Understanding the Old Testament - Lesson 19


In this lesson, Dr. Van Pelt discusses the book of Ezekiel's thematic focus on the glory of the Lord and the temple. He provides historical context, noting Ezekiel's prophetic ministry during the exile to Babylon, his role as both priest and prophet, and his significant visions. The book is divided into four main sections: Ezekiel's call and commission, oracles of judgment against Israel, oracles against foreign nations, and oracles of good news concerning restoration. The lesson highlights key visions such as Ezekiel's call, the departure of the glory of the Lord from the temple, the resurrection from the dead, and the return of Yahweh's glory to a new temple. The lecture also discusses covenant theology in Ezekiel, including references to the Abrahamic, Mosaic, Davidic, and new covenants, emphasizing the theme of newness and restoration. 

Miles Van Pelt
Understanding the Old Testament
Lesson 19
Watching Now

I. Background and Context of Ezekiel

A. Introduction to the Book of Ezekiel

B. Historical and Cultural Context

C. Prophetic Ministry of Ezekiel

II. Ezekiel's Prophetic Ministry and Themes

A. Ezekiel's Call and Commission (Chapters 1-3)

B. Oracles of Judgment (Chapters 4-24)

C. Oracles Against Foreign Nations (Chapters 25-32)

D. Oracles of Restoration (Chapters 33-48)

III. Key Visions in Ezekiel

A. Vision 1: Ezekiel's Call

B. Vision 2: Departure of Yahweh's Glory

C. Vision 3: Resurrection from the Dead

D. Vision 4: Return of Yahweh's Glory

IV. Covenant Theology in Ezekiel

A. Abrahamic Covenant

B. Mosaic Covenant

C. Davidic Covenant

D. New Covenant

V. Major Themes in Ezekiel

A. Glory of Yahweh

B. Acknowledgment of Yahweh

C. Creation, Decreation, and Recreation

D. Apocalyptic Visions

VI. Function and Purpose of Apocalyptic Literature

A. Hope in the Future

B. Perseverance in Suffering

  • Engage with the Old Testament to grasp its Gospel-centered nature. From Genesis to Ecclesiastes and Psalms, discover foundational truths, wisdom, and insights on suffering. Strengthen your faith and find enduring hope in God's Word.
  • Gain insight into the Old Testament's theological core, centering on Jesus Christ. Explore its diverse genres, languages, and authors, unified by Jesus as its focal point. Understand how biblical evidence supports Jesus as the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy, shaping interpretation.
  • In this lesson, Dr. Miles Van Pelt provides the thematic framework for the Old Testament. The Old Testament's thematic core is the Kingdom of God. Through this lesson, you'll understand its covenantal nature, from pre-temporal arrangements to various administrations like redemption, works, and grace, unveiling God's salvation plan in Christ.
  • Discover the intricate covenantal structure of the Bible, revealing its theological depth and unity, from the division of the Hebrew Bible to its mirroring in the New Testament, all centered around Jesus Christ.
  • Gain insight into the Pentateuch's covenantal structure, Moses' authorship debate, and evidence supporting it. Understand its significance as the foundation of Israel's relationship with God and its relevance for biblical theology.
  • Through this lesson, you will understand the theological, structural, and thematic intricacies of the book of Genesis. You'll grasp its role as a foundational text in both the Old and New Testaments, exploring themes of covenant, creation, fall, redemption, and the fulfillment of promises. You'll gain insights into the genealogical structure of Genesis, its portrayal of key biblical figures like Adam, Noah, and Abraham, and its connection to the overarching narrative of the gospel.
  • Exodus reveals Yahweh's promise—"I will be with you"—unfolding divine presence and covenant. It anticipates Jesus as fulfillment—a better Moses and Tabernacle—ushering in God's eternal presence among humanity.
  • Studying Leviticus unveils the intricate system of laws and rituals at Mount Sinai. It explains sacrificial atonement, priestly consecration, purity laws, and the theme of holiness, prefiguring Jesus as the ultimate priest, sacrifice, and source of holiness.
  • Discover the Book of Numbers' insights on Israel's journey, God's faithfulness, consequences of disobedience, and parallels to Christ, cautioning against questioning God's holiness and emphasizing His desire to dwell among His people through the Holy Spirit.
  • Gain insight into Deuteronomy's covenant renewal for Israel entering Canaan, emphasizing obedience, typology, and its relevance for Christian living.
  • Gain deep insight into the former prophets, exploring themes of Yahweh's faithfulness, Israel's unfaithfulness, and the typological significance of the Mosaic covenant. Understand its relation to the Abrahamic covenant and its fulfillment in the New Covenant under Jesus, revealing God's plan for restoration.
  • Joshua unveils Joshua's leadership, divine promise fulfillment in Canaan, obedience's significance, and Jesus as the ultimate fulfiller of God's promises.
