Orthodox Icon of the Prophet Ezekiel
The Christian Church records many saints whose preaching activity richly influenced the formation and development of the religious tradition. The Prophet Ezekiel is one of the four holy prophets of the Old Testament and the main figure in the Book of Ezekiel. It is no wonder that an Orthodox icon of this saint is highly revered by Christian believers. In this blog post, we will reveal the story of the Prophet Ezekiel and discuss the details of his iconography.
The Prophet Ezekiel, author of the Book of Ezekiel
The Holy Prophet Ezekiel was born in the city of Sarir into a priestly family. At the age of 25, he was captured and taken to Babylon. Ezekiel’s prophetic service began with a vision about the future of the Jewish people, which happened near the river Chebar. The prophet saw a chariot floating in the air, which was piloted by four winged creatures: a lion, a calf, an eagle, and a man. Above the chariot, there was a throne framed in a rainbow, where God was seated. A voice from heaven told Ezekiel to preach in the name of the Lord. Thus, his prophetic activity began. This and other visions of the prophet were written in a book that was eventually named after him and included in the Bible.
The Holy Prophet Ezekiel also possessed the gift of miracle-working. He rescued the sick and the hungry and, like the Prophet Moses, separated the waters of the river Chebar so that the Jews could cross to the other side. Ezekiel was sentenced to death for denouncing the idolatry of a Jewish prince.
Orthodox icon of Ezekiel the Prophet
Early Orthodox icons depict Ezekiel as a young man with short hair, wearing light-colored garments. The images of the prophet were placed on the frescoes and mosaics of the monastery on Mount Sinai. Later, a traditional Orthodox icon would portray him as an old man with graying hair. The prophet is clothed in a chiton and himation. A crucial feature of the religious icon of Ezekiel is a depiction of the closed gates at the temple. It is a reference to his vision, which symbolizes the Immaculate Conception.
On August 3, the Christian Church commemorates the Prophet Ezekiel, so an Orthodox icon of this saint can be a great asset to learn more about his life and deeds.