The book of Ezekiel records the activity of a prophet during exile n Babylon. Though his message was directed to his fellow captives and also to the Hebrew people still at home in Palestine land, it is still relevant today in the life of man.
His message to the captives and the Jews in Judah, both groups remained obstinate and impenitent even after the capture of Jerusalem by the Babylon King Nebuchadnezzar, and together with a large segment of the population in 597 B.C. God therefore assigned Ezekiel the task of denouncing the rebellious house of Israel and fore-telling the destruction of Jerusalem and the deportation of still greater numbers. Six years after Ezekiel has begun to preach, his word come true in 586 B.C. Nebuchadnezzar destroyed Jerusalem and brought all but a few of the survivors to Babylonia. But Israel’s unfaithfulness did not exhaust God’s mercy. Ezekiel was also directed to proclaim the good news that the exiles would end and that Israel would be restored to her position as the instrument of God’s salvation to all men.
The manner in which the book of Ezekiel presents this message of judgment and promise distinguished it from other prophetic books of Old Testament. Its first unique feature is the systematic arrangement of the contents.
The first twenty-four chapters set forth the Israel’s arrangement and condemnation with terrifying consistency. This prospect of doom relieved by only incidental rays of light is balanced in the last section e.g (Chapter 33:48) by an equally consistent portrayal of the bright future that God has in store for His people. Dividing these solid blocks of threat and promises to Israel is a series of address to foreign nations which have a double aspect, they pronounce doom upon the wicked neighbor of Israel, by the destruction of Israel’s enemies also constitutes an assurance that they will not be able to hinder the fulfillment of God’s.
Another unique feature of the book of Ezekiel is the forms in which both threat and promise are expressed. It abounds in mysterious visions, daring allegories, and weird symbolic actions. These media of God’s revelation occur here more frequently than in any other prophetic book and are presented with an equally unusual elaboration of descriptive detail. The visions in particular are bizarre, almost grotesque in form and therefore difficult to interpret.
But the basic meaning of the book of Ezekiel will not elude the reader if he keeps in mind that God is glory and His great acts of judgment and salvation are portrayed by symbolic languages and form.
What Ezekiel sees in visions, describes in allegories and acts out in a manner resembling charades is designed to contribute to the assurance that God is carrying forward His plan of salvation for all men that He initiated in His covenant with Israel centuries ago. Purified by God’s judgment in the Babylonian exile, Israel will again become the bearer of the promises to be fulfilled in the New Covenant and to the end of time. All of this Ezekiel sees in Prophetic perspective in which scenes of the immediate and of the distant future are at times superimposed on the same picture of the coming and enduring Kingdom of God.
THE OUTLINE OF THE BOOK OF EZEKIEL
ISRAEL;A REBELLIOUS HOUSE WILL FALL-CHAPTER 1:1-24:27
God sends Ezekiel as His Spokesman to the Rebellious House Chapter 1:1-3:27
The first series of Symbolic Action and their tragic meaning Chapter 4:1-727.
The vision of lsrael Doom-Chapter 8:1-11:25
The Idolaters in the Temple-Chapter 8:1-18
The Judgment upon Jerusalem-Chapter 9:1-11:25
The second series of symbolic actions and words of doom Chapter 12:1-14:23
The parable of doom-Chapter 15:1-19:14
The third series of rebukes and threat because of Israel’s total disobedience -Chapter 20:1-22:31
The two final parables and last symbolic action of doom Chapter 23:1-24:24
The News of the fall of the Rebellious House-Chapter 24:25-27
FOREIGN NATIONS, GUILTY OF CRIMES AGAINST GOD AND HIS PEOPLE Will BE DESTROYED-CHAPTER 25:1-32:32
The word of the Lord concerning six Palestinian Neighbors of Israel, Ammon, Moab, Edom, Pilistia, Tyre, Sido on-Chapter 25:1-28:26
The seven words of the Lord concerning the seventh nation: Egypt – Chapter 29:1-32:32.
THE CHASTENED ISRAEL WILL BE RESTORED: GOD’S KINGDOM WILL FLOURISH-CHAPTER 33:12-45:35
The prophet of restoration and the basic of his Message Chapter 33:7-20
The News of the fall of Jerusalem Arrives-Chapter33 :21-33
The promises of restoration-Chapter 34:1-39:29
The Restoration under an external King-Chapter 34:1-31
The restoration on the Hills of lsrael-Chapter 35:1-36:15
The Restoration of a Heart of Flesh-Chapter 36:16-38
The Restoration to Life-Chapter 37:1-14
The Restoration to Unity-Chapter 37:15-28
The Restoration to safety from all evil -Chapter 38:1-39-21
The vision of restoration -Chapter 40:1-48:35
The Temple of the restoration -Chapter 40:1-42:20
The Glory of the Lord Enters the Temple-Chapter 43:1-12
The worship of the restored people-Chapter 43 :13-46:24
The Living waters and the promised land of inheritance Chapter 47 :1-48:35