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Book of Ezekiel
Intro
duction

I am going to start a commentary on the Book of Ezekiel. I do not know how far I will get, because I have fulfilled my threescore years and ten (Ps.90:10), plus 9 years, and my health is not good. I will add to it as the LORD allows.

It is a Book that puzzles many, including this humble servant, and I want to know more about it. What I learn, I will share. Ezekiel is known for his vision of the wheels, and for the dry bones. The Book of Ezekiel should not be the first Book a babe in Christ should read right after their conversion.
The unusual thing about Ezekiel is that He emphasizes the comfort of his people, not judgment, unlike Jeremiah, and to a lesser extent Isaiah and some of the Minor Prophets.

The book of Ezekiel is Narrative History, Prophetic and Apocalyptic in type and even contains some Parables. The prophet Ezekiel wrote it approximately 571 B.C. (this date is accurately precise because this book contains more defined dates than any other book in the Bible.) Main personalities include Ezekiel, Israel’s leaders, Ezekiel’s wife, King Nebuchadnezzar, and “the prince”.
It was written to announce judgment upon Judah, to allow them one last chance to repent. It also foretells of the coming deliverance of God’s nation from captivity in Babylon. It mainly discusses the events during the Babylonian captivity. Ezekiel is a priest who is called by God to deliver His messages.
•    In chapters 1-3, God commissions His servant Ezekiel. He receives visions, and his message is to confront God’s sinful nation, “I am sending you to the sons of Israel, to a rebellious people who have rebelled against Me; they and their fathers have transgressed against Me to this very day ” (2:3).
•    Chapters 4-24, Ezekiel delivered the message of doom to the captives. He told several parables, one that compared Israel to an adulterous woman (16:1-63). He taught them that God was cleansing His chosen nation, Ezekiel 16:58 Thou hast borne thy lewdness and thine abominations, saith the LORD. (KJV)
•    From chapters 25-32, Ezekiel condemns judgment upon seven particular nations who mocked the LORD GOD, the GOD of Israel, because of the captivity; they too would soon see their fate. These nations are Ammon, Moab, Edom, Philistia, Tyre, Sidon and Egypt.
•    In chapters 33-48, a message of deliverance and restoration is written. This includes not only the current nation of Israel but also the future of the coming Messiah, the Temple, and the Kingdom of God in the End age. In chapter 37, he writes the famous vision of the valley of bones.  Ezekiel 37:3 And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord GOD, thou knowest. (KJV)

Another divides the Book as follows: The Book of Ezekiel has the most logical arrangement of any of the prophetic books. It contains three sections, each of which addresses a different subject matter. Chapters 1–24 concern the fall of Jerusalem. Chapters 25–39 contain a series of oracles addressed to foreign nations, concluding with a section in which the future of Israel is contrasted with that of the foreign nations. The third section, Chapters 40–48, presents a plan for rebuilding the Temple and reorganizing the restored state of Israel.

The setting is Chebar, a sort of concentration camp near Babylon, where the ten tribes had been brought. It is from there that Ezekiel wrote his prophecies to encourage the Jewish exiles.

Ezekiel means God strengthens or strengthened by God. He was one of a group of Jews taken to Babylon, eleven years before Jerusalem was destroyed.

There have been some who deny that Ezekiel wrote the Book, but in reality, the Book was written by a Judeo-Christian position, and that it was written by a poetic prophet, Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi (Eze.1:3), and this is quite defensible. Ezekiel dated his prophecies quite accurately. His first prophecy (1:2) came in the 5th year of Jehoiachin’s exile 593 BC (29:17).
So his ministry lasted at least 22 years. If, as a priest, he started at age 30, he would have been over 50 when he finished his prophesying. Ezekiel ministered to his fellow exiles immediately before and during the first 20 or so years of the captivity.

Ezekiel’s prophecy is divided into 3 parts:
<><><>#1. He goes over the sins of Judah and warns of God’s impending judgment in the captivity of the people and the destruction of Jerusalem. This is all vividly announced in unusual visions and symbolic acts. A bright shining cloud, a symbol of God’s Presence, is seen lingering over the Temple, then reluctantly departing. This meaning that God would no longer dwell among His people because of their sin, and His sword of judgment would soon descend on the polluted Temple. The glory of the LORD is one of the key thoughts all through the Book of Ezekiel.

