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Old Testament Notes


Ezekiel 1:1 - "the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, in the fifth day of the month" the time frame is not spelled out, but it might be Ezekiel's own age. He was probably about 25 years old when taken by Nebuchadnezzar as a prisoner to Babylon, along with King Jehoiachin, in 597 BC (II Kings, 24:8-16). Ezekiel had been in training to be a priest at the Temple, and if he had not been deported to Babylon he would have taken up duties at the Temple at the age of 30.
The River Chebar was a tributary of the River Euphrates.
Ezekiel 2:1 - "son of man" (Ben Adam) was a Hebrew term which emphasised that someone was a representative of the human race. The term later became associated with the Messiah, and was used by Jesus to refer to Himself in the New Testament.
Ezekiel 2:1 - "them of the captivity" - the other Jews who had been taken into exile as captives.
Ezekiel 4:9 - God told Ezekiel to lie on his side for more than a year in this dramatic prophecy against Jerusalem.
Ezekiel 8:1 - "the sixth year, in the sixth month, in the fifth day of the month" - probably the sixth year of the Exile. Zedekiah was still puppet king in Jerusalem, and Jeremiah was protesting there against the idolatry and evil practices of those who had been allowed to remain in Jerusalem.
Ezekiel 8:11 - Jaazaniah the son of Shaphan - may have been the son of the court official who served King Josiah (II Kings 22:3-20, II Chron.34:8-28) and the brother of Ahikam, Elasah, and Gemariah who helped Jeremiah (Jer.26:24, Jer.29:1-3, Jer.36:10-13,25, Jer.39:14)
Ezekiel 8:14 - "women weeping for Tammuz" - the Sumerian god Dumuzi, who was thought to go to the underworld during winter, and come back again each spring.
Ezekiel 11:1 - Jaazaniah the son of Azur - may have been the brother of the false prophet Hananiah who opposed Jeremiah (Jer.28:1-17)
Ezekiel, chapter 12 - God tells Ezekiel to act another dramatic prophecy, showing the final destruction of Jerusalem and the deportation of the people.
Ezekiel 16:3 - "Thy birth and thy nativity is of the land of Canaan; thy father an Amorite, and thy mother an Hittite." - Jerusalem was a city of Canaan for hundreds of years before David captured it and transformed it into the capital of Israel. The inhabitants had come under the influence of foreign peoples and had worshipped their gods.
Ezekiel 16:46 - Samaria (to the north) had been the capital of the northern kingdom of Israel, and had been destroyed by the Assyrians. Sodom (to the south-east) had been destroyed centuries before the time of Ezekiel. Ezekiel was saying that Jerusalem was even worse than those cities, and so would also be destroyed.
Ezekiel 23:4 - Aholah (his tabernacle) and Aholibah (my tabernacle) - names used by Ezekiel to emphasise that God had chosen Judah and Israel to worship Him.
Ezekiel 24:15-27 - Ezekiel's wife died, and God told him not to mourn for her, but to dress as for a journey, as a sign to the people that they would be devastated and taken into captivity.
Ezekiel, chapter 25 - The Ammonites lived across the Jordan, to the east of Judah; the Moabites lived to the south-east, by the Dead sea; Mount Seir was where the Edomites lived (they moved later to Idumea), to the south of Judah. All these nations invaded and despoiled Judah when the Babylonians attacked. Go here for Map
Ezekiel, chapters 26 & 27 - Tyre was the main city of the Phoenicians, on the Mediterranean coast to the north of Israel. The Phoenicians were great sea-farers and merchants who controlled trade in the Mediterranean at that time. They also worshipped a goddess to whom they sacrificed children (Jezebel was a Phoenician princess)
Ezekiel 28:21-26 - Sidon was another main city of the Phoenicians.
Ezekiel 29:3 - the Egyptian Pharaohs claimed to be divine, and claimed that they could control the waters of the river Nile. The Egyptians also promised to help Judah against the Assyrians and the Babylonians, but lost a battle and broke their treaty.
Ezekiel, chapter 38 - these nations were the Indo-European tribes which lived to the north of Mesopotamia, in the Caucasus, and which had attacked and invaded the southern lands for centuries.
Ezekiel 44:1-3 - Although Ezekiel's vision was of an idealized City and Temple, which do not correspond to the measurments of the current Temple Mount in Jerusalem, the Eastern Gate (also called the Golden Gate or the Beautiful Gate) to the Temple Mount was sealed by one of the Muslim caliphs because of the tradition that the Messiah will enter by that Gate. It is still sealed by tons of earth, and usually has some Israeli soldiers with guns on top of it to keep people away.

Copyright © 1999 Shirley J. Rollinson, all Rights Reserved

Dr. Rollinson

Department of Religion
Portales, NM 88130

Last Updated: April 9, 2008

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