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Ezekiel
Ezekiel
(/ɪˈziːkiəl/) (Hebrew: יְחֶזְקֵאל‬ Y'ḥezqēl [jəħɛzˈqēl]) is the central protagonist of the Book of Ezekiel
Book of Ezekiel
in the Hebrew Bible. In Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, Ezekiel
Ezekiel
is acknowledged as a Hebrew prophet. In Judaism
Judaism
and Christianity, he is also viewed as the 6th-century BCE author of the Book of Ezekiel
Book of Ezekiel
that reveals prophecies regarding the destruction of Jerusalem, the restoration to the land of Israel, and what some call the Millennial Temple visions, or the Third Temple.

Contents

1 Life 2 Living in Babylon

2.1 Prophetic career

3 World views

3.1 Jewish tradition 3.2 Christianity 3.3 Islamic
Islamic
tradition

3.3.1 Bibliography

4 Tomb 5 See also 6 Notes 7 References 8 Further reading 9 External links

Life[edit] The author of the Book of Ezekiel
Book of Ezekiel
presents himself as Ezekiel, the son of Buzzi, born into a priestly (Kohen) lineage.[1] Apart from identifying himself, the author gives a date for the first divine encounter which he presents: "in the thirtieth year".[2] If this is a reference to Ezekiel's age at the time, he was born around 622 BCE, about the time of Josiah's reforms.[3] His "thirtieth year" is given as 5 years after the exile of Judah's king Jehoiachin
Jehoiachin
by the Babylonians. Josephus
Josephus
claims that at the request of Nebuchadnezzar II, Babylonian armies exiled three thousand Jews[4] from Judah, after deposing King Jehoiachin
Jehoiachin
in 598 BCE. Living in Babylon[edit] According to the Bible, Ezekiel
Ezekiel
and his wife lived on the bank of the Chebar River, in Tel Abib[5] in Babylonia
Babylonia
with other exiles from Judah.[6] There is no mention of him having any offspring. Prophetic career[edit] Ezekiel
Ezekiel
describes his calling to be a prophet by going into great detail about his encounter with God
God
and four living creatures or Cherubim
Cherubim
with four wheels that stayed beside the creatures.[7] For the next five years he incessantly prophesied and acted out the destruction of Jerusalem
Jerusalem
and its temple, which was met with some opposition. However, Ezekiel
Ezekiel
and his contemporaries like Jeremiah, another prophet who was living in Jerusalem
Jerusalem
at that time, witnessed the fulfillment of their prophecies with the siege of Jerusalem
Jerusalem
by the Babylonians. On the hypothesis that the "thirtieth year" of Ezekiel 1:1 refers to Ezekiel's age, Ezekiel
Ezekiel
was fifty years old when he had his final vision.[3] On the basis of dates given in the Book of Ezekiel, Ezekiel's span of prophecies can be calculated to have occurred over the course of about 22 years.[8] The last dated words of Ezekiel
Ezekiel
date to April 570 BCE.[9][10] World views[edit] Jewish tradition[edit]

Monument to Holocaust survivors
Holocaust survivors
at Yad Vashem
Yad Vashem
in Jerusalem. The quote is Ezekiel
Ezekiel
37:14.

