“I Am the Lord” in Ezekiel’s Prophecy

When Will We Know That He is Lord?

– God tells us over and over that he is the LORD (YHWH), and he tells us when we will know that he is the LORD. This revelation of God’s character is a constant theme in Ezekiel, whether this revelation comes through judgment or mercy.

– The quote “I am the LORD” is God’s self-identification that began with Moses in the book of Exodus. In Exodus, as here, God identifies himself primarily by his activity. The verbal revelation clarifies an action which could otherwise be misinterpreted (e.g. Ex. 20:2, “I am the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt”). This revelation does not change or develop who he is, but it does develop our understanding of him, and that is a goal worth mentioning around 80-90 times in Ezekiel’s book (listed below).

– Exodus 6:7 introduces two promises: “I will take you to be my people, and I will be your God, and you shall know that I am the LORD your God, who has brought you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians.”
The first part, “you will be my people, and I will be your God”, is repeated six times by Ezekiel (11:20, 14:11, 34:30, 36:28b, 37:23, 37:26-28). It is also found in Jer. 24:7, 30:22, 31:1, 31:33, 32:38, and Rev. 21:3.
The second part, “you will know that I am the Lord”, is repeated by Ezekiel about 70 times.
While “knowing that he is the Lord” involves revelation, owning up to him as “your God” and us as his people involves commitment—or, in biblical language, covenant. In both cases, the wealth of repetition gives a sense of the idea’s importance.

– Here, in particular, I am looking at the second part of the promise. When does Ezekiel say that we will “know that he is the Lord”?

– Note that Ezekiel’s final passage of this kind, 39:28, is somewhat summative. Both the negative results—Babylonian captivity—and positive results—promised restoration—for Israel were part and parcel of God’s self-revelatory activity.

– These are not the only verses in Ezekiel that display God revealing himself, and many others could be named; but this list shows how important and well-developed this single motif is in Ezekiel’s book.

List of Occurrences in Ezekiel

– This list includes every time that God says “I am the LORD” in Ezekiel’s prophecy. Verses in italics are simply God stating, “I am the LORD.” Verses in normal font include reasons leading up to knowing that he is “the LORD.”

Unqualified statements: “I am the LORD”: 19 times*
Judgment/scattering of Israel/Judah: 25 times
Judgment on Gentiles: 21 times
Regathering/New Covenant of Israel: 15 times
Mixed/other (explanation in parentheses): 12 times
Total: 92 times

*See end note.


Ezekiel 5:13
Thus shall my anger spend itself, and I will vent my fury upon them and satisfy myself. And they shall know that I am the Lord—that I have spoken in my jealousy—when I spend my fury upon them.

Ezekiel 5:15-16
You shall be a reproach and a taunt, a warning and a horror, to the nations all around you, when I execute judgments on you in anger and fury, and with furious rebukes—I am the Lord; I have spoken—when I send against you the deadly arrows of famine, arrows for destruction, which I will send to destroy you, and when I bring more and more famine upon you and break your supply of bread.

Ezekiel 5:17
I will send famine and wild beasts against you, and they will rob you of your children. Pestilence and blood shall pass through you, and I will bring the sword upon you. I am the Lord; I have spoken.

Ezekiel 6:7
And the slain shall fall in your midst, and you shall know that I am the Lord.

Ezekiel 6:8-10
8 “Yet I will leave some of you alive. When you have among the nations some who escape the sword, and when you are scattered through the countries, 9 then those of you who escape will remember me among the nations where they are carried captive, how I have been broken over their whoring heart that has departed from meand over their eyes that go whoring after their idols. And they will be loathsome in their own sight for the evils that they have committed, for all their abominations. 10 And they shall know that I am the Lord. I have not said in vain that I would do this evil to them.

Ezekiel 6:13
And you shall know that I am the Lord, when their slain lie among their idols around their altars, on every high hill, on all the mountaintops, under every green tree, and under every leafy oak, wherever they offered pleasing aroma to all their idols.

Ezekiel 6:14
And I will stretch out my hand against them and make the land desolate and waste, in all their dwelling places, from the wilderness to Riblah. Then they will knowthat I am the Lord.”

