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The Structure and Message of Ezekiel 8-19: Focusing on the People's Complaints and Yahweh's Answers

Kim, Rae Yong 1

1협성대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

The purpose of this paper is to examine the composition and message of Ezekiel 8-19 from the perspective of the people's case and Yahweh's answer. To this end, Ezekiel 8-19 was divided into four paragraphs (Ezekiel 8-11; 12-14; 15-17; 18-19), and the content, structure, and expression of each paragraph were analyzed. Looking at the structure and message of Ezekiel 8-19, all the paragraphs place the questions (complaints and doubts) related to the people where necessary, and they take the structure of Yahweh answering these questions. However, Yahweh's answer is given in the form of a long message of judgment and a short message of restoration. In particular, the answer that was not fully answered in the former is supplemented in the latter. The pairing of the judgment and restoration messages constitutes Yahweh's answer to the people's questions. In this respect, the message of restoration shown in Ezekiel 8-19 can be seen as original, not added later. Looking at each paragraph in detail, Ezekiel 8-11 answers the complaints of the people ("The Lord has not seen us, and the Lord has forsaken this land") using the vision and Jerusalem judgment motif. The message of judgment highlights the sins of the people who committed abominable acts, and the message of restoration highlights Yahweh's love and concern for the people. Ezekiel 12-14 uses symbolic actions and apocalyptic motifs to answer the people's doubts ("What about your proverb, the days are delayed and all visions will pass away"), and Ezekiel 15-17 uses parables and covenant-breaking motifs to answer a rhetorical question ("Son of man, what is the vine better than all trees ... it is only fuel to be thrown into the fire"), and Ezekiel 18-19 uses Lamentations and the righteous-wicked motif to answer the doubts of the people (“The way of the Lord is not fair”). However, unusually, all the messages of restoration mentioned in the last three paragraphs highlight Yahweh's love and interest. The answer is that Yahweh is not indifferent to the people. Yahweh's answer to the complaints of the people mentioned in the first paragraph continues. In this respect, the message of Ezekiel 8-19 can be seen as Yahweh's answer to the complaints of the people.

Citation status

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