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Ezekiel 37, 40-48 

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David Petersen, The Prophetic Literature, 144-147 

Isaiah 40-55 

David Petersen, The Prophetic Literature, 58-63, 70-75 

Haggai (all)

Zechariah 1-8

David Petersen, The Prophetic Literature, 205-209 

These are readings we have done in the class that may be related to the questions

Attached are powerpoints also from class and some of the readings along with two assignments from this module.

 each question must be at least 200 words 

A New torah for the Temple: Prophecy and Restoration in the Book of Ezekiel

1

Ezek 33-48—the focus is not doom and gloom or disturbing imagery

Consolation not condemnation

Israel under a Davidic king. Utopianist.

Gog and Magog (chs. 38-39)—also utopian. The ultimate defeat of Israel’s enemies

A dead land given new life. Visions of a restored Israel that embed a later conflict (returnees vs. Jews who never left)

The valley of dry bones—traditionally understood as bodily resurrection. Probably metaphorical (the land of Israel getting new life).

Imagines the return of the 12 tribe monarchy—unification of the old Northern and Southern kingdoms (that doesn’t happen)

A Jewish Priest in Exile Dreams of a New Israel

Depiction of the Valley of Dry Bones vision (Ezek 37). Dura Europos Synagogue (Syria, mid. 3rd cen. CE)

2

Ezekiel 40-48

(Another) visionary trip to Jerusalem

573 BCE—describing an imagined temple in Jerusalem (there is no actual there).

Very detailed measurements, architectural description

The glory of God returns to the temple

Lays out new rules for the temple: No Gentiles allowed

Levites, not Zadokites, blamed. Zadokites (descendants of Zadok) are elevated as priests.

A utopian blueprint—the temple precinct as incredibly large.

Gives major role in priestly duties to the Davidic ruler (no actual Davidic restoration)

The temple—emits waters that purify Israel. A lot of water!

Ezekiel’s name for his utopian Jerusalem: “God is There.”

The Fantasies of a Traumatized Priest: Imagining an Elaborate Temple (when there’s isn’t one)

Ezekiel’s blueprint for the temple (Pieter de Witte, 17th cen.)

3

The Blueprint for Ezekiel’s Temple and Jerusalem (Ezek 45:1-9)

Exilic Prophecy in the Isaianic Tradition: Second Isaiah

1

Isa 40-55

Isa 56-66 (Third Isaiah)

2nd Isaiah—6th century BCE.

Consolation and Restoration

Jubilant tone about God’s salvation

End of the Babylonian exile

The Persian king Cyrus

Second Isaiah: Overview

Statue of Cyrus the Great (in Dunshabe, Tajikistan)

2

The sins of Israel are not forgiven but paid for (with punishment)

A New Exodus. “Salvation history.” wilderness—between exodus and the promised last.

End of exile—re-enactment of a divine pattern of God’s deliverance of Israel

A universal focus: God—the creator of the world

Monotheism (not monolatry)

Derision towards Babylonian religion

Enuma Elish (Babylonian creation epic). Marduk is the creator of the world (slays Tiamat)

Salvation from a Universal God

Ninurta fighting the monster Anzu (conveys the same theme as Marduk fighting Tiamat in the Enuma Elish). Stone relief from Assyrian temple of Ninurta at Kalhu (9th c. BCE)

3

Cyrus, Persian king. 576-530 BCE

Cyrus as God’s shepherd (David-like praise of an Iranian king)

Cyrus as God’s messiah: God manifests his power through Cyrus

539 BCE Cyrus conquers the Babylonians

Ends the Babylonian exile

No calls for a restoration of the Davidic monarchy. Accepting restoration of Judah as province of the Persian Empire.

The Persians: a different imperial model from the Babylonians. Patronage to local temples, build loyalty from priests. Accords with Second Isaiah.

The Cyrus Cylinder—Cyrus’ account of his conquest of Babylon: Cyrus as chosen by Marduk to rule. Ezra 1: Cyrus as chosen by God to rule.

