- Torah and Jewish Thought
- General Questions
Why did God repeatedly refer to Ezekiel as the Son of Man throughout the book of Ezekiel?
Shalom, Thank you for your question. You are correct that the phrase “Son of man” is used many times in relation to Ezekiel, and only Ezekiel. The commentators relate to this (see Ezekiel chapter 2). Rashi (ibid) brings two explanations. Firstly, that because Ezekiel merited to, as it were, walk amongst the angels, it as to say “there is no one here in heaven born of a woman except for this one”. The second explanation he quotes is that it comes to stress that Ezekiel should not become haughty, and that even though he attained great heights, he was still only the “son of man”. Other’s explain that because Ezekiel saw the Heavenly chariot, that had four sides, each with a different face, the expression comes to say that he is spiritually from the side with the face of a man – and not from the other sides of the chariot. The Abarbanel explains that just as first man – Adam – was exiled from the garden of Eden, so to, Ezekiel was exiled from the land of Israel. In such he is the “Son of Man"(Adam in Hebrew). Lastly, let me quote the Kabbalistic explanation of the Ari zt”l. He explains the Ezekiel had the soul of Cain. As such he was the “son of Man” (again, Adam in Hebrew, referring to first man, Adam). I hope this is of some help. Blessings.