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Ezekiel(ēzē`kēĕl), prophetic book of the Bible. The book is a collection of oracles emanating from the career of the priest Ezekiel, who preached to Jews of the Babylonian captivity from 593 B.C. to 563 B.C. (according to the chronology given in the book itself in chapters 1 and 2). The book pivots on the fall of Jerusalem (586 B.C.). The book begins with oracles of warning. These chapters include Ezekiel's symbolic actions, his indictment of Judah and Israel, the abomination in the Jerusalem Temple, and the vision of the chariot-throne, which is significant for later Jewish mysticism. Next are oracles against foreign nations, chiefly Tyre and Egypt, and oracles of restoration. These include the dissipation of the threat from Gog and Magog, and the vision of the restored Temple in the midst of a sanctified land. The glory of God, which deserted the Temple in chapter 10, returns in chapter 43.
See studies by W. Eichrodt (1970) and J. Blenkinsopp (1990).
Born circa 622 B.C. in Judea; date of death unknown. Ezekiel is the third of the so-called great prophets of Judaism. He was taken to Babylonia along with other Jewish prisoners in 597 B.C. In his prophecies, Ezekiel called for the unswerving observance of the injunctions of Judaism. He is the author of the book in the Old Testament bearing his name, although signs of significant editing are evident.