Ezekiel 1 - 3
Ezekiel was priest living in Babylon among the exiles from
Judah. Whenever God referenced Ezekiel, He called him the "son of man" or the
"son of dust."
God sent Ezekiel a vision of a whirlwind and four beasts, each with
four faces, the face of a man, a lion, an ox, and an eagle.
Ezekiel also saw a moving wheel and a man. There are several
fascinating things about this vision, as follows:
- Flashing light, brighter than the sun - Our God is a consuming
fire. (Hebrews 12:29)
- The glory of God - No man has seen God at any time. (John
- Living creatures - These resembled the description of cherubim.
- Wheels - God moves about in endless and divine activity and energy.
- Intelligent purpose - Bodily attributes (face and eyes) are ascribed to God.
- Appearance of a man - This is a prophecy of the incarnation of Christ.
- Four faces - This could be a reference to the four gospels of the New
Testament, where Christ is revealed in four different
aspects: His kingship, symbolized by the lion; His servitude, symbolized by the
ox; His perfect humanity, symbolized by the face of a man; and, His
deity, symbolized by the flying eagle.
The Holy Spirit came upon Ezekiel, and he heard God speak.
God told Ezekiel to give the people messages of warning, sorrow, and
doom. Ezekiel was to speak for God, but the people would not
hear or obey. God commanded Ezekiel to eat the scroll containing
the words of God. When Ezekiel ate the scroll, it tasted as sweet
as honey in his mouth. Under the control of the Holy Spirit of
God, Ezekiel was made to be as stubborn as the people he would
encounter. God caused Ezekiel to meditate on His words and to
have no fear. If Ezekiel obeyed God by warning Israel, then
God would save him. If Ezekiel disobeyed, then he would die.
In Ezekiel 4, God used a series of symbols to express Himself.
First, God commanded Ezekiel to use a clay tablet to draw a map of the
city of Jerusalem. Ezekiel was to act out a siege on the
city. Then Ezekiel placed an iron pan between himself and the
city, and then he turned his face away. Next, he lay on his
left side for 390 days, symbolically bearing the sins that the people of
Israel had been committing for 390 years. Then Ezekiel lay on
his right side for 40 days, symbolically bearing the sins that the people
of Judah had been committing for 40 years. During these 430
days, Ezekiel was to eat bread which was baked using human excrement for
fuel. However, when Ezekiel rebelled against this defilement,
God allowed him to bake the bread over cow manure instead. This
was a prophecy of a shortage of food and water in Jerusalem.
Next, God commanded Ezekiel to shave his head and divide the hair into
three parts, symbolizing the three judgments of Jerusalem.
Ezekiel was to burn one-third of the map of Jerusalem that he had
drawn, and this prophesied the burning of Jerusalem. Then he
cut one-third of the map, and this prophesied disease, famine, and even
cannibalism. Finally, he scattered the last third of the map,
prophesying that the Jews would be scattered among the other nations of
the world. God would still have mercy upon them, but He would save only a remnant of them.
Ezekiel 6 - 8
Ezekiel prophesied further about the sword falling upon Jerusalem; God
saving only a remnant of the people; and, the final destruction of the
city of Jerusalem. Then God's vision transported Ezekiel back
to Jerusalem where he saw God's glory appear in the temple of that
city. God showed Ezekiel the idolatry that the people
practiced in the temple, and this is why God was going to destroy it.
In Ezekiel's next vision, God showed him a "man with a writer's case"
who revealed idolatry among the Jews that extended even to the elders,
including the worship
of a god called Tammuz. God said that the faithful people would be sealed on their foreheads and saved, but the
idol worshipers would be destroyed.
Ezekiel 10 - 11
Then God's Shekinah glory filled the temple for the last time, then
departed, standing over the Mount of Olives. God prophesied
against Israel's rulers, assuring judgment for their sins, although a
remnant of the people would be preserved and returned to their
Next God told Ezekiel that because the people would not listen, Ezekiel
was to reenact the coming destruction of Jerusalem. He locked
himself in a house, dug through the wall, and took his possessions out
through the excavation. Then he announced the full captivity of Jerusalem.
Ezekiel 13 - 14
Ezekiel prophesied against the false prophets who were predicting peace
for Jerusalem. Since Nebuchadnezzar had already stormed the
city twice without destroying it, they assumed that he wasn't going to
destroy it. God condemned the prophets for their lying and
the elders for their idolatry. God then stated that even Noah,
Daniel, and Job wouldn't have been able to spare Jerusalem with their
righteousness. This implies that these three men were the
most righteous and obedient men of the Old Testament times.
