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Chapter Summary

In modern philosophy, theology, literature, theatre and film, there is a distinct inclination to complain vociferously about the silence of God in the face of horrendous crimes and disasters. Matthijs de Jong introduces an unwarranted restriction of the theme by equating the speaking of deities with divine favour and silence with divine disfavour. Bob Becking sees Ezra and Nehemiah as symbolic, aniconic representations of God's return to the temple on Zion. It applies to God's reinstated presence, but not to his silence or speech. Joel Burnett explores personal names as expressions of personal piety, relying heavily on the pioneering work of Rainer Albertz. More parallels between ancient Israel and its Eastern neighbours are being discovered. God has chosen to reveal himself in a specific historical situation, just as one lives in a situation. It is made clear that the silence of God was vexing people all over the world.

Keywords: Bob Becking; Ezra; Israel; Joel Burnett; Matthijs de Jong; Nehemiah; silence of God



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