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Ezekiel 20:25-26

So I gave them other statutes that were not good and laws through which they could not live; 26 and I defiled them through their gifts—the sacrifice of every firstborn—that I might fill them with horror so they would know that I am the Lord.’

וְגַם-אֲנִי נָתַתִּי לָהֶם, חֻקִּים לֹא טוֹבִים; וּמִשְׁפָּטִים--לֹא יִחְיוּ, בָּהֶם. וָאֲטַמֵּא אוֹתָם בְּמַתְּנוֹתָם, בְּהַעֲבִיר כָּל-פֶּטֶר רָחַם: לְמַעַן אֲשִׁמֵּם

It is generally understood that the "statutes that were not good and laws through which they could not live" that God gave them are what follows in the next verse "the sacrifice of every firstborn". In other words, God commanded them to sacrifice the firstborn, and gave them horrible laws so to fill them with horror, because they rebelled against God in Egypt by worshipping idols. This is also supported by the word ואטמא "and I defiled them", i.e., God himself defiled them by commanding them to sacrifice. How are we to understand this shocking claim?

Some scholars believe this is a reference to Ex. 13:12, and 22:28. They claim that it was taken literally by Ezekiel (and most Israelites), the human firstborn was to be sacrificed to God (Ex. 13:13 then must be a later modification of the law). Greenberg (The Anchor Bible, perhaps also Zimmerli) however maintains that this is not a reference to Exodus, it is just a reference to a popular belief in Israel that God commanded child sacrifice. Greenberg also writes that according to Ezekiel God directly misleads the people by giving them ambiguous laws so that they can twist it to their liking, and make child sacrifice seem as if God commands it. Is this a correct interpretation of v. 26?

How else would you interpret v. 26 that strongly implies that God himself commanded them to sacrifice children? Is it meant to be taken literal? Is it some form of sarcasm perhaps?


Please do not post one line answers, or copy paste bible commentaries, I can look them up myself if I want to. Only post well researched answers and cite your sources or evidence.

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    Which translation is this that You quoted? By all the translation that I read it says in summary that God, because they did not listen to his good Law, He gave them bad rules and laws, in my opinion, by permitting them (probably through the ones that ruled them - gentiles that conquered them or their own bad leaders - ) and LET THEM defiled by they OWN pagan practices (including child sacrifice). The pagan practice is a cause. It cannot be both a cause AND a effect.
    – Leonard
    Dec 7, 2021 at 11:33
  • @leonard here I followed the NIV. In any case I'm having hard time with your interpretation of "letting them". a wicked man has free will to do good or bad, so essentially when someone kills you can say God let him do it, or He let it happen, but this is of course absurd, since the person had a choice to do good and chose bad, he is to blame, no one else. Same thing with the Israelites. Additionally on textual grounds this interpretation is forced, see my comment to Dottard. To put it simply, ואטמא is "I defiled them" not "I let them be defiled".
    – bach
    Dec 7, 2021 at 18:04
  • I understand. But God sometimes chooses to intervene and not let a situation remain as it is (in the Bible there are some examples of Him doing that). As for the words, God often uses figurative/poetic speech. Moreover, the language is modified/adapted by the words of the prophet and/or the scribes. So in this case, look at the logic/semantics: How could God defile someone by that someone's OWN action? Is it not by letting them do this action ?
    – Leonard
    Dec 8, 2021 at 7:49
  • @Leonard "How could God defile someone by that someone's OWN action?" Simple! By actually commanding them to do those acts that defile!
    – bach
    Dec 8, 2021 at 13:28
  • 1
    As for sin and free will You're right. But as I said earlier, God sometimes intervenes in a certain situation. This doesn't mean that He doesn't respect free will . He intervenes when something is in the way of His plans of salvation for humanity. As the people of Israel take part in the plan of salvation of mankind, it's normal to often intervene when the Israelites go astray. His intervention is trough events or people/prophets like, for example Elijah.
    – Leonard
    Dec 8, 2021 at 17:54

5 Answers 5

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Based on context alone, the interpretation stated in the OP’s question is problematic. Ezekiel 20:25-26 itself is a puzzling anomaly against the broader context of text. Apart from these two verses, the text otherwise forms one cohesive message that is first meant for the house of Israel (v.27) then to its children (v. 18). The two major points regarding what God desires from Israel are:

