Can These Bones Live? The Problem of the Moral Self in the by Jacqueline E. Lapsley

By Jacqueline E. Lapsley

This article is an exegetical examine of the tensions inherent in Ezekiel's realizing of the human ethical self. The booklet explores the dynamics of those tensions, and efforts to solve them within the textual content.

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Extra resources for Can These Bones Live? The Problem of the Moral Self in the Book of Ezekiel

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The ethical tensions evident in the book suggest that Ezekiel may be attempting to work out a solution to this intractable problem. In other words, theological questions have tended to dominate the scholarly discussion so far described, but they obscure equally important anthropological questions, the answers to which may clarify why Ezekiel's portraits of God and of human beings take the form they do, and why those portraits satisfy both the explicit and the implicit needs expressed in the text.

Like all scholars dealing with the tensions in Ezekiel (no matter how the tension is framed), Joyce deals with chapter 18 extensively. "46 Thus far Joyce's attention to the collective is not far from the arguments of Greenberg and Sakenfeld above, though his emphasis lies less on the hope of salvation and more on divine punishment of human sin. For Joyce the language 44 I will be drawing principally from his monograph, Divine initiative and Human Response in Ezekiel (cited above). " 185-96; idem, "The Individual and the Community" in Begnning Old Testament Stué/ (ed.

39 The tension for Fishbane consists in the emphasis on individual responsibility and repentance in chapter 18 contrasted with their explicit contradiction in chapter 20. "41 Fishbane views the tension as follows: although in ch. 20 every generation after the second desert one is justly punished for its own sins, the fact remains that YHWH himself determined that the sins of the fathers (the second desert generation) were to be deferred to a later generation. And so even if all subsequent generations sinned, the generation of the fathers was not punished in its own right and the succeeding generations lived under the onus of a law that led them undeservedly into sin.

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