Ezekiel 33: Watchment on the Tower

Old Testament Seminary Student Study Guide, (2002), 171–172

Why are parents and leaders at every level of Church government so concerned about teaching people and encouraging them to repent?Throughout history, people have had to guard against attack from neighboring tribes or nations. As part of their plan for protection they built towers on the walls of their cities and placed watchmen in the towers to watch for approaching enemies. If the people ignored the watchmen, they placed themselves at great risk. At the same time, if watchmen did not do their duty, an entire city could be destroyed. Ezekiel 33 records the comparison of leaders in Israel to watchmen.
watchman Church leader

Understanding the Scriptures

Ezekiel 33

Coasts (v. 2)Borders 
His blood (vv. 4–6, 8)The responsibility 
Pine away (v. 10)Wasting away 
Restore the pledge (v. 15)Pay his debts 
Statutes (v. 15)Laws 
Equal (vv. 17, 20)Fair 
Afore (v. 22)Before 
Wastes (vv. 24, 27)Destroyed area 
Ye eat with the blood (v. 25)Refers to breaking the law, which said to not eat the blood of meats 
Defile (v. 26)Are immoral with 
Desolate (vv. 28–29)Empty 
Pomp (v. 28)Pride 
Covetousness (v. 31)Behavior caused by greed 

Ezekiel 33:30–32—The Way the Jews Treated Their Prophets

Having a prophet is a great blessing—but only if we obey his counsel. In these last verses of Ezekiel 33, the Lord told Ezekiel that the people talked as if they loved the prophet and were anxious to listen to him speak, but then they did not obey what the prophet taught them. The end of verse 31 sounds much like the description the Lord gave to the Prophet Joseph Smith of people in apostasy (see Joseph Smith—History 1:19).

Studying the Scriptures

Do activity A as you study Ezekiel 33.

Activity A iconSolve Problems Using the Scriptures

Ezekiel 33:1–9 explains the role and importance of a watchman. The Lord calls upon prophets, other priesthood and Church leaders, and parents to be watchmen for His people. Consider the following situations and answer the questions at the end of each according to the principles taught in Ezekiel 33:1–9:

  1. 1.

    One of the favorite activities of the youth is to watch movies on video. These videos are often below the standards of the Church. What should the parents do? The bishop? The Young Men and the Young Women presidents? The youth? Yourself?

  2. 2.

    In addition to other practice times, the soccer coach scheduled team practice every Sunday morning. He expects every player to participate. What should parents do? The bishop? The youth on the team?