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Heidegger's Bible Handbook: Ezekiel: Argument

2. The argument of the book.

The argument of this Prophecy Saint Athanasius thus describes in his Synopsi in a few words: At the beginning he saw a Vision ζώου τετραπροσώπου θαυμαστὴν καὶ ἐκπληκτικωτάτην καὶ δυσερμήνευτον, of the living creature having four faces, wonderful, astonishing beyond measure, and difficult to interpret. He prophesied against the Prophets of Israel, and told of the wood of the vine, and of an eagle, and calls Jerusalem to witness concerning her iniquities and sins, and concerning the proverb that they had in their mouths, namely, the Fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge.[1] And concerning the children of Ammon, and concerning Oholah and Oholibah, and lamentations against Tyre, and against Zidon, and concerning the day of the Lord, even upon Pharaoh King of Egypt, and lamentations against Pharaoh and Egypt, and against mount Seir, and concerning the bones of those that are going to return to life. And against Gog and the land of Magog. Likewise against the Prince of Tyre and lamentations against him and the sons of his people, and against the shepherds of Israel; Finally, the edification of the Temple and Jerusalem, does he describe and prophesy. In short, the argument of Ezekiel is almost the same as that of Jeremiah. He is in vision, in which, with Saint Chrysostom also observing, he abounds more than all other Prophets, concerning Nebuchadnezzar’s captivity of the Jews remaining at Jerusalem with Zedekiah, and God’s glory to be removed from the Temple and city by His just judgment, and its causes, namely, their sins, especially their confidence in the Temple and its external worship, in which trusting they imagine for themselves perpetual immunity and impunity; then, the liberation and return of the captives, and other nations. But he inserts in appropriate places sermons concerning Christ, concerning the grace of the Gospel, the restoration of the Temple and new city, undoubtedly setting for the mysteries of the Church wrapped in a certain veil. The use of this book is almost the same as that of Jeremiah.

[1] Ezekiel 18:2.

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