Ezekiel,They shall know that I am God

About this book

1. History

After the death of King Solomon, the *Israelite nation became divided. 10 of the 12 *tribes set up a separate country with their own kings. These 10 northern *tribes *turned away from the *Lord their God. After several centuries, God sent the nation called Assyria to fight against them. In the year 722 *BC the 10 *tribes went into *exile in Assyria.

At that time, God did not remove the two southern *tribes. These two *tribes formed the nation called Judah. But during the next 100 years, the people in Judah became very evil. They became as bad as the 10 *tribes, or even worse.

Ezekiel does refer to Judah as *Israelites. During Ezekiel’s life, Judah was all that remained of the original nation called *Israel. But some of the *prophecies in the book are for all the *Israelites.

The agreement that God made with *Israel warned the people. It said that the people must obey God. If they did not obey, God would send them into *exile among the nations. This happened to the 10 *tribes. It would soon happen to the people who lived in Judah.

In the year 598 *BC, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon attacked Judah. After three months, the new king of Judah, Jehoiachin, handed over the city called Jerusalem to Nebuchadnezzar.

In the year 597 *BC, Nebuchadnezzar took Jehoiachin, his family and the leaders of the people to Babylon. Among these was a priest, Ezekiel. Nebuchadnezzar made Zedekiah, who was the uncle of Jehoiachin, king in Jerusalem.

Zedekiah was not loyal to the king of Babylon. So, the *Babylonians destroyed the cities in Judah. Then in the year 586 *BC, they destroyed Jerusalem. The *Babylonians killed most of the people in Jerusalem. But they took some people to Babylon.

2. Ezekiel the *prophet

All that we know about Ezekiel is in this book. His name means ‘God gives strength.’ Ezekiel was born in the year 627 *BC. He was a priest, the son of Buzi the priest. He belonged to the family of Zadok, who was a famous priest. Ezekiel went into *exile at the same time as King Jehoiachin in the year 597 *BC. Ezekiel lived with other *exiles at the river called Chebar. His home was in Tel-Abib town. His wife died in the 9th year of his *exile.

The book is full of personal experiences:

·  Ezekiel shut himself in his home and bound himself. The *Lord made him dumb – Ezekiel 3:24-26.

·  God told Ezekiel to lie on his right side and then on his left side for 430 days – Ezekiel 4:4-8.

·  God put a limit on Ezekiel’s food and drink during that period. And Ezekiel obeyed – Ezekiel 4:12.

·  Ezekiel had to shave his head and his beard – Ezekiel 5:1.

·  God did not permit Ezekiel to be sad at the death of his wife – Ezekiel 24:15-24.

·  Ezekiel lost his speech – Ezekiel 24:27.

God intended Ezekiel to give a message to *Israel by means of the experiences in his life – Ezekiel 24:24.

Ezekiel lived at the same time as Jeremiah the *prophet. But Ezekiel does not mention Jeremiah. Jeremiah was still in Judah while Ezekiel was with the *exiles.

Ezekiel’s first *prophecy was in the year 593 *BC and he continued to *prophesy for about 20 years. Ezekiel dates his last message as in the year 571 *BC. Through the book, he is careful to date each message. He spoke to the *exiles from Judah who lived with him near the river Chebar.

The first part of the book (chapters 1-24) deals with the failure of God’s people. Ezekiel tells how God will punish them. He tells the *exiles that God will destroy Jerusalem. When this had happened, he changes his message. Then he tells about the punishment of the nations (chapters 25-32). Chapters 33-39 look forward to the future. These chapters describe the return of the people from *Israel to their country. The last part of the book (chapters 40-48) describes the future *temple. And the *tribes of *Israel will divide the country in a new way.

3. The shape of the book of Ezekiel

Part One

The *Sin of Judah and the Judgement of God

1:1-24:27

Part Two

Punishment of the Nations

25:1-33:20

Part Three

God will bring *Israel back to their Country

33:21-39:29

Part Four

The Future *Temple and *Sacrifices

40:1-48:35

Part One

The *Sin of Judah and the Judgement of God – Ezekiel 1:1-24:27

The *vision of the *glory of God

1:1-28

The *Lord tells Ezekiel what he must do

2:1-3:27

The *Lord will destroy Jerusalem

4:1-5:17

Enemies will destroy the country called Judah

6:1-7:27

The *Israelites and their false gods

8:1-18

Judgement on Jerusalem and God’s *glory leaves

9:1-11:25

The *Lord’s reply to the *exiles

12:1-19:14

*Prophecies of *disaster for Judah

20:1-24:27

Part Two

Punishment of the Nations – Ezekiel 25:1-33:20

Punishment of the countries near Judah

25:1-17

Punishment of Tyre and Sidon

26:1-28:24

God will bring his people back to *Israel

28:25-26

Punishment of Egypt

29:1-33:20

Part Three

God will bring *Israel back to their Country – Ezekiel 33:21-39:29

The country that God promised to *Israel

33:21-33

True and false leaders

34:1-31

The *Lord will cure the country

35:1-36:15

*Israel returns to the country

36:16-37:28

Defeat of those who attack the country

38:1-39:29

Part Four

The Future *Temple and *Sacrifices – Ezekiel 40:1-48:35

Plan of the new *temple

40:1-43:27

Priests and *sacrifices

44:1-46:24

*Israel’s new country

47:1-48:29

The city with 12 gates

48:30-35

 

Part One – Ezekiel 1:1 to 24:27

The *Sin of Judah and the Judgement of God

The *vision of the *glory of God – Ezekiel 1:1-28

·  This was a very special experience for Ezekiel. He felt the power of God. He saw the special *angels called *cherubim. He saw God’s *throne. He even saw an impression of God’s *glory. And then God spoke to Ezekiel.

Chapter1 Chapter2 Chapter3 Chapter4 Chapter5
Chapter6 Chapter7 Chapter8 Chapter9 Chapter10
Chapter11 Chapter12 Chapter13 Chapter14 Chapter15
Chapter16 Chapter17 Chapter18 Chapter19 Chapter20
Chapter21 Chapter22 Chapter23 Chapter24 Chapter25
Chapter26 Chapter27 Chapter28 Chapter29 Chapter30
Chapter31 Chapter32 Chapter33 Chapter34 Chapter35
Chapter36 Chapter37 Chapter38 Chapter39 Chapter40
Chapter41 Chapter42 Chapter43 Chapter44 Chapter45
Chapter46 Chapter47 Chapter48    

 

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