<><><>2. Judah’s neighbors are condemned because of their idolatry and their cruel treatment of God’s people. These neighbors are Ammonites, Moabites, Edomites, Phillistines, Sidonians and Egyptians.

<><><>3. In the last section, Ezekiel tells of the restoration and reunion of the entire nation . . . both Israel and Judah. When the people repent of their sins, God will put His Holy Spirit within them. The Messiah will come to His people and destroy their last enemies. The Temple will be rebuilt, and the glory of the LORD shall return to it.

These prophecies have NOT as yet been fulfilled, but look forward to the 1000 year reign of Christ on the Earth, the Millennium (Rev.20).

Like many of the prophetic Books, Ezekiel is not entirely chronological, although more so than Isaiah and Jeremiah.
Introduction to the Book of Ezekiel
Author: The Prophet Ezekiel is the author of the Book (Eze.1:3). He was a contemporary of both Jeremiah and Daniel.
Date of Writing: The Book of Ezekiel was likely written between 593 and 565 B.C. during the Babylonian captivity of the Jews.

Reason for Writing: Ezekiel ministered to his generation who were very sinful and completely hopeless. By his prophecies, he struggled to bring them to a speedy repentance and to have confidence in the distant future. Ezekiel teaches: (1) God works through human messengers; (2) Even in defeat and misery, God's people must uphold God's sovereignty; (3) God's Word never fails; (4) God is present everywhere and He can be worshiped anywhere; (5) People must obey God if they expect to receive the blessings promised by Him; and (6) God's Kingdom shall come.

Brief Summary: Ezekiel, destined to begin his life's ministry as a priest at age thirty, was uprooted from his homeland and marched off to Babylon at age of twenty-five. For five years he suffered in despair. When he was 30, he had a majestic vision of the LORD GOD'S glory which left him spellbound. This priest/prophet discovered God was NOT confined to the narrow strictures of Ezekiel's native land, but instead, He is a UNIVERSAL GOD who commands and controls ALL persons and ALL nations. In Babylon, GOD conveyed to Ezekiel His Word for the people. This call by GOD transformed Ezekiel. He became passionately devoted to GOD'S Word. He knew that he had NOTHING of his own personally, to help the captives in their bitter situation, but he was absolutely convinced that GOD'S Word spoke to their condition and could give them victory. Ezekiel used different ways to convey God's Word to his people. He used art in drawing a picture of Jerusalem, he used symbolic actions and unusual conduct to get their attention. He cut his hair and beard to show what God would do to Jerusalem and its inhabitants.

Key Passages:
Ezekiel 2:3-6 And he said unto me, Son of man, I send thee to the children of Israel, to a rebellious nation that hath rebelled against me: they and their fathers have transgressed against me, even unto this very day. 4  For they are impudent children and stiffhearted. I do send thee unto them; and thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD. 5  And they, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear, (for they are a rebellious house,) yet shall know that there hath been a prophet among them. 6  And thou, son of man, be not afraid of them, neither be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns be with thee, and thou dost dwell among scorpions: be not afraid of their words, nor be dismayed at their looks, though they be a rebellious house. (KJV)
Ezekiel 18:4 Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die. (KJV)  
Ezekiel 28:12-14 Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. 13  Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created. 14  Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. (KJV)  
Ezekiel 33:11  Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel? (KJV)  
Ezekiel 48:35 It was round about eighteen thousand measures: and the name of the city from that day shall be, The LORD is there. (KJV)  

Foreshadowings: Ezekiel Chapter 34 is the wherein God condemns the leaders of Israel as false shepherds for their poor care of His people. Instead of caring for the sheep of Israel, they cared for themselves. They ate well, were well-clothed and well-cared for by the very people they had been placed over (Eze.34:1-3). In direct contrast, Jesus is the Good Shepherd who lays down His life for the sheep and who protects them from the wolves who would destroy the flock. John 10:11-12 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. 12  But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. (KJV)
Verse 4 of chapter 34 describes people whom the shepherds failed to minister to as weak, sick, injured and lost. Jesus is the Great Physician who heals our spiritual wounds, by His death on the cross. Isaiah 53:5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. (KJV)  He is the one who seeks and saves that which is lost. Luke 19:10 For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost. (KJV)  

Literary Features
The three major prophets (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel) and also Zephaniah, all have the same basic order of messages: (1) prophecies against Israel, (2) prophecies against the nations, (3) comfort for Israel. In no other book is this pattern clearer than in Ezekiel.

