A Cannibal Feast in Ezekiel

Bibliographic Information: 

Warren, Nathanael James. "A Cannibal Feast in Ezekiel." Journal for the Study of the Old Testament 38, no. 4 (2014): 501–512.


Ezekiel's dramatic usage of corpse desecration imagery has long been recognized, but one aspect of that motif, namely necrophagia, has not thus far been amply appreciated. Throughout chapters 11, 24, and 34, Ezekiel employs imagery of a zebaḥ sacrificial feast gone awry to relay the concern, implicit in 11 and 24 and explicit in 34, that the people of Israel have been metaphorically cannibalized by their unjust rulers. This widely unrecognized element of necrophagia plays into Ezekiel’s corpse desecration motif to highlight the similar fates of Jerusalem and Gog while creating a stark contrast with the final outcome of the Babylonian exiles.

Journal for the Study of the Old Testament