Recherche – Detailansicht






Altes Testament


Reventlow, Henning


Wächter über Israel 1963


Muilenburg, James

Ansicht Scan:

Seite 1

Download Scan:



Theologische Literaturzeitung 88. Jahrgang 1963 Nr. 11


erwartete oder ihr entgegenging". Dieser vielsagende Vers sei
der allegorischen Deutung zum Opfer gefallen, die den Tragsessel
mit der Lade Jahwes identifizierte. Daß die Allegorisie-
rung schon während der Textgestaltung wirksam gewesen wäre,
ist sehr unwahrscheinlich. Noch bedenklicher scheint es mir,
ein für die Erklärung so wesentliches Textglied einfach zu

Zu den c r u c e 6 interpretum gehört seit alters
6, 12, „der schwierigste Vers des Hohenliedes". Noch hat kein
Erklärer eine überzeugende Lösung gegeben, auch nicht Rudolph,
der nach einigen ziemlich kühnen Textänderungen (u.a. liest er
Trf" D1S5TÜ ßtatt *3TCto) den folgenden Sinn herausliest: „Ich
hatte keine Ahnung, daß dort meine Taube war, die sich mir
willig ergab."

Für den erfolgreichen Fortgang des neuerstandenen Gütersloher
Kommentars ist dieser erste Band ein vielversprechender

Luud/Schweden Gillis Gerleman

Reventlow, Henning Graf: Wächter über Iirael. Ezechiel und seine
Tradition. Berlin: Töpelmann 1962. VII, 173 S. gr. 8° = Beihefte
z. Zeitschrift f. d. Alttestamentl. Wissenschaft, hrsg. v. G. Fohrer,
82. DM 26.—.

Perhaps no book of the Old Testament has proved quite
so difficult and baffling to modern scholars as the Book of
Ezekiel. The results of historico-critical inquiry cannot be said
to have led to a resolution of the problems which the book
presents, for not only are they diverse and conflicting, but also
unilluminating and often unconvincing. On the one hand, the
book shows uniformity of style and an apparently logical
development; on the other hand, it often seems prolix, repeti-
tive, and incoherent. These latter phenomena have commonly
been explained as the work of later redactors or by the addition
of glosse6 (Fohrer). The figure of Ezekiel assumes many guises:
prophet, priest, legalist, poet, apocalyptist, theologian, and
architect of the new temple. Against this badcground, charac-
terized for the most part by the employment of historical
critici6m, H. G. Reventlow undertakes to determine and define
the office of the prophet by a painstaking and thorough form-
critical examination of representative examples drawn from the
various aspects of Ezekiel's prophetic activity. The major divi-
sions of the monograph therefore deal with the following: the
prophet of Unheil, the prophet of salvation, the prophet of
history, the prophet of law, the watchman, and the prophet to
the foreign peoples. The book closes with a summary, describ-
ing the new figure of Ezekiel which emerges from the foregoing

The employment of fixed and established forms must
correspond to an established office. The prophet is not to be
eeen as a free and unbound personality proclaiming what he
will and when and where and as he will, but rather as one who
throughout his ministry is dependent upon past traditions.
He belongs to an institution and employs the language and
terminology of the institution. He belongs to the cult, and his
word6 are drawn from the cult, notably the materials of the
Holiness Code (cf. Reventlow's Das Heiligkeitsgesetz, 1961).
The influence of the latter is to be detected throughout his
proclamation. The ultimate source of both the Holiness Code
and Ezekiel is to be discerned in the Sinaitic covenant where,
indeed, we meet the same cultic motifs and terminology. Here
the divine first-person 6elf-asseveration (Beweiswort) constitutes
the central feature, and this is of course again and again pre-
served in Ezekiel in the same climactic contexts as in the
Holiness Code. Similarly the curse and blessing of the covenant
festival reflected in the liturgy of Leviticus 26 is preserved in
the invective (Scheltrede) and threat (Drohrede) of the prophet.
What is not observed here is that the style is not that of the
curse as in Deuteronomy 27, but rather in the characteristic
covenant conditional forms, which form the conclusions
of other 'covenants' not only in ancient Israel but also in the
Hittite treaties. The Gattungen which the prophet employs,
far from being incoherent, follow firm ßtructural patterns, which

are drawn in part from the Holiness Code. Heil and Unheil
belong together as in the covenant formulation6.

