shalt not respect persons, neither take a bribe; for a bribe doth blind the eyes of the wise and pervert the words of the righteous.

Deuteronomy 17:11 According to the sentence of the law which they shall teach thee and according to the judgement which they shall tell thee, thou shalt do. Thou shalt not decline from the sentence which they shall show thee to the right hand nor to the left.

12 And the man who will do presumptuously, and will not hearken unto the priest who standeth to minister there before the Lord thy God, or unto the judge, even that man shall die; and thou shalt put away the evil from Israel.

13 And all the people shall hear, and fear, and do no more presumptuously.

And what happened in 70 AD in Jerusalem and Judea when God exercised His judgement?

History recorded only two sects that escaped this inferno:

(1) The Nazarenes as the early Christians were known in Acts 24:5. Many died as martyrs but according to Eusebius, some received divine warning and escaped to a northern town called Pella, west of the Jordan River.

(2) Pharisees of the House of Hillel escaped to Yavne. These were headed by a rabbi, Johanan ben Zakkai, the head of the Sanhedrin; he was smuggled out of besieged Jerusalem in a coffin. Later, his followers re-emerged as Rabbinic Jews who established the Hillel Calendar, which was revealed by Hillel II in about AD 359 concerning the rules of the Calendar.

12 Moreover also I gave them My Sabbaths to be a sign between Me and them, that they might know that I am the Lord who sanctify them.

13 But the house of Israel rebelled against Me in the wilderness. They walked not in My statutes and they despised My judgments, which if a man do, he shall even live in them; and My Sabbaths they greatly polluted. “‘Then I said I would pour out My fury upon them in the wilderness to consume them.

History recorded two prominent sects that died during this AD 70 inferno:

(a) The Sadducees and Boethusians, following the heretic Samaritan way of observing Passover, kept it on the night of the fourteenth; they perished in the inferno;

(b) The Essenes, after they had repudiated the calendar that was sanctioned by the Sanhedrin, then went about presumptuously making one of their own. They all perished in God’s FURY by either the flaming Sword or the consuming Fire.

14 But I wrought for My name’s sake, that it should not be polluted before the nations, in whose sight I brought them out. — “I wrought for my name’s sake…” ~ this is repeated from verse 9 for emphasis.

15 Yet also I lifted up My hand unto them in the wilderness, that I would not bring them into the land which I had given them, flowing with milk and honey, which is the glory of all lands,

16 because they despised My judgements and walked not in My statutes, but polluted My Sabbaths; for their heart went after their idols. — today more than 98.5 percent of pretending Christians are worshipping God by honoring the SUN by observing SUNday. They have “their backs toward the temple of the Lord and their faces toward the east; and they worshiped the SUN toward the east,” Ezekiel 8:16.

17 Nevertheless Mine eye spared them from destroying them, neither did I make an end of them in the wilderness.

18 “‘But I said unto their children in the wilderness: “Walk ye not in the statutes of your fathers, neither observe their judgements, nor defile yourselves with their idols.

19 I am the Lord your God: Walk in My statutes, and keep My judgements, and do them;

20 and hallow My Sabbaths, and they shall be a sign between Me and you, that ye may know that I am the Lord your God.” — others, following the SUN-worshipping Samaritans, the Church of God Communities are showing their contempt by having their “wavesheaf offering” and Pentecost on a SUNday; always on SUNdays;

— and the Sabbaths are God’s sign, “that ye may know that I am the Lord your God,” ~ unfortunately these pretenters could be spewed out of His mouth! No? Regardless, there are those being described in Revelation 3:17 ~ wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked. “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: or else I will spew thee out of My mouth (v16,19).”

21 Notwithstanding, the children rebelled against Me. They walked not in My statutes, neither kept My judgements to do them, which if a man do, he shall even live in them; they polluted My Sabbaths. “‘Then I said I would pour out My fury upon them to accomplish My anger against them in the wilderness. — again, God’s FURY would be poured out for polluting His Sabbaths!

22 Nevertheless I withdrew Mine hand and wrought for My name’s sake, that it should not be polluted in the sight of the nations, in whose sight I brought them forth. — “I withdrew Mine hand and wrought for my name’s sake” ~ again, this is repeated from verse 9 and 14 with some variations for emphasis.

23 I lifted up Mine hand unto them also in the wilderness, that I would scatter them among the nations and disperse them through the countries,

24 because they had not executed My judgements, but had despised My statutes and had polluted My Sabbaths, and their eyes were after their fathers’ idols. — beware! repeats of offending His Sabbaths for emphasis.

25 Therefore I gave them also statutes that were not good and judgements whereby they should not live;

26 and I polluted them in their own gifts, in that they caused to pass through the fire all who openeth the womb, that I might make them desolate, to the end that they might know that I am the Lord.’

27 “Therefore, son of man, speak unto the house of Israel and say unto them, ‘Thus saith the Lord God: Yet in this your fathers have blasphemed Me, in that they have committed a trespass against Me.

28 For when I had brought them into the land for which I lifted up Mine hand to give it to them, then they saw every high hill and all the thick trees, and they offered there their sacrifices, and there they presented the provocation of their offering. There also they made their sweet savor, and poured out there their drink offerings.

29 Then I said unto them: What is the high place whereunto ye go?’” (And the name thereof is called Bamah unto this day.)

30 “Therefore say unto the house of Israel, ‘Thus saith the Lord God: Are ye polluted after the manner of your fathers? And commit ye whoredom after their abominations?

31 For when ye offer your gifts, when ye make your sons pass through the fire, ye pollute yourselves with all your idols, even unto this day. And shall I be inquired of by you, O house of Israel? As I live, saith the Lord God, I will not be inquired of by you.

