Of the personal history of Ezekiel, we know nothing beyond what is found in this book. He is not mentioned in any other book of the Old Testament, nor is he directly cited in the New Testament. However, in the ook of !evelation, we see much the same language and message as is found in Ezekiel. His name means "#od will strengthen$. He was a priest %&'(), as was *eremiah. He was well ac+uainted with the temple and its functions and he refers to it often in his writings. However, there is no evidence that he ever performed the duties of a priest. He was carried captive to abylon with ,ing *ehoiachin %&'-) in the eighth year of Nebuchadnezzar %./0 .1.) 2 - ,ings -3'&-. He began his ministry at (4 years of age %&'&), after having spent five years in captivity. He prophesied for about -4 years. His ministry was to the captives that were settled by the river 1hebar %&'(). These captives were the people that Nebuchadnezzar had deported. - ,ings -3'&42&5 gives the historical account. *erusalem was not utterly destroyed until some years later. *eremiah was prophesying in *erusalem and 6aniel was serving in the court of Nebuchadnezzar when Ezekiel was prophesying to the captives %('.25). He was called to a hard task. The people had not learned their lesson, and were continuing on in sin and idolatry %.'&&). Ezekiel7s ministry had a two2fold purpose' %&) To remind them of the sins which had brought 8udgement upon them. %&3'-() %-) To encourage and strengthen their faith by prophesies of future restoration 9 glory. THE MESSAGE OF THE PROPHET 2 Each of the ma8or prophets bear a special message about the :ord. ;saiah centers on the salvation of the :ord. *eremiah stressed the 8udgement of the :ord. 6aniel wrote about the ,ingdom of the :ord. Ezekiel wrote about the #lory of the :ord. Twelve times in the first eleven chapters the phrase "the #lory of #od$ is used. Then, it does not appear again until the forty2 third chapter. The #lory of the :ord was grieved away from the temple by the idolatry of the people. ;n Ezekiel <, we see Ezekiel in a vision transported to *erusalem, where he sees four kinds of idolatry. =e see the #lory of the :ord gradually grieved away from the inner sanctuary by the sin of idolatry, and the brightness filled the court. Then it departed to the threshold and rested over the cherubim. >s the cherubim rose from the earth, the #lory of the :ord left the city %Ezekiel &4). ;n the Old Testament, the #lory of #od often refers to the light that shone between the cherubim in the Holy of Holies as the evidence of the presence of #od. #od7s #lory left because of their sin. This was Ezekiel7s message, and he called them to return to #od, and promised them that #od7s #lory would return to them%&<'(4'(-). He was #od7s voice to them %('&02&/), and was to deliver the message whether they would receive it or not %('&&). Ezekiel claimed 6ivine inspiration for his writings. ?orty2nine times he said, "The =ord of the :ord came unto me...$. He delivered his message in many varied ways 2 visions, symbols, parables, discourses and allegories. He was given many e@periences by #od, so he would "feel$ the message he was delivering. He shut himself up in his home, was bound, and was smitten dumb %('-32-5)A he was charged to lie on his left side for (/4 days, and on his right side for 34 days %3'32<)A he ate his bread prepared in an unclean fashion %3'&-)A he had to shave his head and beard %.'&)A he was not permitted to mourn when his wife died %-3'&.2-3)A and he lost his speech %-3'-0). These e@periences were a sign unto the people %-3'-3).