John F. Evans
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The recognition formula, “you/they shall know that I am Yahweh,” is repeated more than seventy times in the book of Ezekiel. And yet, surprisingly, this refrain has not been analyzed in detail in recent research. In this study, John F. Evans attempts to uncover the literary and theological intent of the recognition formula in Ezekiel by comparing it with other instances of the phrase found elsewhere in the Bible.
Complementing his analysis of the recognition formula in Ezekiel, Evans examines its use in Deuteronomy, 1 Kings, Isaiah, Joel, and, in particular, Exodus. In addition to some strong continuities between the formula in Exodus and Ezekiel, he finds a jarring disjunction: in Ezekiel the prophecy repeatedly declares that Israel “shall know that I am Yahweh” in judgment, while elsewhere in Scripture the formula typically sounds a positive note when spoken to God’s covenant people.
Recent years have witnessed a renewed interest in the book of Ezekiel, especially as a book that reflects the experience of Jews in exile as parallel to their captivity in Egypt prior to the exodus. Biblical scholars and students interested in the theology of exile and the theological reaction to the destruction of the Judean state in 586 BCE will find this book enlightening and useful.