Bible Study - Commentary by Jim Melough
2003 James Melough
Ezekiel, meaning he will be strengthened by God, was a priest, probably
of the line of Zadok, and a contemporary of Daniel and Jeremiah. He had been
taken captive to Babylon in Nebuchadnezzar’s second incursion against Judah in
597 BC, eleven
years before the destruction of Jerusalem. His ministry of at least
twenty-two years, which began in 593-592 BC, and seems to have ended in 571 or
570 BC, see 1:2 and 29:17, was primarily to Judah, both to those who had been
taken captive to Babylon in 597 BC, and to those who had been allowed to
remain in their own land; but his prophecy related also to the northern
kingdom, the ten tribes, who had been taken captive to Assyria in 721 BC, and
was to encourage both of them by assurance of ultimate deliverance, and return
of their national glory. The captivity ended just a little over thirty years
after the close of his ministry.
The first twenty-four chapters were written after the first two deportations,
but before the destruction of Jerusalem in 586 BC.
Relative to his lavish use of symbolism, the Jamieson, Fausset & Brown
Commentary makes the following pertinent remark, “His great aim was to
stimulate the dormant minds of the Jews. For this end nothing was better
suited than the use of mysterious symbols expressed in the plainest words.
The superficial, volatile, and wilfully unbelieving would thereby be left to
judicial blindness (Isaiah 6:10; Matthew 13:11-13, &c.); whereas the
better-disposed would be awakened to a deeper search into the things of God by
the very obscurity of the symbols.”
His prophecy, however, embraces a time period of vaster scope, for it details
also what will be in the coming Millennium.
Another purpose of his prophecy was to rebuke the wickedness of Israel and
Judah, who while maintaining the outward form of worshiping Jehovah, had also