dramatic presentation, supplemented by necessary explanation, through which he
communicates God’s intention to inflict a purifying judgment upon His people. Though
there are interspersed statements of hope, this is mostly an announcement of judgment.
A. Ezekiel depicts Judah’s judgment as imminent (8:1—19:14).
Even though Jerusalem had been breached and the temple ransacked by this
time, there was still a prideful, and naïve, confidence in the city’s ultimate inviolability
since it had become the earthly dwelling place of the Most High God. This misplaced
trust needed to be exposed in preparation for the imminent destruction that had already
1. The departure of the glory of Yahweh from the temple signals the
inevitability of judgment (8:1—13:23). The symbolic departure of the Shekinah, repre-
sentative of Yahweh’s holy presence, coupled with an exposing and judging of the
abominable practices that had been taking place in the temple and its city, was designed
to drive home the point that God could no longer dwell in this specially appointed place,
defiled as it was. Since His presence in the temple was not guaranteed, judgment should
not come as such a shock. The common marker “Now the word of the Lord came to me
saying” occurs for the first time in this section, at 11:14. It is as though Yahweh cannot
complete His symbolic exit of Jerusalem without assuring Israel that He would continue
to be their sanctuary where ever they were driven (11:16) and that he would eventually
restore them to the land (v. 17) and renew them spiritually by giving them and new spirit
and heart (vv. 18–20—cf. Jer 31:31–34). In the meantime, captivity was to be the order
of the day, as Ezekiel portrays (12:1–16), and it would come very soon regardless of what
certain false prophets were saying (12:17—13:23).