Ezekiel 35

The Word Made Fresh

1The LORD said to me, 2“Son of man, look towards Mt. Seir and prophesy against it. 3Tell them that the LORD has this to say:

“I am against you, Mt. Seir.
I will reach out my hand over you to make you a desolate wasteland.
4I will leave your towns in ruins. You will become an example of desolation,
and you will know that I am the LORD.

5“You harbored an ancient hatred and gave the people of Israel to the sword when they were suffering grievously, when their final punishment had befallen them. 6So, as I live,” says the LORD God, “I will prepare you to be bloodied, and you will be pursued by bloodshed, since you yourselves didn’t refrain from bloodshed. 7I will waste Mt. Seir and make it a desolate wreck. I will cut off all who come and go from it. 8I will cover its hills with the dead; on your hills and in your valleys and in your streams, those killed with the sword will fall. 9I will make you desolate permanently. Your cities shall never again be inhabited. Then you will know that I am the LORD.

10“You said these two countries would belong to you, that you would simply take ownership of them, even though the LORD was listening. 11So, says the LORD, I will deal with you with the same anger and energy you demonstrated in your hatred of them. I will make myself known among you when I bring judgment on you. 12You shall know that I, the LORD, have heard the abuse with which you demonstrated against the mountains of Israel when you said, ‘They are laid low, given to us to take whatever is left.’ 13Your boasting built you up against me, and you did it over and over, for I heard what you said. 14So,” the LORD God says, “I will make you a wasteland while the whole world cheers. 15Just as you rejoiced over the desolated inheritance of the house of Israel, I will deal with you. You shall be desolate as well. Then Mt. Seir and all of Edom will know that I am the LORD.”


Mt. Seir is often used as a reference to all of Edom (see verse 15). Israelites and Edomites are the Bible’s version of the feuding mountain families of Hatfields and McCoys. Edom was settled by the family of Esau (Deuteronomy 2:12, 22) while Israel was settled by the family of his brother Jacob. They were the twin sons of Isaac and Rebekah and began fighting before they were born (Genesis 25:22-23). There are several places where Edom is accused of gloating over the fall of Jerusalem (Psalm 137:7, Lamentations 4:21-22), taking part in looting the city after its fall and capturing fugitives to hand over to the Babylonians (Obadiah 1:11-14). Ezekiel made a brief pronouncement over Edom at 25:12-14; here the treatment is extended with the focus on Mt. Seir to provide a sort of platform from which to launch the blessings on the mountains of Israel in chapter 36.

1-9: The first of three charges against Edom is laid out. They “gave the people of Israel to the power of the sword,” instead of coming to their aid to help against the Babylonians. Their punishment is therefore that they in turn will also be given over to the sword.

10-13: The second charge against Edom is that they coveted the territory of “these two nations,” Judah and Israel. Their punishment is that they will be dealt with accordingly.

14-15: The third charge against Edom is that they “rejoiced over the inheritance of the house of Israel, because it was desolate.” Their punishment is that they will be made desolate while “the whole earth rejoices.”


It is not an advantage to us when we rejoice over the destruction or failure of someone that we consider an enemy. Edom rejoiced over the fall and destruction of Jerusalem. Ezekiel is voicing a desire for revenge. I’m not sure his rejoicing over an old enemy’s fate is what God really wants.