God had warned Ezekiel that if he did not warn those whom God sent him to their blood will be upon him

Ezekiel 3:17 NIV

17 “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the people of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me. 18 When I say to a wicked person, ‘You will surely die,’ and you do not warn them or speak out to dissuade them from their evil ways in order to save their life, that wicked person will die for[b] their sin, and I will hold you accountable for their blood

Later Ezekiel gives a prophecy to the exiles but which seems to be directed at the prince and the people who were still in Jerusalem.

Ezekiel 12:10 NIV

10 “Say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: This prophecy concerns the prince in Jerusalem and all the Israelites who are there.’ 11 Say to them, ‘I am a sign to you.’“As I have done, so it will be done to them. They will go into exile as captives.

Ezekiel;s prophecies seem mostly to be directed at two groups the Exiles and those who were in Jerusalem. I have been trying to find out how this warning was to reach those who were in Jerusalem seeing Ezekiel was symbolizing his prophecies to Exiles who were already in Babylon

Maybe i have missed where the prophet also wrote to the prince and those in Jerusalem warning them about the attack and the subsequent destruction of Jerusalem

Did the Prophet somehow get his message to those who were in Jerusalem at that time?


2 Answers 2


The prophet Ezekiel pronounced many prophecies about the fete of the Jews still left in Jerusalem:

  • Eze 4 about the coming siege of Jerusalem
  • Eze 5 about God's judgement on Jerusalem
  • Eze 6 about the doom of the people living the surrounding areas of Jerusalem
  • Eze 7 about the coming destruction of Judah
  • Eze 8 about the appalling idolatry in the Temple of Jerusalem
  • Eze 9 about judgement on these idolaters
  • Eze 11 about judgement on Jerusalem
  • Eze 12 about the exile of Jerusalem
  • Eze 13 about the false prophets in Jerusalem
  • Eze 14 about idolaters and the coming Jerusalem judgement
  • Eze 16 compared to a useless vine

... and so forth.

There is some evidence from Ezekiel's fellow prophet, Jeremiah, that there was a functioning mail system between Jerusalem and Babylon because in Jer 29 we have a copy of one of the letters that Jeremiah sent to the exiles in Babylon. This mail traffic would have been two-way; indeed, we have Ezekiel's prophecies to this day suggesting that their writings were known at the time to have survived!

Thus, the entire ministry of Ezekiel was spent fulfilling God's instruction to him to be the watchman (Eze 3:17, 18, 33:7). I am certain that if God gave the message through Ezekiel, that God would have ensured that the intended recipients heard the message.


Did Ezekiel warn the prince and the Israelites in Jerusalem about the impending exile?

Ezekiel 3:17. During captivity in Babylon

As an exile in Babylon by the river Chebar at Tel-abib, Ezekiel was appointed watchman to the House of Israel. After eating the scroll produced in Ezekiel ‘a rage of spirit’ appropriate to its message. At Tel-abib he dwelt ‘stunned for seven days’ digesting the message.(Read Ezekiel 3:12-15 NASB)

The newly appointed watchman was to warn lawbreaking Israelites that they faced divine execution, at the end of the seven days Ezekiel appears before the exiles

Ezekiel 3:16-21 NASB

16 Now at the end of seven days the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 17 “Son of man, I have appointed you as a watchman for the house of Israel; whenever you hear a word from My mouth, warn them from Me. 18 When I say to the wicked, ‘You will certainly die,’ and you do not warn him or speak out to warn the wicked from his wicked way so that he may live, that wicked person shall die for wrongdoing, but his blood I will require from your hand. 19 However if you have warned the wicked and he does not turn from his wickedness or from his wicked way, he shall die for wrongdoing, but you have saved yourself. 20 Again, when a righteous person turns away from his righteousness and commits sin, and I place an obstacle before him, he will die; since you have not warned him, he shall die in his sin, and his righteous deeds which he has done shall not be remembered; but his blood I will require from your hand. 21 However, if you have warned [l]the righteous person that the righteous is not to sin, and he does not sin, he shall certainly live because he took warning; and you have saved yourself.”

Ezekiel 12:10 Before the Israelites were taken as captives to Babylon.

Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and other prophets warned of this great calamity in statements like these:

Jeremiah . 15:2 NET)

"Those who are destined to go into exile will go into exile."

Jeremiah 20:6 NET

6 You, Pashhur, and all your household will go into exile in Babylon. You will die there and you will be buried there. The same thing will happen to all your friends to whom you have prophesied lies.

(For Pashhur read Jeremiah 38:1, 4, 6 )

Ezekiel 12:10-11 NET

10 Say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: The prince will raise this burden in Jerusalem,[a] and all the house of Israel within it.’[b] 11 Say, ‘I am an object lesson[c] for you. Just as I have done, so it will be done to them; they will go into exile and captivity.’

(Ezekiel 12:12 d The prince is a reference to Zedekiah.(NET Footnotes)

Jeremiah 21:7 (NET Bible)

7 Then I, the Lord, promise that I will hand over King Zedekiah of Judah, his officials, and any of the people who survive the war, starvation, and disease. I will hand them over to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon and to their enemies who want to kill them. He will slaughter them with the sword. He will not show them any mercy, compassion, or pity.’

  • Hi Ozzie - I like how you've started your answer, but it doesn't really feel like it's specifically written for this question. How does this answer collen's question?
    – Steve can help
    Commented Nov 26, 2020 at 12:42
  • Steve Taylor. Whilst in Jerusalem Ezekiel, Jeremiah, and other prophets made pronouncements about the impending calamity on Jerusalem and Judah, thus warning the Prince ( King Zedekiah) and the Israelites. Ezekiel was among the captives taken to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar. He prophesied to the Jews living by the river Chebar, which some modern scholars believe to be one of the great Babylonian canals. The OP wrongly assumes that the Prophet had to send his message to those who were in Jerusalem. Commented Nov 26, 2020 at 20:13
  • 1
    @OzzieOzzie,Ezekiel clearly says he was in Babylon,so the question is about how his message reached those in Jerusalem Commented Nov 27, 2020 at 6:25
  • That's my thinking - Ezekiel begins his scroll in Babylon, where he receives his call to prophesy. You haven't presented any evidence of him making pronouncements in Jerusalem. As I said, this feels like a good general introduction to Jeremiah and Ezekiel, but after the first line it doesn't clearly engage with the question.
    – Steve can help
    Commented Nov 27, 2020 at 8:30
  • Jeremiah sent a letter to the captives in the land of Babylonia, telling them to settle down and be at peace in Babylon because a 70-year period must pass before they would be delivered. Doubtless, Ezekiel got to hear the words of this letter. Also, he may have heard the reading of the book that Jeremiah later sent foretelling the downfall of Babylon.​(Read Jeremiah 29, and 51:59-64.) If Jeremiah could send letters to Babylonia, there is reason to believe that Ezekiel could do so to Jerusalem. Commented Nov 27, 2020 at 9:21

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