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While researching for a paper I'm writing on Ezekiel 24, I read Hengstenberg's comments on the death of Ezekiel's wife, and he believes that it is merely allegorical or symbolic, that God would never degrade such a holy institution as marriage by such an act.
But I disagree; God would do such a thing, especially in light of what the Temple meant to His ancient people.
Here's Hengstenberg's quote on this text:
"A moral relation like marriage cannot be degraded to a mere mode of representation. Were Ezekiel’s wife, the delight of his eyes, actually dead, it would be unnatural if he, suppressing all tender feeling, had used this occurence only as an outward representation of the impression which the existing great misfortune should make on the people. It would be strange also, if God had lowered His servant the prophet so far into a mere instrument of his plan, that he took from him his wife on no other ground than to give him occasion for a mimetic representation of the future state of the people.” (211-212)
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The Prophecies of the Prophet Ezekiel Elucidated (Classic Reprint)
Ernst Wilhelm Hengstenberg
No preview available - 2016