Ezekiel among the Exiles

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This chapter is aimed at examining the literary evidence within the book of Ezekiel and in Neo-Babylonian sources that may shed light on the temporal, geographical, and cultural aspects of this prophetic book—information that scholars often bring to either corroborate or refute the surface narrative of Ezekiel, that of the prophet active among the Jehoiachin-Judean exiles in Babylonia. The discussion leads to even more complex questions concerning two aspects of the sociology of exile. First, as regards relations with outsiders, what does the book tell us about the Judean deportees’ familiarity with and acculturation to the host society (and possibly with other neighboring groups of deportees)?; and second, what does the book tell us about interactions between the Jehoiachin exiles and those who remained in Judah after the Jehoiachin deportation in 597? In addition, the study presents a concise theology of exile, seen in terms of the significant theological contributions that Ezekiel (and his followers) may be credited with in formulating, or in re-formulating, the Judahite religion in the face of destruction and exile. This chapter argues that, while avoiding references to daily life in Babylonia, but at the same time revealing a high level of familiarity with Babylonian culture and ideas, the book of Ezekiel speaks to the Jehoiachin-Judean exiles through terminology, theological themes, and ideological content rooted in Yahwistic/Judahite religious traditions. The combination of Babylonian conceptions and Judahite ideology locates the prophet and his book firmly among the Babylonian exilic community of the early sixth century BCE.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Oxford handbook of Ezekiel
EditorsCorrine Carvalho
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherOxford: Oxford University Press
ISBN (Print)0190634545
StatePublished - 2021

Publication series

NameOxford handbooks online


  • Bible. Ezekiel -- Criticism
  • interpretation
  • book of Ezekiel
  • Babylonian exile
  • Jehoiachin exile
  • Neo-Babylonian empire
  • Al-Yahudu documents
  • Babylonian deportees
  • Neo-Babylonian archives


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