Ezekiel 19–20: Leaders Who Won't Listen

Old Testament Seminary Student Study Guide, (2002), 170–171


Ezekiel 19–20 is especially to and about the leaders of the Jews. In chapter 19, the Lord used two parables to teach that leaders with great potential lost blessings because of their foolishness. Chapter 20 tells how some leaders of the Jews in Babylon (where Ezekiel lived in captivity) wanted to receive instruction from the Lord through Ezekiel. The Lord called them to repentance for seeking the Lord while also seeking revelation from others gods. In Ezekiel 20:33–44, the Lord promised He would give a future generation of Israelites another opportunity to be led from bondage and know that He is their Lord and God, just like He did when He originally led the children of Israel out of Egypt. This time, however, He promised He would gather Israel from all nations where they were scattered.The remarkable events mentioned as part of the gathering in these verses were only partially fulfilled in ancient days. Their complete fulfillment is happening in the last days as the children of Israel gather to the true Church, are cleansed from sin, and serve the Lord in His “holy mountain” (the temple). Then they truly come to know who they are and who their Lord and God is (see vv. 42, 44).

Understanding the Scriptures

Ezekiel 20:33–44

Mighty hand, stretched out arm (vv. 33–34)Symbols of power 
Purge (v. 38)Clean 
Sojourn (v. 38)Live somewhere that is not your real home 
Oblations (v. 40)Sacrifices 
Lothe (v. 43)Hate 

Ezekiel 20:37—“I Will Cause You to Pass under the Rod”

The rod in Ezekiel 20:37 is the shepherd’s staff. To “pass under the rod” refers to coming under the care of the Shepherd, or as it says in Ezekiel, “into the bond of the covenant.” Some have suggested that passing under the rod might also have reference to the way shepherds tithed their sheep, marking each tenth one with a rod and dedicating it to the Lord.

Studying the Scriptures

Do activity A as you study Ezekiel 19–20.

Activity A iconSummarize Using Key Ideas

Ezekiel 20:33–44 tells that the Lord will gather Israel and that they will turn their hearts to Him. Explain the message of these verses by describing the following key ideas in your own words: mighty hand (v. 33); gather (v. 34); face to face (v. 35); pollute (v. 39); mine holy mountain (v. 40); sanctified (v. 41); remember (v. 43); know (vv. 38, 42, 44).