Date of celebration: 23/07
The Prophet Ezekiel lived in the years of Nebuchadnezzar, in the sixth century BC. (according to others in 477 BC). His father was a Priest and was called Buzi and was taken captive to Babylon after the first capture of Jerusalem, in 598 BC.
Ezekiel’s upbringing was very careful, within the framework of the strict morals of the patriarchal religion. He was an implacable enemy of all vice and sin, and boldly checked the proud and arrogant rulers. Ezekiel was very beloved by the people and many came to him, even Jewish elders, to ask for his advice. His prophecies refer mainly to the destruction of Jerusalem and beyond.
Tradition states that Ezekiel was killed by the tribe of Gad because he was checking their idolatrous tendencies. He was buried in present-day Baghdad, Iraq.
The book of the Prophet Ezekiel is divided into three parts: The first part (ch. a’-kd’) contains warnings about the certain destruction of Jerusalem. The second part (ch. ke’-lb’) contains prophecies of condemnation for various heathen nations, and the third part (lg’-mi’) consists of prophecies which refer to various subjects. The third part also includes the prophecy, which refers to the vision of the Prophet Ezekiel, related to the miraculous animating of the bare bones, which become living people by God’s command (Lz’, 1-14). This prophecy is read in the Holy Temples during Vespers of Great Saturday, that is, on the evening of Good Friday after the procession of the Epitaph, because it prophesies the resurrection of the dead, which will take place during the Second Coming of Christ.
Finally, let’s mention some words of the prophet, which give immortal messages of eternal life: “And the word of the Lord came to me saying… that all souls are I… The soul that sins, it dies. But the man who is righteous, whose sin and righteousness … lives, says the Lord” (Ezekiel, ch. 1-9). That is, the Lord spoke to me and said: “every human life is mine. He who sins shall be punished with death. The man, however, who is righteous, he who keeps my commandments and behaves righteously, he will live forever, says the Lord”.