A contemporary of Jeremiah and Daniel, Ezekiel was carried away in the second deportation of the Babylonian captivity. He went to Babylon about 8 years after Daniel and 12 years before Jerusalem was destroyed (Ezek 33:21). His wife died the year that the siege of Jerusalem began, and her death was used as a sign to Israel (Ezek 24:15-18). He was a priest that God called to be a prophet to the “house of Israel” and he began his prophetic ministry in the 5th year of his arrival in the land of exile. For 6 years of his ministry, Ezekiel preached to the exiled while Jerusalem was still standing and prophesied of the coming destruction and why it was deserved. In addition to this he prophesied concerning the inevitable judgment on the surrounding Gentile nations. After Jerusalem fell his ministry took a drastic turn and he was given the duty of revealing the future restoration of Israel and their coming glory, keeping the covenant promises before the generation born in captivity and teaching them about the national sins that led to the exile. Ezekiel had 13 visions that are given exact dates and he was told to illustrate his message by doing symbolic acts (e.g. Ezek 4).
I. The Preparation and Commission of Ezekiel (1-3)
Il. The Condemnation of Judah (4-24)
A. A disobedient nation (4-7)
B. A departed glory (8-11)
Ezekiel sees the glory of the LORD departing from and then returning to the Temple at Jerusalem. It leaves slowly (Ezek 10:3, 4, 18-19; 11:22-23), and returns suddenly (Ezek 43:1-5). Jesus Christ is the “glory of the LORD ” (Matt 23:37 – 24:3).
C. A disciplined nation (12-24)
Ill. The Condemnation of Gentile Nations (25-32)
IV. The Restoration of Israel (33-48)
A. They return to their land (33-36)
B. The obtain new life and unity (37)
C. They are protected from their enemies (38-39)
D. They worship the Lord acceptably (40-48)