Bible Book Number 26—Ezekiel
Place Written: Babylon
Writing Completed: c. 591 B.C.E.
Time Covered: 613–c. 591 B.C.E.
1. What were the circumstances of the exiles in Babylon, and what new tests did they face?
IN THE year 617 B.C.E., Jehoiachin, king of Judah, surrendered Jerusalem to Nebuchadnezzar, who took the foremost people of the land and the treasures of the house of Jehovah and of the king’s house to Babylon. Among the captives were the king’s family and the princes; the valiant, mighty men; the craftsmen and builders; and Ezekiel the son of Buzi the priest. (2 Ki. 24:11-17; Ezek. 1:1-3) With heavy hearts, these exiled Israelites had completed their weary journey from a land of hills, springs, and valleys to one of vast level plains. Now they lived by the river Chebar in the midst of a mighty empire, surrounded by a people of strange customs and of pagan worship. Nebuchadnezzar permitted the Israelites to have their own houses, keep servants, and engage in business. (Ezek. 8:1; Jer. 29:5-7; Ezra 2:65) If industrious, they could become prosperous. Would they fall into the traps of Babylonian religion and materialism? Would they continue to rebel against Jehovah? Would they accept their exile as discipline from him? They would meet new tests in the land of their exile.
2. (a) Which three prophets were outstanding during the critical years before Jerusalem’s destruction? (b) Significantly, how is Ezekiel addressed, and what does his name mean? (c) During what years did Ezekiel prophesy, and what is known of his life and his death?
2 During these critical years leading down to the destruction of Jerusalem, Jehovah did not deprive himself or the Israelites of the services of a prophet. Jeremiah was stationed in Jerusalem itself, Daniel was in the court of Babylon, and Ezekiel was the prophet to the Jewish exiles in Babylonia. Ezekiel was both priest and prophet, a distinction likewise enjoyed by Jeremiah and later by Zechariah. (Ezek. 1:3) Throughout his book he is addressed over 90 times as “son of man,” a point of significance when studying his prophecy because, in the Christian Greek Scriptures, Jesus is similarly referred to as “Son of man” nearly 80 times. (Ezek. 2:1; Matt. 8:20) His name Ezekiel (Hebrew, Yechez·qeʼlʹ) means “God Strengthens.” It was in the fifth year of Jehoiachin’s exile, 613 B.C.E., that Ezekiel was commissioned by Jehovah as prophet. We read of him still at his work in the 27th year of the exile, 22 years later. (Ezek. 1:1, 2; 29:17) He was married, but his wife died on the day that Nebuchadnezzar began his final siege of Jerusalem. (24:2, 18) The date and manner of his own death are unknown.
3. What can be said about Ezekiel’s writership, as well as the canonicity and authenticity of the book of Ezekiel?
3 That Ezekiel actually wrote the book that bears his name and that it has a rightful place in the canon of Scripture is not in dispute. It was included in the canon in Ezra’s day and appears in the catalogs of early Christian times, notably in the canon of Origen. Its authenticity is also testified to by the striking similarity between its symbolisms and those of Jeremiah and the Revelation.—Ezek. 24:2-12—Jer. 1:13-15; Ezek. 23:1-49—Jer. 3:6-11; Ezek. 18:2-4—Jer. 31:29, 30; Ezek. 1:5, 10—Rev. 4:6, 7; Ezek. 5:17—Rev. 6:8; Ezek. 9:4—Rev. 7:3; Ezek. 2:9; 3:1—Rev. 10:2, 8-10; Ezek. 23:22, 25, 26—Rev. 17:16; 18:8; Ezek. 27:30, 36—Rev. 18:9, 17-19; Ezek. 37:27—Rev. 21:3; Ezek. 48:30-34—Rev. 21:12, 13; Ezek. 47:1, 7, 12—Rev. 22:1, 2.
