Thoughts on Ezekiel, Day 28, Lent 2013

Ezekiel is one of the weirdest and raunchiest books in the Bible. In the mega-Lenten-Bible-reading-plan, I
Vision of Ezekiel
Vision of Ezekiel (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
started Ezekiel yesterday and finished it today. I listened to most of it. His visions are trippy and barely comprehensible. Ezekiel seems to reflect on Numbers, like Jeremiah reflects on Deuteronomy. In the New Testament John's Revelation reflects on Ezekiel and Hebrews reflects on Leviticus. The book of Ezekiel ends with a prophecy of a new temple and a new division of the land between the tribes, that will never be fulfilled materially. Interestingly, the dimensions of the temple, equal on every side, a perfect cube, shows up again in John's Revelation enlarged by an order of magnitude or two. Both books also have a river flowing out of the temple that brings life. There's tons of symbolism in this book. I don't think the end times Bible prophecy aficianados (think Left Behind) who see Russia and Syria in chapters 37 and 38 might have less interesting lives if they appreciated symbolism more.

One metaphor that gets used too often is the young whore named Israel. It's not just that Israel is compared to a whore repeatedly, but the behavior is described graphically. Song of Songs gets a bad rap for being sexually graphic, but it doesn't hold a candle to Ezekiel. I'm surprised Mark Driscoll hasn't preached from this book yet.

There is anger and frustration, redemption and forgiveness, despondency and hope in the story. But it's such a foreign story.
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