Ezekiel 25

Ruthy & Baruch alster at comandcom.com
Tue Aug 17 15:18:42 EDT 1999

	I would like to bring up for discussion on this list an idea I have about
Ezekiel's oracle(s) against the nations in chap. 25.

1.  Chap. 26, 1-6 is separate from chap. 25.  Although these verses use
much of the same structure and language as the previous chapter, a. they
begin with a date; b. they lack the words KOH 'FMAR ':ADONFY Y-WH before
the description of Tyre's sins; and c. these verses use 2nd and 3rd person
alternately, while in chap. 25, vs. 3-7 use only 2nd person and vs. 8-17
use only 3rd person.  In light of this, chap. 26, 1-6 is possibly a
variation of the theme in chap. 25.

2.  Chap. 25 is itself ONE ORACLE.  We see this by the unified structure
and language.  Very few verb forms appear only once.  All its parts begin
with KOH 'FMAR ':ADONFY Y-WH and end with a sentence beginning with the
root YD` and ending with the Tetragrammaton.  Each nation's sins begin with
YA`AN, and each punishment begins with LFK"N.  The root NTN appears in each
part of this chapter.

3.  The use of 2nd person in chap. 25 only in vs. 3b-7 implies that this
oracle is meant primarily for Ammon.   

4.  Vs. 3b-11 are connected by the similarity of the sins of Ammon, Moab
and Se`ir (expressions of joy over the destruction of Jerusalem), and (in
vs. 4 and 10) either the similarity of their punishment, or - according to
the MT - the mention of Ammon's punishment in connection with Moab.

5.  Vs. 12-17 are connected by the repeated use of the root NQM (10 times),
in the sins and punishments of Edom and the Phillistines.  In vs. 1-11 and
in chap. 26, 1-6, this root is not mentioned at all.  The use of NQM shows
that the sin discussed here is not merely rejoicing over Jerusalem's
destruction, but actually taking revenge against Judah.  Another sign of
the division between vs. 3b-11 and 12-17 is the use of the name Se`ir in v.
8, as opposed to Edom in vs. 12-14.

6.  Therefore, Ezekiel's message in this oracle is to equate Ammon's
seemingly lighter sin of rejoicing with those nations who committed the
seemingly heavier sin of revenge.

	Thank you for any comments.

Baruch Alster
Kochav Ya'akov, Israel

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