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The Composition of Metaphorical Oracles Within the Book of Ezekiel

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image of Vetus Testamentum

Ez. xv; xxi 2-4; xxii 17-22 and xxiv 3b-14 focus on the image of fire and heat representing divine anger and judgement. This basic metaphor is diversified by the objects exposed to fire and heat. Ez. xvi and xxiii unfold the metaphor of the spouse unfaithful to her husband as a retrospective of Jerusalem's sinning, thus providing the reason for severe punishment. The metaphor of a shepherd and his flock in Ez. xxxiv conveys a hopeful perspective, effectively contrasting to the composition of oracles announcing disaster. The imagery employed is basically familiar from prophetic writings preceding Ezekiel.Ez. xvii and xix are exceptions to the rule, because they combine diverse metaphorical elements that make up a story presenting animal and vegetable protagonists. As political allegories they foreshadow the political visions in the book of Daniel. They are a later insertion within the sequence of oracles in Ez. xv-xxiv (and xxxiv).


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