Friday, May 28, 2010

Ezekiel - Introductions

Ezekiel 1:1 "Now it came to pass in the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, in the fifth day of the month, as I was among the captives by the river of Chebar, that the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God." See also II Kings 23:3 II Kings 24:11-16

We need to understand who Ezekiel was and when he lived. For this I must look to a couple of Bible scholars for help.
Scofield: "Ezekiel is the voice of God to "the whole house of Israel". As opposed to some being either to Judah or the Ten Tribes, etc.

He preached for 21 years. He was there before the destruction of Jerusalem and lived among the people in a community near a river called Chebar.

Ezekiel uses symbols to illustrate his words.
Comprehensive Bible Helps:

Ezekiel was the son of a priest and a priest himself. He was a contemporary of Jeremiah. (So we see that Jeremiah was not alone as I thought before.) His father was the priest Buzi. He was educated in Judea. He had a house and lost his wife suddenly. Tradition says he was murdered.

The symbols were a mystery until statues were unearthed in recent history that were similar to what he described. The Jews recommended not reading the book until they were 20 years old.
Ezekiel's words from God were to remind the people of the national and personal sins of the nation so that they would know why they were in captivity. It is also a book of hope that the nation will again be reborn and their oppressors would be punished.

v4 "And I looked, and, behold, a whirlwind came out of the north, a great cloud, and a fire infolding itself, and a brightness was about it , and out of the midst thereof as the color of amber, out of the midst of the fire." See Isaiah 21:1 Jeremiah 23:19.

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