  • Discover the Book of Judges, detailing Israel's history and faith journey. Learn about judges as deliverers from oppression and idolatry, portraying parallels with Christ's ministry. Uncover a pattern of uncreation due to idolatry, emphasizing the need for an eternal judge—Jesus Christ—to save from corruption.
  • In this lesson, Dr. Miles Van Pelt provides insights into the book of Samuel, exploring its characters, themes, and the transition from judgeship to kingship in Israel. Learn of the significance of the Davidic covenant, culminating in Jesus as the ultimate King of Kings.
  • Gain insights into the Book of Kings, revealing its historical and theological significance. Discover the fulfillment of Davidic covenant, reasons for Israel's exile, and anticipation of the new covenant. Recognize Jesus as the ultimate fulfillment of its promises.
  • This lesson reviews latter prophets' insights into Israel's exile for breaking the Mosaic Covenant, the prophetic office's nature, diverse prophecy genres, and the execution of covenant lawsuits, all pointing to God's judgment and hope for restoration.
  • Explore Isaiah's profound prophetic themes, from redemption to impending judgment. Unravel his life and ministry's context, review the debate around authorship, and learn essential tools for study.
  • Enjoy this lesson on Jeremiah, a second Moses figure, and his prophetic message of repentance, redemption, and a new covenant. Explore the book's chiastic structure, historical context, and theological significance, offering hope amidst Judah's fall.
  • Studying Ezekiel reveals its focus on the glory of the Lord and the temple. You learn of Ezekiel's exile, his visions, and themes like covenant theology, creation, and apocalyptic elements, offering profound insights into hope amidst crisis.
  • Discover insights into the minor prophets' diverse genres and themes, from covenant infidelity to divine restoration. Witness Jonah's repentance narrative and prophetic visions culminating in Christ's fulfillment. Embrace Yahweh's justice and compassion, urging Israel's return, leading to Jesus as the ultimate authority.
  • Understand the structure and themes of the Hebrew Bible's writings section. Explore diverse literary forms, intentional divisions mirroring prophets, and the overarching theme of exile and return, illuminating Israel's covenant journey.
  • Discover the depth of the Book of Psalms: 150 songs divided into 5 books, expressing diverse emotions and worship forms. Explore themes, structure, and practical applications for personal devotion and prayer.
  • Gain insights into human suffering and theodicy through Job's trials. Explore themes of faith, resilience, and God's sovereignty amidst adversity. Discover hope in God's incomprehensible sovereignty amid life's trials.
  • Proverbs is a book of timeless wisdom from Solomon, who was gifted by God. By studying this book, you can learn to navigate life with righteousness and discernment, rooted in the fear of the Lord.
  • Journey through Ruth, where redemption, loyalty, and divine providence intertwine. Ruth, a symbol of strength, aligns with Boaz, embodying ancient customs. Their union shapes history, reflecting the enduring legacy of faith amidst life's complexities.
  • Explore the Song of Songs for insights into marriage and intimacy. It navigates the tension between true love and temptation, advocating for unwavering commitment and passionate intimacy, reflecting God's desired relationship. Discover timeless wisdom for modern-day love and marriage.
  • Ecclesiastes reveals life's futility without God, emphasizing the necessity of fearing Him. Through Solomon's wisdom, it prompts reflection on divine purpose amid existential questions.
  • In Lamentations, mourn the fall of Jerusalem and exile, finding hope in God's sovereignty.
  • The book of Esthers contains themes of providence, hiddenness of God, and faithfulness in exile. You will uncover the intricacies of Esther and Mordecai's roles in the deliverance of the Jewish people, as well as the establishment of the festival of Purim. This study will equip you with insights into how God's providence operates amidst human events, even when His presence may seem concealed, and how faithfulness in exile can lead to unexpected outcomes of deliverance and restoration.
  • Through this lesson on the book of Daniel, you'll gain insights into its structure, themes of faithfulness in exile, comparisons with Joseph, and its significance for understanding apocalyptic literature, providing a comprehensive understanding of God's sovereignty and care for His people.
  • Explore Ezra and Nehemiah for insights into post-exilic restoration, intertwining faith, governance, and cultural renewal. These books point towards a deeper longing for true and lasting restoration and echo themes found in apocalyptic literature such as the book of Revelation.
  • The Book of Chronicles traces Israel's history, emphasizing kingship, priesthood, and divine selection. It anticipates restoration, pointing to Jesus as the ultimate priest-king who fulfills God's promises.

