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Ezekiel, P, and the Priestly School

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image of Vetus Testamentum

Seeing that Ezekiel, with his law code of chaps. xl-xlviii, is connected with P in many characteristics, while, at the same time, they contradict each other in almost any tangible aspect, it is the author's contention that the two are independent manifestation of the same school, of which P is its authentic expression whereas Ezekiel is its loose and later extension. It is out of the question to argue, as was done recently, that Ezekiel saw P and modified it at will. The relationship between P and Ezekiel comprises two aspects, the first of which is the common literary language they share, which in itself calls for explanation. The lack of agreement between the two is the second aspect demanding an explanation, but only if it is assumed that, when formulating his code, Ezekiel had direct access to P. Since Ezekiel used the priestly style as his own, he should have acquired it, after the practice of the Ancient Near East, over the course of many years of training, beginning in childhood and ending up in maturity. This implies that Ezekiel received his training in Jerusalem, while upon his arrival in Babylonia he was already a qualified priestly scribe, and it was there that he became a prophet. It is a vexed question whether the P scrolls were obtainable at all in Tel Abib by the river Chebar.

Affiliations: 1: Jerusalem


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