4. What dramatic fulfillments have Ezekiel’s prophecies seen?
4 Further proof of authenticity is to be found in the dramatic fulfillment of Ezekiel’s prophecies against neighboring nations, such as Tyre, Egypt, and Edom. For example, Ezekiel prophesied that Tyre would be devastated, and this was partly fulfilled when Nebuchadnezzar took the city after a siege of 13 years. (Ezek. 26:2-21) This conflict did not mean the complete end for Tyre. However, Jehovah’s judgment was that it should be totally destroyed. He had foretold through Ezekiel: “I will scrape her dust away from her and make her a shining, bare surface of a crag. . . . Your stones and your woodwork and your dust they will place in the very midst of the water.” (26:4, 12) This was all fulfilled more than 250 years later when Alexander the Great moved against the island city of Tyre. Alexander’s soldiers scraped up all the debris of the ruined mainland city and threw it into the sea, making a half-mile [800 m] causeway out to the island city. Then, with an intricate siegework, they scaled the 150-foot-high [46 m] walls to take the city in 332 B.C.E. Thousands were killed, and many more were sold into slavery. As Ezekiel had also predicted, Tyre became the ‘bare surface of a crag and a drying yard for dragnets.’ (26:14)a On the other side of the Promised Land, the treacherous Edomites were also annihilated, in fulfillment of Ezekiel’s prophecy. (25:12, 13; 35:2-9)b And, of course, Ezekiel’s prophecies about the destruction of Jerusalem and Israel’s restoration also proved to be accurate.—17:12-21; 36:7-14.
5. How did the Jews react to Ezekiel’s early prophecies?
5 In the early years of his prophetic career, Ezekiel proclaimed God’s certain judgments against unfaithful Jerusalem and warned the exiles against idolatry. (14:1-8; 17:12-21) The captive Jews were showing no real signs of repentance. Their responsible men made a practice of consulting Ezekiel, but they paid no attention to the messages from Jehovah that Ezekiel conveyed to them. They went right ahead with their idolatry and materialistic practices. The loss of their temple, their holy city, and their dynasty of kings came as a terrific shock, but it awakened only a few to humility and repentance.—Ps. 137:1-9.
6. What do Ezekiel’s later prophecies emphasize, and how is the sanctification of Jehovah’s name highlighted?
6 Ezekiel’s prophecies in the later years emphasized the hope of restoration. They also took Judah’s neighbor nations to task for exulting over her downfall. Their own humiliation, together with Israel’s restoration, would sanctify Jehovah before their eyes. In summary, the purpose of the captivity and of the restoration was: ‘You people, both of the Jews and of the nations, will have to know that I am Jehovah.’ (Ezek. 39:7, 22) This sanctification of Jehovah’s name is highlighted throughout the book, there being more than 60 occurrences of the expression: “You [or, they] will have to know that I am Jehovah.”—6:7, footnote.
CONTENTS OF EZEKIEL
7. Into what three sections does the book of Ezekiel naturally fall?
7 The book falls naturally into three sections. The first, chapters 1 to 24, contains warnings of the certain destruction of Jerusalem. The second section, chapters 25 to 32, contains prophecies of doom to several pagan nations. The last section, chapters 33 to 48, consists of prophecies of the restoration, culminating in the vision of a new temple and holy city. For the most part, the prophecies are arranged chronologically as well as topically.
8. What does Ezekiel see in his initial vision?
8 Jehovah commissions Ezekiel as watchman (1:1–3:27). In his initial vision, in 613 B.C.E., Ezekiel sees a violent wind from the north, together with a cloud mass and quivering fire. Out of it come four winged living creatures, with faces of a man, a lion, a bull, and an eagle. They have the appearance of burning coals, and each is accompanied, as it were, by a wheel in the midst of a wheel of fearful height, with rims full of eyes. They move in any direction in constant unity. Above the heads of the living creatures is the likeness of an expanse, and above the expanse is a throne on which is “the appearance of the likeness of the glory of Jehovah.”—1:28.
9. What is involved in Ezekiel’s commission?
9 Jehovah calls on the prostrate Ezekiel: “Son of man, stand up.” He then commissions him as prophet to Israel and to the rebellious nations round about. Whether they heed or not is beside the point. At least they will know that a prophet of the Lord Jehovah has been in their midst. Jehovah makes Ezekiel eat the roll of a book, which becomes like honey for sweetness in his mouth. He tells him: “Son of man, a watchman is what I have made you to the house of Israel.” (2:1; 3:17) Ezekiel must faithfully give the warning, or he will die.
10. What sign to Israel does Ezekiel enact?
10 Enacting the siege of Jerusalem (4:1–7:27). Jehovah tells Ezekiel to engrave a sketch of Jerusalem on a brick. He must stage a mock siege against it as a sign to Israel. To impress the point, he is to lie before the brick 390 days on his left side and 40 days on his right side, while subsisting on a very meager diet. That Ezekiel actually acts out the scene is indicated by his plaintive appeal to Jehovah for a change of cooking fuel.—4:9-15.
11. (a) How does Ezekiel portray the calamitous end of the siege? (b) Why will there be no relief?
