Ezekiel Nations God's Will in Term Paper

Download this Term Paper in word format (.doc)

Note: Sample below may appear distorted but all corresponding word document files contain proper formatting

Excerpt from Term Paper:

Personal Power

Though the figure and invocation of God is of course central to the power and purpose of Ezekiel's prophecies against the foreign nations, and indeed in all of his prophecies as a whole, there is also necessarily a great deal of personal power in the voice and words of the prophet. Without this, his exhortations and condemnations would not be heard or heeded. This leads to a third possibility for the essential purpose of his prophecies against the foreign nations -- that of strengthening his position within the community of exiled Israelites.

Despite the commonality of oracles and prophecies condemning and predicting the downfall of foreign nations in the prophets of the Old Testament, it is highly unlikely that these words ever reached the leaders or the people of these foreign nations, or that the prophets or writers of these texts ever intended them to (Tuell 2009, pp. 167). Using these nations as examples not only provides greater room for explanation and imagery for various purposes, as explained above, but it also simply and directly adds to the legitimacy of the prophet as a whole. The question of Ezekiel's position within his community has been the subject of no small amount of scholarly debate, and linguistic parsings of his prophecies and the minute details of the different sections and the organization of his text all arrive at different conclusions as to how the prophet was trying to present himself, and the degree to which he claimed divine inspiration, guidance, and even communicative abilities with God (Ward 2006; Zaspell 1985). Regardless of the exact nature of the prophet's position or projected self-image, however, it is clear that Ezekiel was attempting to bolster the power of his message by presenting the legitimacy of his prophesying abilities as best as he was able.

Ezekiel's main purpose throughout his text is to steer the people of Israel back onto a righteous path, one that is both pleasing to God and will lead to the security and prosperity of the people in this world as well. He will definitely be assisted in this objective by increasing his own personal power and legitimacy as a prophet. Addressing the sins and punishments of the other nations before describing Israel's return to glory accomplishes exactly this.

The continued scholarly and lay fascination with the text and prophecies of Ezekiel are a testament to the personal power with which his prophecies are conveyed. The prophecies against the foreign nations form a large part of this power, and attempts to ascribe modern place names to those used in the Book of Ezekiel during these prophecies -- both in the section primarily focused on herein and in later predictions made by Ezekiel -- have been fairly commonplace throughout the eras of biblical scholarship up until contemporary times (Zaspell 1985). Seeing these predictions come true would definitely have added weight to Ezekiel's words in the minds of his audience, and as he was predicting an overrun of these relatively weak and small countries (with the exception of Egypt) by the immensely powerful Babylon, Ezekiel was on fairly safe ground in making these predictions, and thus secured himself a prominent place in the ranks of the Old Testament prophets.


The three varying interpretations of the purpose behind Ezekiel's prophecies against the foreign nations could all possibly be true. The desire to strengthen his theological condemnation of Israel -- and the potential for its future restoration -- both serves and is served by the possible political ends of his prophecies; the two can in fact be seen as two sides of the same coin. Even seeing these external prophecies as a bid to increase his domestic power, or at least the power and spread of his words, is also more of a service to these two other goals than it is an end in and of itself. Thus this trio of purposes exists to reinforce each other, strengthening the theological and political import of the prophecies to the ancient exiled Israelites.


Block, D. (1997). The Book of Ezekiel: Chapters 1-24 (Volume 1): The New International Commentary on the Old Testament. Grand rapids, MI: Wm. B. Edermans Publishing.

Block, D. (1998). The Book of Ezekiel: Chapters 25-48 (Volume 2): The New International Commentary on the Old Testament. Grand rapids, MI: Wm. B. Edermans Publishing.

Malick, D. (2009). "An Argument of the Book of Ezekiel." Accessed 15 May 2010. http://bible.org/article/argument-book-ezekiel

Tuell, S. (2009). Ezekie:l New International Biblical Commentary. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson.

