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Ezekiel (592-570 B.C.) "yehetzk'el" (God will strengthen)
Nebuchadnezzar invaded Judah 3 times and took captives each time. In 607 (one of the captives was Daniel), in 597 (Ezekiel was taken) and in 586, (Jerusalem was destroyed and all the people taken). Ezekiel prophesied to the captives in Babylon. The captives thought Jerusalem would be delivered by the Lord and they would be rescued. God spoke through Ezekiel using Words, Parables, Visions, and many Similitudes (doing strange things as a sign of something greater). For example:
The Old Testament - A Brief Overview
'Thus says the Lord GOD: "Pound your fists and stamp your feet, and say, 'Alas, for all the evil abominations of the house of Israel! For they shall fall by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence. 'He who is far off shall die by the pestilence, he who is near shall fall by the sword, and he who remains and is besieged shall die by the famine. Thus will I spend My fury upon them.
Ezekiel was married to a woman who was "the desire of his eyes". God told him that his wife was going to die on the very day the armies of Babylon laid siege against the holy city of Jerusalem and he was not to mourn, as a sign to the people. Ezekiel was commanded not to grieve her death; he was to brace himself for this tragedy even as God had prepared Himself for the death of His beloved city (24:15-22).
"Yet I will leave a remnant, so that you may have some who escape the sword among the nations, when you are scattered through the countries. "Then those of you who escape will remember Me among the nations where they are carried captive, because I was crushed by their adulterous heart which has departed from Me, and by their eyes which play the harlot after their idols; they will loathe themselves for the evils which they committed in all their abominations. "And they shall know that I am the LORD; I have not said in vain that I would bring this calamity upon them."
Ezekiel predicted the downfall of nations hostile to Judah and spoke of the false shepherds in Jerusalem (Ezek 34) as well as the true Shepherd Messiah and the future regathering of Israel and outpouring of the Spirit in the kingdom. Ezekiel 16 is one of the most striking chapters in the Bible revealing the everlasting love of God for His people and their continued unfaithfulness:
"Your fame went out among the nations because of your beauty, for it was perfect through My splendor which I had bestowed on you," says the Lord GOD. "But you trusted in your own beauty, played the harlot because of your fame, and poured out your harlotry on everyone passing by who would have it."
The Story of the Bible - Part One - The Old Testament