Remembrance as used in the Book of Ezekiel

By: Stephen Casey Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for: BOTB 512: Era of the Writing Prophets

Professor: Dr. Marti Williams

Regent University School of Divinity Spring 2005

3 Bibliography………………………………………………………………………….10 This table of contents is unacceptable and is not formatted in Turabian according to the directions posted on Bb. Paper Body is not a proper heading.Table of Contents Paper Body……………………………………………………………………………. 2 ...

judgment always occurs within the context of relationship. implicit within God's remembrance of covenant judgment is also steadfast love and deliverance. There should be a concise statement in your introduction which spells out for the reader in a concise and clear statement what your paper is going to address and how. speaking to people impersonally or not at all. Judgment in the biblical record. In this regard. God's remembrance. however. You are an excellent writer though. Subject Analysis The Foundation for Remembrance: the covenant As noted earlier. he or she "zaps" them with enduring judgment meant to wipe them out. and your opening statements immediately captured my attention. however. hand-in-hand remembrance also promises unconditional love and deliverance. is a two-edged sword—it brings the fearful wrath. or covenant.Remembrance as used in the Book of Ezekiel Introduction When one imagines ancient stories of judgment from a god. God. detached position. always occurs within the context of relationship. Within Ezekiel. the punishment proclaimed by the prophet upon Israel had been a long time coming. remembered the covenant. as seen in Ezekiel. and precipitated from the people forgetting the covenant. This formal relationship between the Hebrew nation and Yahweh began with ratification of the 3 . Often the destruction comes with no warning. often cold-hearted in appearance. yet. Then. directed towards correcting covenant rebellion. from a lofty. This god keeps a distance. generally an image arises of an angry. capricious deity wreaking havoc upon unsuspecting people who have unknowingly angered him. however.

It was of no avail. 4 .5 That thread is this: Israel's relationship with God revolved around covenant obedience. 19. Fretheim. recorded in Exodus. This byr. 4 Terence E. have the cultural context of a courtroom environment. the concept of a juridical setting. as Thomas Raitt points out. (Philadelphia: Fortress Press. renewed in Deuteronomy. 115.Sinai covenant. serves as a defense and justification for judgment. It results from failure to live moment by moment in an obedient relationship with God. and the curses came just as foretold. The Hebrew word for covenant. does not fully illustrate the situation. 15. an existential faithfulness that could be credited to them. or lawsuit. The Pentateuch. has a definite historical context and meaning. 1996). it provided impetus for repentance. as we know it. tyr!B+. A Theology of Exile. The Old Testament Speaks. therefore. As a community they were to respond to the Sinai covenant as Abraham responded to God in faithfulness. and the prophetic word existed to warn the people. almost interposing itself "between" the blessings and curses. Schultz. n.1 The declarations of judgment. (Nashville: Abingdon Press. is described in the style of a vassal-lord treaty. and into the united and divided monarchies. 1990). Samuel J. Raitt.3 The judgment against Israel does not revolve around merely having a history of past transgressions. emphasizing that obedience to God brings blessings while disobedience brings curses. continues through the conquest. The Call to Remembrance: God's past deliverance 1 The Sinai covenant. which concern covenant punishment. Other extant examples of this type of treaty demonstrate this sovereign-servant relationship. Israel's obligatory actions were no less binding than those expected between human parties.4 The judgment context in Ezekiel attaches itself to the same scarlet thread running from Sinai to Malachi. 23. 3 Ibid. however. for God "remembered" His covenant promise. 5 Raitt. 1977).2 Yet. (New York: HarperCollins. it begins with ratification. 2 Thomas M. 86.

