Dr. Constable's Notes on Ezekiel
2012 EditionUntil the second quarter of the twentieth century almost all biblical scholars viewed theentire book as the product of Ezekiel. In 1930, C. C. Torrey advanced the view that afictitious pseudo-author wrote the book around 230 B.C.
This view drew a fewsupporters, but by 1962 almost all scholars had abandoned it.
Today most commentatorsview Ezekiel as the source of the prophecies in this book.
The book records the date of the beginning of Ezekiel's ministry as 593 B.C. (1:2-3). Thelast dated prophecy came to the prophet in 571 B.C. (29:17). He began ministering whenhe was 30 years old (1:1), and he gave his last prophecy when he was about 52. Ezekiel'swhole ministry transpired during the reign of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon (605-562B.C.)."One of the most complete chronological systems in any book of the Old Testament is found in this prophecy, demonstrating that Ezekiel's ministrycovered at least the span of 593 to 571 B.C."
Since Ezekiel began ministering in 593 B.C., when he was 30 years old, he would have been born about 623 B.C and would have grown up in Judah during King Josiah'sreforms (622-609 B.C.). The date of Jeremiah's birth was about 643 B.C., 20 years beforeEzekiel's. Jeremiah began ministering in Judah about 627 B.C., so Ezekiel would have been familiar with him and his preaching.
There are some indications in this book that hewas, though Ezekiel never referred to Jeremiah."Both of them seemed to be taking a lone stand for the truth, one inJerusalem and the other in Babylon: they both insisted that the future of Israel lay with the exiles and not with those left behind in Jerusalem; they both rejected the fatalism of those who quoted the proverb about thefathers eating sour grapes and the children's teeth being set on edge; they both inveighed against the shepherds of Israel who failed to care for theflock; they both emphasized the principle of individual retribution and theneed for individual repentance; they both looked forward to a lengthyexile, followed by a restoration under godly leadership; they both spoke interms of a new covenant which would be inwardly and personally
C. C. Torrey,
Pseudo-Ezekiel and the Original Prophecy
, p. 99.
The New Bible Dictionary
, 1962 ed., s.v. "Ezekiel, Book of," by H. L. Ellison. For argumentsdefending Ezekiel's authorship, see R. K. Harrison,
Introduction to the Old Testament
, pp. 823-32; GleasonL. Archer Jr.,
A Survey of Old Testament Introduction
, pp. 368-76; Ralph H. Alexander, "Ezekiel," in
, vol. 6 of
The Expositor's Bible Commentary
, pp. 739-40; L. E. Cooper Sr.,
, pp. 31-32; and Taylor, pp. 14-17.
See Tremper Longman III and Raymond B. Dillard,
An Introduction to the Old Testament
, pp. 358-62, for discussion of the history of criticism.
Ralph H. Alexander,
, p. 5.
See the historical background section in the Introduction to my notes on Jeremiah for further informationabout this period.