By Tyson Thorne

December 4, 2018

The purpose of the book of Ezeiel is largely dependant on the author and date of writing. If, as some late liberal scholars attest, it was written very late (circa 200 BC) then the book itself falls apart as being completely unnecessary. The careful structure of the book itself, and its recording specific dates, only makes sense if it were written for the people of the exile. As a book of history alone, which is what it must be if the late date is considered, makes all the hope and consolation passages unnecessary and moot.

Author and Date of Writing

One should recognize that the vast majority of Biblical scholars reject the idea that Ezekiel was written by someone else after the restoration of Israel. Here's why: Ezekiel carefully affixed dates to his own birth, (1.1), The beginning of his ministry (1.2, which works out to July 31, 593 BC), and of other events and visions that he had during his life (8.1 - September 17, 592; 20.1 - August 14, 591; 40.1 - April28, 573; and a host of other dates in 24.1, 26.1, 29.1 and 17, 30.20, 31.1, 32.1 and 17, and 33.21).This kind of historic accuracy is unprecedented in Scripture and nearly every other ancient text. Such specificity, especially of dates for visions Ezekiel had, points to an authentic text written about 570 BC.

The events described in the book match events during the time described, and Ezekiel is very open about his own life and ministry, writing with a frankness that points to an authentic text and not some historical fiction written several centuries later. There simply isn't enough evidence to displace both Jewish and Christian traditions which hold to the priest and prophet Ezekiel as the author of the book.Paul Benware, formerly a professor of Old Testament at Moody Bible Institute, makes this important note in his Survey of the Old Testament:

Ezekiel lived in Babylon during those final days of the Southern Kingdom of Judah. It is important to note that chapters 1-24 of Ezekiel were given before the final overthrow and destruction of Jerusalem in 586 BC. These chapters speak of the sin and unbelief of Judah and are very stern pronouncements. But after the fall of Jerusalem in 586 BC Ezekiel's messages change dramatically to prophecies of hope and consolation (chapters 33-48). The ministry of Ezekiel pivots on that key historical event of the fall of Jerusalem.

Structure of the Book

i. Introduction, chapters 1-3

ii. Prophecies of Judah's Judgment, chapters 4-24

iii. Prophecies of Gentile Nation's Judgment, chapters 25-32

iv. Prophecies of Israel's Restoration, chapters 33-39

v. Prophecies of Israel's Reestablishment, chapters 40-48

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