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Summary: Chastisement but still no Condemnation...

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Delete Discussion Intro:Ezekiel

1. During WW II 6 Navy pilots left their aircraft carrier on a mission. After searching the seas for every submarine, they tried to return to their ship shortly after dark. But the captain had ordered a blackout of all lights on the ship. Over and over the frantic pilots radioed, asking for just one light so they could see to land. But the request was denied and the pilots were forced to crash into the Ocean.

2. Israel felt like those pilots, even though their captivity was due to their sins, they felt abandoned by God.

3. God Chastises but he never Abandons.

Trans: Ezk. 1:1-28

I. FIRST, THE CAPTIVES.

A. A Priest named Ezekiel.

“1 Now it came to pass in the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, on the fifth day of the month, as I was among the captives by the River Chebar, that the heavens were opened and I saw visions of God. 2 On the fifth day of the month, which was in the fifth year of King Jehoiachin's captivity, 3 the word of the LORD came expressly 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.” (Ezek 1:1-3)

“in the thirtieth year” – Most believe that this refers to the 30th year Ezekiel’s life. Being of the priestly family, he was no doubt studying, preparing for the priesthood. All of a sudden all of his plans, dreams, and aspirations came to an end as he was taken into captivity by the Babylonians.

thirtieth year -- that is, counting from the beginning of the reign of Nabopolassar, father of Nebuchadnezzar, the era. of the Babylonian empire, 625 B.C., which epoch coincides with the eighteenth year of Josiah, that in which the book of the law was found, and the consequent reformation began [SCALIGER]; or the thirtieth year of Ezekiel's life. As the Lord was about to be a "little sanctuary" (Eze 11:16) to the exiles on the Chebar, so Ezekiel was to be the ministering priest; therefore he marks his priestly relation to God and the people at the outset; the close, which describes the future temple, thus answering to the beginning. By designating himself expressly as "the priest" (Eze 1:3), and as having reached his thirtieth year (the regular year of priests commencing their office), he marks his office as the priest among the prophets. Thus the opening vision follows naturally as the formal institution of that spiritual temple in which he was to minister [FAIRBAIRN].

The fourth (month) was mid-June to mid-July, reckoning from the first month, mid-March to mid-April.

B. The Predicament.

“captives” – “During Ezekiel’s life and ministry. Israel [the Northern Kingdom] was corrupt politically and spiritually. Their idolatry led to captivity by the Assyrians in 722 BC.

The leadership of Judah [the Southern Kingdom] eventually fell into the idolatry of neighboring nations. The people refused to heed the prophets reminders about the curses and blessings promised by God in the Mosaic Covenant. Ezekiel prophesied that there would come catastrophe and captivity for Judah and Jerusalem.”


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