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It's very important to understand the historical context of Ezekiel's time. Ezekiel in chapter 1 verses 1-3 explains that he was one among the captives in the land of the Chaldeans. The Chaldeans were also known as the Babylonians, showing that Ezekiel's time relate to the Babylonian exile. The visions that follow speak to the judgement of Jerusalem as the kingdom of Judah was in sin(see Ezekiel chapters 4,5,6,7,8, and 9).This shows that Ezekiel was a part of one wave, but it also shows that there was another wave of judgement on its way. One that would include the complete and utter destruction of Jerusalem and the temple. Ezekiel and Jeremiah who were contemporaries both prophesied concerning this. Concerning its fulfillment, the book of 2 Chronicles 36 says, And the LORD God of their fathers sent warnings to them by His messengers, rising up early and sending them, because He had compassion on His people and on His dwelling place. [16] But they mocked the messengers of God, despised His words, and scoffed at His prophets, until the wrath of the LORD arose against His people, till there was no remedy. [17] Therefore He brought against them the king of the Chaldeans, who killed their young men with the sword in the house of their sanctuary, and had no compassion on young man or virgin, on the aged or the weak; He gave them all into his hand. [18] And all the articles from the house of God, great and small, the treasures of the house of the LORD, and the treasures of the king and of his leaders, all these he took to Babylon. [19] Then they burned the house of God, broke down the wall of Jerusalem, burned all its palaces with fire, and destroyed all its precious possessions. Thus, Ezekiel knowing the climate of his day, and that the temple of Jerusalem would be destroyed, is only talking about the restoration of Jerusalem and the temple from the Babylonian captivity in Ezekiel 40,41,42,43,44,45,46,47,48. That's the same temple and city that are seen being rebuilt in the books of Ezra, Haggai, Zechariah,and Nehemiah. Ezekiel is just using hyperbolic language in his prophecy. That was clearly the nature of prophecy.The prince is none other than the High Priest, as Ezekiel is also speaking to the reinstatement of the levitical priesthood(see Zechariah 3 as its fulfillment). The fact that Ezekiel speaks about sacrifices, death, and the levitical priesthood show that this does not pertain to the new testament reign of Christ.
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May 7, 2016