(The Book of Ezekiel was the fourth of the five books that made up the major prophet section of the Old Testament. Ezekiel's purpose was to confront Israel while in captivity to confess and repent for her sins. There were four types of prophecies presented in the Book of Ezekiel:
1. Destruction of Jerusalem. (Chapters 1-24)
2. Judgments against other nations. (Chapters 25-32)
3. Events during the Tribulation. (Chapters 33-39)
4. Events during Christ's Millennial Reign. (Chapters 40-48).
We will cover the Book of Ezekiel with this four part perspective.)
1 Now it came to pass in the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, in the fifth day of the month, as I was among the captives by the river Chebar, that the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God.
(Ezekiel was among the captives while he received his visions from God. It appeared Ezekiel was thirty years old when God began Ezekiel's ministry with heavenly visions.)
2 In the fifth day of the month, which was the fifth year of king Jehoiachin's captivity,
3 the word of Jehovah came expressly unto Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans by the river Chebar; and the hand of Jehovah was there upon him.
(Ezekiel was a priest. He received the visions near the Chebar River (in present day Iraq) in the land of the Chaldeans (Babylon). Ezekiel, like Jeremiah, was called to be a prophet directly by God.)
(Verses 4-25: Ezekiel's vision of the cherubim and the wheels.)
4 And I looked, and, behold, a stormy wind came out of the north, a great cloud, with a fire infolding itself, and a brightness round about it, and out of the midst thereof as it were glowing metal, out of the midst of the fire.
(The judgment against Jerusalem that led to complete destruction would come from the north, the Babylonians. Remember, the destruction of Jerusalem had not occurred within five years of Jehoiachin's captivity.)
5 And out of the midst thereof came the likeness of four living creatures. And this was their appearance: they had the likeness of a man.
(In the vision, he saw four living creatures with the likeness of a man. These were cherubim.)
6 And every one had four faces, and every one of them had four wings.
7 And their feet were straight feet; and the sole of their feet was like the sole of a calf's foot; and they sparkled like burnished brass.
8 And they had the hands of a man under their wings on their four sides; and they four had their faces and their wings thus:
9 their wings were joined one to another; they turned not when they went; they went every one straight forward.
10 As for the likeness of their faces, they had the face of a man; and they four had the face of a lion on the right side; and they four had the face of an ox on the left side; they four had also the face of an eagle.
(The cherubim had hands and wings and four faces: man, lion, ox, and eagle.)
11 And their faces and their wings were separate above; two wings of every one were joined one to another, and two covered their bodies.
12 And they went every one straight forward: whither the spirit was to go, they went; they turned not when they went.
(Where the Spirit went was where the cherubim went.)
13 As for the likeness of the living creatures, their appearance was like burning coals of fire, like the appearance of torches: the fire went up and down among the living creatures; and the fire was bright, and out of the fire went forth lightning.
14 And the living creatures ran and returned as the appearance of a flash of lightning.
(Verse 15: began the description of the four wheels.)
15 Now as I beheld the living creatures, behold, one wheel upon the earth beside the living creatures, for each of the four faces thereof.
16 The appearance of the wheels and their work was like unto a beryl: and they four had one likeness; and their appearance and their work was as it were a wheel within a wheel.
17 When they went, they went in their four directions: they turned not when they went.
18 As for their rims, they were high and dreadful; and they four had their rims full of eyes round about.
19 And when the living creatures went, the wheels went beside them; and when the living creatures were lifted up from the earth, the wheels were lifted up.
(The cherubim and the wheels moved in the same direction.)
20 Whithersoever the spirit was to go, they went; thither was the spirit to go: and the wheels were lifted up beside them; for the spirit of the living creature was in the wheels.
(They went wherever the Spirit went. The spirit of the cherubim were in the wheels.)
21 When those went, these went; and when those stood, these stood; and when those were lifted up from the earth, the wheels were lifted up beside them: for the spirit of the living creature was in the wheels.
(Verse 22: continued the description of the cherubim.)
22 And over the head of the living creature there was the likeness of a firmament, like the terrible crystal to look upon, stretched forth over their heads above.
