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The Blue Letter Bible

Dr. J. Vernon McGee :: Notes for Ezekiel

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WRITER: Ezekiel was a priest (Ezekiel 1:3) but never served in that office, as he was still a young man when he was taken captive during the reign of Jehoiachin (2 Kings 24:10-16). Daniel was taken captive in the first captivity during Jehoiakim’s reign, about eight years before Ezekiel was taken captive.
Ezekiel was contemporary with Jeremiah and Daniel. Jeremiah was an old man who spoke to the remnant that remained in the land; Daniel spoke in the court of the king of Babylon; Ezekiel spoke to the captives who had been brought to the rivers of Babylon. While the other captives wept when they remembered Zion, Ezekiel exulted in the greatest visions ever given to any prophet.

HIS MESSAGE: His message was the most spiritual of the prophets, as he dealt more with the person of God. Someone has said, “Ezekiel is the prophet of the Spirit, as Isaiah is the prophet of the Son, and Jeremiah the prophet of the Father.”
During the first years of the captivity, the false prophets said that the people would be returned to Jerusalem and that the city would not be destroyed. It was not until the final deportation, during Zedekiah’s reign, that the city was destroyed — some eleven years after Ezekiel was taken captive.
Jeremiah had sent a message to Babylon (Jeremiah 29) saying that the city would be destroyed. Ezekiel confirmed this message and warned the people that they must turn to God before they could return to Jerusalem.
Ezekiel began his ministry five years after his captivity, when he was about 30 years old.

HIS METHOD: In many ways he spoke in the darkest days of the nation. He stood at the bottom of the valley in the darkest corner. He had to meet the false hope given by the false prophets and the indifference and the despondency begotten in the days of sin and disaster. The people would not listen to him or his message. Therefore, he resorted to a new method. Instead of speaking in parables, he acted them out (Ezekiel 24:24). We have had “flagpole sitters” and “walkathons” in our day, which attract the attention of the public. This sort of thing was the method of Ezekiel and is indicative of a day of decay.

HIS MEANING: Ezekiel was the prophet of the glory of the Lord. Three prophets of Israel spoke when they were out of the land: Ezekiel, Daniel, and John. Each wrote an apocalypse. Although they used highly symbolic language, they saw the brightest light and held the highest hope. Ezekiel saw the Shekinah glory of the Lord leave Solomon’s temple, and he saw the return of the glory of the Lord which was projected into the future during the kingdom.
The meaning of Ezekiel is seen in the coming glory during the kingdom. Ezekiel looked beyond the sufferings of Christ to “the glory that should follow” (1 Peter 1:11).

Outline for Lamentations ← Prior Section
Outline for Ezekiel Next Section →
Notes for Lamentations ← Prior Book
Notes for Daniel Next Book →
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