Ezekiel, like Jeremiah, is said by Talmud[11] and Midrash[12] to have been a descendant of Joshua
Joshua
by his marriage with the proselyte and former prostitute Rahab. Some statements found in rabbinic literature posit that Ezekiel
Ezekiel
was the son of Jeremiah, who was (also) called "Buzi" because he was despised by the Jews.[13] Ezekiel
Ezekiel
was said to be already active as a prophet while in the Land of Israel, and he retained this gift when he was exiled with Jehoiachin
Jehoiachin
and the nobles of the country to Babylon.[14] Rava states in the Babylonian Talmud
Talmud
that although Ezekiel
Ezekiel
describes the appearance of the throne of God
God
(Merkabah), this is not because he had seen more than the prophet Isaiah, but rather because the latter was more accustomed to such visions; for the relation of the two prophets is that of a courtier to a peasant, the latter of whom would always describe a royal court more floridly than the former, to whom such things would be familiar.[15] Ezekiel, like all the other prophets, has beheld only a blurred reflection of the divine majesty, just as a poor mirror reflects objects only imperfectly.[16] According to the midrash Canticles Rabbah, it was Ezekiel
Ezekiel
whom the three pious men, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah (also called Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the Bible) asked for advice as to whether they should resist Nebuchadnezzar's command and choose death by fire rather than worship his idol. At first God
God
revealed to the prophet that they could not hope for a miraculous rescue; whereupon the prophet was greatly grieved, since these three men constituted the "remnant of Judah". But after they had left the house of the prophet, fully determined to sacrifice their lives to God, Ezekiel
Ezekiel
received this revelation: "Thou dost believe indeed that I will abandon them. That shall not happen; but do thou let them carry out their intention according to their pious dictates, and tell them nothing".[17] Christianity[edit]

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Russian icon
Russian icon
of the Prophet
Prophet
Ezekiel
Ezekiel
holding a scroll with his prophecy and pointing to the "closed gate" (18th century, Iconostasis
Iconostasis
of Kizhi monastery, Russia)

Ezekiel
Ezekiel
is commemorated as a saint in the liturgical calendar of the Eastern Orthodox
Eastern Orthodox
Church—and those Eastern Catholic Churches
Eastern Catholic Churches
which follow the Byzantine Rite—on July 23 (for those churches which use the traditional Julian Calendar, July 23 falls on August 5 of the modern Gregorian Calendar).[18] Ezekiel
Ezekiel
is commemorated on August 28 on the Calendar of Saints of the Armenian Apostolic Church, and on April 10 in the Roman Martyrology. Certain Lutheran churches also celebrate his commemoration on July 20. Ezekiel's statement about the "closed gate" ( Ezekiel
Ezekiel
44:2–3) is understood[weasel words] as another prophecy of the Incarnation: the "gate" signifying the Virgin Mary
Virgin Mary
and the "prince" referring to Jesus. This is one of the readings at Vespers
Vespers
on Great Feasts
Great Feasts
of the Theotokos
Theotokos
in the Eastern Orthodox
Eastern Orthodox
and Byzantine Catholic Churches.[citation needed] This imagery is also found in the traditional Catholic Christmas hymn "Gaudete" and in a saying by Saint Bonaventure, quoted by Alphonsus Maria de' Liguori: "No one can enter Heaven unless by Mary, as though through a door."[19] The imagery provides the basis for the concept that God
God
gave Mary to mankind as the "Gate of Heaven" (thence the dedication of churches and convents to the Porta Coeli), an idea also laid out in the Salve Regina (Hail Holy Queen) prayer. According to 17th-century commentator Matthew Henry
Matthew Henry
Ezekiel
Ezekiel
is also believed to have been known as Nazaratus Assyrius, a teacher to Pythagoras. However, James Ussher, in his writings of the Ussher chronology, republished as "The Annals of the World" claims that this is a mistake, basing his opinion on the writings of Clemens Alexandrinus. However, Sir William Smith, in his "Bible Dictionary," points out that John Selden, among others, consider it a possibility. In the book "Pythagoras: Greek philosopher" it states; "Nazaratus, the Assyrian, one of Pythagoras' masters, was supposed to be the prophet Ezekiel, and Thomas Stanley's Life of Pythagoras
Pythagoras
says that Ezekiel
Ezekiel
and Pythagoras
Pythagoras
flourished together. Islamic
Islamic
tradition[edit] Main article: Dhul-Kifl Ezekiel
Ezekiel
is recognized as a prophet in Islamic
Islamic
tradition. Although not mentioned in the Qur'an
Qur'an
by the name, all Muslim
Muslim
scholars, both classical[a] and modern[b] have included Ezekiel
Ezekiel
in lists of the prophets of Islam. The Qur'an
Qur'an
mentions a prophet called Zul-Kifl. This prophet is sometimes identified with Ezekiel
Ezekiel
although Zul-Kifl's identity is disputed. Carsten Niebuhr, in his Reisebeschreibung nach Arabian,[20] says he visited Al Kifl
Al Kifl
in Iraq, midway between Najaf
Najaf
and Hilla
Hilla
and said Kifl was the Arabic
Arabic
form of Ezekiel. He further explained in his book that Ezekiel's Tomb
Ezekiel's Tomb
was present in Al Kifl
Al Kifl
and that the Jews came to it on pilgrimage. The name Zul-Kifl would mean "One of double", as Zul in Arabic
Arabic
means "the one of" and "kifl" means "double or folded". Some Islamic
Islamic
scholars have likened Ezekiel's mission to the description of Dhul-Kifl. When the exile, monarchy, and state were annihilated, a political and national life was no longer possible. In the absence of a worldly foundation it became necessary to build a spiritual one and Ezekiel
Ezekiel
performed this mission by observing the signs of the time and deducing his doctrines from them. In conformity with the two parts of his book, his personality and his preaching are alike twofold, and the title Zul-Kifl means "the one of double" Aside from the possible identification of Zul-Kifl with Ezekiel, Muslims have viewed Ezekiel
Ezekiel
as a prophet, regardless of his identification with Zul-Kifl. Ezekiel
Ezekiel
appears in all Muslim
Muslim
collections of Stories of the Prophets.[21] Muslim
Muslim
exegesis further lists Ezekiel's father as Buzi (Budhi) and Ezekiel
Ezekiel
is given the title ibn al-adjus, denoting "son of the old (man)", as his parents are supposed to have been very old when he was born. A tradition, which resembles that of Hannah and Samuel
Samuel
in the Hebrew Bible, states that Ezekiel's mother prayed to God in old age for the birth of an offspring and was given Ezekiel
Ezekiel
as a gift from God.[22] Bibliography[edit]

