Click here to get the answers to the most commonly asked RBL questions.

Review of Biblical Literature Blog

Sworn Enemies: The Divine Oath, the Book of Ezekiel, and the Polemics of Exile
Strine, C. A.

Berlin: de Gruyter, 2013 pp. xvi + 343. 140.00

Series Information
Beihefte zur Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft, 436

Description: Sworn Enemies explains how the book of Ezekiel uses formulaic language from the exodus origin tradition – especially YHWH’s oath – to craft an identity for the Judahite exiles. This language openly refutes an autochthonous origin tradition preferred by the non-exiled Judahites while covertly challenging Babylonian claims that YHWH was no longer worthy of worship. After specifying the layers of meaning in the divine oath, the book shows how Ezekiel uses these connotations to construct an explicit, public transcript that denies and mocks the non-exiles’ appeals to a combined Abraham and Jacob tradition (e.g. Ezek 35). Simultaneously, Ezekiel employs the oath’s exodus connotations to support a disguised polemic that resists Babylonian claims that YHWH was powerless to help the exiles. When YHWH swears “as I live” the text goes on to implicitly replace Marduk with YHWH as the deity who controls nations and history (e.g. Ezek 17). Ezekiel, thus, shares the “monotheistic” concepts found in Deutero-Isaiah and elsewhere. Finally, using James C. Scott’s concept of hidden transcripts, the author shows how both polemics cooperate to define a legitimate Judahite nationalism and faithful Yahwism that allows the exiles to resist these threatening “others”.

Subjects: Bible, Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, Prophetic Literature, Literature, Ezekiel

Login to Read the Review(s)

You must be a member of SBL to read the review(s). In May 2019, SBL improved security of its main site with a new login procedure that requires an email address and a password, instead of an SBL member number. RBL’s login procedure is now synched to SBL’s. Please use your email address and SBL password to log in to RBL. Your use of this site indicates your acceptance of RBL’s Terms of Use.


Email Address
SBL Password
 
  
 Forgot Your Password
 Join SBL or Renew Membership


Review by John T. Strong
Published 2/9/2014
Citation: John T. Strong, review of C. A. Strine, Sworn Enemies: The Divine Oath, the Book of Ezekiel, and the Polemics of Exile, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2014).


Adobe Acrobat Reader
All RBL reviews are published in PDF format. To view these reviews, you must have downloaded and installed the FREE version of Adobe Acrobat Reader. If you do not have the Reader or you have an older version of the Reader, you can download the most recent version now.

 

 
Privacy PolicyTerms of UseContact Us