According to Reventlow there is nothing at all new in
the content of Ezekiel's message; it is all inherited Glaubensgut
familiär to his hearers. Similarly the attempts to interpret
the prophet as a witness to a definite historical period or
Situation and to exegete the texts in the light of a definite
historical badcground are viewed as impossible. What we ac-
tually have in the so-called historical sections is not human
word but God's word spoken in the covenant. The presence
of many legal sentences in many of the pericopes again corre-
sponds to the Holiness Code and the Sinaitic covenant. The
two passages concerning the prophet as the watchman of Israel
(3 : 16b—21 and 33 : 7 — 9) are to be underetood against the
background of the cultic-legal proclamation of the covenant
festival and speak of his responsibility with respect to the
sacral law and its words about life and death. The frequent
use of Ttäl and p*1JS both here and elsewhere in Ezekiel is
derived from the proclamations of the covenant cult, particu-
larly in its forensic aspects.

It will be seen that Reventlow's portrait of Ezekiel as the
bearer of a cultic office, whose words are drawn from ancient
rituals and liturgies, apparently unrelated in any direct way to the
history of his times, represents a radical reversal in our under-
standing of the prophet and of Israelite prophecy. It cannot
be denied that he has made an impressive case and that he has
written illuminatingly upon many contexts. He has profited
mueh from the monumental work of Zimmerli. But one won-
ders whether the figure of Ezekiel as a pereon can be so
completely effaced. The office becomes to all intents and pur-
poses a bloodless figure. No mention is made anywhere of the
prophet's call nor of any other personal or autobiographical
details. Everything is sacrificed to the formal, typical, and
cultic, and all appeals to personality and to history come
under the pejorative word "liberalism". Not only are all the
chronological references unmentioned, but also all the occasions
on which the prophet is consulted by the eiders are left in
silence. Moreover, there are a substantial number of passages,
6uch as the songs and folktales, which are completely disregard-
ed. One may inquire whether all the Scheltreden and Drohreden
are merely traditional borrowings unrelated to the
historical Situation in the sixth Century B. C. in Babylonia.
One may approve Reventlow's methodology, but it is marred
by his rather too cavalier dismissal of historical criticism. The
earlier Gattungskritiker were always careful to deal
competently with 6uch matters. The theological consequences
of Reventlow's research are serious, and this applies with equal
foTce to many of the investigations of recent years into the
form-criticism of biblical passages. The locus of central con-
cern ha6 6hifted from history in any true sense of that word
to the area of cult where historical substance is dissipated.
One need not disparage the appeal to formal Gattungen or to
the cult as the Sitz im Leben — au contraireI Cult, far
from obscuring historical memory and tradition, may howcver
be the very means by which historical memories are preserved
and handed down. Finally, one raises the question again
whether the true nature of the prophet in ancient Israel has
not been lost if he is original neither in the way he 6peaks
nor in the substance of his speaking. The very nature of
historical revelation is involved in such queries.

New York Jamra Muilnnhurft

Szörfnyi. Andreas, Prof.: Psalmen und Knlt im Alten Teirtm«"'-

Zur Formgeschiditc der Psalmen. Budapest: St. Stefans Gesellschaf'
[1961]. 571 S. 8". Lw. Ft 130.-.

Das Buch des Professors für Altes Testament an der Theologischen
Akademie in Budapest ist schon im Jahre 1944 fertig
geschrieben worden. Von daher sind einige Unebenheiten «Jj
verstehen: einerseits sind seine Quellenwerke schon ziemlio1
alt, andererseits sind seine Ergebnisse in mehreren neu er'
schienenen Büchern besser erklärt und ausgearbeitet zu finde-