Talk:Book of Ezekiel/Archive 1

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I read through this particular book in the bible, which is unusual for me as I have'nt read much of the rest. But that's becuase this particular book is full of triping out, sex and violence. Right from the beggining we're reading about strange visions for imaginative, super human creatures, in depth details of the ins and outs of several 'hoes' and given NUMEROUS clear and undisputed accounts of mass murder by the hand of God.

DVD player broken? grab a smoke and read through this book, you'll love it.

-- (talk) 21:02, 18 December 2007 (UTC)

Dear anonymous user with IP address

Thank you for cleaning up what I assume is your commentary on the Book of Ezekiel. If you have sources for this commentary, please add the sources to the article. Because Wikipedia is primarily a forum for information produced by third-party, recognized authorities who are not actively contributing to Wikipedia themselves, it is important to clearly tag all unsourced sections of an article as unsourced. Therefore, you should not change the subheadings 'unsourced thoughts about authorship' and 'unsourced commentary' back to your preferred headings 'the text' and 'exile and redemption'. For more information, check out Wikipedia: No original research. Invisible Flying Mangoes 10:48, 2 November 2006 (UTC)

What an authentically neutral point-of-view entails

For "consensus", I really could scarcely have stated my objections more forcefully or more clearly. Wise readers of Wikipedia read the Talkpages too.

The article states "Up until 1924, no one had questioned the authorship of the book of Ezekiel. For many, it seems clear that the book was written by one person, expressing one train of thought and style. However, in 1924 a theory was developed that 1,103 of the verses in Ezekiel were added at a later date." (Notice how "clear" a single author seems to "many": this is disingenuous slanted writing. Slippery.)

In every case of every text, an authentically neutral point-of-view requires that the text-- Ezekiel, which must be considered as a human production just like all written texts-- is quite separate from the authors who have contributed to that text, under the umbrella sobriquet "God will strengthen", and that, furthermore, those authors are not identical with the persona of Ezekiel who figures within the text. This is the neutral reading that is applied to all texts, irrespective of their local reputations and the insistent behavior of their fans.

If you have any problem with any of this commonplace procedure, then this "stalemate" as you term it will need an outside arbitrator. -Wetman 08:46, 27 September 2006 (UTC)

You seem to be arguing that keeping Ezekiel seperate from Book of Ezekiel is essential to considering the Book of Ezekiel as a human production. I'm not entirely sure what you mean by the word 'considering.'
If by 'considering' you mean 'discussing,' and your objection is that a merge would prevent editors from contributing information about the full range of viewpoints about the Book of Ezekiel's authorship, please note that merging the two articles would in no way prevent people from discussing which (if any) humans contributed to the authorship of the Book of Ezekiel. After a merge, Wikipedia editors would still be able to contribute information to Section 2 of Book of Ezekiel, all of which is already set aside for discussion about the authorship of the text.
On the other hand, if by 'considering' you mean 'believing', and your objection is that leaving both articles intact will tend to encourage people to believe that the Book of Ezekiel was written by humans, then I would argue that Wikipedia is not designed to promote any particular point of view, no matter how enlightened, and that your desire to encourage people to believe that the Book of Ezekiel was written by humans cannot be allowed to override what I see as a very sound and weighty stylistic reason for merging the two articles, to wit, that Ezekiel has only a stub's worth of unique material after about 2 years of editing.
If you feel that our discussion about the proposed merge has become unproductive, it is of course your right to request an outside arbitrator, and I will abide by the decision of any arbitration conducted in accordance with Wikipedia's policies. For the moment, though, I think that you and I should continue to try to understand each other's opinions and see if we can arrive at some kind of consensus, agreement, or compromise. I also think that we should keep our discussion about the proposed merge inside a single heading on this talk page, as a courtesy to other people who are using the talk page. With your permission, I will re-arrange the text of our discussion about the proposed merge so that it shows up under one section in logical and/or chronological order. I will not, of course, delete any of the discussion.
Invisible Flying Mangoes 12:00, 29 September 2006 (UTC)

I removed the "quote". That "quote" from Pulp Fiction isn't actually from Ezekiel, or anywhere else in the bible. The actual text of Ezekiel 25:17 reads:

And I will execute great vengeance upon them with furious rebukes; and they shall know that I [am] the LORD, when I shall lay my vengeance upon them. KJV Bodhidharma 02:41, 28 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Listen, I don't know who reverted it, but the first link from Google on "ezekiel 25:17" links to a page showing how the passage from the movie had been cobbled from different places from the bible. Bodhidharma
I relize that the quote was used in the movie, but I don't think that warrents a section in an article about the original work. I think it would be an interesting research project to document the use of out of place scripture in modern media...I just don't think this article is the place for it. --John Campbell 03:25, 26 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Yes, that is why I removed it. Bodhidharma

-- improvements -- As one of the main writer of the german Ezekiel-Wikipedia i have to say: Congratulation! Maybe it is possible to improve the english article a bit by addition of some theology and more about "what makes Ezekiel so special". TomTom66, 25 March 2005

Removal of links

I do not see how removing links to some of the various Jewish and Christian translations is an improving edit. It seems like once again someone is trying to make the Chasidic version speak for all of Judaism, which is unfair and inaccurate. While I have no case against the Chasidic version linked, it is hardly the only one or even the most prominent, and many find the Jewish Publication Society version, despite language which many consider to be archaic, to be equally or more accessible. I think that consideration should be given to restoring the removed links, but will wait for comment/consensus for now.

Rlquall 02:41, 10 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Have I ? If not please do so. Suppressing links to translations is an act that lies somewhere between censorship and vandalism. Unconscionable. --Wetman 03:19, 10 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Distinguishing Ezekiel from the Book of Ezekiel

Hi! I'm new to Wikipedia, and I really don't care about all the ad hominem attacks in this section...I'm not taking any stance on whether anyone was acting in good faith at any point. What I do care about is that any article(s) on Ezekiel be NPOV. If the two articles are merged, then obviously the one remaining article should have a section dedicated to fairly portraying the debate over the authorship of the Book of Ezekiel, with space given to both the traditional point of view and the point of view agreed on by most scholars of modern biblical criticism.

