The book of Ezekiel

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The book of Ezekiel is often overlooked and not much is known about his personal life. His name is actually only mentioned twice within the entire book. What is known of this mysterious prophet is that he was the son of Buzi the priest, and his name means "God will strengthen.(Ezekiel)" Ezekiel was a priest who lived during the Israelite exile around 597 BCE, which was a decade before the Babylonians destroyed Jerusalem. The Israelite exiles settled at a place called Tel-Abib, on the banks of the Chebar, in the land of the Chaldeans(Thomas 24). Ezekeil was said to be about 26 years old when he was put into exile along with King Jehoiachin.

Although Ezekiel lived during a time when Israel was being demolished by the Babylonians his faith remained strong with one God, Yahweh. Unlike Ezekiel, many of the Israelites during this time believed in many gods, each having a political or social purpose for their society (The New Interpreter's Study Bible 169). Yahweh did not agree with this because the Israelites went into a covenant with him. This covenant meant that they could not continue to worship other idols, for if they did Yahweh would emanate his wrath upon them. Ezekiel understood this and he knew that this was the reason why they were being punished. Yahweh uses Ezekiel to relay this message to his people and show them the punishment that they will have to bare because of their sins.

Ezekiel becomes aware that he is a prophet of God's word when he receives a vision by the Chebar River in Babylon (Thomas 25). His first vision consists of amazing creatures that each had four faces and four wings. Above these human like creatures was a dome that looked like a throne. On this throne was a human like form that resembled the likeness of the glory of God. When Ezekiel saw this he fell on his face. Then a voice came to him and said:

"O mortal stand up on your feet, and I will speak with you. And when he spoke to me, a spirit entered into me and set me on my feet; and I heard him speaking to me. He said to me, Mortal, I am sending you to the people of Israel, to a nation of rebels who have rebelled against me; they and their ancestors have transgressed against me to this very day.
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