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The Prophets of The Exile

(Category 10 of 16)

Watch our Read Scripture video on the book of Ezekiel, which breaks down the literary design of the book and its flow of thought. This is the first of two Read Scripture videos dedicated to the book of Ezekiel, which aims to help you see its unique contribution to the story of Jesus, but also how it works within the Bible’s overall framework.

Among the exiles in Babylon, Ezekiel shows that Israel deserved this judgment, and also that God’s justice creates hope for the future.

Explore Ezekiel

EZEKIEL 1 – 33: (RS)


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The book of


EZEKIEL, a priest and a prophet, ministers during the darkest days of Judah’s
history: the seventy-year period of Babylonian captivity. Carried to Babylon
before the final assault on Jerusalem, Ezekiel uses prophecies, parables, signs,
and symbols to dramatize God’s message to His exiled people. Though they are
like dry bones in the sun, God will reassemble them and breathe life into the
nation once again. Present judgment will be followed by future glory so that “you
shall know that I am the LORD” (6:7).
The Hebrew name Yehezke’l means “God Strengthens” or “Strengthened by
God.” Ezekiel is indeed strengthened by God for the prophetic ministry to which
he is called (3:8, 9). The name occurs twice in this book and nowhere else in the
Old Testament. The Greek form in the Septuagint is Iezekiel and the Latin form in
the Vulgate is Ezechiel.

Ezekiel’s Vision of God


1 NOW it came to pass in the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, on the fifth day of the month, as I was among the captives by athe River Chebar, that bthe heavens were opened and I saw cvisions1 of God.
2 On the fifth day of the month, which was in the fifth year of King Jehoiachin’s captivity,
3 the word of the LORD came expressly to Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi, in the land of the 1Chaldeans by the River Chebar; and athe hand of the LORD was upon him there.
4 Then I looked, and behold, aa whirlwind was coming bout of the north, a great cloud with raging fire engulfing itself; and brightness was all around it and radiating out of its midst like the color of amber, out of the midst of the fire.
5 aAlso from within it came the likeness of four living creatures. And bthis was their appearance: they had cthe likeness of a man.
6 Each one had four faces, and each one had four wings.
7 Their 1legs were straight, and the soles of their feet were like the soles of calves’ feet. They sparkled alike the color of burnished bronze.
8 aThe hands of a man were under their wings on their four sides; and each of the four had faces and wings.
9 Their wings touched one another. The creatures did not turn when they went, but each one went straight aforward.
10 As for athe likeness of their faces, each bhad the face of a man; each of the four had cthe face of a lion on the right side, deach of the four had the face of an ox on the left side, eand each of the four had the face of an eagle.
11 Thus were their faces. Their wings stretched upward; two wings of each one touched one another, and atwo covered their bodies.
12 And aeach one went straight for-

CHAPTER 1 References

1 aEzek. 3:15,
23; 10:15
bRev. 4:1;
19:11 cEzek.
8:3 1So with
MT, LXX,Vg.;
Syr., Tg. a
3 aEzek. 3:14,
22 1Or Babylonians,
so elsewhere
in the book
4 aJer. 23:19;
25:32 bJer.
5 aRev. 4:6–8
bEzek. 10:8
cEzek. 10:14
7 aDan. 10:6
1Lit. feet
8 aEzek. 10:8,
9 aEzek. 1:12;
10 aRev. 4:7
bNum. 2:10
cNum. 2:3
dNum. 2:18
eNum. 2:25
11 aIs. 6:2
12 aEzek.
10:11, 22
13 aRev. 4:5
14 a[Matt.
24:27] 15 aEzek. 10:9
16 aEzek. 10:9,
10 bDan. 10:6
18 aEzek.
19 aEzek.
10:16, 17
20 aEzek.
10:17 1Lit. living
spirit of life;
Tg. creatures
21 1See note
at v. 20
22 aEzek. 10:1
bRev. 4:6
cEzek. 10:1
1Or expanse
2So with
LXX, Tg.,Vg.;
MT reads living

