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Beyond the River Chebar: Studies in Kingship and Eschatology in the Book of Ezekiel

, 2013
ISBN: 9781608992492

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To many readers the book of Ezekiel is a hopeless riddle. However, if we take the time to study it, we will discover that despite the strangeness of the man and his utterances this is the most clearly organized of the major prophetic books. If we persist, we will also discover that from a rhetorical perspective, this priestly prophet knew his audience; he recognized in Judah’s rebellion against YHWH the underlying cause of the divine fury that resulted in the exile of his people and the fall of Jerusalem to the Babylonians in 586 BCE. But he also recognized that YHWH’s judgment could not be the last word. Because his covenant was eternal and irrevocable he looked forward to a day of spiritual renewal and national restoration.

This is the second of two volumes of Block’s essays on the book of Ezekiel. The essays in this volume explore the theme of Kingship in Ezekiel—both his assessment of Judah’s historical kings and his hope for a restored Davidic King/Prince—and the mysterious visions concerning Gog's attack on restored Israel (Ezek 38-39) and concerning the new temple (40-48). Block brings to bear decades of study of the book to open up fresh insights on the ancient text.

Resource Experts
  • Zion Theology in the Book of Ezekiel
  • Transformation of Royal Ideology in Ezekiel
  • The Tender Cedar Sprig: Ezekiel on Jehoiachin
  • Bringing Back David: Ezekiel’s Messianic Hope
  • Gog and Magog in Ezekiel’s Eschatological Vision
  • Gog in Prophetic Tradition: A New Look at Ezekiel
  • Gog and the Pouring Out of the Spirit: Reflections on Ezekiel 39:21–29
  • Envisioning the Good News: Ten Interpretive Keys to Ezekiel’s Final Vision
  • Guarding the Glory of YHWH: Ezekiel’s Geography of Sacred Space

Top Highlights

“As Christian interpreters of the Hebrew Bible we must always ask at least three questions: (1) What does the text say? [the text-critical question]; (2) What did the text mean to the original audience? [the hermeneutical question]; (3) What does the text mean to me? [the theological and practical question]. However, there is a fourth that is especially important when reading Ezekiel: (4) Why does the text say it like that? [the generic and cultural question].” (Page vii)

“Ezekiel’s problem is not with the monarchic institution in principle, but with the way those who have sat on the throne of David have exercised their power. Within his theocratic perspective, YHWH is Israel’s real king, and the occupants of the throne, the descendants of David, are his vassals. Because they have historically acted contrary to the divine will (Deut 17:14–20), and ‘done evil in the eyes of YHWH,’13 they do not deserve the title מֶלֶךְ‎.” (Page 14)

“While more complex and extensive than any of these, Ezek 40–48 should be interpreted along similar lines. The prophet is hereby introduced to the theological realities awaiting his own people.” (Page 172)

“His wife died suddenly (24:18), but he was not allowed to mourn his loss” (Page viii)

“First, the vision occurs in the ‘twenty-fifth year’ of the exile. The number is significant for its correspondence with multiples of twenty-five that dominate the temple vision.” (Page 160)

Few people know the book of Ezekiel as well as Block does and fewer still are able to explain the unique and challenging aspects of this great prophet's rich theology as well as he does. The book's nine individual studies address Ezekiel’s purposes in ways that allow a reader to see, through experienced eyes, real treasures of biblical theology. For anyone planning to preach or teach Ezekiel, Block’s work provides a wonderful introduction—better, I think, than one could find in any of the standard commentaries.

Douglas Stuart, Professor of Old Testament, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary

Daniel Block is one of the foremost Ezekiel scholars of our time, author of a major two-volume commentary on the book and numerous other studies. In Beyond the River Chebar: Studies in Kingship and Eschatology in the Book of Ezekiel he gathers together a selection of the important essays he has written on these themes over the years. It is splendid to have these available between two covers and we are again indebted to Daniel Block.

Paul M. Joyce, Samuel Davidson Professor of Old Testament/Hebrew Bible, King’s College London

  • Title: Beyond the River Chebar: Studies in Kingship and Eschatology in the Book of Ezekiel
  • Author: Daniel I. Block
  • Publisher: Cascade
  • Print Publication Date: 2013
  • Logos Release Date: 2017
  • Pages: 256
  • Language: English
  • Resources: 1
  • Format: Digital › Logos Research Edition
  • Subjects: Bible. O.T. Ezekiel › Criticism, interpretation, etc; Bible. O.T. Ezekiel › Theology
  • ISBNs: 9781608992492, 9780227902325, 1608992497, 0227902327
  • Resource Type: Monograph
  • Metadata Last Updated: 2022-09-30T02:43:44Z
Daniel I. Block

Dr. Daniel Block, professor of Old Testament at Wheaton College, has been teaching God’s Word for more than 30 years.

It has been a special joy for Dr. Block to watch students, who often take introductory courses in Old Testament only because they are required to do so by the curriculum, suddenly awaken to the fact that the Old Testament is understandable and its message is both life-giving and relevant for modern, everyday life.

Dr. Block has published a number of books and essays in scholarly journals. The paradigm for his research and ministry is set by Ezra, as described in Ezra 7:10: he committed himself to the study the Torah of Yahweh, to put it into practice, and to teach his revealed will in Israel. This means constantly asking serious questions of the Scriptures: What does the text say? Why does the text say it like that? What did the text mean to the original audience? What does the text have to say to me today? In order to answer these questions, one needs to understand both the worlds out of which the biblical texts arose and the worlds in which modern people live.




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