On January 5, 587 B.C., several life-changing things happened to Ezekiel the prophet. God gave Ezekiel a vision and told him to write it down and record it. His wife died on this day and it greatly grieved him. Ezekiel was told by God that his dumbness would be taken away and he would be able to speak again. It was also the day that Nebuchadnezzar began his final siege on Jerusalem.
Ezekiel was the son of the priest, Buzzi. This means he had to memorize the five books of the Torah and had to learn all about Israel's history. This is why the sins of Israel greatly upset him. Ezekiel lived at the time of Jeremiah and would have known Jeremiah and his teaching. Jeremiah remained in Jerusalem as God's prophet. Ezekiel was God's prophet for the Jews in Babylon. Ezekiel was born and raised in Jerusalem. On January 5, 587 B.C., Ezekiel had been in Babylon for 10 years and living at a place near Babylon called Tel-abib, along the river Chebar, a short distance south-east of Babylon. Ten years before this date (587 B.C.), Ezekiel was taken with King Jehoiachin to Babylon.
Nebuchadnezzar was king of Babylon and he reigned from 605-562 B.C. Nebuchadnezzar was also the greatest leader of the Babylonian empire. He conquered Jerusalem in the first year of his reign. Nebuchadnezzar laid siege on Jerusalem today, January 5, 587 B.C. Nebuchadnezzar laid siege on Jerusalem because the people decided that they were not going to pay the taxes to him any more. Nebuchadnezzar came to Jerusalem captured it and took the most respectable and highly trained younger men. He wanted them and young men from all over the world, to serve him and his palace in Babylon, so he could have access to all the wisdom and resources of the world.
Zedekiah rebelled against Babylon so the Babylonian army laid siege against Jerusalem, and after several months Jerusalem was destroyed and thousands of the Jewish people were taken captive. The temple was burnt with fire, and all the furnishing were taken to Babylon. The Royal palace was burned to the ground, the walls knocked down and destroyed.
For years afterwards, the Jews remembered the loss of the Temple with fasting, prayer and great mourning.
Map is from Packer, J., M. C. Tenney, & W. White. Nelson's Illustrated Manners and Customs of the Bible. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1997, c1995. Page 117.
Other sources lost.