To many readers the book of Ezekiel is a hopeless riddle. We still find many features of the man and his message difficult and sometimes even shocking, if not offensive. The bizarre opening vision catches us off guard and tempts us to stop reading. However, if we persist, and if we meditate long and hard on individual utterances and sign actions, we will discover that despite the strangeness of the man and his utterances, this is the most clearly organized of the major prophetic books. Individual prophecies are clearly marked by headings and often by conclusions. If we persist, we will also discover that from a rhetorical perspective, this priestly prophet knew his audience; he recognized in Judah's rebellion against YHWH the underlying cause of the divine fury that resulted in the exile of his people and the fall of Jerusalem to the Babylonians in 586 BCE. But he also recognized that YHWH's judgment could not be the last word. Because his covenant was eternal and irrevocable he looked forward to a day of spiritual renewal and national restoration. This is the first of two volumes of essays on Ezekiel and his book. The seven general essays and two studies of particular texts in this collection explore the times, the message, and the methods of the prophetic priest. ""Once again Daniel Block has provided wise perspectives that enable us to 'see with our eyes, hear with our ears, and set our hearts' (Ezek 40:4) on many of the enigmas in the book of Ezekiel."" --Mark J. Boda, McMaster Divinity College ""Few scholars, whether evangelical or critical, Christian or Jewish, know the book of Ezekiel like Daniel Block. This collection of essays profoundly deepens and enriches our appreciation of the prophet's work and is an essential resource for all who study it."" --Iain Duguid, Grove City College Daniel I. Block is the Gunther H. Knoedler Professor of Old Testament at Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois. He is the author of The Book of Ezekiel Chapters 1-24 (1997), The Book of Ezekiel Chapters 25-48 (1998), Judges and Ruth (1999), ""How I Love Your Torah, O LORD "" (2011), The Gospel according to Moses (2012), and Deuteronomy (2012).
Daniel I. Block (DPhil, University of Liverpool) is Gunther H. Knoedler Professor Emeritus of Old Testament at Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois. He lectures and preaches around the world and is the author of numerous books, including For the Glory of God and commentaries on Deuteronomy, Judges-Ruth, and Ezekiel. Block has also been involved in the production of the New Living Translation of the Bible.