The Messianic Idea
Jonathan D. safren
yonsaf at beitberl.ac.il
Wed Jan 31 02:05:00 EST 2001
----- Original Message -----
From: "Liz Fried" <lizfried at umich.edu>
To: "Biblical Hebrew" <b-hebrew at franklin.oit.unc.edu>
Sent: Tuesday, January 30, 2001 11:19 PM
Subject: RE: The Messianic Idea
> > Liz, here I disagree. Ezekiel 34: 23-24, which you claim to be a later
> > addition, are written in typical Ezekielian, proto-Priestly style and
> > language. And notice that the Davidic scion is called a nasi, the
> > term for head of a tribe, indicating that he is to be subservient to
> > who in the same verse reaffirms his suzerain-vassal relationship with
> > Israel.
> Jonathan, take a look at these verses and the ones before them.
> In vs. 20-22, God says I am over them, and I myself will judge ....
> I will save my sheep ... I will judge between sheep and sheep.
Certainly. God is the suzerain, and the Davidic nasi is only his vassal.
True justice will henceforth be administered by God himself. Remember that
Ezekiel was a monotheistic, Jerusalemite priest, who wished to further the
interests of the Jerusalemite priesthood. Therefore he is also for
centralization of cult and the subordinate position of the Levites, who had
been the priests of the other temples in Israel and Judah, and had engaged
in non-monotheistic cultic practices (Ez. 44:10-14) . Moreover, as a
Jerusalemite priest hehad an interest in the re-founding of the Davidic
kingdom. Remember, it was Josiah who had centralized the cult in his
attempts to strengthen the hold of Judah on the former Northern Kingdom as
well. He had thereby strengthened the Jerusalem priesthood as well.
Ezekiel was only looking out for his class interests. It's all very nice to
have a divine suzerain who will be the supreme judge, but, practically
speaking, he knew very well that there had to be a flesh-and-blood nasi as
Jonathan D. Safren
Dept. of Biblical Studies
Beit Berl College
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