14 The Spirit then lifted me up and took me away, and I went in bitterness and in the anger of my spirit, with the strong hand of the Lord on me. 15 I came to the exiles who lived at Tel Aviv near the Kebar River. And there, where they were living, I sat among them for seven days—deeply distressed. Ezekiel’s Task as Watchman 16 At the end of seven days the word of the Lord came to me: 17 “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the people of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me.
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As indicated in the passage from Ezekiel cited in the question, a watchman was an individual who was responsible for monitoring an assigned area (particularly the area surrounding a city), and alerting the rulers and/or the people of any approaching threats or other events that those in the city needed to know about as soon as possible, so that they could take action to address the situation. Often, the watchman would be placed in an elevated location (such as the top of a protective wall surrounding a city) so that he would have visibility for a long distance, to increase the warning time associated with anything that he saw. 2 Samuel 18:24-27, for example, describes David's use of a watchman during Absalom's rebellion. In the case of Ezekiel, God had made him a watchman in the sense of appointing him to warn Israel not about a physical external threat, but about a fast-approaching judgment from God.
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