A. Ezekiel’s ministry is set in the context of captivity (1:1–3).
Ezekiel’s ministry is set in its context in the first three verses as pertaining to
the Babylonian captivity under the sovereign direction of the Lord of glory. His would be
a ministry based on visions to those who were to experience the judgment of God.
B. Ezekiel is confronted with a vision of Yahweh’s glory (1:4–28).
As with Isaiah, a vision of the glory of God is the basis for personal ministry.
Ezekiel’s vision concerns the glory of God as moving throughout the earth whereas
Isaiah’s is of the Lord in His established rule. Later on God’s glory will be portrayed as
abandoning the temple until the subsequent restoration of Israel to obedience.
C. Ezekiel is called to declare Yahweh’s word to the rebellious people of
Ezekiel’s calling is unlike the prophets before him. They generally focused
their messages upon the need for repentance, even in the context of coming judgment.
Ezekiel’s message, however, is one of unavoidable judgment. Though the message was
pleasant to the prophet as a revelation of the righteous and holy character of the Lord
(3:3) it would not be accepted by the nation and would, therefore cause him great pain
(3:14). Once again Yahweh reveals His glory to His servant for encouragement and
D. Ezekiel is commissioned in his ministry to Israel as watchman and prophet
The commissioning of the prophet takes place in the context of the beginning
of his ministry to the captives at the Chebar.4 Commissioning to ministry generally takes
4 This is the first occurrence of the phrase “now it came to pass that the word of the Lord came to me saying” (rmal yla hwhy-rbd yhyw). It is not a major break indicating the formal beginning of