ward; they went wherever the spirit wanted to go, and they did not turn when they went.
13 As for the likeness of the living creatures, their appearance was like burning coals of fire, alike the appearance of torches going back and forth among the living creatures. The fire was bright, and out of the fire went lightning.
14 And the living creatures ran back and forth, ain appearance like a flash of lightning.
15 Now as I looked at the living creatures, behold, aa wheel was on the earth beside each living creature with its four faces.
16 aThe appearance of the wheels and their workings was blike the color of beryl, and all four had the same likeness. The appearance of their workings was, as it were, a wheel in the middle of a wheel.
17 When they moved, they went toward any one of four directions; they did not turn aside when they went.
18 As for their rims, they were so high they were awesome; and their rims were afull of eyes, all around the four of them.
19 aWhen the living creatures went, the wheels went beside them; and when the living creatures were lifted up from the earth, the wheels were lifted up.
20 Wherever the spirit wanted to go, they went, because there the spirit went; and the wheels were lifted together with them, afor the spirit of the 1living creatures was in the wheels.
21 When those went, these went; when those stood, these stood; and when those were lifted up from the earth, the wheels were lifted up together with them, for the spirit of the 1living creatures was in the wheels.
22 aThe likeness of the 1firmament above the heads of the 2living creatures was like the color of an awesome bcrystal, stretched out cover their heads.

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23 And under the firmament their wings spread out straight, one toward another. Each one had two which covered one side, and each one had two which covered the other side of the body.
24 aWhen they went, I heard the noise of their wings, blike the noise of many waters, like cthe voice of the Almighty, a tumult like the noise of an army; and when they stood still, they let down their wings.
25 A voice came from above the firmament that was over their heads; whenever they stood, they let down their wings.
26 aAnd above the firmament over their heads was the likeness of a throne, bin appearance like a sapphire stone; on the likeness of the throne was a likeness with the appearance of a man high above cit.
27 Also from the appearance of His waist and upward aI saw, as it were, the color of amber with the appearance of fire all around within it; and from the appearance of His waist and downward I saw, as it were, the appearance of fire with brightness all around.
28 aLike the appearance of a rainbow in a cloud on a rainy day, so was the appearance of the brightness all around it. bThis was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD.

Ezekiel Sent to Rebellious Israel

So when I saw it, cI fell on my face, and I heard a voice of One speaking.


1 And He said to me, “Son of man, astand on your feet, and I will speak to you.”
2 Then athe Spirit entered me when He spoke to me, and set me on my feet; and I heard Him who spoke to me.
3 And He said to me: “Son of man, I am sending you to the children of Israel, to a rebellious nation that has arebelled against Me; bthey and their fathers have transgressed against Me to this very day.
4 a“For they are 1impudent and stubborn children. I am sending you to them, and you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD.’
5 a“As for them, whether they hear or whether they refuse—for they are a brebellious house—yet they cwill know that a prophet has been among them.
6 “And you, son of man, ado not be afraid of them nor be afraid of their words, though bbriers and thorns are with you and you dwell among scorpions; cdo not be afraid of their words or dismayed by their looks, dthough they are a rebellious house.
7 a“You shall speak My words to them, whether they hear or whether

24 aEzek. 3:13;
10:5 bRev.
1:15 cJob
37:4, 5
26 aEzek. 10:1
bEx. 24:10, 16
cEzek. 8:2
27 aEzek. 8:2
28 aRev. 4:3;
10:1 bEzek.
3:23; 8:4 cDan.

