Article on Ezekiel 20

I’m pleased to announce the publication of an essay in the journal Biblische Zeitschrift: “‘Anger Exhausted’ for the Sake of YHWH’s Name in Ezekiel 20: Did YHWH Really Relent from Wrath Poured Out on Israel?”

Here is the abstract:

It is typically argued that in Ezek 20:5–26 YHWH thrice proposes or purposes to “pour out his wrath” on Israel, but then instead “acts on account of his name” – relenting from or deferring judgment. This paper argues instead, based on grammatical structure and intertextuality with the Pentateuch, that in at least one of these instances (and possibly two), Ezek 20 describes YHWH actually “pouring out wrath” and “exhausting anger” on some Israelites. This reading offers a new dimension for understanding intergenerational responsibility in Ezekiel.

Benjamin D. Giffone, “‘Anger Exhausted’ for the Sake of YHWH’s Name in Ezekiel 20: Did YHWH Really Relent from Wrath Poured Out on Israel?” Biblische Zeitschrift 66.1 (2022): 1–15. DOI: 10.30965/25890468-06601001.

The article is currently behind the paywall (as are most academic articles). If you do not have access through your institution and want to read it, please message me privately, and I will send you an e-offprint.

I’m especially pleased with the process by which this paper was conceived and developed. In Fall 2019, I taught a new course, “Jeremiah and Ezekiel: Prophets of ‘Exile.'” I had in mind to learn a lot about these books, and also to polish and submit a paper on Jeremiah that I had presented previously (now published in EJT).

The Ezekiel article is not connected to any previous research I had done (no self-citations), but was directly inspired by a discovery in class. There’s some Hebrew discourse analysis stuff, but it’s mainly a theological reading of chapter 20 in the context of Ezekiel in relation to the Pentateuch.

In the Spring of 2020 (pre-COVID), I submitted a paper proposal to the “Theological Perspectives on Ezekiel” section of the SBL Annual Meeting, and was accepted. In early December 2020, I presented the paper, from my basement in Lithuania, online, in the midst of isolation after COVID infection (I was fine). Spring 2021, I revised and began the submission process.

As I hope it will always be, my scholarship has filtered down into preaching, resulting in a 3-part series on Ezekiel 20. Soli deo gloria!

About Benj

I’m a native North Jerseyan, transplanted to Pennsylvania...lived and taught in Eastern Europe for six years…Old Testament professor, ordained minister, occasional liturgist…husband to Corrie…father to Daniel and Elizabeth.
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