Ezek 20:33-49 is a passage dealing with gathering Israel into their land at the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.
The Lord scattered Israel into many countries when the Assyrians and Babylonians took Israel and Judah captive. The Lord warned them he would do this in Lev 26:30-34. In like manner, the Lord will scatter them in the Tribulation, as well, Deut 28:63-67.
Gathering Israel With Fury
During the Tribulation, the Lord will gather Israel out of the countries wherein he scattered them. He will gather them with fury and he will rule over them, 33-34. The Lord’s fury during the Tribulation is prophesied in Is 51:17, 22-23 and Jer 25:15-33.
Bringing Israel to the Wilderness
The Lord will bring Israel into the wilderness to plead with them face to face, 35. John recorded this event in Rev 12:6, 14, when he saw Israel escape to the wilderness. Their flight is compared to their wilderness journey after the Exodus, 36. And just as the Lord fed them with manna after the Exodus, he will feed them with manna in the Tribulation, Mic 7:14-15, Rev 2:17.
Passing Israel Under the Rod
When the Lord gathers Israel, they will pass under the rod, 37. The rod serves two purposes. The Lord counts them as they pass under the rod, as in Jer 33:13; Lev 27:32. And the Lord sorts them as they pass under the rod, so he can purge out the rebels, 38, as in Ezek 34:17. The rebels shall not enter into the land of Israel. But those who do enter will be in the bond of the covenant, 37. They will fulfill the covenant that God made with Abraham concerning the land. And the Lord will fulfill the new covenant found in Jer 31:31-34.
Gathering Israel Into Their Land
The Lord will gather Israel into their land where they will worship him with their offerings and oblations, 40-42. See Ezek 45:17, where Israel will be offering sacrifices in the temple at Jerusalem during Christ’s millennial reign. The Lord will be in his holy mountain where all will worship him in the house of the Lord, Is 66:15-22.
Notice that the Lord instructed them to worship their idols, if they weren’t going to hearken unto him, 39. He didn’t want them to pollute his name with their idols and gifts. See Is 42:8, for example. Once they are back in their land, the will loathe themselves for the evil that they committed in turning away from the Lord, 43. In fact, the Lord will gather them for his name’s sake and not according to their wicked ways and corrupt doings, 44.
Burning Men in Unquenchable Fire
In 45-47, the Lord likens men to the trees of the south forest. He will kindle a fire in the forest that will burn green trees and dry trees, alike. All faces shall be burned in this fire. And the flaming fire shall not be quenched. This flaming fire could represent the destruction of Jerusalem following Zedekiah’s captivity, 2 Ki 22:15-17; Jer 7:17-20. However, it is most definitely a reference to the unquenchable fire of hell, Is 34:1-10. You know this because all flesh shall see it, 48, Is 66:23-24.
Of course the attitude of those who heard Ezekiel’s prophecy was the same as peoples’ attitude about hell, today. They asked, “Doth not he speak parables”? That’s the typical interpretation of Lk 16:19-31, where the Lord gives us a vivid description of the literal fire in hell.
If you have thought that hell is just a fairy tale or a religious fabrication, think again. You don’t want to arrive there after this life and find that there is no way out. You must trust Jesus to save you now. For after you die, it will be too late. Don’t go there.
Conclusion to Gathering Israel Into Their Land
In summary, Israel will be scattered by the middle of the Tribulation. The Lord will begin to gather them in the wilderness, where he will feed them and sort them. The Lord will pour out his fury on them and then on their enemies. When Israel returns to their land, and is in their covenant with the Lord, they will worship Jesus in his holy mountain. And he will burn his enemies in unquenchable fire.