“Then they will know that I AM the Lord their God”: Ezekiel 28:20-26 (A Prophetic Perspective)

“Then they will know that I AM The Lord their God”

 Ezekiel Chapter 28:20-26  (A Prophetic Perspective)


In the prophet Ezekiel Chapter 28:20-26 we have a prophecy against Sidon and also of Israel’s complete restoration spiritually and nationally as a nation at the very end of this present age. Sidon today is Lebanon. The first mention of Sidon in the Old Testament is found in Genesis 10:19 in a description of the territory of the Canaanites, which extended from Sidon as far as Gaza and then towards Sodom and Gomorrah. The Canaanites were steeped in the occult and worshipped many ‘gods.’

Even though these ‘gods’ were man made lifeless images, shaped from wood, stone and other earthly metals, behind these lifeless images lurked principalities of spiritual wickedness in the unseen spiritual realm.

We are also told in both the Old and the New Testament that the worship of idols is the worship of demons (Deuteronomy 32:16-17) (Psalm 106:36-37) (1 Corinthians 10:20). Sidon, Gaza and Sodom and Gomorrah, were all enclaves of demonic spirits and principalities, as were all of the cities of the Canaanites. God spoke through Moses to warn the Israelites and said to him; “Completely destroy them …Otherwise, they will teach you to follow all the detestable things they do in worshipping their gods, and you will sin against the LORD your God” (Deuteronomy 20:17-18). God wanted the Israelites to destroy these havens and enclaves of the occult because of their wicked practices, and because He knew that if Israel did not destroy them then His people would be seduced and ensnared by these ‘gods.’

Concerning the Ten Commandments the first Commandment God gave to His people through Moses that headlined all of the other nine commandments was that they should not have any other gods before Him, neither should they make for themselves an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below, and that they were not to bow down or worship them (Genesis 20:3-5a).

The wicked practitioner of the occult and a witch no doubt, was Jezebel who seduced King Ahab and killed the Lord’s prophets came from Sidon (1 Kings 16:31). The whole city was undoubtedly under occult power. Jezebel was no friend of the Israelites. Now these ‘territorial spirits’ if we can call them that, were unseen principalities or fallen spirit beings that controlled the leaders of these cities such as Sidon and the other cities in Canaan.

We know from the Bible that there was a principality or prince over Persia, which today is Iran, and one over ‘Grecia’ or ’Greece,’ which in the Hebrew language is called “Yavan” or “Ionia” which is located in modern day Turkey. This real estate was a part of the eastern leg of the Greek empire of Alexander the Great (Daniel 10:13, 20).

In its prophetic context the prince over “Grecia” or “Greece” relates to Turkey today. Both Iran and Turkey today are arch enemies of Israel and support Hamas, Hezbollah, the Houthis, and other terrorists groups in the middle-east in Iraq and Syria forming a ring of fiery hostility around Israel. Those principalities or territorial spirits control the leaders of these terrorist organizations today. Over the centuries the strategies of these principalities has been to wipe Israel off of the map and this has not changed.

Now this prophecy in Ezekiel Chapter 28:20-26 concerning Sidon or modern day Lebanon, that in ancient times stretched all the way to Gaza, the home of Hamas today, is set within the context of the fall of Satan and the rise and demise of the Antichrist (Ezekiel 28:1-19). There are two main parts to this prophecy in Chapter 28:20-26.

The first part is God’s punishment of Lebanon, the home of Hezbollah today. The two main antagonists of Israel today are Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon. The Bible is clear that God is going to clean house with both of these terrorist organizations and ultimately deal with Iran as well.

The second part is that God us going to completely restore Israel spiritually and nationally and severely punish the Islamic regimes of Israel’s immediate Islamic neighbours who have maligned, attacked them, and oppressed them. Gaza, (Amos 1:6-8) Lebanon (Isaiah 10:33-34) and Iran (Jeremiah 49:35-39). Now with these things in view let’s look at the text in its prophetic context and applied to the last days.

(Ezekiel 28:20-26) Exposition:

1. The prophecy against Israel’s enemies” (28:20-24)

(Vs 20-22) “The word of the Lord came to me”; We are told in God’s Word that the Messiah our Lord Jesus is the eternal Word of God Himself who has always existed in eternity and that He is without end or beginning (Micah 5:2) (John 1:1-2, 15) (John 8:58).  At times He appeared to men on earth in human form before His incarnation in Mary’s womb, as we see in the case of Abraham and Jacob and in Melchizedek, and there were others as well such as Ezekiel the prophet and Joshua. One case worthy to mention is that He actually stood at the end of little Samuel’s bed and talked to Him personally (1 Samuel 3:10). We know that He also spoke to the prophets through the Holy Spirit dwelling in them (1 Peter 1:10-12) (2 Peter 1:21). We are not told how exactly the Word of the Lord came to Ezekiel, however He, the Lord, clearly spoke to the prophet.

“Son of man; Only in the gospels do we find the term “the Son of Man” associated with the definite article, Our Lord Jesus always called Himself “the Son of Man,” as in the only one there is. In using the definite article, Jesus contrasted Himself with other personalities in the Bible associated with the same term. Ezekiel is never called “the son of man”; he is always just “a son of man,” as in one among many others.

Son of man is a rather common term in the Bible, and it simply means “man.” It emphasizes the humanity of a person. In the case of Ezekiel, he was often referred to as “son of man” (Ezekiel 2:1; 3:1; 4:1; 5:1), God probably chose this manner of direct address to point up the contrast between the human condition of Ezekiel and the transcendent majesty of God.

In the first chapter of his book, Ezekiel relates a vision he had of God’s glory, a scene full of wheels and eyes and storms and fire and strange angelic creatures. In the first verse of the next chapter, God addresses Ezekiel as “son of man.” The prophet could not help but realize his own human frailty and limitations in the face of God’s unsurpassable glory. God is God, and Ezekiel is but a “son of man.”

In the Lord Jesus’ case, the application of the title “the Son of Man” also highlights the humanity of the Messiah who was fully human and fully divine in the same person. The difference is that He is “the Son of Man”; that is, He is the epitome of humanity. Jesus is the Sinless One, humanity perfected, the one to finally reconcile God and man.

In calling Ezekiel “son of man” God further designated him as His special messenger who would prophecy about many nations and Israel’s future. Like all of the faithful prophets, Ezekiel was a type of the Lord Jesus to come. Ezekiel was in good company with other Major Prophets such as Jeremiah, Isaiah and Daniel, and with all of the Minor Prophets, who also received the prophetic Word of God personally. When you consider how many accounts there are in the Old Testament when the pre-existent Messiah appeared in human form and spoke to people personally, it is quite feasible that this was how He spoke to the prophets who walked with God and in step with the Holy Spirit. We do know that before the fall that God walked and talked with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Now what did God say to His messenger?

“…set your face against Sidon;” God was about to set a hard flint like face towards Israel’s enemies and express this through the prophet Ezekiel. The prophet also was to set his face like a flint and to speak what God told him to say about Sidon’s demise and Israel’s glorious future. From the prophetic perspective Hamas in Lebanon today are Israel’s implacable enemies. Behind this hatred of the Jewish people is a principality which Satan is using to destroy Israel. The persecution of the Jewish people is happening because they are Jews. This hatred is infused into the Hezbollah terrorists by the principality in this region in the unseen spiritual realm.

From the human perspective, it makes no sense why the Jewish people should be singled out by Hezbollah and the other terrorist organizations, as the Israelis are not an aggressive, militant expansionist nation. However, when you consider the spiritual power behind these terrorist organizations including Hezbollah you can understand why these killers hate the Jews. Even the mainstream media by enlarge are to a degree also maligning Israel. Now God sets His face against those who would seek Israel’s demise. As God said to Abraham; that those who bless him would be blessed, and this includes Abraham’s offspring, both his natural and spiritual offspring (Romans 4:16) but that those who curse Abraham, which includes his offspring, would themselves be cursed (Genesis 12:1-3). Now let’s continue…

“…prophesy against her and say: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: “‘I am against you, O Sidon, and I will gain glory within you. They will know that I am the Lord, when I inflict punishment on her and show Myself holy within her.”

Notice that the LORD says “her” and it is possible, that He had in mind Jezebel? She epitomizes wickedness and witchcraft, and also the spirit of false religion and spiritual seduction. Her name is mentioned in the Book of Revelation in regards to those who were seeking to spiritually seduce the assembly at Thyatira (Revelation 2:20-23) just as Jezebel sought to spiritually seduce King Ahab and lead God’s people into idolatry and witchcraft. When God’s glory is profaned and trodden under foot by wicked and unprincipled men or women, He steps in and reveals His glory and holiness and that with awesome power! We see this in His dealings with Pharaoh of Egypt when He destroyed Pharaoh and the whole Egyptian army in the Red Sea (Exodus 14:4). God is going to get the glory and display His holiness when He deals the final death blow to Hezbollah.

God’s Word elsewhere in His Word speaks prophetically about what will happen to Lebanon in the last days. In Isaiah 10:33-34 we are told that the LORD Almighty will “lop off the boughs of the trees of Lebanon with great power,” the “trees” representing the “branches” of Hezbollah. The cedars of Lebanon are very strong and durable trees, Isaiah tells us that they are “lofty”, or proud, which the leaders of the Hamas regime most certainly are, and that they will be humbled by His power and brought low. Also Isaiah tells us that God will cut down “the forest thickets” with His “axe,” the “thickets” being the armies of Hezbollah. Isaiah concludes that “Lebanon will fall before the mighty one!”

We are also told in Psalm 29:5-6 that “the voice of the LORD breaks into pieces the cedars of Lebanon, twists the oaks and strips the forests bare and in His temple all cry glory!” In these last days God is going to deal with Hezbollah, its leaders and its troops. It may be that God will use the armed forces of the IDF to accomplish this? It is clear that God is watching over Israel when we see the rockets, missiles and drones of Iran being blown out of the skies after the Iranian regime directly attacked Israel over a week ago now. Hezbollah is of course financed by, and a proxy of Iran, as are Hamas in Gaza and the Houthis in Yemen. When this happens God’s people will see His awesome power and there will be shouts of glory and praise in His people! And then we read…

(Vs.23) “I will send a plague upon her and make blood flow in her streets. The slain will fall within her, with the sword against her on every side. Then they will know that I am the Lord.”

Plague follows bloodshed on a vast scale, and Hezbollah will see their blood flow as they have shed the blood of others.  Many will be slain in Lebanon and she will be attacked on all sides without reprieve. Then Hezbollah and the regime will know without question that our God is the Lord. The reason God has judged Hezbollah and its leaders is given to us in the next verse…

(Vs.24) “‘No longer will the people of Israel have malicious neighbours who are painful briers and sharp thorns. Then they will know that I am the Sovereign Lord.”

Today in virtually every country to a greater or lesser degree Israel is maligned in the main stream media by and large, and one has to go to independent news sources to find the truth. Even though we find the moderate Arab states on the Saudi Arabian Peninsula such as Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates seemingly befriending Israel, they are doing so because of their fear of Iran.

Israel has no real friends in the Middle-East nations as they are all Islamic and Islam at its core and its ideology in the Quran and the hadith in reality is totally opposed to Jews and Christians, and towards all who do not submit to Islam. Lebanon in these verses is one of Israel’s malicious neighbours. It is not talking about the Lebanese people themselves but the wicked regime of Hezbollah that rules the Lebanese government and people with an iron fist. It is the same situation with Hamas in Gaza and with the regime in Iran.

Briars and thorns are very painful and sharp and since the rebirth of Israel in 1948 the Islamic world, including Egypt and the Arab nations, have harassed and maligned Israel and have been briars and thorns in Israel’s side. Today we see rockets and drones coming out of Lebanon in the north of Israel and a northern war looming on the horizon for Israel and a war that has started with Iran. The Israelis are not only fighting a war on two fronts, being Hamas and Hezbollah, but also moving rapidly towards an actual face-off with Iran. Ultimately God will step in and deal decisively with Israel’s immediate malicious and malevolent Islamic neighbours. We see this recorded in Psalm 83.

