Introduction to Ezekiel
Ezekiel and Daniel, the last among the so-called Major Prophets, were the only two prophets of the exile. Ezekiel, like Jeremiah, was a priest called also by God as a prophet. He had been taken captive to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar along with king Jehoiachin and ten thousand of the leaders and skilled craftsmen of Judah (II Kings 24:8-17).
Except for occasional visions of the corruption in the temple back at Jerusalem, shortly before the final destruction of the city and the temple under Nebuchadnezzar’s third and final invasion of Judah, Ezekiel’s entire ministry was in Babylonia. Thus, his early prophecies warn of the coming destruction, while his later chapters speak of the future restoration of Israel and the future millennial temple. Some of his central chapters deal with prophecies of judgment on other nations besides Judah. It is in connection with the prophecy against Tyre that one of the most important revelations of the fall of Satan was given (Ezekiel 28:11-19).
Much of Ezekiel—like Jeremiah—consists of verbatim quotations from God Himself. The introduction to the various quotes (“The word of the LORD came unto me, saying”—or equivalent) occurs some sixty times in Ezekiel. Ezekiel was a younger contemporary of Jeremiah, and may well have known him and been instructed by him before the exile. Both were priests and had the same deep dedication to God and His word.
Further, it should be noted that, even though Ezekiel’s direct ministry had always been only to the tribes of Judah and Benjamin in the southern kingdom (the ten tribes of the Northern Kingdom had been carried away into Assyria over a century before, after more than two centuries of deep apostasy), many of his prophecies envision the reunion of Judah and Israel (Ezekiel 34, 36, 37) and their restoration to the worship of the true God when Messiah comes to establish His kingdom on earth.
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