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Full Access National “Beauty” and Yahweh’s “Glory” as a Dialectical Key to Ezekielian Theology

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National “Beauty” and Yahweh’s “Glory” as a Dialectical Key to Ezekielian Theology

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Abstract The message of the book of Ezekiel is addressed to three nations: Phoenicia (chaps 26-28), Egypt (chaps 29-32), and Judah. Its judgment oracles are predominantly “announcements of doom.” But at certain junctures the author states the “reason” for the coming destruction. In each case, the fundamental “reason” for imminent divine punishment is trust in one’s own “beauty” (yph): Phoenicia (27:3, 4, 11; 28:12, 17); Egypt (31:3, 8, 9); Judah (16:14, 15, 25). In stark contrast to this self-fascination, Yahweh’s “glory” (kbd) appears in a theophanic vision recurring throughout the book: over against Phoenicia (18:22), Egypt (31:18, by implication), and Judah/Jerusalem (1:28; 3:12, 23 [2x]; 8:4; 9:3; 10:4 [2x], 18, 19; 11:22, 23; 43:2 [2x], 4, 5; 44:4). This dialectic between Yahweh’s “glory” and nations’ preoccupation with their own “beauty” seems to be the theological thread which holds the book of Ezekiel together.

Affiliations: 1: Abilene Christian University Abilene, TX 79601 USA

10.1163/187122012X602567
/content/journals/10.1163/187122012x602567
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Abstract The message of the book of Ezekiel is addressed to three nations: Phoenicia (chaps 26-28), Egypt (chaps 29-32), and Judah. Its judgment oracles are predominantly “announcements of doom.” But at certain junctures the author states the “reason” for the coming destruction. In each case, the fundamental “reason” for imminent divine punishment is trust in one’s own “beauty” (yph): Phoenicia (27:3, 4, 11; 28:12, 17); Egypt (31:3, 8, 9); Judah (16:14, 15, 25). In stark contrast to this self-fascination, Yahweh’s “glory” (kbd) appears in a theophanic vision recurring throughout the book: over against Phoenicia (18:22), Egypt (31:18, by implication), and Judah/Jerusalem (1:28; 3:12, 23 [2x]; 8:4; 9:3; 10:4 [2x], 18, 19; 11:22, 23; 43:2 [2x], 4, 5; 44:4). This dialectic between Yahweh’s “glory” and nations’ preoccupation with their own “beauty” seems to be the theological thread which holds the book of Ezekiel together.

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2012-01-01
2016-12-07

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