Sunday, August 1, 2010

Introduction to Ezekiel

The text of the book gives us quite a bit of information about this man. His father's name was Buzi, and, being a priest, he was from the tribe of Levi. He was taken captive into Babylon approximately 597 B.C. in the second deportation of Jews from their homeland into Babylonian captivity. He settled near a river called Chebar in Babylon. He began prophesying in 595 in the fifth year of Jehoiachin's ill-fated reign, and prophesied nearly 25 years. We know from an incidental allusion in the book that he was married (though his wife died during the exile, Ezek. 24:18), and he seems to have been highly respected by the elders of the captives, as they consult him frequently throughout the book. Custom says he was buried along the Euphrates River near modern Baghdad.

His book was written entirely during the Babylonian captivity period. He was a contemporary of Daniel. The book has two great sections, chapters 1-24 which appear to have been written before Nebuchadnezzar's destruction of Jerusalem in 586 and contain a lot of rebuke and reproof, and chapters 25-48 which are more conciliatory. There is also a section of prophecies against foreign nations (chapters 25-32). Interestingly, there are no quotes from Ezekiel in the New Testament, but there are obvious parallels to some of his work in the book of Revelation. Of the four "major" prophets, Ezekiel's work seems to be the least known. That doesn't make it any less important or powerful in its message.

No comments:

Post a Comment