Bible Commentator

Articles

Rabbi Moshe Reiss

moshereiss@moshereiss.org



EZEKIEL: A PROBLEMATIC PROPHET IN TWO PARTS

‘The day the Temple was destroyed, prophecy was taken from prophets and given to lunatics and small children’. 1


INTRODUCTION:

The great Jewish scholar of the Prophets Abraham Joshua Heschel grappled with the issue of whether Ezekiel can be considered a prophet. His two volume work on the Prophets includes chapters on Amos, Hosea, First Isaiah and Second Isaiah, Micah, Jeremiah and Habakkuk. However no chapter on Ezekiel appears in his work. Did Heschel have a problem with Ezekiel as a prophet?


Moshe Greenberg notes a major difference between the prophecies of Ezekiel and those of his contemporary Jeremiah; the majority of Jeremiah’s prophecies indeed materialized while Ezekiel’s did not; 2  Yehezkel Kaufmann concured with this interpretation. 3 Rashi notes that prophesying on foreign soil is problematical. According to the Torah the truth of a Prophet can only be determined if his prophecy is fulfilled (Deut. 18:22).


Ezekiel as a young child was exiled to Babylon. Ezekiel is certainly not an unknown prophet, yet, as compared to Jeremiah we know little about his personality and that which is known to us suggests that he was in fact very eccentric. Jeremiah’s human side is basic to his personality; Ezekiel is otherworldly and seemingly detached from humanity.  If one assumes a prophet speaks the words of God Ezekiel’s use of God’s words are problematic. Perhaps he saw images in his mind and translated them into the words of God. 4  He prophesizes in Babylon but is transported at least in his visions to Jerusalem several times.


Jeremiah in his Letter to the Exiles warns of false prophets who will prophesize lies (Jer. 29:8); one can wonder whether he was referring to Ezekiel? Some have argued that Ezekiel was a prophet more like the older and pre-classical prophets described in 1 Kings 17 and following into 2 Kings and thus his more extreme language. 5 Another has argued that because he was prophesizing in the diaspora exile he had difficulty with his authority 6 and another described his Book as a ‘spiritual diary’. 7


In Fifteen Books of prophets the name of the prophet in question appears in the first verse of the Book. Ezekiel’s name in his book is not mentioned until the third verse never to re-appear again – he is then referred to as ‘ben adam’ ‘the Son of Man’. Is this to stress the importance of the message rather than the messenger? What can one expect from such a messenger?


A book stranger than the Book of Ezekiel does not appear in the Jewish canon. The author reports being paralyzed, ‘bound and dumb’ seven days after his call - for 430 days or perhaps for seven and one half years -  yet, he nevertheless prophecies (3:4-6,26; 24:27; 33:22). He eats scrolls (3:1-3) and excrement (4:15), his hair and beard cut off by a sharp sword, into three separate parts to be burnt in three different places (5:1-2) and he is transported from Babylon to Jerusalem (apparently four separate times - chapters 8,11, 37 and 43). He writes of gruesome and bloody events where human-like beings slaughter the people of Jerusalem save those they mark on the forehead as mourners (10:2-7). His mere look or words kill people (11:1-13).  


Ezekiel’s vision of the Glory of God was severely criticized by the Talmudic sages. He was in fact the most criticized of the canonized prophets. They compared his vision very unfavorably with Isaiah. They were very concerned about his audacity in writing of the merkavah (chariot) vision.  In their opinion Isaiah saw the same vision but was discrete and did not share it with others.


Ezekiel’s description of women was also severely criticized by the Talmudic sages. Israel’s depravity is expressed via explicit sexual metaphors never used before. While sexual metaphors can be found in Hosea and  Jeremiah that found in Ezekiel describe Israel’s evil have never been found before (or after). Moshe Greenberg notes Ezekiel takes ‘the adulterous wife of Hosea and Jeremiah [and gives them] a biography’. 8


Ezekiel is certainly the most psychoanalyzed and more broadly difficult to understand figure in the Bible. 9


PART I: THE VISION OF THE GLORY OF GOD

‘Whereas for Jews, God manifested Himself through words in a divine text, for the Greeks theophany was visual, not verbal.’ 10

‘The Greek truth is visual . . . For the Hebrew the highest form of truth is perceived at the auditory level. . . . What was offensive to the Hebrews was ‘to see’ God; that is, to express His reality at the visual levels’ 11


‘And the mountain burned with fire to the heart of heavens, with darkness, clouds and thick darkness. And the Lord spoke to you out of the midst of the fire; you heard the voice of the words but saw no form, only a voice. ‘You heard the voice out of the darkness  and the mountain was burning in fire . . . ‘(Deut. 4:11-12)


Ezekiel’s vision of the God was the most criticized verses in the Tnakh by the sages of the Talmud.  They compared his vision very unfavorably with Isaiah 12. They were very concerned about his writing of the merkavah (chariot) vision.  In their opinion Isaiah saw the same vision but was discrete in not sharing it with others.


Despite Ezekiel’s cautious image - he four times uses the term ‘the likeness of’ and seven times the ‘appearance of’ - the Talmudists were staunchly opposed to his use of any image of God - for them God was imageless. They likened Isaiah to a sophisticated city man, while Ezekiel was like an unsophisticated village man unaccustomed to understanding or seeing the glory of God. 13 The sages stated in a sarcastic tone that even young handmaidens saw more of the Divine glory that Ezekiel. 14


The writers of the Talmud greatly feared the vision. Yochanan ben Zakkai is reputed to have seen and studied the merkavah surrounded by a heavenly fire so that no one would see it (BT Chagiga 14b). Several accounts appear in the Talmud of people studying the merkavah and they die; a child speculated on the chashmal (a Biblical term unknown in ancient Hebrew other than in Ezekiel’s vision) and he died. 15  


Ezekiel begins his book seeing a strange vision of God. ‘A stormy wind blew from the north, a great cloud with flashing fire and brilliant light round it, and in the middle, is the heart of the fire, a brilliance amber-like and within this four living creatures’ (Ez. 1:4).  


This description is in Chapter 1 while Ezekiel is in Babylon, he then sees it again as he travels to Jerusalem (chapters 8-10) and finally chapter 43 when God and his Temple are restored to Jerusalem.


Ezekiel living in Babylon (in a village called Tel Aviv) begins with his vision in chapter one, even prior to his call as a prophet.  Ezekiel relates seeing four living glowing creatures with four faces and four wings. Their wings are attached to each other and they move as a unity. Below each waist is a series of wheels covered with eyes. Above them lies an ice-like expanse and above it is a sapphire-like throne and the likeness of a man, fiery with rainbows above it.  Each creature had four faces; one of a man, one of a lion, one of an ox and one of an eagle. 16 While parts of this vision can be found in other literature, nothing like the entirety of this vision appears elsewhere in the Bible nor in other ancient literature. The creatures seem like mythical beings carrying a chariot throne.


Ezekiel sees the throne of sapphire comparable to Moses’ sapphire pavement. Ezekiel’s God-like figure is more anthropomorphic than that of Moses or Isaiah. Above the throne there is ‘a likeness of a man’ (Ez. 1:26). Moses could not see God, yet Ezekiel envisages a God-like person.  He also sees and hears voices, fire, clouds, glows and lights. He clearly envisions God. He is raised by a holy ‘spirit’ who proclaim in a ‘great roaring sound’ ‘Blessed is the Lord’s glory from His place’ (3:12). Is this to confirm that he has indeed seen God’s heavenly throne?


The third vision (the second is briefly described in chapter 3) begins in chapter eight and continues into chapter ten; it takes place in Jerusalem. This vision is spread over four chapters and many additional events transpire in the interim. In the midst of these the chariot vision appears in 8:2-4; 9:3; 10:1-22; 11:22-23 which is similar to the first vision in 1:1-3:15.


It is worth noting that an exact date is stated ‘sixth year, sixth month and fifth day (8:10) which is approximately 10 days short of the 430 days of Ezekiel’s laying on his side. Ezekiel is transported to Jerusalem for this vision by the hand of God.


Ezekiel first sees a God like appearance of fire who took him by his hair to the Temple. The man enters in a house, clearly the House of God; the Temple.  This house – defined by its inner and outer courtyards and eastern gate reappears several times in chapter ten.  


The judgment begins with six executioners carrying a weapon of slaughter. A man girthed in linen (Ezekiel?) and a scribe goes with them. Their mission is to ruthlessly kill with no pity, men and women, young and old, with the exception of those marked on the foreheads as the righteous (those who cry against the abominations) as a sign of mourning. The massive slaughter begins at the altar, the sanctuary, thus defiling the Temple. These men are called for the first time in the book ‘cherubs’, presumably the holy beast of the first vision. During this slaughter Ezekiel cries to God for pity (9:8). The last section of the judgment (11:1-13) is most problematic. The evil ones are in ‘the cooking pot and . . . are the meat’ (11:4). The dead already fill the city. One of the men Ezekiel addresses Pelatiah actually dies while Ezekiel prophesized.


The Lord’s chariot appears in the midst of the slaughter of the city, immediately following chapter 9. The four faces are now composed of a cherub, a man, a lion and an eagle. The cherub has replaced the ox in the first vision. The Glory of God has departed from the Temple from Jerusalem and Ezekiel is then returned to Babylon where he delivers his vision to the elders.


This vision is the most commented upon section of the Bible in the Talmud and other midrashic texts. An entire body of literature called ‘Merkavah’ or ‘Hechalot’ (Temple) was created from these visions. He writes as if he actually saw God’s heavenly throne. It appears as an anthropomorphic vision and was greatly feared by the more traditional sages of the Talmud.


A major question which must be asked is: did Ezekiel – this otherworldly prophet - see a vision of the heavenly throne or imagine a vision? Jeremiah never describes the abominable events Ezekiel describes in the Temple. Jeremiah’s abominations are of social and economic injustice. In the Book of Jeremiah the kind of idolatry described in the Temple does not occur. Jeremiah does describe some idolatry regarding Baal (19:5), Molech (32:35) and in my house (7:30) and again for the Queen of Heaven (7:16-20 and 44:18-19), however the range and extent do not compare to those described by Ezekiel.


Several ancient texts of Ezekiel compare his depiction of the glory of God to the revelation and theophany on Mount Sinai, where Moses came close to seeing the Glory of God. During the celebration of the festival of the Shavuot (Pentecost) the reading is of Moses’ vision, the Haftorah (the secondary reading after the Torah reading) is Ezekiel’s vision in chapter 1. The connection of these readings and the public reading of this section was itself greatly debated in the Talmud as already noted.


Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, a great mystic and disciple of Rabbi Akiva, lived in a cave with his son for thirteen years (during the Bar Kokhba war) and studied  the hidden secrets of the Kabbalah from Elijah. He selected eight disciples to relate what he had learnt (according to Jewish Kabbalistic Tradition - the Zohar).  When three of his disciples died within one year Rabbi Shimon said "is it possible that we are being punished for revealing that which has been hidden since Moses stood on Mount Sinai.’ 17


This fear continued as can be seen in Maimonides and his discussion of a Mishna (the first and basic Code of Jewish Law) in his philosophical work The Guide  of  the Perplexed.  The Mishna states:


"One must not discuss with three students [i.e.  No more than 2] intimate relations between men and women, nor the mysteries of creation with two students [i.e.  No more than 1] nor the mysteries of the merkavah with just one [i.e. Only alone], unless he is a sage and understands of his own knowledge.  [continuing the Mishna says]  he who contemplates four things -what is above and what is below, what is before and what is after -would have been better if he had never been born." (Mishna Chagiga 2:1)


Maimonides says that the mystery of creation is about the creation from Genesis, the existence of God and the merkavah from Ezekiel about the essence of God.  Maimonides discusses this Mishna philosophically although obliquely and metaphorically.  He does it obliquely because he takes seriously the halakhic rule not to discuss the subject unless with a Sage.  While he wrote this for his favorite student (Joseph) he had to be oblique. This book composed in Arabic but with Hebrew letters in order to limit the number of readers. However, even within his lifetime it was translated into Hebrew. It was later burnt by more traditional Jews.


PART II: EZEKIEL AND HIS DESCRIPTION OF WOMEN

In chapters 16 and chapter 23, Ezekiel specifically describes the history of the people of Israel and the abomination at the Temple via variations on metaphors of whores. In his parable of Jerusalem she is a vine useful only for fuel for burning (15:2-6).


Ezekiel proclaims that the people of Israel were depraved and evil during their entire history. His definition of depravity defines idolatry in sexual terms. Ezekiel sounds more like a priest or hell bound preacher than a prophet. 18 Jeremiah, his contemporary did not see the abominations Ezekiel described in the Temple.  Ezekiel stands in stark contrast to Jeremiah seeing the fall of Jerusalem as inevitable. His understanding of the reason for the destruction of the Temple was the people of Israel’s total depravity from the beginning of its history. There was no glorious past not in the days of Moses, David or Josiah. He edits reality and gives us a revisionist history of Israel. Israel has rejected God from the beginning; Ezekiel sees only unrelented idolatry. He describes history in dogmatic, black and white terms.


In chapter 20 Ezekiel first presents his revisionist view of history.  

Beginning in Egypt ‘they defied Me and refused to listen to Me’ (20:8, repeated in 13,21,24). Moshe Greenberg states the section reads as if we were expelled from Egypt perhaps against our will. 19  Ezekiel then says of his God ‘I gave them laws that were not good and rules by which they could not live (20:25). 20 Why would God give laws that were not good? Does this not contradict the idea of God? Only Paul in the Christian Bible is so negative about Israel’s laws (Romans 5:20, 7:13 and Gal. 3:19)!


Moshe Greenberg compares verses above as being comparable to God’s hardening of Pharaoh’s heart in Exodus (4:21; 7:3;13,22; 8:11,15; 9:12,35; 10:1), that is God creating a situation where His opponent can only due evil.21 In his commentary on Exodus Greenberg described the hardening of the heart as following: ‘the core of his intransigence [is] the maintenance of his sovereignty . .  . that is what cannot coexist with God’s authority’. This Pharaonic god was inaccessible, unchanging and invulnerable. He cannot see or hear - he is a stone idol-like god. He wishes to be a god. 22 Aviva Gottleib-Zorenberg called the hardening of the heart as Pharaoh’s ‘catatonic silence’ and notes this is also the Ramban’s analysis. 23 Given the comparison Ezekiel chose to make between the Pharaoh and the Israeli people what can he mean?


Chapter 16 presents the birth of a baby girl born of Amorite and Hittite parents later abandoned by them and adopted by God who lavishes beauty on her. The girl is a metaphor for Jerusalem. She trusted in her beauty instead of in God and whored ‘spreading your legs for every passerby’ (16:15, 25). 24 You took your beautiful things, made of the gold and silver that I had given you, and you made phallic images and fornicated with them (16:17).  Her lust is insatiable (16:28) and she loves Egyptians with large male genitalia (16:26).25  By stating that the harlot did not exact payment for her services Ezekiel suggests that Jerusalem represents nymphomania, sex for pleasure. You prostituted yourself to your enemies even ‘the Philistines women who are shocked by your lewd behavior’ (16:27). She is like the adulterous wife who welcomes strangers instead of your husband (16:32). God then states ‘I will assemble [all your lovers] against you from every quarter, and will expose your nakedness to them . . .  I will inflict upon the punishment of women who commit adultery and murder. They will strip you of your clothing . . . leaving you naked and bare. Then they shall assemble a mob against you to pelt you with stones and pierce you with their swords’ (16:37-40). ‘When I have satisfied My fury upon you and My rage has departed from you. Then I will be tranquil; I will be angry no more’ (16:42).


The abominations are repeated, with variations in chapter 23 which presents the allegory of harlots in the guise of two lewd sisters, Ohalah (Samaria - the Kingdom of Israel) and Oholibah (Jerusalem - the Kingdom of Judea). Both names originate from the Hebrew root ‘ohel’ (tent). As Halperin points out a tent can be used as a metaphor for female genitals.26


Playing whores ‘their breasts were squeezed and their virgin nipples were handled’ (23:3). When Ohalah saw her sister’s ‘whoring [she became] more debased (23:11). She lusted for concubinage with them, whose members were like those of asses and whose organs were like those of stallions. . . . remembering your youthful breast, when the  Egypt handled your nipples’ (23:20-21). I will direct My passion against you . . . they shall cut off your nose and years.’ (23:25). ‘Thus said the Lord you  shall drink of your sister‘s cup (blood?) . . .  and tear [off] your breasts (23:32,34). ‘And offered to them as food the children they bore me (23:38).  


At the end of chapters 16 and 23, the women are judged and condemned. They are ‘stoned and chopped into pieces (16:40) by righteous men. They will kill their sons and daughters’ (23:46). Women and women’s blood are nowhere else in the Bible depicted as ‘filthy, socially disruptive, and contaminating . . .[as] associated with death’. Men’s blood in the rite of circumcision purifies while women’s blood contaminates. 27 Is the God of Ezekiel justifying all these abuses of women?  Is this a God we can recognize?


