Monday, July 8, 2019

What’s in the Book: Ezekiel

The 48 chapters of the Book of Ezekiel are filled with wondrous visions. Ezekiel’s first vision is of a fiery chariot drawn by creatures with four faces (of a man, a lion, an ox and an eagle) and four sets of wings.

God instructed Ezekiel to withdraw into his home and to remain mute from all but that which God tells him to speak. During this time, he physically acted out his prophecies (sort of like performance art): “You also, son of man, take a tile, and lay it before you, and trace upon it a city, even Jerusalem; and lay siege against it, and build forts against it...” (4:1)

The Book of Ezekiel also contains several potent parables, such as the wife who turned to harlotry (Israel as God’s unfaithful bride) and the young vine that withers (the fall of the House of David). At God’s command, he sets aside the ritual mourning for his departed wife as a warning to the people that when Jerusalem falls they too will be unable to mourn.

However, Ezekiel also spoke of a new leadership emerging, the return to Israel and a truly eternal covenant being affirmed.

The “Dry Bones” is the most famous of Ezekiel’s prophecies. Ezekiel was transported to a valley full of bones that then return to life (“Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel; behold, they say: Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are clean cut off...Behold, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, O My people; and I will bring you into the land of Israel” - 37:11-12).


Ezekiel first appeared as a prophet on the 5th of Tammuz, as it states (Ezekiel 1:1-3): “And it came to pass in the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, in the fifth day of the month, as I was among the exiles by the Kevar river, that the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God. In the fifth day of the month, which was the fifth year of king Jehoiachin’s exile, the word of the Lord came to Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans, by the Kevar river; and the hand of the Lord was there upon him.”

This Treat was last posted on December 20, 2010.

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