Jehovah’s Word Is Alive
Highlights From the Book of Ezekiel
IT IS December 609 B.C.E. The Babylonian king has begun his final siege of Jerusalem. So far, Ezekiel’s message to the exiles in Babylon has centered on one theme: the fall and destruction of their beloved city, Jerusalem. Now, though, the subject of Ezekiel’s prophecies shifts to the doom of the pagan nations that would rejoice at the calamity upon God’s people. When Jerusalem falls 18 months later, Ezekiel’s message once again takes on a new theme: the glorious restoration of true worship.
Ezekiel 25:1–48:35 contains prophecies about the nations surrounding Israel and the deliverance of God’s people.* Except for Ezekiel 29:17-20, the account follows chronological as well as topical order. However, these four verses are in place topically. As part of the inspired Scriptures, the book of Ezekiel has a message that “is alive and exerts power.”
‘THAT LAND IS TO BECOME LIKE THE GARDEN OF EDEN’
Foreseeing their response to the fall of Jerusalem, Jehovah has Ezekiel prophesy against Ammon, Moab, Edom, Philistia, Tyre, and Sidon. Egypt is to be plundered. ‘Pharaoh the king of Egypt and his crowd’ are likened to a cedar that will be cut down by the “sword of the king of Babylon.”
About six months after the destruction of Jerusalem in 607 B.C.E., an escapee comes and reports to Ezekiel: “The city has been struck down!” The prophet is ‘no longer speechless’ to the exiles. (Ezekiel 33:21, 22) He has restoration prophecies to declare. Jehovah “will raise up over them one shepherd, [his] servant David.” (Ezekiel 34:23) Edom is to be desolated, but that land yonder, Judah, is to become “like the garden of Eden.” (Ezekiel 36:35) Jehovah promises to protect his restored people from the attack of “Gog.”
Scriptural Questions Answered:
Lessons for Us:
29:19, 20. Since the Tyrians escaped to their island-city with much of their wealth, King Nebuchadnezzar received very little spoil from Tyre. Even though Nebuchadnezzar was a proud, self-centered pagan ruler, Jehovah compensated him for his service by giving him Egypt as “wages for his military force.” Should we not imitate the true God by paying taxes to the governments for the services they perform in our behalf? Neither the conduct of secular authorities nor the way the taxes are put to use cancels this obligation.
33:7-9. The modern-day watchman class
33:10-20. Our salvation depends on our turning away from bad ways and complying with what God requires. Indeed, Jehovah’s way is “adjusted right.”
36:20, 21. Because of not living up to what they were known as, that is, “the people of Jehovah,” the Israelites profaned God’s name among the nations. We should never become worshippers of Jehovah in name only.
38:1-23. How reassuring it is to know that Jehovah will rescue his people from the attack of Gog of the land of Magog! Gog is the name given to “the ruler of this world,” Satan the Devil, after his ouster from heaven. The land of Magog refers to the vicinity of the earth, to which Satan and his demons are confined.
“SET YOUR HEART UPON ALL THAT I AM SHOWING YOU”
It is the 14th year after the city of Jerusalem was struck down. (Ezekiel 40:1) Fifty-six years of exile still lie ahead. (Jeremiah 29:10) Ezekiel is now close to 50 years of age. In a vision, he is brought to the land of Israel. He is told: “Son of man, see with your eyes, and with your ears hear, and set your heart upon all that I am showing you.” (Ezekiel 40:2-4) How thrilled Ezekiel must be to receive a vision of a new temple!
The glorious temple that Ezekiel sees has 6 gateways, 30 dining rooms, the Holy, the Most Holy, a wooden altar, and an altar for burnt offerings. “Going forth” from the temple is a stream of water that becomes a torrent. (Ezekiel 47:1) Ezekiel also receives a vision of tribal assignments of land
Scriptural Questions Answered:
43:2-4, 7, 9
48:15-19, 30-35, footnote
Lessons for Us:
40:14, 16, 22, 26. The wall carvings of palm trees in the entryways of the temple show that only those who are morally upright are allowed to enter. (Psalm 92:12) This teaches us that our worship is acceptable to Jehovah only if we are upright.
44:23. How grateful we can be for the services provided by the modern-day priestly class! “The faithful and discreet slave” takes the lead in providing timely spiritual food that helps us to discern the difference between what is unclean and what is clean in Jehovah’s eyes.
47:9, 11. Knowledge
“I Shall Certainly Sanctify My Great Name”
After the removal of the last king of David’s line, the true God allowed a long period of time to elapse before the coming of the One “who has the legal right” to the kingship. However, God did not forsake his covenant with David. (Ezekiel 21:27; 2 Samuel 7:11-16) Ezekiel’s prophecy speaks of “my servant David,” who would become a “shepherd” and a “king.” (Ezekiel 34:23, 24; 37:22, 24, 25) This one is none other than Jesus Christ in Kingdom power. (Revelation 11:15) Jehovah will “sanctify [his] great name” by means of the Messianic Kingdom.
Very soon now, all those who profane God’s holy name will be destroyed. But those who sanctify that name in their lives by worshipping Jehovah in an acceptable way will receive everlasting life. Let us therefore take full advantage of the waters of life that are flowing abundantly in our day and make true worship the very center of our lives.
For a discussion of Ezekiel 1:1–24:27, see “Highlights From the Book of Ezekiel
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The glorious temple of Ezekiel’s vision
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What does the river of life in Ezekiel’s vision represent?
Pictorial Archive (Near Eastern History) Est.