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Theme:  A proper understanding of Yahweh:  The intended end of judgment and restoration



(1)     Ezekiel is both a                                     and a prophet (1:3).

(2)     Like many priests and Levites (Num. 4:3; I Chr. 23:3), Ezekiel began his lifework at age                                (1:1).

(3)     Ezekiel was taken captive by the Babylonians (1:1) in                         BC, the year of King Jehoiachin’s captivity and the second stage of the Babylonian Exile. 

(4)     Ezekiel did not live at Babylon but was deported to                                                          (3:15), a community near ancient Nippur and located some 50 miles south of Babylon.

(5)     The River Chebar (1:1) ran near Tel Abib and was a large                                                                   that originated from and flowed back into the Euphrates River.

(6)     Ezekiel was                             for much of the first seven years of his ministry (3:26), only capable of speaking when given a specific word from Yahweh.  His speechlessness was lifted just before he received the news that Jerusalem had fallen (33:21-22).  Sometimes God does not want a man to say anything.  God does not always have a word for those in rebellion.

Structure (Outline)


I.                    Call of Ezekiel (chs. 1-3)

II.                  Impending Judgment upon Judah (chs. 4-24)

III.               Judgment upon the Nations (chs. 25-32)

IV.               Restoration (millennial) and blessing (chs. 33-48)

I.                  The Basis of His Message:  Divine Authority

A.   Ezekiel was God’s                                     

Whether Israel responded favorably was immaterial (2:5, 7; 3:11, 27).  Ezekiel’s job was to proclaim the words of Yahweh, as a divinely appointed Watchman.

Ezekiel is often designated as Son of Man (2:1, 3, 6, 8; 3:1, 3-4, 10, 17, 25), reminding him of his weakness. 

B.     Ezekiel’s message was the words of Yahweh

The message he proclaims is said to be the word of the Lord (“the word of Yahweh”; “the declaration of the Lord Yahweh”; “thus said the Lord Yahweh”) 271 times.

II.              The Heart of His Message:  Judgment and Restoration

A.   Judgment (chs. 4-32)

1.      Picture prophecies: 







2.      Chief sin of Judah:                                          

Chapter 8:  Idolatry in the temple

Chapter 16:  Allegory of Jerusalem, the foundling child

Chapter 20:  history of Israel’s rebellion

Chapter 23:  Oholah and Oholibah


3.      Extent of the judgment:  universal—both Judah (chs. 4-24) and the nations (chs. 25-32)

B.     Restoration (chs. 33-48)


1.      Its basis:  God’s name and character (36:22-23)

Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD; I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for mine holy name's sake, which ye have profaned among the heathen, whither ye went. 23 And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them… (Ezek. 36:22-23).

2.      Its components

a.                                                  to the land (36:24)

b.                                                 cleansing—regeneration! (11:19; 36:26; ch. 37)

c.                                                  of the two nations of Israel (37:22)

d.      Re-establishment of                                    kingship (37:24)

e.       Restoration of the                           worship and its rituals (chs. 40-46)

f.        Rejuvenating                                              of fresh water (47:1-12)


3.      Its agent:  The Messiah

The Shepherd-King of Israel (34:23-24; 37:24)

C.    Accompanying theme:  Individual responsibility


“I will judge you every one after his ways” (33:20; cf. 3:16-21; 18:1-32).

III.          The Intended End of His Message:  A Proper Understanding of Yahweh

“They shall know that I am Yahweh” occurs 77 times (25:11; 28:26; 30:8, 26; 33:29; 34:27, etc.).


A unique feature of Ezekiel is the “recognition formula” that occurs seventy-seven times in the book.  While retaining the standard prophetic themes of judgment and restoration, Ezekiel highlights God’s intended end in such action:  to bring His people to a proper understanding of who He is.



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