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The Oxford Bible Commentary Line-by-line commentary for the New Revised Standard Version Bible.

Textual Problems.

1.

The MT of Ezekiel is unarguably replete with grammatical lapses, repetitions, and inconsistencies. On the question of how to deal with these difficulties, however, little agreement has been reached, largely because no clearly superior text exists. LXX, while smoother, clearer, and containing fewer repetitions, can easily be interpreted as responding to the difficulties presented by MT rather than preceding them. In addition, LXX itself appears not to be a homogeneous translation but a composite text, and one that exists in widely differing versions. The Ezekiel scroll from Qumran cave 11 cannot be unrolled, and additional fragments of text cannot be argued conclusively to favour either LXX or MT. The Targum follows MT closely, thereby offering early interpretations of MT's difficult passages but no assistance in reconstructing a Vorlage. MT generally serves as a scholarly ‘default text’ with the versions used sparingly as correctives.

2.

Divergent stands regarding Ezekiel's composition history have also affected the way commentators have viewed the book's textual difficulties. Zimmerli (1979; 1983 ), for example, who considered Ezekiel the product of several generations' accrued reflections, could assign many doublets to the hands of Ezekiel's earliest interpreters. Greenberg (1983: 275–6), however, exploring the complexities of a presumed literary prophet, considered even an awkward repetition such as the doubled ‘I said to you, “In your blood, live!” ’ of 16:6 not dittography, but a deliberate stylistic device.

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