You will find an introduction and outline to Ezekiel here.

A prayer to use before reading from the Book of Common Worship:
Eternal God, your wisdom is greater than our minds can attain, and your truth shows up our learning. To those who study, give curiosity, imagination, and patience enough to wait and work for insight. Help us to doubt with courage, but to hold all our doubts in the larger faith of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


An Outline (based on Wilson)

I. 1:1-3:27 Introduction to the Prophet and Prophecy

II. 4:1-24:27 Prophecies and Judgment against Judah and Jerusalem

D. 12:1-20 Symbols and Oracles of Exile: These verses contain the description of two symbolic actions of Ezekiel along with their interpretation. Verses 1-16 Notice how these verses begin in the way we have seen before in this book. Ezekiel is to symbolically act out the exile from Jerusalem. In verses 17-20 Ezekiel enacts the peoples’ fear over approaching events.

E. 12:21-14:11 Oracles on Prophets and Prophesy: During the time before the fall of Jerusalem, prophets gave different messages to the people about what would happen and what they should do. With the prophets in disagreement, trust in prophetic authority was questioned. Prophets then tried to support their own authority while diminishing the authority of other prophets.

12:21-28 Disputes about Prophecy; Here two says of the people are quoted and God responds to them. First is the saying that prophetic visions could be ignored. The second saying is that the visions are so far in the future that they can be ignored.

13:1-13 Condemnation of false prophets and diviners. Ezekiel speaks to the prophets who tell the people that the city will be spared.

13:14-23 is a condemnation against diviners. These people seem to have made articles of clothing which were amulets. Divination was prohibited by law (Deut 18:9-14).

14:1-11 A warning to God’s prophets; Sinful elders are warned, God will not listen to their requests but will deal directly with them. Prophets who are deceived are also warned. The right to approach God through a prophet is not fail proof, the obedience of the people matters also.

F. 14:12-23 Individual Salvation and God’s Justice: The four examples in this section are presented in typical legal form. There are four different punishment, famine, wild animals, slaughter and pestilence. Even the three most virtuous people, Noah, Daniel and Job could only save themselves and not others. Daniel here, is not the Daniel of the Bible, the name is spelled differently in Hebrew.

G. 15:1-8 Meditation on the Vine: The wood of the vine is only useful when it has been cultivated. Wood from wild vines is useless.

H. 16:1-63 Allegory of the Adulterous Wife: This long oracle has three parts. Verses 1-43a a metaphor of Jerusalem as adulteress, verses 43b-58 a comparison between Judah and Samaria and Sodom. Verse 59-63 are a promise of God’s fidelity.

Verses 1-8 Jerusalem as a infant. Remember that Israel had to possess the land, before Israel lived there, other people did. Jerusalem did not receive the normal practices a baby received, rather it was abandoned and God saves her. When Israel is old enough, God married her ( v8) and made a covenant with her.

Verses 9-14 The bride is given many things, anointed with oil, clothed with fine garments and so on.

Verses 15-34 The bride commits adultery with other gods. The adultery is both religious and political. Verses 35-43 The threat of punishment, Israel will be abandoned by all.

Verses 44-58 Israel is worse than Sodom and Samaria. What does this section say the sin of Sodom is?

Verses 59-63 Restoration, God does not forget nor abandon his covenant.



Read More About It:

Here are several good sources to aid your reading of Ezekiel.

Anderson, Bernhard W., Katheryn Pfister Darr, Understanding the Old Testament Abridged fourth Edition. (Upper Saddle River,New Jersey: Prentice Hall) 1998.

Pfisterer Darr, Katheryne, “Ezekiel” in The New Interpreter’s Bible Vol 6, Keck, Leander E. ed. (Nashville: Abingdon Press) 2001.

Cook, Stephen L. “Ezekiel” in The New Oxford Annotated Bible with Apocrypha: New Revised Standard Version.Coogan, Michael D.; Brettler, Marc Z.; Perkins, Pheme; Newsom, Carol A. (2010-01-20) Oxford University Press. Kindle Edition.

Wilson, Robert R. “Ezekiel” in  HarperCollins Bible Commentary Mays, James L. ed.(San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco) 2000.