EZEKIEL

SPIRITUAL INSIGHTS PAGE


TABLE OF CONTENTS

Introduction

Names (Author/Deity)

Chronology

Recipients

Some Themes

YHWH's Chariot Throne

The Cherubim -- Coming

The False Elders -- Coming

The Name of the LORD

Judgment Against Tyre

Judgment Against Egypt -- Coming

The New Covenant -- Coming

Gog's Invasion -- Coming

The Millennial Temple


  1. INTRODUCTION

  1. Names

  1. Author

The text indicates that Ezekiel the priest, son of Buzi is the one who received the prophesies recorded in this book. In Hebrew, his name, laqzxy, may mean "God strengtheneth (Francis Brown, S. R. Driver, & Charles A. Briggs, A Hebrew and English Lexicon of the Old Testament with an Appendix Containing the Biblical Aramaic, page 306)."

However, only twice is his formal name mentioned (1:3; 24:24). Most often the Lord addresses him as "son of man." This more used name occurs 93 times in Ezekiel! "Son of man" refers to Ezekiel's part in humanity, as a descendant of Adam (C. W. Carter, Son of Man, The, Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible, volume 5, page 485)."

His father, Buzi, is unknown to us except that, as a priest, he was ultimately from the family of Zadok. From Solomon's time priests were only selected from the family of Zadok (A. A. MacRae, Zadok, Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible, volume 1, page 1028).

 

  1. Deity

The personal name of God, hwhy, depicted by captalizing all the letters of the Name, as in LORD and GOD, appears around 150 times by Itself in Ezekiel. The Name means something like "He Which Is (H. B. Kuhn, God, Names of, Zondervan Pictorial Enclopedia of the Bible, volume 2, page 761)."

In the name Yahweh are combined the two motifs of transcendence and immanence. On the one hand, He was a God of power and ability . . . but at the same time, One who was vitally operative in human events. . . . (Ibid., page 765).

Another name of God is ynda. It is used 214 times in Ezekiel and has the meaning, lord, master, or owner (Robert L. Alden, 'adon. Lord, Lord, LORD, master, owner, Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, volume I, pages 12-13).

The expression, Lord GOD, hwhy ynda, appears over 200 times in Ezekiel. This is significant because the expression is only used another 100 times in the rest of the Old Testament (Charles H. Dyer, Ezekiel, The Bible Knowledge Commentary, volume 1, page 1230). The New International Version translates the expression as "Sovereign LORD."

God is called Almighty twice (1:24; 10:5).

The phrase, ". . . know that I am the LORD," occurrs more than 60 times.

 

  1. Conclusion

Applying "the law of repetition," it is obvious that there is heavy emphasis in Ezekiel on God's control over the principal players in the prophecies. In contrast to the emphasis on the sovereignty of God, the prophet is normally addressed with a term ("son of man") that emphasizes his submissive position as a creature of the Sovereign.

This study gives a clue that Ezekiel's prophecies were designed to give Jewish exiles confidence that it is YHWH Who is in control of their circumstances, not the human kings in whose lands they were exiled.

 

  1. Chronology

There are many chronological indicators in Ezekiel. The following table relies heavily on Ralph H. Alexander, Ezekiel, The Expositor's Bible Commentary, volume 6, page 741.

THE CHRONOLOGY OF EZEKIEL

Year BC

597

597

593

592

591

589 588

pre-589 588

589 588

588 587

587 586

587

587

586

586 585

585

585

573

571

332

Month

?

Jun.

Jun. Jul.

Aug. Sep.

Jul. Aug.

Dec. Jan.

--

Dec. Jan.

Dec. Jan.

Mar. Apr.

Mar. Apr.

May Jun.

Sep.

Dec. Jan.

Mar.

Apr.

Mar. Apr.

Mar. Apr.

?

