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Catholic Dictionary




A prophet of the sixth century B.C. He grew up in Jerusalem and was a contemporary of Jeremiah. He was primarily a preacher profoundly concerned for the spiritual improvement of his people. He disdained the concept of the Messiah as a glorious, militant king; rather he stressed the image of the less dramatic shepherd. Some of his major themes were: reproaches addressed to unfaithful Israelites; "The guilt of the House of Israel and Judah is immense, boundless; the country is full of bloodshed, the city overflows with wickedness" (Ezekiel 9:9); occasional denunciations of foreign nations exerting evil influence on his people, and prophetic anticipation of better days ahead for Israel (Ezekiel 25, 29, 30). "Then they shall be my people and I will be their God" (Ezekiel 11:21). His book concluded on the prophetic note: "The name of the city in future is to be: Yahweh-is-there" (Ezekiel 48:35). The Book of Ezekiel is quoted extensively by St. John in the Apocalypse; in fact there are many points of similarity between the writings of the prophet and of the apostle.