Ibn Kutayba, K. al-Ma'arif ed. S. Ukasha, 51

One traditional depiction of the cherubim and chariot vision, based on the description by Ezekiel.

Tabari, History of the Prophets and Kings, 2, 53–54 Tabari, Tafsir, V, 266 (old ed. ii, 365) Masudi, Murudj, i, 103ff. K. al-Badwa l-tarikh, iii, 4/5 and 98/100, Ezechiel Abdullah Yusuf Ali, Holy Qur'an: Translation and Commentary, Note. 2473 (cf. index: Ezekiel) Emil Heller Henning III, "Ezekiel's Temple: A Scriptural Framework Illustrating the Covenant of Grace." 2012.

Tomb[edit] The tomb of Ezekiel
Ezekiel
is a structure located in modern-day south Iraq near Kefil, believed to be the final resting place of Ezekiel.[23] It has been a place of pilgrimage to both Muslims and Jews alike. After the Jewish exodus from Iraq, Jewish activity in the tomb ceased, although a disused synagogue remains in place.[24] See also[edit]

Al Kifl Apocryphon of Ezekiel Babylonian captivity Dhul-Kifl List of names referring to El Taw The Spaceships of Ezekiel

Notes[edit]

^ Ibn Kutayba, Ukasha, Tabari, Ibn Kathir, Ibn Ishaq, Masudi, Kisa'i, Balami, Thalabi and many more have all recognized Ezekiel
Ezekiel
as a prophet ^ The largest depth to the figure is given by Abdullah Yusuf Ali, in his commentary; his commentary's note 2743: "If we accept "Dhul al Kifl" to be not an epithet, but an Arabicised form of "Ezekiel", it fits the context, Ezekiel
Ezekiel
was a prophet in Israel who was carried away to Babylon
Babylon
by Nebuchadnezzar after his second attack on Jerusalem (about BCE 599). His Book is included in the English Bible (Old Testament). He was chained and bound, and put into prison, and for a time he was dumb. He bore all with patience and constancy, and continued to reprove boldly the evils in Israel. In a burning passage he denounces false leaders in words which are eternally true: "Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the flocks? Ye eat the fat, and ye clothe you with the wool, ye kill them that are fed: but ye feed not the flock. The diseased have ye not strengthened, neither have ye healed that which was sick, neither have ye bound up that which was broken ...... etc. (Ezekiel, 34:2–4)."

