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2009-02-11-OT - Page 1 of 9 Old Testament The 3 major...

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Page 1 of 9 2/11/09 Old Testament February 11, 2009 The 3 major prophets: If Isaiah is the great poet of the OT…. (2 or three) the great poetic tradition Jeremiah is the Psalmist amongst the prophets – His laments and draws inspiration of the Psalms; the agony of standing before God and bearing the people. Ezekiel is the critical theologian among the Prophets. We could do worse than to think of Ezekiel as the Stanley Hauerwas. Three things of the task of a First: He is a scholar. He is not narrow. He has a huge scope, looking at the whole course of Israel’s history from Exodus. But he has a bookish cast of mind. Ezekiel: he gives us a very precise date. We know exactly when the heavens opened and he saw visions of God. He was trained to be a priest. They kept the calendar. The Temple was the national library. He was, more than any we have encountered so far – she would venture to say that his education was more similar to yours and mine…. He had spent years pouring over texts. He had learned to think critically in response to writings that were central to the priestly tradition. Around the time he would have been ordained, around the 30 th year – of his life? – That didn’t happen, because in 597 he was taken off into exile. He was taken to the city of Nippur: About 100 km south of Babylon. He is near the city of Nippur, formerly a great capital. “By the river Chebar” Victor Bregeda Exekiel by the River Chebar, on a staircase of books. The landscape is like a dust bowl of dried clays. By 1720 BCE it was abandoned…. (?) A canal that was dug to make the arid landscape arable. The exile community would have been in part to maintain the canals. The calling of Ezekiel by Marc Chagall. When she says he is a critical theologian, he is re-reading the fundamental texts in the
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Page 2 of 9 2/11/09 light of the exile. He is re-reading it from the ground up, to reinterpret what it all means in light of what has happened. The fall of Jerusalem, and at some point Jeremiah seems to have viewed the fall of Jerusalem as a given. Ezekiel regards it as a given from the beginning. He is speaking into the void. And he begins doing that before it even happens. 592. He begins. A third point: Writing is the instrument of Ezekiel’s writer. He was the first prophet who is in fact creating the structure of the book as he does it. Something like the form that we currently have it. Writing is the tool that enables Ezekiel to do this comprehensive re-reading of the tradition. The gap of what we see today and what Ezekiel actually produced is narrower. ED’s book is “Swallowing the Scroll” comes from Eze 2:8 when God says to Ezekiel: Open your mouth, and eat what I’ll give you. And Whoa! …. And Whoa! In it is a book scroll. And He stretched out the hand in front of me, and it the scroll were written on both sides, and on it were written laments and moaning and woe.
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