WHO IS THIS MAN DRESSED IN LINEN?
Ezekiel was caught up in a vision, snatched by the hair of his head by the Spirit of God, to see Jerusalem from a heavenly perspective (Ez. 8:3). Much like the apostle John’s revelation, Ezekiel noted both the time and location when the “Sovereign Lord took hold” (Ez. 8:1) of him. In the vision, he heard the Lord call six men with deadly weapons to punish the city. It is of interest that the number six is the number of man, and on this occasion the number of the angels that God appointed to judge the sin of Judah.
Yet, with the six angels, there was a seventh man. This one dressed in linen and not armed with a weapon, but with a “writer’s case.” To this man dressed in linen, the Lord commanded that he put a “mark” on the foreheads of the penitent, so that they would not be harmed by the six angels of wrath.
The Hebrew word for “mark” was represented by the Hebrew letter “Tav.” So, the man in linen was to put a “Tav” on the foreheads of those to be saved. It is of interest to note that the Hebrew “Tav” looked similar to a lower case “t” during Ezekiel’s day. Although Ezekiel would not have been aware, Christians see the sign of the cross in the “mark.”
Who is this man dressed in linen? Who can say? Only God knows. But certain details are worth noting. First, he was the seventh man and the number seven is the number of completion, the number of the Sabbath and the number of God. Second, he wore linen, a priestly garb representing purity. Third, he was sent to mark the penitent for salvation. And finally, he was fully obedient (Ez. 9:11). At the very least, this man dressed in linen represents God’s mercy. Some even see him as the preincarnate Christ. Whoever he is, he reminds us, as he did Ezekiel, that God is able to separate the sheep from the goats when the time for His judgment comes.