A Dialogue Between Isaiah 40 and Ezekiel on the Nature of Kebod YHWH

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As is well known, Ezekiel uses the phrase kebod YHWH in a specific way, which both develops and differs from its use in the passages of Torah assigned by many to the Priestly writer. Ezekiel describes kebod YHWH as a visual phenomenon which inheres in the Temple, and expresses God's Presence. Kebod YHWH can travel outside the Temple, as a way of expressing the unlimited nature of YHWH, but Ezekiel views its "proper" location as the Temple. He devotes a detailed description in chapters 8-11 to the departure of the kebod YHWH from the Temple. As part of his vision of the restored Temple (43), he describes its triumphant return to its proper location, accompanied by visual and auditory phenomena. In contrast, Isaiah 40-66 refer to kebod YHWH only occasionally, and tend not to connect this phrase to the Temple. The particular description of kebod YHWH in Isaiah 40:1-11, however, seems to reflect back on the depictions of kebod YHWH in Ezekiel. Like the depiction in Ezekiel 40-48, it describes the appearance of kebod YHWH on a mountain, and focusses on its visual appearance. But the significance of kebod YHWH in Isaiah 40 is completely unrelated to Temple, and instead directly related to the re-settlement of the towns surrounding Jerusalem. The prophet in Isaiah 40 takes "temple language" and uses it in a new context, arguing that the Presence of God inheres not (only?) in the Temple, but in the Dwelling of the People in the Land. In this respect, he resumes a theme known to us from Jeremiah 7, and from many other earlier texts. I will explore the rhetorical function of kebod YHWH in Isaiah 40:1-11 and examine whether this passage attests a dialogue between two prophets of the period of Exile and Return.
Original languageEnglish
StatePublished - 2018
EventInternational Conference on Contextualizing Jewish Temples - Bar-Ilan University, Israel
Duration: 20 May 201823 May 2018


ConferenceInternational Conference on Contextualizing Jewish Temples
CityBar-Ilan University


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