Risa Levitt Kohn
»As Though You Yourself Came Out of Egypt«: The Ethos of Exile in Ezekiel
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Ezekiel is the first biblical prophet since Moses to see visions of Yahweh outside of Israel. The prophet and his contemporaries, by virtue of their dislocation from Israel, had to rethink traditional notions of kinship in order to remap their newly formed communities. Accordingly, it is little surprise that we see, especially among the exilic prophets, allusions to Israel's first wandering and return with Moses and Pharaoh recast to become ciphers of the savior and the enslaver in a new and contemporary context. Unlike other exilic prophets, Ezekiel does not envision a 'Second Exodus,' nor are his frequent analogies to the exodus tale simply allusions to Israel's treasured past. Rather, the prophet casts his current audience as the exodus generation. The wandering and rebellion did not end, as they do in Israelite tradition, upon entry into the land. As a result, the current exile does not simply recall the travails of the exodus from Egypt; instead, it is an extension of that initial event.