1. Introduction to Ezekiel
Ezekiel Chapters 2 to 7, Ezekiel the Watchman to Israel and Judah, Past and Present
focus of this study is Ezekiel and the End Times, to understand the
End-Times in Ezekiel; we need to have an understanding of the background of
Introduction Chapter 2-7
In Ezekiel Chapter one, Ezekiel had a vision of the God of Israel, the Glory of the Lord, who led the children of Israel out of Egypt. Ezekiel describes an amazing scene of the throne of God, accompanied by the Cherubim angels, depicted in the temple. God who met Moses on Mount Sinai commissioned Moses to lead His people into the Promised Land of Israel. The Lord, the Glory of the Lord, warned the nation to obey the Covenant, lest they come under the wrath of God.
In Ezekielís day, the nation had fallen away and Ezekiel was Godís witness against Israel. Ezekiel, a captive priest, taken from Jerusalem in 597 B.C. was about to proclaim Godís judgment against the nation.
The walls of a city were its defense against invading armies. Walls were a barrier, keeping out those who would harm its inhabitants. Towers on the walls allowed a watchman to warn the inhabitants in the city of an approaching conflict. The job of the watchman was to sound the alarm, to wake up the city, to prepare for battle. If a watchman fell asleep on the job, he would have to pay with his life, because he endangered the whole city.
In chapter two, Ezekiel is commissioned as Godís watchman to Israel, to warn the city and the nation of its coming judgment by Babylon. Ezekiel testifies to Godís justice, proclaiming the reason for judgment, as he witnessed firsthand Israelís depravity in the spiritual realms.
God conveys His message three ways in the book of Ezekiel, Ezekiel proclaims the message of God through;
1. Visions of the spiritual realms,
2. Words of revelation
3. Signs performed.
1. The spiritual realms; Ezekiel transcends the physical world and reveals the spiritual realms, describing his visions and communication with the living God of Israel. Revealing to Israel how God sees their sins, committed in secret, while they think God does not know (Ezekiel Chapter 8-10). He reveals the judgment on the nation in the spiritual realms with angels marking those in Jerusalem to be spared and those marked for death. He describes the Glory of the Lord, leaving the Temple because the great abominations taking place, Ezekiel also describes the Glory of the Lordís return, to a new Temple in the last days, and the establishment of Godís throne in Jerusalem (Ezekiel 40-44).
Words of revelation: Ezekiel communicates the words of God to a rebellious nation, which has rejected God and turned away from Him towards idols. Ezekiel proclaims Godís message to a rebellious nation. Ezekiel conveys Godís plan of judgment and future redemption, God is not done with the nation, even though they are about to be judged (Ezekiel 36-37)
Signs performed: Ezekiel becomes a living example of the nation as he personifies Godís judgments by playing the role of God and the nation. In chapter 4, he lays on his side as he lays siege to drawing of Jerusalem, acting out the destruction of the city in 586 B.C. Ezekiel eats bread made of bean and grains, cooked on dung, acting out the siege. Ezekielís wife dies and he is told not to mourn as Ezekiel personifies God, who does not mourn the destruction of Jerusalem.
He said to me: In Ezekiel chapter 1, Ezekiel is with the captives of Jerusalem, at the Chebar River, he sees a storm cloud of fire and glowing metal with flashing lightening, first he sees the Cherubim, and then he sees the throne of God, with the presence of God, the Glory of Lord seated on the throne. Now the Glory of the Lord commissions him to deliver a message to the house of Israel. Ezekiel is fallen before the throne of God, on his face, God now tells him to stand up.
Son of man: Ezekiel a descendent of Adam (ben adam) is to deliver the message to humanity. This term ďSon of manĒ is used 93-times in the book of Ezekiel. This is also the most popular term Jesus uses to describe himself.
The Spirit entered
me: In his flesh
Ezekiel has now power to stand before God, therefore the Spirit, the Holy
Spirit enters Ezekiel giving the ability to stand in the presence of God.
