The Prophet Ezekiel was the son of the priest Buzi, and he lived about 600 b.c. He was carried into captivity with many Israelites into Babylon. He prophesied among them for twenty seven years, his first prophecies from about 592 b.c. His name in Hebrew means “God strengthens” or “May God strengthen.”
The Prophet had many vivid visions, including that of the four living creatures (Ezek 1:10) which parallels that of St. John the Theologian (Rev 4:7) more than 600 years later. In the Church’s teaching the creature with the human face signifies God Incarnate as a man, the lion’s face His Divinity, the calf’s face His sacrifices, and the eagle’s face His Resurrection and Ascension. The Prophet Ezekiel also had a vision of dry bones (Ezek 37) which is seen as a prophecy of the Resurrection of the dead. Because St. Ezekiel did not flatter the Israelites in their turning away from God, but admonished them, they were intensely angered, and so killed him by tying him to the tails of horses and as they ran apart, tearing him to pieces. He died as a martyr and was buried near Shem the son of Noah, but his words and prophecies still live on for us today.