Ezekiel 15 - 16
Ezekiel's next vision was of a vine, symbolizing the nation of
Israel. A vine is good neither for lumber nor for
fuel. Likewise, due to her sins, Israel was of no value, and it was fit only
for destruction. Jerusalem is compared to a baby that had
been abandoned, and then adopted by God. The baby was raised by
God in love, but the baby grew up and sinned, turning her back God.
God in his justice must judge and discipline her, but he hasn't forsaken
her. He will still fulfill the covenant that he made with her.
Ezekiel 17 - 20
Then God told Ezekiel the riddle of the two eagles in order to
illustrate that the king of Babylon would destroy the city of Jerusalem
and the temple. King Zedekiah and some of the people would be
taken into captivity. Although sin results
in death, God in his righteousness offers life. Although Israel had been sinning
for centuries, and God must judge her, in the end times He would ultimately
re-gather her from the nations of the world and restore her to her
land. She will suffer through the Great Tribulation period,
and then God would judge the people to see which ones would enter His
millennial earthly kingdom.
Ezekiel continued to prophesy about Jerusalem and Israel. A
sword would be sharpened to judge the people, and especially the leaders
Jehoiakim, Jehoiachin, and Zedekiah. They are no longer
kings, and there is no longer a king in Israel. However, in the end
times, the rightful King would come with His crown and scepter.
Ezekiel 22 - 24
Ezekiel then told a story of two sisters, Oholah (symbolic of Samaria)
and Oholibah (symbolic of Jerusalem) in order to prophesy the
destruction of Jerusalem by Assyria as God's punishment for her
Even Israel's and Judah's princes, prophets, and priests
were immersed in sin,
including idolatry. Not even one righteous
man could be found. Ezekiel prophesied about a boiling pit,
signifying that the city of Jerusalem would be burned. At
this time, Ezekiel's wife died, and God didn't even let Ezekiel mourn his
loss. This was a sign that Jerusalem would be destroyed and
there would be no mourning for her.
Ezekiel 25 - 27
Then Ezekiel made a series of prophecies against the other nations,
including Ammon, Moab, Edom, Tyre, and the Philistines. The
prophecy of the destruction of Tyre is an excellent example of the
truth of the prophecies of the Bible, even in the face of
critics. Nebuchadnezzar invaded Tyre, but he did not utterly
destroy it. The critics of God's prophetic Word were eager to
point out that Tyre was not "scraped clean" as was predicted.
Also, Tyre was rebuilt on an island, although the prophecy indicated
that after it was scraped clean, it would never be rebuilt
again. Then 300 years later, Alexander the Great conquered Tyre. In
order to reach the new island city, Alexander ordered his men to build
a causeway to the island by picking up all the debris of the old city
and throwing it into the sea. Alexander then conquered Tyre
for good, scraping it clean just as the prophecy had predicted, never to be rebuilt again.
The next prophecy was against the king of Tyre and Sidon, symbolic of
Satan. He was among God's greatest creations, but he sinned,
and God would judge him.
Ezekiel 29 - 32
The next prediction was that Egypt. She had always been a
powerful nation, but she would also be destroyed. Its Pharaoh
would be destroyed as well, and its great cities would become ruins.
Ezekiel 33 - 36
When the people saw Ezekiel's prophecies fulfilled, they knew that he
was indeed a prophet of God. Ezekiel reiterates his prophecies of
the end times--the re-gathering of Israel, a Great Tribulation period,
and God's earthly millennial kingdom. The nation of Israel
would be fully restored in her land, which would once again be like the Garden of Eden.
Ezekiel then told of the Valley of Dry Bones. This was
symbolic of Israel, being scattered and apparently dead, when God would re-gather
her people and give them salvation
and new life. All the tribes of Israel would eventually reunite under the rule of the Davidic
Messiah ("David"). The people will obey God, and He will give
them a new covenant of eternal peace.
Ezekiel 38 - 48
Ezekiel revealed that when Israel is finally reestablished in her
homeland, she will suffer attacks from all sides at once. Her
primary foe will be "Gog and Magog,” from the far north of
Israel. This mighty army would ride on horseback, and
her allies will include Iran, Ethiopia, and Libya. They will
surround Israel, but just when things look the worst for her, God will intervene
to save her. A great earthquake will destroy all of her
enemies--never to live again. We are probably seeing the
beginnings of this today. The nation of Israel was re-gathered
from around the world and restored to her homeland in 1948, and nations
such as Iran and Libya are obviously hostile toward Israel.