Understanding the Old Testament 
Dr. Miles Van Pelt
Lesson Transcript

This is the lecture for Ezekiel, the third of the latter prophets. So we've done Isaiah and Jeremiah, we'll do Ezekiel, and then we'll move to the Book of the Twelve. The key to understanding the book of Ezekiel is this, the glory of the Lord and the temple. David Noel Friedman writes, "The theme of the temple runs through the entire book and is the key to its unity. In a sentence, he says, it is the story of the departure of the glory of God from the temple and then its return." That's the story of this. Remember, what's happening is God's people are going to become not his people and he's going to remove his presence from them because of their breaking of the Mosaic covenant and will witness the Lord's glory departing from the temple to the east in the book of Ezekiel. 

Historical background, when did Ezekiel prophesy? We get some of that in the first few verses of the book itself. Ezekiel 1:1-3 says, So we have the fifth year of Jehoiakim's exile at 593 BC. As I mentioned, Ezekiel was a priest. He was carried off to Babylon at the age of 25 in the second deportation to Babylon, which was in 597 BC. He was called as God's prophet to declare the end of the old temple and its new order at the beginning of a more glorious temple, a symbol of a new and transformed world. So Ezekiel went into exile in 597, you're going to see in 586, about 11 years from then, that the temple is going to be destroyed and Jerusalem along with it. His prophetic ministry ranged from 593 at his call to 571. 

He ministered in a place called Tel Abib, located near the canal of the Kebar River. He was married, lived in a house, and lived among the Judean exiles. The year of his calling is significant, age 30, because that's the year at which he would have started his Levitical service in the temple. Now Ezekiel was not only a priest, but he was also a prophet and a watchman over the people of God. Ezekiel is called the son of man 93 times in the book. It is likely a reference to his humanity as a member of the divine council, the council of the So in the divine council, there are the sons of Elohim, and he was a son of Adam, the son of man. So it distinguishes him as, in some sense, a visitor in the divine council.

In terms of outline, there are four main parts to the book of Ezekiel, and you can see those on the slide. In the first part, you have Ezekiel's call and commission in chapters 1 through 3, where you'll see the fiery chariot of the Lord. Then you will have oracles of judgment in 4 to 24. That's the prosecution of the covenant lawsuit. Then in the third section, you'll see oracles against foreign nations in chapters 25 to 32, and then you'll conclude chapters 33 to 48, the oracles of good news or the reversal of the covenant lawsuit. 

Now I hope that you are beginning to see a pattern, for example, with Isaiah and Jeremiah and now Ezekiel, that the prophets are called. They preach oracles of judgment against God's people because of their disobedience. They preach oracles of judgment against the nations because of their role in the persecution of God's people. But then somewhere in those prophecies, there are these oracles of good news. In Isaiah and Ezekiel, they're at the end, but in Jeremiah, they're in the middle of that Book of Consolation. Again, this is all rooted in Deuteronomy 32, where we have that large broken lawsuit, where the covenant lawsuit is executed against God's people, and at the end, he says, I will atone for my people and my land. This fourth section here stems from that promise, which is rooted in the Abrahamic promise, meaning once the Mosaic economy fails under the Mosaic covenant, God is still upholding the Abrahamic covenant because the Abrahamic covenant is fulfilled in two stages, the Mosaic economy and the new covenant economy.

Mark Devers says that there are three basic sequences of visions that God gives Ezekiel, and if you understand these three visions, you will know the book. Okay, I'm going to add one more vision for you and kind of explain what he means by that. So here are the four visions of Ezekiel on your screen. Vision one is Ezekiel's call. Vision two, the glory of Yahweh departs from the temple. Vision three is the resurrection from the dead in chapter 37. And then vision four, the glory of Yahweh returns to the temple in chapters 40 to 48. 