23 And under the firmament were their wings straight, the one toward the other: every one had two which covered on this side, and every one had two which covered on that side, their bodies.
24 And when they went, I heard the noise of their wings like the noise of great waters, like the voice of the Almighty, a noise of tumult like the noise of a host: when they stood, they let down their wings.
(The noise of their wings was as the Voice of God.)
25 And there was a voice above the firmament that was over their heads: when they stood, they let down their wings.
(Verse 26: began a description of God.)
26 And above the firmament that was over their heads was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone; and upon the likeness of the throne was a likeness as the appearance of a man upon it above.
(A vision of a throne with an appearance of a man upon it.)
27 And I saw as it were glowing metal, as the appearance of fire within it round about, from the appearance of his loins and upward; and from the appearance of his loins and downward I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and there was brightness round about him.
28 As the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness round about. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of Jehovah. And when I saw it, I fell upon my face, and I heard a voice of one that spake.
(Notice, fire and a glowing metal were associated with God. The Bible consistently stated that a precious metal was refined by fire. A precious metal not only withstands the effects of a fire, it is improved with fire. The appearance of the Glory of God caused Ezekiel to fall upon his face. There was an even more detailed description of the cherubim and the throne in Ezekiel 10.)
1 And he said unto me, Son of man, stand upon thy feet, and I will speak with thee.
(God told Ezekiel to stand and God would speak to him. This chapter covered Ezekiel's commission from God…)
2 And the Spirit entered into me when he spake unto me, and set me upon my feet; and I heard him that spake unto me.
(The Spirit entered into Ezekiel. Unlike the 6th Dispensation (Pentecost) when the Holy Spirit dwells inside all believers, during the 5th Dispensation (the Law) the Holy Spirit only dwelt inside the prophets, Ezekiel being one of them. Notice, Ezekiel was already kneeling. The Holy Spirit told Ezekiel to stand.)
3 And he said unto me, Son of man, I send thee to the children of Israel, to nations that are rebellious, which have rebelled against me: they and their fathers have transgressed against me even unto this very day.
(Ezekiel was sent to the Israelites.)
4 And the children are impudent and stiffhearted: I do sent thee unto them; and thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the Lord Jehovah.
5 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.
6 And thou, son of man, be not afraid of them, neither be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns are with thee, and thou dost dwell among scorpions: be not afraid of their words, nor be dismayed at their looks, though they are a rebellious house.
7 And thou shalt speak my words unto them, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear; for they are most rebellious.
(Ezekiel was to not be afraid of them even though they were rebellious. Whether Ezekiel was heard or not, he still was commanded to proclaim the Word of God. Essentially, God told Ezekiel to be a man: to be about the causes regardless of the effects.)
8 But thou, son of man, hear what I say unto thee; be not thou rebellious like that rebellious house: open thy mouth, and eat that which I give thee.
9 And when I looked, behold, a hand was put forth unto me; and, lo, a roll of a book was therein;
10 And he spread it before me: and it was written within and without; and there were written therein lamentations, and mourning, and woe.
(Ezekiel was given a roll of a book that contained words of sorrow.)
1 And he said unto me, Son of man, eat that which thou findest; eat this roll, and go, speak unto the house of Israel.
(In the vision, Ezekiel was told to eat the book, just like John was told to do in Revelation 10 with the same effects.)
2 So I opened my mouth, and he caused me to eat the roll.
3 And he said unto me, Son of man, cause thy belly to eat, and fill thy bowels with this roll that I give thee. Then did I eat it; and it was in my mouth as honey for sweetness.
(Ezekiel spiritually "ate" the book and it was like honey in his mouth.)
4 And he said unto me, Son of man, go, get thee unto the house of Israel, and speak with my words unto them.
5 For thou art not sent to a people of a strange speech and of a hard language, but to the house of Israel;
(Ezekiel was sent to prophesy to his own people.)
6 not to many peoples of a strange speech and of a hard language, whose words thou canst not understand. Surely, if I sent thee to them, they would hearken unto thee.
