Welcome to BibleBum where we are exploring the entire Bible in one year to better learn how to follow God’s instructions and discover the purpose for our lives. The BibleBum blog uses The One Year Chronological Bible, the New Living Translation version. At the end of each day’s reading, Rob, a cultural history aficionado and seminary graduate, answers questions from Leigh An, the blogger host, about the daily scripture. To start from the beginning, click on “Index” and select Day 1.
Questions & Observations
Q. (Ezekiel 5:1): Why does God call Ezekiel “Son of Man?”
A. I don’t have a great answer to this question since it is not a term God uses for people elsewhere, but we each understand God in our own personal ways, so this might be the way that God chose to speak to him. The term is a reminder of Ezekiel’s humanity, in strong contrast to the transcendence of the Almighty.
Q. (5:1-4): Why use hairs? We don’t know if this really happened, right? Or, if God is saying this as a demonstration.
A. I see no reason to assume that it didn’t happen as God instructs Ezekiel — it is a demonstration of sorts — but I do not know why God instructs the use of hair. It might be so that Ezekiel would stand out and be in a “state of mourning” for Jerusalem after he shaved his hair, as we have seen the use of shaving to signify grief in multiple OT locations.
Q. (8:1-18): This is a vision. What is the purpose of the vision? I am guessing it is to show Ezekiel why God is so mad at Judah’s leaders so he will be totally on board with God, especially given what God is asking him to do!
A. God is explaining to Ezekiel what exactly it is the people are guilty of, and how they will be punished for their sins as the vision continues in chapter 9.
Q. (9:1-11): This is a vision too? Because I thought that armies from the north were going to destroy Jerusalem, not from six men with deadly weapons and a man dressed in linen.
A. This section is a vision, full of symbolism of things to come. The Babylonian army destroys Jerusalem, but God is symbolizing judgment on the corrupt in Jerusalem via these angelic beings. Note what God orders: that those who truly repent (the remnant) will be spared, and the rest are given the death sentence for their crimes. It was surely a horrific scene for Ezekiel to watch unfold, but sadly the vision God paints is nothing compared to the famine within the besieged city that will lead many of Judeans to horrific acts such as cannibalism and other horrors. God’s vision to Ezekiel is frankly more human than the real life story.