At the time of the final siege, Jeremiah was an old man nearing the end of a long ministry which had already spanned the reigns of several kings (Jer 1:1-3). Though few gave heed, Jeremiah spoke God's Word within the walls of the besieged city. After the city fell, Nebuchadnezzar allowed Jeremiah to remain in the land with the small remnant of Jews who were not taken captive. But they also refused to hear God's Word.
About 19 years before the fall of Jerusalem, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, took the first group of captives from the city, during the third year of king Jehoiakim's reign. At that time, Daniel, probably a teenager, was carried away to Babylon, where he was instructed in the culture of his captors (Dan 1:1-6). Daniel's ministry would span the entire seventy year period, which Jeremiah had foretold would elapse before a remnant could return to partially restore Jerusalem. Daniel's ministry was primarily to the successive Babylonian and Medo-Persian kings and rulers. Daniel's prophecies relate to the character and duration of the Times of the Gentiles, during which Israel would remain subservient to the Gentile powers.
About 11 years before the fall of Jerusalem, Nebuchadnezzar removed king Jehoiakim and placed his son Jehoiachin on the throne. Three months later, Nebuchadnezzar ended Jehoiachin's brief reign, established his uncle Zedekiah as king, and took Jehoiachin and many nobles captive to Babylon (2Kin 24:8-17). Ezekiel was among those captives (v.2). Ezekiel ministered to the Jewish exiles in Babylon. His prophecies proclaim the absolute righteousness of God in His judgment and dispersion of Israel, and the absolute certainty of His purpose for Israel's future restoration under their Messiah.
Ezekiel wrote the first 24 chapters of his book during the last six years of Zedekiah's eleven year reign, which ended with the destruction and final captivity of Jerusalem (2Kin 24:18- 25:4-f). In these early chapters of Ezekiel's book, the LORD explained the cause and character of judgment to the Jewish exiles in Babylon. In chapters 25-32 the focus turns to God's judgment upon Israel's enemies (with short and long term applications). Chapters 33-48 look forward to the restoration of Israel in the Millennial Kingdom of the Messiah.
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