In this first verse of the Book of Ezekiel we are given the exact timing of the visions he received. Even though there is much disagreement amongst commentators regarding the specific designation of the term ‚Äúthirtieth year‚ÄĚ the thirtieth year is most appropriately designated as the thirtieth year of his life. He was in the resettlement by the river Chebar a canal off the Euphrates River that flowed to the east of Babylon. Since he was taken captive in March of 597 B.C. along with king Jehoiachin this first vision would be July 31, 593 B.C. As Ezekiel was thirty years old and saw heaven open at the banks of a river so was the case with the Lord Jesus. He was thirty years of age, when He saw heaven open at His baptism in Jordan (Matthew 3:16; Luke 3:21). Starting with the introduction to his prophetic ministry Ezekiel cites five notable experiences, which remain constant throughout his prophetic career.
1. The Heavens were opened. 2. He saw visions of God. 3. The Word of the Lord came upon him. 4. The hand of the Lord was upon him. 5. The visions came solely to him (Hebrew hai translated as expressly). The Hebrew word hai is used in Jeremiah and Ezekiel to describe the reception of God Word to the prophet.