32 “‘And that which cometh into your mind shall not be at all: in that ye say, “We will be as the nations, as the families of the countries, to serve wood and stone.”

33 “‘As I live, saith the Lord God, surely with a mighty hand and with a stretched out arm and with fury poured out, will I rule over you.

34 And I will bring you out from the people, and will gather you out of the countries wherein ye are scattered, with a mighty hand and with a stretched out arm, and with fury poured out;

35 and I will bring you into the wilderness of the people, and there will I plead with you face to face. — “I will bring you into the wilderness of the peoples…” ~ this new wilderness was not a geographical wilderness like the wilderness of Egypt, but a wilderness, “of strange peoples, unusual social customs, etc,”

— it was the wilderness of their captivity in an unknown civilization, the Assyrian; and the vast majority of Israel would not pass that test of being an Israelite, any more than their fathers had passed it in the former wilderness, Egypt;

— most of them, enamored with the wealth and splendor of modern “civilization” would never leave for a return to Palestine, even when free to do so. Such persons were described as, “Separated by the refining process, and not allowed to participate in the restoration.”

36 As I pleaded with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so will I plead with you, saith the Lord God.

37 And I will cause you to pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant;

38 and I will purge out from among you the rebels and them that transgress against Me. I will bring them forth out of the country where they sojourn, and they shall not enter into the land of Israel; and ye shall know that I am the Lord. — lots of purgings to undergo before the house of Israel “shall know that I am the Lord.” At this moment they are all pretenders!!!

39 “‘As for you, O house of Israel, thus saith the Lord God: Go ye, serve ye every one his idols, and hereafter also, if ye will not hearken unto Me; but pollute ye My holy name no more with your gifts, and with your idols.

— “go ye, serve every one his idols…” this is the same kind of commandment that God gave to Judas Iscariot, when he said, “What thou doest, do quickly.” God never restrains anyone from evil who has already made up his mind to do more evil: “We lied, We cheated, We stole… It reminds you of the glory of the American experiment.” That would appear to be the condition of those elders who sat in front of Ezekiel.

40 For in Mine holy mountain, in the mountain of the height of Israel, saith the Lord God, there shall all the house of Israel, all of them in the land, serve Me. There will I accept them, and there will I require your offerings and the firstfruits of your oblations, with all your holy things. — “all the house of Israel” shall serve God; all of them in the land, serve Me;

— “all hostilities and separation between Israel and Judah shall cease;” this is in great contrast we have today:

“Manasseh, Ephraim; and Ephraim, Manasseh; and they together shall be against Judah. For all this His anger is not turned away, but His hand is stretched out still” Isaiah 9:21

— the vast majority of today’s professing Christianity (99.99 percent) in the house of Ephraim and Manasseh make one fundamental error against his brother Judah in studying The Oracles of God.

41 I will accept you with your sweet savor when I bring you out from the people and gather you out of the countries wherein ye have been scattered; and I will be sanctified in you before the nations.

— and I will be sanctified in you before the nations; the outside world will take notice of the power and eminence of God, in the conversion and restoration of house of Israel, and praise and glorify him on account of His doing; and when He will be visibly feared, served, and worshipped, in the midst of Israel.

42 And ye shall know that I am the Lord, when I shall bring you into the land of Israel, into the country for which I lifted up Mine hand to give it to your fathers.

43 And there shall ye remember your ways and all your doings wherein ye have been defiled; and ye shall loathe yourselves in your own sight for all your evils that ye have committed.

44 And ye shall know that I am the Lord, when I have wrought with you for My name’s sake, not according to your wicked ways, nor according to your corrupt doings, O ye house of Israel, saith the Lord God.’”

45 Moreover the word of the Lord came unto me, saying,

46 “Son of man, set thy face toward the south, and drop thy word toward the south, and prophesy against the forest of the southland. — prophesy against the forest of the southland; this prophecy “against” indicates something with a bad outcome, which could be literal or could be symbolic, or even both;

— but remember again that this prophecy meant is for the house of Israel and is “of the times that are far off (Ezekiel 12:27); far into the future, this time, our time.

47 And say to the forest of the south: ‘Hear the word of the Lord. Thus saith the Lord God: Behold, I will kindle a fire in thee, and it shall devour every green tree in thee and every dry tree. The flaming flame shall not be quenched, and all faces from the south to the north shall be burned therein.

— this “kindle a fire” could be literal: the southern United States and southern Europe could be “kindled with fire” and much of the farmland could be in drought and be burnt up and eventually led to famine;

— but it could also be symbolic, where the south of United States (Mexico and much of the Latin Americas) and the south of Europe (North and Central Africa, and perhaps the Indian sub-continent) could be burnt with famine and civil unrest that led to huge unwanted migration to the north.

— and it shall devour every green and dry tree; all sorts of persons should be consumed, high and low, rich and poor, good and bad; and if good men should suffer, comparable to green trees, which fire will not so easily burn, not being fit fuel for it; then much more bad men, who were by far the most numerous, comparable to dry trees, and so fit fuel for the flames, and easily consumed thereby;

— and this flaming flame will spread from the south to the north: “and all faces from the south to the north shall be burned.”

48 And all flesh shall see that I, the Lord, have kindled it; it shall not be quenched.’” — by this “all flesh shall see that I” the God of heaven will be manifested to all the rest of the nations.

49 Then said I, “Ah, Lord God! They say of me, ‘Doth he not speak parables?’” — parables, riddles and enigmas; sobering thoughts, isn’t it? If there are alternative ideas, please feel free to share, thanks.

For a more detailed Study about this A Sword from the South! click here

~ by Joel Huan on October 31, 2022.

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