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Chapters 5 and 6
Chapters 13 and 14
Chapters 18 and 19
Chapters 20 and 21
Chapters 22 and 23
Chapters 26 to 28
Chapters 29 to 32
Chapters 38 and 39
Chapters 40 to 43
Chapters 45 and 46
Chapters 47 and 48
The viewpoint of the prophet — in captivity
In the prophecy of Ezekiel we have left the touching ground we were on in Jeremiah. He was within with the judgment hanging over the guilty city, and under the oppressive sense of the evil which brought on the ruin, bearing a testimony which, as to apparent result, was of no avail, though it maintained, in personal sorrow of heart according to human measure, the glory of God.
Ezekiel had been carried into captivity with the king Jehoiachin; at least, he was one of those made captive at that time, and he habitually dates his prophecies from that period — an important thing to remark that we may understand the revelations made to him. For himself there is no more question either of dates or of kings, of Judah or of Israel. The people of God are in captivity among the Gentiles. Israel is looked at as a whole; the interests of the whole nation are before the eye of the prophet. At the same time the capture of Jerusalem under Zedekiah had not yet taken place. This occasions the revelation of that king's iniquity, the measure of which was filled up by his rebellion. For Nebuchadnezzar attached value to the oath made in the name of Jehovah. He counted upon the respect due to that name, and Zedekiah had not respected it.
The general contents of the Book
The first twenty-three chapters contain testimonies from God against Israel in general, and against Jerusalem in particular. After that the surrounding nations are judged; and then, beginning with chapter 33, the prophet resumes the subject of Israel, announcing their restoration as well as their judgment. Finally from chapter 40 to the end we have the description of the temple and of the division of the land.