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. 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).
The book of Ezekiel records seven visions of the prophet Ezekiel over 21 years from 592 to 571 BCE.
The visions and the book were about latter day Israel and the latter day 42 month 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) 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.) while the conquest of Jerusalem and the captivity of Zedekiah would not come until 587 B.C.
Ezekiel was already in Babylon when he saw a vision from God, and he was given a series of prophecies for the latter day nations of Israel.
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 [a tornado], 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 to be like men with a different kind of face on each side of their heads, and each creature had four wings. 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 outstretched and touching the wings of the next being, while the other two wings of each being were folded back on their body’s 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 of a 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.
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 [possibly 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 the Being sitting on the throne on the crystal platform into the many colors of a 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 four beings and this spiritual machine were BELOW a platform of crystal, holding it up 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 spirit 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 from Judah in Babylon and he is here called and sent by God to the latter day House of Israel.
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 us 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 Word of God. Therefore God in his mercy has sent a warning to BOTH physical Israel and today’s Spiritual Ekklesia.
The Book of Ezekiel is about the nations of Israel including Judah and about the Spiritual Ekklesia in this latter day just before the coming of Messiah the Christ!
Brethren, Ezekiel is a series of prophecies and warnings directly to US! To physical and spiritual Israel in these latter days.
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 today’s Spiritual 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 are 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.
Just as John was made to eat the scroll of Revelation as an example of internalizing the words of God, Ezekiel was also told to eat the words; and then both John and Ezekiel later wrote out the words of YHVH himself.
Ezekiel 3:1 Moreover he said unto me, Son of man, eat that thou findest; eat roll, and go speak unto the house of Israel. 3:2 So I opened my mouth, and he caused me to eat that roll.
The words of God are as sweet as honey in the reading because of the ultimate joy of their completion with the coming of Messiah the Christ, yet they are very bitter in the belly because of the bitterness of great tribulation which must come in the process of their fulfillment.
3:3 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 was sent to today’s latter day physical and spiritual Israel.
3:4 And he said unto me, Son of man, go, get thee unto the house of Israel, and speak with my words unto them. 3:5 For thou art not sent to a people of a strange speech and of an hard language, but to the house of Israel; 3:6 Not to many people of a strange speech and of an hard language, whose words thou canst not understand. Surely, had I sent thee to them, they would have hearkened unto thee.
Jesus Christ already knew that the end time physical and spiritual Israel – including today’s Laodicean Ekklesia – would not listen to his warnings, for we are a self-exalting, self-justifying, proud, stubborn and hardhearted people; who will not be entreated.
3:7 But the house of Israel will not hearken unto thee; for they will not hearken unto me: for all the house of Israel are impudent and hardhearted.
Just as Jesus Christ strengthened Ezekiel to stand up to the great and the strong in his day; even so Jesus Christ strengthens those who proclaim God’s Word and warn the called out in this end time.
Today physical and spiritual Israel are rebellious against God, exalting their own ways above the Word of God, and a warning is being proclaimed to them.
3:8 Behold, I have made thy face strong against their faces, and thy forehead strong against their foreheads. 3:9 As an adamant harder than flint have I made thy forehead: fear them not, neither be dismayed at their looks, though they be a rebellious house.
God’s people are to proclaim God’s Words and are not to teach their own ways and false traditions.
To discern between faithful and false teachers, it is only necessary to know God’s Word, because every teaching contrary to the Word of God is false (Mat 7:15-29).
3:10 Moreover he said unto me, Son of man, all my words that I shall speak unto thee receive in thine heart, and hear with thine ears.
All of God’s people have this commandment to SHOUT OUT the Truth to all people, especially to the Called Out; with all their might!
3:11 And go, get thee to them of the captivity [today physical and spiritual Israel is in spiritual captivity to pride and rebellion against the truth of God’s Word], unto the children [the latter day descendants] of thy people, and speak unto them, and tell them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear.
All of this happened in a vision, and after Ezekiel ate the scroll and made the words of YHVH a part of himself, Ezekiel saw YHVH leave him in the vision and the vision ended.
3:12 Then the spirit took me up, and I heard behind me a voice of a great rushing, saying, Blessed be the glory of the LORD from his place. 3:13 I heard also the noise of the wings of the living creatures that touched one another, and the noise of the wheels over against them, and a noise of a great rushing.
