Stefano Salemi (UCL) - 2016-17 Students

“I have set thee for a מוֹפֵת [sign]” (Ez. 12,6). A Synchronic-Exegetical study. Ezekiel’s “Symbolic dimension of Prophetism” in Jewish tradition and Early Christian interpretations

The research has the aim to investigate the symbolic dimension of prophetism in the Old Testament with a particular focus on the sing-acts of Ezekiel. As it is stated in Ezekiel 12,6.11 or 24,24.27 the prophet had to be a môphêth, a “sign, portent” for Israel. Prophet’s entire being is thus involved in its ministry and the prophet is embodying God’s oracles, redefining the adage “The medium is the message”, transformed into a divine mime and a living theophany. The perception of how and why God converts prophets’ lives into messages raises questions about the “ethicality” of God’s action and the significance of sign-acts among prophets. The purpose is to make a distinctive contribution to the comprehension of prophetism, particularly in term of its theological and symbolic dimension, drawing analogies and underlining distinctions between early Christian interpretations and Jewish tradition. A fundamental use of biblical languages is required to analyse texts as well as the wide spectrum of sense offered by the term sign, מוֹפֵת môphêth (τέρας [LXX] – miracle, wonder, portent). This will also offer a linguistic study of the semantic field of sign-terminology and of the influence of languages in the process of forming ideas and molding exegesis.

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