So in Ezekiel's call, you're going to see that Ezekiel is called as a prophet to execute God's lawsuit in a very fantastical way in God's throne presence with the chariot and the fiery wheels with all of the eyes. In the second section, we're going to see that the second vision, is the glory of the Lord departing from the temple to the east, and that culminates in the fall of Jerusalem, which is the turning point in the book. Vision three is this, the resurrection from the dead in chapter 37. Now you'll recall from our discussion in previous lectures that resurrection is how God's people will ultimately experience a return from exile. So this is playing right into that particular theme, but in a very vivid way where you have the valley of dry bones and they're resurrected from the dead to be God's new people. Because of that, the glory of the Lord can return to the temple and God's people can experience his presence, and that's the fourth vision, the glory of Yahweh returning to the temple. 

In Ezekiel 36, right before the vision of the valley of dry bones in chapter 37, Ezekiel describes the return from exile in terms of four different covenants. And, if you can understand the nature of the four covenants and how they're working out in Ezekiel 36, you can understand a great deal of covenant theology and how the Abrahamic, the Mosaic, and the new covenants are working together in harmony. 

Here we go. First, in chapter 36, we have the Abrahamic covenant where Yahweh promises to this future group that the people will live in the land Yahweh gave to his forefathers. That's the first promise. And that's a reflection on the Abrahamic covenant. Secondly, they say they will follow his decrees and keep his laws. And the decrees and laws come to us not in the Abrahamic covenant, but in the Mosaic covenant. Then it states in chapter 37, verses 24 to 25, that David will be their king and they will have one shepherd. Interestingly, at this time, David hasn't been their king in approximately 400 years. Finally, it says in chapters 36 and 37 that the people will get new hearts and a new spirit and enjoy the blessings of an eternal covenant of peace. That's the new covenant. So the Abrahamic covenant, the land will be restored. Mosaic covenant, somehow they will be able to obey the laws and decrees, which we know is the circumcised heart. Then we have the Davidic covenant, which means they will have one king and one shepherd. It'll be Yahweh himself. And finally, they will get new hearts and a new spirit. You can think about it this way. You know, Isaiah talks about a new heaven and earth. Jeremiah talks about a new temple. And Ezekiel is going to talk about a new temple, but he's going to go off the charts with a new covenant, a new temple, a new people. And you'll see that in my outline as it comes up here.

So for example, concerning the newness that's coming in this new covenant, you can see on my outline, you can see from my notes here on my outline, letter B there, the oracles of restoration in Ezekiel 34 to 37. And you can observe the five different things that Ezekiel is prophesying will be new. They'll have a new shepherd, a new land, a new covenant, a new people, and a new unity. This means even within the Mosaic economy itself, once again, it's describing itself as temporary and temporal. That is, it's not going to last forever and it's going to point beyond itself. It's going to point beyond itself to something greater.The shepherd that's coming will be greater than the Davidic shepherd. The covenant that's coming will be greater than the Mosaic covenant. The people that are coming will be greater than just the Israelite remnant, that kind of thing.

So here's the summary from Ezekiel 37:26 to 27. Here we have kind of a key verse where it says, "I will make a covenant of peace with them. It will be an everlasting covenant with them "So we've seen a covenant of peace, an everlasting covenant, and a new covenant. These are all the different languages that the Old Testament is employing for the forthcoming new covenant. I will set them in their land and multiply them.I will set my sanctuary in their midst forever. My dwelling place will be with them and I will be their God and they will be my people, which is the fulfillment of the covenant formula. I will be their God, they will be my people, and I will dwell in their midst. It is a relationship, the covenantal relationship, where they are sharing life in communion. There are several major themes in the book of Ezekiel and it will be helpful for us to know those so that we may kind of understand.

We can't go over all the content, but if we take some of the major themes, I can give you kind of the necessary steps for kind of apprehending the message of Ezekiel. The first that we've mentioned is the glory of Yahweh. The glory of Yahweh. Remember for Isaiah, it was something like Yahweh is the Holy One of Israel. But for Ezekiel, the theme he wants to focus on is the glory of Yahweh.