It also needs to be said that after the Messiah our Lord Jesus has returned and established His Messianic reign on earth, that Lebanon, having been restored as a people and without the wicked regime that oppressed it in the previous age, will bring its glory to the Lord Jesus in His Millennial temple at Jerusalem. As Isaiah the prophet writes; “The glory of Lebanon will come to you— its cypress, elm, and boxwood together— to adorn the place of My sanctuary, and I will glorify the place of My feet” (Isaiah 60:13).

Another thing to keep in mind is that in all of these nations with their oppressive Islamic regimes have within them thousands of New Covenant believers in the Messiah our Lord Jesus, who, despite severe persecution and martyrdom, are faithfully witnessing to and winning their unsaved Lebanese people to a saving faith in Him by the thousands. In fact the numbers being saved in Lebanon and throughout the Middle-East and especially in Iran cannot really be accurately numbered today. Now we come to the prophecy regarding Israel’s complete spiritual and national restoration in the future.

2. The prophecy for Israel’s restoration (28:25-26)

(Vs.25) “‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says:” God is indeed sovereign over everything that exists in the universe, and inhabiting eternity knows all things because He inhabits the past, the present and the future as we know it down here on earth, but in eternity time does not exist as it does down here as the past, the present and the future all run together without any time division. The late Derek prince used to say; “God does what He wants, in the way He wants, when He wants, with whomsoever He wants, and asks no man’s permission!” He plans everything according to His foreknowledge (Psalm 139). His presence and power expands into all of eternity!

As God Himself declares; “Remember what happened long ago, for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me. I declare the end from the beginning, and ancient times from what is still to come. I say, ‘My purpose will stand, and all My good pleasure I will accomplish.’ I summon a bird of prey from the east, a man for My purpose from a far-off land. Truly I have spoken, and truly I will bring it to pass. I have planned it, and I will surely do it” (Isaiah 46:9-11).

As He has also said; “For just as rain and snow fall from heaven and do not return without watering the earth, making it bud and sprout, and providing seed to sow and food to eat, so My word that proceeds from My mouth will not return to Me empty, but it will accomplish what I please, and it will prosper where I send it” (Isaiah 55:10-11). God is going to completely restore Israel spiritually and nationally when the Messiah our Lord Jesus comes back to inaugurate His Messianic kingdom.

After He has returned, He will gather the remnant of His people out of the nations where they have been exiled once again. Another partial exile is coming for Israel, where, after the nations have attacked and actually occupied Jerusalem that half of the inhabitants of the Holy City will be exiled to Islamic nations (Zechariah 14: 1-2). However, in that day the wailing of the Jewish people will move His heart and with great compassion and power He will go out and fight those nations as He fights in the day of battle. The Messiah will return and His feet will stand once again on the Mount of Olives and from there He will wage a war against the enemies of God’s people. He will take the fight to the Islamic armies of the Antichrist; (Isaiah 63:1-6). When His feet stand once again on the Mount of Olives it will be split in two and the remnant left in Israel will flee into it for safety from the armies of the Antichrist (Zechariah 14:3-4).

It will be like the children of Israel when their backs were against the Red Sea and it looked like they would cease to be as nation that through Moses God opened a way through the Red Sea into which the Israelites passed through on dry ground and escaped Pharaoh and the Egyptians. After they were all safe on the other side the waters closed over the Egyptians and they all perished.

The deluge of water destroyed Pharaoh and the army of Egypt. Likewise, this time fire will fall from heaven and consume the Antichrist and his armies gathered against Jerusalem. This fire from heaven will be more powerful than a nuclear detonation (Zechariah 14: 12-13) (Ezekiel 28:19-23; 39:4-6) (2 Peter 3:10-13). Pharaoh was a type of the Antichrist; Moses was a type of the Messiah. And then the Lord continues to speak through Ezekiel…

“When I gather the people of Israel from the nations where they have been scattered, I will show myself holy among them in the sight of the nations. Then they will live in their own land, which I gave to my servant Jacob.

