Ezekiel the Tragedian’s Exagoge


by Stephanie Jane Lavy


[Stephanie Lavy is a third-year undergraduate in the M.Theol. program at the University of St. Andrews.–JRD]

Ezekiel the Tragedian’s _Exagoge_ is one of the Old Testament Pseudepigrapha that survive only in quotation fragments. These quotation fragments are usually preserved in the work of others. The _Exagoge_ is preserved in the _Preparation For The Gospel_ by Eusebius. In this study I shall be looking at the two versions and seeing whether there are any vast differences between the two and trying to decipher from this the original. The two authors had different agendas so we do not expect them to be the same; indeed in the case of Eusebius, he adds a paragraph at the end of his work which erases any sense of miraculous events at the Exodus.

The main theme examined in this work is the dream scene, which is the focal point in the _Exagoge_. This provides information about the person of Moses as prophet and king. Since these two offices are distinctly presented alongside each other in the work there has been much debate over the reality of the person of Moses. The conclusion drawn was that it was the author’s intention to have two distinct images, but it also depends on whether the work is looked at from a Jewish or a Christian perspective.

The conclusion I came to in this study was that the _Exagoge_ was a Jewish work from between the 3rd and 1st centuries BC. There is much debate as to whether it was written for outsiders to the Jewish religion or for Jews in the midst of hellenisation. There is evidence to support both views. Eusebius’ work was a direct copy of Ezekiel’s _Exagoge_ with added notes to make it clearer for a Christian audience. All these theories must be hypothetical due to the fact that we no longer have the original, and thus we have no way of knowing for certain the initial intentions.


(c) 1999
Reproduction beyond fair use only on permission of the author.

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