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Title: The message of hope in the Book of Ezekiel, with special reference to chapter 37
Author: Hsieh, Hsiu-Hsiung
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1976
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The present thesis attempts to examine what is the message of hope which Ezekiel presents to the despairing people of Israel when their nation collapsed and the people were being exiled, and to demonstrate the basis of his message of hope, and its relation to earlier expressions of hope in the Old Testament. To achieve this aim the thesis examines all of the hopeful prophecies of Ezekiel and then concentrates on chapter 37, an outstanding expression of the prophet's hope. In view of the task thus described, the thesis begins by defining the problem and the procedure of the study, presented in the introductory section. Thus, in order to see how Ezekiel employs the earlier traditions the thesis gives a survey of messages of hope which appear in the works before Ezekiel. This section contains three parts: hope in the history works, hope in Psalms, and hope in the canonical prophetic works. Next, the study is devoted in investigating the messages of hope in the book of Ezekiel other than ch. 37. Then a thorough study of chapter 37 is offered. Finally, the thesis presents some concluding observations based on the study. The examination of Ezekiel's message of hope discloses the following main elements: the renewal of the people and their restoration of the nation to their own land, and, moreover, the validity and perpetuity of the coming salvation. In his prophetic message of judgement before the fall of the nation, Ezekiel urges his people to repent and return to Yahweh. After the fall he predicts the renewal of the people and the restoration of national life. Yahweh will perform his saving acts for Israel before they repent and further, he will endow them with his spirit, so that they can repent and restore their political and cultic life in their land. The uniqueness of his presentation of his hope is that the salvation is purely of grace. Thus Yahweh will vindicate the honour of his name and create a new knowledge of his nature and of his acts toward his people. Ezekiel's hope for Israel's renewal is based on his concept of God which was revealed to him in the Exodus traditions, the Covenant tradition, the Zion Temple traditions, and other revelations. God is the mighty saviour, the God of Israel, and the true king of his people. The salvation can be conceived in two aspects, namely, the political and the spiritual salvation of the people. Yahweh will defeat the enemies and deliver his people from exile and return them to their land. Ezekiel employs the Exodus-Settlement traditions to describe how Yahweh creates a new Israel. At the same time, Yahweh will purify his people and give them a new heart and a new spirit and further accept them again to be his covenant people. Ezekiel uses the Covenant tradition and his creation faith to describe the inner salvation of the people. The image of the Good Shepherd and the creation of a new heart and a new spirit in the people are very significant. Ezekiel then goes further to portray the blessed state of the new Israel and to confirm the validity and perpetuity of salvation. Yahweh will establish his people into one single nation which will no longer be separated into two kingdoms. He will transform the defiled land into a good land in which the people will enjoy peace and prosperity and the nearness of Yahweh. He will set up a Daridic prince to take care of the people and carry out justice and peace in the community. An everlasting covenant of peace will be established between Israel and Yahweh, which is also a unique expression of Ezekiel's hope. Finally, Yahweh will set his sanctuary in the restored community and promise his divine presence in the midst of the people. All of these sets of salvation will supply a new knowledge of Yahweh to the people of Israel as well as the other peoples. On the whole, Ezekiel's hope plays an important role in the earlier period of the exile; he is to move Israel from death to life, from despair to hope, from the scattered Diaspora to a new Israel.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available