Michelangelo's Ezekiel on the Sistine Chapel
Click chart to enlarge
Chart from recommended resource Jensen's Survey of the OT - used by permission
Click Chart from Charles Swindoll
Before the Siege
During the Siege
After the Siege
Ezekiel Sees the Glory & Receives the Call
Judgments Against the Gloating Nations
Restoration of Israel to the LORD
Visions of the Temple
Outline of the Book of Ezekiel from Dr John MacArthur - The book can be largely divided into sections about condemnation/retribution and then consolation/restoration. A more detailed look divides the book into 4 sections. First, are prophecies on the ruin of Jerusalem (Ezekiel 1:1–24:27). Second, are prophecies of retribution on nearby nations (Ezekiel 25:1–32:32), with a glimpse at God’s future restoration of Israel (Ezekiel 28:25,26). Thirdly, there is a transition chapter (Ezekiel 33:1-33) which gives instruction concerning a last call for Israel to repent. Finally, the fourth division includes rich expectations involving God’s future restoration of Israel (Ezekiel 34:1–48:35). (Reference)
I. Prophecies of Jerusalem’s Ruin (Ezekiel 1:1–24:27)
A. Preparation and Commission of Ezekiel (Ezekiel 1:1–3:27)
1. Divine appearance to Ezekiel (Ezekiel 1:1–28)|
2. Divine assignment to Ezekiel (Ezekiel 2:1–3:27)
B. Proclamation of Jerusalem’s Condemnation (Ezekiel 4:1–24:27)
1. Signs of coming judgment (Ezekiel 4:1–5:4)
2. Messages concerning judgment (Ezekiel 5:5–7:27)
3. Visions concerning abomination in the city and temple (Ezekiel 8:1–11:25)
4. Explanations of judgment (Ezekiel 12:1–24:27)
II. Prophecies of Retribution to the Nations (Ezekiel 25:1–32:32)
A. Ammon (Ezekiel 25:1–7)
B. Moab (Ezekiel 25:8–11)
C. Edom (Ezekiel 25:12–14)
D. Philistia (Ezekiel 25:15–17)
E. Tyre (Ezekiel 26:1–28:19)
F. Sidon (Ezekiel 28:20–24)
Excursus: The Restoration of Israel (Ezekiel 28:25, 26)
G. Egypt (Ezekiel 29:1–32:32)
III. Provision for Israel’s Repentance (Ezekiel 33:1–33)
IV. Prophecies of Israel’s Restoration (Ezekiel 34:1–48:35)
A. Regathering of Israel to the Land (Ezekiel 34:1–37:28)
1. Promise of a True Shepherd (Ezekiel 34:1–31)
2. Punishment of the nations (Ezekiel 35:1–36:7)
3. Purposes of restoration (Ezekiel 36:8–38)
4. Pictures of restoration—dry bones and two sticks (Ezekiel 37:1–28)
B. Removal of Israel’s Enemies from the Land (Ezekiel 38:1–39:29)
1. Invasion of Gog to plunder Israel (Ezekiel 38:1–16)
2. Intervention of God to protect Israel (Ezekiel 38:17–39:29)
C. Reinstatement of True Worship in Israel (Ezekiel 40:1–46:24)
1. New temple (Ezekiel 40:1–43:12)
2. New worship (Ezekiel 43:13–46:24)
D. Redistribution of the Land in Israel (Ezekiel 47:1–48:35)
1. Position of the river (Ezekiel 47:1–12)
2. Portions for the tribes (Ezekiel 47:13–48:35)
Ezekiel 7:14 'They have blown the trumpet and made everything ready, but no one is going to the battle, for My wrath is against all their multitude.
Young's Literal: They have blown with a trumpet to prepare the whole, And none is going to battle, For My wrath is unto all its multitude.
GWT: They have blown a ram's horn, and everything is ready. But no one will go into battle, because my fury is against their whole crowd.
WBC: They have blown on the bugle and made everything ready; but nobody goes into battle.
THEY HAVE BLOWN THE TRUMPET AND MADE EVERYTHING READY, BUT NO ONE IS GOING TO THE BATTLE: (Jer 4:5; 6:1; 51:27)
The trumpets call Israel's army to mobilize, but no one listens, for my fury is against them all" (NLT)
No one to muster to defend Jerusalem is a far cry from the promise of
"you will chase your enemies, and they will fall before you by the sword" (Lev 26:7).
