Theological Examination of Symbolism
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This book addresses one of the ever-aching problems of human society – failed leadership in secular and sacred domains. It points out, from Ezekiel’s use of symbolism and shepherd motif, what society stands to suffer and or lose under a bad human leadership structure and bad governance. This plays out in the book’s x-ray of the characteristics of sheep needing a shepherd. Dr. Biwul contends that Ezekiel used symbolic sign-acts to indict both Israel’s bad and imperfect human shepherds as well as the Babylonian exiles as being responsible for their plight for not upholding the norms of Deuteronomic theology. Particularly, he argues forcefully from Ezekiel’s shepherd motif that a major factor responsible for the exile of Israel as a covenant community is the massive failure of its bad and imperfect human shepherds who did not possess the requisite shepherding qualities inherent in Yahweh as chief shepherd of Israel. Biwul therefore draws particular attention to the reality of Ezekiel’s use of the recognition formula when Yahweh acts at last to restore his people. This is rooted in the theological-eschatological motif which would come to its full reality in the anticipated eschatological community when Yahweh would shepherd his people.