Besides clarity of structure, the Book of Ezekiel reveals balance. The vision of the desecrated Temple fit for destruction (chs. 8-11) is balanced by the vision of the restored and purified Temple (chs.40-48). The God Who is presented in agitated wrath (ch.1) is also shown to be a loving God of comfort (the Lord is there, Eze.48:35). Ezekiel's call to be a watchman announces divine judgment (ch.3) is balanced by his call to be a watchman announcing the new age to follow (ch.33). In one place (ch.6) the mountains of Israel receive a prophetic rebuke, but in another (ch.36) they are comforted.

Prophetic books are usually mainly poetic, the prophets apparently having spoken in imaginative and rhythmic styles. However, most of Ezekiel, is prose, possibly because of his priestly background. His repetitions have a hammering effect, but his priestly words are also echoed.  Ezekiel 3:19 Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul. (KJV)  

The Book of Ezekiel contains four major visions:
#1. Chapters 1-3; #2. Chapters 8-11; #3. Chapter 37:1-14; #4. Chapters 40-48.

The Book of Ezekiel contains 12 symbolic acts:
#1. Chapter 3:22-26; #2. Chapter 4:1-3; #3. Chapter 4:4-8; #4. Chapter 4:9-11; #5. Chapter 4:12-14; #6. Chapter 5:1-3; #7. Chapter 12:1-16; #8. Chapter 12:17020; #9.  Chapter 21:6-7; #10. Chapter 21:18-24; #11. Chapter 24:15-24; #12. Chapter 37:15:28.

The Book of Ezekiel contains five messages are in the form of parables: Chapters 15, 16, 17, 19, 23.

Scriptural Significance
Other prophets deal largely with Israel's idolatry, with her moral corruption in public and private affairs, and with her international intrigues and alliances on which she relied instead of the LORD. They announce GOD'S impending judgment on His rebellious nation but they speak also of a future redemption: a new exodus, a new covenant, a restored Jerusalem, a revived Davidic dynasty, a worldwide recognition of the LORD and His Messiah and a paradise-like peace.

The outlines and sweep of Ezekiel's message are similar, but he focuses exclusively on Israel as the Holy people of the Holy Temple, the Holy city and the Holy land. By polluting her worship, Israel had reduced herself to being unclean and having defiled the Temple, city and land, and from such desecration, GOD could only withdraw and judge His people with a national destruction.

But GOD'S faithfulness to His covenant and His desire to save were so great that He would revive His people once more, guide them with compassion, cleanse them of all their defilement, reconstruct them as a perfect expression of His Kingdom under the hand of "David" (Eze.34:23-24), overwhelm all the forces and powers arrayed against them, display His glory among the nations and restore the glory of His Presence to the Holy City.

Ezekiel so powerfully portrays the grandeur, magnificence and glory of God's sovereign rule and His pure Holiness, which he jealously defends. The book's doctrinal center is the unfolding of God's saving purposes in the history of the world . . . from the time in which He must withdraw from the defilement of His covenant people to the conclusion of His grand plan of redemption. The message of Ezekiel, which is ultimately concerned with the final events in the history of the world and/or of humankind, and anticipates GOD'S future working in history proclaimed in the New Testament.

Ezekiel’s book can be divided into four sections:
Chapters 1-24: prophecies on the ruin of Jerusalem
Chapters 25-32: prophecies of God’s judgment on nearby nations
Chapter 33: a last call for repentance to Israel
Chapters 34-48: prophecies concerning the future restoration of Israel

Practical Application: The Book of Ezekiel calls us to join in a fresh and personal encounter with the GOD of Abraham, Moses and the prophets. We must be overcomers or we shall be overcome. Ezekiel challenges us to experience a life changing vision of GOD'S awesome power, knowledge, eternal Presence and pure Holiness. Ezekiel challenges us to allow GOD to direct us; so that we can really see just how deep we are committed to the evil that lodges in the human heart; and that GOD holds His TRUE servants responsible for warning wicked men of their peril; to experience a living relationship with Jesus Christ, Who said that the new covenant is to be found in His precious Blood.
Hebrews 12:24 And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel. (KJV)
1 Peter 1:18-19 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;
19  But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:
(KJV)

SPECIAL COMMENTS

False prophets and false teachers have always been an "abomination" (Pro. 6:16-19) to God. He warns over and over again in His Holy Word about this.

