The Prophet Ezekiel is the author of the Book (Ezekiel  1:3). He was a contemporary of both Jeremiah and Daniel.

Date  of Writing: The Book of Ezekiel was likely written between 593 and 565  B.C. during the Babylonian captivity of the Jews.

Purpose of  Writing: Ezekiel ministered to his generation who were both exceedingly  sinful and thoroughly hopeless. By means of his prophetic ministry he  attempted to bring them to immediate repentance and to confidence in the distant  future. He taught that: (1) God works through human messengers; (2)  Even in defeat and despair God’s people need to affirm God’s  sovereignty; (3) God’s Word never fails; (4) God is present and can be  worshiped anywhere; (5) People must obey God if they expect to receive  blessings; and (6) God’s Kingdom will come.

Key Verses: Ezekiel  2:3-6, “He said: ‘Son of man, I am sending you to the Israelites, to a  rebellious nation that has rebelled against me; they and their fathers have been  in revolt against me to this very day. The people to whom I am sending you are  obstinate and stubborn. Say to them, “This is what the Sovereign LORD says.” And  whether they listen or fail to listen – for they are a rebellious house – they  will know that a prophet has been among them.'”

Ezekiel 18:4, “For every  living soul belongs to me, the father as well as the son – both alike belong to  me. The soul who sins is the one who will die.”

Ezekiel 28:12-14, “‘You  were the model of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. You were in  Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone adorned you: ruby, topaz and  emerald, chrysolite, onyx and jasper, sapphire, turquoise and beryl. Your  settings and mountings were made of gold; on the day you were created they were  prepared. You were anointed as a guardian cherub, for so I ordained you. You  were on the holy mount of God; you walked among the fiery stones.”

Ezekiel 33:11, “Say to  them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, I take no pleasure in  the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live.  Turn! Turn from your evil ways! Why will you die, O house of Israel?'”

Ezekiel 48:35, “And the  name of the city from that time on will be: THE LORD IS  THERE.”

Brief Summary: How can you cope with a world  gone astray? Ezekiel, destined to begin his life’s ministry as a priest at  age thirty, was uprooted from his homeland and marched off to Babylon at age of  twenty-five. For five years he languished in despair. At age thirty a  majestic vision of Yahweh’s glory captivated his being in Babylon. The  priest/prophet discovered God was not confined to the narrow strictures of  Ezekiel’s native land. Instead, He is a universal God who commands and  controls persons and nations. In Babylon, God imparted to Ezekiel His Word  for the people. His call experience transformed Ezekiel. He became avidly  devoted to God’s Word. He realized he had nothing personally to assist the  captives in their bitter situation, but he was convinced God’s Word spoke to  their condition and could give them victory in it. Ezekiel used various  methods to convey God’s Word to his people.  He used art in drawing a depiction  of Jerusalem, symbolic actions and unusual conduct to secure attention. He  cut his hair and beard to demonstrate what God would do to Jerusalem and its  inhabitants.

Ezekiel’s book can be divided into four sections:
Chapters 1-24: prophecies on the ruin of Jerusalem
Chapters 25-32:  prophecies of God’s judgment on nearby nations
Chapter 33: a last call for  repentance to Israel
Chapters 34-48: prophecies concerning the future  restoration of Israel

Foreshadowings: Ezekiel 34 is the  chapter wherein God denounces the leaders of Israel as false shepherds for their  poor care of His people. Instead of caring for the sheep of Israel, they cared  for themselves. They ate well, were well-clothed and well-cared for by the very  people they had been placed over (Ezekiel  34:1-3). By contrast, Jesus is the Good Shepherd who lays down His life for  the sheep and who protects them from the wolves who would destroy the flock (John 10:11-12). Verse 4 of  chapter 34 describes people whom the shepherds failed to minister to as weak,  sick, injured and lost. Jesus is the Great Physician who heals our spiritual  wounds (Isaiah 53:5)  by His death on the cross. He is the one who seeks and saves that which is lost  (Luke  19:10).

Practical Application: The Book of Ezekiel  calls us to join in a fresh and living encounter with the God of Abraham, Moses  and the prophets. We must be overcomers or we will be overcome. Ezekiel  challenged us to experience a life changing vision of God’s power, knowledge,  eternal presence and holiness; to let God direct us; to comprehend the depth of  and commitment to evil that lodges in each human heart; to recognize that God  holds His servants responsible for warning wicked men of their peril; to  experience a living relationship with Jesus Christ, who said that the new  covenant is to be found in His blood.