As I have said often, especially in studying the prophetical books, it will help you to understand the message of those books if you get an understanding of the context in which the prophet was living and working.
You will find that in the book of Ezekiel that setting is given to us in the opening couple of verses. It identifies his time and location as the “13th year and the 4th month on the 5th day while I was amongst the exiles.” Then it goes on to say that on the “5th of the month it was the 5th year of the exile of King Jehoikim, the Word of the Lord came to Ezekiel, the priest.”
If you check out these details in 2 Kings 24-25, and from a slightly different perspective in 2 Chronicles 36, you will get a better understanding of what Ezekiel faced and what he had to say to God’s people.
Ezekiel was a priest. His name means, “God strengthens.” His very name gives substance to his message that the nation of Israel needed to turn to God and trust Him.
It is likely that Ezekiel knew both Daniel and Jeremiah. They were prophesying at approximately the same time and addressing many of the same issues. Understanding some of these details helps you understand the message Ezekiel was proclaiming. It will give perspective to that message as you read and study the book.
Let me encourage you to read the historical record in 2 Kings 24-25 and 2 Chronicles 36 as you begin your reading of Ezekiel. You will benefit from it.
I chose Ezekiel 20:37 as the key verse: “I shall make you pass under the rod. And I shall bring you into the bond of the covenant.”