The Book of Ezekiel is the fourth Book of Major Prophets contained within the Old Testament of the Bible. The text is believed to have been first written in the sixth century before Christ, in the ancient Hebrew language. The book recounts the life and tribulations of the prophet Ezekiel. Many passages in the book relate to the end-times prophesied in Revelation.
Date of composition
It is traditionally thought that the Book of Ezekiel was written by the great Jewish prophet Ezekiel 6 centuries before the coming of the Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth.
Some atheists and liberal theologians, however, previously attempted to assert that the actual date in which the book of Ezekiel was written could possibly have been after the death of Jesus in an attempt to discredit the prophetic value of the ancient sacred Jewish scriptures.
This liberal theological approach, however, came to be debunked as merely unsubstantiated speculation by politically motivated liberal scholars with the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Among the newly discovered Hebrew Old Testament manuscripts which have been proven by C14 analysis to have been produced between 100 and 200 years prior to the arrival of the Messiah. Since the Old Testament scriptures discovered among the Dead Sea Scrolls were only manustripts as opposed to the original scripture, there is no real reason to deny that the original was written centuries earlier as suggested by the traditional view regarding the dating and authorship of this biblical book.
The book of Ezekiel is named after its author, the Jewish Prophet Ezekiel. The meaning of the personal name Ezekiel is "God Strengthens".
・The invitation of Ezekiel (Chapters 1-3)
・Prophecies regarding the southern kingdom of Juda and the capital Jerusalem (Chapters 4-24)
・Prophecies regarding various gentile (foreign) nations (Chapters 25-32)
・Prophecies regarding the events which affect Israel and her people from the time of the Messiah Jesus up until the final days (chapters 33-48)
Fulfillment of the prophecies in ancient and recent times
In chapter 36 through to chapter 39, the Lord speaks on several occasions that he will drive the Jewish people out of their land and scatter them among the gentile nations as a punishment for their corruption and iniquities.
"Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, when the house of Israel dwelt in their own land, they defiled it by their own way and by their doings: their way was before me as the uncleanness of a removed woman. Wherefore I poured my fury upon them for the blood that they had shed upon the land, and for their idols wherewith they had polluted it: And I scattered them among the heathen, and they were dispersed through the countries: according to their way and according to their doings I judged them." Ezekiel 36:16-19 KJV
This prophecy was literally fulfilled in 70 AD when the state of Israel was invaded and destroyed by the Roman Empire. This resulted in the Israeli people being driven out of their own country and forced to live in foreign lands where they were often met with brutal persecution, contempt and scathing slander. Please note that the slander which the Jews would receive in the gentile lands was also prophecized several times in the same book (Chapters 36-39). As we know from history, the Jews would continue to be a wandering people among gentiles without a state of their own until the restoration of the state of Israel in 1948.
In addition, the prophecy that the people of Israel would ultimately be forgiven by the Lord, allowed to return to their original land and once again prosper in the glory of the Lord was also literally fulfilled in 1948.
"And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, saith the Lord GOD, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes. For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land." Ezekiel 36:23-24 KJV
"And say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land: And I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all." Ezekiel 37:21-22 KJV
Israel was miraculously restored as a state in 1948 in accordance with prophetic scripture, followed by the resettlement of millions of Jews who returned from various non-Jewish nations including USA, the Soviet Union and the Eastern Bloc states.
Since the messages of the restoration of the Israel state given to the prophet Ezekiel are not just given once but are repeated several times for emphasis throughout the three chapters (36-39), and since they are very concrete and specific (as opposed to symbolic or figurative), this leaves us with no room for doubt that the Old Testament prophecies have been literally fulfilled in modern times, and are continuing to unfold before our eyes as acts of divine intervention in human history by the Lord himself. Since the fulfillment of this Israeli state restoration prophecy, the preterist approach which liberal Theologians and secular scholars tend to take towards Bible prophecy has lost much of its credibility.
In Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39, there are ten nations that make war on Israel and lose, with seven of them being in present-day Asia Minor, including Gog, Magog, Rosh, Meshech, Tubal, Gomer, and Togormah; the others are Persia (Iran), Put (Libya), and Cush (Sudan). Gog and Magog is King Gyges of Lydia according to the Assyrian records. But some commentators argue that since world geography was not well known at the time, it is a symbolic reference to all of Israel's enemies in the end times.
- A Second Look at the Second Coming: Sorting through the Speculations by T. L. Frazier, pages 21-224