Ezekiel: structure themes and contested issues

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The Book of Ezekiel is set in the tumultuous period of the early sixth century, when successive Babylonian invasions devastated Judah and Jerusalem. It introduces Ezekiel himself as one of the Judahite exiles to Babylonia of 597 B.C.E., and his prophecies act as a kind of commentary on unfolding events. With vivid and often disturbing language, the prophet reminds his hearers of YHWH’s continuing power, explains the disaster as the result of Judah’s sin, and, once the worst has come, imagines the shape of a new future. This chapter offers an introduction to scholarly views on the structure and composition of the book, then focuses on a number of significant theological themes. These include the importance of priestly tradition, the prophet’s critique of Jerusalem and ethical response to exile, and the centrality of divine sovereignty within Ezekiel’s theological vision.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of the Prophets
EditorsCarolyn J. Sharp
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2016


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