Ezekiel

Ezekiel, a Zadokite priest, taken by Babylon in the second wave of deportation, gives his message to Judah through the prism of the temple, the priesthood, the sacrifices, and the Shekinah. 

Aged 30, five years into his captivity, he receives a vision of four cherubims and four wheels [Ezekiel 1] …

now it came to pass in the thirtieth year in the fourth in the fifth of the month as I among the captives by the river of Chebar the heavens were opened and I saw visions of God in the fifth of the month which the fifth year of king Jehoiachin’s captivity the word of the Lord came expressly unto Ezekiel the priest the son of Buzi in the land of the Chaldeans by the river Chebar and the hand of the Lord was there upon him and I looked and behold a whirlwind came out of the north a great cloud and a fire infolding itself and a brightness about it and out of the midst thereof as the colour of amber out of the midst of the fire also out of the midst thereof the likeness of four living creatures and this their appearance they had the likeness of a man and every one had four faces and every one had four wings and their feet straight feet and the sole of their feet like the sole of a calf’s foot and they sparkled like the colour of burnished brass and the hands of a man under their wings on their four sides and they four had their faces and their wings their wings joined one to another they turned not when they went they went every one straight forward as for the likeness of their faces they four had the face of a man and the face of a lion on the right side and they four had the face of an ox on the left side they four also had the face of an eagle thus their faces and their wings stretched upward two of every one joined one to another and two covered their bodies and they went every one straight forward whither the spirit was to go they went and they turned not when they went as for the likeness of the living creatures their appearance like burning coals of fire like the appearance of lamps it went up and down among the living creatures and the fire was bright and out of the fire went forth lightning and the living creatures ran and returned as the appearance of a flash of lightning now as I beheld the living creatures behold one wheel upon the earth by the living creatures with his four faces the appearance of the wheels and their work like unto the colour of a beryl and they four had one likeness and their appearance and their work as it were a wheel in the middle of a wheel when they went they went upon their four sides they turned not when they went as for their rings they were so high that they were dreadful and their rings full of eyes round about them four and when the living creatures went the wheels went by them and when the living creatures were lifted up from the earth the wheels were lifted up whithersoever the spirit was to go they went thither spirit to go and the wheels were lifted up over against them for the spirit of the living creature in the wheels when those went went and when those stood stood and when those were lifted up from the earth the wheels were lifted up over against them for the spirit of the living creature in the wheels and under the firmament their wings straight the one toward the other every one had two which covered on this side and every one had two which covered on that side their bodies and when they went I heard the noise of their wings like the noise of great waters as the voice of the almighty the voice of speech as the noise of an host when they stood they let down their wings and there was a voice from the firmament that over their heads when they stood had let down their wings and above the firmament that over their heads the likeness of a throne as the appearance of a sapphire stone and upon the likeness of the throne the likeness as the appearance of a man above upon it and I saw as the colour of amber as the appearance of fire round about within it from the appearance of his loins even upward and from the appearance of his loins even downward I saw as it were the appearance of fire and it had brightness round about as the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain so the appearance of the brightness round about this the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord and when I saw I fell upon my face and I heard a voice of one that spake

God encourages Ezekiel [2]. Ezekiel eats the ‘roll’ of prophecy [3]. Ezekiel is given to presage, and act out, the type of siege to befall his people — Ezekiel to lie on his side: 390 days (for years) on his left side for Israel; and 40 days (for years) on his right side for Judah [4]. (See Ezekiel’s 430 Years)

The consequence of the siege is that the people are dispersed [5]. But an obedient remnant (those that surrendered to Babylon) is blessed [6], before the final desolation of Jerusalem [7], punishment for her idolatry [8]. The wicked are destroyed [9]. Ezekiel then has the vision of the cherubims [10].

The type of Ezekiel’s removing [11]. The Jews’ presumptuous proverb [12]. Ezekiel rebukes the false prophets [13] and reproves the idolaters [14]. The proverbial vine branch, according to Ezekiel, is good only for firewood [15]. And the people’s apostasy and rebellion threatens the very love of God for Jerusalem [16]. Ezekiel then proclaims the judgement on Jerusalem [17]. The gospel is likened to a cedar tree [18]. Finally, Ezekiel warns Judea through the parable of the lions’ whelps [19].

But with the rebellions of Israel comes the promise of restoration [20].

But for now, the sword is against Jerusalem [21], according to her sins [22]. The sins of Israel and Judah are likened to two sisters who have gone a whoring, and so Aholah and Aholibah are reproved [23].

Jerusalem’s destruction is foretold in the sad death of Ezekiel’s wife. But God will also have revenge on Sundry nations [24]: Ammon, Moab, and Edom [25]; Tyrus is threatened before her final fall [26 & 27] (the prince of Tyrus’ sin); judgement of Zidon and Pharaoh [28]; the desolation of Egypt [29] and the fall of Pharaoh foretold [30]; and the fall of Assyria [31].

 

Arrows Tarshish Copy photo arrowstarshishcopy.jpg
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Ezekiel laments the fall of Egypt [32]. He prescribes the duty of a Watchman [33]. He reproofs the shepherds. Ezekiel declares the promises of God [34]: Israel’s desolation [35]; before she is comforted [36].

Ezekiel has the vision of the resurrection of dry bones (the restoration of Israel), as the hope of Israel is revived [37].

Vision of Ezekiel, Tobias Fendt (1565) [Wikimedia Commons]
Then we are told of the War of Gog [38] (see Which are the nations of Gog and Magog?) and God’s judgement on Gog [39].

Again, the Lord promises to restore Israel, and Ezekiel has his vision of a city and the elaborate description of its gates [40].

A new Temple is being measured [41]. There are chambers for the priests [42], and there will follow the return of God’s glory to Jerusalem. But strictly no idolater can be priest [43], as the ordinance of the priesthood is laid out [44]. Ezekiel describes the land predestined for the sanctuary [45], and the prince at worship [46]. There are ordinances also for the people [47], and portions of the twelve tribes [48].

— ♣ —

See Overview of the Book of Ezekiel

See Two Empires, Two Prophets

Featured Image: The Prophet Ezekiel, Michaelangelo — Sistine Chapel fresco, Vatican between 1508 to 1512, restored. [As per User:Mattes, Wikimedia Commons]

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