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The Tender Cedar Sprig: Ezekiel on Jehoiachin

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Abstract:

If historians and biblical scholars do not overlook or undervalue the significance of King Jehoiachin in Israel's history in general, they pay little attention to the contribution offered by the book of Ezekiel to reconstructing a historical portrait of this man. This essay addresses this lacuna by examining how Ezekiel speaks of Jehoaichin, exploring particularly the exiled prophet's view of Jehoaichin's past, his present, and his future. Although it is difficult to tell what Ezekiel thought about the man himself, he seems to have been able to distinguish between the man Jehoiachin and what Jehoiachin represented. In the end he interpreted Jehoiachin's exile to Babylon as a ray of hope for the future of the dynasty, and with this hope a ray of hope for the future of Israel. YHWH had brought down the high tree and dried up the green tree; he was able also to exalt the low tree and make the dry tree flourish (Ezek 17:24).

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2012-06-01

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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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