BibleProject - Old Testament - Lesson 27

Ezekiel (Part 1)

In this lesson you will learn about the prophet and book of Ezekiel. Ezekiel receives a vision of God's royal throne chariot in Babylon. The first section of the book explores the question of why God's glory is in Babylon, and Ezekiel is commissioned as a prophet to accuse Israel of breaking their covenant agreement with God. Ezekiel is to warn the people of an imminent destruction of Jerusalem and the temple. Ezekiel uses sign acts, such as building a tiny model of Jerusalem, to get his message across, but God tells him that no one will listen. After about a year, Ezekiel has another vision about the temple where he sees Israel worshiping other gods, leading to God leaving His temple and consigning it to destruction. However, God promises to return a remnant of Israel back to the land and transform them by removing their heart of stone and giving them a new soft heart of flesh. The book ends with three sections announcing God's judgement on Israel, the nations around Israel, and Jerusalem itself, followed by hopeful conclusions for Israel and the nations.

Taught by a Team
Taught by a Team
BibleProject - Old Testament
Lesson 27
Watching Now
Ezekiel (Part 1)

Lesson Overview: Ezekiel Part 1

I. Introduction to Ezekiel

A. Historical and Literary Context

B. Authorship and Date

C. Structure and Outline

II. Ezekiel's Call and Commission

A. Vision of God's Glory

B. The Scroll and Commission to Prophesy

III. Ezekiel's Messages to Judah and the Nations

A. Warnings of Judgment and Exile

B. Hope for Restoration and Renewal

IV. Ezekiel's Symbolic Actions and Visions

A. Acting Out Judgment and Restoration

B. Vision of the Valley of Dry Bones

V. Significance of Ezekiel's Prophecy

A. Contributions to Old Testament Theology

B. Influence on Jewish and Christian Thought

C. Relevance for Contemporary Readers

  • By watching this video, you will gain a comprehensive understanding of the Old Testament, including its literary design and flow of thought. You will learn about the different sections of the Old Testament, including the Pentateuch, Historical Books, Wisdom Literature, Major Prophets, and Minor Prophets. You will also gain insights into the stories, themes, and messages of each of these sections and how they contribute to the overall narrative of God's relationship with humanity.
  • By studying Genesis, you will gain a deeper understanding of the Old Testament and its key themes and characters, as well as the literary features of the book, such as its structure, style, and genre. The creation story is a key part of the book, as are the stories of Abraham and the patriarchs, the fall and sin, the flood and Noah, and God's covenant with Israel. Additionally, Genesis introduces readers to the Old Testament and sets the stage for the Pentateuch and Books of Moses, while also introducing many themes and motifs that continue throughout the Bible.
  • Discover the captivating stories of the patriarchs in Genesis Part 2, exploring themes of covenant, God's sovereignty, human responsibility, faith, and obedience.
  • Explore the Bible's book of Exodus to gain insight into God's rescue of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt, the significance of the covenant and law, and its connection to the New Testament.
  • Gain insight into the book of Exodus and its themes of salvation and redemption, revealing God's character through his interactions with Israel, with significant influence on Jewish and Christian traditions and connections to the New Testament through its foreshadowing of Jesus Christ.
  • By studying Leviticus with The Bible Project, you will gain a comprehensive understanding of the historical and literary context, themes, and structure of this important book in the Old Testament. You will also learn about the significance of Leviticus for understanding the Torah and its relevance for Christians today.
  • By studying The Bible Project's lesson on Numbers, you'll comprehensively understand its structure, themes, and significance, gaining insight into the journey of the Israelites in the wilderness, God's guidance, rebellion, priesthood, and offerings, as well as its historical, theological, and contemporary relevance.
