3 The word of the Lord came expressly unto Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans by the river Chebar; and the hand of the Lord was there upon him.
ESV - 3 The word of the Lord came to Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans by the Chebar canal, and the hand of the Lord was upon him there.
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I would say that the hand of the LORD being on Ezekiel would mean that he was given knowledge, powers, or a message to proclaim that he did not acquire or possess (and perhaps could not acquire or possess) through his own effort or by any natural means; or that he had an experience or vision that could only have been brought about by God's direct action, involvement, or revelation, rather than through any human actions (either Ezekiel's own or those of others).
In Ezekiel 1, we are told that he (Ezekiel) saw the visions of God in the heavens. As with all true prophets ancient Israel, the visitation of God was at His initiative. He called people for certain jobs. Jeremiah 1:1-9. Jeremiah was known before he was born. He was sanctified, and ordained. He was told what to do and say. He was assured that God would be with Him and help him. Vs.9, "Then the Lord put forth His hand and touched my mouth, and the Lord said to me: 'Behold I have put my words in your mouth.'" NKJV The name Ezekiel comes from the verb meaning, to seize, to hold fast. In other words, Ezekiel was a man held, chosen by God. Ezekiel 3:8,9 we are told Ezekiel had a strong face and forehead created by God Himself. God told him that he was not to be afraid. Many times biblical names have double meanings. So God had seized Ezekiel and made him strong. God had equipped him for his work. I would say that God's Hand was upon Ezekiel, since God had formed his forehead and face in a certain fashion before his birth. I would also speculate that before each birth, God has a plan, it is our choice to accept or deny Him.
"The hand of the Lord" here in Ezekiel 1:3 is a phrase of frequent occurrence, used of Elijah (1 Kings 18:46), of Elisha (2 Kings 3:15), of Daniel (Daniel 10:10), of Isaiah (Isaiah 8:11), of John (Revelation 1:17). The "hand" of the Lord is the natural symbol of his power, and the phrase seems to be used to add to the consciousness of inspiration, that of a constraining, irresistible power. Ezekiel continually uses it (Ezekiel 3:14, 22; 8:1; 33:22; 37:1; 40:1). Thank You, God, for Your Word, for the prophets included in Your holy Scriptures, especially for Ezekiel. Thank You, that You have included this revelation about him: “The word of the LORD came expressly unto Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans by the river Chebar; and the hand of the LORD was there upon him.” (Eze. 1:3). Thank You that You deemed Your expression, "the hand of the Lord," in Your Word so important that You put it in Your book of Ezekiel fifty times in his prophecy, meaning that his message was authoritative (as You are). Thank You that the word of the Lord brings enlightenment and that the hand of the Lord brings enablement (Ephesians 1:15-23).
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