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Ezekiel's Conceptualization of the Exile in Intertextual Perspective

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Abstract:

This paper identifies and examines the intertextual allusions in Ezekiel 12 that appear throughout the chapter in an attempt to assess their significance. It argues that Ezekiel draws especially upon Isaian texts concerning the blindness and deafness of the people as well as texts in both Isaiah and Exodus concerned with the Exodus in formulating the understanding of exile presented in Ezekiel 12. The paper proceeds in three stages. First, it examines the literary form and setting of Ezekiel 12 within the larger literary framework of the book of Ezekiel as a whole. Second, it identifies and examines a number of intertextual relationships between Ezekiel 12 and texts from Isaiah and Exodus concerned with the condemnation of Israel and the conceptualization of the Exodus. Finally, it draws conclusions concerning the implications of these intertextual relationships for the interpretation of Ezekiel 12. Overall, it maintains that Ezekiel constructs an understanding of Israel's exile to Babylonia on the basis of earlier Isaian and Exodus texts concerned with the condemnation of Israel and the Exodus from Egypt. Ezekiel reverses the typical portrayal of the Exodus as an act of YHWH's deliverance of Israel to one of YHWH's punishment of Israel. But deliverance remains the ultimate goal of exile as the chapter envisions the exile as part of the process of the purging of the nation.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2012

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  • Hebrew Bible and Ancient Israel is a new, peer-reviewed, quarterly journal focusing primarily on the biblical texts in their ancient historical contexts, but also on the history of Israel in its own right. Each issue has a topical focus. The primary language is English, but articles may also be published in German and French. A specific goal of the new journal is to foster discussion among different academic cultures within a larger international context pertaining to the study of the Hebrew Bible and ancient Israel in the first millennium B. C. E.
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