Ezekiel denotes a Hebrew prophet who largely prophesied several instances of the destruction of Israel and its restoration. In the bible, Ezekiel is the son on Buzi and, as was at the time, in the lineage of priests and prophets. He describes himself in introduction as,
”In the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, on the fifth day of the month, as I was among the exiles by the river Chebar, the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God. On the fifth day of the month, it was the fifth year of the exile of King Jehoiachin, the word of The Lord came to Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans by the river Chebar; and the hand of The Lord was upon him there.” Ezekiel 1: 1- 3 (King James Bible Online, 2013)
He was one of the three thousand Jews who were exiled to Babylon by the King Nebuchadnezzar. Ezekiel’s wife died young, while they were in exile, and there is no mention of the prophet having any children in his lifetime. Ezekiel like any other prophet had many encounters with the Lord (or with God) although most of these were not face- to- face since it was almost impossible for a face- to- face encounter with God. Ezekiel also had many encountered angels on many encounters.
The direct meaning for the name Ezekiel, has been translated from Hebrew to mean, “God will provide strength” or “God will strengthen”. Ideally, his choosing at the time was very symbolic of the hope he represented to the Israelites and the world in general. It was important since he prophesied and destruction in very many areas and instances in the Israelite’s lives.
The book of Ezekiel
The book of Ezekiel is expansive and has many encounters between nations, individuals and communities. It is also the embodiment of the life of the prophet Ezekiel, and his encounters with the Israelites and their opponents. It records about seven visions, all of which either prophesied doom or hope for the Israelites. The three major areas that the book of Israel seeks to address are centered on the same background. The vast expansiveness of the book begins with the rebuking of Israel and the following commensurate judgment on Israel. The book then discusses the behavior and trends (with commensurate punishment) on the neighboring communities and nations. However, the chance for restoration is also unveiled. The book offers the chance for future blessings and opportunities for the Israelites if they repented and followed God’s statutes (Blenkinsopp, 1996).
The book has its first descriptions covering Ezekiel’s calling by God or Yahweh. Ezekiel goes into detail in the description of his calling, which involved the approach by Yahweh, or God, in warrior attire and riding on a battle chariot. Four creatures, Ezekiel explains, are drawing this chariot. These creatures have different faces, which represent the four groupings of the four tribes of Israel. This account is meant to bring out several effects onto the readers. The first is that the encounter with God is...