1/ They should abide by God’s commandments and keep holy his Sabbath (vv. 11, 16, 19-20)

2/ They should refrain from all idol worship and practices (vv. 7, 16, 18). Specifically, they are not to engage in child-sacrifice (v. 31)

Verses 25-26, however, break the flow of the text and present a problem for both translators and interpreters alike. An article by Jewish scholar Hyam Maccoby offers some valuable insight. Maccoby presents the problem in this way:

The difficulties of these translations are obvious. Ezekiel has just been complaining that the Israelites have not kept the statutes and laws. Now he says, apparently, that the statutes and laws were not good. In that case, why complain that the Israelites did not keep them? Or were there two sets of laws, one good, which the Israelites did not keep, and the other bad, given to them as a punishment for not keeping the first set? Where in the Torah or elsewhere is there any evidence for two such sets of laws?

http://jtr.shanti.virginia.edu/statutes-that-were-not-good-ezekiel-2025-26-traditional-interpretations/#content

The various interpretations offer different solutions for reconciling this problem. Commentaries generally take the words of verse 25 literally. The problem with this approach lies in the challenge of explaining how God could give bad statutes and ordinances. Though commentators take pains to differentiate these laws from those of God (v.11), it does not resolve the problem that they are said to be given by God.

In the article above, Maccoby outlines an alternate interpretation belonging to Meir Loeb Malbim (1809-1879). Malbim interprets verse 25 as being sarcastic and as representing the views of those who rebelled against the laws of God.

Malbim’s general approach to the text, investing it with fierce sarcasm, is surely far more convincing than the standard translations. The notion of a God who deliberately gives bad laws is surely nonsensical, but that Ezekiel should attribute to the rebels the view that the laws of God, as conveyed by the prophet, are bad is perfectly understandable.

Malbim’s interpretation hinges on an important textual issue:

It is in fact an important problem of the text whether the words beha'avir kol peter racham refer to idolatrous human sacrifice or to the Torah practice of sacrificing the firstborn of animals only. The translators of AV and NEB have plumped for the former alternative, while JPS leaves the matter indeterminate. In favour of the idolatry alternative is the use of the same verb in a clearly idolatrous context in v. 31. Also the use of the verb ha`avir in almost all cases refers to idolatrous worship.

But there is an important exception, and this is certainly what determined Malbim to adopt his interpretation. In Exodus 13:12, we find not only the verb, but the whole phrase. Malbim was well aware that Ezekiel is here repeating a liturgical phrase from Israelite worship, and such a phrase cannot be ascribed to idolatrous procedure, in reference to which the expression kol peter rechem is never used. He therefore felt forced to interpret the rebellious Israelites as complaining about the Torah law as an impediment to the performance of idolatrous rites.

Actually, modern scholarship confirms the rebels’ sense of history, if not their morality, for the biblical denunciation of human firstborn sacrifice is now seen by scholars as a reform of previous Israelite practice. The text of Exodus 13:12-13, while it rules out sacrifice of the human firstborn, shows a law that has been subject to evolution. The sanctification of the firstborn requiring redemption, the sparing of the Israelite firstborn at the time of the death of the Egyptian firstborn, even the aborted sacrifice of Isaac by Abraham, all show a process of accommodation and reform bespeaking an original, primitive pre-Biblical rite of firstborn sacrifice. The very fact that the term ha`avir has survived in Exodus for non-idolatrous practice, though elsewhere this term is used exclusively in a context of idolatry, shows that there is more continuity between the two practices than was later acknowledged. The biblical writers, including Ezekiel, denounced human sacrifice as idolatrous (see especially the denunciation of the Canaanites in Leviticus 21), but they were struggling with a mode of worship that had an aura of ancient authority as well as a mystical rationale of its own.

Maccoby’s article has helped me to come to my own understanding of Ez 20:25-26, one that deviates from those presented in the article. An additional excerpt from that article plays an important role in shaping my thought:

Malbim realised that Ezekiel was disputing with people who had their own critique of the commandments of the Torah, rather than with mere idolaters. But Malbim may have overlooked the extent to which Ezekiel’s opponents were concerned with exegesis rather than criticism of the Torah. There is also a question about how far the text of Exodus was available to Ezekiel and to his opponents. This question leads to the possibility that their dispute was not merely exegetical but redactional: they may have been arguing about different versions of Exodus current at that time, only one of which explicitly banned human firstborn sacrifice (i.e. one contained Exodus 13: 13b, `and every firstborn of your sons you shall redeem’, while another, cited by Ezekiel’s opponents, did not).

