ZEKIEL was not in Jerusalem. He was in Chaldea. However, the Spirit of God informed Ezekiel on the very day that Nebuchadnezzar commenced his attack on Jerusalem. Now, Jerusalem was a city that was polluted by sin. And, that sin was scum in God's sight. (Of course, the whole world is full of the scum of sin). In this chapter, Jerusalem is compared to a pot that is boiling on a fire. There was soup in that pot. The soup had a thick layer of scum on the top of it. And, God intended to stoke the fire of His judgment up so hot that the scum would be consumed out of Jerusalem (Ezekiel 24:11).
To emphasize the severity of this judgment, God required a great sacrifice from Ezekiel. Remember, Ezekiel was a priest. Ezekiel was a married man. But God took Ezekiel's wife from him (Ezekiel 24:16 & 18). You read that right. In order to emphasize a point in Ezekiel's message and ministry, God took his wife from him. But that's not all. God restricted Ezekiel's response. God told him that his wife was going to die, and God forbad any expressions of sadness on Ezekiel's part. And amazingly, Ezekiel did what God required of him. He did not grieve the death of his wife. So, when his audience asked him what this meant, he was able to tell them unmistakably that the day would come when the temple would be destroyed and their closest loved ones would be killed, yet there would be no time, energy nor even an opportunity for any appropriate solemnity or solitude for the purpose of grieving (vs. 21- 23).