Monthly Archives: January 2011

Ezekiel 23 – Thoughts on its explicitness

I was recently pointed to David Ker’s blog entry on Ezekiel 23 – a passage I find fascinating on account of its rather shocking nature. In my analysis of Ezekiel, chapter 23 being a long chapter, it cost me at least a week’s work, and with its explicitness, it wasn’t pleasant work. That the word of God would use such a jarring language for his people is something that has stuck with me. It gives me pause as to what depths God’s people had sunk to so that this was a way to reach them – and it gives me pause to what God’s people are up to now that makes us so often ignore this passage and the messiness in it.

The following is a brief excerpt from David Ker’s thoughts on Ezekiel 23:

“…When I was a little boy in Sunday School this was one of our favorite chapters. My buddies and I, we gravitated to this chapter, verse 20 in particular, and snickered. How did we even find the verse? Maybe like dirty jokes, naughty bits of the Bible are passed down from older boys to the younger.

The language of Ezekiel 23 is wildly inappropriate for a sacred text. Would Ezekiel 23 pass Paul’s “whatsoever things” test in Philippians 4:8?

The context of this chapter is a long and detailed denunciation of Israel and Judah for their idolatry imported from Egypt and their political alliances with neighboring countries. Note well that this isn’t a story told by Ezekiel, this is him verbatim reporting “the word of the Lord.” So God is talking here and he uses some really shocking sexual vocabulary. Breasts are squeezed. Men’s genitals and their functions are described in vivid imagery….”

Publishing to what end…

In a desire to publish more in different places and different ways, I’ve semi-committed to helping out with Logos project of an online Bible dictionary.

To read more about the project Chris Brady does a great job of raising questions of whether the project is a good one – and whether the compensation is reasonable.

I’m using the project as a means to get me more used to writing lots again and to have an incentive to do some research on a number of topics that are related to my own research; publishing in English and making connections with Bible software folk are also positive things.

I’ll let you know how it goes. I do have to say that I’m a bit disappointed with my contact in the project thus far – the amount of interest extended regarding my knowledge and interests makes me question whether it is actually valued – or if it is only my willingness to commit to cheap labour that is valued?