Suppose, though, that the articles are NOT merged. This raises an interesting problem: although biblical critics have opinions about who authored the book of Ezekiel, to the best of my knowledge, they have no unique opinions about Ezekiel as a historical figure. A skeptical, secular researcher would have no particular reason to believe or disbelieve anything that the book of Ezekiel has to say about the prophet Ezekiel. This means that the article on Ezekiel the Prophet will inevitably flirt with endorsing the traditionally religious POV. Sure, we *could* write an Ezekiel the Prophet article that constantly qualified its statements with phrases like 'according to the Bible,' but such an article would leave readers wondering what Ezekiel was like according to sources other than the Bible, Talmud, and Midrash. The answer, of course, would be that nobody knows anything about Ezekiel the Prophet other than what the Bible reports. Which begs the question: Why have an article about the prophet Ezekiel, as distinct from the Book of Ezekiel, when the only source of information (from anyone's point of view) on the prophet Ezekiel is the Book of Ezekiel?

Some Wikipedians on this page have suggested that it is standard practice on Wikipedia to describe an autobiographer with two articles, one that focuses on the person, and one that focuses on his or her book. This is usually a good practice, because usually there is some research that has focused specifically on the person--whether by hunting down obscure court documents that mention Geoffery Chaucer, or by interviewing living people who are personally acquainted with, say, Bill Clinton. This is NOT a good practice with regards to Ezekiel, because there is no research that has focused specifically on Ezekiel as a person. The only way to learn anything about Ezekiel is to read his book. Therefore, there is no need to have an article on Ezekiel that is distinct from the article on his book.

It might be objected that other sacred texts, such as the Midrash and the Talmud, provide information about Ezekiel as a historical person. There are two reasons why this information should not be used as the basis for a second article. The first reason is that there is very little of this information--an article that relied solely on non-Biblical sacred texts to describe Ezekiel as a person could never grow to be longer than a stub. The second reason is that this information raises serious POV issues. The epistemology of the Midrashic and Talmudic texts that describe Ezekiel is unabashedly mystical--the texts do not claim to have met Ezekiel, or to have had access to non-Biblical documents written by Ezekiel, or to have done archaeolgical research on Ezekiel--rather, they rely on their own implicit religious authority to justify their claims about Ezekiel. A handful of short anecdotes with no empirical grounding should not be the basis for an entire Wikipedia article. If they are included at all, they should be included in a section titled "Ezekiel in Jewish Literature" within the article on the Book of Ezekiel.

Invisible Flying Mangoes 13:36, 22 August 2006 (UTC)

Because the talk pages reflect disagreement about whether Ezekiel should be merged into Book of Ezekiel, I would like to give people as much time as posible to respond to my comments about why they SHOULD be merged before I go ahead and make actual edits. Unfortunately, no one has offered any new comments for the past month. I'll give it another week or so, and then I'll merge the articles--not because I have any disrespect for the editors who opposed the merge in the past, but because I'm not sure what those editors would think of my new arguments, and I don't know any other way of getting their attention. Invisible Flying Mangoes 18:52, 24 September 2006 (UTC)

The motivations for blending the alleged author inescapably with the text, so that one may not discuss Luke for instance, without taking into account and tacitly accepting a perhaps spurious biography of a "Luke", etc. have not always proved wholesome. What of Deuteronomy and the Deuteronomist? What of Nehemiah and Nehemiah, of Ezra and Ezra? Indeed, what of the "biography" of Daniel, the field of fools? Read the exchanges below and learn from them. Hagiographies as texts may be discussed quite sensibly, whether or not the existence of the saints and the adventures and miracles within the texts are childish nonsense. If some of the more fastidious Wikipedians prefer to discuss texts— which are incontrovertibly real— quite apart from these "biographies", and if there is intense resistance to this merge already fully expressed, why not leave it alone, if your "respect" is genuine? --Wetman 20:42, 24 September 2006 (UTC)
I concede that many people have had unwholesome motivations for wanting to merge discussion about a book with discussion about a possible author of that book. Unlike these people, I am acting in good faith. What's motivating me right now is the fact that after about 2 years of editing, the Wikipedia article Ezekiel is still almost entirely composed of information that is repeated verbatim in the Wikipedia article Book of Ezekiel. In my opinion, any article that cannot grow longer than a stub without duplicating the content of some other article should be merged into that second article. Since the article Ezekiel seems to be incapable of growth in exactly this way, it should be merged into Book of Ezekiel.
Such a merge would in no way silence discussion about the authorship of the Book of Ezekiel--anyone who has verifiable statements to contribute to a discussion of authorship could easily insert them into Section 2 of Book of Ezekiel, a section that is entitled "Authorship", and that has plenty of room to grow, since it currently contains only 12 lines of text.
Finally, in response to your question about why I am not choosing to "leave it alone," it should be noted that the "intense opposition" to the proposed merge has so far come entirely from you and JEarthoven (alias John Campbell). JEarthoven has no user page and has not edited Ezekiel articles in several months. Since at least one other user, RK, agrees with my opinion that the articles should be merged, we have something of a stalemate. I am not leaving the stalemate alone because I hope to resolve this stalemate and replace it with a consensus arrived at through polite and honest dialogue.
Invisible Flying Mangoes 18:28, 26 September 2006 (UTC)

