I've been pretty meticulous about not consulting any sort of commentary; I figure the time for that is later. I did glance at one paragraph in JND's Synopsis, but I can't remember why. I've spent a lot of time reading and re-reading the book and mulling over what I've read.
I can't help but notice the opening scene is somewhat repeated three times (chapters 3, 8--10, and 43). The appearance of the glory of the Lord "as at Chebar" seems to mark out sections in the book:
- after the first vision at Chebar (chapters 1--3), the rules of the watchman are given (chapter 3)
- after the second vision (chapter 3), prophecies are given against Israel, Judah, and Jerusalem
- the third vision (chapters 8--11) is while the glory of the Lord leaves the Temple in Jerusalem; after that comes the bulk of the book, chapters 12--42
- the fourth and final vision (chapter 43) takes Ezekiel into the new Temple
My amillenialist and postmillenialist friends will note I'm confident a great deal of the prophecies in Ezekiel refer to the return under Zerubbabel. My premillenialist friends will be glad to hear that there are significant chunks of Ezekiel that clearly refer to a future kingdom with Ephraim and Judah once more united in the land.
I've noticed that Ezekiel's prophecies to the Gentiles (Ammon, Edom, Egypt, Moab, Tyre, etc.) all occur between the third and fourth visions of the glory: after it leaves the Temple and before it returns. Prior to the glory of the Lord abandoning the temple in Jerusalem (chapters 8--11), all of Ezekiel's prophecies are to Israel (i.e. Israel, Judah, Jerusalem and the exiles in Babylon). Once the glory returns in chapter 43, his attention returns to Israel. But in the middle of the book, where the glory is gone, he prophecies to Gentiles as well as Israel.
I've written a lot of notes on my computer, and the first 15 or so chapters are heavily underlined in my main study Bible. There's a lot in this book, and I'm really still scratching at the surface, trying to make the smallest dent in it.