11 Jehovah has Ezekiel portray the calamitous end of the siege by shaving off his hair and his beard. A third of this he must burn, a third hack with a sword, and a third scatter to the wind. Thus, at the end of the siege, some of Jerusalem’s inhabitants will die by famine, pestilence, and the sword, and the rest will be scattered among the nations. Jehovah will make her a devastation. Why? Because of the offensiveness of her depraved and detestable idolatry. Wealth will buy no relief. In the day of Jehovah’s fury, the people of Jerusalem will throw their silver in the streets, “and they will have to know that I am Jehovah.”—7:27.
12. What detestable things are seen by Ezekiel in his vision of apostate Jerusalem?
12 Ezekiel’s vision of apostate Jerusalem (8:1–11:25). It is now 612 B.C.E. In a vision Ezekiel is transported to faraway Jerusalem, where he sees the detestable things that are happening in Jehovah’s temple. In the courtyard, there is a disgusting symbol inciting Jehovah to jealousy. Boring through the wall, Ezekiel finds 70 of the elderly men worshiping before wall carvings of loathsome beasts and dungy idols. They excuse themselves by saying: “Jehovah is not seeing us. Jehovah has left the land.” (8:12) At the north gate, women are weeping over the pagan god Tammuz. But that is not all! Right in the entrance of the temple itself, there are 25 men, with their backs to the temple, worshiping the sun. They are profaning Jehovah to his face, and he will surely act in his rage!
13. What orders do the man in linen and the six men with weapons carry out?
13 Now look! Six men appear with smashing weapons in their hands. Among them is a seventh clothed with linen, with a secretary’s inkhorn. Jehovah tells this man in linen to pass through the midst of the city and put a mark on the foreheads of the men sighing and groaning over the detestable things being done in its midst. Next, he tells the six men to move in and kill off everyone, “old man, young man and virgin and little child and women,” on whom there is no mark. This they do, starting with the old men before the house. The man in linen reports: “I have done just as you have commanded me.”—9:6, 11.
14. What does the vision finally show as to Jehovah’s glory and his judgments?
14 Ezekiel again sees the glory of Jehovah, rising above the cherubs. A cherub thrusts out fiery coals from between the wheelwork, and the man in linen takes them and scatters them over the city. As for the scattered ones of Israel, Jehovah promises to regather them and give them a new spirit. But what of these wicked false worshipers in Jerusalem? “Upon their head I shall certainly bring their own way,” says Jehovah. (11:21) The glory of Jehovah is seen ascending from over the city, and Ezekiel proceeds to tell the vision to the exiled people.
15. By what further illustration does Ezekiel show the certainty of Jerusalem’s inhabitants going into captivity?
15 Further prophecies in Babylon concerning Jerusalem (12:1–19:14). Ezekiel becomes the actor in another symbolic scene. During the daytime, he brings out of his house his luggage for exile, and then at night he goes through a hole in the wall of the city with his face covered. He explains this to be a portent: “Into exile, into captivity they will go.” (12:11) Those stupid prophets who walk after their own spirit! They are crying, “There is peace!” when there is no peace. (13:10) Even if Noah, Daniel, and Job were in Jerusalem, they could not deliver a soul but themselves.
16. How is the worthlessness of Jerusalem pictured, but why will there be a restoration?
16 The city is like a worthless vine. The wood is no good for making poles, not even pegs! It is burned at both ends and scorched in the middle—useless. How faithless and worthless has Jerusalem become! Born from the land of the Canaanites, she was picked up by Jehovah as an abandoned infant. He reared her and entered into a marriage covenant with her. He made her beautiful, “fit for royal position.” (16:13) But she has become a prostitute, turning to the nations as they pass by. She has worshiped their images and burned her sons in the fire. Her end will be destruction at the hands of these same nations, her paramours. She is worse than her sisters Sodom and Samaria. Even so, Jehovah, the merciful God, will make atonement for her and restore her according to his covenant.
17. What does Jehovah show by the riddle of the eagle and the vine?
17 Jehovah gives the prophet a riddle and then relates the interpretation. It illustrates the futility of Jerusalem’s turning to Egypt for help. A great eagle (Nebuchadnezzar) comes and plucks the top (Jehoiachin) of a lofty cedar, brings him to Babylon, and plants in his place a vine (Zedekiah). The vine turns its branches toward another eagle (Egypt), but is it successful? It is torn out by the roots! Jehovah himself will take a tender twig from the lofty treetop of the cedar and transplant it upon a high and lofty mountain. There it will grow into a majestic cedar as a residing place for “all the birds of every wing.” All will have to know that Jehovah has done it.—17:23, 24.
