The modern reader encounters unfamiliar territory in Ezekiel, with its otherworldly visions and the peculiar actions of its author. Ezekiel presents a message of doom and judgment followed by an equally powerful message of hope and restoration. Through helpful literary analysis and theological reflection, Tuell assists the reader in seeing the richness and ongoing relevance of this book for today.
“Ezekiel communicates the grand good news that God has come to be with God’s people in exile. However, the flip side of that affirmation is God’s abandonment of Jerusalem. We can cut ourselves off from God’s presence, Ezekiel states. Through injustice, idolatry, and faithlessness, we can render our holy places desolate, and turn our hearts to stone. Yet God can still act, to transform and renew. The book of Ezekiel, which begins with the awesome presence of God made manifest to a priest in exile, concludes with a vision of the ideal city of God, given a new name: ‘the Lord is there’ (48:35). The promise of this book, then, is that God desires to be in fellowship with God’s people. Ultimately, come what will, God is with us.” (Page 6)
“Thus is absolute freedom joined to perfect knowledge and perception, omnipresence to omniscience. Already, we can sense where this vision is taking us.” (Page 11)
“Broadly speaking, the book of Ezekiel falls into two major parts. The first and longest section, chapters 1–33, presents visions and oracles of judgment concerning Jerusalem’s fall, which is described to Ezekiel by a fugitive from the city in 33:21.” (Page 4)
“In the priestly texts of the Torah, ‘the glory of the Lord’ is the means of God’s presence in sacred spaces” (Page 11)
The Rev. Dr. Steven S. Tuell is the associate professor of Old Testement at PTS. After studying at West Virginia Wesleyan College and Princeton Theological Seminary, Tuell earned his doctorate. in Hebrew Bible at Union Theological Seminary in Virginia. He taught at Erskine College, S.C. (1989-1992) and Randolph-Macon College, Va. (1992-2005), receiving numerous awards for teaching excellence. Tuell’s particular research interest is the biblical literature of the early Persian period. He has written numerous articles and book reviews, including multiple entries in Feasting on the Word (a commentary on the Common Lectionary published by Westminster-John Knox), and has also been a frequent contributor to the United Methodist Publishing House Adult Bible Studies curriculum and Bible Reader series. Tuell has written a study of Ezekiel 40-48 in the Harvard Semitic Monographs Series, a commentary on 1 and 2 Chronicles in the Interpretation Series, and with John Strong co-edited a Festschrift for S. Dean McBride Jr. His most recent book is a commentary on Ezekiel, published by Hendrickson in the New International Commentary on the Old Testament series in 2008. He is now writing a commentary on Nahum through Malachi. An ordained elder in the United Methodist Church, Tuell has served churches in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, West Virginia, and Virginia. He is a member in full connection of the Western Pennsylvania Conference of the United Methodist Church, and preaches and teaches frequently throughout the area. He and his wife Wendy have three college-age sons.