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Ezekiel's Hierarchical World: Wrestling with a Tiered Reality
Stephen L. Cook, Corrine L. Patton
SymS 31
Publication Date
November 2004


Can we live with the God of Ezekiel? Can we relate to a God who has established a multilayered hierarchy that separates the divine from the human, who creates boundaries that segregate people from the temple, the priesthood, and the glory of the Lord? In contrast to those who suggest that Ezekiel should no longer be read as an authoritative part of the canon, the essays in this volume engage Ezekiel’s hierarchical world directly, neither dismissing it out of hand nor accepting it uncritically. By wedding theological interest and reflection with serious biblical exegesis and criticism, this work helps readers to understand Ezekiel’s hierarchical theology—especially the book’s views on creation, priesthood, and land. It thus equips readers to form their own evaluations of the relevance of Ezekiel’s theology for today.


Introduction: Hierarchical Thinking and Theology in Ezekiel’s Book
—Stephen L. Cook and Corrine L. Patton


Priesthood in Exile according to the Book of Ezekiel
—Friedrich Fechter

Putting Priests in Their Place: Ezekiel’s Contribution to the History of the Old Testament Priesthood
—Iain M. Duguid

A Priest Out of Place: Reconsidering Ezekiel’s Role in the History of the Israelite Priesthood
—Baruch J. Schwartz

Priest, Prophet, and Exile: Ezekiel as a Literary Construct
—Corrine L. Patton

God’s Land and Mine: Creation as Property in the Book of Ezekiel
—Julie Galambush

From Harshness to Hope: The Implications for Earth of Hierarchy in Ezekiel
—Keith Carley

The Silence of the Lands: The Ecojustice Implications of Ezekiel’s Judgment Oracles
—Norman Habel

Ezekiel in Abu Ghraib: Rereading Ezekiel 16:37–39 in the Context of Imperial Conquest
—Daniel L. Smith-Christopher

“With a Mighty Hand and an Outstretched Arm”: The Prophet and the Torah in Ezekiel 20
—Risa Levitt Kohn

Creation and Hierarchy in Ezekiel: Methodological Perspectives and Theological Prospects
—David L. Petersen

Cosmos, Kabod, and Cherub: Ontological and Epistemological Hierarchy in Ezekiel
—Stephen L. Cook

Proverb Performance and Transgenerational Retribution in Ezekiel 18
—Katheryn Pfisterer Darr


In Search of Theological Meaning: Ezekiel Scholarship at the Turn of the Millennium
—Daniel I. Block

Contemporary Studies of Ezekiel: A New Tide Rising
—Steven Shawn Tuell