Theological Themes in Ezekiel
Glory and presence of the Lord
The vision of the glory of the Lord represents a view of God as transcendent Lord of all Creation, in biblical terms, is the universe as we know or perceive it. Genesis says that in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. In the book of Revelation (which speaks of end times) the author declares that God created all things and… and serves as a symbol of the spiritual presence of God among the people. The visions occur at several points in the book, where God’s glory is leaving the old The Jerusalem temple, unlike the tabernacle, was a permanent structure, although (like the tabernacle) it was a place of worship and religious activity. On one occasion Jesus felt such activity was unacceptable and, as reported in all four Gospels, drove from the temple those engaged…, coming to the Jews in exile, and dwelling within the future, restored temple.
Holy is a term that originally meant set apart for the worship or service of God. While the term may refer to people, objects, time, or places, holiness in Judaism and Christianity primarily denotes the realm of the divine character of God
The holiness of the Lord is a constant theme of this book, a background belief manifested in many ways. God’s holiness appears in visual form in the awesome throne (1:4-28). Divine holiness demands that evildoers and idolaters be punished-a central theme in Ezekiel’s prophecies against Judah, Israel, and the nations. Despite the covenant God made with God’s people, they were disobedient and rebellious: “You are more turbulent than the nations that are all around you…” (5:7). Because of the divine holiness and righteousness, the Lord punishes the people; yet, in defense of the holy name, God does not utterly destroy (20:9, 14, 22). God will gather, heal, and sanctify the people in future restoration. The structure and character of the restored temple embody the holiness of the Lord (chapters 40-43).
Hope of restoration
Despite the sinfulness of Israel and the A righteous person is one who is ethical and faithful to God’s covenant. Righteousness in the Old Testament is an attitude of God; in the New Testament it is a gift of God through grace. In the New Testament righteousness is a relationship with God… wrath of God, A prophet during the Babylonian exile who saw visions of God’s throne-chariot, new life to dry bones, and a new Temple. does contain messages of healing, hope, and consolation. The long vision of the restoration of the land and temple is one significant locus for this theme (chapters 40-48), but it occurs in many places (6:8-10; 11:16-20; 16:60-63; 20:33-38). Ezekiel’s theology focuses on Israel, and in a future new exodus God will gather the people back to the promised land. God’s words of consolation are about concrete blessings from God, such as food, peace, land, and a restored A covenant is a promise or agreement. In the Bible the promises made between God and God’s people are known as covenants; they state or imply a relationship of commitment and obedience. and temple.
Responsibility: individual and corporate
Like much of the Old Testament, Ezekiel has a firm notion of the corporate responsibility of a tribe, nation, or people before the Lord. His judgments against the nations are evidence of this. Yet we find a new theme alongside it: the responsibility of the individual sinner to Repentance is a central biblical teaching. All people are sinful and God desires that all people repent of their sins. The Hebrew word for repent means to “turn away” from sin. The Greek word for repentance means to “change on’e mind,” more specifically, it means…, and the justice of the Lord in punishing individuals only for their own sins (chapter 18).
Rethinking Salvation can mean saved from something (deliverance) or for something (redemption). Paul preached that salvation comes through the death of Christ on the cross which redeemed sinners from death and for a grace-filled life. history
Israel in exile is faced with unbelief: Is their god real, or just a local deity of little importance? Is their religion of any enduring value? Ezekiel’s resounding Yes to continued faith in the Lord occurs along with a willingness to rethink key issues in the relationship between God and Israel, including their covenant history (chapters 16 and 20). This suggests the flexibility of God in relationship to God’s people in history.
Sinfulness of God’s people
As was common among the prophets, Ezekiel’s prophetic vocation includes a powerful word of the Lord to the people of Israel regarding their sins. The sinfulness of the people is not recent; Ezekiel retells the early history of Israel to emphasize their constant rebellion and sinfulness (chapter 20). These sins include rebellion, turning their backs on the Lord (that is, abandoning their faith in God), idolatry, defiling the temple, willfully breaking the commandments, including Blasphemy is disrespecting or dishonoring of something held sacred. To use the name of God in swearing or to commit a profane act is to commit blasphemy. and Sabbath-breaking. For these grave sins, God punished Judah was the name of Jacob’s fourth son and one of the 12 tribes. and Jerusalem with destruction and exile.
Sinfulness of the nations
As the holy Creator and Lord, God acts as judge of the nations and their rulers (chapters 25-32). The Lord does not expect them to follow the laws of Israel (like the Sabbath is a weekly day of rest, the seventh day, observed on Saturday in Judaism and on Sunday in Christianity. In the book of Genesis, God rested on the seventh day; in the Gospel accounts Jesus and his disciples are criticized by some for not…), but condemns them for general wrong-doing, such as oppression, corruption, greed, and lust for violence. Especially important for the prophet was the cruel way Israel’s neighbors treated Judah/Jerusalem during its fall; their greed and gloating is condemned by God. Another theme is the prophet’s words against any false trust that some were putting in other nations (chiefly Egypt) rather than in the Lord.
Temple: God’s dwelling place
The temple is a key theme in Ezekiel. The temple is a physical manifestation of the presence, glory, and blessing of God in Israel. A key sin of Israel is the defilement of the temple (5:11; 8:5-18), and this is in turn a key reason for its destruction, the sacking of Jerusalem, and the exile. In one of his visions of the “glory of the LORD” as an awesome throne-chariot, Ezekiel sees the glory departing from the temple (10:18-19). In the large vision that ends the book (chapters 40-48), the prophet-priest describes the future restoration of the temple and its rituals as God’s promise of Blessing is the asking for or the giving of God’s favor. Isaac was tricked into blessing Jacob instead of his firstborn Esau. At the Last Supper Jesus offered a blessing over bread and wine. To be blessed is to be favored by God., restoration, and divine presence for the future.
True and false religion
As prophet and A priest is a person who has the authority to perform religious rites. In New Testament times priests were responsible for daily offerings and sacrifices in the temple., Ezekiel is zealous for the Lord, consistently condemning idolatry, Sabbath-breaking, and disobedience to the law. This applies to Israel past, present, and future as well as to the surrounding nations (on grounds of general human justice rather than Israel’s unique laws). The Lord is revealed throughout the book as Lord of all nations and all creation.
Wrath of God
The wrath of God against Judah, Israel, the Jews in exile, and the nations and their rulers is a common theme in Ezekiel. The wrath of God is not arbitrary or vicious, but God’s steady resolve to destroy evil and wickedness. God’s wrath is provoked by the sinfulness of the people Israel, sins which include idolatry, Sabbath-breaking, defiling the temple, and placing their faith in other nations rather than in the Lord. God’s wrath also rests upon sinful nations and rulers surrounding Judah/Israel.