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May 6, 2010

Months later I’m finally getting around to posting about my thesis.  Here is the Abstract that summarizes the whole thing.

This thesis examines the use of the Possession Covenant Formula (PCF) in the book of Ezekiel.  The PCF is found in five separate verses in Ezekiel (11:20; 14:11; 36:28; 37:23, 27).  Despite the PCF’s importance in the book, most commentators who have written about the above passages either do not comment directly on the PCF or simply note the formula’s covenantal or relational context.

Chapter 1 defines the PCF and surveys various scholarly opinions on the use of the formula in Ezekiel.  Since the PCF is an affirmation of a covenantal relationship, chapter 2 investigates the nature of covenants in the ANE.  Chapter 3 examines the thirteen other uses of the PCF in the OT which provide both points of comparison and contrast for how different biblical authors use the PCF.  Chapter 4 provides an exegetical study of the passages in Ezekiel in which the PCF appears, focusing on how the PCF is used in each context.  Chapter 5 concludes the study by summarizing its findings.  This thesis proposes that the PCF in the book of Ezekiel 1) identifies the people of Yahweh as those whom he will cleanse and sanctify by his Spirit and 2) affirms the covenantal relationship between Yahweh and his people.  Yahweh’s cleansing will enable his people to obey his commands and will allow the presence of Yahweh to dwell in their midst.

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