by Ezekiel, the prophet
Ezekiel, the Book of [EBD]|
Consists mainly of three groups of prophecies. After an account of his call to the prophetical office ((1-3:21),), Ezekiel (1) utters words of denunciation against the Jews (3:22-24), warning them of the certain destruction of Jerusalem, in opposition to the words of the false prophets (4:1-3). The symbolical acts, by which the extremities to which Jerusalem would be reduced are described in ch. 4,5, show his intimate acquaintance with the Levitical legislation. (See Exodus 22:30; Deuteronomy 14:21; Leviticus 5:2; 7:18,24; 17:15; 19:7; 22:8, etc.)
The closing visions of this book are referred to in the book of Revelation (Ezek. 38=Rev 20:8; Eze Ezekiel 22:1,2). Other references to this book are also found in the New Testament. (Compare Romans 2:24 with Ezekiel 36:2; Romans 10:5, Galatians 3:12 with Ezekiel 20:11; 2Pet 3:4 with Ezekiel 12:22.)
It may be noted that Daniel, fourteen years after his deportation from Jerusalem, is mentioned by (Ezekiel 14:14) along with Noah and Job as distinguished for his righteousness, and some five years later he is spoken of as pre-eminent for his wisdom (28:3).
Ezekiel's prophecies are characterized by symbolical and allegorical representations, "unfolding a rich series of majestic visions and of colossal symbols." There are a great many also of "symbolcal actions embodying vivid conceptions on the part of the prophet" (4:1-4; 5:1-4; 12:3-6; 24:3-5; 37:16, etc.) "The mode of representation, in which symbols and allegories occupy a prominent place, gives a dark, mysterious character to the prophecies of Ezekiel. They are obscure and enigmatical. A cloudy mystery overhangs them which it is almost impossible to penetrate. Jerome calls the book 'a labyrith of the mysteries of God.' It was because of this obscurity that the Jews forbade any one to read it till he had attained the age of thirty."
Ezekiel is singular in the frequency with which he refers to the Pentateuch (e.g., Ezek. 27; 28:13; 31:8; 36:11,34; 47:13, etc.). He shows also an acquaintance with the writings of Hosea (Ezekiel 37:22), Isaiah (Ezekiel 8:12; 29:6), and especially with those of Jeremiah, his older contemporary (Jeremiah 24:7,9; 48:37).
Ezekiel, the Book of [SBD]
(the strength of God ), one of the four greater prophets, was the son of a priest named Buzi, and was taken captive in the captivity of Jehoiachin, eleven years before the destruction of Jerusalem. He was a member of a community of Jewish exiles who settled on the banks of the Chebar, a "river’ or stream of Babylonia. He began prophesying B.C. 595, and continued until B.C. 573, a period of more than twenty-two years. We learn from an incidental allusion, (Ezekiel 24:18) that he was married, and had a house, (Ezekiel 8:1) in his place of exile, and lost his wife by a sudden and unforeseen stroke. He lived in the highest consideration among his companions in exile, and their elders consulted him on all occasions. He is said to have been buried on the banks of the Euphrates. The tomb, said to have been built by Jehoiachin, is shown, a few days journey from Bagdad. Ezekiel was distinguished by his stern and inflexible energy of will and character and his devoted adherence to the rites and ceremonies of his national religion. The depth of his matter and the marvellous nature of his visions make him occasionally obscure.
Prophecy of Ezekiel.
-- The book is divided into two great parts, of which the destruction of Jerusalem is the turning-point. Chapters 1-24 contain predictions delivered before that event, and chs. 25-48 after it, as we see from ch. (Ezekiel 26:2) Again, chs. 1-32 are mainly occupied with correction, denunciation and reproof, while the remainder deal chiefly in consolation and promise. A parenthetical section in the middle of the book, chs. 25-32, contains a group of prophecies against seven foreign nations, the septenary arrangement being apparently intentional. There are no direct quotations from Ezekiel in the New Testament, but in the Apocalypse there are many parallels and obvious allusions to the later chapters 40-48.
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