this specifically justified the demand for obedient behavior from a thankful spirit of remembrance (Deuteronomy 6:20-24). treating her as a precious daughter and heaping blessings upon her. "Remembrance in Ezekiel. De Vries. God expresses through Ezekiel how much He has done. in chapter 23."6 The accusations in Ezekiel. Within Ezekiel. the fact that she cannot remember her covenant obligations toward Yahweh does not mean that Israel has no memory at all. Second. Her sins and lusts she remembers all too well. reminds the nation of Israel of God's presence in their history. The Deuteronomic covenant came with the command to teach successive generations about the deliverance of God. and is recounting His actions. 2 vivid metaphors are used to describe this forgetfulness. 60. the nations of Israel and Judah are analogized to two sisters who commit adultery to the point of actually paying lovers for sexual acts. He has acted in history. 1 (1962). Israel proved to have a short-term memory for the deliverance of God. particularly in the allegory of Oholah and Oholibah (chapter 23) offer no evidence that the nation every truly sought the Lord. First. in chapter 16 God is compared to a man taking in an unwanted. Verses 7-14 describe in poetic detail of how God delivered Israel and blessed her. "However. 5 . calling them to remembrance of their covenant. including Ezekiel. Each generation would thereby be "linked" to the past.The call to remembrance issued by the prophets. however. The Israelites failed to do this. incurring the obvious consequences of forgetfulness: a lack of desire for covenant faithfulness. and supports His decision to now inflict punishment upon the people." Interpretation XVI. The Wrath of Remembrance: God's judgment for Israel's sins Nationally. 6 Simon J. no. abandoned child still wallowing in the blood of delivery.

does not quibble with urging repentance because the time for that has past. the argument stands that God is the protagonist.10 Nevertheless.2 (Franklin. The proclamations of judgment in Ezekiel. and I will establish an everlasting covenant with you. it lacks any urgency. Then you will remember your ways Raitt. justify God's actions to the nation (e. in the midst of exile.7 It takes on a tone of "I told you that I was going to punish you." The Promise of Remembrance: God's deliverance As in all books of the Bible. Tennessee: Equipping Ministries Foundation. 10 "Covenant. and the destruction is upon the nation. anointed himself.8 Ezekiel. and that the horror and responsibility for this exile rests on their shoulders. This attitude bears echoes of David's cold. David's servants were perplexed when David. upon hearing news of the child's death. reminding them that they are responsible for what has happened. (2 Samuel 12:15-23) 9 De Vries. James Orr. though." International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.g. however. 47. issued from God's potent hand in covenant "remembrance. He acts very pragmatic about the punishment. frequently attempted to peg God as one who had forgotten them (Ezek 9:9) De Vries suggests that this act.9 Regardless of their claim.. seem to be the end of life in the eyes of the nation. deliverance also begins with God. The people. Ezekiel 5). sterile approach to God's judgment upon him through the son produced from his adultery with Bathsheeba. 2000) 8 7 6 . to accomplish His purposes. so what did you expect?" There is no opportunity for repentance. ed. "to question the covenant integrity of God. e-sword Ver 7. moving and working in the lives of all people. God does remember. Jew and Gentile alike. He can no longer beg for it to be undone. when God remembered His covenant obligation to punish." is the ultimate blasphemy. I will remember My covenant with you in the days of your youth. washed. and just as the initiative for punishment comes from Him. arose. He does.This "hard and fast" condemnation of behavior is emphasized by the nature of Ezekiel's message. and went to the temple to worship God. 63. and having fasted continually prior to his death. like David.5.

e. both your older and your younger. First.and be ashamed when you receive your sisters. we must consider their situation to understand the gravity of God's renewal. and remembrance again brought deliverance. The impetus for the nation remembering its part of the covenant will be God's remembering His part of the covenant. I have entered into a covenant with Him as well. The nation was to blame. when I have forgiven you for all that you have done. Margaret S." the Lord GOD declares. and I will give them to you as daughters. As a Christian. 195."12 The covenant establishes relationship. judgment always occurs within the context of relationship. Personal Reflection and Application This exploration yields significant material to "inject" into my personal life. 11 7 . Ezek 16:60-63 NASB in a paper of this short length – there is no need to quote the passage in reference. Thus I will establish My covenant with you . The sheer fact that God has Corrine L. This theme is very clearly seen in both its positive and negative facets. (Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature. It could not be demonstrated clearer.. While this change from our twenty-one hundred years of hindsight seems so quick and easy (i. that is exactly what God promises. 12 Ibid."11 They were responsible for exile to Babylon and the utter carnage that accompanied the captivity." The Book of Ezekiel: Theological and Anthropological Perspectives . "'Should Our Sister Be Treated Like a Whore?' A Response to Feminist Critiques of Ezekiel 23. "Everything returns us to this point. The structure of this paper falls very succinctly into three areas of application. like the flipping of a switch) for the people of Israel. From their perspective they could not fathom complete renewal. Strong. Remembrance of the relationship brought judgment. 238. Yet. and you shall know that I am the LORD.. but not because of your covenant. The recognition of disgrace and "defeat comes only through embracing their identification with Oholah and Oholibah. eds. 2000). [who are] whores and adulterers [and] whose shame is theirs alone. Odell and John T. To repeat an earlier point. so that you may remember and be ashamed and never open your mouth anymore because of your humiliation. Ezekiel emphasizes that there is indeed an everlasting covenant between Israel and Yahweh. Patton.

