Ezekiel, the third of the great
Hebrew prophets, was the son of the priest Buzi. (Ezekiel i, 3). He
was probably born about 620 or 630 years before Christ, and was
consequently a contemporary of Jeremiah and Daniel, to the latter of
whom he alludes in chapters xiv, 14-20 and xxviii, 3. When Jerusalem
was taken by Nebuchadnezzar in 597 B.C. (2 Kings xxiv, 8-16;
Jeremiah xxix, 1-2; Ezekiel xvii, 12; xix, 9), Ezekiel was carried
captive along with Jehoiachin, or Jeconiah, king of Judah, and
thousands of other Jewish prisoners, to Babylonia, or as he himself
calls it, "the land of the Chaldeans." (Ezekiel i, 3). Here, along
with his exiled fellow-countrymen, he lived on the banks of the
river Chebar (Ezekiel i, 1-3), in a house of his own (viii, i). Here
also he married, and here, too, his wife, "the desire of his eyes,"
was taken from him "with a stroke" (Ezekiel xxiv, 15-18). His
prophetic career extended over twenty-two years, from about 592 B.C.
to about 570 B.C.
Dore's picture represents the prophet
uttering his oracles to his fellow-exiles ("them of the captivity"),
or to the "elders of Judah," or "elders of Israel," on one of the
occasions to which he himself alludes
8: I; xi, 25; xiv, I; xx, I).