Atlanta Bible Students

The Book of Ezekiel

Link to Ezekiel's Temple diagram (in a new tab)
Chapter 11
Go To Verse 1 2-3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25

[1] Moreover the spirit lifted me up, and brought me unto the east gate of the LORD'S house, which looks eastward: and behold at the door of the gate twenty-five men; among whom I saw Jaazaniah the son of Azur, and Pelatiah the son of Benaiah, princes of the people. [2] Then said he unto me, Son of man, these are the men that devise mischief, and give wicked counsel in this city: [3] Which say, It is not near; let us build houses: this city is the caldron, and we be the flesh. [4] Therefore prophesy against them, prophesy, O son of man.

Verse 1  Expanded Bible Comments

Moreover the spirit lifted me up, and brought me unto the east gate of the LORD'S house, which looks eastward: and behold at the door of the gate twenty-five men; among whom I saw Jaazaniah the son of Azur, and Pelatiah the son of Benaiah, princes of the people.
QuestionAnswer
"Lifted me up.. brought me.. I saw.." – Who is this? Ezekiel, "son of man," Pastor Russell.
Where did he go and how did he get there? To the "east gate of the Lord's house." The Spirit took him there.
Can we determine this location? In Jer. 19:2 (Jerusalem) the entry of the east gate is where to find Gehenna (valley of Hinnom).
In Ezekiel's temple this is not so clear. There are two places which appear to be styled the "east gate," i.e., the gate which leads into the "outer court" and the gate which leads to into the "inner court."
In chapter 8 it was at the door to the to the temple proper (inside the inner court) "between the porch and the altar" that we found the 25 men.
What direction was this looking? East.
Who did he see there? 25 men and Jaazaniah
H2970
יאזניהוּ יאזניה
ya'ăzanyâh ya'ăzanyâhû
yah-az-an-yaw', yah-az-an-yaw'-hoo
From H238 and H3050; heard of Jah; Jaazanjah, the name of four Israelites: – Jaazaniah. Compare H3153.
H238
אזן
'âzan
aw-zan'
A primitive root; probably to expand; but used only as a denominative from H241; to broaden out the ear (with the hand), that is, (by implication) to listen: – give (perceive by the) ear, hear (-ken). See H239.
H3050
יהּ
yâhh
yaw
Contracted for H3068, and meaning the same; Jah, the sacred name: - Jah, the Lord, most vehement. Cp. names in -iah, -jah.
This Jaazaniah is making the claim that he is the one who is "heard of Jehovah (Jah)," perhaps a reference to the Pope.
Why 25 men? Twenty-four priests and One high-priest.
Have we seen these men before? We saw Jaazaniah in chapter 8. Only there he was described as the son of Shaphan.
H8227
שׁפן
shâphân
shaw-fawn'
From H8226; a species of rock rabbit (from its hiding), that is, probably the hyrax: - coney.
He conceals the truth of God from his companions (or his "flock") and tries to hide himself in the rocks. – Possibly indicating a reference to Rev. 6:15-16.
In chapter 8, where were these men located? In Eze. 8:16 they were in the inner court near the entrance to the temple proper (the Holy.)
Are these 25 men in the same place in this picture as where we saw them before? It appears they have changed their location. While this description is similar to that of chapter 8, these 25 men seem to now be not near the Temple itself (sanctuary) but they are by the "east gate." There is the east gate leading from outside the temple complex into the outer court and there is the east gate leading from the outer court to the inner court.
In this description they are looking east, away from the temple. It appears they are at the inner east gate looking towards the outer east gate.
Link to Ezekiel's Temple diagram (in a new tab)
EzekielsTemple.png
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In chapter 8 Jaazaniah was "the son of Shaphan." Here he is "the son of Azur". In chapter 8 he was with the 70 men (the ancients of Israel.) Here he is with "Pelatiah the son of Benaiah." What is the Lord here showing us? Son of Azur
Strong's H5809

עַזֻּר עַזּוּר
azzûr azzûr
az-zoor', az-zoor'
From H5826; helpful; Azzur, the name of three Israelites: - Azur, Azzur.
In Jer. 28:1 the false prophet Hananiah is described as "the son of Azur." This false prophet claimed that within two years the vessels of the house of the Lord which had been carried away into Babylon would be returned. This false prophet died two months later. Jer. 28:17

Here it appears to be saying that Jaazaniah was claiming to be "helpful" (Azur.) Jaazaniah, at the minimum, pictures the religious leaders of Christendom, who have always made the claim that they are being "helpful" to those who are seeking after God. – Remember, he is a false prophets.