18. (a) What principles does Jehovah state in reproving the Jewish exiles? (b) What judgment awaits the kings of Judah?
18 Jehovah reproves the Jewish exiles for their proverbial saying: “Fathers are the ones that eat unripe grapes, but it is the teeth of the sons that get set on edge.” No, “the soul that is sinning—it itself will die.” (18:2, 4) The righteous one will keep living. Jehovah takes no delight in the death of the wicked. His delight is to see the wicked turn from his evil ways and live. As for the kings of Judah, like young lions they have been snared by Egypt and by Babylon. Their voice will “no more be heard on the mountains of Israel.”—19:9.
19. (a) Against the background of ruin, what hope does Ezekiel make known? (b) How does he illustrate the unfaithfulness of Israel and Judah and its result?
19 Denunciations against Jerusalem (20:1–23:49). Time has moved on to 611 B.C.E. Again the elders among the exiles come to Ezekiel to inquire of Jehovah. What they hear is a recital of Israel’s long history of rebellion and depraved idolatry and a warning that Jehovah has called for a sword to execute judgment against her. He will make Jerusalem “a ruin, a ruin, a ruin.” But, glorious hope! Jehovah will hold the kingship (“the crown”) for the one who comes with “the legal right” and will give it to him. (21:26, 27) Ezekiel reviews the detestable things done in Jerusalem, “the bloodguilty city.” The house of Israel has become like “scummy dross” and is to be gathered into Jerusalem and liquefied there as in a furnace. (22:2, 18) The unfaithfulness of Samaria (Israel) and of Judah is illustrated by two sisters. Samaria as Oholah prostitutes herself to the Assyrians and is destroyed by her lovers. Judah as Oholibah does not learn a lesson but does even worse, prostituting herself first to Assyria and then to Babylon. She will be utterly destroyed, “and you people will have to know that I am the Sovereign Lord Jehovah.”—23:49.
20. To what is besieged Jerusalem likened, and what powerful sign does Jehovah give with regard to his judgment on her?
20 The final siege of Jerusalem commences (24:1-27). It is 609 B.C.E. Jehovah announces to Ezekiel that the king of Babylon has besieged Jerusalem on this tenth day of the tenth month. He compares the walled city to a widemouthed cooking pot, with its choice inhabitants as the flesh therein. Heat it up! Boil out all the uncleanness of Jerusalem’s abominable idolatry! On that same day, Ezekiel’s wife dies, but in obedience to Jehovah, the prophet does not mourn. This is a sign that the people must not mourn at Jerusalem’s destruction, for it is a judgment from Jehovah, in order that they may know who he is. Jehovah will send an escapee to advise of the destruction of “the beautiful object of their exultation,” and until he arrives, Ezekiel must speak no more to the exiles.—24:25.
21. How will the nations have to know Jehovah and his vengeance?
21 Prophecies against the nations (25:1–32:32). Jehovah foresees that the surrounding nations will rejoice at Jerusalem’s downfall and use it as an occasion for casting reproach on the God of Judah. They shall not go unpunished! Ammon will be given to the Orientals, and Moab will also. Edom will be made a devastated place, and great acts of vengeance will be executed against the Philistines. All of them, Jehovah says, “will have to know that I am Jehovah when I bring my vengeance on them.”—25:17.
22. What special mention does Tyre receive, and how will Jehovah be sanctified in connection with Sidon?
22 Tyre receives special mention. Proud of her thriving commerce, she is like a pretty ship in the midst of the seas, but soon she will lie broken in the depths of the waters. “I am god,” boasts her leader. (28:9) Jehovah has his prophet deliver a dirge concerning the king of Tyre: As a beauteous anointed cherub, he has been in Eden, the garden of God; but Jehovah will put him out of His mountain as profane, and he will be devoured by a fire from within. Jehovah says He will also be sanctified by bringing destruction on scornful Sidon.
23. What will Egypt have to know, and how will this come about?
23 Jehovah now tells Ezekiel to set his face against Egypt and its Pharaoh and to prophesy against them. “My Nile River belongs to me, and I—I have made it for myself,” brags Pharaoh. (29:3) Pharaoh, and the Egyptians who believe in him, will also have to know that Jehovah is God, and the lesson will be administered by a 40-year desolation. Ezekiel here inserts some information actually revealed to him later, in 591 B.C.E. Jehovah will give Egypt to Nebuchadnezzar as compensation for his service in wearing down Tyre. (Nebuchadnezzar took very little spoil at Tyre, since the Tyrians escaped with most of their wealth to their island city.) In a dirge, Ezekiel makes known that Nebuchadnezzar will despoil the pride of Egypt, and “they will also have to know that I am Jehovah.”—32:15.
