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By Henry McKeating

A much-neglected prophet, Ezekiel is however a key determine in previous testomony faith. status the place he does, on the nice difficulty element of Israel's heritage, the exile, he confronts the fundamental questions, can the kingdom survive?, and, should still it? Ezekiel represents the priestly strand in Israel's considering, which lays such weight at the temple because the position of the presence of God. How can the kingdom be sustained while it's been disadvantaged of its conventional position of worship? Ezekiel's answer is that the presence of God continues to be on hand, even within the land of exile, yet that the presence is but to be restored to its right position in Jerusalem. just like the different volumes within the previous testomony publications sequence, this compact learn of Ezekiel could be a lot liked by way of the coed turning to the research of the prophet for the 1st time.>

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But they also point to connections with priestly tradition. 2. They enable us to identify important elements which give structure and coherence to the book. 3. They give us some indication of the Sitz im Leben in which the prophet's words were uttered. These indications are consistent with the sixth-century exilic setting in which the book is ostensibly placed. 4. They highlight some important elements in Ezekiel's theology. 5. In particular, they heighten our awareness of the intense concentration of the Ezekiel tradition on the 'word-event'.

Auvray opted for a very similar line, except that he kept ch. 33 as the closing chapter of the Palestinian ministry. Robinson, in his Two Hebrew Prophets (1948), also came round to the opinion that Ezekiel prophesied first in Palestine and then in Babylon. It is certainly tempting to see Ezekiel's manifest concern for the Jerusalem community as reflecting an actual ministry 4. History ofEzekiel Criticism: 1900-1950 37 there, and during the 1930s and 1940s the idea that he exercised some sort of Palestinian ministry became common enough to be regarded as the prevailing orthodoxy.

Why should not a prophet and priest in exile have his interests firmly fixed in his homeland, since it was his home, and since it was the place where, throughout the first half of his ministry, the temple which was so important to him still stood? Greenberg, in the introduction to his commentary, says, That Ezekiel in exile should be preoccupied with Jerusalem's fate is not astonishing*. Even the fact that he appears to be addressing a Jerusalem audience is not difficult to explain. Much of the time Ezekiel speaks simply to 'the house of 5.

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