Tuesday, May 6, 2014

16. The Three Prophets - Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel

When we study Daniel, bear in mind the other 2 prophets: Jeremiah and Ezekiel.

Take a look at the following "Highlighted Pink Box" below so that you can look at the significance of these 3 dates in the lives of the 3 prophets:

These 3 prophets lived in the same time period and they all experienced God's final judgment on Judah with the destruction of Jerusalem.

605 BC 1st Exile - Daniel 1:1-7
597 BC 2nd Exile - 2 Kings 24:10-11, 13; 2 Kings 24:14,16
586 BC 3rd Exile - 2 Chronicles 36:17-21

As you can see from the above graph:
  • Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Daniel were prophets living in 'extraordinary times'.
  • Ezekiel (25 years ) and Daniel (15 years ) had the privilege of sitting under Jeremiah's prophetic ministry in Jerusalem.

  • Jeremiah started his ministry quite young and prophesied for 40+ years.
  • For 40+ years, he continuously warned the Israelites to repent and not to trust in deceptive words saying "this is the Temple of Yahweh, this is the Temple of Yahweh, this is the Temple of Yahweh." (Jeremiah 7:4)
  • He pleaded the Israelites to repent from their rampant idolatry for God's judgment is at hand.
  • Jeremiah kept close in touch with the far away exiles in Babylon.  He wrote a letter to the exiles in Jeremiah 29.
  •  The Israelites did not heed the warning.  Finally at the end of Jeremiah's ministry when he was about 60,  the words of  Yahweh came true as Jeremiah prophesied:  the temple of Yahweh was finally destroyed in Jerusalem.

  • Ezekiel was 25 when he arrived Babylon.  11 years later, Jerusalem was finally destroyed.
  • When Ezekiel began his ministry in Babylon, he was 30 (Ezekiel 1:1) at 593 BC.  He was a priest (Ezekiel 1:3) and  would be very familiar with the temple layout as priests would normally begin to minister in the Temple at 30.  
  • Ezekiel knew about the warning of the destruction of the Temple from Jeremiah's preaching.
  • You need to be aware that much of Ezekiel's prophecy is related to the leading up to the Temple destruction.
  • The false prophets in Jerusalem gave false hopes to the Israelites, so much so that the exiles believed the "false hope" that everything would be fine and that their exile would be short and soon to return back to Jerusalem.  But that was not so.
  • Ezekiel spent a great time of his ministry correcting "false hope" warning the Israelites that the temple and Jerusalem would be destroyed.  
  • With this knowledge, this will help you to understand the Book of Ezekiel better.
  • Ezekiel was dealing with a hardened and rebellious people who were disillusioned, cynical, bitter and angry at Yahweh God.
  • Therefore, Ezekiel used prophetic oracles, symbolic actions, allegories, visions and historical accounts to proclaim Yahweh's message to the Israelites to shock and awaken them of their false hopes and spiritual numbness. Isn't this so true of today's spiritual climate we are in?
  • After the destruction of the Temple, Ezekiel continued to prophesy in Babylon to give hope that the temple will be rebuilt and a remnant of God's people would return to Jerusalem.  We see this promise coming true at the end of the Book of Daniel.


  • Daniel was the first group exiled to Babylon.  He lived through all 3 groups of exiles arriving Babylon.  This is the first time the Israelites lived in a Gentile pagan world.
  • There was a span of 19 years from the 1st exile to the 3rd exile.
  • Daniel was already in his mid 30 when Jerusalem was destroyed.
  • Look at how his peer, Ezekiel, describe Daniel in Ezekiel 14:14, 20.  Daniel is put in the same class with  Noah and Job for their "righteousness".  In the eyes of Ezekiel, Daniel was a man of holiness, purity and righteousness.
  • Though Daniel was exiled to Babylon in his teens and had not seen Jeremiah for years, he held very close to his heart Jeremiah's words.  Daniel 9:22, "I, Daniel, perceived in the books the number of years that according to the word of Yahweh to Jeremiah the prophet..."  Daniel often read the writings of Jeremiah and recognized Jeremiah's words are inspired by God, long before the book of  Jeremiah would become part of the Hebrew canon.
  • Daniel lived in a turbulent world politically with the transition to the dominant Babylonian Empire and the Persian Empire.  Daniel directed the heathen kings to recognize the one God of heaven who reigns above all. What a testimony!  The kings listened to Daniel.


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