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Ezekiel 1:1

Context
A Vision of God’s Glory

1:1 In the thirtieth year, 1  on the fifth day of the fourth month, while I was among the exiles 2  at the Kebar River, 3  the heavens opened 4  and I saw a divine vision. 5 

Ezekiel 8:3

Context
8:3 He stretched out the form 6  of a hand and grabbed me by a lock of hair on my head. Then a wind 7  lifted me up between the earth and sky and brought me to Jerusalem 8  by means of divine visions, to the door of the inner gate which faces north where the statue 9  which provokes to jealousy was located.

Ezekiel 40:2

Context
40:2 By means of divine visions 10  he brought me to the land of Israel and placed me on a very high mountain, 11  and on it was a structure like a city, to the south.

1 sn The meaning of the thirtieth year is problematic. Some take it to mean the age of Ezekiel when he prophesied (e.g., Origen). The Aramaic Targum explains the thirtieth year as the thirtieth year dated from the recovery of the book of the Torah in the temple in Jerusalem (2 Kgs 22:3-9). The number seems somehow to be equated with the fifth year of Jehoiachin’s exile in 1:2, i.e., 593 b.c.

2 sn The Assyrians started the tactic of deportation, the large-scale forced displacement of conquered populations, in order to stifle rebellions. The task of uniting groups of deportees, gaining freedom from one’s overlords and returning to retake one’s own country would be considerably more complicated than living in one’s homeland and waiting for an opportune moment to drive out the enemy’s soldiers. The Babylonians adopted this practice also, after defeating the Assyrians. The Babylonians deported Judeans on three occasions. The practice of deportation was reversed by the Persian conquerors of Babylon, who gained favor from their subjects for allowing them to return to their homeland and, as polytheists, sought the favor of the gods of the various countries which had come under their control.

3 sn The Kebar River is mentioned in Babylonian texts from the city of Nippur in the fifth century b.c. It provided artificial irrigation from the Euphrates.

4 sn For the concept of the heavens opened in later literature, see 3 Macc 6:18; 2 Bar. 22:1; T. Levi 5:1; Matt 3:16; Acts 7:56; Rev 19:11.

5 tn Or “saw visions from God.” References to divine visions occur also in Ezek 8:3; 40:2

6 tn The Hebrew term is normally used as an architectural term in describing the pattern of the tabernacle or temple or a representation of it (see Exod 25:8; 1 Chr 28:11).

7 tn Or “spirit.” See note on “wind” in 2:2.

8 map For the location of Jerusalem see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

9 tn Or “image.”

10 tn The expression introduces the three major visions of Ezekiel (1:1; 8:3; 40:2).

11 tn The reference to a very high mountain is harmonious with Isa 2:2.



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