By the River Chebar: Historical, Literary, and Theological Studies in the Book of Ezekiel

By Daniel I. Block

A collection of essays on the Book of Ezekiel by a leading Old Testament scholar, shedding light on the language, vision and theology of this difficult text.

ISBN: 9780227174395


To many readers the book of Ezekiel is a hopeless riddle. Many features of the man and his message seem difficult and sometimes even shocking or offensive. The bizarre opening vision catches us off guard and tempts us to stop reading. A persistent reader, however, who meditates long and hard on individual utterances and sign actions, will discover that despite the strangeness of the man, this is the most clearly organized of the major prophetic books. Individual prophecies are clearly marked by headings and often by conclusions. The priestly prophet knew his audience, something that is evident if one continues to delve deeper: 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 first of two volumes of essays on Ezekiel and his book. The seven general essays and two studies of particular texts in this collection explore the times, the message, and the methods of the prophetic priest.

Additional information

Dimensions229 × 153 mm


Trade InformationJPOD

About the Author

Daniel I. Block is the Gunther H. Knoedler Professor of Old Testament at Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois. He is the author of The Book of Ezekiel Chapters 1-24 (1997), The Book of Ezekiel Chapters 25-48 (1998), Judges and Ruth (1999), “How I Love Your Torah, O LORD!” (2011), The Gospel according to Moses (2012), and Deuteronomy (2012).


List of Illustrations
List of Credits
List of Abbreviations

1. Preaching Ezekiel
2. The Theology of Ezekiel
3. The God Ezekiel Wants Us to Meet
4. Divine Abandonment: Ezekiel’s Adaptation of an Ancient Near Eastern Motif
     Excursus A: The Prophetic Speech of Marduk
5. Chasing a Phantom: The Search for the Historical Marduk
6. The Prophet of the Spirit: The Use of 'spirit' in the Book of Ezekiel
7. Beyond the Grave: Ezekiel’s Vision of Death and Afterlife
8. Text and Emotion: A Study in the “Corruptions” in Ezekiel’s Inaugural Vision (Ezekiel 1:4-28)
     Excursus B: Ezekiel 1:6, 8-10, 15-21, and 10:9-22 in Parallel
9. Ezekiel’s Boiling Cauldron: A Form-Critical Solution to Ezekiel 24:1-14

Appendix: In Praise of Moshe: A Tribute to Moshe Greenberg

Index of Modern Authors
Index of Ancient Authors
Index of Selected Subjects
Index of Scripture References


Endorsements and Reviews

Once again Daniel Block has provided wise perspectives that enable us to ‘see with our eyes, hear with our ears, and set our hearts’ (Ezek 40:4) on many of the enigmas in the book of Ezekiel.
Mark J. Broda, McMaster Divinity College

Few scholars, whether evangelical or critical, Christian or Jewish, know the book of Ezekiel like Daniel Block. This collection of essays profoundly deepens and enriches our appreciation of the prophet’s work and is an essential resource for all who study it.
Iain Duguid, Grove City College

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