Ward, J. (2006). "Exegesis of Ezekiel 37:1-14." Dissertation: Knox College. Accessed 15 May 2010. http://homepage.mac.com/bpirwin/knox/PDF%20Files/Exegesis%20Sample%20(Ezek37).pdf…[continue]

Cite This Term Paper:

"Ezekiel Nations God's Will In" (2010, May 17) Retrieved October 22, 2016, from http://www.paperdue.com/essay/ezekiel-nations-god-will-in-3058

"Ezekiel Nations God's Will In" 17 May 2010. Web.22 October. 2016. <http://www.paperdue.com/essay/ezekiel-nations-god-will-in-3058>

"Ezekiel Nations God's Will In", 17 May 2010, Accessed.22 October. 2016, http://www.paperdue.com/essay/ezekiel-nations-god-will-in-3058

Other Documents Pertaining To This Topic

  • Ezekiel s Twentieth Chapter Can Be

    In verses 40-44, we can see that there is the potential for a reconciliation, when a purified people will worship in the land to which they have returned (91). God ends by saying that it will be obvious when He shows pity for the desperate and that He will be showing that pity for the respect of His own name. This really signifies that His mercy is the highest

  • Ezekiel in the Wilderness of

    In the context of these visions, any admixture of Jewish identity with foreign ways represented not only just such a hypocritical failure to trust God in all things but, ultimately, a decision to vanish from history. First, Ezekiel reminds his audience, the nations closely related to Israel failed through jealousy, pride, and treason. Next, he prophesies that the great merchant cities of Phoenicia are eventually doomed to ruin in the fullness of

  • Kingdom of God Christianity Judaism and the

    Kingdom of God Christianity, Judaism and the Kingdom of God Christianity is a force of both unparalleled influence and of continuing humility on the global scale, being both the salvation of the indigent and the foundational force under great and established power structures. It is this duality that perhaps best helps to initiate a discussion on the concept of the Kingdom of God. Indeed, the Kingdom of God is both everything and

  • Exegesis of Ezekiel Chapter Ezekiel

    Judgment oracle Usually introduced by formula, "I am against you" 21:1-5 Aftermath or restoration oracle Reversing judgment formula, "I am for you" 34:11-15 Command formula Especially "Son of man, set your face ... 6:2-3; 20:46-47 "Woe" oracle of indictment 13:3-7; 34:2-6 Demonstration oracle Usually containing "because ... therefore" clauses 13:8-9; 16:36-42 Disputation oracle IN which popular proverb is recited and then refuted by prophetic discourse (e.g., "sour grapes" proverb) 18:1-20; cf. 12:22-25 Lament Over Tyre Over Pharaoh 26:15-18 32:1-16 Wailing lament Introduced by "wail" 30:1-4 32:17-21 Riddles, parables, allegories E.g., parable of the vine Allegories of the

  • Patrick Henry s Speech

    Patrick Henry's Speech Slavery had existed for a very long time. It is still existent; however, the form may have changed. Anti-slave laws and abolitionist movement had been there in the past to stop slave trade in Africa. Provisions had been there but there has been no significant impact. This report focuses on Henry's speech in which he has argued how the masters (British) used to control their slaves (American colony).

  • Concept of God in Judaism and Christianity

    history medical studies have concluded that prayer helps to heal the sick. Many political meetings begin with a prayer and American currency has the words "In God We Trust" imprinted on its face. Around the world God is a powerful deity and one that has historically led entire societies to make decisions based on God's word. While God has been the single deity that leads and guides societies in

  • God Has Given His Prophet

    The scene is reminiscent of Egyptian burial chambers; the walls were covered with brilliantly painted images of deities in animal form, including Anubis, the jackal-headed god who weighed the soul of the dead. This second phase of the prophet's vision of Jerusalem illustrates a number of important points with respect to the state of religion in the capital city. The nation's leadership was actively engaged in the pursuit of

Read Full Term Paper
Copyright 2016 . All Rights Reserved