Major differences exist between the marriage metaphor and the depiction of women by Ezekiel as contrasted with the words of Hosea and Jeremiah. In Hosea the metaphor is of a bridegroom with ‘righteousness, in justice, in loving kindness and in compassion . . . and in faithfulness (2:21-22) as enumerated by Moses to God Ex. 34:6). The view of women is ‘impressionistic [rather] than a coherent’ view. 28 Hosea describes adultery as a means of obtaining other goods; in Ezekiel it is the good itself. In Hosea adultery is prostitution; in Ezekiel it is for a nymphomaniac. 29


In Jeremiah the verses which depict women as adulterous are never presented as one unified statement on women but rather are interspliced into other prophecies about Israel and Judah. Additionally there is a romantic element ‘I will remember for you the affection of your youth, and your love. How you followed me into the wilderness’ (Jer. 2:2).   Above all Jeremiah creates the very emotional image of a mother figure of Rachel who weeps for her children (31:14-19).


Jeremiah declares ‘For the land has created something new on earth a woman shall ‘Tsovev’ - encompass or embrace or court or enfold - a man. 30 Can one imagine Ezekiel making such a statement. Ezekiel gives an entire biography of women from birth to death. Ezekiel’s lurid use of language differentiates Ezekiel from Hosea or Jeremiah. In sharp contrast for Ezekiel the Temple is intrinsically involved with women’s blood and must be destroyed. For Ezekiel women’s blood begins with birth and continues with menstruation and culminates with the blood guilt in the act of murdering her children. The woman seems to be blamed for being born and ‘wallowing in your blood’ (16:6). After she grows from a child to a woman she remains blood stained, one presumes this is menstrual blood. Is she being blamed again for menstruating? Are women being blamed for being women? ‘All women will be taught the lesson never to commit your debauchery again’ (23:48).


Ezekiel may be described as obsessed with the pollution and impurity of the Temple and he chooses women as the metaphor for that impurity. Women arrive in this world with a gory birth and childhood, her love affairs and her punishment are described in obscene descriptions as are the sexual ‘equipment’ of her lovers. For Ezekiel woman’s perversion seems beyond cure.


The level of horrendous and erotic definition of punishment is never before or again seen in the Tnakh. David Halperin called these sections as written in a ‘pornographic fury’ 31 and Cheryl Exum called them ‘Prophetic Pornography’. 32 Presumably one of the reasons we oppose pornography is that those kind of images shape human behavior. The writers of these texts were exclusively men and until recently the readers were almost exclusively men. Would Miriam or Deborah have chosen such metaphors? Would women sages have authorized such texts?


Rabbi Eliezer pronounced that these chapters should be forbidden for reading in the synagogue. When someone nonetheless did read it he responded why do you not ‘proclaim the abominations of your mother?’ 33 He equated Ezekiel’s description as finding the ‘female body as defiling’, 34 and extrapolates that then even your mother was defiled. Rabbi Eliezer was outvoted about canonizing Ezekiel but I wonder whether those who voted against him would have chosen to read

those chapters to their mothers, wives or daughters?


CONCLUSIONS:

First Isaiah prophesized in the mid eight century before any Hebrews were exiled. Ezekiel himself was exiled with many Hebrews and the Kingdom of Israel had already been destroyed.  Jeremiah writing at the same time suggested that the exile would last for a significant period of time. Ezekiel (as compared to Isaiah) was writing in a diaspora when the Temple had already been destroyed. He felt a need to write about a restoration (chapters 40-48). In the pagan diaspora where his people lived anthropomorphic visions of gods were commonplace and perhaps he felt a need to describe God in similar visual terms.  


Despite the criticism Ezekiel book was canonized into the Hebrew Bible. We need to ask why? By the time of the Talmud Sages ‘merkavah’ and ‘hekhalot’ literature was already very popular among Jewish writers and thinkers. Many mystics tried to find a path comparable to Ezekiel’s. This literature comes from Ezekiel’s vision. These same thinkers and writers also wrote on the apocalypse, the end of days and the resurrection of the dead (all of which the Christians adopted). Ezekiel is the founder of that literature is his chapters 38-39, on Gog of Magog and chapter 37 on the rising of the dry ancient bones of Israelites. He also describes a Temple considered as the ultimate Messianic Temple after the destruction of the second Temple.  It would have been difficult to reject the author of these very popular visions.