"Hearken not unto the words of the prophets that prophesy unto you: they make you vain: they speak a vision of their own heart, and not out of the mouth of the Lord" (Jer.23:16).

"Behold, I am against them that prophesy false dreams, . . . and cause my people to err by their lies, . . . yet I sent them not, nor commanded them" (Jer.23:32). "For they prophesy falsely unto you in my name: I have not sent them" (Jer.29:9).

God states they are "like a roaring lion ravening the prey and devouring souls" (Eze.22:25).

Some actually preach the joys of wine and drink, and are welcomed (Mic.2:11).

God clearly warns: "Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!" (Isa.5:20)

The false leaders of people cause many to be misled; and the sad part is that they that are misled shall be destroyed (Isa.9:16).

God warns that His watchmen should NOT be blind and ignorant, dumb dogs that cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber (Isa.56:10). His watchmen should always be on guard, alerting people and teaching TRUTH always.

If the watchman sees the enemy coming and does NOT sound the alarm to warn the people, he is responsible for their deaths. The people will die in their sins, but God will hold the watchman (pastors, teachers, leaders) responsible (Eze. 33:6).

Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the Lord (Jer.23:1).

Matthew 25:42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: (KJV) . . . Just think of all the people today who are going to the WRONG places to be fed, and the WRONG fountains to get a drink!

1 Tim. 4:1-2 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; [2] Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; (KJV) . . . False teachers can be very direct or very subtle. Latter times is from Jesus’ resurrection until His return. There have been many seducing spirits and doctrines of devils over the years, up until now. They are every where. Be careful!

2 Tim. 4:3-4 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; [4] And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. (KJV) . . . People like to hear pastors and teachers who tell them what they want to hear. They want no part of anything that offends them! When people turn away from the TRUTH, they turn to fairy tales (1 Tim. 1:6; Jer.2:19). TRUE pastors and teachers of God’s Word are God's watchmen over His people. They must warn God’s people of any danger or the people will die in their sins and they shall be held accountable (Eze. 3:18; 33:6, 8).

As you can see, pastors and teachers of God’s Word have a very serious job. False teachers are led and used by Satan, and false teachers and their damnable heresies are the devil's glory and hope! If false teachers can make a dollar on God’s Word, they will not hesitate to do it! They, like Satan, will twist the TRUTH, and lie and deceive people in any way they can. They, like Satan, tell people just what they want to hear, NOT the TRUTH of God’s Word. Times have not changed in the respect to people NOT wanting the Truth.

Isaiah 30:10 Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits: (KJV) . . . People back then, or today, do NOT welcome the Truth from God’s pastors and teachers. Truth makes people uncomfortable and uneasy. They do NOT want to hear that they are sinners and that must trust and obey God or they will be doomed to Hell. They want to hear that it’s OK to live in sin. Times have changed they say! They prefer lies and fantasies. They do NOT want to hear that one day they will stand in judgment before the Almighty Judge!

Lies make people feel more secure, but it is much better to face reality than to live a lie. Don’t ever settle for something that makes you feel comfortable but is NOT true. Don’t listen to any of the multitude of cults out there, no matter how big they are. They will lead you to an everlasting Hell.

One of the things I fear most in my service to God is that I in some way may lead someone astray. I am really afraid I might teach something false, that is why I back up everything by Scripture, and trust Him to lead, guide and direct me in the way He wants me to go. I serve Him in humility, with much prayer. The following is a great article: . . . http://www.thebereancall.org/content/are-we-too-negative

Book of Ezekiel

Eze.Ch.1 . . Eze.Ch.2 . . Eze.Ch.3. . Eze.Ch.4 . . Eze.Ch.5 . . Eze.Ch.6 . . Eze.Ch.7 . . Eze.Ch.8 . . Eze.Ch.9 . . Eze.Ch.10 . . Eze.Ch.11 . . Eze.Ch.12 . . Eze.Ch.13 . . Eze.Ch.14. . Eze.Ch.15 . . Eze.Ch.16 . . Eze.Ch.17 . . Eze.Ch.18 . . Eze.Ch.19 . . Eze.Ch.20 . . Eze.Ch.21 . . Eze.Ch.22 . . Eze.Ch.23 . . Eze.Ch.24 . . Eze.Ch.25 . . Eze.Ch.26 . . Eze.27 . . Eze.28 . . Eze.29 . . Home Page

 

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