“Unit 28: Day 4, Ezekiel 1–32,” Old Testament Study Guide for Home-Study Seminary Students (2014)
“Unit 28: Day 4,” Old Testament Study Guide
Ezekiel was a priest who was among the Jewish captives carried away to Babylon by King Nebuchadnezzar in 597 B.C. (see 2 Kings 24:11–16; Ezekiel 1:1–2). The Lord called Ezekiel to be a prophet and serve as a watchman who would warn, reprove, and call the children of Israel to repentance (see Ezekiel 2:3–7; 3:17).
Think of a time when someone warned you of a potential danger. What was the danger, and how did you respond to the warning?
Just as there are dangers that threaten us physically, there are unseen dangers that threaten our spiritual safety. As you study Ezekiel 1–3, look for a principle that teaches how the Lord will warn you of dangers and help keep you safe.
Ezekiel 1–3 records that a vision of the heavens was opened to Ezekiel, and he beheld the glory of the Lord on His throne. The Lord called Ezekiel to teach the children of Israel His words.
Read Ezekiel 3:17, looking for what the Lord likened Ezekiel to.
To understand the role and responsibilities of a watchman, read Ezekiel 33:1–6. You may want to mark how the responsibilities of a watchman are similar to those of a prophet.
- Answer the following questions in your scripture study journal:
What are some of the dangers that latter-day prophets have warned us about?
When have you felt protected from danger because you heeded the warnings of prophets?
One truth we can learn from these verses is that the Lord holds us accountable to fulfill the responsibilities He has given us.
Consider how this truth relates to you as you read the following statement from President John Taylor: “If you do not magnify your callings, God will hold you responsible for those you might have saved had you done your duty” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: John Taylor , 164).
In Ezekiel 3:22–27 we read that the Lord promised to help Ezekiel know when he should teach the people and what he should say to them.
Think of someone you have a good relationship with. What has helped make that relationship strong?
Ponder on your present relationship with our Father in Heaven and His Son, Jesus Christ. As you study Ezekiel 4–24, look for how your relationship with the Lord may be strengthened.
In a vision, the Lord showed Ezekiel how the people of Israel had separated themselves from Him through their idolatry and other wickedness. Ezekiel prophesied about what would happen to the children of Israel in the future.
Read the following scriptures referenced in the following chart, looking for what the Israelites would come to know as a result of what would happen to them. Write what you find in the right-hand column.
What would happen to the Israelites?
What would the Israelites learn as a result?
Jerusalem would be destroyed.
The Israelites would be taken into captivity.
The Israelites would be scattered among the nations.
The Lord would renew His covenant with the children of Israel.
The Lord would gather the children of Israel.
The phrase “ye shall know that I am the Lord” or variations of it are mentioned more than 45 times in Ezekiel 4–32. What do you think this phrase means? Why would such an understanding be important for us?
Read Ezekiel 14:10–11, looking for one of God’s purposes for punishing Israel.
According to verse 11, what was one of the Lord’s purposes for punishing Israel?
One principle we can learn from the passages you have studied in Ezekiel is that the Lord provides opportunities for us to know that He is the only true God and to draw closer to Him.
- In your scripture study journal, write about an experience that has helped strengthen your testimony of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and draw you closer to Them.
Imagine that you are talking to two of your friends. One friend says to the other, “If I had parents who were active and strong in the Church, like yours are, I would probably be a better person and not do some of the things I do. But my parents aren’t active, and they don’t expect me to live all the Church standards, so I don’t.”
Think about what you would say to this friend.
As you study Ezekiel 18, look for principles that can help you better understand Heavenly Father’s expectations of you regardless of your family’s level of activity in the Church.
Read Ezekiel 18:1–3, looking for an Israelite proverb that Jehovah referred to.
The reference to fathers eating sour grapes and the children’s teeth being set on edge refers to the Israelites’ belief that their punishments had resulted from their fathers’ sins, which were symbolized by the sour grapes. The children of Israel excused their sins by claiming that their parents had not properly taught them the ways of God or established an environment where they could be faithful to His commandments.
You may want to mark in verse 3 what the Lord said about this excuse.
In Ezekiel 18:4–18 we read a scenario involving a man, his son, and his grandson that illustrates why the Israelites could not blame their sins on their parents.
Note that verses 5–9 describe a just and righteous man. Read Ezekiel 18:9, looking for what the Lord said would happen to this righteous man. The phrase “he shall surely live” refers to enjoying God’s Spirit in this life and living in God’s presence after this mortal life is completed.
Read Ezekiel 18:10–13, looking for a description of the righteous man’s son.
What kind of man was the son? In verse 13 the phrase “he shall surely die” refers to being separated from God’s presence in this life and after this life. The reference to blood has to do with the responsibility for and the consequences of the man’s sins.
List the names of at least three people described in the scriptures who were wicked despite having righteous parents:
Read Ezekiel 18:14–18, looking for a description of the wicked man’s son.
List the names of at least three people described in the scriptures who lived righteously despite having unrighteous parents:
From the example of the wicked man’s son, we learn the truth that we can choose to live righteously, regardless of our circumstances and the choices of those around us. Consider writing this truth in the margin of your scriptures next to Ezekiel 18:14–17.
Mark the words or phrases in the following excerpt from For the Strength of Youth that teach us that we can choose to live righteously regardless of our circumstances.
“Heavenly Father has given you agency, the ability to choose right from wrong and to act for yourself. Next to the bestowal of life itself, the right to direct your life is one of God’s greatest gifts to you. While here on earth, you are being proven to see if you will use your agency to show your love for God by keeping His commandments. The Holy Ghost can guide you in using your agency righteously.
“You are responsible for the choices you make. God is mindful of you and will help you make good choices, even if your family and friends use their agency in ways that are not right. Have the moral courage to stand firm in obeying God’s will, even if you have to stand alone. As you do this, you set an example for others to follow” (For the Strength of Youth [booklet, 2011], 2).
- Complete the following activities in your scripture study journal:
Answer the following question: What has God given to you that can help guide you in making good choices?
Write about a time when you (or someone you know) chose to live righteously, even when others were not making good choices.
Make a commitment to always make righteous choices regardless of your circumstances or the choices of the people around you.
Read Ezekiel 18:19–20, looking for an additional principle the children of Israel could learn.
One of the truths we learn from these verses is that God will hold us accountable for our own choices.
Read Ezekiel 18:21–22, looking for the Lord’s message to those who turn from their wickedness.
Ezekiel 18:24–32 teaches that the righteous who turn away from the Lord and sin without repenting will not be saved. Jehovah called on His people to cast away their sins and “make … a new heart and a new spirit” (Ezekiel 18:31).
In Ezekiel 25–32 we read Ezekiel’s prophecies of the destruction of wicked nations that surrounded Israel.
- Write the following at the bottom of today’s assignments in your scripture study journal:
I have studied Ezekiel 4–32 and completed this lesson on (date).
Additional questions, thoughts, and insights I would like to share with my teacher: