Perhaps your implication is that the passage involved is too recent to have been Ezeckiel's. Fine.
If the word "Biblical" is too broad, what would be a more precise word?
P <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
Perhaps more evidence that Eliot's notes are not to be taken too seriously. In fact the Ez. passage explains itself as being analogical.
Still the image of bones coming back to life does suggest that the possibility of resurrection was not unheard of in Ez.'s time.
Jerome Walsh <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
That is the common, but unhistorical, reading of the "dry bones," and may well have been Eliot's take on the "dry bones" passage (Ezek 37:1-14). Christian exegesis, starting from the Christian belief in life after death, almost inevitably reads the whole Old Testament as if that idea were present throughout. Historically, however, it is not; it seems to make its first appearance in Israelite/Jewish thought in the second century BC (Ezekiel lived four centuries earlier). Ezekiel's "dry bones" is a reference to the Israelites exiled in Babylon, and their "resurrection" is his anticipation of the eventual restoration of an Israelite polity after the "death" of the Babylonian Exile.
In their Biblical context they are connected with resurrection. See Eliot's notes.
Chokh Raj <[log in to unmask]
I wonder if the image of 'dry bones' in Eliot's poetry has been explicated enough. It seems like a state of sublimation reached after the dross of 'personality' has been shed and a state is reached which is, to use a phrase from the Bhagavad Gita, 'beyond the gunas', i.e. beyond the qualities we associate with the earthly self. It is an arrival at a state of impersonality, if you like. The process of sublimation and the accruing state are described at some length in section II of 'Ash-Wednesday'. Here's a link to the poem: