Daniel and certain others were taken to Babylon about 605 B.C.
Later in c 598 B.C. Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon removed Jehoiakin [Jeconiah] from the throne of Judah and replaced him with Zedekiah his brother. This event indicates that Babylon had replaced Egypt as the regional power.
Ezekiel was taken to Babylon at the removal of king Jehoiachin [Jeconiah] c 598 B.C.. Josephus claims that three thousand leading Jews were removed to Babylon with king Jehoiachin [Jeconiah].
Ezekiel dates his first Divine encounter and the beginning of his prophetic calling [c592 B.C.] as five years after the exile of Jehoiachin [Jeconiah] (Ezekiel 1:1-3).
Since Zedekiah ruled in Jerusalem for eleven years after the removal of Jehoiachin [Jeconiah], and Ezekiel began his ministry in the fifth year of the removal of Jehoiachin [Jeconiah]; Ezekiel was called to be a prophet six years BEFORE the final fall of Jerusalem in Tammuz [the fourth month] 587 B.C.
The book of Ezekiel records seven visions of the prophet Ezekiel over a 22 years from 593 to 571 BCE.
The visions, and the book, were about the coming fall of Jerusalem in 587 B.C. as a type of a coming tribulation or captivity of physical and spiritual Israel in the latter days tribulation on the nations; the coming of Messiah; and the building of the Ezekiel Temple.
The book is structured around three themes:
(1) judgment on Israel and the events of the end time tribulation [at the time Ezekiel wrote physical Israel was already in captivity and Ezekiel’s message refers to the coming end time tribulation] (chapters 1–24);
(2) judgment on the nations during the tribulation just before Messiah comes. (chapters 25–32);
(3) and the coming of Christ; and then the Ezekiel Temple and future blessings for the earth. (chapters 33–48).
The book begins in the fifth year of king Jehoiachin’s [Jeconiah] captivity [c592 B.C.]. Ezekiel was already in captivity when he saw a vision from God, but the final destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple, with the captivity of Zedekiah had not yet come until 587 B.C..
Please keep the distinction between Israel and Judah in your mind as you study these prophecies.
Ezekiel 1:1 Now it came to pass in the thirtieth year [when Ezekiel was thirty years old], in the fourth month, in the fifth day of the month, as I was among the captives by the river of Chebar, that the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God. 1:2 In the fifth day of the month, which was the fifth year of king Jehoiachin’s captivity [c592 B.C.], 1:3 The word of the LORD came expressly unto Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans by the river Chebar; and the hand of the LORD was there upon him.
In the vision Ezekiel saw what looked like rushing wind within a cloud, and the appearance of a fire burning inside the cloud. The darkness of the cloud would have made the light seem all the brighter.
1:4 And I looked, and, behold, a whirlwind came out of the north, a great cloud, and a fire infolding itself, and a brightness was about it, and out of the midst thereof as the colour of amber, out of the midst of the fire.
Inside this cloud and fire were four living beings who appeared as men with a different kind of face on each side of their heads and four wings for each. They had arms and hands like men, and feet like cattle and shined like polished brass in the light.
1:5 Also out of the midst thereof came the likeness of four living creatures. And this was their appearance; they had the likeness of a man. 1:6 And every one had four faces, and every one had four wings. 1:7 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 the colour of burnished brass. 1:8 And they had the hands of a man under their wings on their four sides; and they four had their faces and their wings.
Two wings of each being were touching the wings of the next being, while the other two wings of each being were folded back on their bodies v 11.
1:9 Their wings were joined [touching] one to another; they turned not when they went; they went every one straight forward.
Their wings were set such that they moved straight in any direction without turning. They each had the same face in any direction so that one face was on each for the North, the South, the East and the West, and there was a face for each direction.
The faces described
1:10 As for the likeness of their faces, they four had the face of a man, and the face of a lion, on the right side: and they four had the face of an ox on the left side; they four also had the face of an eagle.
1:11 Thus were their faces: and their wings were stretched upward; two wings of every one were joined one to another, and two covered their bodies.
1:12 And they went every one straight forward: whither the spirit was to go, they went; and they turned not when they went.
The beings went like the speed and flash of lightening.
1:13 As for the likeness of the living creatures, their appearance was like burning coals of fire, and like the appearance of lamps: it went up and down among the living creatures; and the fire was bright, and out of the fire went forth lightning. 1:14 And the living creatures ran and returned as the appearance of a flash of lightning.
Each of the four beings had its own wheel, appearing like a one wheel inside another wheel.
The appearance of the wheels.
1:15 Now as I beheld the living creatures, behold one wheel upon the earth by the living creatures, with his four faces. 1:16 The appearance of the wheels and their work was like unto the colour of a beryl: and they four had one likeness: and their appearance and their work was as it were a wheel in the middle of a wheel.
1:17 When they went, they went upon their four sides: and they turned not when they went.
1:18 As for their rings, they were so high that they were dreadful; and their rings were full of eyes [windows] round about them four.
