The Story of Ezekiel (Hizqeel)
Imam Ibn Kathir Ad-Dimashqi
eBook: Stories of the Prophets
source: Dar-us-Salam Publications
Almighty Allah said: Did you (O Muhammad) not think of those who went forth from their homes in thousands, fearing death? Allah said to them, "Die." And then He restored them to life. Truly, Allah is full of Bounty to mankind, but most men think not. [Ch 2:243 Quran].
Mohammad Ibn Ishaaq stated of Wahb Ibn Munbah said that when Allah took Kalih Ibn Yofra (Jephtha) after Joshua, Ezekiel Ibn Buzi succeeded him as the prophet to the Israelites. The people had fled from Palestine for fear of the plague and settled on a plateau. Allah said to them: "Die you all," and they all perished. A few centuries passed, and then Ezekiel, passing by, stopped over them, wondering. There came a voice: "Do you want Allah to resurrect them while you watch?" He said: "Yes." Then he was commanded to call those bones to join one to the other and to be covered with flesh. So he called them by the power of Allah, and the people arose and glorified Allah in the voice of one man.
According to Ibn Abbas, this place was called "Damardan." Its people were inflicted with plague, so they fled, while a group of them who remained in the village perished. The Angel of Death called to the survivors: "Die you all," and they perished. After a long time a prophet called Ezekiel passed by them and stood wondering over them, twisting his jaws and fingers. Allah revealed to him: "Do you want Me to show you how I bring them back to life?" He said: "Yes." His idea was to marvel at the power of Allah over them. A voice said to him: "Call: 'O you bones, Allah commands you to gather up.'" The bones began to fly one to the other until they became skeletons. Then Allah revealed to him to say; "Call: 'O you bones, Allah commands you to put on flesh and blood and the clothes in which they had died.'" And a voice said: "Allah commands you to call the bodies to rise." And they rose. When they returned to life they said: "Blessed are You, O Lord, and all praises is Yours." Ibn 'Abbas reported that the dead who were resurrected were four thousand, while Ibn Salih said they were nine thousand.
Regarding plague, Abu Ubaidah Ibn Al-Jarrah related that 'Umar Ibn Al-Khattab was on his way to Syria and had reached Sarg when the leader of the Muslim army, Abu Ubaidah Ibn Al-Jarrah, and his companions met him and told him of a pestilence that had broken out in Syria. 'Umar remember the Prophet's (pbuh) saying: "If it (plague) be in a country where you are staying, do not go out fleeing it, and if you hear it is in a country, do not enter it." Umar praised Allah and then went off.
Muhammad Ibn Ishaaq stated that we do not know how long Ezekiel (pbuh) stayed among the Israelites before Allah took him away. After him, the Israelites deviated from the right way of life, as they usually did, and deserted Allah's covenant with them. They worshipped many idols, among them Ba'al, so Allah sent to them the Prophet Elijah (pbuh).