To many readers the Book of Ezekiel is a hopeless riddle. However, if we take the time to study it, we discover that despite the strangeness of the man and his utterances this is the most clearly organized of the major prophetic books. And if we persist, we also discover that from a rhetorical perspective, this priestly prophet knew his audience; he recognized in Judah’s rebellion against YHWH the underlying cause of the divine fury that resulted in the exile of his people and the fall of Jerusalem to the Babylonians in 586 BCE. However, he also recognized that YHWH’s judgment could not be the last word: his covenant is eternal and irrevocable, and a day of spiritual renewal and national restoration is anticipated.
This is the second of two volumes of Block’s essays on the book of Ezekiel. The essays in this volume explore the theme of Kingship in Ezekiel – both his assessment of Judah’s historical kings and his hope for a restored Davidic King/Prince – and the mysterious visions concerning Gog’s attack on restored Israel (Ezek 38-39) and concerning the new temple (40-48). Block brings to bear decades of study of the book to open up fresh insights on the ancient text.
List of Illustrations
List of Abbreviations
1. Zion Theology in the Book of Ezekiel
2. Transformation of Royal Ideology in Ezekiel
3. The Tender Cedar Sprig: Ezekiel on Jehoiachin
4. Bringing Back David: Ezekiel’s Messianic Hope
5. Gog and Magog in Ezekiel’s Eschatological Vision
6. Gog in Prophetic Tradition: A New Look at Ezekiel 38:17
7. Gog and the Pouring Out of the Spirit: Reflections on Ezekiel 39:21-29
8. Envisioning the Good News: Ten Interpretive Keys to Ezekiel’s Final Vision
9. Guarding the Glory of YHWH: Ezekiel’s Geography of Sacred Space
Index of Modern Authors
Index of Selected Subjects
Index of Scripture References and Ancient Sources
Endorsements and Reviews
Few people know the book of Ezekiel as well as Block does and fewer still are able to explain the unique and challenging aspects of this great prophet’s rich theology as well as he does. The book’s nine individual studies address Ezekiel’s purposes in ways that allow a reader to see, through experienced eyes, real treasures of biblical theology. For anyone planning to preach or teach Ezekiel, Block’s work provides a wonderful introduction—better, I think, than one could find in any of the standard commentaries.
Douglas Stuart, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
Daniel Block is one of the foremost Ezekiel scholars of our time, author of a major two volume commentary on the book and numerous other studies. In Beyond the River Chebar: Studies in Kingship and Eschatology in the Book of Ezekiel he gathers together a selection of the important essays he has written on these themes over the years. It is splendid to have these available between two covers and we are again indebted to Daniel Block.
Paul M. Joyce, Samuel Davidson Professor of Old Testament/Hebrew Bible, King’s College London
This collection of essays demonstrates clearly why Block is one of the leading Ezekiel scholars of recent years. He succeeds in letting the audience participate in his deep familiarity with this biblical book and in transporting the prophet’s message into contemporary times. With this two volumes, Block has produced a splendid tool for the Ezekiel scholar that lays a formidable foundation for further discussion and these volumes should not be lacking from any private or university library.
Anja Klein, in The Expository Times, Vol 126, Issue 5
The two volumes provide a thorough grounding in Block’s scholarship, offering a resource for preaching and teaching Bible for those who want to draw upon scholarship as fundamental to the task of interpretation.
Mary E. Mills, in Theological Book Review, Vol 26, No 1