The important word קֶרֶב (qereb) can have one of two meanings:
- inward part of human body, physical sense, ׳בְּק within one's body Genesis 25:22 (J), compare Genesis 18:12 (J), 1 Samuel 25:37; Jeremiah 23:9; Job 20:14 ("" בְּמֵעָיו), compare Isaiah 19:1 (of nation personified) into his body Psalm 109:18 (simile); as seat of life (וַ)תָּשָׁב נֶפֶשׁהַֿיּלֶד עַלקִֿרְבּוֺ 1 Kings 17:21,22, compare (of idol) Habakkuk 2:19; or in an emotional sense: ׳בְּק 1 Kings 3:28; Jeremiah 4:14; Jeremiah 9:7; Proverbs 26:24; Psalm 62:5; Psalm 94:19; "" בְלֵב Proverbs 14:33, עַללֵֿב Jeremiah 31:33; seat of לֵב Psalm 39:4; Psalm 55:5; Psalm 109:22; Lamentations 1:20; of רוּחַ Ezekiel 11:19; Ezekiel 36:26,27; Zechariah 12:1; Isaiah 26:6; Psalm 51:12, compare Isaiah 19:3,14; לִבִּי ׳בְּק Psalm 36:2 (read לִבּוֺ Vrss Hup Now Che Bae and others)
- Among people corporately, Amos 7:8; Genesis 24:3; Exodus 23:25; Deuteronomy 31:17; Jeremiah 46:21; 1 Samuel 4:3; Joshua 7:12; Judges 10:16 +, ׳יִשׂ ׳בְּק Deuteronomy 17:10 +, ׳בְּק ׳בֵּית יִשׂ Amos 7:10 הַכְּנַעֲנִי ׳בְּק Judges 1:32,33; Judges 3:5, גּוֺי ׳מִקּ Deuteronomy 4:34 etc (2) ) הַמַּחֲנֶה׳(מִק ׳בְּק Joshua 1:11; Numbers 14:44 6t. (3) אֶחָיו ׳בְּק Deuteronomy 18:2; 1 Samuel 16:13, and (׳מִק) Deuteronomy 17:15; Deuteronomy 18:18. (4) עַמֶּיהָ ׳מִקּ Exodus 31:14 (II.עַם) (5) אֹיְכֶיךָ ׳בְּק Psalm 110:2 compare (of wicked) Psalm 55:16 חֲכָמִים ׳בְּק Proverbs 15:31. (6) אֱלֹהִים יִשְׁמֹּט ׳בְּק Psalm 82:1 -7הַמִּלְחָמָה ׳בְּק 1 Kings 20:39 into the midst of the battle, the thick of the fight; צָרָה ׳בְּק Palam 1Ki 138:7. (8) of nations, הַגּוֺיִם ׳בְּק Deuteronomy 29:15, הָעַמִּים Lamentations 3:45
Therefore, the question is Eze 26:36, does קֶרֶב (qereb) refer to the individual (as per NIV, ESV, BSB, NKJV, NASB, etc) or to a group of people (as per ISV, YLT, etc)?
I am incline to think that קֶרֶב (qereb) refers to the individual in this occasion because:
- The same word is used in V27 with the same meaning which is clearly individual
- The idea of following decrees and keeping laws is always an individual matter of the "heart" and "mind"
- It is the heart of the people that is addressed in both V26 and 27.
- This is the central message of this part of Ezekiel as illustrated by the promise of the New Covenant in Eze 31:31-34, again with regular references to a changed heart and mind with a "new Spirit that Knows the LORD".
- BDB also suggests that the meaning in Eze 36:26, 27 (along with 11:19) is also referring to the mind and heart within a person as the seat of emotional of the person
Therefore, I believe that the NIV, ESV, BSB, NKJV, NASB are more correct that the YLT on this occasion.