July 23, 2016

Synaxarion of the Holy Prophet Ezekiel

On the twenty-third of this month [July], we commemorate the Holy Prophet Ezekiel.


Ezekiel spoke heavenly things to the Hebrews,
"Adonai sees you," says the Lord.

He was the son of Buzi, from the land of Anathoth* which was inhabited by priests, and he prophesied for twenty years, which was around six hundred years before the coming of Christ.**

When the Hebrews were taken as captives to Babylon, he also went with them. And having prophesied many prophecies to the Jewish people, he also gave this strange sign: he told them to pay attention to the river of Babylon called Kebar, and when they saw it dried up, they should have hope, for there would come against Babylon the sickle of desolation, but when they saw it overflow, then they should hope to return to Jerusalem.

One time many Hebrews gathered around him, for they were afraid that the Babylonians would rise up against them and kill them. Wherefore the Prophet made the waters of the river cease their flow, allowing the Hebrews to go to the opposite side, and they were rescued. The Babylonians, daring to chase after them, drowned in the river.

Another time, through his prayers, he granted the hungry Hebrews rich nourishment through fish, and at other times, when they felt faint and near death, he gave them life and consolation.

Once, when the Babylonians brought harm and destruction to the Israelite people, he went to the heads of the nation, and worked wonders before them, bringing them to fear, and thus they ceased bringing harm to Israel.

Because the Israelites cried out that they had lost hope, thus having no hope of being liberated from bondage, for this reason the Prophet through the miracle of the dried bones, which he saw in a vision, encouraged them that there was hope for the liberation of Israel. He also saw a model of the Temple, which was also seen by Moses, and he said that it would once again be built, as was also said by Daniel.

He pronounced judgment in Babylon on the tribe of Gad, because they dealt wickedly against the Lord, persecuting those who were keeping the law; and he wrought upon them this grievous wonder, that their children and all their cattle should be killed by serpents. He also foretold, that because of their sin Israel would not return to Jerusalem but would remain in Media, until the end of their error and evildoing.

One from the tribe of Gad, unable to hear such things, slew the blessed Prophet, for they opposed him all the days of his life, and he rebuked them for worshiping idols. The people of Israel buried him in the field of Maur, in the tomb of Arphaxad. His tomb is next to a cave, thus appearing doubled, as if it is two caves. In appearance this Prophet was long-headed, average in height, austere in his face, and his beard was shaggy and long and pointed.


* The Synaxarion is heavily influenced from the book Lives of the Prophets, in which it says that Ezekial was from Sarira, a location which is unclear, though he was in fact from Anathoth.

** The Synaxarion actually says 477 years, while the Horologion says 413 years, but in actuality the Prophet Ezekiel was born approximately around 622 B.C.

Apolytikion in the Third Tone
Inspired by the Holy Spirit, O Prophet of God, you proclaimed the fulfillment of mysteries: God the Word's ineffable self-emptying and the resurrection of the dead from all past ages. O glorious Ezekiel, entreat Christ our God to grant us His great mercy.

Kontakion in the Fourth Tone
Thou didst appear as a Prophet of God, and foretell the Lord's incarnation to all, even of the Lamb and Creator Who became manifest as God's eternal Son.

Showing yourself to be a pure mirror of the Three-sunned glory, O Prophet Ezekiel, you appeared to receive their reflection, you who foretold the incarnation of Christ.