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Thursday, November 26 2015
Ezekiel 33: Ezekiel's Weather Report
"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 colour of amber, out of the midst of the fire ... Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel"
Ezekiel's ministry as a prophetic "watchman" began with an experience of what at first appeared to be an approaching storm - the first of a number of appearances of cherubim to him (see Ezekiel's Whirlwind and The Greatest Danger To A Prophet).
Why was the term "watchman" used, for a prophet who was given an object lesson of an approaching storm?
"3:16 And it came to pass at the end of seven days, that the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 3:17 Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me. 3:18 When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. 3:19 Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul." (Ezekiel 3:16-19 KJV)
So it was then that the people of Judah were given fair warning. But why did such a warning matter to the people who had already been taken away into exile - who had survived the taking away into exile (see the Fact Finder question below)? Because it would be their descendants who would return after the prescribed seventy-years exile. They had the responsibility to produce those righteous descendants e.g. Zerubbael, Ezra and Nehemiah (see Zerubbabel's Return, Ezra's Journey From Babylon and The Arrival Of Nehemiah's Cavalry).
"33:1 Again the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 33:2 Son of man, speak to the children of thy people, and say unto them, When I bring the sword upon a land, if the people of the land take a man of their coasts, and set him for their watchman: 33:3 If when he seeth the sword come upon the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn the people; 33:4 Then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head. 33:5 He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him. But he that taketh warning shall deliver his soul. 33:6 But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman's hand.
Ezekiel and those who had been chosen to be survivors were taken into exile prior to the fall and destruction of Jerusalem (as was the prophet Daniel; see The Prophet Daniel: A Child Of The Exile), which then happened. They were given to know of its fall. Their descendants would rebuild it (see A History Of Jerusalem: Ezra And Nehemiah).
"33:21 And it came to pass in the twelfth year of our captivity, in the tenth month, in the fifth day of the month, that one that had escaped out of Jerusalem came unto me, saying, The city is smitten. 33:22 Now the hand of the LORD was upon me in the evening, afore he that was escaped came; and had opened my mouth, until he came to me in the morning; and my mouth was opened, and I was no more dumb.
Fact Finder: How did the Messianic line of King David survive the fall of the Kingdom of Judah?
This Day In History, November 26
43 BC: The "Second Triumvirate" was formed by Octavian (who later became Caesar Augustus, the Roman Emperor who proclaimed the census that caused the Messiah to be born in Bethlehem; see also Does Rome Have Christ's Birth Certificate?), Marcus Aemilius Lepidus and Mark Antony (see The Politics Of Rome and A History Of Jerusalem: Pompey And The Caesars).
1476: The real Count Dracula: Vlad the Impaler (a member of the House of Draculesti, a branch of the House of Basarab, also known by his patronymic name Dracula) defeated Basarab Laiota.
1688: Louis XIV of France declared war on the Netherlands.
1703: The Great Channel Storm devastated Britain, flooding the Thames and Severn rivers. Up to 8,000 people were killed. The Royal Navy lost 15 warships.
1778: Captain Cook "discovered" (the people who lived there already knew of the existence of the islands) the Sandwich Islands (known today as Hawaii).
1863: U.S. President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed November 26 as the U.S. Thanksgiving Day, to be celebrated annually on the last Thursday of November. The celebration of Thanksgiving itself was known and observed long before (see Thanksgiving In History and Prophecy).
1914: The British battleship Bulwark, carrying 750 men, blew up as it was loading ammunition. Only 12 survived.
1922: Archaeologist Howard Carter and his sponsor, the Earl of Carnarvon, became the first 2 people in 3,000 years to see inside the tomb of Pharaoh Tutankhamun. Uncovered near Luxor, Egypt, it had been spared the fate of many tombs which had been pillaged by grave robbers.
1938: Poland signed a non-aggression pact with Russia to protect against a German invasion. Within a year, Poland was invaded by both Germany and Russia.
1939: James Naismith, the Canadian inventor of basketball, died.
1940: Occupying Nazi troops began sealing off the Jewish Ghetto in Warsaw, Poland, imprisoning its 400,000 inhabitants.
1949: The Indian Constituent Assembly adopted India's new constitution as presented by Dr. B. R. Ambedkar.
1970: At Manila airport, Pope Paul VI was attacked with a dagger by a Bolivian artist dressed as a priest. He was unhurt.
1979: Oil deposits estimated to be as great as that found in the Middle East were discovered in Venezuela.
1988: The U.S. government, claiming the possibility of terrorist attacks on U.S. citizens, denied Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's request for a diplomatic visa so that he could address a session of the United Nations in New York.
1998: Tony Blair became the first Prime Minister of the United Kingdom to address the Republic of Ireland's Parliament.
2000: After a lengthy delay for vote recounting, George W. Bush was proclaimed the winner of Florida's electoral votes, enabling him to become the U.S. President.
2003: The supersonic Concorde made its final flight, over Bristol, England.