24. (a) What is Ezekiel’s responsibility as watchman? (b) At news of Jerusalem’s fall, what message does Ezekiel proclaim to the exiles? (c) What promise of blessing is highlighted in chapter 34?
24 Watchman to the exiles; restoration foretold (33:1–37:28). Jehovah reviews with Ezekiel his responsibility as watchman. The people are saying, “The way of Jehovah is not adjusted right.” So Ezekiel must make it clear to them how wrong they are. (33:17) But now it is 607 B.C.E., the fifth day of the tenth month.c An escapee arrives from Jerusalem to tell the prophet: “The city has been struck down!” (33:21) Ezekiel, now free again to speak to the exiles, tells them that any thoughts they have of rescuing Judah are futile. Though they come to Ezekiel to hear Jehovah’s word, he is to them just like a singer of love songs, like one with a pretty voice playing well on a stringed instrument. They pay no attention. However, when it comes true, they will know that a prophet has been in their midst. Ezekiel rebukes the false shepherds who have forsaken the flock to feed themselves. Jehovah, the Perfect Shepherd, will gather the scattered sheep and bring them to a fat pasturage on the mountains of Israel. There he will raise up over them one shepherd, ‘even his servant David.’ (34:23) Jehovah himself will become their God. He will make a covenant of peace and pour upon them rains of blessing.
25. (a) Why and how will Jehovah make the land like Eden? (b) What is illustrated by the vision of the dry bones? by that f the two sticks?
25 Ezekiel again prophesies desolation for Mount Seir (Edom). However, the devastated places of Israel will be rebuilt, for Jehovah will have compassion for his holy name, to sanctify it before the nations. He will give his people a new heart and a new spirit, and their land will again become “like the garden of Eden.” (36:35) Ezekiel now sees a vision of Israel represented as a valley of dry bones. Ezekiel prophesies over the bones. Miraculously they begin to have flesh, breath, and life again. Just so will Jehovah open the burial places of captivity in Babylon and restore Israel to its land again. Ezekiel takes two sticks representing the two houses of Israel, Judah and Ephraim. In his hand they become one stick. Thus, when Jehovah restores Israel, they will be united in a covenant of peace under his servant “David.”—37:24.
26. Why does Gog of Magog attack, and with what result?
26 The attack by Gog of Magog on restored Israel (38:1–39:29). Then will come invasion from a new quarter! Drawn out to the attack by the tantalizing peace and prosperity of Jehovah’s restored people, Gog of Magog will make his frenzied attack. He will rush in to engulf them. At this, Jehovah will rise in the fire of his fury. He will set each one’s sword against his brother and bring on them pestilence and blood and a flooding downpour of hailstones, fire, and sulfur. They will go down knowing that Jehovah is “the Holy One in Israel.” (39:7) His people will then light fires with the enemies’ shattered war equipment and bury the bones in “the Valley of Gog’s Crowd.” (39:11) Carrion birds and beasts will eat the flesh of those slain and drink their blood. Henceforth Israel will dwell in security, with no one to make them tremble, and Jehovah will pour out his spirit on them.
27. What does Ezekiel see in a visionary visit to the land of Israel, and how does God’s glory appear?
27 Ezekiel’s vision of the temple (40:1–48:35). We come to the year 593 B.C.E. It is the 14th year since the destruction of Solomon’s temple, and the repentant ones among the exiles are in need of encouragement and hope. Jehovah transports Ezekiel in a vision to the land of Israel and sets him down on a very high mountain. Here, in vision, he sees a temple and “the structure of a city to the south.” An angel instructs him: “Tell everything that you are seeing to the house of Israel.” (40:2, 4) Then he shows Ezekiel all the details of the temple and its courtyards, measuring the walls, the gates, the guard chambers, the dining rooms, and the temple itself, with its Holy and Most Holy. He takes Ezekiel to the east gate. “And, look! the glory of the God of Israel was coming from the direction of the east, and his voice was like the voice of vast waters; and the earth itself shone because of his glory.” (43:2) The angel fully instructs Ezekiel concerning the House (or temple); the altar and its sacrifices; the rights and duties of the priests, the Levites, and the chieftain; and the apportioning of the land.