"How could one chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight, unless their Rock had sold them, and the LORD had given them up?" (Dt 32:30)
How different was Israel's approach now compared to when godly kings like Asa led them for Scripture records that
"Asa called to the LORD his God, and said, "LORD, there is no one besides Thee to help in the battle between the powerful and those who have no strength; so help us, O LORD our God, for we trust in Thee, and in Thy name have come against this multitude. O LORD, Thou art our God; let not man prevail against Thee." (2Chr 14:11)
"So the LORD routed the Ethiopians before Asa and before Judah, and the Ethiopians fled." (2Chr 14:12)
Jerusalem's military impotence was a direct consequence of her rejection of her true King and Commander in Chief. If one rejects Him enough, He will let us have what we desire!
Craigie comments that Judah's
response to coming judgment brings out its roots. The spontaneous reaction to threat was to turn to that old standby, the army; that reaction, rooted in a long history of self-confidence, and lack of confidence in God, illustrated one of the reasons why judgment was coming. If they consistently refused to depend upon God, then the ruin of judgment would illustrate the folly of depending on any one else. Only when this overweening self-confidence had been demolished might it be possible to plant the seed once again of the true source in which all human confidence must be placed."
FOR MY WRATH IS AGAINST ALL THEIR MULTITUDE: (Ezek 7:11; Isa 24:1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
"Against all their multitude" -Jeremiah emphasizes the thoroughness recording God's declaration
I am full of the wrath of the LORD: I am weary with holding it in. "Pour it out on the children in the street, And on the gathering of young men together; For both husband and wife shall be taken, The aged and the very old." (Jer 6:11)
And again "thus says the Lord GOD, "Behold, My anger and My wrath will be poured out on this place, on man and on beast and on the trees of the field and on the fruit of the ground; and it will burn and not be quenched." (Jer7:20),
Finally Jeremiah adds…
On all the bare heights in the wilderness Destroyers have come, For a sword of the LORD is devouring From one end of the land even to the other; There is no peace for anyone." (Jer 12:12)
In the past, when an enemy had threatened the land, the army had been mustered and the danger averted. Here Ezekiel says that faced with a new threat, the people would blow the trumpet once again. What they had forgotten that "The LORD is a warrior. The LORD is His name." (Ex15:3). Now not only was the Lord not for them, but He was actually against them!
Ezekiel 7:15 'The sword is outside and the plague and the famine are within. He who is in the field will die by the sword; famine and the plague will also consume those in the city
Young's Literal: The sword is without, And the pestilence and the famine within, He who is in a field by sword dieth, And he who is in a city, Famine and pestilence devour him.
GWT: "Outside are swords, and inside are plagues and famines. Whoever is in a field will die in battle. Whoever is in the city will be devoured by famines and plagues.
WBC: Outside lurks the sword; inside, plague and famine. Whoever is in the country will die by the sword, and whoever is in the capital will be devoured by famine and plague.
THE SWORD IS OUTSIDE AND THE PLAGUE AND THE FAMINE ARE WITHIN HE WHO IS IN THE FIELD WILL DIE BY THE SWORD; FAMINE AND THE PLAGUE WILL ALSO CONSUME THOSE IN THE CITY: (Jer14:18; 15:2,3; La1:20)
Earlier God had prophesied that "One third of you will die by plague or be consumed by famine among you, one third will fall by the sword around you, and one third I will scatter to every wind, and I will unsheathe a sword behind them." (Ezek 5:12)
So God repeats the curses for disobedience in Deuteronomy where He warned Israel "I will heap misfortunes on them; I will use My arrows on them. They shall be wasted by famine, and consumed by plague And bitter destruction; and the teeth of beasts I will send upon them, with the venom of crawling things of the dust. Outside the sword shall bereave, and inside terror-- Both young man and virgin, the nursling with the man of gray hair." (Dt 32:23-25)
Ezekiel 7:16 'Even when their survivors escape, they will be on the mountains like doves of the valleys, all of them mourning, each over his own iniquity.
Young's Literal: And escaped away have their fugitives, And they have been on the mountains As doves of the valleys, All of them make a noising -- each for his iniquity.
GWT: Those who survive will escape to the mountains. They will moan like doves in the valleys. They will moan because of their sins.
WBC: If any escape and stay in the mountains, they will all be put to death because of the iniquity each has done.
EVEN WHEN THEIR SURVIVORS ESCAPE, THEY WILL BE ON THE MOUNTAINS LIKE DOVES OF THE VALLEYS, ALL OF THEM MOURNING, EACH OVER HIS OWN INIQUITY: (Ezek 6:8; Ezra 9:15; Is 1:9; 37:31; Jer 44:14,28) (Ezek 6:9; Is 38:14; 59:11) (Ezek 36:31; Proverbs 5:11, 12, 13, 14; Jer 31:9,18,19; 50:4,5; Zec 12:10, 11, 12, 13, 14)
Ezekiel 7:17 'All hands will hang limp and all knees will become like water. Young's Literal: All the hands are feeble, and all knees go -- waters.