Ezekiel's Age (year, month, day)

--

--

30, 4, 5 (5th year & 5th month of King Jehoiachin's exile)

6, 6, 5

7, 5, 10

9, 10, 10

--

--

10, 10, 12

11, ?, 1

11, 1, 7

11, 3, 1

--

12, 10, 5

12, 12, 1

12, ?, 15

25, ?, 10 (14th year after city taken)

27, 1, 1

--

Bible

(1)

2 Ki. 24:1

2 Ki. 24:12

1 - 7 (2)

8 - 19

20 - 23

24-25 (8)

2 Ki. 24:20

2 Ki. 25:1

29:1 - 16

26 - 28

30:20 - 26

31

2 Ki. 25:8

33:21 - 39:29

32:1 - 16

32:17 - 33:20

40 - 48

29:17 - 30:19

26- 28

Topic

King Jehoiakim Rebells Against Babylon

King Jehoiachin 1st Year in Exile -- Ezekiel's Exile?

Wheel Vision

Israel

Israel

Israel & Nations

King Zedekiah Rebells Against Babylon

Seige Against Jerusalem

Egypt

Tyre & Sidon

Egypt

Egypt

Ruin of Jerusalem

Jerusalem Taken, Israel's Exile & Return, Gog's Invasion

Egypt

Egypt, Ezekiel as Watch Man

1,000 Year Kingdom

Tyre & Egypt & Others

Ruin of Tyre

Where Is Ezekiel

(3)

--

--

By River Chebar (7)

In His House

?

?

--

--

?

?

?

?

--

?

?

?

Israel in Vision

?

--
  Jehoiakim Not Helped by Egypt (4)

Babylon Removes Temple's Treasures

  Zedekiah Not Helped by Egypt (5)

Babylon Places Jerusalem Under Seige (Jeremiah 21)

  Alexander the Great Places Tyre Under Seige (6)

Lime highlights Egyptian history. Yellow highlights Babylonian history. Aqua highlights Greek history.

(1) Unless otherwise noted, the reference is to chapters in Ezekiel. (2) Ezekiel 1:1 may indicate that Ezekiel's age was 30 years when he received the first vision. According to 2 Kings 24:12, Jehoiachin's exile began in June 597 BC. (3) Ezekiel wrote while in Babylonian exile. (4) See K. A. Kitchen, Egypt, Land of, Zondervana Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible, volume 2, page 246. See Ezekiel 29:6-7. (5) See Jeremiah 37:5-10 and Ezekiel 29:6-7. (6) For the most part, Ezekiel's prophecy against Tyre was realized with Alexander the Great's destruction of the city in 332 BC. However, there was a "measure of recovery" with the city disappearing from history after Augustus absorbed the city in 20 BC (E. M. Blaiklock, Tyre, Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible, volume 5, page 835). (7) The River Cebar was a canal. Both ends of the canal flowed into the Euphrates River. The Cebar flowed parallel and south of the Euphrates. Check out the map at http://home.achilles.net/~sal/icons/mesopotamia.gif. Although the River Cebar is not found on the map, it would be south of the city of Babylon. For information on the Cebar, see Tyndale Handbook of Bible Charts & Maps, page 208, and Ralph H. Alexander, Ezekiel, Expositor's Bible Commentary, volume 6, page 742. Alexander indicates that the Babylonians treated the Jews more as colonists rather than slaves (page 743). (8) It may be that chapter 24 (against Israel) takes place prior to King King Zedekiah's rebellion and chapter 25 (against the nations) after the seige against Jerusalem began.

Some of the dates are from Ralph H. Alexander, Ezekiel, Expositor's Bible Commentary, volume 6, page 741.

The ministries of Jeremiah (627-580 BC) and Daniel (605-530 BC) overlapped with Ezekiel (John H. Walton, Chronological Charts of the Old Testament, page 68).

The purpose of this chronology is to show the exiled Jews that YHWH is successfully moving history along the course He pre-ordained.

 

  1. Recipients

The book begins with Ezekiel in Babylon (1:1). There is nowhere an indication that he physically leaves Babylon although, in visions, he is taken back to Israel (e.g., 8:3; 40:1-2). It is logical to conclude that the original recipients of this book were Ezekiel's fellow Jews in exile.