Pelatiah
Strong's H6410

פְּלַטְיָהוּ פְּלַטְיָה
pelaṭyâh pelaṭyâhû
pel-at-yaw', pel-at-yaw'-hoo
From H6403 and H3050; Jah has delivered; Pelatjah, the name of four Israelites: - Pelatiah.
Son of Benaiah
Strong's H1141

בְּנָיָהוּ בְּנָיָה
benâyâh benâyâhû
ben-aw-yaw', ben-aw-yaw'-hoo
From H1129 and H3050; Jah has built; Benajah, the name of twelve Israelites: - Benaiah.
This would seem to refer to the (so-called) Protestant leaders of Christendom. Their claim is that God has delivered them (Pelatiah) – especially at the time of the Reformation, and God has built (Benaiah) their church.
Both Jaazaniah and Pelatiah are described as "princes of the people." What is the significance of this? These were the religious leaders of Christendom and were (at that time) "highly esteemed among men." Luke 16:15

Verses 2-3  Expanded Bible Comments

Then said he unto me, Son of man, these are the men that devise mischief, and give wicked counsel in this city: [3] Which say, It is not near; let us build houses: this city is the caldron, and we be the flesh.
QuestionAnswer
What description is here given of the 25 men? They "devise mischief and give wicked counsel."
Where do they give counsel? "In this city," i.e., in Jerusalem (which is the city spoken of in most of Ezekiel's prophecy up to this point.)
"It is not near?" – What is "it?" City is the symbol for a government. Jerusalem is often symbolic of the nation of Israel (fleshly or spiritual - "new Jerusalem.") These seem to be saying "The true kingdom of God is not near, not close at hand."
Why do they say "let us build houses?" This is Christendom and we want it to continue, therefore we will build houses in our attempt to keep this a permanent dwelling. This sounds like "those who dwell on the earth" from Revelation.
Why is meant by "this city is the cauldron?" Cauldron – "A large kettle or boiler."
This sounds like these may realize what was about to come upon them, even if they really do not want to believe it.
Why do they say "we be the flesh?" Is this a bit like saying "Our goose is cooked?"

Perhaps a better thought would be that "the flesh" here referred to is "the sacrifice of our flesh," or rather "we are the sacrifice that God accepts."

Verse 4  Expanded Bible Comments

Therefore prophesy against them, prophesy, O son of man.
QuestionAnswer
Who is to prophesy? Son of Man – Pastor Russell
What is he to prophesy about? He is to "prophesy against them," against the 25 men and Jaazaniah.
Why is he to prophesy? Because he is instructed to do so.

[5] And the Spirit of the LORD fell upon me, and said unto me, Speak; Thus says the LORD; Thus have you said, O house of Israel: for I know the things that come into your mind, every one of them. [6] You have multiplied your slain in this city, and you have filled the streets thereof with the slain. [7] Therefore thus says the Lord GOD; Your slain whom you have laid in the midst of it, they are the flesh, and this city is the caldron: but I will bring you forth out of the midst of it. [8] You have feared the sword; and I will bring a sword upon you, says the Lord GOD. [9] And I will bring you out of the midst thereof, and deliver you into the hands of strangers, and will execute judgments among you. [10] You shall fall by the sword; I will judge you in the border of Israel; and you shall know that I am the LORD. [11] This city shall not be your caldron, neither shall you be the flesh in the midst thereof; but I will judge you in the border of Israel: [12] And you shall know that I am the LORD: for you have not walked in my statutes, neither executed my judgments, but have done after the manners of the heathen that are round about you.

Verse 5  Expanded Bible Comments

And the Spirit of the LORD fell upon me, and said unto me, Speak; Thus says the LORD; Thus have you said, O house of Israel: for I know the things that come into your mind, every one of them.
QuestionAnswer
What is indicated by "the Spirit of the LORD fell upon me?" This indicates the special guidance of the Holy Spirit. As this was Ezekiel here speaking, this would seem to indicate that the prophet Ezekiel was inspired by the Holy Spirit. It would also indicate that the one he pictured, i.e., Pastor Russell, the representative of our returned Lord, "the son of man," was also guided in a special way by that same Holy Spirit.
To whom was Ezekiel (picturing Pastor Russell) to speak? To the (nominal) house of (spiritual) Israel.
For whom was he speaking? For the LORD.
What thoughts of the "house of Israel" were hidden from the LORD? Absolutely none.

