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Below you will also find the summary of this book.
Purpose of The Book of Ezekiel:
Since Ezekiel’s judgment prophecies concerning Judah and the nations have taken place, therefore Judah should maintain hope in Ezekiel’s restoration prophecies and priestly reconstruction program. Through his ministry to Israel in dark times, Ezekiel encourages us to remember that God will never abandon His people even though it sometimes seems that He has. He will certainly keep His promises to bless those who trust in Him no matter how imperfectly we serve Him.
However, he also reminds us that there is no one but ourselves to blame for our dreary circumstances, and brings conviction to our self-righteous and indignant souls. He calls us to quit playing the blame game, admit our own guilt before God, and renew our trust and dedication to Him so that we can hope in Him with a clear conscience.
Major Characters of The Book of Ezekiel:
Ezekiel and God.
Summary of The Book of Ezekiel:
The glorious capital of Jerusalem, the only remaining Israelite city, has fallen to the Babylonian armies. The richest, most prominent, most intelligent, and most powerful in Jerusalem are taken as slaves to serve in Babylon, and the peasants are left to eke out an existence in the devastated ruins. Ezekiel was one of those deported to Babylon, and God called him to be a "watchman" for His people there, keeping them informed of God's movements and intentions, explaining to them the reasons for their plight, and renewing their hope in God's promises in spite of them.
Ezekiel does so, but in some very unorthodox ways. He often speaks in fables and allegories. He has extraordinary visions and dreams. He falls into trances, loses his ability to speak for a time, and engages in other strange behaviors such as tying himself to the ground for many days, shaving his head and burning the hair, cooking his food over human dung, just to name a few. Psychologists have diagnosed Ezekiel as schizophrenic, epileptic, catatonic, psychotic, narcissistic, masochistic, and paranoid. However, Ezekiel was not mentally deranged, just radically committed to communicating the seriousness of God's message so that Israel (and we) would pay special attention.
The book of Ezekiel tells of the final failure of God’s people as constituted by the first covenants, and looks forward to their being reconstituted by a new covenant that includes a true Shepherd and the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Author and Dates of The Book of Ezekiel:
Although many of the Old Testament books are hard to date, the book of Ezekiel contains many references to kings and world events so that we can know with some precision when He ministered. Ezekiel probably grew up listening to the prophecies of Jeremiah, and began his own ministry in the middle of the deportation of Israelites to Babylon, around 593 BC. For the next 20 years he continued to minister to these fellow exiles, until approximately 570 BC. He died without seeing Israel's restoration.
Outline of The Book of Ezekiel:
Themes of The Book of Ezekiel:
God's Faithfulness and Mercy: Even after Israel's Promised Land had been taken, their freedom revoked, and the displeasure of their God communicated, Ezekiel encouraged Israel to hope in God's mercy, and faithfulness to His promises. He foresaw restoration because He knew God would never abandon his people.
Repentance: However, God had allowed circumstances to get this bad in order to express His peoples' need to repent.
God’s Wisdom: Ezekiel's experience of God seems to many modern readers as bizarre and fanciful. His life reminds us that the life of faith requires eyes that see beyond the physical realm, and that God's wisdom is above our wisdom. He often uses the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and sometimes calls us to use extreme and unpopular measures in order to communicate His gospel to the world.
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