Ezekiel was a priest in the temple of God. Taken captive at age 30, he would have only just begun his priestly service. He speaks and writes to his countrymen who are exiled as he is. Exile is not being homeless. “Rather, it is knowing that you do have a home, but that your home has been taken over by enemies.” It is not being without roots. “On the contrary, it is having deep roots which have now been plucked up, and there you are, with roots dangling, writhing in pain, exposed to a cold and jeering world, longing to be restored to native and nurturing soil. Exile is knowing precisely where you belong, but knowing you can’t go there – not yet. In exile, life cannot be “business as usual” (Ian Duguid, The NIV Application Commentary: Ezekiel (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1999) p. 48).
The book is divided by dates into 13 sections. Watch for the date changes in your readings. They do not always signal a subject change, but they are good markers for your readings.
Ezekiel is important to us because Christians are also “in exile” (1 Peter 1:1,17; 2:11). This is not our home. We are looking for a better city, a city whose architect and builder is God. Ezekiel tells us how to live until we finally get to “go home.”