In this paper, I argue that Ezekiel’s behavior before the loss of his wife (Ezek 24:15-27) reflects PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) of the exiled community after the fall of the Jerusalem Temple. Ezekiel and his exiled community suffered the trauma of invasion by the Neo-Babylonian Empire. In Ezek 24, Ezekiel’s loss of his wife symbolizes the loss of the Jerusalem Temple. By his symbolic act, the prohibition of mourning before the death of his wife, Ezekiel becomes the symbol for his exiled community. It means that Ezekiel extends his individual trauma to his exile community’s collective trauma. By explaining the meaning of his individual trauma, Ezekiel makes his exile community recognize the nature of their suffering and their responsibility. Furthermore, Ezekiel hopes that his exile community becomes a new community recovered from their trauma. Rather than weeping for their destroyed city, Jerusalem, Ezekiel and his community start a new beginning in the exile while they wear turbans and put their sandals on their feet. This behavior facilitates recovery from trauma for his exile community.
In order to demonstrate my argument, first of all, this study introduces Cathy Caruth and Jeffrey Alexander’s trauma theories in cultural and literary studies. Second, this study introduces biblical scholars’ psychoanalytic analysis of Ezekiel. Lastly, building upon Alexander’s collective trauma theory, this study attempts to understand Ezekiel’s trauma after it analyzes the translation, the structure, and the setting of Ezek 24:15-27. As a conclusion, the study discuss the contributions of Ezekiel’s trauma studies for the Korean Society.