Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Enigmatic Book of Ezekiel

Maybe it's just me that feels that way. . . .

Anyway, I have spent the last few weeks studying this book because I don't pretend to have a grasp of its imagery. I discovered some fascinating things.

For instance, what about the visions of the 4-sided beings with various faces in chapters 1 and 10?  Chapter 1 describes each as having the face of a man, a lion, an ox, and an eagle. Chapter 10 describes them as having the face of a cherub, a man, a lion, and an eagle. Those sound very similar to the way that the 4 gospel writers - Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John - described Jesus!

  • Matthew presented the Lord as King of the Jews represented by the lion.
  • Mark presented the Lord as a Servant represented by either an ox (a beast of burden) or a cherub (an angelic servant sent from God).
  • Luke presented Jesus as the Son of Man which is obviously represented by the face of a man.
  • John presented Jesus as God represented by the eagle.
The God-man, servant-king was revealed to Ezekiel by the likeness of the living creatures in his vision. Also in chapter 1 Ezekiel had a vision of God speaking from Heaven and of the Man (also Jesus) sitting on the throne. Notice how very like John's vision recorded in the Book of Revelation this section is!

Ezekiel introduces himself immediately in his book as one of the Jewish captives taken to Babylon before the final fall of Jerusalem. He also states that he is one of the priests. His wife dies (chapter 24) and several times he mentions Daniel, the fellow-captive that rose to a position of power in Babylon (see the book of Daniel: it is next on our reading schedule).

A few of the other topics covered in Ezekiel's vision and prophecy include:
  • The departure of the Glory of God from the Temple at Jerusalem (10:1-8). This Glory had been placed upon the Temple during the dedication ceremony of Solomon (I Kings 8:10-11).
  • The judgment against several Gentile nations (chapters 25-32).
  • The restoration of Israel (chapters 33-48). Some of this has been fulfilled and some of it is yet to be accomplished (see the book of Revelation for more information).
Ezekiel's visions begin during the fifth year of King Jehoiachin's captivity. (He was also known as Jechoniah, Coniah, or Jechonias. It was through this king's lineage that Joseph, the husband of Mary, descended. See Matthew chapter 1).The timeline for this book covers approximately 592-570 B.C.

No comments :

Post a Comment

Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.
Psalms 19:14 (KJV)