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The Prophets: Ezekiel

Ezekiel, from the Hebrew name pronounced yekh-ez-kale, meaning the LORD will strengthen, was a prophet of the LORD (see YHVH, Adonai, Jehovah, LORD and 'Before Abraham Was, I AM') who was taken away into Babylonian exile along with the rest of the people of The Southern Kingdom, known as "Judah." Ezekiel was a righteous man; he was not included in the removal as a punishment, but rather in order to serve as a prophet of Judah's eventual return, for the sake of the line of the Messiah, of which Ezekiel was also given to prophetically describe in magnificent detail.

Ezekiel was a contemporary of the prophets Jeremiah and Daniel, and others (see The Prophets: North and South), although each of them had circumstantial tasks attuned to specific prescribed events related to the fall, or to the return. Although they all spoke the Word of God, no two prophets were the same.

The fall of the southern kingdom of Judah was carried out progressively. Ezekiel was taken in one of the earlier captivities so that by the time of the complete devastation of the kingdom of Judah and the capital city Jerusalem in 586 BC, Ezekiel was already settled in Babylon (see Ancient Empires - Babylon), which itself seems to attest plainly that Judah was too far "gone" even by the earlier time of 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.

1:2 In the fifth day of the month, which was the fifth year of king Jehoiachin's captivity [see Kings of Israel and Judah], 1:3 The word of the LORD came expressly unto Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans by the river Chebar; and the hand of the LORD was there upon him." (Ezekiel 1:1-3 KJV)

"His voice was like a noise of many waters: and the earth shined with His glory"

The prophecies given to Ezekiel are some of the most spectacular in the Holy Scriptures (some of which were also given to the apostle John, centuries later, for the writing of the book of Revelation - see the Fact Finder question below for detailed studies for each chapter of the book of Ezekiel). Included among them was the "dry bones" prophecy in which humanity, as a whole, will come to know the LORD, after His return, in a way that they could not, or would not, before.

The Babylonian Empire

"37:1 The hand of the LORD was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the LORD, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones, 37:2 And caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, there were very many in the open valley; and, lo, they were very dry. 37:3 And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? [see What Happens When You Die?]

And I answered, O Lord GOD, thou knowest.

37:4 Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the LORD. 37:5 Thus saith the Lord GOD unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath [see The Spirit Of God] to enter into you, and ye shall live: 37:6 And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am the LORD.

37:7 So I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone. 37:8 And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above: but there was no breath in them.

37:9 Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live. 37:10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army.

37:11 Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts. 37:12 Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves [see Sheol and Hades], and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. 37:13 And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves, 37:14 And shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the LORD have spoken it, and performed it, saith the LORD." (Ezekiel 37:1-14 KJV)

"43:2 And, behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east: and his voice was like a noise of many waters: and the earth shined with his glory" (Ezekiel 43:2 KJV) refers to the time after the return of Jesus Christ (see Zionism), but before God The Father comes to earth. The purpose of the Christ's coming is to prepare the Way for God's coming (see The Throne Of God, From Heaven To Earth). Ezekiel's vision in this chapter is about Christ's return.

"43:1 Afterward he brought me to the gate, even the gate that looketh toward the east: 43:2 And, behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east [see Why Did They Face East?]: and his voice was like a noise of many waters: and the earth shined with his glory. 43:3 And it was according to the appearance of the vision which I saw, even according to the vision that I saw when I came to destroy the city: and the visions were like the vision that I saw by the river Chebar; and I fell upon my face. 43:4 And the glory of the LORD came into the house by the way of the gate whose prospect is toward the east. 43:5 So the spirit took me up, and brought me into the inner court; and, behold, the glory of the LORD filled the house.

43:6 And I heard him speaking unto me out of the house; and the man stood by me. 43:7 And he said unto me, Son of man, the place of my throne [see Israelite Monarchy - The Messiah], and the place of the soles of my feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel for ever, and my holy name, shall the house of Israel no more defile, neither they, nor their kings, by their whoredom, nor by the carcases of their kings in their high places. 43:8 In their setting of their threshold by my thresholds, and their post by my posts, and the wall between me and them, they have even defiled my holy name by their abominations that they have committed: wherefore I have consumed them in mine anger. 43:9 Now let them put away their whoredom, and the carcases of their kings, far from me, and I will dwell in the midst of them for ever." (Ezekiel 43:1-9 KJV)

Fact Finder: For detailed examination of each chapter of the book of Ezekiel, see the studies below from our Bible Reading Plan:

Ezekiel 1-2
Ezekiel 3-5
Ezekiel 6-8
Ezekiel 9-11
Ezekiel 12-14
Ezekiel 15-19
Ezekiel 20-22
Ezekiel 23-25
Ezekiel 26-28
Ezekiel 29-31
Ezekiel 32-34
Ezekiel 35-37
Ezekiel 38-42
Ezekiel 43-45
Ezekiel 46-48

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