Prophet to Displaced People

MEMORY VERSE: “Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me.” —Ezekiel 3:17


EZEKIEL was a priest, and after his exile in Babylon, was called to be a prophet. He was to warn the people against continuing in sin, which was responsible for their being in Babylon, but unlike Jeremiah, he is not classified as a prophet of doom. Jeremiah’s mission was to declare the coming judgments upon Israel, as represented in their Babylonian captivity, while Ezekiel prophesied at the time when these judgments were falling heavily upon the typical people of God.

As we saw in last week’s lesson, not only did Jeremiah forecast the captivity of Israel, but he also foretold a time when God would make a new covenant with them—a covenant the law of which would be written in their inward parts and in their hearts. This is a great future blessing which is to come upon the Israelites and all mankind.

Likewise, in addition to warning the Israelites concerning their sins, Ezekiel was used by the Lord to forecast many messianic kingdom blessings. The information concerning these future blessings was probably given to Ezekiel when “the heavens were opened,” and he “saw visions of God” “The heavens were opened” to Jesus at the beginning of his mission, and while the revelation of truth thereby imparted to him was much more complete, embracing, no doubt, the entire plan of God, Ezekiel had a similar experience, although much more limited, and doubtless his own personal comprehension of what he saw in his “visions” was much less clear.

Ezekiel, by the Lord’s help, did forecast some wonderful things pertaining to the plan of God. In chapter 16, verses 58-63, speaking of death as a state of captivity, Ezekiel forecasts the resurrection, not only of the Israelites, but also of heathen nations. This will take place in “the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.”—Acts 3:19-21

In chapters 36 through 39 Ezekiel prophesies the restoration of Israel to the favor of God and to their land; and of being cleansed from their sins.

In chapter 47:1-12 Ezekiel pictures a symbolic river which flows from a symbolic temple which he has previously described. Like the symbolic river in Revelation, chapter 22, this river also has trees on its banks, and these are for food and for medicine.

EZEKIEL 3:14-17

Ezekiel wrote, “So the spirit lifted me up, and took me away, and I went in bitterness, in the heat of my spirit; but the hand of the Lord was strong upon me.” As the Lord directed him away from his own home he “came to them of the captivity at Tel-abib.” It was while here among his countrymen that the Lord said to Ezekiel, as indicated in our memory verse, “Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel,” and he was to sound warnings to them concerning their sins.

Tel-abib was on the banks of the Chebar. Chebar was really just a canal. It was near the Euphrates, from which it probably received its water. Many of the exiles settled by its banks.


In this section of the lesson Ezekiel is instructed, in a very unique way, to predict the siege of Jerusalem; that is, by setting up a pattern of how the enemy would proceed. Ezekiel was, of course, now in Babylon, as were those of the Israelites to whom he would deliver this message. Certainly this would not be a pleasant message for them.

It was a message that implied destruction of Jerusalem, its temple, and probably many of their countrymen who had not taken the opportunity to flee from the city when it was offered to them. Probably Ezekiel was more or less reluctant to deliver this message of gloom, but the hand of the Lord was heavy upon him, and if he was to be faithful to his God there was no escape from delivering his message. The Lord’s servants today at times have messages to deliver which are not pleasant to the hearers.


Under what circumstances did Ezekiel serve the Lord as one of his prophets?

Mention some of the special features of God’s plan which Ezekiel prophesied.

Dawn Bible Students Association
|  Home Page  |  Table of Contents  |