Verse 6  Expanded Bible Comments

You have multiplied your slain in this city, and you have filled the streets thereof with the slain.
QuestionAnswer
Who were the slain? To be slain means, among other things, to be ostracized. Compare with Rev. 6:9.
Where were they slain? In the city of Jerusalem, picturing Christendom.
What are the streets? Access to the city, avenues of money or, outside the houses but not outside the city. Traveling the streets is how one gets around in a city.

Verse 7  Expanded Bible Comments

Therefore thus says the Lord GOD; Your slain whom you have laid in the midst of it, they are the flesh, and this city is the caldron: but I will bring you forth out of the midst of it.
QuestionAnswer
Who are "your slain?" While there are many classes that were literally and/or symbolically slain, this most likely refers to the saints who were "slain" (literally and/or figuratively) by Christendom.
What is meant by "they are the flesh?" They are the sacrifice that is acceptable to Me (Jehovah God.)
What city is referred to here? Antitypical Jerusalem, Christendom.
How is this city "the cauldron?" The cauldron is the cooking pot where the meat (the flesh) of the sacrifice is cooked. Christendom (the city) was the place of persecution of the true saints. - Remember Jer. 51:7 "Babylon hath been a golden cup in the LORD's hand.."
God's message is "I will bring you forth out of the midst of it." Who is "you?" "You" appears to be those referred to in verse 1, i.e., the 25 men, Jaazaniah and Pelatiah.
Why is God bringing them "out of midst of" the city? The city (Christendom) had been their protection, their sanctuary. God brought them out from there, exposed them to the world so that the world could see them for what they really were. (Volume 4 Chapters 4,5,6 BABYLON ARRAIGNED BEFORE THE GREAT COURT; Her Confusion - National; Her Confusion - Ecclesiastical)
The result was that "a wave of infidelity swept over Europe" after WWI.

Verse 8  Expanded Bible Comments

You have feared the sword; and I will bring a sword upon you, says the Lord GOD.
QuestionAnswer
What is pictured by "the sword?" The Word of God. Heb. 4:12
What sword is brought upon "you?" Present Truth.
The first place where "bring (H935)" and "sword (H2719)" are used together is Lev. 26:24-25 which reads:
"Then will I also walk contrary unto you, and will punish you yet seven times for your sins. [25] And I will bring a sword upon you, that shall avenge the quarrel of my covenant: and when ye are gathered together within your cities, I will send the pestilence among you; and ye shall be delivered into the hand of the enemy."
Who is "you?" The religious leaders of Christendom (Jaazaniah and Pelatiah.)
From whom does this message originate? It originates from God and is delivered by "the son of man" and also by those who were to "Go ye after him through the city, and smite" – Eze. 9:5

Verse 9  Expanded Bible Comments

And I will bring you out of the midst thereof, and deliver you into the hands of strangers, and will execute judgments among you.
QuestionAnswer
"I will bring you out.." Who is "you?" The religious leaders of Christendom (Jaazaniah and Pelatiah.)
Is there any special importance to "out of the midst thereof?" That is where they laid "their slain" in verse 7.
Who would be the "strangers?" The leaders of Christendom had been used to dealing with their own kind, those who were a part of that system. These "strangers" would be those who did not accept their false claims.
When does the LORD execute judgments on "you?" In a way there are three answers to this question.
  1. The Lord pronounced His judgment against them in 1878.
  2. They were held up before the whole World for judgment during the days of Pastor Russell.
  3. The act of destruction from the natural standpoint came in 1914.
The item of note here is the word "will" (indicating future from the time of this pronouncement.)

Verse 10  Expanded Bible Comments

You shall fall by the sword; I will judge you in the border of Israel; and you shall know that I am the LORD.
QuestionAnswer
When do they "fall by the sword?" When (or shortly after) He has brought them out of the city, out of Christendom.
What is meant by "the border of Israel?" The border is where a country comes into contact with its neighbor country. Both literal and spiritual Israel are surrounded by its enemies. Here this seems to be saying that Christendom is being judged by those with whom they have dealings but are not a part of Christendom.
When do they "know that I am the LORD?" Some time after their fall and after their judgment.
Does Mal. 1:4-5 fit in this place, if so, how?

