Can you briefly give an historical and prophetical perspective on the Book of Ezekiel concerning the period in Israel’s history through which he lived? God gave him many visions as well as speaking to him, and through him as frequently, if not more so, than to other Old Testament prophets.
Ezekiel was a priest who lived at the same time as Daniel and Jeremiah. He was taken to Babylon early in Nebuchadnezzar’s 19 year effort to conquer the Jewish nation (605-586 BC). He prophesied about Israel’s defeat and explained to the Jewish people what had caused their plight from Babylon, just as Jeremiah was doing from Jerusalem. While in Babylon, Ezekiel developed the synagogue method of worship, enabling the Jews to seek God even though they didn’t have a Temple.
Like Jeremiah, He said that the nation would be restored, but his most dramatic prophecies concerned not the restoration after Babylon, but their final restoration in the End Times. Chapters 36 and 37 are widely regarded as pertaining to Israel’s re-birth in 1948, chapters 38 and 39 concern a battle that hasn’t taken place yet that will re-establish their covenant with God and kick off Daniel’s 70th week, and chapters 40-48 describe the coming Temple and worship in the Kingdom Age.