Summary: They were saying, ‘Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off.’
“The Valley of Bones.” Pastor Allan Kircher SPBC
24 Jan 2010
The Books of I and II Kings were written about the period leading up to the Babylonian exile to show the people how their plight was the result of Israel’s sin
Ezekiel offers us a vivid reminder that God will not leave us forever lifeless and hopeless,
and further that God offers unity where there appears to be only brokenness and death.
Ezekiel was born just after the reforms of King Josiah. What a glorious time that was.
King Josiah repaired the Temple.
He rediscovered the Book of the Law, which Israel had forgotten and ignored for many years. After reading the Law Josiah cleansed Judah.
He removed from the Temple of the Lord all the articles made for Baal and Asherah and the starry hosts and burned them outside Jerusalem.
He took the Asherah pole from the Temple and ground it into dust.
He tore down the living quarters of the male shrine prostitutes which were in the Temple.
He did away with the pagan priests and their altars on the high places. He led the people in a time of covenant renewal.
In his 31st year as king, Josiah was killed in a battle against Pharaoh Neco, king of Egypt.
Neco imprisoned Josiah's oldest son before 3 months of his reign were over;
So a brother was made king in his place whose named Jehoiakim, He was an evil and ruthless king.
He imposed huge taxes on the people in order to pay tribute to Neco and to build palaces for himself.
He pursued other gods and put aside all the reforms established by his father, King Josiah.
He tolerated no criticism and to enforce silence he killed the prophet Uriah and imprisoned the prophet Jeremiah.
When King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon defeated Pharaoh Neco of Egypt, Jehoiakim put himself under Babylonian rule as a vassal.
After 3 years he rebelled against Nebuchadnezzar. Within 4 years Jerusalem was encircled and besieged.
At the critical moment Jehoiakim died – whether from assassination or sickness we do not know.
His 18 year old son, Jehoiachin, surrendered to Nebuchadnezzar. Plunder was taken but the city itself and its Temple were not harmed.
In this first deportation was Daniel.
Though it was now under Babylonian domination, Judah remained an independent nation with her own king.
In 598 BC. Again Nebuchadnezzar besieged Jerusalem.
However, Jehoiachin, the officers, the fighting men, the craftsmen and artisans, and all the leading men of the land were deported to Babylon, along with the prophet Ezekiel
While in captivity Ezekiel heard of what happened next.
In 586 BC Jerusalem was totally ruined by Nebuchadnezzer and his great Babylonian army.
Solomon’s Temple, which had been the pride and glory of Israel for almost 400 years was reduced to ashes;
all the inhabitants of Jerusalem had been taken either to Chaldea or to Babylon in captivity, including Zedekiah
the last king of Judah who had been blinded taken in chains to Babylon.
Although they had been warned repeatedly by God through His prophets, including Ezekiel, they had turned a deaf ear!