Metaphorical Narratives in the Book of Ezekiel

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This book examines eleven passages in the book of the prophet Ezekiel that can be understood as metaphorical narratives. When the metaphorical narratives are examined in the order as presented within this book, consideration can be given not only to the metaphor itself, but also to the types of metaphors that Ezekiel used.


“The book of Ezekiel was written by a person with remarkable literary ability. His work is full of surprises — and shocks — ranging from efforts to describe indescribable visions, to accounts of his own strange actions, to a series of stories that generally begin with the familiar but soon move in unpredictable directions. The style of the book is usually prosy, with relatively few truly poetic passages, as prophetic books go. Because of that, Ezekiel’s work has not been praised as literature, as the great poetry of Amos and Isaiah has been ... “Carrying the thought to the extreme,” an expression Dr. Durlesser uses several times near the conclusion of his work, is characteristic not only of the metaphorical narratives, but in many ways of Ezekiel’s book as a whole. The prophet lived in extreme times, in desperate times, and the work before us shows explicitly how such simple symbols as vines and sheep could be used by a master of the language to convey a desperately needed message.” – (from the Foreword) Donald E. Gowan, Emeritus Professor, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary

“In 1966, the new translation of the Bible, Good News for Modern Man, was published. A few years later (1970), Peter Macky published a work entitled The Bible in Dialogue with Modern Man. The general intention was to emphasize the necessity of understanding and interacting with the biblical message ... This book is an application of Peter Macky’s principles for the understanding of (biblical) metaphors but it is clear that the author also shares the conviction that the biblical message is intended to be 'in dialogue' with its interpreter ... Dr. Durlesser is thorough, consistent, and persuasive. He is faithful to Macky in that he is rigorous in his attention to the task at hand. He goes beyond, Macky, however, in his encyclopedic knowledge of the material and the wealth of relevant information (about Ezekiel) that he brings to bear on his research. It is a genuine pleasure to have this part in the ‘dialogue.’” – (from the Preface) Professor Roman Garrison

Table of Contents

Foreword by Donald E. Gowan
Preface by Roman Garrison
1. Ezekiel 34: The Metaphorical Narrative of the Wicked Shepherds, the Sheep, and the Good Shepherd
2. Ezekiel 15, 17, 19:10-14: Metaphorical Narratives of the Vine
3. Ezekiel 19:1-9: The Metaphorical Narrative of the Lioness and her Cubs
4. Ezekiel 16 and 23: Metaphorical Narratives of Adultery
5. Ezekiel 27: The Metaphorical Narrative of the Sinking of the Tyrian Merchant Ship
6. Ezekiel 31: Metaphorical Narrative of the Cedar Tree
7. Ezekiel 29:1-6a and 32:1-16: Metaphorical Narratives about a Water Monster
Subject Index
Author Index

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