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God’s Spokesman in Exile.  Ezekiel was deported to Babylon in 597 BCE, during  Nebuchadnezzar’s first sweep through Jerusalem.

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Presentation on theme: "God’s Spokesman in Exile.  Ezekiel was deported to Babylon in 597 BCE, during  Nebuchadnezzar’s first sweep through Jerusalem."— Presentation transcript:

1 God’s Spokesman in Exile

2  Ezekiel was deported to Babylon in 597 BCE, during  Nebuchadnezzar’s first sweep through Jerusalem

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4  Ezekiel believes Babylon is the ‘instrument of God’ to punish Israelites for desecrating the Temple and Jerusalem with bad actions

5  The language in Ezekiel is not like other prophets.  He describes the impact prophesying had on his mind and body  ‘you will be bound with them and not able to mix with others’ 3:23

6  Visions of creatures with animal bodies, human faces, and eagles’ wings  Cherubim  Popular in Mesopotamian art

7  One meaning: that Yahweh subjugates Babylonian divinities to pull his chariot-throne

8 As for the appearance of their faces: the four had the face of a human being, the face of a lion on the right side, the face of an ox on the left side, and the face of an eagle; 11 such were their faces. Their wings were spread out above; each creature had two wings, each of which touched the wing of another, while two covered their bodies.

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11  Chs 8-10, although in Mesopotamia, Ezekiel glimpses Yahweh departing Jerusalem ‘by the east gate’, heading northwest toward Babylon.  Ezekiel believes that henceforth, Yahweh will be present to the Exiles, not to the Judeans left in Jerusalem

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13  ‘something that looked like a sapphire; it was shaped like a throne and high up on this throne was a being that looked like a man.... All around like a bow in the clouds on rainy days... EZ 1:26-28

14  Like Moses, Ezekiel cannot see the Deity himself, but only the dazzling beauty that radiates from him

15  Unequal relationship between the immortal God and his human prophet is emphasized throughout the book

16  After eating a scroll that tastes like honey, Ezekiel is appointing Watchman over the House of Israel “He said to me, O mortal, eat what is offered to you; eat this scroll, and go, speak to the house of Israel. 2 So I opened my mouth, and he gave me the scroll to eat. 3 He said to me, Mortal, eat this scroll that I give you and fill your stomach with it. Then I ate it; and in my mouth it was as sweet as honey.” 3:1-2

17  Former translations used the phrase ‘son of man’  Recent scholarship translates the ancient Hebrew word as ‘mortal’

18  Cooks food over human waste to foreshadow people trapped in Babylon will be forced to eat ‘unclean’ food  He does not mourn his wife’s death, like Yahweh will not mourn the loss of the Temple  Tightly bound in ropes, he lies down on one side for 190 days symbolizing the duration of the northern kingdom’s exile

19  Ezekiel feels himself lifted by the hair and carried from Mesopotamia to Jerusalem to see ‘filthy’ idols which disloyal priests have profaned the Temple.  Ezekiel sees God’s ‘Glory’ leave Jerusalem and travel to the East (to those exiled in Babylon)

20  Ezekiel promotes a new ethic of responsibility  Yahweh will no longer punish the people collectively for wrongdoings of ancestors  Not so much individual responsibility, but that God will judge each generation

21  Chapters  Tyre, a port island city, benefiting from Israel’s demise (26:1-6)  Details of Tyre’s luxury trade in 27:10-25  Tyre was not destroyed for two and half centuries by Alexander the Great

22  Ezekiel 33 focuses on the ruination of Jerusalem  After this, the prophet’s visions are all about restoration  This is where the vision of the valley littered with human bones that reassemble themselves—the resurrection of Jerusalem

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24  Unidentified aggressors Ch  God’s violent intervention  Yahweh’s slaughter of Gog’s armies enhances his international stature—it warns its aggressive neighbors

25  Thus says the Lord God: I am against you, O Gog, chief prince of Meshech and Tubal; 4 I will turn you around and put hooks into your jaws, and I will lead you out with all your army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed in full armor, a great company, all of them with shield and buckler, wielding swords. Ch 38

26  Chapter 39, closes with a promise from Yahweh to return to Jerusalem all members of the covenant community who are scattered in foreign nations

27  Chapters describes a time when Yahweh will rule his people directly  Ezekiel provides detailed measurements for a gloriously rebuilt Temple I saw the glory of the God of Israel approaching from the east. A sound came with it, like the sound of the ocean, and the earth shone with his glory... The glory of Yahweh arrived at the Temple by the east gate...43:1-6

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29  Solomon’s Temple on Mount Zion in Jerusalem  Destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar’s troops  Second Temple rebuilt by Hebrews returning from exile in Babylon under Governor Zerubbabel---dedicated circa 515 BCE  Herod’s splendid Temple rebuilt the former in 1 st century BCE  It was destroyed by the Romans in 70 CE

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