Ezekiel was a priest from an esteemed family, who was chosen as prophet five years after Nebuchadnezzar had begun the first Babylonian Captivity (597 BCE).
God warned the exiled Jews that they would be destroyed without repentance, while promising a new era characterised by glory, consecration and an intimate relationship between Him and His people.
He was thirty years old
Ezekiel was 30 when God called him to become a prophet. Born into a family of Zadokite priests known for their dedication and service to God, these priests also loved their temple and sought purity of worship services; furthermore they were passionate about obeying God’s word as written in scripture, often being persecuted for doing so by ungodly Israelites; during his ministry Ezekiel preached truthful gospel message while prophetically forecast the future.
Ezekiel contains prophetic visions of restoration for Israel and the nations alike, along with an image of an idealized future millennial kingdom. Though some scholars classify Ezekiel as apocalyptic, other scholars disagree; indeed Revelation contains passages from Ezekiel but itself does not fit the mold of full apocalyptic writing, with similar imagery and themes to other biblical books but featuring elements such as repeated four and seven numbers for repetition purposes.
Ezekiel would have been required to serve in his priestly role for four decades, yet was taken into exile at thirty – which was typical length for priestly roles. Ezekiel likely began his career within the temple because his father Buzi served there.
Ezekiel received his call while living among Jewish exiles in Babylon. He belonged to group II, which included Jehoiachin II (2 Chronicles 24:8-14), living near Chebar River near a village named Tel-abib; roughly 100 miles southwest from Babylon.
Ezekiel’s prophecies start out by proclaiming judgment for Jews living in exile, then detailing three stages of Jerusalem’s fall before transitioning to offering hope to those still scattered by exile.
He was in exile
Ezekiel was born into a priestly family and on his way to becoming one when Nebuchadnezzar captured him and took him captive to Babylon as part of their invasion and exile from Jerusalem. Ezekiel experienced an encounter with God during this period: his vision showed an idol-filled temple filled with men worshipping a sun god; also present were people pointing their faces east worshipping this sun god instead of showing any reverence towards their true Lord who dwelled within their house – something the people did not appear aware of – something which reflected poorly upon them as the invasion began their exile from Jerusalem.
After this theophany, Ezekiel was charged to spread God’s word despite being opposed by many who heard him preach. While some might resent his messages, Ezekiel remained faithfully serving God even though this meant being shunned by others.
As part of his prophetic ministry, Ezekiel would experience grand and spectacular visions of the glory of the Lord that were too grand and grandiose for words to adequately describe. To help explain these visions he would receive assignments which required him to act out their message in some way.
Ezekiel’s book contains carefully timed prophecies arranged chronologically from Ezekiel’s captivity (Chapter 1) until Jerusalem fell (Chapter 24). Early chapters focus more on messages of judgment while later Ezekiel concentrates more on returning Israel back into their land.
When reading Ezekiel, it is important to keep in mind that this passage contains one of the longest passages of hope in all of Scripture. These hopeful words come from God’s promise of restoration for Israel’s house and return them home; these positive outlooks come despite all threats and disasters foretold within this prophetic book that foretell destruction for Jerusalem itself.
He was a prophet
Ezekiel is one of the few books of the Old Testament which speaks directly about God’s kingdom, providing prophetic messages both condemning sinful kingdoms as well as offering hope for future millennial ones. Additionally, Ezekiel offers us a vision of its reconstruction in Jerusalem with God returning His glory in glory; its chapters 1-11 mirror those 40-48.
The biblical account indicates that Ezekiel was called by God to become a prophet at thirty years of age, just prior to Jerusalem being besieged and exiled to Babylon. Even though too young for priesthood duties, he had acquired extensive knowledge in Israelite laws.
At this time, Israel and Judah were suffering great distress. Living in an alien land far from home and family was no easy task, yet many still maintained hope that their exile would end quickly with Jerusalem being spared from destruction.
Ezekiel delivered a sobering warning: that Israel faced destruction unless they abandoned idolatrous practices and obeyed God’s laws. As God’s messenger to the house of Israel, Ezekiel warned them against disobeying God’s laws because such disobedience would bring serious repercussions both personally and to their descendants.
Although Ezekiel was never mentioned directly in Scripture, rabbinic tradition suggests he was married and regularly entertained prestigious guests at his home. Additionally, physical ailments plagued him, and it’s possible he was suffering from leprosy or tuberculosis as well.
Ezekiel is considered a biblical apocalyptic writing as it contains elements of end-time prophecy. The book of Revelation quotes extensively from Ezekiel; its narrative style uses plenty of vivid images and is filled with patterns such as fours and sevens that were typical in such texts.
He was a priest
Ezekiel was part of an elite group who remained faithful to God while many others fell away, which only deepened his ministry further. He witnessed God’s judgement upon Temple and Priesthood before their restoration was begun in time for future generations to enjoy them both once more. “Priest” appears 24 times throughout Ezekiel; surely reflecting its central place in his worldview and theology.
Ezekiel was prophetically inspired during a time of great distress for Israel. Between 605 and 587 bc, Judah was defeated by Nebuchadrezzar’s Babylonian Empire under which Jerusalem fell after a long siege and thousands of Israelites were taken into exile.
Ezekiel had the difficult task of informing both exiled people and those in Jerusalem of God’s punishment for their disloyalty to Him and encouraging repentance and living holy lives – something he accomplished through prophetic language and strange imagery.
Ezekiel’s Book is one of the most vivid and vividly imagined biblical books, filled with bizarre images and symbols as well as an original literary style that employs repeated numbers – something often used in apocalyptic writings; Ezekiel used this patterning technique in order to help his readers visualize events he described more vividly.
Ezekiel spent the first 30 years of his prophetic career living both in Jerusalem and Babylon, the latter providing an outlet for public speaking and ministry due to muteness. Ezekiel’s Book tells an engaging tale about an illuminati prophet who sees and encounters the divine presence – known as Kavod or Presence of God.
Ezekiel provides one of the longest and most in-depth accounts in all of Scripture of an encounter with God’s glory directly, offering us a direct experience that penetrates deeply and fundamentally into our lives – something which must both be received and shared by each person who encounters this experience.