From chapter 2 to chapter 43, The Spirit, enables Ezekiel to see and
communicate events in the spiritual realms to the house of Israel. In the
Old Testament era, the Spirit selectively came upon prophets to accomplish
the will of God (Psalm 51:11). In the New Testament, He enters all
believers who know the Glory of the Lord, Jesus Christ (John 3:5). (See
And I heard: Only after the Holy Spirit entered Ezekiel did he stand on his feet, and then hear the message from the Glory of the Lord. We also can only hear the message of God through the Holy Spirit.
13 "However, when He, the
Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not
speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will
tell you things to come.
Israel the rebellious house
3 And He said to me: "Son
of man, I am sending you to the children of Israel, to a rebellious nation
that has rebelled against Me; they and their fathers have transgressed
against Me to this very day.4 "For they are impudent and stubborn children.
I am sending you to them, and you shall say to them, 'Thus says the Lord
God.' 5 "As for them, whether they hear or whether they refuse-for they are
a rebellious house-yet they will know that a prophet has been among them.
Children of Israel: The term Israel is referring to both the northern kingdom of ten tribes called Israel and the southern kingdom called Judah. The captivity included both kingdoms, Israel and Judah. The term house of Judah is mentioned 8-times, while house of Israel is mentioned 81-times. Ezekiel message was to the descendents of Jacob, the children of Israel.
Rebellious nation: The children of Israel, from the time the nation left Egypt until the Ezekielís day have been in a constant state of rebellion against Godís rule. Yet it was Godís mercy and grace, which spared them from judgment, in the same way we are spared.
Against Me: The sin was and is against the Glory of the Lord, the God of Israel. Ezekiel is listening to the same One who appeared to Moses, who led the children out of Israel.
"You have been rebellious against the Lord from the day that I knew you. 25
"Thus I prostrated myself before the Lord; forty days and forty nights I
kept prostrating myself, because the Lord had said He would destroy you. 26
"Therefore I prayed to the Lord, and said: 'O Lord God, do not destroy Your
people and Your inheritance whom You have redeemed through Your greatness,
whom You have brought out of Egypt with a mighty hand. 27 'Remember Your
servants, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; do not look on the stubbornness of this
people, or on their wickedness or their sin,
Whether they hear or whether they refuse: God gives everybody the responsibility of making their own decision. Israel in captivity was no different. The people could take the message to heart or refuse the message. Ezekielís job was to deliver the message. In the end, they would know a prophet was among them, when the events take place as Ezekiel proclaimed. We can learn from Ezekielís example, our job is to deliver Godís message, our responsibility does not include someoneís decision to listen.
6 "And you, son of man, do
not be afraid of them nor be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns
are with you and you dwell among scorpions; do not be afraid of their words
or dismayed by their looks, though they are a rebellious house. 7 "You shall
speak My words to them, whether they hear or whether they refuse, for they
are rebellious. 8 "But you, son of man, hear what I say to you. Do not be
rebellious like that rebellious house; open your mouth and eat what I give
Do not be afraid: Ezekiel message was not comforting, reassuring or soothing; he was bringing a word of condemnation on a nation not willing to come to terms with its sins. The captives were in Babylon as a result of sin. Now God was sending Ezekiel to them, to warn them of greater judgment, the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple. They were ďfalselyĒ reassured they would return to their homes in a short while, Ezekiel rejected this false promise.
We are to take heart from Ezekiel, telling the world all is not well, eternity awaits and Jesus died for our sins, is not always greeted with open arms. People want to trust in their current circumstances. We are not to fear the world but to boldly proclaim the Gospel to fallen world, like Ezekiel, Jeremiah, Isaiah and the other prophets.
28 "And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But
rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
Ezekiel by the Chebar River
was amongst briers, thorns and scorpions. The environment he was in, became
metaphors for the people he was to deliver his message. They would not
welcome his words, but oppose him and reject him, because they rejected
Godís word. (Micah 7:4,
Do not be rebellious: Ezekiel was to be strong, he was not to buckle under the pressure, to bear bad news or judgment is hard task. For him to refuse to go forward and warn the people would be an act of rebellion. When we refuse to warn people, when the spirit prompts us, we are rebelling against the Spirit.
