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    Ezekiel and the Ethics of Exile

    By: Andrew Mein

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    Whereas much recent work on the ethics of the Hebrew Bible addresses the theological task of using the Bible as a moral resource for today, this book aims to set Ezekiel's ethics firmly in the social and historical context of the Babylonian Exile. The two 'moral worlds' of Jerusalem and Babylonia provide the key. Ezekiel explains the disaster in terms familiar to his audience's past experience as members of Judah's political elite. He also provides ethical strategiesfor coping with the more limited possibilities of life in Babylonia, which include the ritualization of ethics, an increasing emphasis on the domestic and personal sphere of action, and a shift towards human passivity in the face of restoration. Thus the prophet's moral concerns and priorities aresubstantially shaped by the social experience of deportation and resettlement. They also represent a creative response to the crisis, providing significant impetus for social cohesion and the maintenance of a distinctively Jewish community.

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