“Ezekiel was disputing with people who had their own critique of the commandments of the Torah.” This point is important, I think, not just to the verses in question but to the chapter in general, the first verse of which states that the elders of Israel came to inquire of Yahweh. What they wanted to discuss may very well be the issue of child-sacrifice. This connection between their inquiry and the practice of child-sacrifice is more directly made in v. 31:

And when you offer your gifts, when you make your sons pass through the fire, you are defiling yourselves with all your idols to this day. So shall I be inquired of by you, house of Israel? As I live,” declares the Lord God, “I certainly will not be inquired of by you. – v .31

Here is my own creative reconstruction of the meeting between the elders and Ezekiel – The elders came to Ezekiel to challenge his teachings and interpretation of Scripture. Specifically, they questioned whether it was not Ezekiel who was wrong for denouncing the practice of child-sacrifice. Basing their arguments on certain verses from Exodus (13:12, 22:29) and possibly other versions of the Torah, they inquired whether this practice was not commanded by God himself. This is then how the “bad” laws came to be attributed to God.

“You shall not hold back the offering from your entire harvest and your wine. The firstborn of your sons you shall give to Me." – Ex 22:29

God’s refusal to “be inquired” by the elders is an indication that they did not inquire in good faith but were only trying to justify their own position. Despite his refusal, the whole of chapter 20 in a way serves as God’s answer to their inquiry. Instead of debating the text, God’s answer lays out the history of his journey with the people of Israel, the focus of which is on God’s unwavering faithfulness and mercy despite Israel’s persistent unfaithfulness and rebellion (vv. 6-8, 13-17, 21-22). Against all the evidence of his holiness and goodness, God expressed his frustration that they still did not know or understand who he is.

Then you will know that I am the Lord, when I have dealt with you in behalf of My name, not according to your evil ways or according to your corrupt deeds, house of Israel,” declares the Lord God.’” – v. 44

Despite everything that I have written, however, I don’t think we can rule out the possibility that Ez 20:25-26 can be understood in its most literal sense. Though God, for the sake of his name, will’s only that which is good, there is still a sense in which everything that happens, whether good or bad, must serve God’s good purposes in the end. Thus, even when men rebel against God in the most egregious way, as when they offer up child-sacrifices to their idols, and even though sin is rooted in man’s own nature, intentions, and choices, their actions can still be said to be in accordance with what God has decreed. Herein lies the mystery beyond what the human mind can grasp - that of how God’s omniscience and omnipotence coexists with man’s free will. Easier to understand, perhaps, is how the consequences of men’s actions, the desolation that results from sin (v. 26), serve God’s will and purposes. In the end God proclaims his ultimate sovereignty over all things, so that all would “know that I am the Lord” (vv. 12, 26, 38, 42, 44).

“As for you, house of Israel,” this is what the Lord God says: “Go, serve, everyone of you his idols; but later you will certainly listen to Me, and My holy name you will no longer defile with your gifts and your idols.” – Ez 20:39

As a final thought, I cannot help but notice how relevant the message of Ezekiel 20 is to answering the OP’s question. It serves as a reminder that, in order to properly understand and apply Scripture, we must first be grounded in the memory and knowledge of God’s goodness and mercy.

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  • +1 for your detailed and lengthy answer. This is a novel interpretation indeed, and I also like your theory that the elders came to discuss child sacrifice. But I wish you spent more time explaining the approach of the Malbim, how would you read this verse sarcastically? Is ezekiel speaking for them here? What is the purpose of the sarcasm here, and how does it fit in the wider context of this oracle? Can you elaborate please?
    – bach
    Dec 12, 2021 at 1:12
  • Are the elders upset that God outlawed child sacrifice, and this is what they call bad statutes when in fact they are good? This is very counterintuitive, because the bad laws are most likely referring to the act of child sacrifice itself, not the disallowment of it. Why is it written in such a misleading way?
    – bach
    Dec 12, 2021 at 1:16
  • Actually I just read Maccoby's thesis, and I remain unconvinced of his interpretation, I think it's forced. However there are few things I took out from it, that I think are very useful to understanding this chapter. I think if we accept his basic thesis that the elders were saying that Ezekiel's interpretation of the law is bad, because it is outlawing child sacrifice, then I think v. 25-26 must be understood as a retort to that thought process.
    – bach
    Dec 12, 2021 at 1:43
  • Ezekiel is retorting sarcastically, yes I agree with you my laws are bad, but you know which one? Not my ban on child sacrifice but my original law - that according to the elders is the real will of god - that commanded it! Ezekiel isn't then necessarily admitting that God ever commanded it, he's just retorting to their claim that God's laws are bad, he is saying right I agree my laws are bad, but only my original law that commanded it (according to their twisted logic that this was his original intent and Ezekiel was reforming the law), not my new law that outlawed it.
    – bach
    Dec 12, 2021 at 1:43
  • If I have time I will write my own answer. In any case, your answer was very helpful, I appreciate the time you took to address it.
    – bach
    Dec 12, 2021 at 1:43
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Not so fast! Note the context in the previous verses of Eze 20:18-24 -

