Ezekiel 20 and the composition of the Torah
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There is no consensus on why Ezekiel 20 differs so strongly from the other historical traditions and texts known from the Torah. Are the authors simply purposefully selective in their reuse of earlier ‘historical’ material, or do they offer a synopsis of all the material available to them, inadvertently preserving a particular stage in the development of the pentateuchal material? Or, more likely, is the answer somewhere in between? It is these questions that the present study begins to answer. Part One offers an analysis of the general linguistic influences of the priestly, Holiness, and deuteronomic corpora on Ezekiel 20, demonstrating that the impact of all three has been overstated. Part Two, the core of the study, examines in detail four texts of the Torah which share a statistically significant number and type of locutions with Ezekiel 20: Numbers 13-14; Exodus 6.2-8; Exodus 31.12-17; and Leviticus 26. Across these texts, both unilateral and bilateral literary reuse of or by Ezekiel 20 is established, and the ramifications for the composition and rhetoric of both the Torah texts and Ezekiel 20 is explored in detail. Part Three synthesises these findings, confirming that, and describing how, Ezekiel 20 compositionally interacts with the priestly and Holiness writings, offering insight into the extent and nature of a stratified, likely independent P. Three prevailing models of the composition of the Torah are then examined for points of continuity and discontinuity with this picture, with the result that none of them are able to account for all of the data collected herein. In sum, it is no longer sufficient to consider the literary dependencies between Ezekiel 20 and the priestly or Holiness material, let alone Ezekiel and the Torah, as mono-directional.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
Embargo Date: 2022-05-31
Embargo Reason: Thesis restricted in accordance with University regulations. Print and electronic copy restricted until 31st May 2022
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