“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.”
Explanation and Commentary of Ezekiel 36:26
This verse is nested in one of the most powerful and encouraging chapters of the Old Testament. The prophets often spoke of the times when God would draw the Israelites back to himself for a season of prosperity and devotion, usually under a faithful leader, only to have them rebel and worship idols again. But this verse in Ezekiel—the whole chapter, really—speaks to something more permanent, lasting, and even somewhat one-sided, like a gift exchange where one party gives and the other receives.
God promises to move in his people, cleansing them from sin and moving them to follow him in ways that the church in the Old Testament seemed unable to do. This could only be accomplished in the life and death of his only Son, Jesus Christ. When one turns to God in Christ and receives forgiveness for sins, one is also filled with the Holy Spirit, with the law of Love written on his or her heart, and the ability to follow him for eternity.
Breaking Down the Key Parts of Ezekiel 36:26
#1 “I will give you…”
Everything we have is from God—every breath, all our sustenance, everything is a gift. God is the giver, and we are the receivers (1 Cor 4:7; Ro 11:36). Our response is to be grateful for and trustworthy with those gifts.
#2 “…a new heart and put a new spirit in you;”
Even our salvation is a gift. Apart from his grace and his animating Spirit making us reborn, we would not see the Kingdom of God (Jn 3:3). The verses surrounding this one say “I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols” (25) and then “And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws” (27). Because of this, when we heard the Word preached, we had “ears to hear” (Ro 10:14; Mk 7:16), and we delight in God’s Word and his ways.
#3 “I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.”
It is a fundamental change that occurs when we are regenerated. The Bible says that we become a new creation (2 Cor 5:17), and that we have passed from death into life (1 Jn 3:14). And this God does for his name’s sake (Ez 36:22-23). God does everything for his glory, and we are the glad beneficiaries of the fact. Without this change that God has produced in us, we would not be able to choose him and put our faith in his name.
Expert Overview of Ezekiel 34-48
Biblical Translations of Ezekiel 36:26
I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.
And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart.
And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.
A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh.
I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.
Natalie Regoli is a child of God, devoted wife, and mother of two boys. She has a Master's Degree in Law from The University of Texas. Natalie has been published in several national journals and has been practicing law for 18 years.