But when they came to the nations, wherever they came, they profaned my holy name, in that people said of them, ‘These are the people of the Lord, and yet they had to go out of his land.’ But I had concern for my holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the nations to which they came. “Therefore say to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord God: It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations to which you came. 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.
When the Jews were carried off into captivity, the other nations probably said, “Hmmm… aren’t these ‘God’s people’? We figured that if their God is as great and awesome as they said, we would not able to remove them from the land that He supposedly gave to them. But maybe He isn’t so great after all…”
God’s was not about to tolerate this profaning of His name. He says that He is about to act – not for their sake, but for the sake of His name.
He is going to “vindicate the holiness of His great name.”
In Hebrew, that is just the one word that means “make holy, consecrate, set apart, sanctify.” God is going to make sure that His name is set apart from all the other so-called gods of the nations. God will prove Himself. He will show He is strong, mighty and awesome by bringing His people back into the land in plain sight of the nations.