The Books of the Major Prophets*
In the times of the last kings of Israel, the people were not following God. So God sent prophets* to call the people to return to God. They warned them that if they did not return to God, he would punish them. But the prophets* also reminded them that God would not forget them. And that God always keeps his promises. One day, he would bring them back to the land. One day, God would send them a saviour*.
THE OLD TESTAMENT | THE BOOKS OF MAJOR PROPHETS*
PEOPLE TO KNOW
PLACES TO GO
God would judge in 4 stories.
The glory* of God left the temple*.
Ezekiel lost his wife.
Ezekiel watched the wall.
Ezekiel saw the valley of dry bones.
The book of Ezekiel is the story of a prophet*. He was the son of a priest. His name means ‘God will give you strength’. When he was 30 years old, God called him to be a prophet*. He spoke for God when some of the people of Judah lived in Babylon. When the army took people away into Babylon, they took him too. He spoke to the people of Judah who lived in Babylon. He also spoke to the people who stayed in Judah.
Ezekiel was a priest before God made him a prophet*. Most of his book shows that God would judge people. He was like Jeremiah in that way. But Ezekiel put his book together in order. He put his first message at the beginning. He put his last message at the end.
Ezekiel had been away from the land for 5 years when he started speaking. His book ends more than 20 years later. That was after Babylon broke down God’s house – the temple*. God was punishing Judah. They broke God’s laws. They followed false gods. So God sent their enemies to punish them.
When Ezekiel lived, there were many false prophets*. Some of them were the same prophets* that lived during Jeremiah’s time. Ezekiel warned people not to listen to the false prophets*. These prophets* told the people that God would not punish them. They promised peace*. They said that God would not let the army of Babel take them. But Ezekiel knew that there would not be peace*. God would judge the people who were still in Judah.
The people were not obeying God. Even the priests were acting in bad ways. They broke God’s laws. They followed false gods. They did not listen to God. So God sent Ezekiel to speak to them.
But the people did not listen to him. He warned them many times. And many times they did not listen to him. One day, the army of Babylon marched into Jerusalem and broke down the city. When that happened, Ezekiel began to give the people a new message. He told the people that some day God would bring them back to their land. Some day, God would build his house again. Some day, God would make things right again. Ezekiel told them these things to give them hope*.
This book is much like other books that were given by the prophets*. But some parts of the book show what was most important to Ezekiel. One of those things was the glory* of God. He talks about God’s glory* many times. God was punishing the people so that people would honour his name again. People had not listened to God. They had forgotten who he was. He was doing these things so the people would remember. He made these things happen so that they would know that he is the LORD*.
The book uses many ways to tell a story. Sometimes, Ezekiel told about strange visions*. Sometimes, he told about his dreams. Sometimes, God asked him to do some very strange things. And he did what God asked him to do. He did these things to show the people what he meant.
Like Jeremiah, Ezekiel had a message for Judah. But he also had messages for other nations too. God would punish the people that had hurt Judah. And God would bring his people back to their land some day. They would build a new temple*. They would worship* God again. And God would make them great again.
Ezekiel sends the nations a warning. If you hurt Judah, God would hurt you. If you were happy when Judah was destroyed, God would make you sad some day. God would destroy all of Judah’s enemies. That was what he promised Abraham he would do.
‘Whoever blesses you, I will bless*. Whoever curses you I will curse*.’
The last part of the book talks about how God would bring the people back. He would remember the promises he made to David. He would send someone from David’s family to be the king. He would build the kingdom* again. But God would not only give the people a new temple*. God would give the people a new heart. When this happened, they would love and worship* God for ever. God would do this to keep the promise that he made to Moses. He would keep the promise he made to Abraham. And he would keep the promise he made to David.