28. What does Ezekiel’s vision show concerning the stream that proceeds forth from the House, and what is revealed as to the city and its name?
28 The angel brings Ezekiel back to the entrance of the House, where the prophet sees water going forth from the threshold of the House toward the east, by the south side of the altar. It starts as a trickle but gets bigger and bigger until it becomes a torrent. Then it flows into the Dead Sea, where fish come to life and a fishing industry springs up. On either side of the torrent, trees provide food and healing for the people. The vision then gives the inheritances of the 12 tribes, not overlooking the alien resident and the chieftain, and describes the holy city to the south, with its 12 gates named after the tribes. The city is to be called by a most glorious name: “Jehovah Himself Is There.”—48:35.
29. In what way did the Jewish exiles benefit from Ezekiel’s prophecy?
29 The pronouncements, the visions, and the promises that Jehovah gave to Ezekiel were all faithfully related to the Jews in exile. While many scoffed at and ridiculed the prophet, some did believe. These benefited greatly. They were strengthened by the promises of restoration. Unlike other nations taken into captivity, they preserved their national identity, and Jehovah restored a remnant, as he foretold, in 537 B.C.E. (Ezek. 28:25, 26; 39:21-28; Ezra 2:1; 3:1) They rebuilt the house of Jehovah and renewed true worship there.
30. What principles set out in Ezekiel are valuable to us today?
30 The principles set out in Ezekiel are also invaluable to us today. Apostasy and idolatry, coupled with rebellion, can only lead to Jehovah’s disfavor. (Ezek. 6:1-7; 12:2-4, 11-16) Each one will answer for his own sin, but Jehovah will forgive the one who turns back from his wrong course. That one will be granted mercy and will keep living. (18:20-22) God’s servants must be faithful watchmen like Ezekiel, even in difficult assignments and under ridicule and reproach. We must not let the wicked die unwarned, with their blood upon our heads. (3:17; 33:1-9) Shepherds of God’s people bear a heavy responsibility to care for the flock.—34:2-10.
31. What prophecies of Ezekiel foretell the coming of the Messiah?
31 Outstanding in the book of Ezekiel are the prophecies concerning the Messiah. He is referred to as the one “who has the legal right” to the throne of David and to whom it must be given. In two places he is spoken of as “my servant David,” also as “shepherd,” “king,” and “chieftain.” (21:27; 34:23, 24; 37:24, 25) Since David had long since died, Ezekiel was speaking of the One who was to be both David’s Son and Lord. (Ps. 110:1; Matt. 22:42-45) Ezekiel, like Isaiah, speaks of the planting of a tender twig that will be put on high by Jehovah.—Ezek. 17:22-24; Isa. 11:1-3.
32. How does Ezekiel’s temple vision compare with the Revelation vision of “the holy city”?
32 It is of interest to compare Ezekiel’s temple vision with the Revelation vision of “the holy city Jerusalem.” (Rev. 21:10) There are differences to be noted; for example, Ezekiel’s temple is separate and to the north of the city, while Jehovah himself is the temple of the city of Revelation. In each case, however, there is the flowing forth of the river of life, there are the trees bearing monthly crops of fruit and leaves for healing, and there is the presence of the glory of Jehovah. Each vision makes its contribution toward appreciation for Jehovah’s kingship and his provision of salvation for those who render him sacred service.—Ezek. 43:4, 5—Rev. 21:11; Ezek. 47:1, 8, 9, 12—Rev. 22:1-3.
33. What does Ezekiel emphasize, and what will result to those who now sanctify Jehovah in their lives?
33 The book of Ezekiel emphasizes that Jehovah is holy. It makes known that the sanctification of Jehovah’s name is more important than anything else. “‘I shall certainly sanctify my great name, . . . and the nations will have to know that I am Jehovah,’ is the utterance of the Sovereign Lord Jehovah.” As the prophecy shows, he will sanctify his name by destroying all profaners of that name, including Gog of Magog. Wise are all those who now sanctify Jehovah in their lives by meeting his requirements for acceptable worship. These will find healing and eternal life by the river that flows from his temple. Transcendent in glory and exquisite in beauty is the city that is called “Jehovah Himself Is There”!—Ezek. 36:23; 38:16; 48:35.
c While the Masoretic text says that the escapee arrived from Jerusalem in the 12th year, other manuscripts read “eleventh year,” and the text is so rendered by Lamsa and Moffatt as well as An American Translation.