the Week of Proper 20 / Ordinary 25
Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments Sutcliffe's Commentary
by Joseph Sutcliffe
THE BOOK OF EZEKIEL.
EZEKIEL, a name equivalent to the strength or fortitude of God, was son of Buzi, a name of respect, and of the priestly line. For learning and genius, elevation of thought and beauty of figures, he has often been compared to Homer. He was carried away with Jeconiah, in the fifth year of that prince, about two years after Daniel and other illustrious men had been removed to Babylon, leaving the devoted city without any ruler of probity and honour. Jeremiah 5:1. His commission and call to the high and holy charge of a prophet was by the appearance of Messiah, riding in his ancient chariot, for it pleased the Lord to support his people by repeating the former indications of his presence. Psalms 68:17. The luminous characters of Ezekiel’s prophecies shine out in explicit declarations of the burning of Jerusalem and its temple, for the wickedness of the people; the bloody and victorious wars of the Chaldeans against Tyre and Egypt, and all the southern nations. At the same time he cheered his fellow exiles by assurances of a return, in his parable of the dry bones. Above all, he foretold the establishment of the new covenant, the conversion of the gentiles, and the glory of the new-testament church, under the figure of a new temple, in magnitude and glory surpassing credibility. For though the Jews may yet have a material temple in Jerusalem and sacrifices, it can never be more than a faint figure of better things to come. Other illustrious traits of his ministry will occur in the work. After running a course of twenty, or as others say, of twenty two years, we lose sight of his exit in the regions of captivity. One says that he died in the course of nature, another that he was put to death by his prince, for preaching against the idols of the captives.