  1. Some Themes

  1. YHWH's Chariot Throne

There is a fascinating account in 1 Chronicles 28:18: ". . . He also gave him the plan for the chariot, that is, the cherubim of gold that spread their wings and shelter the ark of the covenant of the LORD (NIV)." The verse indicates King David gave his son, Solomon, inspired plans for the ark of the covenant which David called a chariot. Furthermore, Ezekiel 43:7 indicates that the ark is God's throne. The ark of the covenant would then be YHWH's chariot throne. For a picture of the ark of the covenant model in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, click here.

 

  1. Ancient Near Eastern Chariot Thrones

The representation of a god or a king riding on a throne supported by creatures was not unusual in the Ancient Near East. The motiff occurrs before, during, and after Ezekiel's lifetime. The other information on some of the following internet pages is not necessarily endorsed:

 

  1. Some Descriptions

 

  1. How did the chariot thone motif come into existence outside of YHWH worship?

There may be two explanations that believers in YHWH would accept:

 

  1. Memory

There may have been a memory in the human race of YHWH's chariot throne. The ark of the covenant was built soon after 1440 BC for the tabernacle (the earliest date for the Exodus, Ryrie Study Bible, page 91). Perhaps the fame of the YHWH's chariot throne and His victories over Israel's enemies soon became commmon knowledge throughout the Ancient Near East. This was the case with Rahab (Joshua 2:9-11). Perhaps whenever artists designed thrones for their kings and gods, they sought to incorporate elements of the famous chariot throne of the powerful YHWH.

 

  1. Culture

The motiff may have developed in the Ancient Near Eastern culture independent of YHWH. YHWH, Who is Spirit, may not represent Himself in this fashion at all times. But He so represented himself to Ezekiel in his lifetime so that the prophet and his readers might understand the concept in the vision. They would understand that YHWH was representing Himself as a sovereign because kings and gods in their culture were presented in similar scenes. The vision also revealed that YHWH was superior to any other god/king because of the extraordinary antimation and detail of the chariot and its Occupant. No other chariot-throne even began to produce the awe that resulted from Ezekiel's vision.

 

  1. Depections of YHWH's Chariot Throne

  1. Biblical Description

Ezekiel calls this, ". . . the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD (1:28b; 3:12; 9:3; 10:4, 18-19)." Ezekiel's appropriate reaction was to fall on his face (1:28c).

  1. storm

 

  1. cherubim

Here is a representation of one of Ezekiel's cherubim: http://www.bibleorigins.net/EzekielsCherubim.html.

 

  1. wheels

 

  1. an expanse (1:22 10:1)

The expanse is above the heads of the beings and has the gleam of cyrstal.

 

  1. a voice (1:25, 28)

 

  1. throne

 

  1. a figure

 

  1. Artist Attempts

Artists have made attempts to depict the scene. The information on these sites is not necessarily endorsed:

 

  1. Interpretation of the YHWH Chariot Thone Passages

to prove/to Jews exiled in Babylon/that YHWH is a greater God than the gods of Babylon because He had a greater chariot-throne than that of the gods

 

  1. Applications of the YHWH Chariot Throne Passages


  1. The Cherubim -- Coming

 

  1. The False Elders -- Coming

 

  1. The Name of the LORD

A reference to the Divine Name remaining holy or not being profaned or defiled appears a number of times in Ezekiel (20:9, 14, 22, 39, 44; 36:20-23; 39:7; 43:7-8).

These references to God's reputation are designed to encourage the Jewish exiles. The encouragement comes from the fact that God will return them from exile even though they are still in disobedience. Furthermore, they will be encouraged that, once they are taken back, He will change their nature in accordance with the New Covenant so that they will be obedient to Him (Ezekiel 36:25-27).

 

  1. Judgment of Tyre -- Click on the title to go to this section.

 

  1. Judgment of Egypt -- Coming

 

  1. The New Covenant -- Coming

 

  1. Gog's Invasion -- Coming

 

  1. The Millennial Temple -- Click on the title to go to this section.

 


HOME 2002 Ken Bowles, September 30, 2010, Edition

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