The prophet and the text are separate entities. --Wetman 03:11, 10 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Why split this article into two nearly identical articles? I am, for the moment, reverting the removal of the merge. We have no information on Ezekiel except for that found in the Book of Ezekiel. It thus makes no sense to have a biographical article on him, and also one separate article on the Book of Ezekiel, because for all intents and purposes they are the same. All that we have on him is from the Book! (Do we have an article on Moby Dick, the whale, and Moby Dick, the book that the whale comes from?) This is no different from our other Wikipedia articles. For instance, we have one article on the Book of Ruth. We do not have one on Ruth, and a separate one on The Book of Ruth.
There are some historical anomolies here on Wikipedia. The only reason that we had separate articles on Ezra, and on the Book of Ezra, was that they were originally created by different people, who were unaware of the existence of the other article. These need to be merged.
Could we ever develop a need for separating this into two (or more) articles? Sure. We could eventually develop a large section on critical-historical studies of the Book of Ezekiel. If this section became large, say over 15 Kb, then we could spin it off into a new article. We may eventually develop a large section on Jewish or Christian views of Ezkiel. If this section became large, say over 15 Kb, then we could spin it off into a new article. But as the article exists now, each section is small. The article itself is less than 32 Kb. Shouldn't we keep this all together in one article, unless we have a specific reason to separate them? Comments, thoughts? RK 20:46, Apr 13, 2005 (UTC)
I guess the reason for splitting it is just to remain consistant. I realize that some of the other articles are incosistant and clump the author and the work together. However many of these book's authors are different (or numerous). There will be some repeated material in the Ezekiel article no doubt, but in the interest of consistancy, I think it's a good idea.
And for that matter, maybe we should move all of the things talking about Ezekiel's personality and other references found about him in other scriptures to his own page. I mean he's quoted throughout the bible, and there are many ties back to him from the Christian New Testament. Since he is refered to in other places, wouldn't it make sence to have a seperate article just about him so people could refer to that. Instead of having to search through an article on the book he "wrote" --John Campbell 01
59, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Let's remember, when we say "he's quoted" and instance "ties back to him", that the interpretive uses made by Jews and Christians are uses of the text of Ezekiel and do not relate to the historic Ezekiel, except in the sense of the posthumous legendary reputation of the prophet himself, as a exemplary figure. Since it is so difficult to keep the two, the text and the personage, separate in this way, it clearly must be useful to have two articles. Do you see my point? --Wetman 02:20, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Yes, I totaly see your point, and agree that hey should be kept as two articles. The point I was trying to make was that it is possible to talk about one without the other, although as you point out it is difficult. Either way, they should remain seperate articles. --John Campbell 00
28, 15 Apr 2005 (UTC)

RK has an agenda here. He apparently hopes that we think the Book of Ruth was written by Ruth, the character in the text. [cetera desunt]

That is just plain false. I believe no such thing. In fact, you are talking to a guy who accepts the results of higher biblical criticism, including the Documentary hypothesis! RK

This User is not as naive as he appears, however. The private intention motivating this User is to ensure that no discussion is possible that separates the various authors responsible for the Book of Ezekiel from the prophet Ezekiel, now rendered without an entry in Wikipedia, thanks to RK. The religious politics of Ezekiel, the social background of Ezekiel, these may not be discussed while RK bars the way. The other "examples" are too patently spurious to discuss: Moby-Dick indeed! More to the point, one may discuss Mark separately from the text we call the Gospel of Mark. To forbid this is scarcely a sign of a neutral point of view. Wikipedians need to discuss the text in a neutral atmosphere, without interference. --Wetman 23:52, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Wetman, every one of your claims about me is totally wrong. In fact, my beliefs are precisely the opposite of the fundamentalist beliefs that you attribute to me. In fact, I totally agree with you that we should have discussion on the various authors responsible for the Book of Ezekiel, as well for as for all the other books of the Bible. It just seemed to me that a discussion of the authorship of The Book of Ezekiel belongs in that very article. There is no need to read some subtle fundamentalist ploy into this position. Frankly, I welcome critical-historical discussion of all religious topics. RK 01:39, Apr 14, 2005 (UTC)

I deleted no text, by the way. Book of Ezekiel concerns a text passed down in several manuscript traditions, with a literary style that needs to be discussed by grown-ups, a position at the fountainhead of apocalyptic literature, usage made in the New Testament, etc etc. Ezekiel concerns a historic figure whose personality and agenda can be detected through his reported actions and the text attributed to him, and set agains concerns of his contemporaries. Insisting on throwing the two articles together is sleighht-of-hand that does no credit to the rest of us. Geoffrey Chaucer too is known through his literature, with a couple of insignificant documentary references. May we discuss the courtier Chaucer separately from Canterbury Tales or are we to be bullied? --Wetman 00:03, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Wetman write "with a literary style that needs to be discussed by grown-ups" Then you imp,y that I am promoting a fundamentalist agenda by "sleight of hand". Not only are your claims wrong (my beliefs are precisely the opposite of what you claim) - they constitute a personal attack. Please do not do this. RK 01:39, Apr 14, 2005 (UTC)

I agree. I originally updated this article as an article on the Book of Ezekiel, not about the author of Ezekiel. The fact is that Ezekiel may not have been the full author of the work. THere is a chance that since he was a oral prophet that someone else did the majority of his writting. LIke many other books in the Old Testament, there was even a school or a following of the prophet who edited his work before it became Jewish Cannon. We have to seperate teh author because of this.

I think it would be correct for all articles on the scriptures to have a seperate article on the author for this very reason. As in Ruth...she wasn't likly the authro of the book. And books like the Psalms...they weren't all written by David...these books had multiple authors, and for the sake of consistancy they should all have seperate articles on Wikipedia for the Book contents and the Author.

If someone wrote a autobiography you would have an aritcle here about the person, and one to critque the book. Same thing for Biblical Books --John Campbell 00:12, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Thank you for having a rational argument on this topic. It was tiring seeing bizarre personal attacks from Wetman. Let us now get the views of several other people on this topic. RK 00:34, Apr 14, 2005 (UTC)
If Wetman's harsh analysis of this all-too-familiar motivation was off-mark in this particular case, what then was the authentic motivation? Tidiness? Service to the Wikipedia reader? --Wetman 00:50, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)
See my above comments. RK 01:39, Apr 14, 2005 (UTC)

Note: For my post, concerning this User's technique to ensure that no discussion is possible that separates the various authors responsible for the Book of Ezekiel from the prophet Ezekiel, which has now been suppressed by RK, click on the highlighted text to see the History of this page, as of April 13. I need hardly comment further upon such an action, which speaks for itself. --Wetman 01:41, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC) (Text silently reappeared.)

