Ezekiel, Book of

consists mainly of three groups of prophecies. After an account
of his call to the prophetical office (1-3:21), Ezekiel (1)
utters words of denunciation against the Jews (3:22-24), warning
them of the certain destruction of Jerusalem, in opposition to
the words of the false prophets (4:1-3). The symbolical acts, by
which the extremities to which Jerusalem would be reduced are
described in ch. 4,5, show his intimate acquaintance with the
Levitical legislation. (See Ex. 22:30; Deut. 14:21; Lev. 5:2;
7:18,24; 17:15; 19:7; 22:8, etc.)

(2.) Prophecies against various surrounding nations: against
the Ammonites (Ezek. 25:1-7), the Moabites (8-11), the Edomites
(12-14), the Philistines (15-17), Tyre and Sidon (26-28), and
against Egypt (29-32).

(3.) Prophecies delivered after the destruction of Jerusalem
by Nebuchadnezzar: the triumphs of Israel and of the kingdom of
God on earth (Ezek. 33-39); Messianic times, and the
establishment and prosperity of the kingdom of God (40;48).

The closing visions of this book are referred to in the book
of Revelation (Ezek. 38=Rev. 20:8; Ezek. 47:1-8=Rev. 22:1,2).
Other references to this book are also found in the New
Testament. (Compare Rom. 2:24 with Ezek. 36:2; Rom. 10:5, Gal.
3:12 with Ezek. 20:11; 2 Pet. 3:4 with Ezek. 12:22.)

It may be noted that Daniel, fourteen years after his
deportation from Jerusalem, is mentioned by Ezekiel (14:14)
along with Noah and Job as distinguished for his righteousness,
and some five years later he is spoken of as pre-eminent for his
wisdom (28:3).

Ezekiel's prophecies are characterized by symbolical and
allegorical representations, "unfolding a rich series of
majestic visions and of colossal symbols." There are a great
many also of "symbolcal actions embodying vivid conceptions on
the part of the prophet" (4:1-4; 5:1-4; 12:3-6; 24:3-5; 37:16,
etc.) "The mode of representation, in which symbols and
allegories occupy a prominent place, gives a dark, mysterious
character to the prophecies of Ezekiel. They are obscure and
enigmatical. A cloudy mystery overhangs them which it is almost
impossible to penetrate. Jerome calls the book 'a labyrith of
the mysteries of God.' It was because of this obscurity that the
Jews forbade any one to read it till he had attained the age of
thirty."

Ezekiel is singular in the frequency with which he refers to
the Pentateuch (e.g., Ezek. 27; 28:13; 31:8; 36:11, 34; 47:13,
etc.). He shows also an acquaintance with the writings of Hosea
(Ezek. 37:22), Isaiah (Ezek. 8:12; 29:6), and especially with
those of Jeremiah, his older contemporary (Jer. 24:7, 9; 48:37).