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Ezekiel

Aaron’s Flowering Staff: A Priestly Asherah?

The story of Aaron’s staff reads like an etiological tale, explaining a holy object in the Temple. The description of the object as a stylized tree suggests a connection with the asherah, a ritual object forbidden by Deuteronomy.

Dr.

Raanan Eichler

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The Valley of Dry Bones and the Resurrection of the Dead

Originally an allegorical vision about the future return of Judeans to their land, Ezekiel’s vision (ch. 37) becomes one of the cornerstones for the Jewish belief in the resurrection of the dead. The early stages of this development are made clear in a little-known Qumran scroll called Pseudo-Ezekiel.

Prof.

Devorah Dimant

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Ezekiel: A Jewish Priest and a Babylonian Intellectual

Ezekiel, a priest born, raised, and educated in Judah, lived and prophesied much of his adult life in Babylonia in contact with cuneiform scholars and scribes. Ezekiel’s use of Akkadian loanwords,[1] his allusions to masterpieces of cuneiform literature (such as the Gilgamesh Epic), and his understanding of Babylonian cosmology all attest to his rather complete integration into the cultural milieu of Babylon.[2] 

Dr.

Laurie Pearce

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The Historical Circumstances that Inspired the Korah Narrative

Korah’s rebellion ultimately results in the placement of the Levites in a permanent subordinate position to the Aaronide priests. Set in the wilderness period, the story appears to be a narrative retelling of a historical process that occurred hundreds of years later, the demotion of the Levites reflected in Ezek 44, as demonstrated by a number of literary parallels.

Dr.

Ely Levine

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Jehoiachin's Exile and the Division of Judah

Eleven years before Judah was destroyed, King Jehoiachin and a select group of Judeans were sent into exile, and Zedekiah was left to rule Judah. The Babylonian and Judean populations split not only in terms of geography, but also in their views of whether Jehoiachin was the “once and future king” or whether God had utterly rejected him. 

Dr.

David Glatt-Gilad

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The Secret of the Ma'aseh Merkava According to Maimonides

Already in the time of the Rabbis, Ezekiel’s vision of the chariot was considered to be esoteric knowledge. Although most Jewish exegetes interpret it as a metaphorical teaching about God, Maimonides interpreted it to be about science and astronomy. So why must it be kept a secret? Because Ezekiel was wrong and his science mistaken.

Dr.

Daniel Davies

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The Shema's Second Paragraph: Concern Over Israel's Affluence

Deuteronomy 11 repeats, reworks, and supplements the core phrases and themes of the Shema paragraph in Deuteronomy 6 in order to teach the Israelites how to deal with one of their major future challenges: the temptations that accompany wealth, comfort, and affluence. 

Prof. Rabbi

Reuven Kimelman

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The Discrepancies Between the Sacrifices in Ezekiel and the Torah

The laws of holiday sacrifices in Ezekiel 45–46 contradict the laws in Numbers 28–29. The problems are so significant that some Talmudic sages thought it would be best to withdraw (לגנוז) the book of Ezekiel. This piece lays out the discrepancies in detail, surveys some traditional and modern answers, and ends with my own thoughts about why Ezekiel’s system is so different.[1]

Dr.

Tova Ganzel

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The Red Heifer in Synagogue: Purifying Israel from Sin

Ezekiel 36 uses Priestly “purification” imagery similar to that of the red heifer ritual to describe God’s future reconciliation with Israel, inspiring the rabbis to choose this passage as the haftara for Parashat Parah.

Ethan Schwartz

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