The vision being ended, Ezekiel went his way; but the Spirit of God was strong upon him to direct him.
3:14 So the spirit lifted me up, and took me away, and I went in bitterness [mourning over the words of the prophecy he had been given], in the heat [excitement] of my spirit; but the hand of the LORD was strong upon me.
Then Ezekiel remained astonished and thinking about the meaning of the vision for seven days by the river.
3:15 Then I came to them of the captivity at Telabib, that dwelt by the river of Chebar, and I sat where they sat, and remained there astonished among them seven days.
After seven days YHVH spoke to Ezekiel again and commissioned him as a watchman to physical and spiritual Israel.
Ezekiel is to speak the Word of God and not his own words to physical and spiritual Israel, by writing them in a book for the latter days.
3:16 And it came to pass at the end of seven days, that the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 3:17 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.
Brethren, all people of God are to be Ezekiel type watchmen for the world and they are to proclaim the gospel of warning and repentance.
3:18 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 thine hand.
It is incumbent upon godly people to preach the gospel of warning and sincere repentance as Ezekiel type watchmen; teaching all people to live by every Word of God! None of today’s Ekklesia are doing this: except our sites!
3:19 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.
If a godly person does not warn the righteous who have gone astray from zeal to keep the whole Word of God; that man who has turned aside will die in his sins and the person who knew and said nothing will be guilty of the sinners blood because he saw him turn aside and said nothing.
This was not a new thing for Ezekiel for the law also commands: Leviticus 19:17 Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart: thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbour, and not suffer sin upon him.
Brethren, hear the Word of God and by afraid to keep silent when the church organizations have gone astray and no longer openly rebuke sin; either in their atrocious business model outreach programs, or in their assemblies!
Ezekiel 3:20 Again, When a righteous man doth turn from his righteousness, and commit iniquity, and I lay a stumbling-block before him, he shall die: because thou hast not given him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he hath done shall not be remembered; but his blood will I require at thine hand.
All godly people have a command to: Isaiah 58:1 Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the [physical AND spiritual] house of Jacob their sins.
Today’s Spiritual Ekklesia is NOT doing this, either publicly or even within their own assemblies!
3:21 Nevertheless if thou warn the righteous man, that the righteous sin not, and he doth not sin, he shall surely live, because he is warned; also thou hast delivered thy soul.
All the faithful of God are to obey God and to love others. Is it really love to let others die in their sins without warning them?
If we say we love others and yet tolerate sin in our brothers out of that supposed love; is that really love? Is it not a far greater love to warn him of the danger he has fallen into?
In truth all God’s people should be Ezekiel’s!
James 5:19 Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; 5:20 Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of [the sins of the repentant person] sins.
Then God led Ezekiel away from the river and into the desert
Ezekiel 3:22 And the hand of the LORD was there upon me; and he said unto me, Arise, go forth into the plain, and I will there talk with thee.
There in the desert plain, Ezekiel saw the one who gave up his Godhood to be made flesh and become the Son: Ezekiel seeing him in part of his glory and brilliant light, fainted, falling on the ground.
3:23 Then I arose, and went forth into the plain: and, behold, the glory of the LORD [YHVH] stood there, as the glory which I saw by the river of Chebar: and I fell on my face.
Then Ezekiel revived and was moved to go back to his own house.
3:24 Then the spirit entered into me, and set me upon my feet, and spake with me, and said unto me, Go, shut thyself within thine house.
Ezekiel is told that God will not allow him to speak his own words, and that he must speak only the words that God commands him to speak.
3:25 But thou, O son of man, behold, they shall put bands upon thee, and shall bind thee with them, and thou shalt not go out among them: 3:26 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.
Ezekiel was sent mainly to warn the latter day physical and spiritual Israel; and by Israel is meant the whole house of Israel including the latter day Judah.
3:27 But when I speak with thee, I will open thy mouth, and thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; He that heareth, let him hear; and he that forbeareth, let him forbear: for they are a rebellious house.
Brethren, it is the duty of God’s people to cry aloud and proclaim the gospel of warning, sincere repentance and salvation to the world teaching all people to live by every Word of God (Isaiah 58:1, Matthew 28:19-20).