01 June, 2017
Search The Scriptures —Study 0 — Introduction to Ezekiel
Study 0 From the Book of Ezekiel is: The Introduction of the book of Ezekiel
Ezekiel was one of many taken captive by Nebuchadrezzar in the first captivity, commonly referred to as the captivity of King Jehoiachin (e.g., 1:2), because this king himself was among those carried away. This occurred in 597 BC, eleven years before the actual destruction of Jerusalem.
Ezekiel was a priest as well as a prophet. He began prophesying in 592 BC and continued till at least 570 BC. See 1:2 and 29:17. His ministry was divided into two distinct periods by the destruction of Jerusalem (586 bc). Before this event it was his painful task to disillusion his fellow-exiles, to proclaim that all hopes of the early deliverance of the city and speedy return of the exiles were vain. Jerusalem must fall. After this event, the character of his ministry completely changed. He sought to rebuke despair and to afford comfort and hope by promises of future deliverance and restoration.
To witness with the object firs of overthrowing men’s natural hopes, and then of overcoming men’s inevitable despair, is a work that can be undertaken and carried through only under the constraint and by the inspiration of a divine commission. Such a commission was Ezekiel’s compelling urge. He was a man whose whole life was dominated by his sense of vocation and responsibility as a prophet—as God’s messenger to his fellows. Similar necessity is laid upon us to be God’s witness, and the essential truth of Ezekiel’s message should be the unchanging truth of our own. Because God is righteous, sin must be punished; old things must pass away. But, because God is gracious, and has provided a salvation for sinners there is a gospel of hope for the hopeless; in Christ all things can become new.