context of Ezekiel’s temple and its service). The death of innocent animals will be a
graphic reminder of this fact in an otherwise peaceable and harmonious environment. In
the eternal state, when the Lamb Himself is the temple, there will doubtless be no need
for such sacrifices (cf. Rev 21:1—22:5).
The Title “Son of Man” as it Pertains to Christ in the Gospels. Over ninety
times Ezekiel is addressed as “Son of Man” by the Lord. The term probably indicates
Ezekiel’s human frailty and thus his need to depend upon the Spirit to sustain him in his
prophetic ministry. In the Gospels this is presented as one of Jesus’ favorite terms in
referring to Himself. It is nearly universally agreed that Daniel 7:13 and 8:17 are what
inform Jesus’ usage of “Son of Man” as a messianic title. It seems likely, however, that
its occurrence in Ezekiel must have had significance as well, at least with respect to
Jesus’ humanity and dependence on the Spirit.2 Perhaps Jesus’ use of this title was also
intended to underscore His own authority as an eschatological prophet who was carrying
forth Ezekiel’s message of hope in a restored kingdom for Israel.
Since Yahweh cannot dwell in a defiled house, Israel must be purified through
the discipline of captivity, after which she will be restored and renewed in preparation for
Yahweh’s perpetual dwelling among them.
2 Alexander remarks: “This title indicates the frailty and weakness of man the creature humbled before the mighty and majestic God, who had just been revealed in the previous vision . . . . By this title Ezekiel would be reminded continually that he was dependent on the Spirit's power, which enabled him to receive the message of God (v. 2) and to deliver it in the power and authority of the Lord—"This is what the Sovereign LORD says" (v. 4). This same name—"Son of Man"—was given Christ in the Gospels (Luke 19:10) to emphasize his relation to humanity and his voluntary dependence on the Spirit of God (Ralph Alexander, "Ezekiel," in Isaiah-Ezekiel Vol. 6 of Expositor's Bible Commentary, 12 vols. Frank E. Gaebelein and Richard P. Polcyn eds. (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1986)).