Ezekiel, whose name means “strengthened by God,” was both a prophet and a priest who ministered to the nation of Israel while they were in captivity to the Babylonian Empire. He was a contemporary of Jeremiah and Daniel. Along with Jeremiah and the apostle John [in the book of Revelation], he was told to “eat this scroll,” or to assimilate God’s message into his very being.
Several themes explode from his writings. Confirming Ezekiel wanted the people to know that God was the source of these prophecies, phrases like “thus saith the LORD” occur over 200 times in 48 chapters. Stated 110 times, the purpose of God’s actions is consumed in the statement “they shall know that I am the LORD and I will be glorified.” Also prominent is the judgment and restoration of God’s people with the intended result of His being their sanctuary and refuge.
There are multiple references to the calling and equipping of Ezekiel for the task he had been given. Described 90 times as “Son of Man,” he would be a representative of God to man and of man to God. Over 30 other references tell us that he would be energized by the Spirit of God and that he would speak all of what God had told him. Several of his strange actions would become a sign to the people. They would know that a prophet was among them. Like a watchman, He warned them about the hopelessness of their disobedience before God. His task was difficult, but like John in Revelation 4-5, he was granted a vision of the throne and saw the glory of God!