Ezekiel was a priest who served and prophesied during the Babylonian Exile. He was captured and transported to Babylon during Nebuchadnezzar's first invasion of Israel.
Ezekiel 1, By the Chebar Canal
Media File The first part of Ezekiel takes place during the interval between the first and second Babylonian invasions of Israel. The prophecy begins with the appearance of God riding in a mysterious vehicle with four cherubs. It is here that Ezekiel is called to be a prophet.
Ezekiel 4,5 An Iron Griddle
Media File Ezekiel performs an elaborate pantomime showing the siege of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar. The iron griddle between his face and the model city shows God hardening Himself to their prayers. Chapter 5 also explains why God's attitude is just and necessary.
Ezekiel 6,7 Pride Has Budded
Media File Israel was deep into idol worship. They had become more corrupt that even the pagan nations around them. God's message was that their iniquity had become ripe and their doom was coming.
Ezekiel 8-9 Vision of the Temple
Media File Ezekiel's vision occurs over a year after the first. In the spirit he is taken to Jerusalem where he is shown all of the abominations of the remnant left after Nebuchadnezzar's first invasion. In this vision, God appoints a scribe to mark those who are faithful to Him and then sends six destroyers into the city to kill everyone else. God makes it very clear that this destruction is measure for measure in response to the violence and injustice they have allowed to flourish in the city.
Ezekiel 10-11 The New Covenant
Media File In Chapter 10 Ezekiel witnesses the Glory of the Lord depart from Jerusalem in the same heavenly 'chariot' that he saw in chapter 1. Chapter 11 concludes with the New Covenant expressed with the metaphor of removing a heart of stone and replacing it with a heart of flesh.
Ezekiel 12,13 Whitewashed Walls
Media File Metaphorically God had been a wall protecting His people. When Israel became idolatrous, they breached that wall. False prophets had arisen who, instead of repairing the wall by calling the nation back to God, had plastered over the breaches. This plaster made the 'wall' appear solid and reliable, but when it was tested, the wall would fail.
Ezekiel 14,15 Noah, Daniel and Job
Media File The Ezekiel speaks against the elders of Israel who worship idols and yet come to inquire of the prophet. He says that God will deceive false prophets and will not speak clearly to the idolatrous. He also says that Jerusalem's sin is so severe that if Noah, Daniel and Job were in it, they would only be able to deliver themselves. Everyone else would perish.
Ezekiel 16, The Young Bride
Media File This is a lament by God over His faithless bride, Jerusalem. The metaphor here is of a young attractive bride and a stable but older husband. She craves excitement and variety where He provides stability, respectability and wealth. As the metaphor continues, she ages and finally reaches the point where she must hire her lovers.
Ezekiel 17,18 Sour Grapes
Media File After the parable of eagles, cedar trees and vines in chapter 17, God goes on to correct a misunderstanding among the exiles. They had a proverb to the effect that their current sad situation was a result of the sins of their fathers. God assures them that He is just and sets consequences appropriate to the behavior of each one. He says that the wicked shall perish for their own sins and that those who repent will be spared.
Ezekiel 19-20 I Will Not Be Inquired of by You
Media File Following a lamentation over Israel in Chapter 19, Chapter 20 finds the elders of Israel in exile coming to Ezekiel to inquire of the Lord. God tells them that they have not been faithful to the covenant and that He has no intention of giving them anything beyond the message to repent. Even in exile Israel still desires to be like all the other nations, a thing God says will never happen.
Ezekiel 20, 21 Face to Face
Media File In chapter 20 God promises to gather all Israel into the wilderness where he will meet them face to face. The sobering part of this text is that, just as in the 40 years wilderness journey, not everyone will make it into the land. In 21 he describes the arrival of the Babylonians who will destroy Jerusalem.
Ezekiel 22, Corruption
Media File God starts with the false prophets in Jerusalem who lead the nation astray by saying what people want to hear instead of what God wants said. He then moves on to the priests who do not correctly teach God's word. The loss of a religious anchor allows the government to become corrupt. Finally the people figure out that the way to get along is to become corrupt themselves.
Ezekiel 23 Oholah and Oholibah
Media File Here the prophet uses an allegory of two sisters to describe the corruption of both Israel and Judah. Both have been unfaithful and fallen into the worst sort of depravity and corruption. The point of the allegory is that Judah, seeing what happened to her sister Israel should have absorbed the lesson and changed her ways. Since she did not, she was going to suffer the same consequences.
Ezekiel 24-25 The Scummy Pot
Media File In chapter 11 the leaders of Jerusalem likened the city to a sturdy pot which keeps its contents safe. God says that the pot is full of scum. The scum and the pot itself will be burned up in the siege and destruction of the city. Chapter 25 begins a list of the surrounding nations who will be judged by God for the way that they treat Israel during her chastisement by Babylon.
Ezekiel 26,27 Against Tyre
Media File There are three chapters of prophecy against Tyre. These two describe the political and economic reasons for God's destruction of the city. Tyre was the capitol of the Phoenician commercial empire which dominated the Mediterranean basin. Tyre dominated the sea lanes while Israel controlled the land bridge between Africa and Eurasia. With the destruction of Israel by the Babylonians, Tyre had exclusive control over that lucrative trade.
Ezekiel 28, The Prince of Tyre
Media File Here the prophet turns to the spiritual power behind the city of Tyre. It is clear that, like the King of Babylon in Isaiah 14, pride has brought down one of the heavenly princes. His exalted status and the success of his earthly realm have lead him to forget his place. The prophet tells him why the calamity foretold is about to happen.
Ezekiel 29-30, A Staff of Reed
Media File Israel had formed a military alliance with Egypt against Babylon. That alliance would fail; hence Egypt was an unreliable staff. The prophecy describes Pharaoh's arrogance in holding himself out to be a god. Because of this and their faithlessness, God was going to destroy Egypt.
Ezekiel 31, 32 A Dragon in the Seas
Media File Continuing to enumerate His reasons for destroying Egypt, God first compares Egypt unfavorably with Assyria which had been destroyed earlier. He also likens Pharaoh to a dragon in the sea whose thrashing about serves to foul the waters. Once the dragon is removed, the waters will clear.
Ezekiel 33, The Watchman
Media File As God's watchman, Ezekiel is obligated to warn Israel of what their behavior will bring upon them. He is also obligated to speak of God's character and warn them against fatalism. Even though the temporal consequences of sin might not be avoidable, the eternal consequences may be voided by repentance.
Ezekiel 34-36 Corrupt Shepherds
Media File As God tells Ezekiel the reasons for Israel's exile, He places the blame squarely at the feet of the Shepherds, Israel's religious establishment. The nation's corruption had begun in the Temple when those who were to care for and teach Israel saw their positions as a source of wealth and privilege. That attitude has also taken root in the modern church. It is unlikely that God's perspective has changed.
Ezekiel 36-37 Dry Bones
Media File As in Chapter 11, God promises Israel a new covenant in which their hearts of stone will be replaced by hearts of flesh. He then gives the prophet a vision of a valley full of dried bones representing the current state of Israel. In reversing the death and desiccation God dramatizes how He will restore the nation to live under the new covenant.
Ezekiel 38-39 Gog, Prince of Magog
Media File God Himself engineers the invasion of Israel by Gog and his allies. The invasion will result in the destruction of the invading coalition. The reason for this is to disabuse the nations of the idea that they would have been able to conquer Israel if God had not withdrawn His hand of protection. He withdrew protection because Israel was faithless.
Ezekiel 40-44 The Millennial Temple
Media File The prophet is taken in vision to Israel and shown the Millennial Temple. This vision is the bookend to the vision in chapter 8 where he sees in a vision, the departure of the Glory before the destruction of that Temple by the Babylonians. Just as Exodus describes the Wilderness Tabernacle in great detail, so also the vision of the new Temple.
Ezekiel 44-45, Execute Justice and Righteousness
Media File In describing Israel in the Millennium, God makes special provision for the Prince, which is to say civil government. In this He remembers the behavior of Israel's nobility before they were sent into exile. He sets things up to lessen the temptation to use civil office for personal profit.