GWT: Every hand will hang limp, and every knee will be as weak as water.
WBC: Every hand will hang limp, and every knee will be wet with urine.
ALL HANDS WILL HANG LIMP AND ALL KNEES WILL BECOME LIKE WATER: (Ezek 21:7; Isa13:7,8; Jer 6:24; Heb 12:12)
“Limp” hands describe a complete paralysis of strength induced by overwhelming fear for one's life, which makes them totally unable to resist the invading army.
"Knees will become like water" is more literally "all knees will run with water" and as the WBC translates it, this in fact indicates that "every knee will be wet with urine"! The Greek Septuagint translation similarly has "all thighs shall be defiled with moisture". So frightened are the people, that they cannot control themselves. They are like the very young or the very elderly.
Ezekiel 7:18 'They will gird themselves with sackcloth and shuddering will overwhelm them; and shame will be on all faces and baldness on all their heads.
Young's Literal: And they have girded on sackcloth, And covered them hath trembling, And unto all faces is shame, And on all their heads -- baldness.
GWT: They will put on sackcloth, and horror will cover them. All their faces will be covered with shame, and every head will be shaved.
WBC: They will tie sackcloth round their waists and will be seized by shuddering, while every face will be covered with shame and every head shaved bare. THEY WILL GIRD THEMSELVES WITH SACKCLOTH AND SHUDDERING WILL OVERWHELM THEM: (Isa 3:24; 15:2,3; Jer48:37; Am 8:10)(Ge 15:12; Job 21:6; Ps 35:26; 55:4,5; Je 3:25; Rev 6:15, 16, 17)
"Gird… with sackcloth" is ostensibly a custom reflecting mourning because of loss and humiliation. Sackcloth chaffed the skin, it also served as a continual reminder of the pain of loss.
"Shuddering" refers a state of such severe distress (fear, horror, terror) so great as to cause one to quiver, shiver or shudder (tremble convulsively) involuntary. As an aside the NT teaches that "the demons also believe, and shudder" (Jas 2:19) most likely this shuddering incited by the thought of impending judgment (cf Mt 8:29).
AND SHAME WILL BE ON ALL FACES AND BALDNESS ON ALL THEIR HEADS:
These were not signs of mourning that resulted from true repentance, however, but mourning over the catastrophe of destruction and the resulting famine and plague. The people were not sorry for their sin so much as they were sorry they had "gotten caught" and were having to cope with the discomforts and horrors of the invasion.
Ezekiel 7:19 'They will fling their silver into the streets and their gold will become an abhorrent thing; their silver and their gold will not be able to deliver them in the day of the wrath of the LORD. They cannot satisfy their appetite nor can they fill their stomachs, for their iniquity has become an occasion of stumbling.
Young's Literal: Their silver into out-places they cast, And their gold impurity becometh. Their silver and their gold is not able to deliver them, In a day of the wrath of Jehovah, Their soul they do not satisfy, And their bowels they do not fill, For the stumbling-block of their iniquity it hath been.
GWT They will throw their silver and gold into the streets like garbage. Their silver and gold won't be able to rescue them on the day of the Lord's anger. It will no longer satisfy their hunger or fill their stomachs. Their silver and gold caused them to fall into sin.
WBC: “Their silver they will throw out into the streets, and their gold will be treated as something unclean. They will not use it to satisfy their appetites and to fill their stomachs, because it has caused them to fall into iniquity.
THEY WILL FLING THEIR SILVER INTO THE STREETS AND THEIR GOLD WILL BECOME AN ABHORRENT THING: (2Ki7:7,8,15; Pr11:4; Is2:20; 30:22; Zeph 1:18; Mt16:26) (Job 20:12-23; Ps 78:30,31; Eccl 5:10; Is 55:2; Lk 12:19,20)
Ezekiel shows that the love of money is the root of all evil. Silver and gold led to jewelry and jewelry led to idols. Paul warned young Timothy that "those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith, and pierced themselves with many a pang." (1Ti6:9, 6:10)
THEIR SILVER AND THEIR GOLD WILL NOT BE ABLE TO DELIVER THEM IN THE DAY OF THE WRATH OF THE LORD:
Many of the inhabitants had lived for wealth so long that material gain had become an obsession to them. Yet in the judgment these riches would mean nothing. Idolatry, wickedness, and materialism had robbed them of everything and led them into judgment. Money would be thrown away like something sexually unclean.
