Preparation Prior to the study session, participants should read:
Ezekiel 1:1 - 3:15: Ezekiel's vision and call
Ezekiel 10:18: God presence leaving the temple, and returning in 43: 1-5
Ezekiel 37: 1-14: Ezekiel's vision of the valley of the dry bones
Orientation Ezekiel is book #26 of 39 in the Old Testament, and the fourth book of the Major Prophets. For more information see the Bible Overview page.
Synopsis The book was written for generation of the Babylonian exile, to remind them of the causes of Israel's destruction, the coming judgment of the gentile nations, and the coming restoration of Israel. Like Isaiah, Ezekiel follows the pattern: commission of the prophet, propechies of condemnation, followed by prophecies of comfort.
Ezekiel sees many visions: the throne room of God (1:26), with strange winged creatures; wheels turning in the sky (1:19, 10:9), and his most famous vision: the valley of the dry bones (37) returning to life as the breath of God blows over them - symbolic of the restoration of Israel.
Outline 1. The Commission of Ezekiel (Ch. 1-3)
Ezekiel eats a scroll (2:3 - 3:3)
2. Judgment on Judah (Ch. 4-24)
Teaching the siege using a model (4:1 - 5:17)
The Presence of God leaves the temple (10:18)
3. Judgment on the Gentiles (Ch. 25-32)
4. Restoration of Israel (Ch. 33-48)
The valley of the dry bones (Ch. 37)
A new temple is built in Jerusalem (Ch. 40 - 41)
The Presence of God returns (Ch. 43)
Discussion points In 18: 1-14 Ezekiel states clearly that each person is accountable for his own sins, that God does not punish children for the sins of the parents. This goes against the long-held belief that punishment is 'inherited'. Could this belief have come from Exodus 20:6 ? Compare this to Jesus's statements in John 9: 1-7.
Ezekiel 1: 15 and 10:9 are quoted by many as being descriptive of flying saucers, with its images of flying wheels with lights on the edges. What do you think?
Connections Ezekiel lived at the same time as Jeremiah and Daniel, so these books describe the same time period.
For source citations see the home page. Revised April 9 2014
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