Verse 11  Expanded Bible Comments

This city shall not be your caldron, neither shall you be the flesh in the midst thereof; but I will judge you in the border of Israel:
QuestionAnswer
What city? Jerusalem, Christendom.
Why does it say "This city shall not be your caldron?"
Why would any one want to be the flesh in the middle of a caldron? Compare vs 3 and vs 7. v7

Verse 12  Expanded Bible Comments

And you shall know that I am the LORD: for you have not walked in my statutes, neither executed my judgments, but have done after the manners of the heathen that are round about you.
QuestionAnswer
Who is "you?" The religious leaders of Christendom (Jaazaniah and Pelatiah.)
What is it they will know? "That I am the LORD," i.e., that God is real and He it is who has exposed them before the eyes of the people.
If "for" means "because," how is it they will know because "they have not walked in my statutes, neither executed my judgments?" Their hypocrisy is now there for all to see.
Instead of walking in the Lord's statutes and in his judgments, what did they do? Remember that these were supposed to be "Christian nations" and "Christ's Kingdom," and therefore their actions and principles represented those of Christ. Now that they have been exposed as false, all, including themselves, can see that they had been doing just like (and worse than) the "heathen" nations.

[13] And it came to pass, when I prophesied, that Pelatiah the son of Benaiah died. Then fell I down upon my face, and cried with a loud voice, and said, Ah Lord GOD! wilt thou make a full end of the remnant of Israel?

Verse 13  Expanded Bible Comments

And it came to pass, when I prophesied, that Pelatiah the son of Benaiah died. Then fell I down upon my face, and cried with a loud voice, and said, Ah Lord GOD! wilt thou make a full end of the remnant of Israel?
QuestionAnswer
In vs. 13 who is "I?" Ezekiel, "the son of man," Pastor Russell (the earthly representative of our Lord, the real "son of man.")
What happened when he prophesied? Pelatiah the son of Benaiah died.
Who is pictured by Pelatiah the son of Benaiah? Pelatiah
In support of our understanding that Pelatiah pictures Protestantism, please consider the following from Encyclopedia Britannica:
Protestantism since the early 20th century
Mainstream Protestantism
"World War I broke Europe’s waning self-confidence in the merits of its own civilization and, because it was fought between Christian nations, weakened worldwide Christianity. The seizure of power by a formally atheist government in Russia in 1917 brought negative pressure on Christendom and sharpened the social and working class conflicts of western Europe and the United States. During the following 40 years the Protestant churches in Europe suffered inestimable losses in adherents and formal influence."
When did "the son of man" prophesy? Suggestion: 1878. "Come out of her my people." Rev. 18:4
What did Ezekiel do (apparently in response to the deaths just mentioned?) He (1) fell on his face and (2) cried out and asked the Lord if he was going to "make a full end of the remnant of Israel?"
What does it mean to "cry with a loud voice?" A public announcement. A cry of pain or a shout of praise. Any of these things.
Who is "the remnant of Israel?" In Romans 11:5 and B205 this refers to the spirit-begotten new creatures in Christ. Certainly it refers to the "little flock," and it may also refer to the great company.
What was the concern Ezekiel had concerning the remnant of Israel? That God would destroy all of this "remnant"
Have else in the book of Ezekiel, have we come across this setting and question? Eze. 9:8 – Note this is almost word for word the same language.
In that situation, what answer did the LORD give? Eze. 9:9-10

Verses 14 to 21 refer to Natural Israel
With a possible secondary application to Nominal Spiritual Israel

[14] Again the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, [15] Son of man, your brethren, even your brethren, the men of your kindred, and all the house of Israel wholly, are they unto whom the inhabitants of Jerusalem have said, Get you far from the LORD: unto us is this land given in possession. [16] Therefore say, Thus says the Lord GOD; Although I have cast them far off among the heathen, and although I have scattered them among the countries, yet will I be to them as a little sanctuary in the countries where they shall come. [17] Therefore say, Thus says the Lord GOD; I will even gather you from the people, and assemble you out of the countries where you have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel. [18] And they shall come there, and they shall take away all the detestable things thereof and all the abominations thereof from thence. [19] And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh: [20] That they may walk in my statutes, and keep mine ordinances, and do them: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God. [21] But as for them whose heart walketh after the heart of their detestable things and their abominations, I will recompense their way upon their own heads, says the Lord GOD.

Verse 14  Expanded Bible Comments

Again the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
QuestionAnswer
Who is "me?" Ezekiel. Looking at the context for vss 14-21 this may refer to either the Prophet Ezekiel, or to Pastor Russell, or to both.
What did he receive? The word of the LORD.