18 In the wilderness I said to their children: ‘Do not walk in the statutes of your fathers or keep their ordinances or defile yourselves with their idols. 19 I am the LORD your God; walk in My statutes, keep My ordinances, and practice them. 20 Keep My Sabbaths holy, that they may be a sign between us, so that you may know that I am the LORD your God.’

21 But the children rebelled against Me. They did not walk in My statutes or carefully observe My ordinances—though the man who does these things will live by them—and they profaned My Sabbaths. So I resolved to pour out My wrath upon them and vent My anger against them in the wilderness. 22 But I withheld My hand and acted for the sake of My name, so that it would not be profaned in the eyes of the nations in whose sight I had brought them out.

23 However, with an uplifted hand I swore to them in the wilderness that I would scatter them among the nations and disperse them throughout the lands. 24 For they did not practice My ordinances, but they rejected My statutes and profaned My Sabbaths, fixing their eyes on the idols of their fathers.

Thus, God makes this situation very clear - because the people rejected God and His covenant laws, God allowed them ("gave them over to" V25) to profane pagan practices, including child sacrifice.

Thus, it was NOT the LORD's will that this occur but it was because of the choice of the people! we see this again in Rom 1:21-24 -

21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified Him as God nor gave thanks to Him, but they became futile in their thinking and darkened in their foolish hearts. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images of mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles. 24 Therefore God gave them over in the desires of their hearts to impurity for the dishonoring of their bodies with one another.

This is a perfect example of God being attributed as the cause of something that He does not actually instigate, ie, the Divine Passive - see appendix below. Thus, in Eze 20:26 we have God being attributed as the case of something that was actually the choice of the people.

APPENDIX - Divine Passive

Lam 3:38 - Do not both adversity and good come from the mouth of the Most High?

The Divine Passive says that because God is omniscient and omnipotent, He is the ultimate cause of all things, even those He does not directly instigate, because God allows them to happen.

The idea of the Divine Passive doctrine (as distinct from the grammatical divine passive construction) is one that is not explicit in the Bible but was created to explain the available, apparently contradictory, facts. Here are some examples:

  • 2 Sam 24:1 vs 1 Chron 21:1 – Who tempted King David to have a census? God or Satan? Both are correct because to the Hebrew mind, God is omniscient and omnipotent and thus events only occur if He allows. James 1:13 explicitly states that God tempts no one.
  • Job 2:3 - God says that Satan "incited" God to ruin Job, even though it was Satan that was the direct cause of Job's ruin
  • 1 Sam 16:14, 16, 18:10, 19:9 – God sent an evil (literally, unclean) spirit on Saul? God does not have an evil spirit to send! Again, the omnipotent God is deemed responsible for that which He does not prevent.
  • Judges 9:23 has an identical idea of an evil spirit from God.
  • 1 Kings 2:22, 23, 2 Chron 18:21, 22 all have a "lying spirit" from the LORD.
  • Ex 9:12, 10:1, 20, 27, 11:10, 14:8 – God causes Pharaoh to harden his heart??? Clearly not! Compare Ex 8:15, 32, 9:34 where Pharaoh hardens his own heart.
  • Compare Rev 17:1 where God judges the great prostitute, with, Rev 17:16, 17 where the great prostitute becomes a victim of her own wicked ways.
  • In Eze 14:9 says, “I the LORD have enticed/deceived that prophet”; whereas James 1:13 says that God does not tempt anyone. This principle can be readily extrapolated to other many (not all) other passages where the passive voice is used; eg, the beatitudes of Matt 5, Rom 3:28, 1 Cor 7:23, Gal 5:13, Eph 2:5, Matt 9:2, 1 Peter 1:18.
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  • Dottard, I have no idea what you mean by God allowing them to sacrifice. Are you being vague on purpose? The text makes it abundantly clear that it's God himself who gave them these bad statutes including child sacrifice. V. 26 also speaks of God defiling them thru child sacrifice, which further implies that it's God's command. You have not addressed any of the above points. How are you reading these two verses as a whole? You are not clear on that either. And btw "profane pagan practices" is grammatically incorrect. In order to avoid downvotes please edit this answer.
    – bach
    Dec 6, 2021 at 23:57
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    I am downvoting this answer because it it does not offer a convincing interpretation. It would also be helpful to others, if the scriptures presented were highlighted, so we can check these scriptures quickly instead of having to open up the bible.
    – Bagpipes
    Dec 8, 2021 at 12:00
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    Thanks for the addition. However putting semantics aside as I have already pointed out to Leonard, it doesn't make any sense to me that someone's immoral behavior should be attributed to God. If they chose to sacrifice children then God will punish them for their wicked acts, it doesn't help to say oh God let it happen, so it's somewhat his fault. That's absurd and twisted. They are the only ones responsible for their actions. The simplest explanation is that God actually commanded it himself, as the text unequivocally states "I I gave them other statutes that were not good".
    – bach
    Dec 8, 2021 at 13:13
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    @Bach I think Dottards answer has shown numerous cases where the same type of language is used to show there are times God "allows" things to happen and he is attributed as the cause. That seems to be primarily the purpose of Dottards answer - to highlight the scriptures where similar events occur and language is used. For me it comes down to the metaphor of Israel as a "cultivated" fig vs a wild fig. God has taken responsibility for cultivating Israel. So if he allows it to grow in a wrong direction then it can be seen as a deliberate action or "inaction" on his part as "the gardener"
    – Marshall
    Dec 11, 2021 at 2:44
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    A wild tree grows unsupervised and uncorrected but a tree planted in God's Vinyard is like a carefully manicured Bonsai. Where he decides to prune and where he decides not to prune is entirely under the gardeners control. The best analogy would be a tree he continues to prune to prevent a growing in a wrong "dangerous" direction. But after repeated pruning the tree stubbornly continues to regrow that branch. Eventually the gardener stops intervening and allows that branch to grow to "fullness" so the tree can experience the horror he was trying to protect it from and turn back from it to him.
    – Marshall
    Dec 11, 2021 at 3:08
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Ezekiel chapter 20 describes the third time the elders of Israel came to inquire of the Lord from Ezekiel. The first inquiry is in chapter 8, and the second inquiry is in chapter 14. The Lord's response to the third inquiry was similar to the second. Let's read some critical verses in the second inquiry.

1 Some of the elders of Israel came to me and sat down in front of me.

2 Then the word of the Lord came to me:

3 “Son of man, these men have set up idols in their hearts and put wicked stumbling blocks before their faces. Should I let them inquire of me at all?

4 Therefore speak to them and tell them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: When any of the Israelites set up idols in their hearts and put a wicked stumbling block before their faces and then go to a prophet, I the Lord will answer them myself in keeping with their great idolatry. (Ezekiel 14:1-4 NIV)

It is worth noting that in the third inquiry, we see a dialogue similar to Ezekiel 14:3;

3 “Son of man, speak to the elders of Israel and say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Have you come to inquire of me? As surely as I live, I will not let you inquire of me, declares the Sovereign Lord.’ (Ezekiel 20:3 NIV)

31 When you offer your gifts—the sacrifice of your children in the fire—you continue to defile yourselves with all your idols to this day. Am I to let you inquire of me, you Israelites? As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, I will not let you inquire of me. (Ezekiel 20:31 NIV)

It hadn't been told what did the elders of Israel inquire about. It should not be about idol worship or human sacrifice for they knew it was offending the law. In Ezekiel vision described in chapter 8, the spirit took Ezekiel to Jerusalem, and discovered the detestable things hidden behind the wall, where there were seventy elders of Israel stood in front of them (Eze 8:7-11). The way they secretly worshipped idols, was in the mindset they knew their act desecrated the law, yet they thought the Lord didn't know, as the Lord said;