Ezekiel 7:4
And my eye will not spare you, nor will I have pity, but I will punish you for your ways, while your abominations are in your midst. Then you will know that I am the Lord.

Ezekiel 7:9
And my eye will not spare, nor will I have pity. I will punish you according to your ways, while your abominations are in your midst. Then you will know that I am the Lord, who strikes.

Ezekiel 7:27
The king mourns, the prince is wrapped in despair, and the hands of the people of the land are paralyzed by terror. According to their way I will do to them, and according to their judgments I will judge them, and they shall know that I am the Lord.”

Ezekiel 11:10
You shall fall by the sword. I will judge you at the border of Israel, and you shall know that I am the Lord.

Ezekiel 11:11-12
This city shall not be your cauldron, nor shall you be the meat in the midst of it. I will judge you at the border of Israel, and you shall know that I am the Lord. For you have not walked in my statutes, nor obeyed my rules, but have acted according to the rules of the nations that are around you.”

Ezekiel 12:15
And they shall know that I am the Lord, when I disperse them among the nations and scatter them among the countries.

Ezekiel 12:16
But I will let a few of them escape from the sword, from famine and pestilence, thatthey may declare all their abominations among the nations where they go, and may know that I am the Lord.”
(Deliverance out of judgment)

Ezekiel 12:20
And the inhabited cities shall be laid waste, and the land shall become a desolation; and you shall know that I am the Lord.”

Ezekiel 12:25
For I am the Lord; I will speak the word that I will speak, and it will be performed. It will no longer be delayed, but in your days, O rebellious house, I will speak the word and perform it, declares the Lord God.”

Ezekiel 13:9
My hand will be against the prophets who see false visions and who give lying divinations. They shall not be in the council of my people, nor be enrolled in the register of the house of Israel, nor shall they enter the land of Israel. And you shall know that I am the Lord God.

Ezekiel 13:14
And I will break down the wall that you have smeared with whitewash, and bring it down to the ground, so that its foundation will be laid bare. When it falls, you shall perish in the midst of it, and you shall know that I am the Lord.

Ezekiel 13:21
Your veils also I will tear off and deliver my people out of your hand, and they shall be no more in your hand as prey, and you shall know that I am the Lord.
(Judgment on the deceiver, deliverance for the deceived)

Ezekiel 13:23
therefore you shall no more see false visions nor practice divination. I will deliver my people out of your hand. And you shall know that I am the Lord.”
(Judgment on the deceiver, deliverance for the deceived)

Ezekiel 14:4*
Therefore speak to them and say to them, Thus says the Lord God: Any one of the house of Israel who takes his idols into his heart and sets the stumbling block of his iniquity before his face, and yet comes to the prophet, I the Lord will answer him as he comes with the multitude of his idols,

Ezekiel 14:7*
For any one of the house of Israel, or of the strangers who sojourn in Israel, who separates himself from me, taking his idols into his heart and putting the stumbling block of his iniquity before his face, and yet comes to a prophet to consult me through him, I the Lord will answer him myself.

Ezekiel 14:8
And I will set my face against that man; I will make him a sign and a byword and cut him off from the midst of my people, and you shall know that I am the Lord.
(Judgment on the deceiver, deliverance for the deceived)

Ezekiel 14:9*
And if the prophet is deceived and speaks a word, I, the Lord, have deceived that prophet, and I will stretch out my hand against him and will destroy him from the midst of my people Israel.

Ezekiel 15:7
And I will set my face against them. Though they escape from the fire, the fire shall yet consume them, and you will know that I am the Lord, when I set my face against them.

Ezekiel 16:62
I will establish my covenant with you, and you shall know that I am the Lord,

Ezekiel 17:21
And all the pick of his troops shall fall by the sword, and the survivors shall be scattered to every wind, and you shall know that I am the Lord; I have spoken.”

Ezekiel 17:24
And all the trees of the field shall know that I am the Lord; I bring low the high tree, and make high the low tree, dry up the green tree, and make the dry tree flourish. I am the Lord; I have spoken, and I will do it.”

