Friday, February 16, 2007

Ezekiel and the Holy

In a blog post today entitled "A Home for God," a most excellent student of mine in my Ezekiel course, Steve P, has reflected on the nature of God's holiness, especially as Ezekiel understands it. The reflection is quite good, so I want to quote it here in part:
The holiness of God smelts the soul of humanity, removing all the impurities, and leaving only the pure gold of holiness behind. To approach God, even within the Temple, is to be ridiculously close to that fire which is all consuming. It is radical that God chose to dwell in and with his Creation. It is radical that he allowed his Creation to come so close to his otherness. This otherness, this holiness, the refining fire is an image that we have very much lost in our society, but one we should seek to reclaim.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's a great comment. In addition to fire, I think the "water imagery" in 47:1-12 is also very interesting in terms of Ezekiel's reflection of the divine-human relationship. Jacq Lapseley observes how the many rich and disturbing and at times impure and not so neat and clean images of the human body that Ezekiel continually uses to articulate his complex messege seem to disappear during the carefully and neatly measured temple vision of 40-48 (the relative absence of human bodies in the temple vision is very different from the imagery in chs. 1-39). Regarding the water in 47:1-12, she writes, "The water is the only thing in the temple that cannot be measured; this symbol of the power of God; initially just a tickle, gushing forth from the temple to revivify the land... what God is doing now can niether be contained nor measured by instruments or calculations. This is God's healing power "on the loose" unleashed from the temple, now on the same side of the temple wall as the people." ("Doors Thrown Open and Waters Gushing Forth: Mark, Ezekiel, and the Architecture of Hope" in "The Finding of Mark and the Ends of God" eds. Beverly Gaventa and Patrick Miller; Louisville: WJKP, 2005, 148).
Currently, Jacq is working on an Ezekiel commentary for the OTL series. I look forward to seeing it in print.


Sat Feb 17, 12:40:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger spankey said...

I'm so excited to have been quoted on your blog Stephen. Thanks.

Mon Feb 19, 07:02:00 PM GMT-5  

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