We get this first in this grand theophany, which is the appearance of God in kind of his royal court splendor in the opening call and vision of Ezekiel in chapters one through three. The glory of Yahweh then departs from the temple in Jerusalem in chapters eight through eleven. For example, you can see here in Ezekiel 11:22 to 24, it's talking about the throne of God carried by the cherubim and stuff like that Here we have, "Then the cherubim lifted up their wings with the wheels beside them, and the glory of the God of Israel was over them. And the glory of the Lord went up from the midst of the city and stood on the mountain that is on the east side of the city. And the Spirit lifted me up and brought me in the vision by the Spirit of God into Chaldea, to the exiles. Then the vision that I had seen went up for me, and I told the exiles all the things that the Lord had shown me." O Palmer Robertson says the departing and returning of glory may thus serve as a summary theme for the entire message of this prophecy. The return of Yahweh's glory to a renewed temple appears in chapters 40 to 48. The closing verse of the book reads this way, The circumference of the city shall be 18,000 cubits, and the name of the city from this time on shall be Yahweh or the Lord is there. His return to Eden in his temple. So the glory of Yahweh dwelling in his people is the first theme.

The second theme is the expression, You will know that I am Yahweh. This acknowledgment formula appears 70 times in the book of Ezekiel and stands for one of the keywords in terms of structuring the oracles. When it says you and then you will know I am Yahweh, you're at the end of an oracle. By way of comparison, Isaiah uses this formula seven times and Jeremiah two times. So the fact that it occurs in Ezekiel 70 times is significant. The most common after Jeremiah is Exodus 11 times after the plagues of deliverance where Yahweh is executing those plagues of deliverance in Exodus so that everyone will know that I am Yahweh, both Egypt and Israel. The knowing of Yahweh is the basis for covenant renewal in the book of Ezekiel. Knowing in the Old Testament is more than mental familiarity with a topic. It is also, you guessed it, a covenantal term. So in the Old Testament, to know Yahweh is to live in light of his covenant code. To forget Yahweh is to forget the covenant and go after the other gods.

We know from something like this, or say it like this, in Genesis 4:1, we read that Adam knew his wife Eve and she conceived and bore Cain. That knowing is not he didn't think about Eve and then Eve conceived and bore a son. No, he knew her in a covenantal term, sexual union, and out of that there was this life produced. So knowing is living in light of the covenant. Knowing is living in light of the covenant. Or Amos 3:2, when God says through Amos, you only have I known of all the families of the earth. Therefore, I will punish you for all of your iniquities. Well, the Lord knows about the Moabites and the Philistines and the Babylonians and the people of Assyria, but you only have I been in a covenant relationship with is the way that looks. So the knowing of Yahweh is a covenantal term. So you will know that I am Yahweh. You will know that I am your covenant Lord. So that's a major theme appearing 70 times in the book of Ezekiel.

The third theme we want to focus on is the theme of creation, decreation, and recreation. Creation, decreation, and recreation. This pattern is first seen in the account of the flood in Genesis 6-9. In Genesis 1 and 2, God created the world as very good, but human sin corrupted this world and brought it to the point of judgment that was inevitable or irrevocable. Then the flood waters of Genesis 7-8, God destroyed the world, the world that then was, and out of those chaotic waters emerged a new world, the world that now is, and this becomes a pattern for judgment and restoration. Now it's interesting too because in the flood, the world returns to the watery chaos of Genesis 1:2 and darkness was hovering over the face of the deep. Then the Spirit of God blows over those waters again in the receding of the waters in the flood and out of that emerges Noah and his family as the new creation. That's kind of the Genesis archetype that moves forward. 

This same pattern continues with the nation of Israel, that creation, decreation, and recreation. First God brings forth this nation from the judgment waters of the Red Sea. That's the new creation. That's when Israel becomes his quote people, and then he will destroy them and send them into exile, that's decreation or judgment, when he brings to bear the curses of the covenant in the prosecution of his lawsuit. The only hope after this recreation is the making of all things new or recreation where you'll have a resurrected life and a new heaven and a new earth with a new shepherd, land, covenant, people, and unity. In the book of Ezekiel, the departure of the glory spirit from the temple and the fall of Jerusalem constitutes the decreation of Israel's theocratic kingdom or that kingdom ruled by God himself. But Ezekiel also provides words of hope when the glory spirit returns to a new kind of temple with a new shepherd, land, covenant, people, and unity. We also know that this newness has only begun and it will arrive in its fullness at the consummation of the ages in the new heavens. For example, in Revelation 21-22 we read, So this is escalated sense of the newness of what's going on there. Okay, so creation, decreation, recreation, that theme runs through a lot of the prophets but is very strong in the book of Ezekiel just like the glory of the Lord is. 

