The Holy Spirit in the Old Testament – Ezekiel

Ezekiel 11:1 Then the Spirit lifted me up and brought me to the gate of the house of the Lord that faces east. (NIV)

Ezekiel uses or refers to the “Spirit” thirteen times (that I found).  A major difference in this book is the terms Ezekiel uses for the interactions with the Spirit. His “came into” are bôw (#935 Strong’s) and râpal (#5307 Strong’s); both have many uses in Scripture and are used in some important verses: Bôw means to “enter” and râpal is “to fall on.”

Another interesting thing in Ezekiel is the number of times the Spirit “lifted or raised up” Ezekiel – eight times.  Some of these are in visions but even in some of those you get the feeling that God physically moved him, not just up but to different locations.  I found it helpful to read the entire reference (several verses before and after) that surrounds these verses: 2:2; 3: 12, 14, 24; 8:3; 11:1, 24(2x); 43:5.

The other references are 11:5, 36: 27, 37:14, 39:29, and show the working of the Spirit not only in Ezekiel but His future work in the Church.  Chapter 39 refers to the Spirit being poured out on people and Chapter 37 is the prophecy of the dry bones coming to life.

The Day

My eschatology got a “sticky note” added to it when I read Ezekiel 39:8. Ezekiel (see Three Books) was just told to prophesy against Gog and Magog and to speak about their coming destruction and the LORD says that this is the “DAY” that He has spoken of. Magog is first mentioned in Genesis 10 as being the son of Japheth one of Noah’s three sons. Some people think that this may be Russia and its allies.
Matthew Henry’s Commentary refers back to verses with Moses and David as the prophets who did some of the “speaking.” But since Ezekiel is writing this after the “fall of Jerusalem” I had to go back and look. Isaiah and the prophets of his era started writing about “the day” and you had the idea that it was to be the fall of Jerusalem and when God would settle accounts with His people and get things back in order. You also know that it must hold a “type and shadow” for the future and it does. It just hit me though just how much of a “shadow” all the previous mentions of “the day” had been because of the way it is phrased here in Ezekiel. So we still have “the day” coming and it is going to be a dark day when it shows up.
But here is a bright spot that really shows the true nature of our God; look in Isaiah 61: 2 where it talks about “the day of vengeance of our God.” Many people focus on the day and miss the fact that there is a “year of the Lord’s favor.”