Richard J. Clifford
The book of Ezekiel is a unique blend of divine utterance (rather than prophetic utterance), strange imagery, and careful arrangement. It is the only prophetic book displaying a chronological order. There are four major blocks of material, which are in the same sequence as in the books of Isaiah and Jeremiah. Chapters 1 through 24 are oracles concerning Judah and Jerusalem; Chapters 25 through 32 are oracles concerning the nations; Chapters 33 through 37 announce restoration; and Chapters 38 through 48 describe the final battle and the vision of the new Temple and city. This essay discusses the historical background, the dated oracles and life of the prophet, the traditions Ezekiel used, the literary structure of the book, some key passages, the theology of the book, the Hebrew and Greek text, and the influence of Ezekiel on early Judaism and on the New Testament.