Wetman, what in the world are you talking about? I have already told you that I agree with you. I agree that articles on Biblical books should have sections on this very topic. Why do you keep telling people that I believe otherwise? Why do you refuse to take "Yes" for an answer? I don't understand any of the things that you have been writing about me. In fact, as far as I can tell, I agree with you on the inclusion on each of the historical points that you think are worth discussing. So what is going on? RK 01:44, Apr 14, 2005 (UTC)

The point is bluntly that it is axiomatic in Wikipedia, and universal in adult discourse, that biographies of authors and their milieu and their personality etc are treated separately from texts, even those that may bear an attribution in their very title. Compare the sometimes furtive attempts to confuse John with John. There is almost always a tacit motivation in such conflations: then have I erred in your exceptional case? I am harsh, and I have learned not to be too trusting about "good faith" in matters especially of nationalism and Christianism. But I have no idea what people believe, just what they do. Thank you for returning my text you deleted. Over and out. --Wetman 02:20, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Ok, I see what you mean. The ironic thing is that I agree with you on these historical issues. Just take care to note that most Wikipedia contributors are not even aware of the debate on these issues. Even among those who are otherwise critical and skeptical thinkers, many people assume that the author of the Book of Ruth is Ruth, that the author of the Gospel of John was John, etc. They don't know that historians view this otherwise. It might be a good idea if you write a boilerplate paragraph on this issue? You can use that paragraph whenever this situation comes up, thus alerting and educating the new contributor. RK 13:58, Apr 14, 2005 (UTC)


My history may be a bit rusty, so I thought I'd ask before making the change. Was King Jehoiachin the King of Jerusalem (as indicated in the article) or was he actually the King of the Judah?

Jerusalem was the capital of Judah. The king was king at Jerusalem. --Wetman 22:46, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Yeah...I don't think there really is too much of a difference. I've seen litature that uses both. --John Campbell 00:12, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Apparently by the time of the Babylonian Captivity, the Kingdom of Judah had been reduced to little more than Jerusalem and its immediate environs, so by this point the two titles ("King of Jerusalem" and "King of Judah") were essentially interchangeable. Rlquall 03:35, 20 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Book of Ezekiel

Every word about the text should be here, unedited. All about the prophet should be at Ezekiel. I hope I haven't dropped a word. --Wetman 08:49, 27 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Preceded/succeded by box

Mabye someone can make a box at the bottom of the pages on the books of the bible that say what book was before it and after that. If there is something like that for star trek then there should be something like that for books of the bible.schyler 21:24, 1 January 2006 (UTC) add to the two vertical boxes down the side. And perhaps the information in the bottom box could be repeated in a box at the top, so you don't have to scroll down... --Wetman 09:42, 2 January 2006 (UTC)

So what order are we following Hebrew Bible or Christian Bible? Kuratowski's Ghost 19:31, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

Daniel reference

I have a quibble with "Daniel, fourteen years after his deportation from Jerusalem, is mentioned by Ezekiel". According to mainstream scholarship, the Book of Daniel was written centuries later (obviously, fundamentalists disagree), Daniel was probably an entirely fictional character, and the character mentioned in Ezekiel was another "Daniel" whose name appears in ancient Ugaritic texts. He isn't described as a contemporary: his name first appears in the phrase "Noah, Daniel and Job". I have edited accordingly. --Robert Stevens 17:01, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

Late 19th century / early 20th century pseudo-scholarship. Even if the Ugaritic Daniel was known to the author he wouldn't make sense in this reference. The obvious pattern is Pre-Israelite prophet Noah, Israelite prophet Daniel and Non-Israelite prophet Job. Kuratowski's Ghost 19:29, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
On the contrary, there is nothing "obvious" about that sequence. And the late authorship of Daniel (and hence this intepretation of Ezekiel's Daniel references) is widely accepted by scholars today, not just 100 years ago. The Encyclopaedia Britannica, for instance, presents this dating of Daniel as established fact. My wording recognises that some disagree: to ignore the "critical view", and simply claim (as the original text did) that Ezekiel's Daniel was the same character as the hero of the Book of Daniel, would be a clear violation of Wikipedia's "neutral point of view" policy.--Robert Stevens 10:17, 19 January 2006 (UTC)
Everyone agrees that Daniel was written later than the period it portrays. The fallacious reasoning is that this means that Daniel must be fictitious and that therefore Ezekiel couldn't be referring to him. The majority understanding is that the Daniel mentioned in Ezekiel is the Jewish prophet upon whom the book of Daniel was based. Assuming that he must instead be the long forgotten character from a pagan Ugaritic myth is bizarre when you consider that there are other people mentioned in Babylonian and Assyrian texts with the same name. Kuratowski's Ghost 12:41, 19 January 2006 (UTC)
...Ah, now I see where you're coming from (though not everyone accepts the late authorship of Daniel, hence the confusion). However, my objection to the original wording remains: "fourteen years after his deportation from Jerusalem" assumes that this detail from the Book of Daniel is reliable (and Daniel isn't the book under discussion). And, regardless of where Ezekiel got the name from, nothing in Ezekiel indicates that Daniel WAS in fact a contemporary. It's entirely possible that the author of "Daniel" simply latched onto this conveniently unattached name (and if so, the more obscure the better: more freedom for the author to spin his own tale). Robert Stevens 16:07, 19 January 2006 (UTC)
There is no evidence that Daniel was written later. The problem is that the book of Daniel predicts the date of Christ and other events that modern scholars believe is impossible based on the belief that it is impossible to know the future. This is biased and unsubstantiated based on tradition and manuscripts.
Either way, this article is not about Daniel but Ezekial.
On the contrary: there are numerous reasons for the later dating of Daniel, and the book "predicts" the events of the Maccabean Rebellion. But saying "this article is not about Daniel but Ezekiel" does not excuse the attempt to link the two. --Robert Stevens (talk) 10:19, 1 February 2008 (UTC)

Verse Links

Shouldn't we keep these links inside the wiki-sphere and link them to wikisource (, rather than some outside page?Clarkefreak 22:45, 30 January 2006 (UTC)

Italics in titles

Titles of books are invariably given in italics. In biblical studies, however, italics are avoided among pious writers, effectively giving a reader and writer no easy way to distinguish Ezekiel, for instance, from Ezekiel the text. "Ezekiel says..." becomes "Ezekiel says..." as if only the authentic voice of the prophet could be heard. This especially becomes an issue in New Testament studies, where this pious convention is a ruse, so that one may not identify Luke without identifying Luke, but this Talkpage demonstrates that it is an issue here as well. A consistent distinction needs to be maintained in the article Book of Ezekiel, between the author/persona Ezekiel--not the same thing of course-- and the text Ezekiel. Would anyone insist otherwise? --Wetman 09:49, 27 September 2006 (UTC)

Insist otherwise? On the contrary, I completely agree with you on this point. Please do go and fix this problem by italicizing the word Ezekiel whenever it refers to the text. Invisible Flying Mangoes 12:05, 29 September 2006 (UTC)

3O request

This is in reply to the following request at WP:3O:

Dispute at Talk:Book of Ezekiel over combining pages and finding authentically neutral ways of consistently distinguishing among the author or authors "Ezekiel", the persona "Ezekiel" within the text and the texts Ezekiel, as is routine in reading secular texts. This dispute has broader applications. 10:31, 27 September 2006 (UTC)

However, the last active discussion on this topic seems to have occurred in 2005. As this is not a live dispute, and it's not clear what sort of opinion is expected to be provided, I'm removing the 3O request. Sandstein 19:53, 10 October 2006 (UTC)

"Unsourced commentary apparently written by Wikipedians" section???