Ezekiel given a scroll
Now when I looked, there was a hand stretched out to me; and behold, a
scroll of a book was in it. 10 Then He spread it before me; and there was
writing on the inside and on the outside, and written on it were
lamentations and mourning and woe.
A hand stretched out: The hand belonged to God, who is giving the scroll to Ezekiel to eat (Ezk. 3;3) this scroll I give you.
Writing on the inside and out: The message was the Word of God to Ezekiel, a message for the people, which Ezekiel was to deliver. Normally scrolls were only written on one side, this scroll was written on the front the back.
In the book of Revelation, we see a scroll from the throne of God, which no man could open, only the Lion of the Tribe of Judah.
And I saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne a scroll written
inside and on the back, sealed with seven seals. 2 Then I saw a strong angel
proclaiming with a loud voice, "Who is worthy to open the scroll and to
loose its seals?" 3 And no one in heaven or on the earth or under the earth
was able to open the scroll, or to look at it. 4 So I wept much, because no
one was found worthy to open and read the scroll, or to look at it.
Lamentation and mourning: The words in the scroll are a message Ezekiel is to deliver to the nation, the message of judgment. Ezekiel was to deliver a stern message from the throne of God against his nation. The last book written by Jeremiah is called the book of Lamentations, Jeremiah lamenting the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple. Ezekiel was to proclaim this coming judgment on the nation.
Eat this scroll: Ezekiel was to consume the message; he himself would become a living message to the nation. John in the book of Revelation was also given a scroll or book to eat. And Like Ezekiel it was sweet as honey, but bitter in the stomach. Godís Word is sweet to the believer, but when we comprehend its judgment and the consequences after we digest it, the message is bitter. Judgment and woe is bitter. Ezekiel, like John was given a task to deliver a message of judgment.
the voice which I heard from heaven spoke to me again and said, "Go, take
the little book which is open in the hand of the angel who stands on the sea
and on the earth." 9 So I went to the angel and said to him, "Give me the
little book." And he said to me, "Take and eat it; and it will make your
stomach bitter, but it will be as sweet as honey in your mouth." 10 Then I
took the little book out of the angel's hand and ate it, and it was as sweet
as honey in my mouth. But when I had eaten it, my stomach became bitter. 11
And he said to me, "You must prophesy again about many peoples, nations,
tongues, and kings."
The house of Israel will not listen to you: Israel problem is they did not pay attention to Godís Word delivered by the prophets. Ezekiel was to deliver the message, knowing the people would not listen. In the end of days, Israel will listen, that is what the second half of Ezekiel is about, from chapter 33, we see God begin to work towards Israelís redemption.
Ezekiel is now taken up from his place at the Chebar River, Chapter one by the Holy Spirit, back to the captives to begin to deliver the message of woe and lamentation to the people.
"Behold, I have made your face strong against their faces, and your forehead
strong against their foreheads. 9 "Like adamant stone, harder than flint, I
have made your forehead; do not be afraid of them, nor be dismayed at their
looks, though they are a rebellious house." 10 Moreover He said to me: "Son
of man, receive into your heart all My words that I speak to you, and hear
with your ears. 11 "And go, get to the captives, to the children of your
people, and speak to them and tell them, 'Thus says the Lord God,' whether
they hear, or whether they refuse."
I have made your face strong: God was the force behind Ezekiel; God gave Ezekiel the ability to stand in the face of attacks and threats against his life and well being. The spiritual war is the same in our day as it was in Ezekielís day. Godís people need to not fear the threats, but to know the power in them is greater then the power in this world.
Receive into your heart: Before Ezekiel could deliver the message, he must first digest the words in his heart. He had to comprehend and understand Godís position on the message of judgment. Godís wants us to know and believe the message we deliver.
Go to the captives: Ezekiel was to tell his fellow captives about Godís impending judgment on the nation hundreds of miles away from the captivity. The message of Ezekiel would be confirmed when some of the inhabitants of Jerusalem escaped to Babylon, confirming the judgment on the nation.