God actively remembered the covenant. He is Lord of the universe. Similarly. that remembrance that brings wrath. he needed it to avoid what could cause his death. This leads into the second portion of the paper. and I have no claim to any title or right before Him. I can be sure when God disciplines me. However. I can take confidence in this. While it is sobering to think of. However. He would cry. I will never be forgotten by God. for God's memory is perfect. and I will not be lost. but then I began to thump his finger sharply when he attempted to touch the outlet. giving warnings and finally physical punishment to instill proper behavior within the context of a covenant relationship. and my heart would break. The first few times I would warn him. I believe that being a parent helps me understand God's judgment more. that even in punishment I am better in "the hand of the Lord for His mercies are great. and despite my challenges to Him. There is such security in this. forming the basis for His punishment. my accusations that He didn't care. elements of mercy can be seen in that God disciplines His people. I know that many times my son would have continued on in sinful error and made a fatal mistake. and He will remember me even when I forget Him. my sin is far greater than can be forgiven. At times it seems that like Israel.invited me into a covenant with Him overwhelms me." Lastly. He came anyway and remembered me when I would not remember Him. and therefore most of my sinning has been committed in covenant rebellion. such as sticking his finger or other object into an electrical outlet. God's renewal when Israel sinned is far greater than they can imagine. had I not disciplined him into avoiding them. Conclusion 8 . as David said in 2 Samuel 24. I entered into a covenant relationship with God as a child. my sin has not been too great for God to overcome.

and we can rest in that assurance." He will prevail in our lives. with great patience and mercy. and at no time are we ever out of His personal care. Then.Remembrance within the biblical text. While within the covenant it brings with it promises of deliverance beyond our ability to save ourselves. 9 . We are intimately close to a loving. enduring intimacy. is that remembrance is presupposed by relationship. is not always a pleasant thing. When we forget our covenant obligations. God warns us gently many times. Ezekiel's name means "God will strengthen/prevail. however. and as examined in Ezekiel. unlike any other "god. We are then disciplined through love." we are delivered and restored completely to a close. it at times contains harsh punishment and discipline. non-capricious God who created the heavens and the earth. The most amazing thing about this process.

. Orr. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature. Strong. "Remembrance in Ezekiel. Nashville: Abingdon Press. no. 1977. Margaret S. James. ed." In The Book of Ezekiel: Theological and Anthropological Perspectives. eds. Simon J. Terence E. Fretheim. Stephan. 221-238." Interpretation XVI. Samuel J. The Pentateuch." International Standard Bible Encyclopedia. 1990.Bibliography De Vries. Corrine L.5. Philadelphia: Fortress Press. Raitt. The Old Testament Speaks. 2000. Your actual content is excellent. Thomas M. Tenn: Equipping Ministries Foundation. Odell and John T. 1996.2. A Theology of Exile. "Covenant. Patton. nor the scholarly commentary of the text • there does not appear to be any multiple opinions presented regarding the ideas you have presented • your introduction did not include a clear and concise statement summing up the content and aim of the paper • your table of contents was not in correct format Grade: 92 10 . Your love for and background in law serves you well in OT studies and it came out beautifully in your paper. "'Should Our Sister Be Treated Like a Whore?' A Response to Feminist Critiques of Ezekiel 23. 2000. Schultz. 1 (1962): 58-64. Franklin. New York: HarperCollins. with my only critique being: • you do not question the text. you are an excellent writer and your critical thinking skills are well developed. e-sword Ver 7.

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