The article as presently written actually has a section with this title. Why would a Wikipedia article ever have such a section? What about WP:OR? --A. B. 07:00, 15 November 2006 (UTC)

OK, coming back to the edit histories and talk page today, I now see there is a very long history of disagreements on much of this stuff. This raises the question of how to handle discussion of Biblical texts. When is the document itself sufficient back-up for edits about its content? For instance, take this sentence from that section:
"Although God has permitted His city and Temple to be destroyed, and His people to be led into exile, Ezekiel holds that God is not betraying His people."
Leaving aside the editorial convention of capitalizing "His" (I don't know if that meets Wikipedia guidelines or not), is this sentence really original research if that's what the text says? The remainder of that text looks fairly reasonable if this is what the text plainly says to any reader:
"He asserts that God was compelled to do this because of the sins of the people. Ezekiel feels that there is no reason to despair, for God does not desire the death of the sinner, but his reformation. The Lord exemplifies through action, in that He will remain the God of Israel, and Israel will remain His people."
For specific, brief assertions by Ezekiel where it's plain what he said, I would think a footnote along the lines of "Ezekiel 78:141-142" (OK, I know that's not a real section -- I'm making up an example) should be sufficient. Where a point is developed over a longer section, perhaps something along the lines of "in chapters 83 through 89, and then again in chapters 91 and 93, Ezekiel prophesies the further ...". This sort of thing (at least partially) reassures other editors about the original research issue; it also provides useful pointers toreaders wishing to delve further into the topic.
Then there are situations where broad themes are laid out over the entire text -- again, what if these themes are plainly evident to any reader. An analog would be a statement about the book of Genesis along the lines of "Genesis lays out the Bible's account of early Israelite history from the earth's creation to the time of their immigration to Egypt". I don't see that there's much in that statement that's not plainly evident to any reader of that text, although they might disagree over many finer points, interpretations, authorship, etc. It's simply a précis of the text. Even people who think the entire text is made-up hogwash can probably agree that this is in fact the Biblical account.
Prophetic texts are trickier, but even then something along the lines of "Ezekiel repeatedly wrote ..." should be pretty straightforward.
The alternative as I see it would be unnecessarily clunky -- "Biblical scholar Joe Schmoe says Ezekiel said 'God will ..." If that's what Ezekiel plainly said, then quoting Joe Schmoe out of an extreme interpretation of WP:OR will just lead to battles over whose favorite scholars should be quoted. Disputes will likely erupt over whether "excessive" links to one faith or another's web site represents spamming or useful, good faith linking.
Finally I encourage this article's editors to look to the many other articles on Biblical books to for ideas on how to handle these issues. --A. B. 15:38, 15 November 2006 (UTC)
This is definitely a problem, both original research-wise and as a self-reference. I'm going to put this article up in an appropriate WikiProject, as well as the cleanup tag I just added. --Dhartung | Talk 21:07, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

Article Cleanup Co-Ordination Point

Change of section's title

Speculating as to whether the author of the book suffered from Epilepsy does not constitute "commentary" on the book. I have changed the title to reflect this. Maerk 02:16, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

Infobox template

I don't think an article about a book of the Bible needs an infobox from WikiProject Saints. So I'm deleting that part of the template... Actually... I am going to go ahead and be bold and delete that template altogether. It has no place here. Objections? Alekjds talk 00:04, 5 March 2007 (UTC)

Only added it because the individual Ezekiel is listed as a saint in the Eastern Orthodox Church, and the only biography of Ezekiel currently available in wikipedia is the biography on this page. Feel free to remove it, however. John Carter 17:19, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
I certainly recognize the validity of that reasoning, especially since it's not out of the question to have an infobox for a specific single section of an article. Could we take the "Biography of Ezekiel" part and make it its own article? We could summarize the section as it applies to this article and link. This is just a suggestion, because it seems like it should have its own article. Alekjds talk 20:32, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

Ulrich Zimmerli

Will need to research whether the source provided is a WP:RS. --Shirahadasha 20:37, 16 May 2007 (UTC)

Why are there no images? Is it because this is madness?

It's not like he saw flaming penises rape hell. The visions in this book are visual/picturesque/photogenic, popular with artists and not at all child-disturbing. They need to be seen. Even simple diagrams could help anyone studying this book to keep track of what Ezekiel sees and conquer the poetry. The symbolism should be analyzed, organized, compared to other instances, and linked to relevant articles, to better understand. At least make a list of symbols used. This is one of the most encyclopedia-friendly books in the Book, and could shed light on topics such as Cherub, Vision (religion), Cubit, &c. Feel free to draw your own (accurate) version, as images can bypass the no-original-research rule. A beautiful picture could earn the article status such as "cool" with females or "Royal" with England. But it doesn't have to be National-Geographic-quality. If it's too much, it could be moved to another Exegesis of the Book of Ezekiel page that analyzes the most important interpretations, including things like Suzanne Haik-Vantoura's decipher. Hurry, before 90% of Wikipedia material is about football. Erudecorp ? * 01:53, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

While I'm not against picturese per se, images on such a subject definitely cannot bypass the no original research rule because there's no agreed-upon vision that the picture would protray. Any picture claiming to represent what Ezekiel saw represents someone's interpretation. It can't be portrayed as fact. It needs to be attributed. A rendition of a disputed prohecy has some of the problems of the CSI effect in forensics. Artist's reconstructions definitely help entertain and persude. Their ability to inform and help reach reliable results may be lesser. Doubtless the football articles don't have this problem. Best, --Shirahadasha 02:58, 9 November 2007 (UTC)