  • Explore Numbers' authorship, context, structure, and theology to gain a comprehensive understanding of its significance to the Pentateuch and the Old Testament, as well as its relevance to the Christian faith today.
  • You will gain knowledge and insight into the book of Joshua, including its historical context, literary genre, and summary. You will learn about the book's themes, such as God's faithfulness, obedience, and judgment, and its significance in foreshadowing Christ's work and providing historical and theological implications.
  • Explore the historical and cultural context, literary design, and theological significance of the book of Judges in the Old Testament, and learn how it fits into the broader biblical storyline, including its relevance for today.
  • Explore the Book of Ruth to understand its historical context, literary features, themes of loyalty and faithfulness, redemption, the kinsman-redeemer's role, and its Old Testament significance.
  • Studying the Book of Samuel provides insight into the rise of the Israelite monarchy, the lives of Saul and David, and the importance of obedience to God, covering themes of leadership and kingship with the presence of the Ark of the Covenant.
  • By exploring the story of Absalom in 2 Samuel and the broader context of the Old Testament Historical Books, you will gain insight into the themes and messages of these books, as well as their historical and modern-day significance.
  • Through the study of 1 Kings and 2 Kings, you will gain a deeper understanding of the history of Israel and Judah, as well as valuable spiritual lessons from these Old Testament books.
  • By studying this lesson, you understand the historical and literary aspects of 1 and 2 Chronicles, emphasizing God's sovereignty, covenant faithfulness, worship, and obedience.
  • Through this lesson, you grasp the historical context, key themes, and modern applications of the books of Ezra and Nehemiah, enriching your understanding of faith, community, and commitment to God's Word.
  • You will gain an understanding of the book of Esther, a narrative in the Hebrew Bible that tells the story of a Jewish woman named Esther who becomes queen in the Persian court and, with the help of her cousin Mordecai, saves the Jews from genocide orchestrated by the villain Haman. The story highlights God's sovereignty and providential care, and the feast of Purim celebrates the Jews' victory.
  • By studying the Book of Job, you will explore the complexities of human suffering, the search for divine wisdom, and the tension between God's sovereignty and human limitations within a unique literary structure.
  • You will gain a comprehensive understanding of the book of Psalms, including its background, structure, authorship, and theology. You will also learn about the various themes and motifs present in the Psalms, which will help you better understand and appreciate this important book in the Old Testament.
  • By studying Proverbs, you will understand the definition and purpose of wisdom, the fear of the Lord, and the personification of wisdom in the book. You will also gain insights into the literary structure of Proverbs and the themes of the book, including the importance of listening to wisdom, the power of words, and the value of hard work.
  • In the Ecclesiastes lesson, you gain insights into the book's structure, themes, and significance, while exploring the search for meaning, vanity, and the importance of fearing God and enjoying life.
  • You will gain an understanding of the literary features, interpretation, theology, and application of the book Song of Songs, including its authorship, historical and cultural context, allegorical and literal interpretation, and its teachings on God and human love, sexuality, and relationships.
  • Through this lesson, you gain insight into Isaiah's historical context, literary features, major themes, and its significance in the Old Testament.
  • Discover how Isaiah's prophetic message of judgment and hope for Jerusalem evolves, as it predicts the fall of Israel's kingdom and envisions a new, purified Jerusalem where God's kingdom will be restored through a future messianic king, uniting all nations in peace.
