Who was the author? God inspired the book of Ezekiel through the prophet with that name, a member of a priestly family who was among the 10,000 Jews Nebuchadnezzar took to exile in Bablyon in 597 B.C., some 10 years before Jerusalem was sieged and the Temple destroyed.
What is the book? The book is a more-or-less chronological record of the verbal and enacted prophecies God directed to the exiles in Bablyon through Ezekiel.
Where was it written? The book most likely was written in Bablyon.
When was it written? Ezekiel's prophetic activity apparently went 15 years past the destruction of Jerusalem in 586 B.C., so it could have been written as soon as 571 B.C. or sometime shortly thereafter.
Why? As God desires and intends to be known, the book of Ezekiel tells how God is revealed both in the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the Temple, prophesied until it was destroyed, and in the restoration and renewal of Israel, prophesied from that point forward.
How? Structured like the other major prophets (prophecies against Israel, prophecies against the nations, comfort for Israel), the book that has in its first half a Temple fit for destruction from which God's glory departs is balanced in its second half with a Temple fit for God's presence to which His glory returns. Similarly, the book has symmetrical calls to Ezekiel and addresses of rebuke and comfort to Israel's mountains. Contained inside also are portrayals of the Messiah as God's true Shepherd and His kingdom as the Lord's branch that becomes a stately cedar on a majestic mountain top.
For further reading on the book of Ezekiel:
- Keil, C.F. and F. Delitzsch. Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament, Volume IX: Ezekiel, Daniel, translated by James Martin and M. G. Easton and published as three volumes in one. Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, reprinted August 1985. (There are some 862 pages on Ezekiel.)
- Kretzmann, Paul E. Popular Commentary of the Bible: The Old Testament, Volume II, The Poetical and the Prophetical Books. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1924. (This volume, one that is in our Grace library, has 93 pages on Ezekiel.)