We use cookies to enhance your experience on our website. By continuing to use our website, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Find out more
Select Bible Use this Lookup to open a specific Bible and passage. Start here to select a Bible.
Make selected Bible the default for Lookup tool.
Book: Ch.V. Select book from A-Z list, enter chapter and verse number, and click "Go."
:
OR
  • Previous Result
  • Results
  • Look It Up Highlight any word or phrase, then click the button to begin a new search.
  • Highlight On / Off
  • Next Result

The Access Bible New Revised Standard Bible, written and edited with first-time Bible readers in mind.

Ezekiel - Introduction

Ezekiel presents some of the most theologically challenging and dynamic material among the prophetic books of the Hebrew Bible. It wrestles with the problem of the Babylonian exile in a manner not unlike the modern problem of the Shoah or Holocaust: Why did God allow Jerusalem and the Temple * to be destroyed, and why did God allow the people of Israel to be carried away into exile? In arguing that God made a deliberate decision to destroy the Temple in order to purify Israel, Ezekiel draws upon his own priestly background in which sacrifice at the altar of the Temple is an essential element in self-purification, which aids in restoring one's relationship with God. The book develops its ideas in two major sections: Chs. 1–32 focus on God's plans to punish both Israel (chs. 1–24 ) and a select group of nations that would fall to Babylon (chs. 25–32 ); chs. 33–48 focus on God's plans to restore a purified Israel (chs. 33–39 ) with the Jerusalem Temple at the center of Israel and all creation (chs. 40–48 ).

Ezekiel was a Zadokite priest, a descendant of Zadok, one of the priests of David (2 Sam 15.24–29 ) who was also the priest who anointed * Solomon (1 Kings 1 ). The Zadokites were priests at the Jerusalem Temple from that point forward until the Exile. * Ezekiel was exiled to Babylonia together with King Jehoiachin in 597 BCE. He began his prophetic career five years later at the age of thirty (593 BCE) with a vision in which “the glory of the LORD” appeared to him in the form of a divine throne chariot, from which God instructed him to speak. Ezekiel's prophetic career continued for over 20 years and culminated in his vision of the restored Jerusalem Temple. His last oracle * with a specified date is from 571 BCE ( 29.17–21 ). The book was originally written in an effort to explain the Babylonian exile and to prepare the exiled Judahite community for its return to Jerusalem. Ezekiel's “visions of God” prompted the composition of much apocalyptic * and mystical literature. These kinds of writings—both Jewish and early Christian—were attempts to grapple with persecution and sufferings, such as threats to the Second Temple, its fall in 70 CE, and the destruction of Judea in 132–135 CE. Because Ezekiel attempts to describe God, a dangerous task, the Mishnah (the basic collection of religious and community regulations in Judaism) requires that readers be knowledgeable in Jewish tradition (m Hagigah 2.1 ). The book was nearly withdrawn from circulation until the rabbinic sage Hananiah ben Hezekiah resolved its contradictions with the Torah * (b Shabbat 13b; b Hagigah 13a; b Menahot 45a—all references to the Mishnah). The modern city of Tel Aviv is named for Ezekiel's home in Babylonia ( 3.15 ), and the prophet's notion of “the hidden face of God” ( 39.21–29 ) plays a major role in contemporary discussion of the Holocaust.

  • Previous Result
  • Results
  • Look It Up Highlight any word or phrase, then click the button to begin a new search.
  • Highlight On / Off
  • Next Result
Oxford University Press

© 2018. All Rights Reserved. Cookie Policy | Privacy Policy | Legal Notice