  • Through this lesson, you will gain understanding of the book of Jeremiah, including its historical and cultural context, literary features, major themes and message, and significance in the Old Testament.
  • In this lesson, you learn about the Book of Lamentations, its structure, themes, and the role of God in the midst of suffering and divine judgment, while ultimately highlighting His faithfulness and mercy.
  • In the book of Ezekiel, you follow the story of a priest named Ezekiel who has a vision of God's glory riding on a royal throne chariot, and is commissioned by God to accuse Israel of rebellion and warn them of their impending destruction due to their covenant violations and rampant social injustice, while also providing a small glimmer of hope for the future.
  • By viewing this lesson on Daniel, you will gain understanding of its structure, themes, and significance in the Old Testament, gaining knowledge about living as faithful exiles in a hostile culture, God's sovereignty and faithfulness in times of trial, and remaining faithful to God even in difficult circumstances.
  • Through this lesson, you grasp the complexities of Hosea, discovering the book's themes, messages, and its role in the Old Testament, emphasizing the relationship between Israel's unfaithfulness and God's unwavering love.
  • By studying the book of Joel, you will gain insight into the historical and cultural context of Judah, the literary features of prophetic literature, and the themes of repentance, restoration, and the Day of the Lord. Joel's prophecy also has significance in the New Testament as it is quoted by Peter at Pentecost, emphasizing the fulfillment of Joel's vision through the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
  • In the Amos lesson, you explore its historical context, literary features, and themes, enhancing your understanding of justice, the Day of the Lord, and God's sovereignty within the Old Testament.
  • By studying Obadiah, you will gain insight into the historical context and literary features of this prophetic oracle. You will learn about the pride of Edom, their judgment, and the hope for Israel. Through understanding the significance of Obadiah in the Old Testament, you will have a deeper appreciation for the themes and message of this book.
  • Through this lesson, you gain insight into Jonah's themes, including God's mercy, human rebellion, repentance, and the significance of mission, while also understanding its connections to other biblical narratives.
  • Studying the book of Micah will give you an understanding of its historical context, literary genre, prophetic message of judgment and restoration, and insights into God's character and how He interacts with His people.
  • In this lesson, you gain insight into the historical context, structure, and themes of the book of Nahum, learning about God's sovereignty, justice, and the relevance of these concepts in today's world.
  • Studying Habakkuk will deepen your understanding of how to wrestle with difficult questions about God's character and the problem of evil and respond with faith and trust in God's sovereignty.
  • In this lesson, you explore the book of Zephaniah, gaining insights into its background, context, literary features, themes, and significance in the Old Testament, including the central message of the Day of the Lord and the promise of future hope.
  • You will gain an in-depth understanding of the Book of Haggai, including its historical and cultural context, literary structure, purpose and themes, individual sections, and theological significance in relation to the Exile, Restoration, and Messiah.
  • In this lesson, you gain insights into Zechariah's historical context, structure, themes of restoration, the coming Messiah, God's sovereignty, and its significance in the Old Testament.
  • Discover the last book of the Old Testament and its themes, such as God's love for Israel, the importance of worship, and the coming of the messenger and the day of the Lord, as well as its connection to the New Testament, which prophesies the coming of John the Baptist and Jesus and calls for a return to God.

