Ezekiel the Priest
A Custodian of Tôrâ
As one of the most significant figures in ancient Israel, the priest had numerous responsibilities, the most important of which was the exposition of the Mosaic Tôrâ. The ministry of Ezekiel, a prophetic priest, offers a glimpse of how one priest carried out his duties as a custodian of Tôrâ. Ezekiel the Priest provides the possibility of a deeper understanding of the pastoral ministry of priests as teachers of God’s word during Old Testament times through the example of one ancient Israelite priest.
"T. J. Betts offers a fresh examination of the life and ministry of Ezekiel. Whereas most scholars perceive this fascinating figure as a priestly prophet, Betts presents a strong case for viewing him as a prophetic priest. He argues that, separated from the Temple and altar, in Ezekiel's ministry to the exiles we see a striking illustration of the role of Israel's priests as custodians of tôrâ. Whether or not readers agree with his conclusions, this book alerts us to a dimension of Ezekiel's ministry that has not received the attention it deserves." (Daniel I. Block, John R. Sampey Professor of Old Testament Interpretation, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky)
"'Ezekiel the Priest: A Custodian of Tôrâ' is a clearly written and insightful work, suitable for the classroom and for reference. Dr. Betts, while thoroughly cognizant of the secondary literature, allows the primary sources to speak for themselves most convincingly. His focus on the content and pedagogical method of Ezekiel the priest is particularly helpful. This work demonstrates the nexus between pre-exilic prophet and priest and pre-exilic priest and teacher of tôrâ, an important contribution to our understanding of prophetical priests and their function in ancient Israel." (Russell T. Fuller, Associate Professor of Old Testament Interpretation, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky)
The Author: T. J. Betts is Assistant Professor of Old Testament Interpretation at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, and at Boyce College in Louisville, and has been a pastor and teacher for over seventeen years. He has written for the Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary and The Southern Baptist Journal of Theology. His areas of study include Northwest Semitic languages, Old Testament literature, and ancient Near Eastern history and archaeology. He has studied at Jerusalem University College in Israel and received his B.S.Ed. from Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio, and his M.Div. and Ph.D. in Old Testament literature from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.