Who Was Ezekiel In The Bible

Ezekiel was one of the major prophets in the Jewish bible. Along with Isaiah, Jeremiah and Amos he is considered by most to be a major prophet. He was also a priest, a minor prophet and is often considered one of the authors who wrote down portions of the book that bears his name. Ezekiel as a biblical figure is also important as he was said to have been left behind to act as an advocate for the Jewish people during the exile of both Daniel and the Three Young Hebrews.

Ezekiel is one of the major prophets in The Bible. Ezekiel is also known for being among the few biblical prophets who were exiled to Babylon. Ezekiel served as a prophet in Israel from approximately 622 BC to around 570 BC.

Ezekiel was a prophet in ancient Israel who originated from the tribe of Levi. He prophesied during the siege of Jerusalem and is also known as being one of the major prophets of the Old Testament often associated with John the Baptist. This is a quick guide to Ezekiel including why he matters, his importance and how he connects with us today.

Ezekiel is the most uniquely gifted of all the Biblical prophets. The Hebrew word that is translated as Ezekiel means “God strengthens” and it was given to him because he was prone to being sick. In a time when the idolatrous practices of the people were at its peak, Ezekiel was tasked by God with bringing down His message using great examples that came from years in exile at Babylon.

Who Was Ezekiel In The Bible

Ezekiel lived during one of the most tumultuous times of Israel. The kingdom had split into two and had gone downhill from there.

Assyrians had picked off the Northern kingdom, and the Southern kingdom of Judah had its day of reckoning coming.

The Babylonian Empire had started to sweep the ancient world and made Israel’s kings pay something known as a tribute.

Essentially, Babylon was a bit like a mob boss, and as long as you paid him off, you wouldn’t run into trouble.

Trouble came, however, when Israel’s king decided to cease their tribute.

Instead of trusting in the Lord to deliver them from the Babylonians, Judah placed its faith in the foreign power of Egypt, the very same people who enslaved them years before.

This doesn’t go over well and the Babylonians successfully lay siege to Jerusalem and take most of its inhabitants captive.

By that time, Ezekiel was 25 when he was exiled.

Prior to this, he lived during the successful and godly reign of King Josiah and the not so successful kings who came afterward.

It didn’t help that false prophets ran rampant in Israel at the time and told them they’d be safe from the Babylonians.

Ezekiel’s call to the life of a prophet doesn’t happen until he reaches the age of 30 (Ezekiel 1), much beyond the mid-life point of many people in ancient times (in fact, Ezekiel dies in his 50s.).

We must keep this cultural context in mind because Ezekiel would’ve been in his infant years during Josiah’s reign. He most likely only saw terrible kings on the throne of Israel and then the Babylonian siege.

Sadly, Ezekiel never had the chance to witness the return of the Babylonian captives under the rule of Persia.

Who Was Ezekiel In The Bible

Ezekiel, whose name means “strengthened by God,” grew up in Jerusalem, served as a priest in the temple and was among the second group of captives taken to Babylon along with King Jehoiachin. While in Babylon he became a prophet of God; he is the author of the Old Testament book that bears his name. Ezekiel’s ministry began with condemnation and judgment of the nation Judah. After the destruction of Jerusalem, Ezekiel’s prophecies speak of hope for the future. Ezekiel wanted to help the people learn from their failures. He announced impending judgment upon the nations that surrounded Judah and reestablished hope for the restoration of Israel. His vision of the valley of dry bones (Ezekiel 37) pictures new life being breathed into the nation, which will occur in the Millennial Reign of Christ on earth.

Ezekiel’s first vision was of God’s throne and included the four living creatures and whirling wheels. Ezekiel also had detailed visions of a new temple (Ezekiel 40–43), a restored Jerusalem (Ezekiel 48:30–35), the millennium (chapter 44), and the land in which God’s people will reside (Ezekiel 47:13–23). Israel and Judah will once again be restored to unity from the ends of the earth as God’s glory also returns and God dwells among His people. These beautiful visions of Ezekiel concern both the immediate and the long-term plans of God. Ezekiel delivered God’s messages with straightforward language that everyone could understand, whether they listened or not (Ezekiel 2:7). Ezekiel himself received a warning from God that, if he did not faithfully warn of the punishment for not following God, he would be held accountable for the blood of those who died in their sins (Ezekiel 33:8–9). He did not hesitate in his mission and steadfastly followed God’s instructions. Ezekiel had a passionate view of judgment and hope, and he reflected God’s own sorrow over the people’s sins.

The prophet experienced considerable opposition during his own lifetime, yet he doggedly expressed God’s desire that the wicked not die but turn from their wicked ways and live. His periodic speechlessness during his early years was broken when God empowered him to speak, and his tongue was loosened to speak the longest passage of sustained hope in the Bible. The burning, chopping, and scattering of his hair represented the fall of Jerusalem and the bringing back of God’s remnant (chapter 5). The hopeful words climax in the promise of everlasting possession of the land, an everlasting Davidic prince, an everlasting covenant, and an everlasting sanctuary in Israel (Ezekiel 11:16-21). He leaps ahead to a time after Israel has been restored to the mysterious invasion from the north that will be brought by Yahweh against Israel, but then will be utterly defeated. This demonstrates that no enemy nation will ever invade the Holy Land again with success, and the glory of the God of Israel returns, entering through the east gate of the temple Ezekiel envisions.

Ezekiel has shown all Christians that we are to be obedient to God’s call on our lives. God told Ezekiel to groan with a broken heart and bitter grief for the coming judgment, and through his dramatic book, Ezekiel is telling us the very same thing. This judgment is coming! It will surely take place, declares the Sovereign Lord! We, too, can warn others and share with them the good news of salvation in Jesus Christ.

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