God and Cyrus

6th cen. BCE statue of King Cyrus the Great at Pasagardae (ancient capital of Iran)

4

Pseudepigrapha

Isaiah’s son—Shear-jashub (a remnant shall return)

Interpretation of older Isaianic oracles 42:18-226:10

Excitement that the (Davidic) utopian bliss proclaimed by Isa 11 is being fulfilled through Cyrus

What is Isaianic about 2nd Isaiah?

The Prophet Isaiah. On a fresco in Rome (by Raphael, 1511)

5

The Servant Songs

Isa 42:1-4

Isa 49:1-6

Isa 50:4-9

Isa 52:13-53:12

“servant” normally means Israel in Second Isaiah 41:8

Understood later as important Christological texts

52:13-53:12. The suffering servant.

Exalted and disfigured. Who is speaking about him? (53:3)

His suffering is efficacious. Silent. Buried with the wicked and rich.

The suffering servant: Cyrus? Israel?

Perhaps written about a prophet who encouraged the exile and died before this happened. More likely Israel, benefiting from the suffering (exile) of Israel since this will trigger a restorative event (return); Israel as “light to the nations.”

6

The Prophets Want A Temple In Jerusalem: Haggai and Zechariah

1

Postexilic Prophecy: Core Features

In the context of Persian rule

Restoration of Temple

Rise of the High Priest

Transformation (eschatologization) of Davidic kingship

How to relate prophetic traditions and emerging apocalyptic tradition

Critique of sin but not the same calls for national punishment as before

Model of Herod’s Temple (Israel Museum, Jerusalem)

Haggai: A Prophet of the Persian Era

520 BCE

Dated to the time of a Persian, not a Judean, king

Two core addressees: Zerubbabel, Davidic “governor”; Joshua, high priest

Zerubbabel—grandson of the exiled Judean king (Jehoiachin). Heir to the Davidic throne

Joshua—son of the exiled High Priest (Jehozadak)

Exile ended 19 years earlier, but still no temple

God is critical that they built (nice) houses for themselves first

Result—drought. Proposed solution—build the temple.

3

The Temple and Zerubbabel, God’s Signet Ring

Whips up support for the temple

The temple is built—very quickly

Proclaims that the God will soon make the (meager) temple glorious

Connects the construction of the temple to agricultural abundance

Proclaims that God will overthrow kingdoms through Zerubbabel—the first Jewish messiah?

A revolutionary oracle (2:20-23)

Zerubbabel—probably assassinated by the Persians

The Rebuilding of the Temple (Dore, 1866)

4

Zechariah 1-8

520-518 BCE. Same time as Haggai

Encourages construction of the temple (like Haggai)

Zech 9-14 written later

Zech 1-8: eight visions

Zechariah: in some ways more reminiscent of the later apocalyptic tradition than the older prophetic tradition

Vision of the Horses (Zech 1). From a Sicilian manuscript (ca. 1300)

5

Zechariah’s Visions about Priests, Messiahs and the Temple

Zech 3: the investiture of the high priest, Joshua. A political, not only religious, figure.

Branch—a Davidic title. Zerubbabel.

Zech 4: “two sons of oil” (anointed ones)—Zerubbabel and Joshua, anointed by God to wield power. Dyarchy of the early Second Temple period.

Scriptural basis for a kind of bi-messianism.

Zech 6: fund-raising for the temple and the construction of crowns.

Zechariah’s vision of Joshua (ch. 3). Christoph Weigel, late 17th cen.

6

Boisson 3

Jordan Boisson

The Hebrew Prophets

Prof. Matthew Goff

Fall 2021

Haggai and Zechariah were active and worked as prophets in the Persian period during Darius’s reign. According to Peterson, the Persian period was a non-semantic civilization period in which Assyria and Babylon dominated the ancient Near East (pg 205). The Davidic political leadership had faced defeat ages back, making it difficult to refer to it during the Persian period. This period is essential to the Jews since most had fled their native nation and were exiled during the defeat. Therefore, this period helps to understand why Haggai and Zechariah encouraged re-building the temple of Jerusalem. This historical context is essential in explaining the need for rebuilding the temple of Jerusalem because it illustrates the dispersion of Jews due to the defeat. The Bible says, “And those who are far off shall come and help to build the temple of the LORD. And you shall know that the LORD of hosts has sent me to you. And this shall come to pass if you will diligently obey the voice of the LORD your God” (Zechariah 6:15, ESV). According to the Haggai and Zechariah, it was time for Jews to return and settle back in their home nation. This would lead to the mobilization of the Jewish community for the re-building of the temple. Re-building the temple signified a glorious future for Israel in the Messianic ages. It also signified recognition of Yahweh and restoration of the older structure depicted during the Davidic leadership.

