Ezekiel 36:8 MEANING

Ezekiel 36:8
(8) Shoot forth your branches.--The land of Israel, represented by its mountains, is now to put forth its fruit, for the time is at hand when the people will return--a strong and vivid way of setting forth at once the certainty and the nearness of the return.

Verse 8. - For they are at hand to come. Keil and Plumptre make the subject of the verb the material blessings in which Israel's prosperity is depicted as consisting, viz. the foliage and fruit her mountains were soon to bear for the people of Jehovah. The majority of expositors believe the subject to be the people whose return from exile was in this way declared to be approaching. Nor is there any reason why Ezekiel should not have represented the return from exile as an event soon to take place, since of the seventy years of captivity predicted by Jeremiah (Jeremiah 25:11) at least twenty years had passed, if its commencement be dated from the fourth year of Jehoiakim (Ezekiel 33:21); and the fulfillment of Jehovah's promise was to the prophet so much a matter of certainty (Ezekiel 11:17) that his fervent imagination conceived it as at hand.

36:1-15 Those who put contempt and reproach on God's people, will have them turned on themselves. God promises favour to his Israel. We have no reason to complain, if the more unkind men are, the more kind God is. They shall come again to their own border. It was a type of the heavenly Canaan, of which all God's children are heirs, and into which they all shall be brought together. And when God returns in mercy to a people who return to him in duty, all their grievances will be set right. The full completion of this prophecy must be in some future event.But ye, O mountains of Israel,.... Literally understood, as appears by what follows; for though they could not hear what was said, the proprietors of them could, now in captivity; and the efficacy of the word should be seen on them, producing the following effects:

ye shall shoot forth your branches; that is, the trees that grew upon them should; the vines, and the olive trees, planted on hills and mountains, as was usual, as appears from the mount of Olives, and other places:

and yield your fruit to my people of Israel; not only put forth branches, but bear fruit; and which should be given to the right owners, the people of Israel, and not to the Heathens, who had claimed the ancient mountains for their possession:

for they are at hand to come; the Israelites; either by repentance, as Kimchi; or by a return from the Babylonish captivity, which was about forty or fifty years after this prophecy; and which was but a shadow and figure of their restoration in the latter day, yet to come; which might be said to be at hand, or near, with respect to God, with whom two or three thousand years are as nothing. The Targum is,

"for the day of my redemption is near to come.''

Courtesy of Open Bible