Commemoration of the Prophets Ezekiel, Ezra and Zechariah - St. John the Baptist’s Father

This year is celebrated in:: 2019-09-03

Prophecy is one of the most important phenomena of the Old Testament. Prophet is the person who has had close relationship with God, that is - he “has spoken” with God, or has received a message from God, or has been sent by God to a person or a nation to transfer His message. The main characteristic trait of the true prophet is his being incorruptible, independent, brave and extremely faithful to the divine message and commandment.

The author of prophecies is God. He has transferred his revelation to man thanks to the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. First He has inspired His ideas, and then man, under His influence, comprehending the ideas, has transferred them to the people.

Prophet Ezekiel was one of the priests serving in the Temple of Jerusalem. After the King of Babylon – Nebuchadnezzar takes Jerusalem in 597 B. C. Ezekiel is exiled with other Israelites. Four years later God calls Ezekiel to Him in order to make him His prophet. From the place of exile Ezekiel warns as Jews, who had captivated Jerusalem, as well as the people remaining in Jerusalem. After taking and fall of Jerusalem in 587 B. C. he addresses the people consoling and giving hope words.

The beginning of the Prophet Ezra’s priesthood is considered to be 397 B. C. His most important deed was keeping Israelites back from intermarriages, which became the reason of not only forgetting true God, but also distorted their national traits and image. Ezra also collected and classified the rules of Moses.

Prophet Zechariah (Zechariah) is John the Baptist’s father, who served in the temple of Jerusalem. He and his wife – Elizabeth, who was the sister of Anna - St. Mary’s mother, had no children for many years. When Zechariah, being already an aged man, was offering a sacrifice in the Temple, an angel appears to him and tells him that his wife - Elizabeth will bear him a son. For doubting the good tidings of the Angel Zechariah is punished to be unable to speak and to remain silent until the day of birth of his son – John the Baptist.

Prophet Zechariah is killed in the cathedral by means of being swabbed before the holy altar for hiding his son from the soldiers of the King Herod.

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