We've also talked about newness but just it's worth reviewing here. Newness is a major theme in the book of Ezekiel. Newness in the terms of a shepherd, land, covenant, people, unity, temple. I think it's very important to focus on. That's why I'm rehearsing it again because in all of these prophets, remember, they're bringing to bear the covenant curses of Yahweh on his people for disobeying the Mosaic covenant but that's not the last word. The Mosaic economy is not the last word because the Abrahamic covenant underlies it. That's why I keep saying the Mosaic economy is an administration of the covenant of grace which has the Abrahamic covenant kind of as its root but it's only stage one in his two-stage fulfillment process. Both Isaiah and Jeremiah focus on the restoration of God's people through a new Zion for Isaiah or a new covenant for Jeremiah but Ezekiel excels or exceeds these guys in terms of what he's looking for in newness.

The fourth theme here is we can say crazy apocalyptic visions in the book of Ezekiel. Ezekiel is in some sense connected with the book of Daniel and connected with the book of Revelation in the sense that they have a very high concentration of what we call apocalyptic visions or visions of an otherworldly reality with beasts and monsters that are not of this world with horns and faces and limbs that are mixed and matched from all kinds of things. It's like the ultimate Godzilla movie in 3D and we're going to talk about, let me just talk about this a little bit for you.

Apocalyptic literature is sprinkled throughout the latter prophets. The book of Daniel has some as well in the New Testament, book of Revelation, etc. There's also a little bit in Isaiah 24 to 27 but Ezekiel in terms of the Old Testament is the winner here, Ezekiel and Daniel.

Apocalyptic literature describes and records strange otherworldly visions and experiences. The term apocalypse is of Greek origin drawn from the Greek word apocalypsis which is the word the first word in the New Testament book of Revelation and just means revealing or uncovering revelation. The function and purpose of apocalyptic literature. It's intended for a group in crisis for exhortation and consolation using divine authority. That's an official definition. Here's what apocalyptic literature is. It's ancient Near Eastern comfort food. When you're in trouble and when you're in crisis, these visions come to you and say, don't worry, God is at work behind the scenes and he's going to win the battle. Despite the horrifying things that you see before you, the beasts and the monsters, there will be one who comes and destroys and conquers them and so you can have hope in the future and you can persevere in suffering which are the two things that this is intended to provide. 

Number one, hope in the hope in the future.One scholar, A.T. Hanson, emphasizes the importance of hope arguing that those who are in despair in their earthly circumstances look to the work of God's plan to provoke hope and comfort. God is just, compassionate, and sovereign and will not forsake his people as he directs history toward his divine purpose where evil cannot prevail. So think of the book of Daniel.He's been in exile for 70 years living under oppressive regimes and he wants to go home because in Isaiah he read the exile will only last 70 years and so there is revealed unto him all of these visions about the future and the whole point of those visions is to say, yes, the world looks like it's in chaos. Maybe our own particular cultures might look like they're in chaos, but that chaos does not mean that the Lord is not in control and that it's still not moving towards final eschatological hope. Take comfort, in ancient Eastern comfort food. That hope is intended to provoke perseverance in suffering. 

Another function is that it will aid while suffering. Apocalypses were written during times of crises. Think about this, the Babylonian captivity in the 6th century, and the persecution of the Christians in the 1st century for revelation. In whatever context, the author of the biblical apocalypses championed one simple message.Never lose faith in God, even amid desperate suffering, for God will reward the faithful and punish the wicked. 

So just by way of summary, here's what the book of Ezekiel does. It brings to bear the covenant curses of God on his people in a covenant lawsuit format because of their sin and rejection of Yahweh and they're going after other gods. It talks about the four nations and their due judgment because of how they treated God's people and at the end of that when God should just drop the hammer and end it all, he reverses it and he says, I will have compassion on my people and I will return after I depart and I'll give them a new shepherd, new land, new covenant, new people, unity in a way that's irrevocable and permanent. 

This is the message of the prophets we've seen in Isaiah, Jeremiah, and now Ezekiel.