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LDS Old Testament Notes 25: Ezekiel

LDS Old Testament Notes 25: Ezekiel

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Published by Mike Parker
All Old Testament notes: http://www.scribd.com/collections/4343354
Class website: http://bit.ly/ldsarc
Handout for these notes: http://www.scribd.com/doc/30705453
Slideshow for these notes: http://www.scribd.com/doc/224419919
All Old Testament notes: http://www.scribd.com/collections/4343354
Class website: http://bit.ly/ldsarc
Handout for these notes: http://www.scribd.com/doc/30705453
Slideshow for these notes: http://www.scribd.com/doc/224419919

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Published by: Mike Parker on Apr 29, 2010
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© 2014, Mike Parker http://bit.ly/ldsarc For personal use only. Not a Church publication.
Old Testament Week 25: Ezekiel
Introduction. a)
The man. i)
Ezekiel was born about 623
. ii)
He was deported from Judah to Babylon when King Nebuchadnezzar II conquered Jerusalem in 597.
It was there, while he was living in exile, that he was called as a prophet in 593
., at age 30 (Ezekiel 1:1).
His last recorded prophecy was given in 571 (29:17), so he was active as a prophet for at least 22 years.  v)
He was a priest (1:3), and probably had a good education, especially in the Law of Moses.  vi)
He was married (24:18), but little else is known about his personal life.  vii)
His name
ל קזחי
means ―God strengthens.‖
His prophecies. i)
Ezekiel was a visionary man. His visions are some of the most vivid and detailed of
any prophet in recorded scripture. Most prophets have visions, but Ezekiel‘s visions
 were in 3-D digital Technicolor IMAX widescreen with 12-track Dolby surround sound.
His visions included strange heavenly creatures and large wheeled objects with eyes. (2)
Not only did he prophesy of the destruction of Jerusalem, he actually was taken there in vision where he saw the desecrated temple, with graven images and sun  worship (Ezekiel 8
11). (3)
He also saw the rebuilt latter-day temple in Jerusalem and the ordinances performed there in great detail (40
47). (4)
Like other Biblical prophets, Ezekiel saw the Lord. He described him as a physical  being like a man, only divine and glorious (e.g., 1:26
28; 8:1
The New Testament book of Revelation drew much of its imagery from Ezekiel.
 The Assyrians began the tactic of large-scale forced deportation of conquered populations in order to stifle rebellions. Uniting, gaining freedom, and returning to retake one
s own country would be considerably more complicated than living in one
s own homeland and waiting for an opportunity to drive out an occupying force. The Babylonians also used this practice, and deported Judeans to Babylon on multiple occasions. The practice was reversed by the Persians, who sought the favor of their subjects (and the
ir subjects‘ gods) by allowing them to return to their homelands
 Unlike many Old Testament prophets, Ezekiel gave specific dates for his prophecies. In some cases we can even pinpoint specific dates on which his oracles were given; for example, the vision that begins in Ezekiel 8:1 was given on 17 September 592
., and the report of the fall of Jerusalem (33:21) was received on 19 January 585
 See, for example, chapters 1, 8, 10, 37, and 40.
Compare Ezekiel‘s vision of God‘s physical appearance
 to Isaiah 6; Daniel 7:9
14; Revelation 4
 Both books contain visions of beasts with four faces surrounding the throne of God (Ezekiel 1:10; 10:14; Revelation 4:6
8), 1), and both prophets were commissioned by eating a scroll (Ezekiel 2:9
3:3; Revelation 10:8
11). Both books contain  visions of the righteous who received a mark on their foreheads (Ezekiel 9:4; Revelation 7:2
3; 9:4; 14:1; 22:3
5.), the great
Hurricane Utah Adult Religion Class Old Testament: Ezekiel Week 25, Page 2 © 2014, Mike Parker http://bit.ly/ldsarc For personal use only. Not a Church publication.
The first two-thirds of his book contain prophecies of judgment against Judah, and the surrounding nations (1
32). After Ezekiel learned of the fall of Jerusalem in 587
., he dedicated the last third of his writings to prophecies of restoration of Israel and the Temple (33
48). iii)
In his prophesies the Lord called
him ―son of man‖ (
םד ן
ben ‘ā
) 93 times,  which emphasized the mere mortal nature of Ezekiel in contrast to God and the other divine beings in his visions.
Satan used the same phrase to intimidate Moses into worshiping him (Moses 1:12). (2)
In the book of Daniel the title
―Son of man‖
 was given to the future Messiah.
 It is also used 87 times in the New Testament to describe Jesus Christ in his role as the Messiah.
There are also prophecies of Ezekiel that are not found in our Bible, including one
that ―the great and abominable church, which is the whore of all the
earth, shall be
cast down by devouring fire‖ (D&C 29:21).
Ezekiel 1:4
24. This is
Ezekiel‘s description of cherubim (so named in 10:14–
 They were composite creatures that had four faces (a man, an ox, a lion, and an eagle), two sets of wings, the body of a man, and the legs and feet of a calf.
They are similar to the seraphim in Isaiah‘s theophany (Isaiah 6), in that they are divine
 winged creatures who serve God near his throne.  b)
These descriptions are the source of the Christian tradition of angels having wings. c)
How do we explain these bizarre creatures?
 battle of Gog and Magog (Ezekiel 38
39; Revelation 20:7
9), and the New Jerusalem with the celestial temple and the tree of life (Ezekiel 28:19; 40:2
3; 43:1
9; 47:1
12; 48:30
35; Revelation 21:10
Other Old Testament examples of ―son of man‖ as a reference to a
 mortal being include Numbers 23:19; Job 25:6; Psalms 8:4; 144:3; Isaiah 51:12; 56:2; Jeremiah 50:40.
