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Ezekiel's Criticism on the Temple and YHWH's Being as the Temple(Ezek 8-11)

Han, Dong-Gu 1

1평택대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

The nation Israel was destroyed by Babylon and its temple was too. The destruction of the temple gave a great impact on the life of the Israelite. The significance of it in the life of the Israelite is extraordinary. When it was absent, from 587 to 515 BCE, a variety of groups proposed theologies alternative to it. The present study examines a part of the theology proposed by Ezekiel that attempted to overcome the crisis caused by the temple's absence. Particularly the exact meaning of the message from Ezekiel 11:16b, “yet for a little while I have been a sanctuary for them in the countries where they have gone,” is examined. The historical context of the time and the temple theology, which was contradicting to Ezekiel's, were put under the study. Also, the basis of Ezekiel's theological stand that is 'figuring out the existence of God as spirit' and the theological thought that ‘YHWH God is mobile ever’ should be examined too. The ‘sanctuary’ in Ezekiel 11:16b refers neither to a small temple in Babylon nor a similar place of meeting to be set up. Also, it does not mean aform of piety, which is different from a form of ritual. In fact it means that the functions and duties the temple used to perform traditionally are to be attributed to YHWH himself. With the absence of the temple, the meeting place between God and the human beings is lost, thus the latter became lifeless. In this seriousness of the absence of the temple, Ezekiel proposed an alternative. YHWH himself becomes a temple temporarily until his glory would come back. The function and the duties of the temple that the traditional 'temple theology' charged are all then attributed to YHWH. Yahwist asserts that wherever God is present is holy and thus a temple. It is quite similar to Ezekiel's. But, different to Yahwist, Ezekiel did not get rid of the value of temple, the place where YHWH God abides in always. He says that the water of new life flows from the temple. Ezekiel never abandoned the command of worship centralization. He rather tried to assist it with alternative ideas.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.