Ezekiel's Message of Hope and Restoration
The first twenty-four chapters of the book of Ezekiel are characterised by vehement declarations of judgement. This observation leaves the impression that Ezekiel 1-7 is devoid of references to hope and restoration. However, there is a redactional stratum in this section that supplemented the texts with material that conveys restoration and hope for the future. In Ezekiel 1-7, many of these additions focus on priestly topics. The motif of restoration in the redactional material of Ezekiel 3-5 is expressed by the reinstatement of Ezekiel in his priestly role. This editorial emphasis on Ezekiel as priest in the redactional material suggests that the redaction was influenced by Zechariah 3, a text that depicts the reinstitution of the exiled Zadokite priesthood. Moreover, the redactional material of Ezekiel 6-7 drew inspiration from the Law of the Temple in Ezekiel 43-46, as the redactors sought to enhance Ezekiel's priestly role. The study provides new insights into how redactors, who may have been associated with the Zadokite priesthood, inserted the message of hope and restoration into the literary unit Ezekiel 1-7 during the post-exilic period.
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