The vision of dry bones in Ezekiel 37:1–28 : resonating Ezekiel’s message as the African prophet of hope

Biwul, Joel K. T. (2017)

CITATION: Biwul, J. K. T. 2017. The vision of dry bones in Ezekiel 37:1–28 : resonating Ezekiel’s message as the African prophet of hope. HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies, 73(3):1-10, doi:10.4102/hts.v73i3.4707.

The original publication is available at http://www.hts.org.za

Publication of this article was funded by the Stellenbosch University Open Access Fund.

Article

Against the background of a disenfranchised and hopeless exilic Israel, Ezekiel received the vision of ‘Dry Bones’, predicting an eschatological resuscitation and resurrection to life and restoration to the land of Yahweh’s covenant people. This article previews the political, social, economic and moral conditions of many African societies as being in a disenfranchised, hopeless exilic state. It nonetheless argues that the theological essence of Ezekiel’s visionary imagery of ‘Dry Bones’ resonates well with such deteriorating and hopeless African societies. It envisages the semblances, relatedness and relevance of Ezekiel’s hope principle of a restorative eschatological theology as a possible reality for Africa’s hopeless present ‘Dry Bones’ state. Upon this hope principle, the article proposes a theological framework of faith against despondency and despair for the realisation of such eschatological reality for Africa. It holds that God is equally capable of displaying his restorative power and sovereignty to reverse the hopeless conditions of African nations in demonstration of his love, compassion and care as he did for the apparently irreparable condition of exilic Israel.

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