Ezekiel’s Seventy Years,
Jerusalem and the land of Palestine or Canaan has had a long history of upheaval and warfare. Events leading up to this seventy years of indignation began long before 1938. When the Turkish army took Jerusalem in 1517 and when the British captured it from them in 1917, prophecy was fulfilled. When the Zionist movement began in the late 1800’s and when the German leadership stirred anti-Semitism in Europe, desire and motivation intensified. When individuals and families moved to the Judean countryside and started small settlements, when the surrounding Arab nations opposed them, when various other nations allowed and prevented immigration, steps were being taken to bring Israel back to their ancient homeland. Each of these factors were important, but the story of these seventy-years is of unique significance. Here are the details of these seventy years as Ezekiel highlights them.
The preparation for seventy years of indignation (being under a curse, facing rage and fury expressed in violence) against Jerusalem began in 1937 as the intense Arab violence against Jewish emigration into the area stirred the attention of the British government. For twenty years the British held mandate over the area. During these years thousands of Jews, fleeing oppression, had flowed into Palestine. This influx of Jewish settlers at first concerned and later angered the surrounding Arab nations. As the flow of refugees increased, it seemed to accelerate the intensity of Arabic opposition.
Two things happened in 1937 that set this seventy-year-curse in motion: The British government proposed dividing the area into two sovereign states, one for Israel and one for the Arabs, in a document we have come to know as the Peel Commission Report. In connection with this proposal, the Arab leaders gathered and “resolved that Palestine was ‘an integral part of the Arabian homeland,’ and insisted that Britain had to choose ‘between our friendship and the Jews.’” For fuller discussion of the events of that year, see Notes on 1937. Martin Gilbert, Israel: A History, William Morrow and Company, Inc., New York, NY, 1998; p. 89.
From this beginning, there has followed sixty-nine years of violence, terrorism and pointless attempts at reconciliation. According to the seventy-year-prophecy, the Arabic-Israeli conflict didn’t start with the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948. What is of the highest importance to us, however, is that the prophecies of Zechariah and Ezekiel clearly indicate this indignation is almost over. Following 12 February 2007, the prophecy of Zechariah 1:12-17 begins its fulfillment. Living in the time of this fulfillment, it would bless us to review this history and understand its import to us. Ezekiel provides a focused review.
Names of Ezekiel and Buzi
In Scriptures, names always have meanings. First, of course, they had great significance for the individual named. But every name also has allegorical value for readers in our time. From Hebrew we can find these meanings and determine important things about our relationship to Yehuveh through these allegories.
According to Strong’s Hebrew Dictionary, Ezekiel, entry H3168, Yechezqe'l, “Yehuveh will strengthen; Jechezkel, the name of two Israelites,” comes from two entries: H2388, chazaq, “to fasten upon; to seize, be strong (courageous, strengthen, cure, help, repair, fortify), obstinate; to bind, restrain, conquer,” and entry H0410, 'el, “strength; mighty; the Almighty (but used also of any deity),” a variant of entry H0352, 'ayil, “strength; anything strong; a chief; a ram; a pilaster; an oak or other strong tree,” from the same base as H0193, 'uwl, which comes from an unused root meaning “to twist, be strong; the body; powerful.” The plural of entry H0410, 'el, is elohim, the word which KJV translaters rendered God. If you put these ideas all together, Ezekiel essentially means “strong strength,” or as we might say, “exceptional strength,” “phenomenal strength,” or, to describe this prophet, “the one who seizes strength”! [Or in the plural, “the one who seizes Elohim”.]
Originally Written: 7 June 2006
Latest Update: 20 November 2007
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