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The Catholic Study Bible A special version of the New American Bible, with a wealth of background information useful to Catholics.

Ezekiel in Jewish and Christian Tradition

In rabbinic literature, Ezekiel became a favorite of unorthodox forms of Judaism and thus was regarded with some caution by the rabbis. Four aspects of Ezekiel's prophecy were singled out. First, the divine chariot revelation in chapter 1 became the basis of Jewish mysticism and also of heretical speculation of various kinds. The mysticism is sometimes referred to as “merkabah (chariot) mysticism.” Second, the rabbis feared that Ezekiel's severe denunciations of Israel in the first part of the book could be used by Christians in an anti‐Jewish way and so were unacceptable. Third, the resurrection of the dry bones in 37, 1–14 was a favorite of sectarian groups and hence was played down by the rabbis. Fourth, Ezekiel's vision of the future temple and his laws seemed to contradict the Pentateuchal instructions and nearly led to the exclusion of the book from the canon.

In the New Testament, the Gospels do not quote any text from Ezekiel. Matthew 13, 32 refers to Ezekiel 17, 23; Matthew 25, 35 to Ezekiel 18, 17 , and there are a few more allusions. The most obvious debt is the portrayal of Jesus as the Good Shepherd (Mt 18, 12–14; Jn 10, 1–18 ), which comes from Ezekiel 34 . First Peter 3, 9 harks back to Ezekiel 18, 23 and 33, 11 . The New Testament book that makes constant reference to Ezekiel is Revelation (Apocalypse), usually in brief snatches and allusions. A few examples: Revelation 4, 1–8 develops the throne vision of Ezekiel 1; and Revelation 5, 1; 10, 14.8–11 pick up the image of the eating of the scroll from Ezekiel 2, 8–9; Revelation 17, 16.15–18 use the figure of the prostitute (Ez 16 and 23 ) to condemn Babylon; Revelation 19 and 20 derive the image of God from Ezekiel 38, 19; and Revelation 11, 21–22 are built on the vision of the new temple‐city in Ezekiel 40–48. Revelation 7, 1–4 is linked to Ezekiel 7, 2 and 9, 4–6; Revelation 21, 15–16 uses Ezekiel 40, 3–5 . Among the Apostolic Fathers, Ezekiel is the least cited of the prophets; in one count he is cited nine times in contrast to Isaiah, who is cited fifty‐four times.

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