[b-hebrew] Ezek 3:26

Jerry Shepherd jshepherd53 at gmail.com
Fri Aug 2 02:44:15 EDT 2013

Hi b-Hebrewers,

Here's the rest of Block's (and my) argumentation regarding the proper
translation of

x:ykiAm vyai  in Ezek 3:26.  (for the first part, see the post of July 16).

In 3:14, after his vision in ch. 1 and his being addressed by Yahweh in
2:1—3:11, Ezekiel says that he returns to the exiles in "bitterness" and in
the "anger of my spirit."  Important to notice here is the fact that the
bitterness and anger are the result of the message which Ezekiel will have
to deliver.  As he takes his place among the exiles, he sits in front of
them for seven days, silent, and ~ymiv.m;.  Most translations render this
word as something like "overwhelmed," "stunned," "astonished," "in a
stupor," etc., and the commentaries usually explain this as the result of
having a vision of God.  But these translations do not capture the force of
this word, which every other place it is used in the Hebrew Bible, has very
negative connotations.  A better translation would be along the lines of
"devastated" or horrified."  The reason for this devastation is not the
vision of God per se, but rather the horror of the message which Ezekiel
has been given to relate the exiles, a message of "lamentation, mourning,
and woe" (2:10).  He is so repulsed by the commission of preaching such a
message, that he sits in front of the exiles for seven days, devastated,
and refusing to deliver the message.  Thus, when Yahweh gives his
"watchman" speech to Ezekiel in 3:16-21, it is expressly directed toward
Ezekiel's failure to carry out his commission for the precvious seven days.

When Yahweh then tells Ezekiel that he cannot be an x:ykiAm vyai  for the
people, that is, an arbitrator or pleader on their behalf, that actually
constitutes a disciplinary action against him.  Because he sat silent in
front of the exiles for seven days, he will now, for seven years, have the
prophetic prerogative of interceding on behalf of the people removed from
him, receiving it back only when Jerusalem falls seven years later.
this is the inverse of what happens in the next chapter.  Ezekiel's
punishment is seven years, one year for each day.   The sign-action that
Ezekiel will perform in ch. 4 is bearing the sins of Israel and Judah for
430 day, one day for each year.

What think ye?



Jerry Shepherd
Taylor Seminary
Edmonton, Alberta
jshepherd53 at gmail.com
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