Ezekiel And The Twelve: Similar Concerns As An Indication Of A Shared Tradition? -- By: David M. Morgan

Journal: Bulletin for Biblical Research
Volume: BBR 20:3 (NA 2010)
Article: Ezekiel And The Twelve: Similar Concerns As An Indication Of A Shared Tradition?
Author: David M. Morgan

Ezekiel And The Twelve: Similar Concerns As An Indication Of A Shared Tradition?

David M. Morgan

University Of Aberdeen

The book of Ezekiel is often divided into a tripartite literary structure. The temple building program in chaps. 40-48 has received not a little scholarly attention, but the preceding oracles in 33:1-39:29 and their function in the final form of the book have not received much consideration. Interestingly, the subject matter of the three sets of oracles in this section of Ezekiel corresponds with themes also evident in a synchronic reading of the Book of the Twelve. This essay examines the ideology for temple building made apparent through the literary structure of Ezekiel and the Twelve, and remarks are made regarding the significance of each “temple building story.”

Key Words: Ezekiel, Book of the Twelve, land, nations, temple building

Author’s note: This essay is a revision of a paper given at the Society of Biblical Literature meeting in Boston, MA, in November, 2008. Our particular “reading” of Ezekiel and the Twelve is of a synchronic nature. Although diachronic concerns relating to compositional and transmission history are essential to note, they are outside the purview of our examination. I consider the final form of Ezekiel and the Twelve to be products of the Jerusalem literati in Persian Yehud.

Introductory Remarks

It goes without saying that in the prophetic literature of the Hebrew Bible, there are leitmotifs such as “land,” “people,” and “nations”—whether in pre- or postexilic literature—that are often given a programmatic or prominent role. Moreover, depending on the sociohistorical situation and the ideology of a given writer/editor, these themes are employed in diverse manners. Specifically within the prophetic literature, these notions or topoi may serve as programmatic structures and inscribed reading devices for how these compositions were meant to be received and read.1

In this essay, we will look specifically at Ezekiel’s literary structure and ideological program where the conceptual development of land, people/ ruler, and nations provides for the judgment and restoration of said themes and is consummated in the rebuilding of the Jerusalem temple in Ezekiel’s vision of chaps. 40-48. These elements in particular are constitutive for Ezekiel’s temple building program. Second, we will examine the Twelve in order to discern in what ways these elements a...

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