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The Access Bible New Revised Standard Bible, written and edited with first-time Bible readers in mind.

Reading Guide

Ezekiel's visions of “the glory of the LORD” constitute a literary envelope for the book in which God condemns Jerusalem to destruction and departs from the Temple (chs. 1–11 ) and then returns to the restored Temple once the people and land of Israel and the city of Jerusalem are purified (chs. 40–48 ). Ezekiel engages in a great deal of symbolic action, such as taking a sword to his own hair (ch. 5 ), or refusing to mourn at the death of his wife ( 24.15–27 ), to illustrate and actualize God's message. He is very familiar with earlier tradition, such as the Exodus and Wilderness traditions (Exodus; Numbers), the Priestly sacrificial regulations and Holiness Code (Lev 1–16; 17–26 ), and the prophecies of Isaiah and Jeremiah. He employs them throughout his own writings to discuss Israel's history (chs. 16; 20 ), Jerusalem's destruction as purifying sacrifice (chs. 9–11 ), individual moral responsibility (ch. 18 ), the downfall of Egypt (ch. 31 ), the character of the Davidic prince (ch. 34 ), and the restoration of Israel with “a new heart” and “a new spirit” ( 11.14–21; 36.16–38 ). He is concerned throughout the book with protecting the sanctity of God's holy name ( 36.21 ) and frequently uses a self-identification formula, “I am the LORD” ( 36.38 ), to validate his oracles. The prophecy concerning the valley of the dry bones (ch. 37 ) underlies Jewish and Christian beliefs concerning resurrection, and the oracle concerning Gog of Magog represents an early apocalyptic scenario of judgment against Israel's enemies. Because Ezekiel's vision of the restored Temple does not correspond to the Second Temple (515 BCE—70 CE), it is generally considered in Jewish tradition to be a portrayal of third Temple to be built at the time of the messiah. *

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