Ezekiel 37 is one of the most familiar in the entire book, but that familiarity really extends only to the first fourteen verses. The chapter actually contains two oracles which telegraph the same ideas and work in tandem. This episode discusses the vision of the dry bones, particularly the debate over whether it provides information on a theology of individual bodily resurrection, and the prophecy of the two sticks representing the rejoining of the two halves of Israel. Both parts of the chapter relate to the restoration of the entire nation and return to the land. The question of fulfillment for these prophecies is also taken up in this episode.

These two chapters seems intrusive. The oracles against the nations ended in Ezekiel 32, followed by the announcement of Jerusalem’s fall (ch. 33) and a transition to the future hope of Israel (ch. 34). Chapters 35-36 are an oracle against Edom (“Mount Seir”) followed by more restorative language in Chapter 36. This episode of the podcast explains why Ezekiel 35 isn’t interruptive because, for the Israelite and OT theology, the judgment of Edom was part of Israel’s restoration to her former glory. Chapter 36, more obviously about the future hope of Israel, raises important questions about eschatology. Specifically, many Bible students assume the chapter’s comments about the coming of the Spirit and restoration of God’s people to the land pertain to a future millennial kingdom. However, the NT quotes the chapter several times, at least two of which have fulfillment in the first century or the OT period itself. Ezekiel 36 therefore raises the issue of whether any element of Ezekiel 36 awaits fulfillment in the distant future—a question that is appropriate the rest of the way (Ezekiel 37-48).

This episode follows episodes 68 and 120. Fern, Audrey, and Beth minister to trauma victims whose trauma has produced DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder) or involved Trauma-based Mind Control (TBMC).  If those terms and associated concepts are unfamiliar to you, then episode 68 is an essential precursor to this episode. This episode focuses on addressing listener questions about this ministry. What you’ll hear in this episode, however, isn’t a model for ministry. As you listen, do not assume you can take what’s said today, get the transcript, make a checklist, and do this sort of ministry. The episode discusses in some detail how the ministry of Fern, Audrey, and Beth differs from traditional deliverance ministry and why those differences matter.

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Resources:
Project Bluebird Colin Ross

NB 149 Transcript

On the surface, these chapters finalize the destruction of Jerusalem and the covenant failure of its leadership and people as the cause. But there is more than meets the eye. The notion of a “watchman” prominent in Ezekiel chapter 33 is found elsewhere and has possible connections to the divine council. Ezekiel chapter 34 is heavily re-purposed in the New Testament, especially in casting Jesus in the role of God, the true shepherd of Israel. Lastly, we get a hint of the “already but not yet” theme of biblical eschatology.

NB 147 Transcript

Ezekiel 32 is a lament for the empire of Egypt, whose hubris was compared to a rebellious divine council member in the previous chapter (one of the “trees” of God’s garden in Lebanon/Eden). This episode focuses on two items in the chapter. Early in the chapter, the prophet casts pharaoh as both a sea dragon and a lion, two seemingly incompatible metaphors. Is this a mistake or is it meaningful? This episode also discusses whether Ezekiel 32:21-28 has anything to do with the origin of demons as the disembodied spirits of the giants.

Resources:

Theodore Lewis, “CT 13.33-34 and Ezekiel 32: Lion-Dragon Myths,” Journal of the American Oriental Society 116:1 (1996):28-47

NB 146 Transcript

Ezekiel 31 is part of the prophet’s oracles against Egypt (chs. 29-32). The chapter strikes an analogy between the mighty nation of Egypt and a great cedar tree in Eden, the envy of other glorious trees in the garden of God. The symbol of the “world tree” or “cosmic tree” is well known, not only to scholars of the ancient Near East, but other cultures as well. The cosmic tree represents a mythological pillar or column that unites all elements of Israel’s ancient three-tiered cosmology. Its branches reach the heavens; its trunk is fixed to the earth, while its roots descend into the subterranean deep of Sheol. It gives life to everything living thing yet it intersects with the realm of the dead. As with Ezekiel28, many scholars presume the point of that the great tree is Adam, to whom Pharaoh is being compared and judged for his hubris. This common assumption misses the meaning of the primeval cosmic tree and its associated forest as this episode details.

Resources:

Silviu Bunta, “The MEŠU-Tree and the Animal Inside: Theomorphism and Theriomorphism in Daniel 4,” Scrinium 3:1 (2007): 364-384

Edward Lipinski, “El’s Abode: Mythological Traditions Related to Mount Hermon and to the Mountains of Armenia,” Orientalia Lovaniensa Periodica II, (Leuven, 1971), pp. 13-69

Ezek31-Hermon-Lebanon-Map

NB 145 Transcript

Ezekiel 29-30 are the first two of four chapters that preserve a series of oracles against Egypt and her Pharaoh. As in the case of the oracles against the prince of Tyre, Ezekiel’s imagery of cosmic, non-human forces of chaos that resist God’s order frames Yahweh’s judgment of the hubris of Egypt. This episode therefore pays special attention to chaos and Leviathan imagery while referencing other symbols and metaphors that juxtapose Egypt’s deserved demise and Israel’s future restoration.

NB 144 Transcript

The focus in this episode is Ezek 28:1-19. As readers of my book, The Unseen Realm: Recovering the Supernatural Worldview of the Bible know, this is a controversial passage.  All scholars agree that this is an oracle and lament against a human prince of Tyre. The disagreement stems from vv. 11-19, but 1-19 is peripherally affected. The debate is over just who the prince of Tyre in vv. 11-19 is being compared to — i.e., what is the point of analogy? Many say that the prince of Tyre is being compared to Adam in Eden. This would mean that it is Adam who is being referred to as a “guardian cherub” (v. 14) who walked in the midst of the stone of fire (a reference to either divine council members or the divine council locale). Dr. Heiser shares the view of other scholars who say that the prince of Tyre is being compared to a divine rebel — and that this passage is related to another one (Isaiah 14) that compares a human ruler (king of Babylon) to a divine rebel. Further, he argues that these two passages are related to Genesis 3, the OT’s own story of a primeval divine rebellion. This means that the anointed cherub is a divine being, a rebellious member of the divine council (stones of fire) – not Adam. This episode explores why the debate exists and adds some details in defense of Dr. Heiser’s position.

Chart: TUR-Ezek28-Isa14-Gen3

NB 143 Transcript

Five of the seven nations that are the target of judgment oracles were found in Ezekiel 25. Tyre takes its position in the prophetic crosshairs next. Over the course of three chapters (26-28), God has Ezekiel pronounce Tyre’s dire future in the wake of her hubris and delight at Jerusalem’s destruction. This episode covers Ezekiel 26-27 with an oracle of judgment (Ezek 26) and a lament (Ezek 27).

NB 142 Transcript