The following are rough notes from a Twitter discussion I had on the translation and meaning of Ezekiel 20:25-26. It was claimed God gave “bad laws” to the Israelites (eg. child sacrifice) because they wouldn’t follow His good laws. This is obviously problematic as its relates to the Goodness of God. These are my tweets and notes from that discussion.
– “nâthan, naw-than’; a primitive root; to give, used with greatest latitude of application (put, make, etc.)”
– “Your reading, if true, is delightfully illogical. The people are so disobedient that god gives them different laws, which they suddenly and cheerfully obey, like the obedient followers they aren’t. And that cheerful obedience mirrors the disobedience of their ancestors.”
– Vs 23 God swore to disperse Isrealites to the nations around them (who didn’t have God’s Law), because they had not obeyed the Law (Vs 24), “So I gave them other statutes” meaning the statutes of the nations He dispersed them to (vs 25)
“23 Also with uplifted hand I swore to them in the wilderness that I would disperse them among the nations and scatter them through the countries, 24 because they had not obeyed my laws but had rejected my decrees and desecrated my Sabbaths, and their eyes lusted after their parents’ idols. 25 So I gave them other statutes that were not good and laws through which they could not live;”
– Verses 30-38 continue this idea of dispersing to the immoral nations and bringing them back home where they are still doing immoral things they brought with them (Vs 32 ‘we want to be like the nations).
Okay, continuing the Ezekiel 20:25-26 thead here. I’m going to talk about 3 main points I’ve come across so far from, in my opinion, the least convincing to the most convincing why this could be better translated ‘I gave them [over to] statutes’ instead of ‘I gave them statutes’.
1. Translation for the word “gave” from: “nâthan, naw-than’; a primitive root; to give, used with greatest latitude of application (put, make, etc.):” (https://bit.ly/2Lhulq4 ) Note wide usage of meanings. It can’t categorically be said to be wrong to use “gave over” here.
See translation of whole verse here: https://t.co/XW4vCFizeq
2. Logical Consistency of Argument (https://bit.ly/2mfIoSs ): Israelites so disobedient God gives them other laws…which He expects them to obey??! Infers wording does not indicate bad laws from God – because they wouldn’t obey anyway. Maintains logical consistency of argument.
Did you read the link? It’s quite clever in its simplicity as an argument: From your side, you’re admitting the Israelites didn’t want to folllow God’s statutes so…God gave them more statutes…to follow? It’s not logical. It breaks the meaning of the passage.
3a. Immediate Context Makes It Obvious (https://bit.ly/2KUvXKg ): *head hanging in shame* I should have read the chapter much sooner *sigh*. Cont’d…
3b. Vs23 God swore to disperse Isrealites to the nations around them (who didn’t have God’s Law) because they had not obeyed the Law (vs24), “So I gave them statutes” meaning the statutes of the nations He dispersed them to (vs25). He claims ownership of statutes… Cont’d…
3c. God claims ownership of the statutes by way of the dispersion resulting in them acquiring those statutes from the evil nations around them not in the giving of the statutes.
3d. This is the most convincing to me because it’s right there in the text and it just follows so immediately one verse to the other, sequentially, and it maintains its internal consistency. It’s so powerful because it’s so simple.