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Ezekiel 1:1-3

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  1:2 (On the fifth day of the month – it was the fifth year of King Jehoiachin’s exile – 1:3 the word of the Lord came to the priest Ezekiel 6  the son of Buzi, 7  at the Kebar River in the land of the Babylonians. 8  The hand 9  of the Lord came on him there).

Ezekiel 3:12-14

Context
Ezekiel Before the Exiles

3:12 Then a wind lifted me up 10  and I heard a great rumbling sound behind me as the glory of the Lord rose from its place, 11  3:13 and the sound of the living beings’ wings brushing against each other, and the sound of the wheels alongside them, a great rumbling sound. 3:14 A wind lifted me up and carried me away. I went bitterly, 12  my spirit full of fury, and the hand of the Lord rested powerfully 13  on me.

Ezekiel 3:22

Context
Isolated and Silenced

3:22 The hand 14  of the Lord rested on me there, and he said to me, “Get up, go out to the valley, 15  and I will speak with you there.”

Ezekiel 8:1

Context
A Desecrated Temple

8:1 In the sixth year, in the sixth month, on the fifth of the month, 16  as I was sitting in my house with the elders of Judah sitting in front of me, the hand 17  of the sovereign Lord seized me. 18 

Ezekiel 37:1

Context
The Valley of Dry Bones

37:1 The hand 19  of the Lord was on me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord and placed 20  me in the midst of the valley, and it was full of bones.

Ezekiel 40:1

Context
Vision of the New Temple

40:1 In the twenty-fifth year of our exile, at the beginning of the year, on the tenth day of the month, in the fourteenth year after the city 21  was struck down, on this very day, 22  the hand 23  of the Lord was on me, and he brought me there. 24 

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 sn The prophet’s name, Ezekiel, means in Hebrew “May God strengthen.”

7 tn Or “to Ezekiel son of Buzi the priest.”

8 tn Heb “Chaldeans.” The name of the tribal group ruling Babylon, “Chaldeans” is used as metonymy for the whole empire of Babylon. The Babylonians worked with the Medes to destroy the Assyrian Empire near the end of the 7th century b.c. Then, over the next century, the Babylonians dominated the West Semitic states (such as Phoenicia, Aram, Moab, Edom, and Judah in the modern countries of Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and Israel) and made incursions into Egypt.

9 tn Or “power.”

sn Hand in the OT can refer metaphorically to power, authority, or influence. In Ezekiel God’s “hand” being on the prophet is regularly associated with communication or a vision from God (3:14, 22; 8:1; 37:1; 40:1).

10 sn See note on “wind” in 2:2.

11 tc This translation accepts the emendation suggested in BHS of בְּרוּם (bÿrum) for בָּרוּךְ (barukh). The letters mem (מ) and kaph (כ) were easily confused in the old script while בָּרוּךְ (“blessed be”) both implies a quotation which is out of place here and also does not fit the later phrase, “from its place,” which requires a verb of motion.

12 tn The traditional interpretation is that Ezekiel embarked on his mission with bitterness and anger, either reflecting God’s attitude toward the sinful people or his own feelings about having to carry out such an unpleasant task. L. C. Allen (Ezekiel [WBC], 1:13) takes “bitterly” as a misplaced marginal note and understands the following word, normally translated “anger,” in the sense of fervor or passion. He translates, “I was passionately moved” (p. 4). Another option is to take the word translated “bitterly” as a verb meaning “strengthened” (attested in Ugaritic). See G. R. Driver, Canaanite Myths and Legends, 152.

13 tn Heb “the hand of the Lord was on me heavily.” The “hand of the Lord” is a metaphor for his power or influence; the modifier conveys intensity.

sn In Ezekiel God’s “hand” being on the prophet is regularly associated with communication or a vision from God (1:3; 3:14, 22; 8:1; 37:1; 40:1).

14 tn Or “power.”

sn Hand in the OT can refer metaphorically to power, authority, or influence. In Ezekiel God’s hand being on the prophet is regularly associated with communication or a vision from God (1:3; 3:14, 22; 8:1; 37:1; 40:1).

15 sn Ezekiel had another vision at this location, recounted in Ezek 37.

16 tc The LXX reads “In the sixth year, in the fifth month, on the fifth of the month.”

sn In the sixth year, in the sixth month, on the fifth of the month would be September 17, 592 b.c., about fourteen months after the initial vision.

17 tn Or “power.”

sn Hand in the OT can refer metaphorically to power, authority, or influence. In Ezekiel God’s hand being on the prophet is regularly associated with communication or a vision from God (3:14, 22; 8:1; 37:1; 40:1).

18 tn Heb “fell upon me there,” that is, God’s influence came over him.

19 tn Or “power.”

sn Hand in the OT can refer metaphorically to power, authority, or influence. In Ezekiel God’s hand being on the prophet is regularly associated with communication or a vision from God (3:14, 22; 8:1; 37:1; 40:1).

20 tn Heb “caused me to rest.”

21 sn That is, Jerusalem.

22 tn April 19, 573 b.c.

23 tn Or “power.”

sn Hand in the OT can refer metaphorically to power, authority, or influence. In Ezekiel God’s hand being on the prophet is regularly associated with communication or a vision from God (3:14, 22; 8:1; 37:1; 40:1).

24 sn That is, to the land of Israel (see v. 2).



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