The Spirit takes Ezekiel
12 Then the Spirit lifted me
up, and I heard behind me a great thunderous voice: "Blessed is the glory of
the Lord from His place!" 13 I also heard the noise of the wings of the
living creatures that touched one another, and the noise of the wheels
beside them, and a great thunderous noise. 14 So the Spirit lifted me up and
took me away, and I went in bitterness, in the heat of my spirit; but the
hand of the Lord was strong upon me.
The Spirit: The Holy Spirit of God is involved in the Revelation. Later in chapter 8, Ezekiel describes the ďhandĒ of the spirit lifting him up. The Spirit of God keeps conscious and receptive through his revelations. Through the Spirit of God, we are able to understand the Words of God, and are able to be used by God, beyond our abilities. Ezekiel is an example for us to be willing to allow the Spirit of God to give us the strength we need, we need to operate in the power of the Holy Spirit.
The Cherubim are
proclaiming the glory of the Lord as they do in
The Spirit lifted me up: The Spirit was to take Ezekiel to the confrontation with the captives, who held a false hope of Egypt defeating Babylon, and their restoration back to Israel. Ezekiel was to confront them with the bitter message of judgment.
Ezekiel the watchman
15 Then I came to the
captives at Tel Abib, who dwelt by the River Chebar; and I sat where they
sat, and remained there astonished among them seven days. 16 Now it came to
pass at the end of seven days that the word of the Lord came to me, saying,
17 "Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel;
therefore hear a word from My mouth, and give them warning from Me:
You are a watchman: Ezekiel was to warn the people of Godís coming judgment. He was to alert them of their sin, and Godís anger. Again the choice was theirs, they could listen or refuse to listen, in the end they would bear responsibility. We like Ezekiel, are watchman warning the world of judgment and offering redemption.
The job of a watchman
18 "When I say to the
wicked, 'You shall surely die,' and you give him no warning, nor speak to
warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life, that same wicked man
shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand. 19
"Yet, if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, nor
from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered
your soul. 20 "Again, when a righteous man turns from his righteousness and
commits iniquity, and I lay a stumbling block before him, he shall die;
because you did not give him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his
righteousness which he has done shall not be remembered; but his blood I
will require at your hand. 21 "Nevertheless if you warn the righteous man
that the righteous should not sin, and he does not sin, he shall surely live
because he took warning; also you will have delivered your soul."
When I say: The point God makes here is righteousness does not give us the excuse to sin, and God is willing to accept a repentant sinner who turns from his ways. The watchman has the responsibility to warn those about to be judged. Ezekiel, along with all people of God are called to be watchman, to proclaim Godís program of salvation to the lost.
Ezekiel the captive
22 Then the hand of the Lord
was upon me there, and He said to me, "Arise, go out into the plain, and
there I shall talk with you." 23 So I arose and went out into the plain, and
behold, the glory of the Lord stood there, like the glory which I saw by the
River Chebar; and I fell on my face. 24 Then the Spirit entered me and set
me on my feet, and spoke with me and said to me: "Go, shut yourself inside
your house. 25 "And you, O son of man, surely they will put ropes on you and
bind you with them, so that you cannot go out among them. 26 "I will make
your tongue cling to the roof of your mouth, so that you shall be mute and
not be one to rebuke them, for they are a rebellious house. 27 "But when I
speak with you, I will open your mouth, and you shall say to them, 'Thus
says the Lord God.' He who hears, let him hear; and he who refuses, let him
refuse; for they are a rebellious house.
Arise, go: Back the Chebar River, Ezekiel is commanded to go the plain, where the Glory of the Lord meets with him. There the Holy Spirit gave Ezekiel the ability to stand in the presence of God, ďThe Spirit entered meĒ It is at this point Ezekiel will act out Godís judgment on the nation; he will only speak when God opens his mouth. Ezekiel if he ventured out amongst the people with Godís message would have been bound with ropes by the people and restrained, ďThey will put robes on youĒ.
