Paperback, 276 pages. Published by John Ritchie Ltd., 40 Beansburn, Kilmarnock, Scotland, KA3 1 RH. Price: £8.99. ISBN: 978-1-909803-78-7.
The origins of this helpful book are to be found in a conversation which the author had with a young believer who expressed a desire for help in understanding the prophecy of Ezekiel. Whilst the resulting commentary is aimed first and foremost at the needs of young people, it will also be of great help to ‘those other Christians who cannot digest a very detailed commentary’.
Malcolm Davis has produced a book which offers a survey of the prophecy of Ezekiel. He devotes the major part of this work to a succinct summary of each chapter, providing sufficient background information to allow his readers to understand the historical context against which Ezekiel is writing, without becoming bogged down in too much detail. Before that section there is a brief bibliography, and an introduction. This includes a useful chart of significant dates, together with an overview of the historical setting of the prophecy; in addition, there is a note about Ezekiel himself, and a brief analysis of the literary features of the prophecy – the visions recorded, the symbolism, the allegories, and the lamentations.
Whilst the main part of this book is taken up with commentary, that is followed by eight studies which cover the main themes, and the recurring phrases – for example, the names, glory, and character of God; the Messianic prophecies; the principles of God’s judgement; the significance of the various recurring phrases. And, because this commentary is intended to be practical, there is a chapter on the relevance of the message of Ezekiel for the world today.
In tackling this important Old Testament book, the author has set out for us the principles which he has followed: firstly, the book is authentic, historically accurate, and a genuine composition of Ezekiel in the sixth century BC; secondly, accurate prediction is not only possible but is to be expected in all prophetic literature; thirdly, God has planned a future for His ancient people Israel; fourthly, the book is to be understood as literally as possible, consistently with the use of figurative and symbolical language.
Writing from a premillennial position, the author declares his aim: to make clear for the general reader the overall theme and structure of Ezekiel’s prophecy, and to apply its spiritual lessons to our situation in local church testimony today. He has succeeded admirably.