The Book of Ezekiel is divided into three obvious sections, following the prophet's call in chapters 1--3. (1) God's judgment on Jerusalem (chapters 4--24); (2) God's judgment on the surrounding nations (chapters 25--32); and (3) God's restoration of the Jews in the kingdom (chapters 33--48). Chapters 1--24 were all given before the siege of Jerusalem; chapters 25--32 during the siege; and chapters 33--48 after the siege. Though the prophet was in distant Babylon, he was able to see events in Jerusalem through the power of the Spirit of God.
Ezekiel's opening message to the exiles, who were hoping for a speedy return to Jerusalem, was a graphic warning that Jerusalem was about to be destroyed; that they would soon be joined by other captives; and that their captivity would last at least 40 years.
As a sign of famine, Ezekiel lived on loathsome bread. Throughout the siege he lay on one side, either continuously or for the greater part of each day, which, with famine diet, meant great discomfort.
When the siege is finished Ezekiel is commanded, as a further symbol of the fate of Jerusalem's inhabitants, to shave off his hair, burn part of it, and scatter the rest of it to the winds.
Chapters 6 and 7 record a sort of dirge over the destruction and desolation of the land of Israel. The main point was that the Jews would, by this terrible punishment, come to know that God is God.
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