Although God permitted king Jeconiah or Jehoiachin, with many Jews (amongst whom was also Ezekiel), to be carried away captive to Babel, nevertheless as such He did not forsake them entirely, but to show that He wanted to preserve His church among them, even in Babel, and graciously to deliver and restore them afterwards. For this purpose He raised up this excellent prophet to minister unto them, by whom He made known unto those captives in Babel, in several visions, prophecies and sermons, the very same which He caused to be declared daily by the prophet Jeremiah unto their brethren who remained in the land and at Jerusalem under king Zedekiah, although among both was found (as well with those who were at Jerusalem as among those who were in Babel) disbelief and obstinate impenitence. At Jerusalem they believed not the prophet Jeremiah, but mocked with those who had surrendered themselves to the king of Babel, and had permitted themselves to be carried away captive, thinking that they would now be sole heirs of the land and that their brethren, who were carried away captive, be shut out. In Babel they believed not the prophet Ezekiel, but murmured against God and esteemed themselves much more unhappy than their brethren who remained in the land, unto whom notwithstanding God foretold, both by Ezekiel and by Jeremiah, much sorer plagues, besides the utter ruin of the city, temple and land, yet in every way with additions of very fair promises, and comforts, unto the penitent and believing, of His future and sure mercy and favor, both in things corporal, and especially in things spiritual, and of His severe judgments upon all their enemies and persecutors. Hereunto tends primarily this entire book of Ezekiel, in which he, in the first three chapters, describes a very rare and wonderful vision, whereby God has confirmed, instructed and strengthened him in his prophetical office. In the next place, unto the 25th chapter, are most lively represented the abominable sins, especially of the Jews who were at Jerusalem and in Judah, as also their approaching punishments, by several Divine signs, visions, parables and prophetical sermons of reproof. Then, to the 33rd chapter, God foretells to the neighboring, hostile heathens, as the Ammonites, Moabites, Edomites, (of whom is also treated in chapter 35) Philistines, Tyrians, Zidonians, and Egyptians, their ruin. Moreover, from the 33rd to the 40th chapter, the sins, murmurings and hypocrisies of the Jews, who were captives in Babel, are severely reproved by God with exhortations to true repentance, and a faithful expectation of future deliverance, the gathering and blessing of His church, not only by the deliverance from the Babylonian captivity, but also especially of the great work of grace which God would show unto His catholic church, both of Jews and Gentiles, by their only Savior and King JESUS CHRIST, with a warning of the sore battle and enmity that would befall them by Gog and Magog, with their entire adherents, and with a promise of a joyful deliverance in the end. In the last 9 chapters God concludes and seals up these prophecies, in Babylon, with a very full and ample vision of the building of a new temple, new worship, new government of the people of God, new inheritance and a new city, all for Israel and the strangers; representing under figures, according as that time did require, the future, gracious and triumphant state of the church, both militant and triumphant, under their King the MESSIAH, JESUS CHRIST, Who with the Father and the Holy Spirit, as the only true God of Israel, is to be praised forever. Amen.