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Ezekiel Essay

1692 words - 7 pages

Ezekiel lived in a time of international crisis and conflict. Assyria was the world power in the area under the rule of Tiglath-pilesar III. In 724 B.C Israel raged war upon Assyria, and Israel was no match for Assyria. In 627 B.C the last of the able Assyrian rulers, Ashurbanipal died. Following the death of Ashurbanipal, Babylon under Nebuchadrezzer II wanted independence from Assyria. In 614 B.C the Assyrians under Nineveh surrendered to the rising Babylonians. In 605 B.C the Babylonians defeated the Egyptians and established themselves as the leading power in the area. During all of this warring, Judah allied itself with Babylonia and kept her independence. However, in 597 BCE, after failing to continue their payment of tribute, Babylonia besieged Jerusalem. Nebuchadrezzer II, king on Babylonia, installs a puppet king, Zedekiah, in order to keep the Judeans in line. Nevertheless, Zedekiah rebels also. In 586, Babylonia exiles the most of the rulers and people of Judah to Babylonia, leaving only the poorest, and decimates Jerusalem, including the temple. Since the people believed the “Zion Theology,” which said Jerusalem is God’s choice of Zion and the monarchy comes from David, exile left the Judeans completely lost. The responses varied among the exiled Judeans, since they assumed that they were safe, after the temple wasn’t destroyed during the first destruction of Jerusalem and the fall of Israel. One response was lament, a feeling or an expression of grief, over their loss. Another was anger towards the Babylonians. A further response was anger toward neighbors who failed to aid them. Moreover, some Judeans turned to Marduk, chief god of the gods of Babylonia, figuring that he overpowered Yahweh, the god of the Judeans. Finally, the Judeans thought judgment had befallen them for their sins against Yahweh and Yahweh revoked his protection of Jerusalem. The Judeans remained in exile, until 538 BCE.

Ezekiel, son of Buzi, a Zadokite priest, received his call to prophesy at around 593 BCE, along the Chebar River at the village of Tel-abib. “As I [Ezekiel] looked, a stormy wind can out of the north; a great cloud with brightness around it and fire flashing forth continually…He said to me, Mortal, I am sending you to the people of Israel.” (Cook 1182-1184). Carried captive during the 597 BCE Exile, Ezekiel by some accounts made the “torturous trek to Mesopotamia” (Howe 203), where some of the Hebrews settled along the Canal of Chebar at Tel-abib. In this account, Ezekiel may have returned to Jerusalem after his call and lived there, prophesizing to the inhabitants until the exile. Other accounts state that Ezekiel went to Babylonia where he kept in touch with Judah, thereby addressing both communities in a single entry. Nevertheless, whether in Judah or Babylon, Ezekiel continued to prophesize to the Judeans, before and after the exile of the remaining Hebrews. Before the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple, Ezekiel prophesized about the...

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