Verse 15  Expanded Bible Comments

Son of man, thy brethren, even thy brethren, the men of thy kindred, and all the house of Israel wholly, are they unto whom the inhabitants of Jerusalem have said, Get you far from the LORD: unto us is this land given in possession.
QuestionAnswer
Who is the "Son of man" here referring to? See first question and answer for vs. 14 (above.)
Why, when the LORD tells Ezekiel that His message is for Ezekiel's people, does He refer to them in four ways:
  1. thy brethren
  2. even thy brethren
  3. the men of thy kindred
  4. all the house of Israel?
1,2) Thy brethren: The Jews (by blood.)
3) The men of thy kindred: Those walking closer to the Lord.
4) All the house of Israel: Nominal Fleshly Israel.
Are "the inhabitants of Jerusalem" the same or a different group? They sound like a different group.
Natural Israel Nominal Spiritual Israel
The Jewish leaders. These would be the inhabitants of Jerusalem. This would seem to refer to the leaders of Christendom. These would be the inhabitants of Jerusalem.
Why are they saying "Get you far from the LORD?" These, throughout the Gospel Age, have said to the Jews, "You killed Christ, you have not converted to be (nominal) Christians, therefore, get you far away from us."
What is the land to which they are referring?
Natural Israel Nominal Spiritual Israel
The Promised Land. The territory of Christendom (mainly Europe,) or both.

Suggested understanding of how to read vs. 15:

"Son of man (7th Messenger,) thy brethren, even thy brethren, the men of thy kindred, and all the house of Israel wholly (the Jewish people,) are they unto whom the inhabitants of Jerusalem (Christendom) have said, Get you far from the LORD: unto us (the nominal Christian church) is this land (the promises, both natural and spiritual) given in possession."

Verse 16  Expanded Bible Comments

Therefore say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Although I have cast them far off among the heathen, and although I have scattered them among the countries, yet will I be to them as a little sanctuary in the countries where they shall come.
QuestionAnswer
The Roman empire in 135 A.D. made it illegal for a Jew to own land in the land of Promise. Was it the Romans who cast the Jews among the Gentiles? No. It was God. The Roman Empire was merely the tool God used to accomplish His Word.
Were the Jews completely cast off by God? No. They were cast off from the chief favor of becoming "Israelites indeed," and they were cast off from the Land of Promise, but they were not completely cast off. – Rom. 11:1-2
What is meant by "I will be to them as a little sanctuary..?" In spite of the persecutions they had in those lands where they were scattered, the Lord has been with them. Their customs kept them separate from the Gentiles so that over the long centuries they were still identifiable as a people.

Verse 17  Expanded Bible Comments

Therefore say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; I will even gather you from the people, and assemble you out of the countries where ye have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel.
QuestionAnswer
What is the cause of the Jews returning to the Land of Israel? God said "I will even gather you from the people"
Whose land is it? The land belongs to God, and it also belongs to whomsoever God gives it to.

Verse 18  Expanded Bible Comments

And they shall come thither, and they shall take away all the detestable things thereof and all the abominations thereof from thence.
QuestionAnswer
Have the Jews come back to the land of Promise? Yes.
Does this mean the prophecy of verse 18 has been fulfilled? Only the part about returning to the land. Not the part about them taking away all the detestable and abominable things. – As of September 2016.

Verse 19  Expanded Bible Comments

And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh:
QuestionAnswer
How much of this part of the prophecy has been fulfilled? None.

Verse 20  Expanded Bible Comments

That they may walk in my statutes, and keep mine ordinances, and do them: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God.
QuestionAnswer
When will this part of the prophecy be fulfilled? After the Spirit-begotten have all finished their earthly course.

Verse 21  Expanded Bible Comments

But as for them whose heart walketh after the heart of their detestable things and their abominations, I will recompense their way upon their own heads, saith the Lord GOD.
QuestionAnswer
Who is it that did "detestable things" and "abominations?" Detestable things is Strong's H8251
Strong's H8251

שִׁקֻּץ שִׁקּוּץ
shiqqûts shiqqûts
shik-koots', shik-koots'
From H8262; disgusting, that is, filthy; especially idolatrous or (concretely) an idol: - abominable filth (idol, -ation), detestable (thing).
Abominations is Strong's H8441
Strong's H8441

תֹּעֵבַה תּוֹעֵבַה
tô‛êbah tô‛êbah
to-ay-baw', to-ay-baw'
Feminine active participle of H8581; properly something disgusting (morally), that is, (as noun) an abhorrence; especially idolatry or (concretely) an idol: - abominable (custom, thing), abomination.

