Ezekiel 36:23 MEANING

Ezekiel 36:23
(23) Before their eyes.--The Hebrew text as it stands has your eyes, as in the margin. Many manuscripts and other authorities have their. Either of them admits of an excellent sense; but the reading your brings out the important truth that God must first be sanctified in the eyes of the people themselves by their repentance and moral reformation, and then, through them and the consequent blessing upon them, He will be sanctified in the eyes of the heathen also.

Verse 23. - I will sanctify my great Name; i.e. the name of my holiness (Deuteronomy 28:58; Psalm 8:1; Malachi 1:11). As Israel's dispersion had caused that Name to be profaned, so Israel's restoration would secure that it should be magnified among the heathen (Ezekiel 38:23), who should learn from this event that their previous ideas of Jehovah, as a feeble and local divinity, had been wrong. The question whether your eyes, as in the Hebrew text, or "their eyes," as in many ancient versions, should be read is debated. The latter reading appears to be demanded by the usus loquendi of Ezekiel (see Ezekiel 20:41; Ezekiel 28:25; Ezekiel 38:16; Ezekiel 39:27), and is adopted by both English versions as well as by interpreters of eminence; but other expositors of equal name adhere to the former reading on the ground that the sanctifying of Jehovah's Name in the eyes of Israel was an indispensable preliminary to its sanctification in the eyes of the heathen. Havernick regards "their eyes" as "an obvious emendation to relieve a difficulty," to which in no case should criticism accord the preference; while Keil gives it the preference, though admitting that "your eyes" can be justified.

36:16-24 The restoration of that people, being typical of our redemption by Christ, shows that the end aimed at in our salvation is the glory of God. The sin of a people defiles their land; renders it abominable to God, and uncomfortable to themselves. God's holy name is his great name; his holiness is his greatness, nor does any thing else make a man truly great.And I will sanctify my great name,.... The same with his holy name; for his greatness lies in his holiness; which name he sanctifies when he clears it from all charges and imputations; when he makes it appear to be holy and himself to be glorious in holiness; when he vindicates the honour of his name, not in a way of punishment, as he justly might, but in a way of grace and mercy; he sanctifies his name when he proclaims it, a God gracious and merciful; for it was in this way and manner he determined to make himself illustrious and glorious, and do honour to his name:

which was profaned among the Heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; this is repeated again and again, to show the heinousness of this sin, how ill he took it at their hands, and what a concern it gave him:

and the Heathen shall know that I am the Lord, saith the Lord God, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes; when the Lord shall fulfil his promises, and deliver his people; when he shall sanctify, justify, and save them; and he shall be sanctified, served, and worshipped by them, and among them: it will be taken notice of by infidels themselves; and they shall hereby know, and be obliged to acknowledge, that the God of Israel is the only Lord God; that he is true and faithful to his word, righteous and holy, in his ways, the Lord God omniscient and omnipotent.

Courtesy of Open Bible