The Book of Ezekiel is the third of the Latter Prophets in the Tanakh and one of the major prophetic books in the Old Testament, taking after Isaiah and Jeremiah.
According to the book itself, it records seven dreams of the prophet Ezekiel, banished in Babylon, amid the 22 years 593-571 BCE, despite the fact that it is the result of a long and complex history and does not really save the very expressions of the prophet.
The dreams, and the book, are organised around three topics:
- Judgement on Israel (sections 1–24);
- Judgement on the countries (parts 25–32);
- Future favours for Israel (parts 33–48).
Its subjects incorporate the ideas of the nearness of God, immaculateness, Israel as an awesome people, and individual obligation to God. Its later impact has incorporated the advancement of supernatural and whole-world destroying customs in Second Temple.
Structure Book of Ezekiel
Ezekiel has the expansive three-crease structure found in some of the prophetic books: prophets of hardship against the prophet’s own kin, trailed by prophets against Israel’s neighbors, finishing in predictions of expectation and salvation:
- Prophecies against Judah and Jerusalem, sections 1–24
- Prophecies against the remote countries, sections 25–32
- Prophecies of expectation and salvation, sections 33–48
Book of Ezekiel Summary
A mid-twelfth century Flemish bit of copperwork portraying Ezekiel’s Vision of the Sign “Tau” from Ezekiel IX:2–7. The thing is presently held by the Walters Museum.
The book opens with a dream of YHWH (יהוה), the Name of God; proceeds onward to suspect the pulverisation of Jerusalem and the Temple, clarifies this as God’s discipline, and closes with the guarantee of a fresh start and another Temple.
- Inaugural vision (Ezekiel 1:1–3:27): God approaches Ezekiel as the celestial warrior, riding in his fight chariot. The chariot is drawn by four living animals, each having four faces (those of a man, a lion, a bull, and a bird) and four wings. Close to each “living animal” is a “wheel inside a wheel”, with “tall and wonderful” edges loaded with eyes all around. God commissions Ezekiel as a prophet and as a “guardian” in Israel: “Child of man, I am sending you to the Israelite’s.” (2:3)
- Judgement on Jerusalem and Judah (Ezekiel 4:1–24:27) and on the countries (Ezekiel 25:1–32:32): God cautions of the specific obliteration of Jerusalem and of the demolition of the countries that have grieved his kin: the Ammonites, Moabites, Edomites and Philistines, the Phoenician urban communities of Tire and Sidon, and Egypt.
- Building another city (Ezekiel 33:1–48:35): The Jewish outcast will arrive at an end, another city and new Temple will be manufactured, and the Israelite will be accumulated and favoured as at no other time.
A portion of the highlights include:
- The “position of royalty vision”, in which Ezekiel sees God enthroned in the Temple among the magnificent host (Ezekiel 1:4–28);
- The primary “temple vision”, in which Ezekiel sees God leave the Temple in view of the cursed things honed there (which means the worship of idols other than YHWH, the official God of Judah (Ezekiel 8:1–16);
- Images of Israel, in which Israel is viewed as a hariot bride, in addition to other things (Ezekiel 15–19);
- The “valley of dry bones”, in which the prophet sees the dead of the house of Israel rise once more (Ezekiel 37:1–14);
- The destruction of Gog and Magog, in which Ezekiel sees Israel’s foes demolished and another period of peace set up (Ezekiel 38–39);
- The last temple vision, in which Ezekiel sees another region based on another sanctuary in Jerusalem, some of the time called the Third Temple, to which God’s Shekinah (Divine Presence) has returned (Ezekiel 40–48)