CHAPTER 2 References

1 aDan. 10:11
2 aEzek. 3:24
3 aEzek. 5:6;
20:8, 13, 18
bJer. 3:25
4 aEzek. 3:7
1Lit. stifffaced
5 aEzek. 3:11,
26, 27 bEzek.
3:26 cEzek.
6 aJer. 1:8, 17
bMic. 7:4
c[1 Pet. 3:14] dEzek. 3:9, 26,
7 aJer. 1:7, 17
8 aRev. 10:9
9 a[Ezek. 8:3] bEzek. 3:1

CHAPTER 3 References

1 aEzek. 2:8, 9
3 aRev. 10:9
bPs. 19:10;
6 aMatt. 11:21
7 aJohn 15:20,
21 bEzek. 2:4
1Lit. strong of
9 aMic. 3:8
bJer. 1:8, 17
11 aEzek.
2:5, 7
12 aActs 8:39
bEzek. 1:28;
13 aEzek. 1:24;
14 a2 Kin. 3:15
1Or anger


they refuse, for they are rebellious.
8 “But you, son of man, hear what I say to you. Do not be rebellious like that rebellious house; open your mouth and aeat what I give you.”
9 Now when I looked, there was aa hand stretched out to me; and behold, ba scroll of a book was in it.
10 Then He spread it before me; and there was writing on the inside and on the outside, and written on it were lamentations and mourning and woe.


1 Moreover He said to me, “Son of man, eat what you find; aeat this scroll, and go, speak to the house of Israel.”
2 So I opened my mouth, and He caused me to eat that scroll.
3 And He said to me, “Son of man, feed your belly, and fill your stomach with this scroll that I give you.” So I aate, and it was in my mouth blike honey in sweetness.
4 Then He said to me: “Son of man, go to the house of Israel and speak with My words to them.
5 “For you are not sent to a people of unfamiliar speech and of hard language, but to the house of Israel,
6 “not to many people of unfamiliar speech and of hard language, whose words you cannot understand. Surely, ahad I sent you to them, they would have listened to you.
7 “But the house of Israel will not listen to you, abecause they will not listen to Me; bfor all the house of Israel are 1impudent and hardhearted.
8 “Behold, I have made your face strong against their faces, and your forehead strong against their foreheads.
9 a“Like adamant stone, harder than flint, I have made your forehead; bdo not be afraid of them, nor be dismayed at their looks, though they are a rebellious house.”
10 Moreover He said to me: “Son of man, receive into your heart all My words that I speak to you, and hear with your ears.
11 “And go, get to the captives, to the children of your people, and speak to them and tell them, a‘Thus says the Lord GOD,’ whether they hear, or whether they refuse.”
12 Then athe Spirit lifted me up, and I heard behind me a great thunderous voice: “Blessed is the bglory of the LORD from His place!”
13 I also heard the anoise of the wings of the living creatures that touched one another, and the noise of the wheels beside them, and a great thunderous noise.
14 So the Spirit lifted me up and took me away, and I went in bitterness, in the 1heat of my spirit; but athe hand of the LORD was strong upon me.
15 Then I came to the captives at

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Tel Abib, who dwelt by the River Chebar; and aI sat where they sat, and remained there astonished among them seven days.

Ezekiel Is a Watchman

16 Now it acame to pass at the end of seven days that the word of the LORD came to me, saying,
17 a“Son of man, I have made you ba watchman for the house of Israel; therefore hear a word from My mouth, and give them cwarning from Me:
18 “When I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life, that same wicked man ashall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand.
19 “Yet, if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; abut you have delivered your soul.
20 “Again, when a arighteous man turns from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and I lay a stumbling block before him, he shall die; because you did not give him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he has done shall not be remembered; but his blood I will require at your hand.
21 “Nevertheless if you warn the righteous man that the righteous should not sin, and he does not sin, he shall surely live because he took warning; also you will have delivered your soul.”
22 aThen the hand of the LORD was upon me there, and He said to me, “Arise, go out binto the plain, and there I shall talk with you.”
23 So I arose and went out into the plain, and behold, athe glory of the LORD stood there, like the glory which I bsaw by the River Chebar; cand I fell on my face.
24 Then athe Spirit entered me and set me on my feet, and spoke with me and said to me: “Go, shut yourself inside your house.
25 “And you, O son of man, surely athey will put ropes on you and bind you with them, so that you cannot go out among them.
26 a“I will make your tongue cling to the roof of your mouth, so that you shall be mute and bnot be 1one to rebuke them, cfor they are a rebellious house.
27 a“But when I speak with you, I will open your mouth, and you shall say to them, b‘Thus says the Lord GOD.’ He who hears, let him hear; and he who refuses, let him refuse; for they are a rebellious house.

