Ezekiel 21–24: Wickedness Leads to Destruction

Old Testament Seminary Student Study Guide, (2002), 171

In Ezekiel 21–23, the Lord continued to explain why Jerusalem would be destroyed. Ezekiel 21 explains that some of the righteous will suffer in this destruction as well. This suffering, which some people may think unfair, happens because the Lord honors the agency of His children. The righteous may also suffer in some of the judgments of the last days, but the Lord has promised a great eternal reward for those who do (see D&C 58:2).Another interesting prophecy in chapter 21 is found in verses 25–27, where Ezekiel prophesied of the overthrow of Judah’s king, saying there would not be another until He “whose right it is,” meaning Jesus Christ, reigns (v. 27). Since the time the Jews were captive in Babylon, they have not reestablished their kingdom. Jesus Christ will be the only king in their future.Ezekiel 22 discusses the many sins for which Jerusalem was destroyed. Looking at which sins caused the Lord to allow them to be destroyed helps us understand what is offensive in His sight.Ezekiel 23 is another chapter where the Lord referred to the countries of Israel (Samaria) and Judah (Jerusalem) as women who chose to be harlots. The comparison shows us how strongly the Lord feels about His covenant people worshiping other gods.Ezekiel 24 records that the Lord used the image of a boiling pot of meat to describe the Jews being “boiled” by the Babylonians. Chapter 24 also tells about the death of Ezekiel’s wife. The Lord told Ezekiel not to mourn for her as a sign to the Jews that they should not mourn the destruction of Jerusalem and the kingdom of Judah because the great wickedness of Judah made her punishments deserved and fair.