Ezekiel 2–3: Ezekiel's Call to Serve

Old Testament Seminary Student Study Guide, (2002), 168–169

Ezekiel 2–3 begins to record what God said to Ezekiel as part of his vision of God’s glory (see Ezekiel 1). In a way, these chapters contain his “mission call.” As you read the way the Lord described Ezekiel’s mission and the people he was called to teach, consider how the prophet of God calls a missionary today.

Understanding the Scriptures

Ezekiel 2

Impudent (v. 4)Proud 
Forbear (vv. 5, 7)Refuse to listen and obey 
Briers and thorns (v. 6)Prickly weeds (a symbol for the trouble people might give Ezekiel when he delivers his messages) 
Scorpions (v. 6)Poisonous creature (a symbol of wicked people that Ezekiel will preach to) 
Dismayed (v. 6)Afraid 
Lamentations, mourning, woe (v. 10)Sadness 

Ezekiel 2:9–10; 3:1–3—The Lord Asked Ezekiel to Eat a Scroll

The description of Ezekiel eating a scroll is a symbolic one representing his calling to teach the Lord’s word by literally making the word of God part of his being. The book of Revelation records a time when the Apostle John had a similar experience (see Revelation 10).

Ezekiel 3

Hearkened, hearken (vv. 6–7)Listened and obeyed 
Heat (v. 14)Anger 
Watchman (v. 17)A man standing on the wall of a city watching for enemies and warning the people in the city 
But his blood will I require at thine hand (vv. 18, 20)You will be held responsible for his sins 
Delivered (vv. 19, 21)Saved 
I lay a stumblingblock before him (v. 20)I cause him to fall 
Cleave (v. 26)Stick 
Dumb (v. 26)Unable to speak 
Reprover (v. 26)One who corrects another 

Studying the Scriptures

Do two of the following three activities (A–C) as you study Ezekiel 2–3.

Activity A iconSummarize Ezekiel’s Mission

To summarize Ezekiel’s mission, explain the significance of the following words and phrases: “impudent children” (Ezekiel 2:4; see also Ezekiel 3:7); briers, thorns, and scorpions (Ezekiel 2:6); the roll of a book (Ezekiel 2:9–10; 3:1–3); a diamond (Ezekiel 3:9); watchman (Ezekiel 3:17–21); a reprover (Ezekiel 3:26).


Draw at least four pictures in your notebook that represent the ideas listed above.

Activity B iconA Difficult Mission

  1. 1.

    Search Ezekiel 2–3 and list reasons you think Ezekiel would have had a difficult mission. For each reason, list a verse to support your idea.

  2. 2.

    List what the Lord said Ezekiel’s mission would be in Ezekiel 2–3 and what encouraged Ezekiel to fulfill his mission.

Activity C iconThe Watchman

  1. 1.

    Read Ezekiel 3:17–21 and describe the calling of a watchman.

  2. 2.

    Name a “watchman” in the Church today and explain why you chose whom you did.

  3. 3.

    What does Ezekiel 3:17–21 teach us about the importance of fulfilling our callings? You may want to cross-reference these verses to Jacob 1:19.