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Author: Ron Graham

Ezekiel

Ezekiel Chapters 12, 13, 14, 15
—Outline and Notes

In this lesson, we outline and analyse Ezekiel chapters 12, 13, 14, and 15. Ezekiel records: God’s warning of Jerusalem's destruction soon; God’s condemnation of false prophets with idols in their hearts; God’s punishment using famine, beasts, sword, and plague; God’s Parable of Vine and Tree.

1 Context Overview

A number of issues are touched upon in Ezekiel chapters 12 to 15.

Why is God allowing Jerusalem to be destroyed by the Babylonians?

Why are false prophets predicting peace and prosperity when Ezekiel says the city is doomed and the people will die, be taken captive, or flee to foreign lands?

What are the catastrophies about to befall Jerusalem? Will this be the end of Israel, or will a remnant be preserved to restore Jerusalem?

When Ezekiel does everything he can to make the people see the truth, why don't they listen or understand?

2 Outline of Ezekiel 12, 13, 14, and 15

Warning of Jerusalem’s Destruction Soon

Condemnation of False Prophets

Parable of the Whitewashed Wall

God Includes Female Prophets

Idols in the Heart

Parable of Noah, Daniel, and Job

Parable of Vine and Tree

3 The Three Parables

First parable: Plastering Over the Cracks

God likens the false prophecies to the building of a shoddy wall, plastered over and whitewashed to look good, but unable to withstand a violent storm (Ezekiel 13:10-16).

The false prophets predicted that the near future would bring peace and prosperity. So these prophets urged the people to build houses (Ezekiel 11:1-4).

Maybe there were examples of shoddy walls in the city, walls plastered over to hide the cracks. In any case, God will say of the false prophecies, "The wall is no more, nor those who plastered it"

Here is what the parable represents:

Second parable: Noah, Daniel, and Job

There are four punishments in God’s judgment of Israel (Ezekiel 14:12-23). They are: Famine (v12‑13), Beasts (v15‑16), Sword (v17‑18), and Plague (v19‑20).

As God mentions each of these severe punishments, he says that even if Noah, Daniel, and Job were there, "they would deliver neither son nor daughter; they would deliver only themselves by their righteousness"

Noah and Job, were men of antiquity who were faithful and righteous. That's why God saved Noah from the great flood, and rescued Job from the persecution Satan inflicted on him

The other man, Daniel, was a man of the moment, a captive of the Chaldeans. He was promoted to a high and responsible position in Babylon, yet without acting corruptly. He refused to participate in idolatry though it meant being cast into the den of lions.

If these men were in Jerusalem at the time of the seige, slaughter, and exile, they would, because of their righteousness, be marked by the man with the inkhorn and be preserved.

But the unrighteousness of most people in Jerusalem is so extreme that even the righteousness of Noah, Daniel, and Job, could not help them. They will not be saved.

However, God gives assurance again that a remnant of righteous people will restore Jerusalem. This will be a comfort for Ezekiel.

Third parable: The Vine and the Trees

Ezekiel chapter 15 is a parable showing that Israel, by and large, has become useless to God and must be destroyed. God asks Ezekiel to consider the spindly vine that grows among the trees in the forest.

The wood of the trees is useful, and much can be made from it. But the vine is fit only for burning because one cannot make anything from its wood, not even a peg. (Ezekiel : )

This simple parable is God’s way of explaining why he is turning his back on Jerusalem and the children of Israel. If they were trees, he would value them. But they are soft and spindly vines so he deals with them as trash.

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