Ezekiel, The Prophet - Part 1
Ezekiel’s name means God will strengthen.
Ezekiel was a priest in Judah whom God called to be His prophet. In this he was like Jeremiah who was born about the same time as Ezekiel. Both of these men lived in or near Jerusalem, both were born into a priestly family, and both were called to warn God’s people about their sins and the judgment of the LORD . Ezekiel’s name means God will strengthen.
The sins of Judah were many. Jehovah protected His people when their enemies came up against them, but they would not repent or give up their sinful ways. Finally God allowed the Babylonians to capture Jerusalem and take His people away as slaves.
Jeremiah prophesied during the reigns of the last five kings of Judah. Josiah was the only good king of the five. Two of his sons reigned for a few years, but neither of them would listen to the words of God. After them Jehoiachin was king for three months, but he surrendered to Nebuchadnezzar and was taken to Babylon as a prisoner, along with 10,000 others, 2 Kings 24:10-14. One of these was Ezekiel the son of Buzi, a young man about 25 years old at the time. Jeremiah stayed in Jerusalem, and God used him to warn the people who were left there.
Ezekiel was married, 24:18; we do not read that they had any children. (Isaiah had sons, but Jeremiah was not married, Isaiah 7:3; 8:1; Jeremiah 16:2.) Ezekiel mentions his own name only in 1:3 and 24:24. It is not found in any other book of the Bible, but the Holy Spirit often used words from Ezekiel in the New Testament. Ezekiel does tell us a great deal in his book about his own feelings and experiences. God called him son of man many times.
Jeremiah was not able to convince many people in Jerusalem that they should repent. Nebuchadnezzar set Zedekiah as king of Judah, but he disobeyed God and rebelled against Babylon. Finally the LORD sent Nebuchadnezzar again to destroy Jerusalem. God told Jeremiah and Ezekiel in advance what He was about to do. The first part of Ezekiel records the messages of God before the holy city was captured; the third part was written after it was destroyed. In between, there are eight chapters of God’s warning to Gentile nations.
Robert E. Harlow,a long-time commended worker, went to be with the Lord on March 10, 2003, five days short of his 95th birthday. He was co-founder of Emmaus Bible College, now located in Dubuque, Iowa, and founder, along with his wife, Gertrud, of Everyday Publications, Inc., in Port Colborne, ON. Dr. Harlow wrote more than fifty books, including Come and Dine: New Testament Readings for Every Day (1976). His,Can We Know God? (1958) was the first of a series of books he wrote in simple, "Everyday", English. It has sold some 500,000 copies in more than a dozen languages. A native of Toronto, he was also a missionary in the Belgian Congo.