1:19 And when the living creatures went, the wheels went by them: and when the living creatures were lifted up from the earth, the wheels were lifted up.
The wheels made the machine to go in the direction that God wanted, like a steering wheel but vastly more advanced and made of spirit.
1:20 Whithersoever the spirit [God thought to go] was to go, they went, thither was their spirit to go; and the wheels were lifted up over against them: for the spirit of the living creature was in the wheels.
1:21 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 over against them: for the spirit of the living creature was [God controlled the machine through its wheels] in the wheels.
On top of this spiritual conveyance was a platform of pure clear crystal which reflected the light of God sitting on a throne on the crystal platform into the many colours of the rainbow.
1:22 And the likeness of the firmament [platform] upon the heads of the living creature was as the colour of the terrible crystal, stretched forth over their heads above.
The beings and this spiritual machine were BELOW this platform of crystal, holding it above themselves.
1:23 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. 1:24 And when they went, I heard the noise of their wings, like the noise of great waters, as the voice of the Almighty, the voice of speech, as the noise of an host: when they stood, they let down their wings.
The Being who was sitting on a throne on top of the crystal, controlled the living spiritual machine.
1:25 And there was a voice from the firmament that was over their heads, when they stood, and had let down their wings.
1:26 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 the likeness as the appearance of a man above upon it.
The Being sitting on the Sapphire Throne was YHVH the Eternal God. Here the word YHVH represents the one who later became the son, for no man has yet seen God the Father!
John 5:37 And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape.
YHVH himself, in this case the Creator who later became the Son, gave the prophecies of the end time to Ezekiel. He appeared as a brilliant light surrounded by a rainbow, the bow of God.
Ezekiel 1:27 And I saw as the colour of amber, as the appearance of fire round about within it, from the appearance of his loins even upward, and from the appearance of his loins even downward, I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and it had brightness round about.
1:28 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 the LORD [YHVH]. And when I saw it, I fell upon my face, and I heard a voice of one that spake.
The Creator who was later made flesh as Messiah the Son, spoke to Ezekiel.
Ezekiel 2:1 And he said unto me, Son of man, stand upon thy feet, and I will speak unto thee. 2:2 And the spirit [Ezekiel had fainted and was revived] entered into me when he spake unto me, and set me upon my feet, that I heard him that spake unto me.
Ezekiel was a captive of Judah in Babylon and he is here called and sent by God to the House of Israel which had been in captivity to Assyria for more than a hundred years.
Ezekiel could not go with this message to Israel; he had to record it in writing for the latter day descendants of Israel.
As Jeremiah witnessed to the physical and spiritual JUDAH of Nebuchadnezzar’s time and for today; Ezekiel is a message to physical and spiritual ISRAEL at the very end time and their final correction in great tribulation.
Today BOTH physical AND spiritual Israel are a proud, hardhearted stiff-necked, stubborn people. Impudent in exalting their own ways above the whole Word of God. Therefore God in his mercy has sent a warning to BOTH physical Israel and the spiritual Israel of the church of God groups.
That warning is the Book of Ezekiel!
Brethren, Ezekiel is a series of prophecies and warnings directly to US! To physical and spiritual Israel in the end times immediately before the tribulation; and also to spiritual Israel immediately before our correction in the great tribulation.
2:3 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. 2:4 For they are impudent [proud] children and stiffhearted [stubborn]. I do send thee unto them; and thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD.
This part of Ezekiel is a message to BOTH physical and spiritual Israel at the very end time just before their final correction in great tribulation.
When these things are fulfilled we will know that Ezekiel was indeed a prophet of God and that these words have been proved out to be true.
2:5 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.
Ezekiel – and those like him – are not to be afraid of the apostate spiritual leaders of the Ekklesia! Many of whom are not only tares but often outright briers, thorns and scorpions hiding inside the Ekklesia and its elders and leaders.
Brethren, godly people are to put their trust in God and not to fear the wicked!
2:6 And thou, son of man, be not afraid of them, neither be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns be with thee, and thou dost dwell among scorpions: be not afraid of their words, nor be dismayed at their looks, though they be a rebellious house.
Men of God are commanded not to fear what men can do, but to speak the whole Word of God; fearlessly speaking the truth to all!
2:7 And thou shalt speak my words unto them, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear: for they are most rebellious.
Ezekiel was commanded to eat [to internalize, to remember, to make a part of himself] the words of the book and to write them out, just as John was commanded to do in the Revelation.
2:8 But thou, son of man, hear what I say unto thee; Be not thou rebellious like that rebellious house: open thy mouth, and eat [internalize] that I give thee.
The prophecies recorded by Ezekiel were copied from an actual scroll written by YHVH himself! These are not Ezekiel’s words; they are God’s Words! Other words like the dates and descriptions are Ezekiel’s words, but the actual prophecies were written by YHVH himself and copied by Ezekiel for US today!
2:9 And when I looked, behold, an hand was sent unto me; and, lo, a roll of a book was therein; 2:10 And he spread it before me; and it was written within and without: and there was written therein lamentations, and mourning, and woe.