12 He (the Lord) said to me (Ezekiel), “Son of man, have you seen what the elders of Israel are doing in the darkness, each at the shrine of his own idol? They say, ‘The Lord does not see us; the Lord has forsaken the land.’” (Eze 8:12 NIV)

In my analysis, the elders of Israel were inquiring an assurance from the Lord that Jerusalem was safe and secure. In their mind, they always thought Jerusalem was a fortified city that would not fall, and God would not let Jerusalem fall for it was His Holy City. They said;

‘Haven’t our houses been recently rebuilt? This city is a pot, and we are the meat in it.’ (Eze 11:3 NIV)

The interpretation of this verse is polarized. It may be more clear when read together with Ezekiel 11:10-11, which the Lord response to their false sense of security.

10 You will fall by the sword, and I will execute judgment on you at the borders of Israel. Then you will know that I am the Lord.

11 This city will not be a pot for you, nor will you be the meat in it; I will execute judgment on you at the borders of Israel. (Eze 11:10-11 NIV)

It means the elders of Israel might tell the people that Jerusalem was safe to live in, as a pot would holdfast the meat in it. But the Lord said their judgment would be executed at the borders of Israel, they would never be the meat in a pot. The elders of Israel who made the third inquiry to Ezekiel might think the same, funny was they were not so sure and they inquired the Lord's words from Ezekiel.

Based on the context above, let us address to the questions;

  1. What was the truth that the Lord did not let them inquire of Him? (Eze 14:3)
  2. What was the answer the Lord would give them Himself? (Eze 14:4)

Answer to 1: the Lord would not answer the assurance they wanted to hear, as they asked with an anticipated answer, and they would not listen to the truth.

Answer to 2: The judgment of the Lord, the words included Ezekiel 20:25-26

25 So I gave them other statutes that were not good and laws through which they could not live;

26 I defiled them through their gifts—the sacrifice of every firstborn—that I might fill them with horror so they would know that I am the Lord.

Fairly speaking, it is uneasy to understand the verses literally. I need to make the context coherent to project an explanation. I do not think the Lord gave them a new statute to defile them. The Israelites had long been defiling themselves since their ancestor in the exodus until then (Eze 20:4-24; 20:27-31). Ezekiel 20:25-26 is the Lord judgement, that they would not live for what they did. When they were in horror facing the truth, they would know that He is the Lord.

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In all instances where God is seeking child sacrifice bear in mind that the listener is listening to the voice of God who is the lawmaker. God may say sacrifice and one is to sacrifice. God may say redeem and one is to redeem. Abraham knew the law not to sacrifice the first born but he also knew the voice of the lawgiver. Abraham choose to obey not the law but the voice of the lawgiver who told him to "Stay thy hand." The Rubenites were told to drink no wine. They continued to drink wine even though the LORD through His prophet told them it was then ok to drink wine. God had to ask Peter three times to eat what God had forbidden Peter to eat in the past. Only after three attempts did Peter realize that it was best to obey the voice of the LORD who is the lawgiver.

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  • Welcome to Biblical Hermeneutics! and thank you for your contribution. When you get a chance, please take the tour to understand how the site works and how it is different than others. I also recommend going through the Help Center's sections on both asking and answering questions.
    – agarza
    Aug 21, 2023 at 17:56
  • Welcome to the site, John. In hermeneutics, statements claiming to be facts must be substantiated with evidence, otherwise they remain as opinions or personal interpretations. The text in question is Ezk.20:26, which has not been addressed in this answer. Answers need to go into the text to see what it states, or does not state. The answer by Vincent Wong gives a good example of doing that. Can you now expound the text and its context? That would be good.
    – Anne
    Aug 22, 2023 at 12:13
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This is very simple Ezekiel 20:24 Is reflecting what Leviticus and Romans clearly explain there is Curses and punishment for braking the Torah and life and Blessings for keeping it. If the Israelites reject and break the Law it is a Curse to them.

Ezekiel 20:25 It says “I let them” God normally stops and punishes something as horrible as child sacrifice and he has used child sacrifice as a way to show how He is different from the main false gods of that time. This verse is echoing the point of this whole chapter that THEY “are defiling themselves” and Verses 30 & 31 is the proof.

To suggest from this one verse that God gave them a false law for them to follow as a “gotcha” goes against the entire point of this chapter.

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