Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Ezekiel 20:19

King James Version (KJV)
Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible
Verses 10-26

The probation in the wilderness. The promise was forfeited by those to whom it was first conditionally made, but was renewed to their children.

Ezekiel 20:11

The “statutes” were given on Mount Sinai, and repeated by Moses before his death (Exodus 20:1 ff; Deuteronomy 4:8).

In them - Or, through them: and in Ezekiel 20:13.

Ezekiel 20:12

See Exodus 31:13. The Sabbath was a sign of a special people, commemorative of the work of creation, and hallowed to the honor of Yahweh, the covenant-God. As man honored God by keeping the Sabbath holy, so by the Sabbath, God “sanctified” Israel and marked them as a holy people. Therefore to profane the Sabbath was to abjure their Divine Governor.

Ezekiel 20:13

My sabbaths they greatly polluted - Not by actual non-observance of the sabbatical rest in the wilderness, but in failing to make the day holy in deed as well as in name by earnest worship and true heart service.

Ezekiel 20:18

The book of Deuteronomy contains the address to “the children” of those who perished in the wilderness. The whole history of Israel was a repetition of this course. The covenant was made with one generation, broken by them, and then renewed to the next.

Ezekiel 20:25

The “judgments whereby they should not live” are those spoken of in Ezekiel 20:18, and are contrasted with the judgments in Ezekiel 20:13, Ezekiel 20:21, laws other than divine, to which God gives up those whom He afflicts with judicial blindness, because they have willfully closed their eyes, Psalm 81:12; Romans 1:24.

Ezekiel 20:26

To pass through - The word also means to “set apart,” as the firstborn to the Lord Exodus 13:12. They were bidden to “set apart” their firstborn males to the Lord. They “caused them to pass through the fire” to Moloch. An instance of their perversion of God‘s laws.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
The history of Israel in the wilderness is referred to in the new Testament as well as in the Old, for warning. God did great things for them. He gave them the law, and revived the ancient keeping of the sabbath day. Sabbaths are privileges; they are signs of our being his people. If we do the duty of the day, we shall find, to our comfort, it is the Lord that makes us holy, that is, truly happy, here; and prepares us to be happy, that is, perfectly holy, hereafter. The Israelites rebelled, and were left to the judgments they brought upon themselves. God sometimes makes sin to be its own punishment, yet he is not the Author of sin: there needs no more to make men miserable, than to give them up to their own evil desires and passions.
Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 9, 233-4

Sunday can be used for carrying forward various lines of work that will accomplish much for the Lord. On this day open-air meetings and cottage meetings can be held. House-to-house work can be done. Those who write can devote this day to writing their articles. Whenever it is possible, let religious services be held on Sunday. Make these meetings intensely interesting. Sing genuine revival hymns, and speak with power and assurance of the Saviour's love. Speak on temperance and on true religious experience. You will thus learn much about how to work, and will reach many souls. 9T 233.1

Let the teachers in our schools devote Sunday to missionary effort. I was instructed that they would thus be able to defeat the purposes of the enemy. Let the teachers take the students with them to hold meetings for those who know not the truth. Thus they will accomplish much more than they could in any other way. 9T 233.2

God has given us plain directions regarding our work. We are to proclaim the truth in regard to the Sabbath of the Lord, to make up the breach that has been made in His law. We are to do all that we can to enlighten those in ignorance; but we are never to confederate with men of the world in order to receive financial assistance. 9T 233.3

Read in context »
Ellen G. White
Maranatha, 238.2

God has declared in His Word that the seventh day is a sign between Him and His chosen people—a sign of their loyalty.... Mar 238.2

Read in context »
Ellen G. White
Medical Ministry, 123

Then the Restorer practiced His medical missionary work. “The blind and the lame came to Him in the temple; and He healed them.” MM 123.1

The marketplaces, the merchandise stores, need cleansing. Courts of justice, lawyers’ offices, the medical fraternity, need purifying. Shall we say that the medical missionary work needs cleansing? Christ, who came to our world to reveal the Father's heart of tender compassion, has shown us the methods which Sabbath keepers are to follow in their work. These are plainly specified in the fifty-eighth chapter of Isaiah. God will not be a party to any dishonest transaction. The soul who keeps the Sabbath is stamped with the sign of God's government, and he must not dishonor this sign. By closely examining the word of God, we may know whether we have the King's mark, whether we have been chosen and set apart to honor God. Please read Deuteronomy 6:4-9 and Ezekiel 20:12-20.... MM 123.2

God will never, never allow any man to pass through the pearly gates of the City of God who does not bear the signet of the faithful, His government mark. Every soul who is saved will cherish pure principles, which proceed from the very essence of truth. He must fasten himself by golden links to the everlasting power and love of the God of truth. He must be loyal to the principles of God's word, loyal to the everlasting covenant which is a sign between man and his Maker. MM 123.3

Righteousness, high and elevated, is to control the conduct. Strength of mind, learning, power of influence, will not give man his eternal life insurance papers. God weighs the action. Each must form an individual character after the likeness of Christ. He must have a conscience taught of God. He must see behind every promise the All-powerful One, with whom he must work as an agent to do His will. If man will not take this position, he will make shipwreck of faith. God will never insure a man for everlasting life whose anchor is not securely fastened to heaven's unalterable law. He must reveal the Christ working in him, in his doctrinal precepts, in his practical obedience. MM 123.4

Read in context »
Ellen G. White
Patriarchs and Prophets, 410

From Kadesh the children of Israel had turned back into the wilderness; and the period of their desert sojourn being ended, they came, “even the whole congregation, into the desert of Zin in the first month: and the people abode in Kadesh.” Numbers 20:1. PP 410.1

Here Miriam died and was buried. From that scene of rejoicing on the shores of the Red Sea, when Israel went forth with song and dance to celebrate Jehovah's triumph, to the wilderness grave which ended a lifelong wandering—such had been the fate of millions who with high hopes had come forth from Egypt. Sin had dashed from their lips the cup of blessing. Would the next generation learn the lesson? PP 410.2

“For all this they sinned still, and believed not for His wondrous works.... When He slew them, then they sought Him: and they returned and inquired early after God. And they remembered that God was their Rock, and the high God their Redeemer.” Psalm 78:32-35. Yet they did not turn to God with a sincere purpose. Though when afflicted by their enemies they sought help from Him who alone could deliver, yet “their heart was not right with Him , neither were they steadfast in His covenant. But He, being full of compassion, forgave their iniquity, and destroyed them not: yea, many a time turned He His anger away.... For He remembered that they were but flesh; a wind that passeth away, and cometh not again.” Verses 37-39. PP 410.3

Read in context »
Ellen G. White
Lift Him Up, 137.1

I am the Lord your God; follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. Keep my Sabbaths holy, that they may be a sign between us. Then you will know that I am the Lord your God. Ezekiel 20:19, 20, NIV. LHU 137.1

Read in context »
Ellen G. White
Our High Calling, 343.1

I am the Lord your God; walk in my statutes, and keep my judgments, and do them; and hallow my sabbaths; and they shall be a sign between me and you, that ye may know that I am the Lord your God. Ezekiel 20:19, 20. OHC 343.1

Read in context »
More Comments