The author of the Book of Ezekiel presents himself as Ezekiel, the son of Buzzi, born into a priestly (Kohen) lineage. Apart from identifying himself, the author gives a date for the first divine encounter which he presents: "in the thirtieth year". If this is a reference to Ezekiel's age at the time, he was born around 622 BCE, about the time of Josiah's reforms, and shortly after the call of Jeremiah to a prophetic ministry around 626 BCE. Ezekiel's "thirtieth year" is given as five years after the exile of Judah's king Jehoiachin by the Babylonians. The Aramaic Targum on Ezekiel 1:1, however, as well as the 2nd-century rabbinic work Seder Olam Rabba (chapter 26), take a different approach, where they both say that Ezekiel's vision came "in the thirtieth year after Josiah was presented with a Book of the Law discovered in the Temple".
According to Jewish tradition, Ezekiel did not write his own book, the Book of Ezekiel, but rather his prophecies were collected and written by the Men of the Great Assembly. Josephus claims that Nebuchadnezzar of Babylonia's armies exiled three thousand Jews from Judah, after deposing King Jehoiakim in 598 BCE.