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Ezekiel by Dr Thomas L. Constable

Ezekiel by Dr Thomas L. Constable

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Notes on Ezekiel (2 0 1 2 E d i t i o n)
Notes on Ezekiel (2 0 1 2 E d i t i o n)

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Published by: jonah_1111111 on May 12, 2013
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Copyright © 2012 by Thomas L. ConstablePublished by Sonic Light:
 Notes on
2012 Edition
Dr. Thomas L. Constable
The title of this book comes from its writer, Ezekiel, the son of Buzi (1:3). "Ezekiel"means "God strengthens (or hardens)" or "God will strengthen (harden)" or "May God strengthen (harden)." The name "Hezekiah" is similar, meaning "May Yahwehstrengthen.""It expresses the prayerful wish of his parents that God would care for thenewborn child by endowing him with strength, so that he could face life'svicissitudes with confidence."
 The Lord strengthened Ezekiel in the face of cynicism and rejection by his fellow Jews.His name appears in only two verses (1:3; 24:24). His hometown is unknown, and noother biblical writer referred to him.Ezekiel was a Judean priest of Yahweh as well as His prophet, as were Jeremiah (Jer.1:1), Zechariah (Zech. 1:1), and John the Baptist (Luke 1:5). Ezekiel, Jeremiah, and Zechariah were the only writing prophets who were also priests, and they all ministered during or after the Babylonian exile. Like Jeremiah, there is no evidence that Ezekiel ever served as a priest in the Jerusalem temple. Ezekiel's priestly background may account in part for the interest in priestly things that his book reflects: the actions of the priests inJerusalem, the Jerusalem temple, the glory of the Lord, and the future temple yet to be built. It probably also explains Ezekiel's familiarity with things connected with priestlyministry, such as cherubim. His wife died during the course of his ministry (24:2, 15-18), but there is no mention in the book that they had children. There are no records of Ezekiel's life outside this book, so we have no information about when, where, or how hedied.
 ". . . he combined in a unique way the priest's sense of the holiness of God,the prophet's sense of the message that had been entrusted to him, and the pastor's sense of responsibility for his people."
Leslie C. Allen,
 Ezekiel 1—19
, p. 23. See also J. D. Fowler,
The Theophoric Divine Names in Hebrew
, pp.98, 100.
For a sketch of Ezekiel the man, see Leon J. Wood,
The Prophets of Israel
, pp. 358-60.
John B. Taylor,
 Ezekiel: An Introduction and Commentary
, p. 29.
 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.
2012 Edition
 Dr. Constable's Notes on Ezekiel
3appropriated; and they both spoke against the false prophets who prophesied peace when there was no peace."
 Daniel went into captivity in 605 B.C. and was only a teenager then, so his birth year mayhave been close to 620 B.C. Ezekiel, then, may have been only a few years older thanDaniel. Daniel's ministry continued for about 70 years until about 536 B.C. (Dan. 10:1),much longer, apparently, than Ezekiel's.Ezekiel went to Babylon as a captive during Nebuchadnezzar's second deportation of Jerusalemites in 597 B.C. along with King Jehoiachin, his household, his officials, and many of the leading men of Judah (2 Kings 24:12-17). Ten thousand captives went toBabylon then with much confiscated treasure from the temple and the royal palaces. Nebuchadnezzar also took most of the craftsmen and smiths to Babylon, and only the poorest of the people remained in the land. The Babylonian king set Zedekiah up as his puppet in Jerusalem, but Jehoiachin remained the recognized king of Judah in Babylon.
 Ezekiel ministered "in the midst" of the Jewish exiles who had settled at Tel-abib (or TelAviv) beside the Chebar (or Kebar) River (3:15). One of Ezekiel's favorite words was
, "among" or "in the midst." He used it 116 times, more than all the other Old Testament books combined. It reveals the prophet's perspective of himself as someoneliving in the midst of a people with a ministry that would impact history for generationsto come. The Chebar River was the "grand canal" (Aram.
naru kabaru
) that began at theEuphrates River north of Babylon, bypassed the city to the east, proceeded through thesite of Nippur, and rejoined the Euphrates south of Babylon near Uruk (biblical Erech).This site is where most of the Jewish exiles in Babylonia lived. Jews lived in three principle locations during Ezekiel's ministry: Egypt, Judah, and Babylon. Ezekielevidently ministered among the Chebar community entirely; there is no evidence that heever visited Jerusalem after the Babylonians took him captive.
Taylor, p. 35.
See James B. Pritchard, ed.,
 Ancient Near Eastern Texts
, p. 308.
b. ca. 643
560 ?
b. 623
593571d. ?
b. ca. 620605536d. ?early life
early life
early life
d. ?

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