 See Daniel 7:13
14. This phrase is also found in the contemporary 1 Enoch 46
48 (
) and 62
63 (
). See also
R. H. Charles‘ explanatory essay ―‗The Son of Man‘: Its Origin and Meaning,‖
The Book of  Enoch
 (Oxford, 1893), 312
17 (
The phrase ―Son of Man‖ is used in the messianic sense 80 times in the Gospels, indicating Jesus‘ lowliness, hu
mility, and suffering (e.g. Matthew 11:19), as well as the honor and dignity granted him as the head and founder of the kingdom of God (Matthew 13:41). It also appears once in Acts (7:56) and twice in Revelation (1:13; 14:14). It also appears in Hebrews (2:6) in a non-messianic sense.
See John A. Tvedtnes, ―Ezekiel‘s ‗Missing Prophecy,‘‖ in
Voices of Old Testament Prophets: The 26th Annual Sidney B.  Sperry Symposium
(Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1997), 110
21. Tvedtnes examined three possibilities regarding this
prophecy: ―(1)
 The text of the book of Ezekiel may have been modified, resulting in the loss of this prophecy from the Bible. (2) Ezekiel may have written a second book containing the prophecy, but which is not found in our current Bibles. (3) The prophecy, though perhaps distorted, is, in fact, found in the biblical Ezekiel.
‖ Tvedtnes argues that Ezekiel‘s description of  brimstone and fire raining down on Gog and Magog (38:22; 39:6) can be connected with John‘s vision of the ―mother of harlots‖ an
d other evildoers being cast into the lake of fire and brimstone (Revelation 19:20; 20:7
10, 14; 21:8).
 Cherubim (sing.
) are spoken of throughout the Old Testament. They are first mentioned as being ―
placed at the east of the garden of Eden
to [guard] the way of the tree of life
‖ (Genesis 3:24). The Ark of the Covenant had the
representation of two cherubim on the mercy seat (Exodus 25
26; 36
37; Numbers 7:89). David had a vision in which he saw the Lord riding on a flying cherub (2 Samuel 22:11; Psalm 18:10
). Solomon‘s temple had two 30
-foot tall gold cherubim in the holy of holies (1 Kings 6:23
29). Ezekiel gave the only detailed description of their appearance; they appear throughout his  book, including in representations on the walls of the future temple in his vision (41:18
20, 25).
 Representations of mythological winged creatures were common on the Ancient Near East. Even the term
 is a loan-word from another ANE culture: Akkadian
karibu, karubu
(―intercessor‖) or
karibi, kuribi, karibati 
(―gatekeepers‖). The
 was a winged bull with the face of a man. These colossal mythological creatures flanked the entrances of Mesopotamian palaces and temples.
Hurricane Utah Adult Religion Class Old Testament: Ezekiel Week 25, Page 3 © 2014, Mike Parker http://bit.ly/ldsarc For personal use only. Not a Church publication.
D&C 77:4 explains that ―their
eyes are a representation of light and knowledge, that is, they are full of knowledge; and their wings are a representation of power, to move, to act, etc.
If we follow this lead
that the representations of divine creatures are meant symbolically 
—then it‘s possible that the four faces each represent somethin
about God and his divine council: The man‘s face,
 wisdom and intelligence; the ox, strength; the lion, kingly authority; the eagle, swiftness and far-sight. ii)
Joseph Smith:
I make this broad declaration, that where God ever gives a vision of an image, or beast or figure of any kind he always holds himself responsible to give a revelation or interpretation of the meaning thereof, otherwise we are not responsible or accountable for our belief in them it.
 be afraid of being damned for not knowing the meaning of a vision or figure where God has not given a revelation or interpretation on the subject
. [In the celestial kingdom there are] beings there, that [have] been saved from ten thousand times ten thousand earths like this, strange beasts of which we have no conception all might be seen in heaven
.God glorifies himself by saving all that his hands [have] made, whether beasts, fowl fishes or man.
Ezekiel 2
. Ezekiel‘s commission.
5. The Lord called Ezekiel to prophesy to the children of Israel, whom the Lord referred
to as ―a rebellious nation that hath rebelled against me‖ (2:3).
And he said unto me, Son of man, stand upon thy feet, and I will speak unto thee.
He said to me, “Son of man, stand on your
feet and I will speak
with you.”
And the spirit entered into me when he spake unto me, and set me upon my feet, that I heard him that spake unto me.
As he spoke to me, a wind came into me and stood me on my feet, and I heard the one speaking to me.
And he said unto me, Son of man, I send thee to the children of Israel, to a rebellious nation that hath rebelled against me: they and their fathers have transgressed against me, even unto this very day.
He said to me, “Son of man, I am sending
you to the house of Israel, to rebellious nations who have rebelled against me; both they and their fathers have revolted against me to this very day.
For they are impudent children and stiffhearted. I do send thee unto them; and thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the Lord G
The people to whom I am sending you are obstinate and hard-hearted, and you must
say to them, „This is what the sovereign
And they, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear, (for they are a rebellious house,) yet shall know that there hath been a prophet among them. (
KJV Ezekiel 2:1
And as for them, whether they listen or not
for they are a rebellious house
they will know that a prophet has been among
 (NET Ezekiel 2:1
 Joseph Smith, 8 April 1843.
Words of Joseph Smith
 185 (
), punctuation modernized. Compare
 History of the Church
 5:343 (
Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith
 291 (

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