1 BT Baba Batra, 12b.

2Greenberg, Moshe, Ezekiel, (The Anchor Bible, Doubleday, N.Y., Vol. 1,1983, Vol. 2, 1997).

3 Kaufmann, Y., The Religion of Israel (Schocken Books, N.Y., 1972)  pg. 429.

4 Spinoza, Baruch, Theological Political Treatise, (Hackett, Indianopolis, 1998) pg. 13-14.  

5 See Carley, K.W., Ezekiel Among the Prpohets?, SCM Press, London, 1975.

6 Davis, Ellen, F., Swallowing the Scroll, Sheffield, Almond Press, 1989.

7 Freedman, David, N., Unity of the Hebrew Bible, Ann Arbor, University of Michigan Press, 1993.

8Green berg, Vol. I, pg. 299.

9 See Halperin, D.J., Seeking Ezekiel, (Pennsylvania University Press, University Park, PA, 1993) chapter 1.

10 Handelman, Susan., The Slayers of Moses, The Slayers of Moses, (SUNY, Albany, 1982) pg. 33.

11 Faur, Jose, Golden Doves with Silver Dots’ (Scholars Press, Atlanta, 1999) pg. 29-30.  

12 Ezekiel’s description covers all the 28 verses of chapter 1, the first 6 verses of chapter 8, all 22 verses of chapter 10 and the first 8 verses of chapter 43. Isaiah description has only 6 verses in chapter 6.

13BT Hagigah 13b. William Blake, the mystical poet and artist of the eighteenth century and one of the very few to illustrate Ezekiel’s vision, wrote in his ‘Marriage of Heaven and Hell’ about a dinner meeting with Isaiah and Ezekiel. Blake asked them about speaking to God. Isaiah responded ‘I saw no God, nor heard any, in a finite organical perception; but my senses discovered the infinite in everything’. Ezekiel responded ‘Israel taught that the Poetic Genius (as you now call it) was the first principle and all the others merely derivative’. Quoted by Meira Polliack, in ‘Ezekiel and its Role in Subsequent Jewish Mystical Thought and Tradition’, in European Judaism, Vol. 32, No. 1, Spring 1999, pg. 76.

14Mechilta to Exodus xv, 2.

15 BT Hagigah 13a

16 In an ancient pagan Temple found in modern day Syria (Ein Dara) a hybrid creature with a man, lion, ox and eagle was found from perhaps the eight century BCE. Kugel, James, L., How To Read The bible, (Free Press, N.Y., 2007, pg. 604-605.

17Zohar iii idra rabba  pg. 144a.

18 Zimmerli, W. Commentary of the Book of Ezekiel, Fortress Press, Philadelphia, 1979,  Vol. I,  pg. 39, 77, see also Carley, Ezekiel Among the Prophets?

19 Greenberg, Vol. 1, pg. 384.

20 Unless stated otherwise the New JPS translation is used.

21 Greenberg, Vol. 1, pg. 369.

22 Greenberg, Moshe, Understanding Exodus (Behrman, N.Y., 1969) pg. 162.

23 Gottleib-Zorenberg, A., The Particulars of Rapture, Reflections on Exodus, Doubleday,N.Y.2001),pg. 97-98.

24Galambush, pg. 66. NJPS translates the first verse as ‘you lavished your favors at every passerby’.

25 In Hebrew ‘gidla basar’, large male genitalia is a reasonable translation; the NJPS notes that in a footnote, (pg. 1182).  

26 Halperin, pg. 150-151.

27 Eilberg-Schwartz, H., The Savage in Judaism, (Indiana Press, Bloomington, 1990) pg. 174-175.

28Galambush, pg. 79.

29 Halbertal, Moshe and Margolit, Avishai, Idolatry, (Harvard University Press, Cambridge, 1992) pg. 17.

30 The Hebrew word ‘tsovav’ has many different translations, but all seem complimentary to woman. See Bernard Anderson, ‘The Land Has Created Something New’ in CBQ, 40, No. 4, 1978.

31 Halperin, pg. 142.

32 Exum, J. Cheryl, Plotted, Shot and Painted, Sheffield University Press, Sheffield, 1996. Chapter 4.

33 Mishna, Megilla 4:10, Tosefot, Megilla 3(4):34, JT Megillah 4:12, and BT Megillah 25b,

34 Galambush, J., Jerusalem In The Book Of Ezekiel, (Scholars Press, Atlanta, GA, 1992) pg. 102.

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