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Dire circumstances require extreme measures. When the unthinkable happens

to Israel, namely, the destruction of their temple—God’s house, a deported priest be-

comes to a Babylonian community of captives a living object lesson of why it had been

necessary for Yahweh to resort to such extreme measures. Ezekiel’s visions and mes-

sages became for that community, and every generation of Jews since, both the black

backdrop of God’s righteous judgment and the white pearl of hope for their eventual

restoration. As glorious as the past had been it paled in comparison with what God would

some day do on behalf of His chosen people. Whatever the nation would have to endure

by way of purifying discipline, it would be proven to be worth it in the end.


Ezekiel is identified as the son of a priest who lived in the land of the Chal-

deans, making him an exile of the Babylonian captivity. He was apparently thirty years

old when he began his prophetic ministry in the fifth year of Jehoiachin’s exile (592

B.C.), which would place his birth at c. 622 B.C. Unable to enter actual temple service,

Ezekiel was called to a prophetic ministry that centered on the temple, though he visited

it only through visions. He was commissioned with the unpopular message of God’s

determination of an extended period of captivity for Israel due to their rebellion and was

called upon to perform difficult and unusual things in the course of that proclamation. His

name means something like “God strengthens (hardens),” which is appropriate with re-

spect to both his personal needs and his prophetic message.

1 Copyright 2002 by Jim Van Dine, published by Sonic Light, www.soniclight.com

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