Dating the book of ezekiel
At the River Chebar the glory of the Lord appears to Ezekiel on the chariot of the cherubim and consecrates him a prophet, sent to a "rebellious house" to preach only wailing, sighing, and misery. That the judgment is fully merited will be demonstrated by the godliness of the few who survive the catastrophe (xiv.). 2, where he knows the exact day on which the siege of Jerusalem will begin; and xxxiii. 14 (where Edom is referred to: "And I will lay my vengeance upon Edom by the hand of my people Israel"). Ezekiel represents the final catastrophe symbolically; judgment will not tarry, but approaches to immediate fulfilment (xii.). On the contrary, prophets and prophetesses will lead the people completely astray (xiii.); even a true prophet could not avail now, as God will not be questioned by idolaters. If it were true, however, that the whole book was written at that time all previous dates would be merely literary embellishments, and this view is difficult because of the importance of the dating in several instances where the prophet claims to transcend ordinary human knowledge. 13, where Ezekiel at the Chebar is cognizant of the death of Pelatiah, the idolater, in Jerusalem; xxiv.God rewards each one according to his deeds, and He will visit upon the heads of the present generation, not the sins of the fathers, but their own sins (xviii.). Thereupon, in the above-mentioned passage, Ezekiel promises Egypt to Nebuchadnezzar as an indemnity.
The Temple is defiled with abominations of every description; therefore the glory of the Lord departs from it and from the city, and dedicates them to flames (viii-xi.). 17-21) is evidently an appendix to the already completed book; and the twenty-fifth year (572), the date of the important division xl.-xlviii., is probably the date when the work was completed. He symbolizes the siege and conquest of Jerusalem, the leading of the people into exile (iv.-v.); on all the hills of Israel idolatry is practised (vi.), and therefore "the end" will come (vii.). 26); he confronts the people as if he were not one of them; he shows no emotion, not a suggestion of pity, throughout the delivery of his dreadful tidings.The ruling king, Zedekiah, particularly, has incurred the judgment through his perjury (xvii.). This is particularly true of the Messianic prophecy, which, although kept somewhat in the background in Ezekiel, is nevertheless directly expressed in xvii. Nevertheless, Ezekiel permitted the earlier passages to remain. 17-21, which can be understood only as an appendix to the already complete book. Ezekiel had positively prophesied the capture and destruction of Tyre by Nebuchadnezzar, but after thirteen years of fruitless labor the latter had to raise the siege and to arrange terms of peace with the city.
In an oration he once more brings before the people all the sins committed by them from the Exodus to the present time (xx.). This division belongs to the promise of salvation as detailed in xxviii. Yet he does not venture to change or to expunge it.Nebuchadnezzar approaches to execute the divine judgment (xxi.). 24-26; for it refers to the punishment visited on the neighboring nations because of their aggressions against Judah. announces the downfall of Jerusalem, and the prophet now freely speaks words of consolation and promise to the people. Incidentally it may be stated that the transmission of oracles of which the prophets themselves were doomed to see the non-fulfilment is the strongest proof that they regarded these as messages for which they were not personally responsible, and which, consequently, they did not venture to change; they regarded them as God's word, the responsibility for the non-fulfilment of which rested with God, not with themselves.