Fr. James' Lectionary

The Lectionary is both a reading program for completing all of Holy Scripture on a one year schedule, and a daily comment on a portion of the day's reading wedded to a poem to give an added perspective on the theme.

Location: Amherst, Virginia, United States

Monday, June 12, 2006

Deaf and Sightless: Bible Comment on Ezekiel 12 with poem by Emily Bronte, The Prisoner

Daily Readings
Psalm 83, Judges 8:4-32, Ezekiel 12:1-20, Tobit 6:1b-18

Daily Text: Ezekiel 12:1-20

Deaf and Sightless
Ezekiel has not been heard! It is as if the people were both deaf and sightless, but God hints in Ezekiel 12:3 ‘Perhaps they will understand.’ At any rate, a new sign to be acted out by the prophet is given. He is to put together an exile’s pack, display it during the day and then shoulder it and leave from his place for another place at evening. Day and night he is to be seen by the exile community. Such a pack would have been known to him, because he himself went into exile in 597 B. C. Greenback describes such a pack [502:209] from the literature. “An exile’s pack is represented in Egyptian and Assyrian pictures of victories. It must have contained the barest necessities; R. Hiyya bar Abba (third-century C.E. Palestinian tanna) said a skin, a mat, and a bowl, each doing double-duty--the skin for holding flour … and for use as a pillow; the mat for sitting and lying; the bowl for eating and drinking….” The implications were meant for the Jerusalem community, and presumably they heard about it rather promptly. But the exilic community was the receiving one and needed to understand those implications.

A second sign to be enacted by Ezekiel is that of an anxious meal eaten with great trepidation, for great evil has come upon the city. There are no words given with this sign, or the previous one, for his actions would have been understood by his community if they actually watched and took the sign in. And presumably they did for they asked questions and Ezekiel interpreted for them, vs. 8.

The Prisoner
Emily Brontë

Oh! dreadful is the check—intense the agony—
When the ear begins to hear, and the eye begins to see;
When the pulse begins to throb, the brain to think again;
The soul to feel the flesh, and the flesh to feel the chain.

Collect for the Day
Lord, dispel from us the error of pride and the illusions of greatness, and help us to abandon every vice and stand in awe of you, for you alone are the Most High over all the world now and for ever. [476:817:83 Psalm prayer]


Blogger Norm said...

The prince in Jerusalem probably refers to Zedekiah, whose fate is described in Jer39:1-7; 52:6-11; 2King25:3-7. He fled at night “through the gate between the 2 walls” (Jer39:4), was captured by Babylonian forces, taken into Riblah, and blinded before being taken into exile.

3:18 PM  

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