Ezekiel 25:8–17

Read the passage.

Moab was descended from Lot, the nephew of Abraham. As nations, Moab and Israel were often in conflict, though Ruth famously immigrated from Moab to Israel in the time of the judges. In this oracle, Moab shares Ammon’s fate, though the cause appears to be not so much malice as unbelief. The Moabites declared Judah to be like all the other nations, that is, not being the Lord’s chosen people. They thought Judah’s troubles were a sign that their God was not powerful enough to save them, just like other nations’ gods were not powerful enough to save them from conquering armies. They had surely heard stories of Assyria’s miraculous defeat at Jerusalem in Hezekiah’s day, but since that was about two generations ago, they probably sounded embellished by this point. Whatever the case, the Lord defends His fame and honor among the nations and brings an end to the ones who have blasphemed against Him.

Edom was descended from Esau, the brother of Jacob who was named Israel. Again there was animosity between these two nations for much of their history, but in this case Edom is condemned for taking vengeance while Israel was vulnerable. While the judgement is the same as what befell Ammon and Moab, it is interesting that the Lord specifies Israel as the one to carry out the sentence. Israel and Judah have been totally defeated at this point; they have all been scattered abroad and there is no one to tend to the land, much less form an army. Therefore there is hope already, even amidst these judgements, that Israel will be restored and the Lord’s promises will be made complete.

The Philistines were a thorn in Israel’s side during the time of the judges and through David’s reign. Their lineage can probably be traced back to the island of Crete, and scholarship currently identifies them as the “Sea Peoples” whose migration into the region disrupted all of the centers of civilization during the Bronze Age. The Lord’s charge against them is their “never-ending enmity” (v. 15) against His people. Many other prophets spoke oracles against them as well.

Your name is holy and You defend it against all slander.

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