The Book of Ezekiel is considered as to the hard prophecy book among scholars who follow Critical Methodology. Because many scholarly works are conflicted. This study applied not as the Diachronic method like the historical critical method but used Synchronic method to examine whole structure and following messages.
This study starts from the curiosity of why Ezekiel, who was chosen as 'watchman' for Israel by God, became dumb. The major role of 'watchman' is to search for the invasion from enemy to protect his people on the highest place, and on the occasion of emergency let the people know it. But paradoxically God who gave watchman duty to Ezekiel makes him to be dumb right away. (3,22-27)
Many scholars studied to find out the reason, but it was not easy to reach an accord. This study chose the verb "µla(to be dumb)", which found only 3 times in the Book of Ezekiel (3,26; 24,26; 33,22) as to the structure key word.
The reason is the text which this key word is shown (3,22-27; 24,15-27; 33,21-22) plays the important central axis for whole structure.
The core of the subject is to find out the reason to be dumb. Is it from physical defect or temporary phenomenon? Is it from exterior force? Is it a symbolic action containing certain purpose? Researching the linkage between another big text (Chapter 4-24; 25-32; 34-48) and those 3 texts above is the major key to solve the mentioned subject. Those 3 texts above have clear structure under the definite formula; 'become dumb (3,26)' - 'foretell to end of dumbness (24,27)' - 'end of dumbness (33,22)'. Among these 3 texts, the 2nd and the 3rd text play the role of 'turning point' between those big texts (Chapter 4-24; 25-32; 34-48) which changes object of prophecy and the message.
The 2nd text lies between 'Judgment of Israel' (4,1-24,14) and 'Judgment of Foreign Nations' (Chapter 25-32), which is the turning point, the object of judgment changes from Israel to Foreign Nations. The 3rd text lies in the center of change from Judgment prophecy (Chapter 4-25) to Salvation prophecy (Chapter 34-48), accomplishes the prophecies in the whole structure.
So it is found that the Book of Ezekiel is structured from judgment to promise, from destruction to salvation, centering on Jerusalem ruin and destruction of the Temple.
Such an organized structure proves the reason of dumbness comes from God's order of 'intentional silence' neither by physical defect nor exterior force. Because the prophet as a watchman was dumb when judgment prophecy proclaimed to Israel and Foreign Nations, but when salvation prophecy proclaims, his mouth was opened.
So it can be concluded that from dumbness to open his mouth signifies as to 'symbolic act' of God's salvation will. Through this symbolic act what God really wants from Israel was to repent by taking watchman Ezekiel's warning, to realize who God really is and to reach salvation. This salvation starts from 'the New Temple (Chapter 40-48), where God's glory leaves (Chapter 10-11) and then returns (48,1-12). Here, Israel armed with 'new heart and new spirit (11,14-21) becomes 'God's people' at 'the New Temple' where spring out the wellspring for all creatures and the Lord will be their God. (Chapter 47)