God at the right time would
open Ezekielís mouth so the words from Ezekiel were Godís words. Ezekiel
was to go inside his house and act out Godís judgment Ezekiel chapter
Chapter 4: Ezekiel in his home was to act out the coming siege of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar. He was to lay on his left side for 390-days representing 390-years of Israelís rebellion, then he was to lay on right side 40-days, for Judah. Judah rebellion against God probably started at the time of Manassehís sin. Manasseh was also the father of one of Israelís greatest kings, Josiah. In Josiahís day there was a revival in Judah, but the revival was short lived.
Ezekiel was to build a model of the city on a clay tablet; he was then to wage war on the model. Ezekiel was a picture of God who would wage war against His own city and suffer the pain of its sin.
During this time he was to
eat a diet of bread made from 6 specific grains, cooking them on human dung,
later God allowed Ezekiel to use animal dung. He water is rationed as well
to about 1/6 of a hin or about 1-liter. His of bread was to be about
20-shekels of weight per day or about
Ezekiel as the ďSon of manĒ bears the sin of Israel mirrors the coming of the ďSon of manĒ in the New Testament who would bear the sin of the nation with His death as the Messiah of Israel.
Ezekiel is given a special diet of
also, son of man, take a clay tablet and lay it before you, and portray on
it a city, Jerusalem. 2 "Lay siege against it, build a siege wall against
it, and heap up a mound against it; set camps against it also, and place
battering rams against it all around. 3 "Moreover take for yourself an iron
plate, and set it as an iron wall between you and the city. Set your face
against it, and it shall be besieged, and you shall lay siege against it.
This will be a sign to the house of Israel. 4 "Lie also on your left side,
and lay the iniquity of the house of Israel upon it. According to the number
of the days that you lie on it, you shall bear their iniquity. 5 "For I have
laid on you the years of their iniquity, according to the number of the
days, three hundred and ninety days; so you shall bear the iniquity of the
house of Israel. 6 "And when you have completed them, lie again on your
right side; then you shall bear the iniquity of the house of Judah forty
days. I have laid on you a day for each year. 7 "Therefore you shall set
your face toward the siege of Jerusalem; your arm shall be uncovered, and
you shall prophesy against it.
The Judgment of Jerusalem
Ezekiel chapter 5
Ezekiel is called to act out the Glory of the Lordís judgment against the city. In Chapter 4, he acts out the siege for the captive in Babylon. In Chapter 5, Ezekiel finishes the war against Jerusalem by he is told to shave his head and beard with the sword. The hair then represents the people, the hair is divided into thirds. One third is burned in the fire, one third is of the hair is struck with the sword and one third is scattered in the wind. This portrayed the judgment coming on Jerusalem in the days of Nebuchadnezzarís siege in 586 B.C.
you, son of man, take a sharp sword, take it as a barber's razor, and pass
it over your head and your beard; then take scales to weigh and divide the
hair. 6 'She has rebelled against My judgments by doing wickedness more than
the nations, and against My statutes more than the countries that are all
around her; for they have refused My judgments, and they have not walked in
My statutes.' 11 'Therefore, as I live,' says the Lord God, 'surely, because
you have defiled My sanctuary with all your detestable things and with all
your abominations, therefore I will also diminish you; My eye will not
spare, nor will I have any pity. 12 'One-third of you shall die of the
pestilence, and be consumed with famine in your midst; and one-third shall
fall by the sword all around you; and I will scatter another third to all
the winds, and I will draw out a sword after them. 17 'So I will send
against you famine and wild beasts, and they will bereave you. Pestilence
and blood shall pass through you, and I will bring the sword against you. I,
the Lord, have spoken.' "
Many of these same judgments would be repeated in A.D. 70, after another ďSon of manĒ was rejected by the house of Judah. The Romans would lay siege to Jerusalem and the city and the Temple would be destroyed a second time.
Ezekiel chapter 6
In chapter 6, God Judgment against Israel extends beyond Jerusalem to the land or mountains of Israel. The sin was the apostasy of the land. Israel worshipped the idols of nations around them on the hills and mountains of Israel.
God is ďBrokenĒ with the heart of Israel, who rejects the Lord in favor of the idols of Babylon, Edom, Moab and the other nations. God will bring both the sword and disease on the land of Israel. However, a rement will be left, because even in judgment God promises a day of restoration.
