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Prophecy Continued: Reflections on Innerbiblical Exegesis in the Book of Ezekiel

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image of Vetus Testamentum

The argument starts from the observation that the Book of Ezekiel is characterised by a remarkable knowledge of prophetic tradition. This phenomenon has long been explained by the prophet’s personal acquaintance with the words of his predecessors. However, the main aim of the following article is to show that the various allusions and thematic linkages have to be understood as examples of innerbiblical exegesis.

For the purpose of discussion, three examples from different literary layers of the book are chosen that serve in illustrating the underlying basic principle, namely Ezek 37:1-14, Ezek 34 and Ezek 36:23bβ-38. In the course of the textual observations, it shall further be demonstrated that form and technique of innerbiblical exegesis undergo a development within the literary growth of the book. While the oldest texts draw on existing motifs and metaphors, the literary references increase over the following literary layers. Finally, in the youngest texts, literary references to different texts within and beyond the book are assembled and systematised. This development bears witness to changes in the understanding of scripture that was increasingly perceived as authoritative.

Affiliations: 1: Georg-August-University of Göttingen


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