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FRAMEWORKS: Ezekiel

(Return to Old Testament Contents)

 

FRAMEWORKS: INTRODUCTION TO EZEKIEL

 

Why Read Ezekiel: Along with Jeremiah, Ezekiel is the most amazing testimony to the Lord warning His people in Jerusalem and in the rest of the Land to come to their senses and turn a true holy people of God. What is remarkable about it is that it all occurs in Babylon where Ezekiel is already in exile. He is thus addressing his people both there in exile in Babylon and those back in the Land of Israel.

As the reader will see from the Contents lower down the page, the structure of Ezekiel is quite obvious:
Part 1 – the first three chapters introduce Ezekiel's call.

Part 2 – chapters 4 to 7, are a block of general warnings from the Lord.

Part 3 – chapters 8 to 11, are a vision of the state of idolatry in the temple in Jerusalem.

Part 4 – chapters 12 to 24, the biggest block, are the many prophetic warnings coming in Zedekiah's reign up until the fall of Jerusalem.

Part 5 – chapters 25 to 32, step out of Israel and are warnings against other nations and peoples, of God's coming judgment on them as He cleans up the region.

Part 6 – chapters 33 to 39, bring, first of all, hope for the future of Israel [ch.33-37] and then two apocalyptic chapters revealing God's intent to bring a judgement on a godless people from the north who will invade Israel but be destroyed by the Lord. Some suggest these last two chapters were the original conclusion to the book.

Part 7 – chapters 40 to 49, which start with detail of a temple, are a vision seen by Ezekiel, considered by some as an Appendix to the book. It also contains a revelation of the glory of the Lord returning to the temple, and then numerous descriptions pertaining to worship – land allocated, priests re-established, etc. etc. See the Introduction to this Part before chapter 40.

The reader is advised to see the Contents below and catch this structure and see the wonder of these messages coming again and again before the destruction of Jerusalem AND after it. The fall of Jerusalem, hinted at in chapter 24 and then recorded in chapter 33, is the centre-piece of the book and what it is really all about – God's warnings against destruction and calling for repentance, and then afterwards, explanations of why it has happened and the Lord's long-term intent to restore His people to the Land.

 

Dating

Dates referred to are seen in:

1:2 the fifth year of the exile of King Jehoiachin

8:1 the sixth year (presuming the next year to follow on the 1:2 reference)

20:1 the seventh year (presumably the next year)

24:1 the ninth year (presumably two years later)

26:1 the twelfth year (presumably three years on)

29:1 the tenth year (an earlier prophecy)

29:17 the twenty-seventh year

30:20 the eleventh year

31:1 the eleventh year

32:1 the twelfth year (also 32:17 and 33:21 – recording the fall of Jerusalem)

40:1 the twenty-fifth year ( the fourteenth year after the fall of the city )

 

The siege of Jerusalem would appear, therefore, to be the eleventh or twelfth year of Ezekiel's reckoning. What seems remarkable is that Ezekiel was still prophesying about sixteen years after the fall of Jerusalem.

 

Contents

 

Part 1: The Call of Ezekiel, the exile in Babylon

Time & Location 1: 593BC by the Kebar River, the plains of Babylon & Ezekiel's home

Ch.1 – Ezekiel's Inaugural Vision

Ch.2 – Ezekiel's Call to Be a Prophet

Ch.3 – Ezekiel sent to the Exiles

 

Part 2: The first set of waves of warnings and condemnation

Ch.4 – Siege of Jerusalem Symbolized

Ch.5 – God's Razor of Judgment

Ch.6 – Doom for the High Places of Israel

Ch.7 – The End has come

 

Part 3: Revelations of Idolatry in Jerusalem

Time & Location 2: 592BC Ezekiel's home but in the Spirit in a Vision

Ch.8 – Idolatry in the Temple

Ch.9 – Judgment on the Idolaters

Ch.10 – God's Glory Departs from the Temple

Ch.11 – God's Sure Judgment on Jerusalem

 

Part 4: Prophecies of warnings up to the fall of Jerusalem

Time & Location 3: The closing years of Zedekiah's reign, Ezekiel still in Babylon

Ch.12 – The Exile Symbolized & Zedekiah warned

Ch.13 – False prophets & prophetesses condemned

Ch.14 – Divided-heart Prophet-Seekers condemned

Ch.15 – Jerusalem as a useless vine   

Ch.16 – Jerusalem as an adulterous wife & a prostitute

Ch.17 – Two eagles and a vine

Ch.18 – Teaching: The one who sins will die

Ch.19 – A lament over Israel's princes

Ch.20 – Rebellious Israel's Failures & Purging

Ch.21 – Babylon as God's sword of judgment

Ch.22 – Judgment on Jerusalem's sins

Ch.23 – Two adulterous sisters

Ch.24 – Jerusalem as a cooking pot & Ezekiel's wife dies, Jerusalem's impending fall

 

Part 5: Prophecies of warnings against other peoples

Time & Location 5: These prophecies come at various times – see below

Ch.25 – Prophecies against Ammon, Moab, Edom, Philistia

Part 5a: Tyre – given in 12 th year [? time of siege/fall]

Ch.26 – A prophecy against Tyre

Ch.27 – A lament that will be sung over Tyre

Ch.28 – A prophecy against the king of Tyre

Part 5b Egypt – given in the tenth year [? time of siege]

Ch.29 – Prophecies, Parts 1 & 2 against Egypt

Ch.30 – Prophecies, Parts 3 & 4 against Egypt

Ch.31 – Prophecy, Part 5 against Egypt

Ch.32 – Prophecies, Parts 6 & 7 against Egypt

 

Part 6: Prophecies after the fall of Jerusalem

Time & Location 5: The first one comes in the 12 th year after the fall of Jerusalem

Ch.33 – Renewal of Ezekiel's call & why Jerusalem has fallen

Ch.34 – The Lord will be Israel's shepherd

Ch.35 – A prophecy against Edom

Ch.36 – Hope & Restoration

Ch.37 – A Vision (Dry Bones) & a Prophecy (Two Sticks)

Ch.38 – The Lord 's great victory over Gog & the nations

Ch.39 – Continuation of the prophecy against ‘Gog'

 

Part 7: Vision for a new day: Temple, lands & worship

Time & Location 7: Given in the 14 th year after the fall of Jerusalem

Ch.40 – Measuring the Temple: [1] Outer & Inner Courtyards

Ch.41 – Measuring the Temple: [2] Main Building

Ch.42 – Measuring the Temple: [3] Rooms for the Priests

Ch.43 – The Glory Returns & Instructions given

Ch.44 – The Priesthood restored

Ch.45 – Sacred areas, honesty & justice and sacrificial worship

Ch.46 – The worshipping prince and priests

Ch.47 – The river from the temple; land boundaries

Ch.48 – Division of the land, new city gates

      

    

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