There's no evidence to back that up. The Book of Ezekiel isn't that long. Compare it to the writings of people more contemporary like Ellen G. White who definetly had hypergraphia. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:01, 26 December 2008 (UTC)

It's in the source, you need more of a reason than you disagree with it to remove it. I'll restore it shortly. Carl.bunderson (talk) 03:16, 29 December 2008 (UTC)
I'm moving this section to the article on Ezekiel the man since it's more relevant. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:13, 30 December 2008 (UTC)


I moved this section to the article suggested by the writings of Altschuler onto Ezekiel himself. It's more relevant to the man himself then to the book. The article on the book should stick to the study of the authorship(s) and not any personal afflictions that the man had regardless of how it may affected his work. That's why he has his own article. Also, since the paragraph above it suggest that a lot of the work wasn't done by him anyway causing the mention of epilepsy below to have problems regarding the effects of it on the book's authorship. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:42, 30 December 2008 (UTC)

"Laws that were not good" and human sacrifice

Why is there no discussion of some of the most famous and perplexing passages in the entire Hebrew Bible? Ezekiel complained about people burning their children to death.

"And you took your sons and your daughters, whom you had borne to me, and these you sacrificed to them to be devoured. Were your harlotries so small a matter that you slaughtered my children and delivered them up as an offering by fire to them?" (Ezek. 16:20-21)

The Book of Ezekiel then states that God purposely gave bad laws which discouraged life and, by some interpretations, these laws led the people to believe that they should offer gifts of their first born by fire. This contradicts the text of the Torah as we know it, and all of Jewish and Christian interpretation of it. Nonetheless, Ezekiel talks about this as a point of view apparently accepted as truthful by at least some major segment of the population

"Moreover I gave them statutes that were not good and ordinances by which they could not have life; and I defiled them through their very gifts in making them offer by fire all their first-born, that I might horrify them; I did it that they might know that I am the LORD." (Ezek. 20:25-26)

God is said to tell us that from the time when the people of Israel were in the wilderness, some people sacrificed their sons by fire.

"Wherefore say to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord GOD: Will you defile yourselves after the manner of your fathers and go astray after their detestable things? When you offer your gifts and sacrifice your sons by fire, you defile yourselves with all your idols to this day. And shall I be inquired of by you, O house of Israel? As I live, says the Lord GOD, I will not be inquired of by you." (Ezek. 20:30-31)

In one case Ezekiel says God made the Israelites offer their children by fire to horrify them. In the other, he complains when they do the same for other gods.

What are the traditional rabbinic Jewish responses to these verses? I know that the rabbis did not believe that God actually gave commandments to commit these heinous sins. I know that there are verses in the Book of Ezekiel previous to these in which God says that he allowed false prophets to live and mislead the people (which in other books of the Bible God does not allow.) I know that some rabbinic commentators compare this to God's hardening of Pharoh's heart, in the book of Exodus. In the Jewish view, Pharoh intially had free-will, but after repeatedly making bad decisions, God hardened his heart, so that he would thus make decisions inevitably leading to his loss and punishment. But we need some well-sourced discussion of the variety of views on this subject. What do modern day, post-enlightenment Jews have to say about these verses? How are they understood by members of Liberal Judaism, Conservative Judaism, and perhaps even Modern Orthodox Judaism? I suspect many of their commentators hold that these are not literally the word of God, but rather Ezekiel's own interpretation of God's anger, when God saw some Isralites abandon the authentic law of Moses, and begin to fall back upon outlawed, pagan sacrifices. (Once you recognize that the words of the prophets are written by people, and not 100% from God, then contradictions become much easier to understand - and even may be expected in a book as long as the Bible.)

And what about Christian views? We need well-sourced views of classical Christian commentators (pre-Orthodox/Catholic split), Catholic Chrisitian views, Orthodox Christian views, and Protestant Christian views. How do they understand the verse?

We cannot say that Christians view these as pre-Christians "Jewish" views, and use this as proof that Christianity is superior to Judaism. Christians must know full well that Ezekiel is part of their own Bible. DO Christians really believe that Jesus/God commanded child sacrifice, and then retracted it? (On the other hand, Christians do believe that God's plan was to literally have a human sacrifice of His own son.)

Views of modern, secular Bible scholars

Views of Hahn and Bergsma

SCOTT WALKER HAHN, Franciscan University of Steubenville, Steubenville, OH 43952
JOHN SIETZE BERGSMA, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN 46556
...In this article we wish to suggest a new solution, which identifies Ezekiel’s “not good” laws with the Deuteronomic law code. Our approach is primarily synchronic, based on a literary reading of Ezekiel in its final form and canonical setting; but we will also draw on recent historical-critical and literary-critical scholarship on Ezekiel’s use of Priestly and Deuteronomic traditions in ch. 20. In the following, we will first establish the correspondence of the laws with the Deuteronomic code through an analysis of the literary structure and narrative sequence of ch. 20. Second, we will attempt to explain why Ezekiel, who thinks and writes from a Priestly perspective, would consider at least certain laws of the Deuteronomic code to be “not good.”8 Third, we will propose an explanation for the bizarre statements of v. 26—which describe the LORD defiling Israel through the offering of their firstborn—in terms of the conflict between Priestly and Deuteronomic laws concerning the sacrifice of firstlings....
...To summarize: from Ezekiel’s Priestly perspective, the laws of the Deuteronomic code were defiling in their effects; though not intrinsically “evil”, they were most certainly “not good”. Just as the previous verses repeatedly single out the Sabbath as a characteristic and representative law of the (Priestly) revelation from Sinai, so v. 26 mentions the changed provisions concerning the offering of the firstlings as characteristic and representative of the “not good” laws given on the plains of Moab (Deut 4:44–49; 29:1). What is shocking about Ezekiel’s formulation is that he accepts the divine authority of both the D and P legal corpora and concludes that the D laws were intentionally given to render Israel so defiled that exile would be inevitable. Scattered among the nations, Israel would thus be compelled to recognize the LORD’s sovereignty (“that they might know that I am the LORD”.
What laws were "not good"? View of Hahn and Bergsma

View of Lyle Eslinger

Lyle Eslinger
Department of Religious Studies, The University of Calgary, 2500 University Drive N.W., Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2N

Ezekiel 20 and the Metaphor of Historical Teleology

"A Cultural History of the Jews" by Howard Tzvi Adelman, in section 3

A Cultural History of the Jews, see section 3.

View of Ralph Klein

"Ezekiel: The Prophet and his message" Ralph W. Klein, Univ. of South Carolina Press. Published as part of the "Studies on personalites of the Old Testament" series, edited by James. L Crenshaw.
As a further escalation of judgment to the second wilderness generation, Yahweh also gave his people laws that were no good and by which people could not live (vv. 25-26). Laws - normally intended for life - now would lead to death and desolation. Through this experience of Yahweh's final judgment the people would discover Yahweh's true identity; that is, they would know that he is Yahweh.
This is, indeed, a hard saying, both because its meaning is not incontrovertibly apparent and because it presents, in anyone's reading, a stark picture of God. It can be compared to the divine hardening of Pharaoh's heart in the book of Exodus or to the command to Isaiah, at the time of his call, to make the heart of the people fat and their ears heavy lest they turn and be healed (Isa.6:10). Through this process of hardening, God threatens to lead those who anger him into greater sin, for which they will then receive greater punishment (cf. 14:9; Isa. 63:17).
The "no good" laws supposedly required the sacrifice of every first-born child. Under kings like Ahaz (2 Kings. 26:3) and Manasseh (2 Kings. 21:6) child sacrifice was practiced in Israel. The Deuteronomist (Deut. 12:31) and Jeremiah (7:31; 19:5; 32:35) strongly protested this abuse, but the very fervor of these witnesses suggests that those who practiced it believed that such sacrifices were for the benefit of Yahweh.
While all first-born sons were to be dedicated to Yahweh according to Exodus 22:,29, other Pentateuchal laws make clear that in the case of human beings, these firstborn were also always to be redeemed (Exod. 13:11-13; 34:19-20). Still, from passages like 2 Kings 3:27 and Micah 6:7, it is clear that people believed it was permissible to circumvent the requirement to redeem male children under extraordinary circumstances. Perhaps such exceptions were justified on the basis of a perverse exegesis of the Pentateuchal texts, or even on the basis of alleged words of Yahweh not preserved for us in the Scriptures.
Clearly, Jeremiah and Ezekiel stood aghast at this practice. Ezekiel nevertheless quotes Yahweh in this passage as saying that the law on which people based this practice was, in fact, something which God had given, but that this law (v. 25) - contrary to all other laws (cf. vv.11,13,21) - brought only death and not life.

View of Professor Hyam Maccoby

Statutes That Were Not Good (Ezekiel 20:25-26): Traditional Interpretations, The Journal of the Society for Textual Reasoning, Vol.8, 1999, Hyam Maccoby, University of Leeds
This interpretation casts new light on Ezekiel's dispute with the Israelites. Rather than being merely disobedient to the commandments of Yahweh, these Israelites disapproved of the upstart prophetic interpreters, who, in the name of Yahweh, forbade a practice of ancient authority, the sacrifice of firstborn sons. Ezekiel represents the rebels as attributing the new teaching to Yahweh himself, and declaring this new teaching to be bad, but in historical fact, the rebels probably blamed the prophet for introducing wrong interpretation of Yahweh's wishes.
modern scholarship confirms the rebels' sense of history...for the biblical denunciation of human firstborn sacrifice is now seen by scholars as a reform of previous Israelite practice. The text of Exodus 13:12-13, while it rules out sacrifice of the human firstborn, shows a law that has been subject to evolution. The sanctification of the firstborn requiring redemption, the sparing of the Israelite firstborn at the time of the death of the Egyptian firstborn, even the aborted sacrifice of Isaac by Abraham, all show a process of accommodation and reform bespeaking an original, primitive pre-Biblical rite of firstborn sacrifice... The biblical writers, including Ezekiel, denounced human sacrifice as idolatrous... but they were struggling with a mode of worship that had an aura of ancient authority as well as a mystical rationale of its own.
Malbim realised that Ezekiel was disputing with people who had their own critique of the commandments of the Torah, rather than with mere idolaters. But Malbim may have overlooked the extent to which Ezekiel's opponents were concerned with exegesis rather than criticism of the Torah. There is also a question about how far the text of Exodus was available to Ezekiel and to his opponents. This question leads to the possibility that their dispute was not merely exegetical but redactional: they may have been arguing about different versions of Exodus current at that time...
Ezekiel himself, however, was not prepared to enter into any discussion about whether the law, as he expounded it, derived genuinely from God. As a prophet, he was confident that the law against human sacrifice came directly from God; so those who opposed this law must be accusing God of giving bad laws.
With whatever qualifications, an interpretation along the lines of Malbim's, attributing the stigmatization of certain scriptural laws as `bad' to Ezekiel's enemies rather than to Ezekiel himself, makes sense. It is incredible that Ezekiel would attribute to God a malevolent tactic of giving bad laws to the Israelites in retaliation for their neglect of his good laws.
...It is unfortunate, however, that modern Jewish commentators, led by Moshe Greenberg, have generally adopted the view that Ezekiel is here accusing God of having given bad laws, including even a law of human sacrifice of the first-born. While the modern scholar must accept that pre-biblical Israelite practice included human sacrifice, the Bible itself denounces it, and no biblical writer would ever attribute its institution to the God of Israel.

Views of Jewish Bible commentators, Meforshim

Here we quote and discuss religious Jewish sources on this topic.

David Altschuler and David Kimchi

Hyam Maccoby's own views are presented in the above section. However, Maccoby summarizes the views of a Jewish Bible commentary called the Metzudat David written by David Altschuler, 18th century:

He suggests that the meaning of v. 25 is, `I have driven you into exile, where you will be forced to submit to laws and statutes that are bad, i.e. oppressive legislation against the Jews.' He translates v. 26, `I have removed you from me like a polluted thing because of your sacrifices of firstborn sons to Moloch.'
These translations make sense, in the prosaic manner typical of this commentator, but are somewhat forced. The interpretation actually derives from the commentary of David Kimchi (1105-1170).

