Profile Of The Prophets - Ezekiel

by Joseph Hunting

Only those who survived the disintegration and collapse of European Jewry in Nazi Germany could fully appreciate the traumatic events which befell Judah when the armies of Nebuchadnezzar brought sudden death and destruction to the land.

Ezekiel was a priest whose name means 'God will strengthen'. He was warned by God to speak His words to the rebellious house of Judah "whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear" . But the people had become so desperately wicked that Ezekiel's prayers of intercession on their behalf were useless. Indeed, God declared that "though these three men, Noah, Daniel and Job were in it (the land), they should deliver only their own souls ... they shall deliver neither sons nor daughters, they only shall be delivered, but the land shall be desolate." (14:14,20)

It was into this scene that God raised up three of Israel's most illustrious prophets, Jeremiah, Daniel and Ezekiel. Jeremiah was given the choice of remaining in the land. Daniel and Ezekiel were taken captive into Babylon.


Long centuries before, when the Ark of the Covenant was captured by the Philistines, Eli's daughter-in-law gave birth to a child and named him Ichabod, saying, "the glory is departed from Israel" . Sadly this was not the only occasion when the glory of God departed from Israel. Ezekiel witnessed the awesome departure of the glory of the God of Israel from the Temple. This wonderful presence of the Lord in the Temple took place 500 years earlier after Solomon had completed this magnificent structure. "And it came to pass, when the priests were come out of the holy place, that the cloud filled the house of the Lord. So that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud; for the glory of the Lord had filled the house of the Lord." (I Kings 8:10-11)

Now, however, Ezekiel was the only person who witnessed the said departure of God's glory. This glory or cloud has also been called the Shekinah. "Then the glory of the Lord went up from the Cherub, and stood over the threshold of the house; and the house was filled with the cloud, and the court was full of the brightness of the Lord's glory." (Ezekiel 10:4) Here the Shekinah glory lingered as though loathed to leave. Finally Ezekiel watched as the glory of the Lord ascended from the Temple to the summit of the Mount of Olives. "And the glory of the Lord went up from the midst of the city, and stood upon the mountain which is on the east side of the city." (11:23)

Thus the glory departed from Israel and in doing so closed a chapter in the nation's history. At the same time the throne of the House of David was also overthrown and cast down to the dust. So complete was the judgement upon the Davidic dynasty that no descendant of David has occupied that throne for 2,500 years. When Zedekiah, the last reigning monarch on the throne of David was taken captive to Babylon Ezekiel prophesied: "And thou, profane and wicked prince of Israel, whose day is come, when iniquity shall have an end, thus saith the Lord God: Remove the diadem, and take off the crown; ... I will overturn, overturn, overturn it, and it shall be no more, until he comes whose right it is; and I will give it to him." (21:25-27


The overthrow of the Throne of David hinges on the promise 'UNTIL HE COMES WHOSE RIGHT IT IS" . Whilst Tenach (Old Testament) abounds with Scriptures concerning the establishment of the Messianic kingdom it was none other than the angel Gabriel who revealed the identity of Him "whose right it is" to whom this throne shall ultimately be given. "And the angel said unto her, Fear not Mary, for thou hast found favour with God. And behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus (Hebrew: Yeshua). He shall be great and shall be called the Son of the Highest, AND THE LORD GOD SHALL GIVE UNTO HIM THE THRONE OF HIS FATHER DAIVD. And he shall reign over the house of Jacob forever." (Luke 1:30-33 caps. ours)


Whereas Zechariah promised that "the Lord shall yet comfort Zion, and shall yet choose Jerusalem ... and will be the glory in the midst of it" , God gave Ezekiel a truly poignant word-picture of the Holy City. He described how that the Lord found Jerusalem as a baby, as it were, abandoned at birth and tossed aside, in the open field. In language that is beautiful and tender the prophet described how the Lord took this outcast and lavished His love and care upon her. In due time when she was fully grown and beautiful to look upon the Lord took her to be His bride. "Yea, I swore unto thee, and entered into a covenant with thee, saith the Lord God, and thou becamest mine." (16:8)

Incredibly, after having had blessing upon blessing and Divine love lavished upon her she became unfaithful. Hear Ezekiel's description of this tragedy. "Thou wast exceedingly beautiful, and thou didst prosper into a kingdom. And thy renown went forth among the nations for thy beauty; for it was perfect through my splendour, which I had put upon thee, saith the Lord God. But thou didst trust in thine own beauty and played the harlot ... Thou hast also committed fornication with the Egyptians ... Thou hast also played the harlot with the Assyrians ... Sodom, thy sister hath not done, she nor her daughters, as thou has done ... Neither hath Samaria commited half thy sins." (Chapter 16)

In spite of the terrible indictments levelled against Jerusalem for all the sins she was guilty of God has promised to restore her unto Himself. "Nevertheless, I will remember my covenant with thee in the days of thy youth, and I will establish unto thee an everlasting covenant. Then thou shalt remember thy ways and be ashamed ... and I will establish my covenant with thee, and thou shalt known that am the Lord." (16:60-62)

There are many voices other than the Lord's clamouring for Jerusalem at the present time. Let it be known that God's anger and judgement will be swift and certain upon those who dare meddle with the "city of the Great King."


Although Ezekiel spent the remaining years of his life in exile he, like Daniel, prophesied of Israel's regathering as a nation in the latter days. In chapter 36 he vividly portrays the desolate mountains being reafforestated, the cities rebuilded and the land tilled and sown. "And I will multiply men upon you, all the house of Israel, even all of it, and the cities shall be inhabited and the wastes shall be built. And I will multiply upon you man and beast, and they shall increase and bring fruit; and I will settle you according to your old estates, and will do better unto you than at your beginnings."

Ezekiel describes the restoration of Israel in the latter days in symbolic form (chapter 37). He saw Israel in a vision as a valley full of dry bones which dramatically put on sinews and flesh and ultimately stood upon their feet as an exceeding great army. Many attempts are made to interpret this vision by making it apply to other situations. However, none other than God Himself gives the interpretation, and let those beware who misapply it. "Then He said unto me, son of man these bones are the whole house of Israel ..."

Following the detailed account of Israel's rebirth and restoration to the land chapters 38 and 39 describe an invasion of Israel, when, without warning an invading army will make a bid for supremacy in the Middle East. Ezekiel prophesied that a great army comprising "many people" would come from "the uttermost parts of the north" and invade "My people of Israel" who dwell "in My land" .

This will be a modern-day David-versus-Goliath drama of gigantic proportions and to the world's astonishment history will repeat itself.

Finally Ezekiel prophesied of the great future millennial temple to be built in Jerusalem. And just as the prophet saw the glory of the Lord depart from Jerusalem so he was given a vision of the glory's return to the Temple. As the Shekinah departed by way of the East Gate so was the return "Afterwards he brought me to the gate, even the gate that looketh towards the east. And behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east; and his voice was like the noise of many waters, and the earth shined with his glory. And it was according to the vision which I saw when I came to destroy the city ... And the glory of the Lord came into the house by the way of the gate whose prospect is towards the east. So the spirit took me up, and brought me into the inner court, and behold, the glory of the Lord filled the house." (43:1-5)

Thus it was fitting that Ezekiel should end his prophecy concerning the Land, the People and the Holy City with the reconciliation of all three with the mighty God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of Israel.