Ezekiel 17:24
And all the trees of the field shall know that I am the Lord; I bring low the high tree, and make high the low tree, dry up the green tree, and make the dry tree flourish. I am the Lord; I have spoken, and I will do it.”

Ezekiel 20:5
and say to them, Thus says the Lord God: On the day when I chose Israel, I swore to the offspring of the house of Jacob, making myself known to them in the land of Egypt; I swore to them, saying, I am the Lord your God.

Ezekiel 20:7
And I said to them, Cast away the detestable things your eyes feast on, every one of you, and do not defile yourselves with the idols of Egypt; I am the Lord your God.

Ezekiel 20:12
Moreover, I gave them my Sabbaths, as a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the Lord who sanctifies them.
(Sabbaths are a sign that they might know)

Ezekiel 20:19a
I am the Lord your God …

Ezekiel 20:19-20
I am the Lord your God; walk in my statutes, and be careful to obey my rules, and keep my Sabbaths holy that they may be a sign between me and you, that you may know that I am the Lord your God.
(They will know if they obey)

Ezekiel 20:25-26
Moreover, I gave them statutes that were not good and rules by which they could not have life, and I defiled them through their very gifts in their offering up all their firstborn, that I might devastate them. I did it that they might know that I am the Lord.
(NKJV is more helpful here; God brings judgment by allowing people to be content in their evil—see 20:39)

Ezekiel 20:38
I will purge out the rebels from among you, and those who transgress against me. I will bring them out of the land where they sojourn, but they shall not enter the land of Israel. Then you will know that I am the Lord.

Ezekiel 20:42
And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I bring you into the land of Israel, the country that I swore to give to your fathers.

Ezekiel 20:44
And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I deal with you for my name’s sake, not according to your evil ways, nor according to your corrupt deeds, O house of Israel, declares the Lord God.”

Ezekiel 20:48*
All flesh shall see that I the LORD have kindled it; it shall not be quenched.”

Ezekiel 21:5
And all flesh shall know that I am the Lord. I have drawn my sword from its sheath; it shall not be sheathed again.

Ezekiel 21:17*
I also will clap my hands, and I will satisfy my fury; I the Lord have spoken.

Ezekiel 21:32*
You shall be fuel for the fire. Your blood shall be in the midst of the land. You shall be no more remembered, for I the Lord have spoken.

Ezekiel 22:14*
Can your courage endure, or can your hands be strong, in the days that I shall deal with you? I the Lord have spoken, and I will do it.

Ezekiel 22:16
And you shall be profaned by your own doing in the sight of the nations, and you shall know that I am the Lord.”

Ezekiel 22:22
As silver is melted in a furnace, so you shall be melted in the midst of it, and you shall know that I am the Lord; I have poured out my wrath upon you.”

Ezekiel 23:49
And they shall return your lewdness upon you, and you shall bear the penalty for your sinful idolatry, and you shall know that I am the Lord God.”

Ezekiel 24:14
I am the Lord. I have spoken; it shall come to pass; I will do it. I will not go back; I will not spare; I will not relent; according to your ways and your deeds you will be judged, declares the Lord God.”

Ezekiel 24:24
Thus shall Ezekiel be to you a sign; according to all that he has done you shall do. When this comes, then you will know that I am the Lord God.

Ezekiel 24:27
On that day your mouth will be opened to the fugitive, and you shall speak and be no longer mute. So you will be a sign to them, and they will know that I am the Lord.”

Ezekiel 25:5
I will make Rabbah a pasture for camels and Ammon a fold for flocks. Then you will know that I am the Lord.

Ezekiel 25:7
therefore, behold, I have stretched out my hand against you, and will hand you over as plunder to the nations. And I will cut you off from the peoples and will make you perish out of the countries; I will destroy you. Then you will know that I am the Lord.

Ezekiel 25:11
and I will execute judgments upon Moab. Then they will know that I am the Lord.

Ezekiel 25:17
I will execute great vengeance on them with wrathful rebukes. Then they will know that I am the Lord, when I lay my vengeance upon them.”