After the Messiah has returned every Jew still living on planet earth not living in Israel will return home to Israel. As God declares through the prophet Isaiah; “Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bring your offspring from the east and gather you from the west. I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’ and to the south, ‘Do not hold them back!’ Bring My sons from afar, and My daughters from the ends of the earth—everyone called by My name and created for My glory, whom I have indeed formed and made” (Isaiah 43:5-7).

And again the Lord says; “Behold, these will come from afar; and lo, these will come from the north and from the west, and these from the land of Minim (China).”  Shout for joy, O heavens! And rejoice, O earth! Break forth into joyful shouting, O mountains! For the Lord has comforted His people And will have compassion on His afflicted” (Isaiah 49:12-13). Jews have actually lived in Kaifeng, a city in central China’s Henan province, for over 1,000 years. This makes the Kaifeng Jews the oldest Jewish community in China. Even the Gentile nations will be instrumental in conveying the exiled Jews back to Israel. God will beckon the Gentiles to do this.

As He spoke through the prophet Isaiah concerning the return of the exiles to Israel; “This is what the Lord GOD says: “Behold, I will lift up My hand to the nations, and raise My banner to the peoples. They will bring your sons in their arms and carry your daughters on their shoulders. Kings will be your foster fathers, and their queens your nursing mothers. They will bow to you face down and lick the dust at your feet. Then you will know that I am the LORD; those who hope in Me will never be put to shame” (Isaiah 49:12-13).

1948 saw this prophecy partially fulfilled, its complete fulfilment will happen after the Messiah has come back to reign from Jerusalem. This is Israel’s glorious future in the Messianic Kingdom of God on earth after this present age has passed away. In that day God’s holiness and righteousness will be displayed in His people as they embrace the Messiah and the salvation He brings and as the only one who has delivered them from their enemies.

As John the Baptist’s father prophesied; “And his father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied, saying, “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel,    for He has visited and redeemed His people and has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of His servant David, as He spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from of old, that we should be saved from our enemies     and from the hand of all who hate us; to show the mercy promised to our fathers and to remember His holy covenant, the oath that He swore to our father Abraham, to grant us that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies, might serve Him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before Him all our days” (Luke 1:67-75). And then Ezekiel writes…

(Vs.26) “They will live there in safety and will build houses and plant vineyards; they will live in safety when I inflict punishment on all their neighbours who maligned them. Then they will know that I am the Lord their God.’”

In that day the Lord will once again bring His people exiled in the Gentile nations home to live in safety and never to be taken from the land again. They will build houses and plant their vineyards; they will live in safety. This cannot be said of Israel at present. The nation was partially restored nationally in 1948 but as yet they still have land to possess and the people of Israel by and large are still estranged from their Messiah and aliens and strangers to their covenants of promises, however, things are beginning to change. In the current crisis facing Israel many secular Jews are starting to look to the Lord, not all of course, but many are! It is going to take the Time of Jacob’s Trouble to bring the remnant of the Jewish people to encounter the Messiah and in that day Israel will be saved out of it by the Messiah who will then reign over them (Zechariah 12:10-13:1) (Jeremiah 30:1-10).

Right now Hezbollah in Lebanon have joined the ring of hostile terrorists arrayed against Israel, but those leaders, that in their arrogance metaphorically are described “as tall and as lofty as the cedars of Lebanon and their armies described as numerous as the thickets in Lebanon,” will all be cut down to size by the right arm of the Lord, being the Messiah our Lord Jesus. We are also told in the prophet Zechariah that “Judah will also fight at Jerusalem!” (Zechariah 14:14).

Just before the Messiah comes back, when it looks like the nation of Israel will be destroyed by its implacable Islamic neighbours, who have been maligning them, God Himself will inflict punishment on these hostile neighbours that have formed a ring of fire around His inheritance. In that day these remorseless killers and terrorists and hostile nations will know that God is the God of Israel, a covenant keeping God, and the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! And God Himself says concerning His redeemed people; “then they will know that I am the Lord their God.’” Indeed in that day God also says through the prophet Micah; “And each man will sit under his own vine and under his own fig tree, with no one to frighten him. For the mouth of the LORD of Hosts has spoken!” (Micah 4:4).