PART TWELVE – LAMENTATIONS AND EZEKIEL
I’m glad we’re almost through with Jeremiah, but there’s no point in spreading false hope that things will improve; the last part of the OT (from Jeremiah to the end) is the WORST in my opinion – it’s going to be nothing but depressing from here on.
We’ve arrived at a collection of poetic laments for the destruction of Jerusalem in 586 BCE. It’s as bleak as its title. The book is partly mourning for the desertion of the city by its god, and its destruction; and partly a funeral dirge in which the bereaved bewails and addresses the dead. Authorship is traditionally attributed to Jeremiah, but you know how that goes… Modern scholars doubt it.
The Book of Ezekiel supposedly records seven visions of the prophet Ezekiel ben-Buzi, a priest exiled in Babylon, during the 22 years from 593 to 571 BCE. The visions, and the book, are structured around three themes:
- judgment on Israel (chapters 1–24);
- judgment on the nations (chapters 25–32); and
- future blessings for Israel (chapters 33–48).
And surprise, surprise, modern scholars believe that although much of the book was originally written by Ezekiel, there has been much editing and adding by later authors. It’s nasty– highlights include god telling Ezekiel to eat bread baked using fuel made from human dung, and threatening to kill everyone with plagues, famines, and wars. Enjoy.
Reading the whole bible was a ‘bucket list’ item for me, so I’m gonna finish come hell or high water…. and then never open a bible again. Hang in there – you’ll be glad afterwards that you can say you truly know what’s in these books. And being familiar with all these prophets will become very important when we read the NT; you’ll recognize bits and pieces of them regurgitated in there.