7 But the house of Israel will not hearken unto thee; for they will not hearken unto me: for all the house of Israel are of hard forehead and of a stiff heart.
(Although Ezekiel was sent to his own people, they would not listen to him because they would not listen to God because the Israelites were not willing to consider they could be wrong.)
8 Behold, I have made thy face hard against their faces, and thy forehead hard against their foreheads.
9 As an adamant harder than flint have I made thy forehead: fear them not, neither be dismayed at their looks, though they are a rebellious house.
(God prepared Ezekiel for the work ahead of him. The "adamant harder than flint" was a diamond.)
10 Moreover he said unto me, Son of man, all my words that I shall speak unto thee receive in thy heart, and hear with thine ears.
(Ezekiel was told to receive God's Word in his heart and to hear (understand) them.)
11 And go, get thee to them of the captivity, unto the children of thy people, and speak unto them, and tell them, Thus saith the Lord Jehovah; whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear.
12 Then the Spirit lifted me up, and I heard behind me the voice of a great rushing, saying, Blessed be the glory of Jehovah from his place.
13 And I heard the noise of the wings of the living creatures as they touched one another, and the noise of the wheels beside them, even the noise of a great rushing.
(Ezekiel was lifted up by the Spirit and he heard a voice of great rushing as well as the wings of the cherubim and the wheels.)
14 So the Spirit lifted me up, and took me away; and I went in bitterness, in the heat of my spirit; and the hand of Jehovah was strong upon me.
(Notice, Ezekiel was transported by the Spirit. Ezekiel went away bitter because of the people's attitude against God and Ezekiel's message. God strengthened Ezekiel to continue his ministry.)
15 Then I came to them of the captivity at Tel-abib, that dwelt by the river Chebar, and to where they dwelt; and I sat there overwhelmed among them seven days.
(After the vision, Ezekiel sat overwhelmed for seven days.)
16 And it came to pass at the end of seven days, that the word of Jehovah came unto me, saying,
17 Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me.
(God made Ezekiel a "watchman" of the Israelites.)
18 When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thy hand.
(Ezekiel would have a share in the wickedness caused if he did not warn the people.)
19 Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.
20 Again, when a righteous man doth turn from his righteousness, and commit iniquity, and I lay a stumblingblock before him, he shall die: because thou hast not given him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteous deeds which he hath done shall not be remembered; but his blood will I require at thy hand.
(Notice, the presence of a "watchman" did not guarantee that people would respond. Salvation was ultimately the choice of the individual. The "watchman" allowed the individual to make an informed choice. As "watchman" unto the Israelites, Ezekiel was held accountable to proclaim God's Word to the people. Because of Ezekiel's position as a prophet, God held him responsible for that gift.)
21 Nevertheless if thou warn the righteous man, that the righteous sin not, and he doth not sin, he shall surely live, because he took warning; and thou hast delivered thy soul.
(Ezekiel would also have a share in the deliverance of those who took heed to his warnings.)
22 And the hand of Jehovah was there upon me; and he said unto me, Arise, go forth into the plain, and I will there talk with thee.
23 Then I arose, and went forth into the plain: and, behold, the glory of Jehovah stood there, as the glory which I saw by the river Chebar; and I fell on my face.
24 Then the Spirit entered into me, and set me upon my feet; and he spake with me, and said unto me, Go, shut thyself within thy house.
(Ezekiel saw the Glory of Jehovah and then the Spirit entered into him…the previous recording of this was in a vision, this was the actual event the vision foretold.)
25 But thou, son of man, behold, they shall lay bands upon thee, and shall bind thee with them, and thou shalt not go out among them:
26 and I will make thy tongue cleave to the roof of thy mouth, that thou shalt be dumb, and shalt not be to them a reprover; for they are a rebellious house.
27 But when I speak with thee, I will open thy mouth, and thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the Lord Jehovah: He that heareth, let him hear; and he that forbeareth, let him forbear: for they are a rebellious house.
(God would be the cause of the words that Ezekiel spoke to the people.)
(This post covered Ezekiel's commissioning by God to be a prophet to His people.)