Ezekiel

Discussion

  1. Ezekiel was carried in exile to Babylon in 596 BC (the 2nd deportation by Nebuchadnezzar), a decade before the fall of Jerusalem in 586 BC. He began prophesying 5 (1:2) years before Jerusalem fell and prophesied many years after the 586 BC.
  2. His first vision in Babylon is of the 4 living creatures (1:5), the wheels, the throne, a man surrounded with a radiant glory, and a rainbow. Compare this with Rev 1. The 4 living creatures are probably symbolic of God’s agents of judgment on Judah, Israel, and the nations. They have eyes to see all that is going on over the earth. They can act rapidly.
  3. God appointed him as a watchman (3:17) to warn the people to repent. He tells him to eat a scroll (3:1) that has bad predictions on it. Compare with Rev 10:9,10 where John is told to eat a little book that has the predictions of the book of Revelation.
  4. He does several sign acts like making a siege on a small brick model of Jerusalem (4:1-3), lying on his side 390 days and then 40 days, eating food cooked over cow dung (4:12). 
  5. In ch 8 he has a vision of what is going on back in the temple (8:16) in Jerusalem: 70 elders worshiping idolatrous images, women worshiping Tammuz, 25 men worship the sun. 
  6. The glory of the Lord departed from the temple (10:18) and from Jerusalem (11:23) due to the idolatry of the people, but there will be a remnant saved. 
  7. He does more signs: carrying baggage (12:3) for exile around, eating food while quaking (12:18).
  8. In ch 13 he denounces the false prophets (13:2) who say Jerusalem will not be destroyed. 
  9. Even Noah, Daniel, and Job could not spare Jerusalem’s fate (14:14). 
  10. He pictures Judah as an unfaithful wife whom he rescued from her birth, groomed her, married her, but she has become a harlot (16:28), committing adultery with the gods of other nations (Chapter 16). He says her older sister is Samaria (Israel) and he younger sister is Sodom (16:46). 
  11. In ch 18 he makes it clear that they are not being punished for the sins of their fathers, but for their own sins. That principle is stated in 18:20, “the soul that sins shall die. The son will not bear the punishment for the father’s sin, nor the Father bear punishment for the son’s sins.” 
  12. In ch 19, he gives a lamentation over the last 3 kings of Judah. 
  13. In ch 20 God refuses to be inquired of by the elders (20:3). Ezekiel reminds them of their idolatry in Egypt, rebellion in the wilderness, and idolatry in Canaan, and current idolatry. 
  14. In ch 21 Babylon will be a sharpened sword (21:9,19) that God uses to destroy Judah. 
  15. In ch 23 he tells of 2 harlot sisters: Oholah, which is Samaria (23:4), and Oholibah, which is Jerusalem (23:4). Both committed harlotry with gods of the nations and will be punished. 
  16. Why do you think God would not allow Ezekiel to mourn the death of his wife? 24:15-17 
  17.  Ch 25-32 He gives prophecies against the surrounding nations: Ammon, Moab, Edom, Philistia, Tyre ch 26-28 (Isaiah 23: 1st by Nebuchadezzaar, later by Alexander), Egypt ch 29-32 (defeated by Necuchaddezzar in 572 and 568 BC; 29:18). 
  18. In 33:21-22 he gets word from refugees from Jerusalem that the city has fallen. The people will hear but not heed Ezekiel, but when his prophecies “come to pass-as surely they will- then they will know that a prophet has been in their midst” (33:33).
  19. In ch 34 he condemns the shepherds (34:1) of Israel for not feeding and taking care of the flock. He predicts that God will set over them a shepherd, David (Jesus) (34:23,24). Jesus the good shepherd (John 10), chief shepherd (1 Pet 5:4), great shepherd (Heb 13:20) 
  20. He predicts that a remnant will be restored and God will put His Spirit in them to give them a new heart to obey Him. This is Messianic under the shepherd David (35:25-27).
  21. In ch 37 he sees the vision of the valley of dry bones (37:1) (i.e. dead spiritual Israel). But God puts His Spirit (37:14) in them, they grow flesh and come out of graves and come alive. This has to be Messianic when God poured out His Spirit on all flesh. Joel 2:28; Acts 2. 
  22. In ch 37:15-28, he also unites 2 sticks, Israel and Judah, cleanses them, and makes David as their king (Jesus), makes an everlasting covenant and sets his sanctuary (37:28) in their midst. Compare this with Rev 21:1-3 where the New Jerusalem comes down to earth and God puts his tabernacle (sanctuary) among men and dwells among them. This is the church, 21:9. 
  23. Ch 38, 39 the. Messianic destruction of all of Judah’s enemies is represented by Prince Gog of Magog who come up to destroy Israel (38:14-16) in the “latter years” (38:8) but are destroyed by God. God will restore the fortunes of Israel (39:25) and pour out His Spirit (39:29) on Israel. Again, this is Messianic, Joel 2, Acts 2. In Rev 20:8 Gog is Rome attacking Jerusalem. 
  24. In ch 40-46 he gets a vision of a new temple (40:5) to be built one day. It will be larger and far more glorious than the temple of Solomon. The glory of the Lord will fill this temple again (43:1-5). That glory has been gone since the temple was destroyed. 
  25. Levitical priests will be offering animal sacrifices in this new temple (42:13; 43:18-27). For those who believe that this is to be a temple rebuild one day when the Messiah comes, this is a real problem. Hebrews teaches us that the priesthood of Levi and animal sacrifices have been done away, so surely God will not one day restore those. 
  26. There is a Prince who offers animal sacrifices and goes in and out of the temple (Chapter 46). Would this not be David the prince of 34:24; 37:25? Again that would be Jesus. Hebrews teaches us that Jesus our King offered his own blood, not animals. This is a real problem for those who think Ezekiel is predicting a physical temple to be built one day and Levitical priests offereing animal sacrifices. 
  27. This new temple must surely be figurative of the temple that the Branch (Jesus) would build one day (Zechariah 6:12-15). He is both king and priest on His everlasting throne. That temple will be the church, a spiritual temple (1 Cor 3:16;. 6:19) where God dwells (Ephesians 2:22). Notice in Rev 21:22 there is no temple in the new Jerusalem, the church (i.e. no physical temple). 
  28. In ch 47, Ezekiel sees a river 47:5 flowing out from this new temple. It provides life for the fish and there are trees on its banks that bear fruit year round for the healing of the nations. Compare this with Rev 22:1-5, a river of life flowing from the church temple of Rev 21. 
  29. The book ends with the naming of this new Jerusalem, “The Lord is there” (48:35). In Rev 21:1-3 God will make his abode among men and dwell with them in the church.
  30. Extra discussion: What is the role of shepherds in the church today? Acts 20:17-38 where they are called elders, shepherds, and overseers. 1 Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9 give the qualifications for elders. Hebrews 13:17 gives their responsibility. 1 Pete 5:1-3 stresses leadership by example not dictatorship. Eph 4:11 lists elders as pastors and teachers (one office); no doubt miraculously equipped in the 1st century. How much authority do elders even today since they are not inspired? Do we still need elders? Most elderships are boards of directors.

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