"The second element of the destruction of the nation focused on their useless material resources. The silver and gold was worthless for averting judgment (v. 19). This was a sobering reality for a materialistic society. When the invading armies came to the villages and towns, their silver and gold would be abandoned like an unclean object, thus signifying the repulsiveness of materialism." (Cooper, L. E. Vol. 17: Ezekiel. The New American Commentary. Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers)
THEY CANNOT SATISFY THEIR APPETITE NOR CAN THEY FILL THEIR STOMACHS, FOR THEIR INIQUITY HAS BECOME AN OCCASION OF STUMBLING: (Ezek 14:3,4,7; 44:12; Ro1)
Craigie points out "The symbolism of this denunciation of the security of wealth is no less powerful today than it was in Ezekiel’s time. There are many forms of money in our world, some of which are even labeled “securities”. But, in times of international crisis, it is usually the price of gold that goes up first in the world markets. It is somehow the most enduring symbol of security. But Ezekiel’s point is not to criticize wealth as such; rather it is a matter of perspective. If there is no food to buy, silver will not satisfy hunger; if a sword is penetrating your abdomen, gold will lose its offer of security. It is dependence on wealth that is condemned, and the delusion of money’s security that is shattered."
Ezekiel 7:20 'They transformed the beauty of His ornaments into pride, and they made the images of their abominations and their detestable things with it; therefore * I will make it an abhorrent thing to them.
Young's Literal: As to the beauty of his ornament, For excellency He set it, And the images of their abominations, Their detestable things -- they made in it, Therefore I have given it to them for impurity,
GWT: They were proud of their beautiful jewels and used them to make disgusting and detestable statues <of false gods>. That is why I will make their jewels disgusting.
WBC: They turned its beautiful ornaments into objects of pride and made their shocking images out of it: that is why I will turn it into something unclean for them.
THEY TRANSFORMED THE BEAUTY OF HIS ORNAMENTS INTO PRIDE: (Ezek 24:21; 1Chronicles 29:1,2; 2Chronicles 2:9; 3:1-17; Ezra 3:12; Psalm 48:2; 50:2; 87:2,3; Isaiah 64:11; Haggai 2:3)
"Pride" (Used 9x in Ezekiel)
AND THEY MADE THE IMAGES OF THEIR ABOMINATIONS AND THEIR DETESTABLE THINGS WITH IT: (Ezek 5:11; 8:7, 8, 9, 10,15,16; 2Kings 21:4,7; 23:11,12; 2Chronicles 33:4, 5, 6, 7; 36:14; Jeremiah 7:30)
THEREFORE I WILL MAKE IT AN ABHORRENT THING TO THEM: (Ezek 7:22; 9:7; 24:21; Jeremiah 7:14; Lamentations 1:10; 2:1,7)
Ezekiel 7:21 'I will give it into the hands of the foreigners as plunder and to the wicked of the earth as spoil, and they will profane it.
Young's Literal: And I have given it into the hand of the strangers for a prey, And to the wicked of the land for a spoil, And they have polluted it.
GWT: I will hand their jewels over to foreigners as loot and to the most evil people on earth as prizes. These foreigners will dishonor the people of Israel.
WBC: T I will hand it over to foreigners as loot, as booty to the wickedest people on earth, who will desecrate it. I WILL GIVE IT INTO THE HANDS OF
THE FOREIGNERS AS PLUNDER AND TO THE WICKED OF THE EARTH AS SPOIL AND THEY WILL PROFANE IT: (2Kings 24:13; 25:9,13, 14, 15, 16; 2Chronicles 36:18,19; Psalms 74:2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8; 79:1; Jeremiah 52:13-23)
Personal jewelry that was once given to adorn the tabernacle and the temple was being used to beautify pagan shrines. This wealth would be given to foreigners, a reference to the invading army who would take it as spoils of war.
Ezekiel 7:22 'I will also turn My face from them, and they will profane My secret place; then robbers will enter and profane it
Young's Literal: And I have turned My face from them, And they have polluted My hidden place, Yea, come into it have destroyers, and polluted it.
GWT: I will turn my face away from the people of Israel, and foreigners will dishonor my treasured place. Robbers will go in and dishonor it.
WBC: I will avert my gaze from them, while they desecrate my treasury:vandals will enter it and desecrate it,
I WILL ALSO TURN MY FACE FROM THEM: (Psalms 10:11; 35:22; 74:10,11,18-23; Jeremiah 18:1)
This would be an incredible statement to the exiles because Jehovah had chosen Jerusalem as His dwelling and had miraculously fought on behalf of the city in the past (2 Ki18; 19; 2 Chr 32; Isa 36:37) and thus Judah had come to accept the notion that the city could not be "touched" or utterly defeated by the pagan nations.
AND THEY WILL PROFANE MY SECRET PLACE THEN ROBBERS WILL ENTER AND PROFANE IT: