The theme of the book of Ezekiel roughly falls into three categories:
1. Judgement of the nation
2. Judgement of the surrounding nations.
3. Future blessing of
Gods covenant people.
The theological emphasis is on teaching individual responsibility
to God as opposed to group identity as Gods covenant people.
The following truths are exposed:
1. Chronic idolatry
2. Complacency fostered
by false prophets
3. Calls to repentance for
faithlessness and harlotry ignored.
From the truths exposed in the book of Ezekiel we can expect
the following trials if we persist in idolatry, complacency from false prophetical utterances, and not
responding to calls for repentance:
2. Destruction of the temple
of God (in Jerusalem), i.e., our very own selves as the temple of God.
3. A life of alienation from
God appears to Ezekiel in Ezekiel Chapter One surrounded by a glorious heavenly chariot
while seated on His throne. Fourteen months later, in Chapters 8:1-11:25 Gods glory departs
by stages from the temple and disappears. Two decades later, God returns from the east, enters the
east gate and enters the Temple. So we see God departing gradually and eventually returning which
fits the theme of the book.
Scriptures on Gods chariots
2 Kings 2:11: And it came to pass, as they still went on, and
talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder;
and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.
2 Kings 6:17: And Elisha prayed, and said, Lord, I pray thee,
open his eyes, that he may see. And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and,
behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.
Psalms 68:17: The chariots of God are twenty thousand, even
thousands of angels: the Lord is among them, as in Sinai, in the holy place.
Psalms 104:3,4: Who layeth the beams of his chambers in the
waters: who maketh the clouds his chariot: who walketh upon the wings of the wind Who maketh
his angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire:
Isaiah 66:15: For, behold, the Lord will come with fire, and with
his chariots like a whirlwind, to render his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire.
Habbakuk 3:8: Was the Lord displeased against the rivers? was
thine anger against the rivers? was thy wrath against the sea, that thou didst ride upon thine horses
and thy chariots of salvation?
1 And I turned, and lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and, behold,
there came four chariots out from between two mountains; and the mountains were mountains of
2 In the first chariot were red horses; and in the second chariot
3 And in the third chariot white horses; and in the fourth chariot
grisled and bay horses.
4 Then I answered and said unto the angel that talked with me,
What are these, my lord?
5 And the angel answered and said unto me, These are the four
spirits of the heavens, which go forth from standing before the Lord of all the earth.
6 The black horses which are therein go forth into the north
country; and the white go forth after them; and the grisled go forth toward the south country.
7 And the bay went forth, and sought to go that they might walk
to and fro through the earth: and he said, Get you hence, walk to and fro through the earth. So they
walked to and fro through the earth.
8 Then cried he upon me, and spake unto me, saying, Behold,
these that go toward the north country have quieted my spirit in the north country.
When we consider Ezekiels background as a priest in
the Jerusalem temple where he served, we realize he was influenced by the carved winged cherubim
above the ark of the Covenant. And his knowledge of the holy of holies being moved about on
wheeled carriages in previous centuries influenced him also. With the aid of this symbology Ezekiel
presents a clear message of a dynamic God, in a heavenly wheeled chariot, moving in a prophetical
enactment, out of the temple, and subsequently back into it. In this way He sovereignly communicates
a message for His prophet to reveal His plans to the beings that He has created.
In verses 1:28-2:1 God speaks:
Ezekiel 1:28: As the appearance of the bow that is in
the cloud in the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness round about. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. And when I saw it, I fell upon my face, and I heard a
voice of one that spake.
Ezekiel 2:1: And he said unto me, Son of man, stand
upon thy feet, and I will speak unto thee.
Its clear from the scriptures that this is God who was
previously described in Ezekiel Chapter One as appearing
in a heavenly chariot with the divine glory of God
on His throne. These are all symbols of the majesty, might, movements and mystery of God. Then
God speaks to Ezekiel in Chapter Two.
Fourteen months later, in Chapter 8:1-3 is another description:
Ezekiel 8:1 And it came to pass in the sixth year, in the
sixth month, in the fifth day of the month, as I sat in mine house, and the elders of Judah sat before
me, that the hand of the Lord God fell there upon me.
Ezekiel 8:2 Then I beheld, and lo a likeness as the appearance of fire: from the appearance of his loins even downward, fire; and from his loins even upward,
as the appearance of brightness, as the colour of amber.
Ezekiel 8:3 And he put forth the form of an hand, and
took me by a lock of mine head; and the spirit lifted me up between the earth and the heaven, and
brought me in the visions of God to Jerusalem, to the door of the inner gate that looketh toward the
north; where was the seat of the image of jealousy, which provoketh to jealousy.
This time it was just God, same description as in Chapters One
and Two, but without the chariot.
Twenty years later, there is another description in Chapter
Ezekiel 40:1 In the five and twentieth year of our captivity, in the beginning of the year, in the tenth day of the month, in the fourteenth year after that the
city was smitten, in the selfsame day the hand of the Lord was upon me, and brought me
Ezekiel 40:2 In the visions of God brought he me into
the land of Israel, and set me upon a very high mountain, by which was as the frame of a city on the
Ezek 40:3 And he brought me thither, and, behold, there
was a man, whose appearance was like the appearance of brass, with a line of flax in his hand, and
a measuring reed; and he stood in the gate.
Ezek 40:4 And the man said unto me, Son of man, behold
with thine eyes, and hear with thine ears, and set thine heart upon all that I shall show thee; for to
the intent that I might show them unto thee art thou brought hither: declare all that thou seest to the
house of Israel.
This time the man (God), without chariot, has the appearance
There is absolutely no redemptive purpose in assigning any type
of interpretation to what Ezekiel saw other than that it was a glorious heavenly chariot. Material has
been written that proves that Ezekiel saw a modern internal combustion engine, an
airplane or a UFO, however the secret things belong
to God. (Deuteronomy 29:29). All such unbiblical imaginatory explanations serve only to trivialize
the glory, and majesty, might, movements and mystery of God.
Any attempt to draw these parallels actually violates the theme
and the theological emphasis of the book of Ezekiel. It also blurs the value of the truth exposed and
lessens the impact of the trials expected if we persist in idolatry, complacency and ignoring Godly
calls for repentance.