1. Did mount Seir have any tie to the children of Israel (the answer to this question is not found in this chapter)?
Yes, their history goes back to Esau who was Jacob’s [Israel] brother (Genesis 32:1-3, Genesis 36:8-9, Deuteronomy 2:1-5, and Joshua 24:4). Their pasts were not altogether peaceful though (II Chronicles 20:10-23).
The word translated as “Idumea” (Isaiah 34:5 and Ezekiel 35:15) is translated “Edom” elsewhere (Genesis 25:30, Genesis 32:3, Genesis 36:1, etc.). Therefore, this whole chapter is about judgment upon the decedents of Esau. We discussed such in Ezekiel chapters 25 and 32 already.
2. What was God’s plan, at this point in time, for mount Seir and the cities about it?
Perpetual desolation, blood: “(1) Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, (2) Son of man, set thy face against mount Seir, and prophesy against it, (3) And say unto it, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, O mount Seir, I am against thee, and I will stretch out mine hand against thee, and I will make thee most desolate. (4) I will lay thy cities waste, and thou shalt be desolate, and thou shalt know that I am the LORD… (6) Therefore, as I live, saith the Lord GOD, I will prepare thee unto blood, and blood shall pursue thee: sith thou hast not hated blood, even blood shall pursue thee. (7) Thus will I make mount Seir most desolate, and cut off from it him that passeth out and him that returneth. (8) And I will fill his mountains with his slain men: in thy hills, and in thy valleys, and in all thy rivers, shall they fall that are slain with the sword. (9) I will make thee perpetual desolations, and thy cities shall not return: and ye shall know that I am the LORD” (Ezekiel 35:1-4; Ezekiel 35:6-9).
- Ezekiel was to prophesy against mount Seir in an adversary like manner. That is represented in the “set thy face against” instruction (Leviticus 20:1-5, Jeremiah 21:10, Jeremiah 44:11, and Ezekiel 13:17; cf. Psalms 139:21-22).
- The Lord was against them as Edom was His adversary (Obadiah 1:1-21).
- Consider, anyone not with the Lord is against Him (Luke 11:23).
- The Lord was going to lay them waste, desolate (Jeremiah 49:20, Ezekiel 25:13, and Joel 3:19).
- Prepared unto blood (Genesis 9:6 and Exodus 21:12-14) and slain men all over (Isaiah 34:1-5).
- They were going to try and rebuild, but it wasn’t happening (Malachi 1:1-5).
3. What did the people of mount Seir do during Israel’s time of calamity?
They had shed blood in Israel during Israel’s time of calamity: “Because thou hast had a perpetual hatred, and hast shed the blood of the children of Israel by the force of the sword in the time of their calamity, in the time that their iniquity had an end” (Ezekiel 35:5).
- They had a “perpetual [eternal; of old] hatred for Israel (i.e. Ezekiel 25:12). They were holding an old grudge, possibly all the way back to Jacob and Esau’s division due to Jacob’s [Israel; Genesis 32:28] deception (Genesis 27:1-46).
- They had used the time of Israel’s calamity to shed their blood with the sword (Ezekiel 25:12 and Amos 1:11).
4. Did mount Seir desire to possess the lands of Israel?
Yes: “Because thou hast said, These two nations and these two countries shall be mine, and we will possess it; whereas the LORD was there” (Ezekiel 35:10).
- They even conspired with others to take Israel (Psalms 83:4-12).
- Think about how generations can hold on to hatred towards the past wrongs done to their people. Holding grudges is not a good thing (Leviticus 19:18 and Romans 12:17-21).
5. Did the Lord desire to show them that He heard their words against Him and to show them He was the Lord?
Yes: “(11) Therefore, as I live, saith the Lord GOD, I will even do according to thine anger, and according to thine envy which thou hast used out of thy hatred against them; and I will make myself known among them, when I have judged thee. (12) And thou shalt know that I am the LORD, and that I have heard all thy blasphemies which thou hast spoken against the mountains of Israel, saying, They are laid desolate, they are given us to consume. (13) Thus with your mouth ye have boasted against me, and have multiplied your words against me: I have heard them. (14) Thus saith the Lord GOD; When the whole earth rejoiceth, I will make thee desolate. (15) As thou didst rejoice at the inheritance of the house of Israel, because it was desolate, so will I do unto thee: thou shalt be desolate, O mount Seir, and all Idumea, even all of it: and they shall know that I am the LORD” (Ezekiel 35:11-15).
- Their anger and their envy was going to be returned upon them in the Lord’s Judgment (Proverbs 1:31, Hosea 10:12-13, Matthew 7:2, Luke 6:37-38, and James 2:8-13).
- A reminder: “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets” (Matthew 7:12).
- God was going to display that He had heard and saw what they were doing against His people (Proverbs 5:21, Proverbs 15:3, Jeremiah 16:17, Jeremiah 23:23-24, and I John 3:20-21).
- How stupid they were to boast against the Lord (Job 38:1-41:34 and Romans 9:20-21).
- He spells out that their demise will come at a time when others are rejoicing (Isaiah 65:11-15).
- “Whoso mocketh the poor reproacheth his Maker: and he that is glad at calamities shall not be unpunished” (Ezekiel 35:15).