I have been approved to present a paper on Ezekiel 10 at the upcoming Society of Biblical Literature Meeting (July 2011) in London during the Ezekiel section.
The following is the summary for my presentation:
The Vision in Ezekiel 10: Chaos in the Message
The vision in Ezekiel 10 presents a chaotic picture of cherubim, wings and wheels with the glory of the LORD and the person of Ezekiel found in the middle of the chaos. The chaos is illustrated further in the syntax of the passage in the Masoretic text. This is shown in verses 9-13 and verses 15-19. In verses 9-13 it is frequently not clear when the third masculine plural pronoun relates to the wheels and when to the cherubim. In verses 15-19 the identical verbal form of (way)ya’amod is used in verses 18-19. In verse 18, the subject appears to be the same as that of the previous verb: ‘the glory of the LORD’. Verses 19-20 are an expanded version of verse 15, with ‘the cherubim’ being the clear subject. The question then is what the repeat of (way)ya’amod, with no identified subject, is doing at the end of verse 19. These examples raise questions about coherence, redaction and rhetoric in the text: questions which have not been systematically addressed by the literature. My argument is that by seeing the mainline in this text as being made up of not just one mainline but of multiple mainlines, one can see a rhetorical pattern in the text that also takes the syntax into account. Furthermore, this complexity in syntax, instead of hindering the reader, can actually reinforce the message of the text, which presents a confusing and complex vision.