References[edit]

^ [ Ezekiel
Ezekiel
1:3] ^ [ Ezekiel
Ezekiel
1:1–2] ^ a b Terry J. Betts (2005). Ezekiel
Ezekiel
the Priest: A Custodian of Tôrâ. Peter Lang. p. 51. ISBN 978-0-8204-7425-0.  ^ Flavius /Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews Book X, 6.3.98 ^ Not to be confused with modern day Tel Aviv, located on the Mediterranean
Mediterranean
coastline. However, this location's name was influenced by Ezekiel
Ezekiel
3:15 ^ Ezekiel
Ezekiel
1:1, 3:15. ^ [ Ezekiel
Ezekiel
1] ^ Ronald Ernest Clements (1 January 1996). Ezekiel. Westminster John Knox Press. p. 1. ISBN 978-0-664-25272-4.  ^ [ Ezekiel
Ezekiel
29:17] ^ Walther Eichrodt (20 June 2003). Ezekiel: A Commentary. Westminster John Knox Press. p. 407. ISBN 978-1-61164-596-5.  ^ (Meg. 14b) ^ (Sifri, Num. 78) ^ Radak – R. David
David
Kimkhi – in his commentary on Ezekiel
Ezekiel
1:3, based on Targum Yerushalmi ^ (Josephus, Ant. x. 6, § 3: "while he was still a boy"; comp. Rashi on Sanh. 92b, above) ^ (Ḥag. 13b) ^ Midrash
Midrash
Lev. Rabbah i. 14, toward the end ^ ( Midrash
Midrash
Canticles Rabbah vii. 8) ^ Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America – Online Chapel: 23 July ^ Alphonsus Maria de' Liguori, The Glories of Mary, Liguori, Mo.: Liguori Publications, 2000, p. 623. ISBN 0-7648-0664-5. ^ Reisebeschreibung nach Arabian Copenhagen, 1778, ii. 264–266 ^ Stories of the Prophets, Ibn Kathir, Story of Ezekiel
Ezekiel
(Hizqil) ^ Encyclopedia of Islam, G. Vajda, Hizkil ^ "Jewishencyclopedia.com". Jewishencyclopedia.com. Retrieved 2012-06-22.  ^ " Iraq
Iraq
Cleric Slams Plan to Turn Jewish Tomb into Mosque". Thejc.com. 2010-04-12. Retrieved 2012-06-22. 

Further reading[edit]

Broome, Edwin C., Jr. (September 1946). "Ezekiel's Abnormal Personality". Journal of Biblical Literature. 65: 277–292.  Eissfeldt, Otto (1965). The Old Testament: An Introduction. Peter Ackroyd, trans. Oxford: Blackwell.  Gottwald, Norman K. (1985). The Hebrew Bible : a socio-literary introduction. Philadelphia: Fortress Press. ISBN 0-8006-0853-4.  Greenberg, Moshe (1983). Ezekiel
Ezekiel
1–20 : a new translation with introduction and commentary. Garden City, NY: Doubleday. ISBN 0-385-00954-2.  Greenberg, Moshe (1997). Ezekiel
Ezekiel
21–37 : a new translation with introduction and commentary. New York: Doubleday. ISBN 0-385-18200-7.  Klein, Ralph W. (1988). Ezekiel : the prophet and his message. Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina Press. ISBN 0-87249-553-1. 

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Ezekiel.

 Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Ezechiel". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.  Prophet
Prophet
Ezekiel
Ezekiel
Orthodox icon and synaxarion

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WorldCat Identities VIAF: 149799338 LCCN: n86051235 GND: 11853161