BP100-27 Ezekiel (Part 1)

The book of the prophet Ezekiel. Ezekiel was a priest who had been living in Jerusalem during the First Babylonian Attack on the city. And they spared the city but they took a first wave of Israelite prisoners and hold them off into exile. And Ezekiel was among them. So the book begins five years after all that. And Ezekiel was sitting on the bank of an irrigation canal near his Israelite refugee camp. And it's his 30th birthday, no less-- the year that he would have been installed as a priest in Jerusalem. And then all of a sudden Ezekiel has this vision. He sees a storm cloud approaching. And then inside the cloud are four strange creatures that have wings outstretched and touching each other. And these creatures each had each four faces. And then he saw four wheels-- one by each creature. And then he saw that the wings of the creatures were supporting this dazzling platform. And on that platform is a throne. And then sitting on that throne is this human-like creature glowing and shrouded in fire. And then all of a sudden Ezekiel realizes what he's seeing. He calls it "the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD." It's God riding His royal throne chariot. Now the word "glory." In Hebrew it's "kavod." It means "heavy" or "significant." The biblical authors use this word to describe the physical appearance and manifestation of God's significance when He shows up in person. These images in the vision, they're very similar to what happened when God appeared on Mount Sinai on the book of Exodus. And is also very similar to the depictions of God's presence over the Ark of the Covenant. And that's actually the most shocking thing about Ezekiel's vision, "What is God's glory doing in Babylon?" It's supposed to be above the Ark of the Covenant in the temple in Jerusalem. And so the first section of the book opens to explore that question as Ezekiel begins to accuse Israel of rebellion. So God first speaks to Ezekiel from the throne chariot and He commissions him as a prophet. Ezekiel is to accuse Israel of breaking their covenant agreement with God in a couple of ways. Israel has given their allegiance to other gods and has been worshipping idols and this has all led to rampant social injustice and violence. And so as a result, God appoints Ezekiel to warn the people. The first Babylonian attack that took Ezekiel into exile is going to be matched by another. And Jerusalem, its temple, all face imminent destruction. So Ezekiel uses words and more to get his message across. He also performs sign acts. These were a form of street theater. Ezekiel would go out on public and start behaving in this really bizarre ways that were like parables of his prophetic message. So he was supposed to build a tiny model of Jerusalem and then staged an attack of it. Or he was to shave off all of his hair and then chop it up with a sword. Or the most extreme, he was to play the role of the scapegoat on the Day of Atonement. And he would lay on his side for over a year eating food cooked over poop as a sign of the nasty food that people would have to eat during the siege of Jerusalem. And perhaps the most disheartening thing of all is the bad news God gave Ezekiel-- that no one was going to listen to him. Israel would reject him because of their rebellious and hard heart. And this recalls Moses' description of the people after the wilderness rebellion when he predicted that exile would one day happen. And Ezekiel had the unfortunate privilege of seeing it all come to pass. And so a dismayed Ezekiel, he begins to perform his task. And after about a year he has another vision. This one is about the temple. He goes on this virtual tour of the temple and he sees what's happening there in his absence. And it is not good. In the outer courtyard, in front of the temple, he sees this large idol statue. And then he sees the elders of Israel worshiping other gods, both outside and inside the temple. And then he sees the women of Israel, they're worshiping a Babylonian god named Tammuz. And the vision ends with God's glorious throne chariot moving up and away from the temple. It's leaving, going east headed towards Babylon. And so in chapter 11 we come to see why and how God's glory appeared to Ezekiel there in Babylon. Israel's idolatry and their covenant violations. It's become so blatant and offensive that God has left His temple. They've driven Him away and He consigns it to destruction. But God hasn't abandoned His people. Rather He goes into exile with them. And so at the end of this vision in chapter 11, God promises that He will return a remnant of Israel back to the land. And He'll transform them by removing their heart of stone and giving them a new soft heart of flesh. So that they can love and truly follow their God after all. This is a small glimmer of hope. And it's quickly submerged under the reality of the imminent destruction. But chapter 11, it's a key transition. And it helps us understand how the rest of the book has been designed. So the next three sections are all announcements of God's judgement. First, on Israel. Then, on the nations around Israel. And then on Jerusalem itself. But then after that, the hopeful conclusion of chapter 11 gets developed in the final 3 sections of the book. First, hope for Israel. Then for the nations. And then for all creation. Chapters 12-24 focus on God's judgment coming to Israel. And this is a diverse collection of poems and essays. And here Ezekiel shows his fondness for parable and allegory. So he depicts Israel as a burnt useless stick, or as a rebellious wife, or as a dangerous raging lion that gets captured, or as two promiscuous sisters. These are all depictions of Israel's senseless rebellion and idolatry that results in their ruin. In this section, Ezekiel also acts like a lawyer. He begins arguing to the case. That first of all, Jerusalem's destruction is truly deserved after centuries of covenant violation. And that even if the most righteous people in the world like Noah, or Daniel, or Job were alive and praying for God to spare Israel God would not accept their prayers. It's far too late. And so God's goodness actually demands that He bring justice on this generation of Israel. The exile has become inevitable. They've reached the point of no return. Following this, Ezekiel focuses first on the nations immediately around Israel. And then on the two most powerful states in the region: Egypt and then Tyre. Israel has allied with these nations and adopted their gods and their idols. And so God accuses the kings of Tyre and Egpyt for arrogantly viewing themselves as gods who get to define right and wrong on their own terms. And God holds these kings accountable for their pride and he announces that He will use Babylon to bring them down They will face God's justice along with everybody else. Following these really intense sections is a short story in chapter 33. Ezekiel's met by a refugee who's just arrived from Jerusalem and he gives him the report. The Babylon has attacked the city of Jerusalem. That the city has fallen and the temple was destroyed. Ezekiel's grim warnings have become a reality. But remember the end of chapter 11, that's not the end of the story. And so on the next video, we'll explore Ezekiel's profound vision of hope. But for now, that's the first half of the book of Ezekiel.