The Siege of Jerusalem Portrayed


1 “You also, son of man, take a clay tablet and lay it before you,

15 aJob 2:13;
Ps. 137:1
16 aJer. 42:7
17 aEzek.
33:7–9 bIs.
52:8; 56:10;
Jer. 6:17 c[Lev.
19:17; Prov.
14:25]; Is. 58:1
18 aEzek. 33:6;
[John 8:21,
24] 19 aIs. 49:4, 5;
Ezek. 14:14,
20; Acts 18:6;
20:26; 1 Tim.
20 aPs. 125:5;
Ezek. 18:24;
33:18; Zeph.
22 aEzek. 1:3
bEzek. 8:4
23 aEzek. 1:28;
Acts 7:55
bEzek. 1:1
cEzek. 1:28
24 aEzek. 2:2
25 aEzek. 4:8
26 aEzek.
24:27; Luke
1:20, 22 bHos.
4:17; Amos
8:11 cEzek.
2:5–7 1Lit. one
who rebukes
27 aEx. 4:11,
12; Ezek.
24:27; 33:22
bEzek. 3:11

CHAPTER 4 References

2 aJer. 6:6;
Ezek. 21:22
b2 Kin. 25:1
3 aJer. 39:1, 2;
Ezek. 5:2
bEzek. 12:6,
11; 24:24, 27
5 aNum. 14:34
8 aEzek. 3:25
1Lit. put ropes
13 aDan. 1:8;
Hos. 9:3
14 aActs 10:14
bEx. 22:31;
Lev. 17:15;
22:8; Ezek.
44:31 cDeut.
14:3; Is. 65:4;
66:17 1Ritually
flesh, Lev.
16 aLev. 26:26;
Ps. 105:16; Is.
3:1; Ezek.
5:16; 14:13
bEzek. 4:10,
11; 12:19
cEzek. 4:11

and portray on it a city, Jerusalem.
2 a“Lay siege against it, build a bsiege wall against it, and heap up a mound against it; set camps against it also, and place battering rams against it all around.
3 “Moreover take for yourself an iron plate, and set it as an iron wall between you and the city. Set your face against it, and it shall be abesieged, and you shall lay siege against it. bThis will be a sign to the house of Israel.
4 “Lie also on your left side, and lay the iniquity of the house of Israel upon it. According to the number of the days that you lie on it, you shall bear their iniquity.
5 “For I have laid on you the years of their iniquity, according to the number of the days, three hundred and ninety days; aso you shall bear the iniquity of the house of Israel.
6 “And when you have completed them, lie again on your right side; then you shall bear the iniquity of the house of Judah forty days. I have laid on you a day for each year.
7 “Therefore you shall set your face toward the siege of Jerusalem; your arm shall be uncovered, and you shall prophesy against it.
8 a“And surely I will 1restrain you so that you cannot turn from one side to another till you have ended the days of your siege.
9 “Also take for yourself wheat, barley, beans, lentils, millet, and spelt; put them into one vessel, and make bread of them for yourself. During the number of days that you lie on your side, three hundred and ninety days, you shall eat it.
10 “And your food which you eat shall be by weight, twenty shekels a day; from time to time you shall eat it.
11 “You shall also drink water by measure, one-sixth of a hin; from time to time you shall drink.
12 “And you shall eat it as barley cakes; and bake it using fuel of human waste in their sight.”
13 Then the LORD said, “So ashall the children of Israel eat their defiled bread among the Gentiles, where I will drive them.”
14 So I said, a“Ah, Lord GOD! Indeed I have never defiled myself from my youth till now; I have never eaten bwhat died of itself or was torn by beasts, nor has cabominable1 flesh ever come into my mouth.”
15 Then He said to me, “See, I am giving you cow dung instead of human waste, and you shall prepare your bread over it.”
16 Moreover He said to me, “Son of man, surely I will cut off the asupply of bread in Jerusalem; they shall beat bread by weight and with anxiety, and shall cdrink water by measure and with dread,

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17 “that they may lack bread and water, and be dismayed with one another, and awaste away because of their iniquity.

