Ezekiel’s Seventy Years,
Among the Captives
In ancient applications, no one questions whom are the captives. But to bring the application into the present and to apply the significance to Ezekiel’s name [that is, the visions are given to those who have seized Yehuveh’s strength because they have been cutting through the lies to reach the ancient truth], we need a modern view of the captivity. Repeatedly Yehuveh states that at some point in time He will return to Jacob’s descendents and “turn away thy captivity.” How are we to understand this matter of captivity in our time and as applying to us?
This captivity is associated with three things:
1. The people of Israel are physically “held captive” in the socio-economic systems of the nations among which they are scattered. Following the ancient downfall of the nation of Israel to Assyria in 722-721 B.C. Israel has served the nations. She will continue to do so until her debt is paid in full in the “acceptable year of Yehuveh”: “I scattered them with a whirlwind among all the nations whom they knew not. Thus the land was desolate after them, that no man passed through nor returned: for they laid the pleasant land desolate.” This dispersion was the direct result of their rejection of Yehuveh and His ways. “Because they have forsaken the covenant of Yehuveh Elohim of their fathers, which He made with them when He brought them forth out of the land of Egypt: for they went and served other elohims, and worshipped them, elohims whom they knew not, and whom He had not given unto them: and the anger of Yehuveh was kindled against this land, to bring upon it all the curses that are written in this book: and Yehuveh rooted them out of their land in anger, and in wrath, and in great indignation, and cast them into another land, as it is this day.” Zechariah 7:14; Deuteronomy 29:25-28.
2. They are “held captive” by the lies and deceptions they embrace. Those appointed to instruct Israel, both anciently and at the present time, willingly continue to propagate the lies and ignore the apostasy. Uncorrected, the wrongs persist among the people and so necessarily the captivity also continues. “Thy prophets have seen vain and foolish things for thee: and they have not discovered thine iniquity, to turn away thy captivity; but have seen for thee false burdens and causes of banishment.” Like “the Gentiles” which “shall come unto thee from the ends of the earth, and shall say, Surely our fathers have inherited lies, vanity, and things wherein there is no profit,” we too have been handed gross lies and vanity. Until these wrongs are made right, we remain captives! Lamentations 2:14; Jeremiah 16:19.
3. Israel sold themselves into slavery and for their redemption they owe Yehuveh an unpaid debt. Yehuveh appointed a time when these matters must be made right: “the acceptable year of Yehuveh,” the year when the debt is fully paid: “At that time will I bring you again, even in the time that I gather you: for I will make you a name and a praise among all people of the earth, when I turn back your captivity before your eyes, saith Yehuveh.” “And it shall come to pass in that day, that Yehuveh shall set His hand again the second time to recover the remnant of His people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea.” “Then shall they know that I am Yehuveh their Elohim, which caused them to be led into captivity among the heathen: but I have gathered them unto their own land, and have left none of them any more there.” Isaiah 61:2; Zephaniah 3:20; Isaiah 11:11; Ezekiel 39:28.
This “acceptable year of Yehuveh,” from the spring of 2008 to the spring of 2009, is now past and the final restoration to our homeland is almost here. We should be preparing!
Originally Written: 7 June 2006
Latest Update: 24 March 2011
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