Between Heaven and Earth: Divine Presence and Absence in the Book of Ezekiel

Front Cover
Eisenbrauns, 2000 - Religion - 185 pages

With the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple and the exile of members of the Israelite community to the land of its enemies, whose gods were represented as divine statues, the prophet Ezekiel faced a challenge: how to respond to the enemies' taunts that Israel's God was absent, whereas the foreigners' gods self-evidently were present. Thus, to ask the question, "Where is God" was to face several complex and tangled problems. How is God to be represented? How is Yahweh to be differentiated from other deities? What is Yahweh's relationship to Israel in exile?

Kutsko sets out to answer these questions within the theme of divine presence and absence, particularly as it relates to the kabod theology in Ezekiel. He shows that God's absence becomes, for Ezekiel, an argument for his presence and power, while the presence of idols indicated their absence and impotence. Ezekiel extends this proposition into a corollary: God's presence is not consigned to sanctuary, for God is a sanctuary. In this regard, absence from the Temple is a message of judgment and the precursor to a message of restoration. If God can become a sanctuary, his presence in exile becomes a message of victory even over imperial powers. This conceptualization of Yahweh, then, ends up defining the power and position of Israel's God in distinctively universal terms. In this contribution, the book of Ezekiel plays a central and previously unappreciated role in the development of Israelite theology, and monotheism in particular.


What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Selected pages


The Inquiry and Its Background
2 The Coherence of the Book of Ezekiel
3 Ezekiel and Other Israelite Traditions
4 Ezekiel and NonIsraelite Traditions
5 Summation and Outline
Idolatry and Theodicy Illegitimate Expressions for Gods Presence
2 Divine Images in the Book ofEzekiel
3 The Ethics of Idolatry in Ezekiel
5 Conclusion
Idolatry and Theonomy The Power of Gods Presence
2 Status and Treatment of Divine Images Captured in War
Renewal Recreation and Return
4 Conclusion
Summary and Conclusion
2 Impact of the Exile on the Theology ofEzekiel
Removal Repair and Return of Divine Images

4 Conclusion
Idolatry and Theophany Legitimate Expressions of Gods Presence
2 The kabôdTheology in the Priestly Tradition
3 The kabôdTheology in Ezekiel
4 Yahwehs Presence in Exile

Common terms and phrases

Popular passages

Page xiii - JSOT Journal for the Study of the Old Testament JSOTSup Journal for the Study of the Old Testament — Supplement Series JSP Journal for the Study of the Pseudepigrapha JSPSup Journal for the Study of the Pseudepigrapha — Supplement Series JSS Journal of Semitic Studies JTS Journal of Theological Studies KD Kerygma und Dogma LD Lectio divina LEH J.
Page xiii - Studies JNES Journal of Near Eastern Studies JNSL Journal of Northwest Semitic Languages...
Page xiii - HSS Harvard Semitic Studies HTR Harvard Theological Review HUCA Hebrew Union College Annual...

Bibliographic information