17 aLev. 26:39

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The LORD a Fortress in Adversity

To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David.

1 IN aYou, O LORD, I 1put my trust; Let me never be ashamed; Deliver me in Your righteousness.
2 aBow down Your ear to me, Deliver me speedily; Be my rock of 1refuge, A 2fortress of defense to save me.

3 aFor You are my rock and my fortress; Therefore, bfor Your name’s sake, Lead me and guide me.
4 Pull me out of the net which they have secretly laid for me, For You are my strength.
5 aInto Your hand I commit my spirit; You have redeemed me, O LORD God of btruth.

6 I have hated those awho regard useless idols; But I trust in the LORD.
7 I will be glad and rejoice in Your mercy, For You have considered my trouble; You have aknown my soul in 1adversities,
8 And have not ashut1 me up into the hand of the enemy; bYou have set my feet in a wide place.

9 Have mercy on me, O LORD, for I am in trouble; aMy eye wastes away with grief, Yes, my soul and my 1body!
10 For my life is spent with grief, And my years with sighing; My strength fails because of my iniquity, And my bones waste away.
11 aI am a 1reproach among all my enemies, But bespecially among my neighbors, And am repulsive to my acquaintances;
cThose who see me outside flee from me.
12 aI am forgotten like a dead man, out of mind; I am like a 1broken vessel.

PSALM 31 References

1 aPs. 22:5
1have taken
2 aPs. 17:6;
71:2; 86:1;
1strength 2Lit.
house of
3 a[Ps. 18:2] bPs. 23:3;
5 aLuke 23:46
b[Deut. 32:4];
Ps. 71:22
6 aJon. 2:8
7 a[John 10:27] 1troubles
8 a[Deut.
32:30]; Ps.
37:33 b[Ps.
4:1; 18:19] 1given me
9 aPs. 6:7 1Lit.
11 a[Is. 53:4] bJob 19:13;
Ps. 38:11;
88:8, 18 cPs.
64:8 1despised
12 aPs. 88:4, 5
1Lit. perishing
13 aPs. 50:20;
Jer. 20:10
bLam. 2:22
cPs. 62:4;
Matt. 27:1
15 a[Job 14:5;
24:1] 16 aPs. 4:6;
17 aPs. 25:2, 20
b[1 Sam. 2:9];
Ps. 94:17;
18 aPs. 109:2;
120:2 b[1 Sam.
2:3]; Ps. 94:4;
[Jude 15] 19 aPs. 145:7;
[Rom. 2:4;
11:22] 20 a[Ps. 27:5;
32:7] bJob
5:21 1shelter
21 a[Ps. 17:7] 1fortified
24 a[Ps. 27:14

13 aFor I hear the slander of many; bFear is on every side; While they ctake counsel together against me, They scheme to take away my life.

14 But as for me, I trust in You, O LORD; I say, “You are my God.”
15 My times are in Your ahand; Deliver me from the hand of my enemies, And from those who persecute me.
16 aMake Your face shine upon Your servant; Save me for Your mercies’ sake.
17 aDo not let me be ashamed, O LORD, for I have called upon You; Let the wicked be ashamed; bLet them be silent in the grave.
18 aLet the lying lips be put to silence, Which bspeak insolent things proudly and contemptuously against the righteous.

19 aOh, how great is Your goodness, Which You have laid up for those who fear You, Which You have prepared for those who trust in You In the presence of the sons of men!
20 aYou shall hide them in the secret place of Your presence From the plots of man; bYou shall keep them secretly in a 1pavilion From the strife of tongues.

21 Blessed be the LORD, For aHe has shown me His marvelous kindness in a 1strong city!
22 For I said in my haste, “I am cut off from before Your eyes”; Nevertheless You heard the voice of my supplications When I cried out to You.

23 Oh, love the LORD, all you His saints! For the LORD preserves the faithful, And fully repays the proud person.
24 aBe of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart, All you who hope in the LORD.



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