Ezekiel 26:5-6
She shall be in the midst of the sea a place for the spreading of nets, for I have spoken, declares the Lord God. And she shall become plunder for the nations, and her daughters on the mainland shall be killed by the sword. Then they will knowthat I am the Lord.

Ezekiel 26:14
I will make you a bare rock. You shall be a place for the spreading of nets. You shall never be rebuilt, for I am the Lord; I have spoken, declares the Lord God.

Ezekiel 28:22
and say, Thus says the Lord God:“Behold, I am against you, O Sidon, and I will manifest my glory in your midst. And they shall know that I am the Lord when I execute judgments in her and manifest my holiness in her;

Ezekiel 28:23
for I will send pestilence into her, and blood into her streets; and the slain shall fall in her midst, by the sword that is against her on every side. Then they will knowthat I am the Lord.

Ezekiel 28:24
“And for the house of Israel there shall be no more a brier to prick or a thorn to hurt them among all their neighbors who have treated them with contempt. Then they will know that I am the Lord God.

Ezekiel 28:26
And they shall dwell securely in it, and they shall build houses and plant vineyards. They shall dwell securely, when I execute judgments upon all their neighbors who have treated them with contempt. Then they will know that I am the Lord their God.”

Ezekiel 29:6-7
Then all the inhabitants of Egypt shall know that I am the Lord.“Because you have been a staff of reed to the house of Israel, when they grasped you with the hand, you broke and tore all their shoulders; and when they leaned on you, you broke and made all their loins to shake.

Ezekiel 29:8-9
Therefore thus says the Lord God: Behold, I will bring a sword upon you, and will cut off from you man and beast, and the land of Egypt shall be a desolation and a waste. Then they will know that I am the Lord. “Because you said, ‘The Nile is mine, and I made it,’

Ezekiel 29:16
And it shall never again be the reliance of the house of Israel, recalling their iniquity, when they turn to them for aid. Then they will know that I am the Lord God.”
(Judgment on Egypt brings consciousness of sin to Israel)

Ezekiel 29:21
“On that day I will cause a horn to spring up for the house of Israel, and I will open your lips among them. Then they will know that I am the Lord.” (other translations such as NLT may be helpful—this prophecy appears to have fulfillment both at the end of Babylonian captivity, as well as a yet-future fulfillment)

Ezekiel 30:8
Then they will know that I am the Lord, when I have set fire to Egypt, and all her helpers are broken.

Ezekiel 30:12
And I will dry up the Nile and will sell the land into the hand of evildoers; I will bring desolation upon the land and everything in it, by the hand of foreigners; I am the Lord; I have spoken.

Ezekiel 30:19
Thus I will execute judgments on Egypt. Then they will know that I am the Lord.”

Ezekiel 30:25
I will strengthen the arms of the king of Babylon, but the arms of Pharaoh shall fall. Then they shall know that I am the Lord, when I put my sword into the hand of the king of Babylon and he stretches it out against the land of Egypt.

Ezekiel 30:26
And I will scatter the Egyptians among the nations and disperse them throughout the countries. Then they will know that I am the Lord.”

Ezekiel 32:15
When I make the land of Egypt desolate, and when the land is desolate of all that fills it, when I strike down all who dwell in it, then they will know that I am the Lord.

Ezekiel 33:29
Then they will know that I am the Lord, when I have made the land a desolationand a waste because of all their abominations that they have committed.

Ezekiel 34:24a*
And I, the Lord, will be their God, and my servant David shall be prince among them.

Ezekiel 34:24b
I am the Lord; I have spoken.

Ezekiel 34:27
And the trees of the field shall yield their fruit, and the earth shall yield its increase, and they shall be secure in their land. And they shall know that I am the Lord, when I break the bars of their yoke, and deliver them from the hand of those who enslaved them.

Ezekiel 34:30
And they shall know that I am the Lord their God with them, and that they, the house of Israel, are my people, declares the Lord God.

Ezekiel 35:4
I will lay your cities waste, and you shall become a desolation, and you shall knowthat I am the Lord.

Ezekiel 35:9
I will make you a perpetual desolation, and your cities shall not be inhabited. Then you will know that I am the Lord.

