The third of the three major OTprophets. A younger contemporary of Jeremiah, and influenced by him, Ezekiel was a priest (Ezek. 1:3) and a prophet (11:4) of the Exile. According to 1:1–3 Ezekiel was among the first group of Jews to be deported to Babylon, in 597 BCE; but there are reasons for supposing this to be an editorial note and that Ezekiel's message to Judah was delivered on the spot and not from distant Babylon. Ezekiel is remarkably well in formed about conditions in Judah and his sermons are addressed to people living there. Some scholars have proposed that Ezekiel did go to Babylonia but returned to Jerusalem to preach doom on the city until its capture in 586 BCE, when, as is suggested, he was again taken captive and carried a second time to Babylon.
Alternatively, it is argued that Ezekiel remained in Jerusalem for the greater part of his prophetic career but perhaps went to Babylon in 586, or—a modification of this theory—that he remained throughout in Judah but sections which appear to derive from a Babylonian exile can be attributed to a later editor. Thus, while the historical context of the prophet is clear, the structure of the book is complicated.
Some of Ezekiel's prophetic acts were regarded as bizarre or at least strange by his contemporaries: he ate a scroll (3:1–3); in front of a rough drawing of Jerusalem under siege, he lay for 390 days on his left side bearing the punishment of Israel and forty days on his right side for the punishment of Judah; he shaved his head and face and weighed the hair, which he then divided into three to symbolize how the population would suffer in three ways. He was afflicted with dumbness for much of the time before 586 BCE. When his wife died suddenly, he refused to mourn as custom dictated, in order to bring home his message of theeven more tragic coming destruction of the Temple (Ezek. 24:15–18). Some commentators detect evidence of mental illness; but his prophetic actions are in the tradition of Elijah and Elisha.
Ezekiel regarded the nation's history from the Exodus onwards as a story of disobedience (20:1–18) but, when Jerusalem had been destroyed and his words vindicated, he could turn to hopes for the future. God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked and wants to restore to life even those in exile (33:11–20). So he can predict the future restoration of his people in their own country. There would be peace and security, and the Lord would return to the sanctuary (43:4–7) from which he had once departed (10:18 and 11:23). The God of Ezekiel is wholly transcendent, and acts as he thinks fit (Ezek. 36:22) to produce a people transformed (36:26). Nevertheless, they are required to respond to God's grace; individuals are responsible and free. Nobody in the OT more passionately asserts the reality of this responsibility (18:20).

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  • EZEKIEL — EZEKIEL, a major prophet who is said to have begun prophesying in the fifth year of Jehoiachin s exile in Babylonia, seven years before the final fall of Jerusalem; his prophecies are recorded in the book that bears his name. The name Ezekiel… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Ezekiel — 1 Ezekiel 2 Ezekiel 3 Ezekiel 4 Ezekiel 5 Ezekiel 6 Ezekiel 7 Ezekiel 8 Ezekiel 9 Ezekiel 10 Ezekiel 11 Ezekiel 12 …   The King James version of the Bible

  • Ezekiel — • Son of Buzi, and was one of the priests who, in the year 598 B.C., had been deported together with Joachim as prisoners from Jerusalem (IV Kings, xxiv, 12 16; cf. Ezek. xxxiii, 21, xl, 1) Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Ezekiel      …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Ezekiel — m Biblical: name (meaning ‘God strengthens’ in Hebrew) borne by one of the major prophets. The book of the Bible that bears his name is probably best known for its vision of a field of dry bones, which Ezekiel prophesies will live again (chapter… …   First names dictionary

  • Ezekiel — (spr. isīkjĕl), Moses Jakob, nordamerikan. Bildhauer, geb. 28. Okt. 1844 in Richmond (Virginia), machte den Krieg in den Reihen der Südstaaten mit, nach dessen Beendigung er beschloß, Bildhauer zu werden, ging 1869 nach Europa, wurde Schüler der… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Ezekiel —   [ɪ ziːkjəl], Nissim, indischer Schriftsteller, Literatur und Kunstkritiker englischer Sprache, * Bombay 16. 12. 1924; Ezekiels Werk umkreist, ironisch analysierend und skeptisch, Gefühle des Verlustes und der Isolation eines orientalischen… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Ezekiel — masc. proper name; in O.T., name of a book and of one of the great prophets of Israel, from L.L. Ezechiel, from Gk. Iezekiel, from Heb. Yehezqel, lit. God strengthens, from hazaq he was strong, he strengthened + El God …   Etymology dictionary

  • Ezekiel — Ezekiel1 [i zē′kē əl] n. [LL(Ec) Ezechiel < Gr Iezekiēl < Heb yechezkel, lit., God strengthens] 1. a masculine name: dim. Zeke 2. Bible a) a Hebrew prophet of the 6th cent. B.C. b) the book of his prophecies: abbrev. Ezek, Ezk, Ez, or Eze… …   English World dictionary

  • Ezekiel — /i zee kee euhl/, n. 1. a Major Prophet of the 6th century B.C. 2. a book of the Bible bearing his name. Abbr.: Ezek. 3. Moses Jacob, 1844 1917, U.S. sculptor, in Rome. 4. a male given name: from a Hebrew word meaning God strengthens. Also, Douay …   Universalium

  • Ezekiel — According to religious texts, Ezekiel (() is understood by Eastern Christianity as another prophesy of the Incarnation: the gate signifying the Virgin Mary and the prince referring to Jesus. This is one of the readings at Vespers on Great Feasts… …   Wikipedia

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