Zerubbabel is a member of the Davidic lineage who served as the governor during Darius’s reign. According to Haggai, Zerubbabel had a greater role than that of the high priest in the restoration of Jerusalem. The Bible says, “On that day, declares the Lord of hosts, I will take you, O Zerubbabel my servant, the son of Shealtiel, declares the Lord, and make you like a signet ring, for I have chosen you, declares the Lord of hosts” (Haggai 20:23, ESV). According to Haggai, Zerubbabel was a significant figure because he would restore the old structure in Jerusalem. The structure was oriented on the temple, the king, and the prophet.

References

Petersen, D. L. (2002). The prophetic literature: An introduction. Westminster John Knox Press.

Coogan, Michael D. (2020), ed., The New Oxford Annotated Bible: New Revised Standard Version

Boisson 3

Jordan Boisson

The Hebrew Prophets

Prof. Matthew Goff

Fall 2021

A New Torah for the Temple

The specific aspects of the new temple include gates that resemble defensive walls of a city with several entries depicted as rooms that people can pass through to access the city. According to this structure, the people and the city are not the priority for protection, but rather, the temple and the holiness of Yahweh are given more precedence for protection from the profane world (Peterson 145). The gates are closed when the deity gets inside as opposed to permitting access to the city. “The entrance was ten cubits wide, and the projecting walls on each side of it were five cubits wide. He also measured the main hall; it was forty cubits long and twenty cubits wide.” (Ezekiel 41: 2, ESV). This indicates the measurements that were specific to the new temple. What strikes as the oddest and interesting is that, in the renewed temple, the people who initially needed protection from God are now the actual threat to the new temple. This is because the new temple and the holiness of Yahweh are given utmost protection against the profane world.

The significance of the prophet having a vision of the strange temple while in exile may imply the end-time prophesy. The Bible says, “Then the nations will know that I the Lord make Israel holy when my sanctuary is among them forever.” (Ezekiel 37:28, ESV). This supports the argument of the end-time prophesy as Ezekiel is redirected to the structure of the new temple that marks the third temple, as illustrated in other prophecies. The fact that the holiness of Yahweh is to be protected also supports the idea of end-time prophecy. This may also indicate that the exiles of Isreal are returning to the promised land, which is more protected than Jerusalem was. The open gates may indicate the entry for the exiled Israelites and close when they are safe in the promised land.

Work Cited

Petersen, D. L. (2002). The prophetic literature: An introduction. Westminster John Knox Press.

Coogan, Michael D. (2020), ed., The New Oxford Annotated Bible: New Revised Standard Version

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1. The temple vision of Ezekiel 40-48 is, as we covered in class, an elaborate and imaginative construal of the temple and its precincts.  This essay will be an opportunity for you to imagine yourself as experiencing this vision with Ezekiel.   Describe the temple that you see with Ezekiel.  Write at least 200 words.  Be creative but be sure that your visions conveys at least 3 major themes or details of Ezekiel 40-48 that  are important for understanding these chapters.

2. As we covered in class, the optimism and jubilant tone of Second Isaiah derives from the decision of the Persian King Cyrus to let the Jews exiled in Babylon return home. Write a prophetic speech that is inspired by the language of Second Isaiah–as if you were a prophet in exile. The year is 539 BCE and Cyrus’ decision has just been announced. In your own words (at least 200), convey three major themes or key details that are important for understanding Second Isaiah

3. Here too you will have an opportunity to express yourself like a prophet of ancient Israel. As we learned in our class on Nov. 2, the prophets Haggai and Zechariah (esp. Haggai) made major startling claims about a contemporary figure Zerubbabel. Imagine that you are a prophet in Judah, like them, in the year 520 BCE. Write what you say about Zerubbabel. In your own words (at least 200) express at least 3 themes or core details that resonate with how Haggai and Zechariah praise Zerubbabel.

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