The Keḇôd Yhwh (כבוד־יהוה) is the central theme of Ezekiel’s vision accounts. The book opens with a visionary manifestation of the divine presence, and the question of God’s persistence reaches critical pitch by the end of the temple vision in chaps 8–11 when the presence departs from Jerusalem. The central event in the vision of the future temple (chaps 40–48) occurs in 43.1–12, when the presence returns to Jerusalem to inhabit the new sanctuary (also 48.35). Despite this prominence within Ezekiel’s vision accounts, the topic of divine presence is barely apparent in the intervening oracles. In this essay, I investigate this difference between the visionary framework of the book and its oracular core. I begin with the question of how and why the divine presence became so prominent in the vision accounts. Following this, I turn my attention to the oracles of deliverance, looking for any claims regarding restoration of the divine presence. Finally I examine how the visions and the oracles of deliverance have been intertwined in the final redaction of the book. Considering the differences between the visions and the oracles in their representations of this theme, it is worth asking how or if the two lines of argument have been given concord or harmony. Agreement is found in the adaptations to the theme of a “new heart and a new spirit” that are presented in 36.23c–28, the last sizeable supplement to the book.
|Forschungen zum Alten Testament
|Reflecting Upon Divine Presence and Absence in the Exile and Persian Period
|13/05/11 → 15/05/11