2 "Son of man, set your face toward the mountains of Israel, and prophesy against them, 3 "and say, 'O mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord God!' Thus says the Lord God to the mountains, to the hills, to the ravines, and to the valleys: "Indeed I, even I, will bring a sword against you, and I will destroy your high places. 4 "Then your altars shall be desolate, your incense altars shall be broken, and I will cast down your slain men before your idols. 5 "And I will lay the corpses of the children of Israel before their idols, and I will scatter your bones all around your altars. 9 "Then those of you who escape will remember Me among the nations where they are carried captive, because I was crushed by their adulterous heart which has departed from Me, and by their eyes which play the harlot after their idols; they will loathe themselves for the evils which they committed in all their abominations. 13 'Then you shall know that I am the Lord, when their slain are among their idols all around their altars, on every high hill, on all the mountaintops, under every green tree, and under every thick oak, wherever they offered sweet incense to all their idols. 14 'So I will stretch out My hand against them and make the land desolate, yes, more desolate than the wilderness toward Diblah, in all their dwelling places. Then they shall know that I am the Lord.' " ' "
Ezekiel chapter 7
The day of judgment has come upon the land, God would execute the judgment the land deserves. Four times in this chapter the word repay is used. The Hebrew !tn Nathan means to give, permit or bestow. Our sins bring judgments have a direct connection with our sin.
Sin has consequences, now has come the time of judgment, God is no longer holding back. God tolerates sin because of His mercy. He gives us time to turn from our ways, but this time has limits. When His judgments come they are in relation to our actions.
1 Moreover the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 2 "And you, son of man, thus says the Lord God to the land of Israel: 'An end! The end has come upon the four corners of the land. 3 Now the end has come upon you, And I will send My anger against you; I will judge you according to your ways, And I will repay you for all your abominations. 4 My eye will not spare you, Nor will I have pity; But I will repay your ways, And your abominations will be in your midst; Then you shall know that I am the Lord!' 14 'They have blown the trumpet and made everyone ready, But no one goes to battle; For My wrath is on all their multitude. 15 The sword is outside, And the pestilence and famine within. Whoever is in the field Will die by the sword; And whoever is in the city, Famine and pestilence will devour him. 16 'Those who survive will escape and be on the mountains Like doves of the valleys, All of them mourning, Each for his iniquity. 22 I will turn My face from them, And they will defile My secret place; For robbers shall enter it and defile it. 23 'Make a chain, For the land is filled with crimes of blood, And the city is full of violence. 24 Therefore I will bring the worst of the Gentiles, And they will possess their houses; I will cause the pomp of the strong to cease, And their holy places shall be defiled. 25 Destruction comes; They will seek peace, but there shall be none. 26 Disaster will come upon disaster, And rumor will be upon rumor. Then they will seek a vision from a prophet; But the law will perish from the priest, And counsel from the elders. 27 'The king will mourn, The prince will be clothed with desolation, And the hands of the common people will tremble. I will do to them according to their way, And according to what they deserve I will judge them; Then they shall know that I am the Lord!' "
 Though there is a distinction in scripture between Israel (The Northern 10-Tribes) and Judah the Southern Tribe, Ezekiel acknowledges the distinction but treats them as one nation, while at times he makes the distinction. The term ďHouse of IsraelĒ is used 78-times in Ezekiel, while ďHouse of JudahĒ is used 5-times. In Ezekiel 37, Israel and Judah are seen as ďOne NationĒ not two individual nations. This rejects the claims of many regarding the lost 10-tribes of Israel being the source of the English people or other groups which try to claim decadency from the 10-tribes. Ezekiel is writing 125-years after the Assyrian captivity of Israel (722 B.C.), Ezekiel sees Israel as part of his prophecy.
 Israel was divided into two kingdoms following the reign of Solomon. A northern kingdom known as Israel and a southern kingdom known as Judah. Israel was taken captive by Assyria in 722 B.C., Babylon would later defeat Assyria to become the dominate nation in the East.