Ezekiel 35:11-12
therefore, as I live, declares the Lord GOD, I will deal with you according to the anger and envy that you showed because of your hatred against them. And I will make myself known among them, when I judge you. And you shall know that I am the Lord.“I have heard all the revilings that you uttered against the mountains of Israel, saying, ‘They are laid desolate; they are given us to devour.’
(Judgment on Seir brings revelation of God to Israel)

Ezekiel 35:15
As you rejoiced over the inheritance of the house of Israel, because it was desolate, so I will deal with you; you shall be desolate, Mount Seir, and all Edom, all of it. Then they will know that I am the Lord.

Ezekiel 36:11
And I will multiply on you man and beast, and they shall multiply and be fruitful. And I will cause you to be inhabited as in your former times, and will do more good to you than ever before. Then you will know that I am the Lord.

Ezekiel 36:23
And I will vindicate the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, and which you have profaned among them. And the nations will know that I am the Lord, declares the Lord God, when through you I vindicate my holiness before their eyes.

Ezekiel 36:33,36
Thus says the Lord God: On the day that I cleanse you from all your iniquities, I will cause the cities to be inhabited, and the waste places shall be rebuilt.… . Then the nations that are left all around you shall know that I am the Lord; I have rebuilt the ruined places and replanted that which was desolate. I am the Lord; I have spoken, and I will do it.

Ezekiel 36:36
Then the nations that are left all around you shall know that I am the Lord; I have rebuilt the ruined places and replanted that which was desolate. I am the Lord; I have spoken, and I will do it.

Ezekiel 36:37-38
Thus says the Lord God: This also I will let the house of Israel ask me to do for them: to increase their people like a flock. Like the flock for sacrifices, like the flock at Jerusalem during her appointed feasts, so shall the waste cities be filled with flocks of people. Then they will know that I am the Lord.”

Ezekiel 37:5-6
Thus says the Lord God to these bones: Behold, I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. And I will lay sinews upon you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live, and you shall know that I am the Lord.”

Ezekiel 37:13
And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves, and raise you from your graves, O my people.

Ezekiel 37:14
And I will put my Spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I am the Lord; I have spoken, and I will do it, declares the Lord.”

Ezekiel 37:28
Then the nations will know that I am the Lord who sanctifies Israel, when my sanctuary is in their midst forevermore.”

Ezekiel 38:23
So I will show my greatness and my holiness and make myself known in the eyes of many nations. Then they will know that I am the Lord.

Ezekiel 39:6
I will send fire on Magog and on those who dwell securely in the coastlands, and they shall know that I am the Lord.

Ezekiel 39:7
“And my holy name I will make known in the midst of my people Israel, and I will not let my holy name be profaned anymore. And the nations shall know that I am the Lord, the Holy One in Israel.
(In the context of judgment on Magog)

Ezekiel 39:21-22
And I will set my glory among the nations, and all the nations shall see my judgment that I have executed, and my hand that I have laid on them. The house of Israel shall know that I am the Lord their God, from that day forward.
(Judgment on Magog implies restoration for Israel)

Ezekiel 39:28
Then they shall know that I am the Lord their God, because I sent them into exile among the nations and then assembled them into their own land. I will leave none of them remaining among the nations anymore.
(Both judgment and restoration for Israel)

* Many mentions, starting with 5:15, will only appear in certain English translations because in Hebrew, “be” verbs like am, is, was, or were are not normally expressed. So some of these instances could be either an appositive, “I, the Lord, have spoken…” or two statements: “I [am] the Lord; [I] have spoken.” These two alternatives are possible simply because of differences in verbal expression and punctuation between English and Hebrew.
I included Ezekiel 14:4, 14:7, 14:9, 20:48, 21:17, 21:32, 22:14, 34:24 based on my knowledge of Hebrew verbs. Although in the ESV none of these include the statement “I [am] the Lord,” I take it as a possible translation. For example, if I am not mistaken, 20:48 could be translated “All flesh shall see that I [am] the Lord; [I] have kindled it; it shall not be quenched.”

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