The Malbim

Hyam Maccoby discusses another Jewish interpretation of these verses, from the Malbim, Meir Loeb Malbim. Malbim notes that this section seems to contradict other statements of Ezekiel's, as well as the rest of the Bible, and notes that we may simply have a slightly corrupted text (this view widely accepted in general, among all non-Orthodox Jewish religious scholars.)

The solution provided by Malbim (Meir Loeb Malbim, 1809-1879) is far more attractive and poetic. A translation based on his commentary would be as follows (vv. 23-26):
23. I too swore to them in the wilderness to scatter them among the nations and to spread them among the lands -
24. Because they did not perform my judgments and despised my statutes and profaned my sabbaths and their eyes were set on the idols of their ancestors,
25. (for they said that) I had even given them statutes that were not good and judgments by which they could not live,
26. And that I had defiled them in their offerings (by commanding them) to sacrifice the firstborn (of animals only) - so as to devastate them, so that they may know that I am the Lord.
The four verses form one sentence, with a parenthesis from the beginning of v. 23 to the middle of v. 26. The phrase `so as to devastate them', in v. 26 takes up the threat to scatter and spread them in v. 23.
Three lacunae are posited. The first, in v. 25, puts the problematic words, `I had given them statutes that were not good and judgments by which they could not live' into the mouths of the erring Israelites. Actually, it is hardly necessary to insert the parenthesis `(for they said that'), as the verse can be understood as sarcastic. The two lacunae in v. 26, however, are more necessary to the sense proposed. This verse represents the Israelites as reproving God for depriving them of the sanctity and purity they would have acquired by sacrificing their firstborn sons. By confining sacrifice of the firstborn to animals, in the Torah law about `womb-openers' (Exodus 13: 12), God has left the Israelites in a state of impurity.

Hyam Maccoby's own views are presented in the above section, but they are in general agreement with the Malbim.

The Jewish Study Bible, Ed. Adele Berlin and Marc Zvi Brettler

The Jewish Study Bible is printed by Oxford University Press, 2004

This book's commentary, on page 1078, reads:
Since the people disobeyed God's good laws, He gave them bad laws instead, exemplified by child sacrifice. Whether this is the way that some Israelites interpreted Exod. 22.28; 34.19, and whether at an early point in Israelite religion sacrifice of the first-born was regularly practiced, is unclear. It seems, however, that some believed God approved of child sacrifice (Deut. 12.29; Jer. 7.31; 19.5; 32.25). The notion that God misled thepeople so that He could condemn them for it is found in 14.9

View of Rashi

Here is quote from Ezekiel, by Rabbi S. Fisch, Edited by Rev. Dr. A. Cohen, The Soncino Press, London, 1960

23. "However, I swore to them in the wilderness that I would scatter them among the nations..."
While they were still in the wilderness God decreed that their descendents, after being settled in the Holy Land, would be exiled and dispersed among the nations, because they were yet in need of purification in the furnace of national suffering...
25. "Moreover, I gave them laws that were not good and rules by which they could not live."
26. "When they set aside every first issue of the womb, I defiled them by their very gifts - that I might render them desolate, that they might know that I am the Lord."
The thought that God could actually give the Israelites statutes that were not good was repugnant to the Jewish mind. Accordingly, Rashi states that since they rejected the discipline of the Torah, God allowed the evil dictates of their heart to have unrestricted sway over them. Kimchi and others interpret that as a punishment for rejecting the Divine statutes, God delivers them to their enemies who impose upon them exacting and rigourours statutes ("not good"). Because they discarded laws "which if a man do, he shall live by them", they would become subject to laws which signify death. The verb "I gave" therefore has the meaning of "I caused to give". Rashi's explanation seems to come nearer to the Biblical doctrine which ascribes to God the inevitable consequence of man's choice of action. Thus God is said to have hardened Pharaoh's heart where the intention is that He let the king harden his heart. See on the phrase "I am the Lord have enticed that prophet" (xiv.9).

Views of Christian Bible commentators

Some Christians believe that God deliberately gave evil laws to the Israelites. In this point of view, this "proves" that the Jewish Bible was evil. I have seen this Christian point of view often, and have never understood it. Why would Christians claim that their own God gave evil laws to promote human sacrifice? For Christians who have had this point of view, they seem to be cutting off their own nose to spite their face. In order to prove that their New Testament is superior to the Jews' Hebrew Bible, the have to denigrate the very work that they believe was from their own God. I cannot follow the logic in this, but I also admit to finding no logic in the views of many religious beliefs, of many peoples, in many faiths. The important point, however, is that such views be included in this article, even if we Wikipedia editors disagree with them, or find them illogical. That is a primary part of Wikipedia's Neutral point of view editing policy.

On the other hand, note that this is not the Christian view, but rather a Christian view. We should look for a variety of other POV's from Catholic Christian and Orthodox Christian sources.

  • 'STATUTES THAT WERE NOT GOOD' (EZEKIEL 20:25-26): TRADITIONAL INTERPRETATIONS, The Journal of the Society for Textual Reasoning, Vol.8, 1999, Hyam Maccoby, University of Leeds
'I gave them statutes that were not good, and ordinances by which they could not have life.' This text was much used in the Christian Adversus Judaeos literature to prove that the Mosaic law was intrinsically evil, given only as a punishment, and not expressing the true and final will of God (William Nicholls, Christian Antisemitism, p. 216; see Rosemary Ruether, Faith and Fratricide, p. 153ff.). Even more damaging was the use of the following verse by Enlightenment antisemites (Voltaire, D'Holbach) and later followers to argue that the Hebrew Bible advocates human sacrifice (`Molochism').
Statues That Were Not Good: Traditional Interpretations

Catholic Christian views

The New Advent Bible comments as follows

New Advent Bible citation

25. Therefore I also gave them statutes that were not good, and judgments, in which they shall not live.
Statutes that were not good, etc... Viz., the laws and ordinances of their enemies; or those imposes upon them by that cruel tyrant the devil, to whose power they were delivered up for their sins.

I'm concerned that the new section is a bit novel synthesis/merely quoting from works, without really analyzing the passage. Does anyone share this? Carl.bunderson (talk) 02:45, 3 January 2009 (UTC)