Ezekiel, a prophet and priest, was exiled to Babylon in 597 b.c. His ministry extended over at least twenty-three years. The book opens with his first dramatic vision of the “likeness” of the Lord himself. Ezekiel was keenly aware of God's presence and power in human affairs. He addressed both the exiles and the people left in Judah with messages of warning and judgement, predicting the fall of Jerusalem. After Jerusalem's fall (in 586), Ezekiel prophesied hope and reassurance for the people of Judah, who had then lost the focus of God's covenant, the temple in Jerusalem. His vision of the valley of dry bones (ch. 37) is a classic picture of God's ability to renew his people.
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