By John F. Kutsko
With the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple and the exile of participants of the Israelite group to the land of its enemies, whose gods have been represented as divine statues, the prophet Ezekiel confronted a problem: tips on how to reply to the enemies' scoffs that Israel's God was once absent, while the foreigners' gods self-evidently have been current. hence, to invite the query, "Where is God" was once to stand a number of advanced and tangled difficulties. How is God to be represented? How is Yahweh to be differentiated from different deities? what's Yahweh's courting to Israel in exile?
Kutsko units out to respond to those questions in the subject matter of divine presence and shortage, really because it pertains to the kabod theology in Ezekiel. He indicates that God's absence turns into, for Ezekiel, an issue for his presence and gear, whereas the presence of idols indicated their absence and impotence. Ezekiel extends this proposition right into a corollary: God's presence isn't really consigned to sanctuary, for God is a sanctuary. during this regard, absence from the Temple is a message of judgment and the precursor to a message of recovery. If God can develop into a sanctuary, his presence in exile turns into a message of victory even over imperial powers. This conceptualization of Yahweh, then, finally ends up defining the facility and place of Israel's God in distinctively common phrases. during this contribution, the ebook of Ezekiel performs a significant and formerly unappreciated function within the improvement of Israelite theology, and monotheism specifically.
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Extra resources for Between Heaven and Earth: Divine Presence and Absence in the Book of Ezekiel
The burden of proof, nevertheless, lies more heavily on proving a primarily Judean setting, and the evidence provided has not been persuasive, in contrast to the Babylonian indications. My working position is that Ezekiel was situated in 52. A. Bertholet and K. Galling, Hesekiel (HAT 13; Tübingen: Mohr, 1936) 82 and 134. 53. C. G. Howie, The Date and Composition of Ezekiel (Philadelphia: Society of Biblical Literature, 1950), see chaps. 1 and 2, pp. 5–46. 54. H. M. Orlinsky, “Where Did Ezekiel Receive the Call to Prophesy,” BASOR 122 (1951) 34–36.
The prophetic call narrative (1:28b–3:27) begins with a broad indictment that Israel rebelled against God. The charge is driven home with the repetition of the verbs drm and hrm and the noun yrim} (2:3, 5, 6, 7, 8; 3:9, 26, 27). This general charge is narrowed in chap. 5 (vv. 6–11): Jerusalem has rejected Yahweh’s statutes and deﬁled the Temple with detestable things (µyxIWQv¥) and abominations (t/b[E/T), two common expressions in Ezekiel for idolatry. In chap. 6 the focus narrows still further: Israel has worshiped on high places (t/mB:), on hills (hm:r; h[:b}Gi and µyrih:h< yv´ar;), and under trees (ˆn;[“r' ≈[E and hT:bU[“ hl:aE)—all of which were forms of worship that the prophet considered improper.
B. Redford, “The Dates in Ezekiel in Relation to Biblical, Babylonian and Egyptian Sources,” JAOS 90 (1970) 462–85. 45. See E. Vogt, “Der Nehar Kebar: Ez 1,” Bib 39 (1958) 211–16. 16 The Inquiry and Its Background Judah in his house in exile, during which he is taken (8:2) in a vision (8:3) to Jerusalem. 46 In chaps. 8–11 it appears that Ezekiel sees vivid accounts of the apostasy in Jerusalem, after which he is transported back to Babylonia (11:24). 47 Narrative elements such as these have led scholars to various conclusions.
Between Heaven and Earth: Divine Presence and Absence in the Book of Ezekiel by John F. Kutsko