E. Mason, Jr.
Philadelphia College of Bible
EZEKIEL: Introduction and Simple Outline
DATE: The fifth year of Jeconiah's captivity is given as the date of Ezekiel's vision, so he must have been taken captive either at the same time as Daniel (2 Ki. 24:1) or when Jeconiah was overthrown (2 Ki. 24:6-16). His dates are 593-560 BC.
CONTEMPORARIES: Overlap with Jeremiah and Daniel, and presumptively Obadiah.
VIEWPOINT: Ezekiel ministers as an exile to the exiles. He tells them that their sins have caused the exile and that Judah's continued sin will bring about a complete collapse and overthrow of the kingdom (e.g., 14:12-23; cp. 33:21-22). The great vision of the throne of God (chapter 1) shows that God is the God of Providence, overseeing earth's affairs. It is comforting to see there is a rainbow (a gracious purpose of God) round about the throne (1:28).
METHOD: Ezekiel is a book composed largely of visions, as are substantial parts of Daniel, Zechariah, and Revelation, Interpretation requires care and patience, as well as a knowledge of symbols. These are either identified from cues in the context, or by comparison with another portion of Scripture where the symbol is explained.
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