Ezekiel 11:16

Therefore say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Although I have cast them far off among the heathen, and although I have scattered them among the countries, yet will I be to them as a little sanctuary in the countries where they shall come.

Therefore say, thus saith the Lord God,.... Since they were so insulted and ill treated by their brethren the Jews:

Although I have cast them afar off among the Heathen; both the ten tribes, even all the house of Israel, who were carried into Assyria, and placed in the cities of the Medes, in Halath and Habor, by the river Gozan, 2 Kings 17:6; and those of the Jews in Jeconiah's captivity, among whom were Ezekiel, and his brethren, and his kindred:

and although I have scattered them among the countries; and therefore, what with the distance of the place where they were, and the dispersion of them among the people where they resided, their case might seem to be desperate; and that there was no probability, and scarce any possibility, of their being preserved as a people, and of their restoration to their own land:

yet will I be to them a little sanctuary in the countries where they shall come; their dwelling place, as he has been to his people in all generations their protection from all their enemies, in whom, and by whose power, they should be safe; and whose presence they should enjoy, though deprived of public ordinances, of temple worship and service; though they were at a distance from the great sanctuary, the temple, the inhabitants of Jerusalem boasted of, yet the Lord would make up the want of that to them with himself. The Targum, Jarchi, and Kimchi {m} interpret this of the synagogues, which were second to the temple, the Israelites had in foreign countries, where they prayed to the Lord, and worshipped him, and enjoyed his presence. It may be rendered, "the sanctuary of a few" {n}; they being but few, especially that were truly godly, that were carried captive: or, "a sanctuary for a little while" {o}; that is, during seventy years, and then they should be returned, as follows. The Targum is,

"I have given them synagogues, second to my sanctuary, and they are as few in the provinces where they are carried captive.''

{m} Ex T. Bab. Megilla, fol. 29. 1.
{n} jem vdqml "ad sanctuarium paucitatis", Calvin; "in sanctuarium paucorum", Cocceius. So Ben Melech says the word is a substantive in some copies.
{o} Paulisper, Junius & Tremellius, Polanus, Castalio.