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  1. Summary of Ezekiel
  2. Outline of Ezekiel
  3. Background of Ezekiel
  4. Introductory Issues in Ezekiel
  5. Theological Themes in Ezekiel
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Lesson 3 of5
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Background of Ezekiel

The prophet Ezekiel was raised in a priestly family in Jerusalem and educated to become a priest himself. This was not to be. He was taken with other high-ranking Judeans at the first siege of Jerusalem (597 B.C.E.) by Nebuchadnezzar II (ruler of Babylon, 605-562 B.C.E.). Ezekiel went into the servile oppression of exile, working in a small village (Tel-abib, near Nippur) by the river Chebar (3:15). There, in his thirtieth year (593 B.C.E.), he received a powerful vision from the Lord and a call to be a prophet. Between this first exile and the final fall of Jerusalem (in 586 B.C.E.) many Israelites hoped to throw off the yoke of Babylon, often looking to Egypt for help. Ezekiel’s prophecies against Jerusalem and some other nations take place in this context. In the end, Jerusalem falls completely to Babylonian forces. Some of the other prophecies against the nations and the visions or prophecies of future restoration of the land and the temple date from after the fall of Jerusalem. The background to the book is exilic, taking place before the rebuilding of Jerusalem under Persian rule (starting 538 B.C.E.). The book may have been edited and put to writing during the later, postexilic period.