Looking at Jer. 16:18 we find that natural Israel did these things and it was the cause of their double of dis-favor.
In Eze. 5:11 and 7:20 it appears to be speaking of nominal Spiritual Israel.
Of whom is the Lord speaking of here? While it seems clear that these detestable things and abominations are applicable to both the nominal Jewish house and the nominal Christian house, the context here seems to be referring to nominal spiritual Israel, the nominal Christian house.
What does the Lord say He is going to do to them? Bring justice "upon their own heads."

[22] Then did the cherubims lift up their wings, and the wheels beside them; and the glory of the God of Israel was over them above. [23] And the glory of the LORD went up from the midst of the city, and stood upon the mountain which is on the east side of the city. [24] Afterwards the spirit took me up, and brought me in a vision by the Spirit of God into Chaldea, to them of the captivity. So the vision that I had seen went up from me. [25] Then I spake unto them of the captivity all the things that the LORD had showed me.

Verse 22  Expanded Bible Comments

Then did the cherubims lift up their wings, and the wheels beside them; and the glory of the God of Israel was over them above.
QuestionAnswer
"Then did the cherubims..." When is "Then?" We suggest this is bringing us back in time to an earlier point when we saw the cherubims lift up their wings. – Eze. 10:16,19
What is meant by the cherubims lifting up their wings? Please see study notes from Eze. 10:15.
What is meant by "the wheels beside them?" Wheels – the overlapping of the Gospel and Millennial Ages.
What is "the glory of the God of Israel?" The Truth and its Spirit. – Eze. 1:28
At this point in the prophecy, where is "the glory of the God of Israel?" It is over the cherubims.

Verse 23  Expanded Bible Comments

And the glory of the LORD went up from the midst of the city, and stood upon the mountain which is on the east side of the city.
QuestionAnswer
Where is the Glory of the LORD? "In the midst of the city." – in the midst of Christendom.
To where does this glory go? To the mountain on the east of the city.
What is pictured by "the mountain?" The true kingdom of God.
What is "the city?" Christendom.
What is the significance of the mountain being "on the east side of the city?" The east is the direction of the Sunrise, the direction associated with our Lord's return.

Verses 22-23 paraphrased
[22] Then did the attributes of God go into action, during the overlapping of the ages; and the glory of God's true character was seen to be controlling their actions. [23] The truth and Spirit of God's glorious character and plan went up from the midst of Christendom (i.e., it left all of Christendom,) and stood with the Saints (both those in Glory and those still remaining in the flesh) in God's Holy Kingdom which is outside of Christendom ("that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared.")

Verse 24  Expanded Bible Comments

Afterwards the spirit took me up, and brought me in a vision by the Spirit of God into Chaldea, to them of the captivity. So the vision that I had seen went up from me.
QuestionAnswer
"Afterwards." Does this refer to a chronological point in time that is future from the one just described? Or does it indicate "After this vision, now here comes another one?"
What is meant by "the spirit took me up?" The Holy Spirit lifted up the Lord's special messenger to the church so that he could see things from the Divine standpoint, so that his view of what was taking place was so much clearer than those of the world. - See 2 Cor. 12:1-5
What is meant by "Chaldea, to them of the captivity?" Chaldea is Babylon. Those of the captivity had reference to those who had been carried away captive into Babylon.
From the symbollic standpoint this says that the "son of man" was to give his message to those who were held captive by Mystic Babylon.
"So the vision that I had seen went up from me." – What does that mean? This seems to be saying: "This is the end of this current vision."

Verse 25  Expanded Bible Comments

Then I spake unto them of the captivity all the things that the LORD had showed me.
QuestionAnswer
When is "then?" After I (Pastor Russell) have seen (understood) the vision. We suggest this would be around 1876-77. It was then that he understood the Lord's Presence and wrote that Israel's restoration to the land of promise was due to begin in 1878.
In this verse, who is "I?" Ezekiel, "son of man," Pastor Russell.
To whom does he speak? To the jews who had been carried away into Babylon. Symbolically this represents those Christians who had been carried away (from the true worship of God) into Mystic Babylon.
Does he speak of himself? Absolutely not!
What does he tell them? "All the things that the LORD had shown me." This he did by oral sermons, by the written word in the Volumes, Towers, Tracts, Newspaper Sermons, etc.