The name of St. Ezekiel, who lived at the turn of the 7th-6th centuries, means "God is strong" or "The Lord will strengthen." This is one of the greatest prophets of the Old Testament and a contemporary of Jeremiah and Daniel. The prophet Ezekiel, whose photo will be presented below, was born in the city of Sarir, was a priest, like his father Vuzia, and also adherent to the provisions of the Law and the Temple. His lineage comes from the tribe of Levi. When he was 25 years old, Nebuchadnezzar first conquered Jerusalem. And this prophet, as well as King Jehoiachin with all his court, notable nobles and subordinates in the number of 10 thousand people were sent to Babylon captivity. At the same time, all the precious church utensils were taken from the Temple in Jerusalem .
The Life of the Prophet Ezekiel
The Prophet settled in Tel Aviv, where the large navigable river Khovar, which passed 60 kilometers from Babylon, flowed. He was not cramped, and he even had a wife who died nine years later from captivity from an ulcer. For the exiled Jews, Ezekiel's home became a spiritual center, where they flocked to the crowds to hear God's revelations.
After five years of captivity, the prophet Ezekiel prayed on the riverbank and received a revelation and witnessed the glory of the glory of the Lord.
The chariot of the four winged cherubs carried God. The cherubim had four faces: a lion, an eagle, a bull and a man. Each had four wings, two of which were directed to the top, and two covered their bodies. Without turning around, they went where they wanted to. When they walked, the noise was like during a severe thunderstorm. And between them was a bright glow, like lightning and fire. Near these heavenly beings there were four wheels with rims on which were the eyes. They moved together. Above them was a vault of crystal, and above the vault, as if from a sapphire throne, and on it sat a semblance of a man in a flaming metal fire, around which was a radiance similar to a rainbow.
Ezekiel fell face to face and then heard the voice of God, who commanded him to stand up and go to the Israelites who rebelled against Him. Then a hand with a scroll stretched out to the prophet, and he saw the words: "Crying, and groaning, and sorrow." Then he was told to eat the scroll, and then he felt honey on his lips. The Holy Spirit took him up, and he heard behind him the sound of the wings of the cherubim and the voice that praised the name of the Lord.
The Holy Prophet Ezekiel
After that, he returned home and was seven days beside himself with amazement, the prophet could not even speak. After a time, Ezekiel again heard the voice of the Lord, who turned to him and said that he had made him the guardian of the house of Israel, and that now he should listen to Him and through Him to instruct His people. So God laid the responsibility on the prophet for those to whom he was sent.
For twenty-two years the Prophet Ezekiel, who looked from the heights of his spiritual state, constantly turned to God, was in constant vigil. With words and symbolic gestures, he prophesied and warned that Jerusalem would fall completely, for the Lord would punish his sinful people. But when this happens, Ezekiel will be a comfort to the people and announce forgiveness and the coming rebirth.
After another glimpse of the glory of the Lord, the prophet Ezekiel, struck dumb, retired to his home. Taking a brick, he painted on it the walls of Jerusalem and the siege around them. Then God ordered him to lie at first 390 days on his left side, and then 40 days on the right, the number 430 - years of Egyptian captivity turned out.
Ezekiel at the same time took the food of the despicable and very meager, baked on cow dung, in order to show the lawlessness of Israel, which awaited the expulsion. He predicted that only a few of the people would be saved.
The Temple of God
In the sixth year of the exile, Ezekiel saw the same fiery man in the chariot who took it, carried it to the inner gates of the Temple of Jerusalem, and showed how the Jews hoisted the statue of Astarte in the time of Manasseh and indulged in unholy action.
And the Glory of God who was there, sent a man dressed in flax to this city, that he put a sign on the body of those who cry about the abominations that were going on, and to throw handfuls of coals taken from under the cherubic wheels and throw them on the city. When all this was done, the Glory of God, carried by the wings of the cherubim, departed from the Temple and from the city.
The vision ended, the Spirit brought him back to Chaldea. The Holy Prophet told his exiles everything he saw. He forced them to break a hole in the wall, as it was an omen of the expulsion of the people of Jerusalem, and the king of Judah Zedekiah will be captured right next to the city's severed wall. After a while, it all came true. He also predicted that the country would be ruined, and that everyone would recognize the true God. Then he convicted the false prophets.
When the wrath of God ceases, the people, purified by trials, will be reconciled with God by the eternal Covenant.
In the omen of the New Testament, the prophet predicts that after reconciliation no one will be responsible for the sins of the ancestors, as it was in the Old Testament, but everyone will be judged in such a way as will appear before God. And if the sinner repents of his sins, renounces them and turns to God, he will live and not die. Because the Lord does not want the death of a sinner.
The Holy Prophet promises to the people of the Jews that after the expulsion period sent by the Lord for instruction, He will isolate the Jews in relation to other peoples and nationalities.
After 14 years of prophecy, Ezekiel again had a vision, where he was transferred to Palestine, and a certain husband gave different measurements for the construction of the Temple of the Lord. And then he saw this Temple and heard the voice of the Lord: "This is the place of my throne ...". The Lord told him to write down all its dimensions, so that the sons of Israel would repent and follow rightly at the behest of the new Law and build the Temple of God.
He added that the gates of the Temple on the east side, through which the Glory of God entered, should be closed for many centuries until the time when the new David appears, the prince-messiah will sit in them, that there is bread before God
The vision of the Temple of God showed the liberation of the human race from the enemy's work and the organization of the Church of Christ through the Son of God, sent for the redemption of human sins and incarnate through the Blessed Virgin Mary, a prophet called "the gate closed", by which only the Lord passed.
It is known that the holy Old Testament prophet expelled the wicked from the tribe of Gad, sending them a serpent. He also predicted to them that they will not repent and therefore will not return to the land of their fathers. Not wanting to listen more to the accusatory prophecies of Ezekiel, they stoned him.
Once Ezekiel denounced a Jewish prince in idolatry, and then he had to endure a terrible execution. It was ordered to tie the prophet's body to wild horses that tore it into four parts. But there were pious Jews who gathered pieces of the torn body of a prophet and buried him in the Maura field in the tomb of the forefathers of Abraham Sim and Arfaxad, near the city of Bogdad.
Day of the Holy Prophet: Ezekiel and the memory of him
This ancient prophet had from God a gift of wonderworking, like the last Old Testament prophet Moses. Praying before the Lord, he once divided the river Hovar, and so the Jews were able to go to the opposite side to avoid the persecution of the Chaldeans. And when the famine came, he begged God for food for the hungry.
The day of the prophet Ezekiel, the believing Christians celebrate on August 3.
St. Demetrius of Rostov drew the attention of believers to the words from the book of the prophet Ezekiel, in which it is written that a righteous man who, hoping for his righteousness, dare to sin, and die in sin, will be judged for sin and punished. And a sinner who repents of his sins will die in forgiveness, and his sins will not be remembered by the Lord.
The Akathist to the prophet Ezekiel begins with a prayer: "The prophet Ezekiel of God, foreseeing the gate closed by the Spirit and the Platonic beast, at the end of these, Telling God only one, praying, let him open the door of his mercy and save the souls of those who honored your memory."