Jacob Milgrom was a man of deep faith and deep learning. As teacher and scholar he is best known for his work on ancient Israel's religion, especially its cultic expression in tabernacle and temple. His command of this subject is evident in his massive, three-volume commentary on Leviticus (Anchor Bible Commentary) and his commentary on Numbers (JPS Torah Commentary). This provides perfect background for one who seeks to instruct us on the final chapters of Ezekiel. In this volume Milgrom guides us engagingly through Ezekiel's oracle against Gog (chs. 38-39) and his final vision of Israel's physical and spiritual restoration (chs. 40-48).
Regrettably Professor Milgrom did not live to see his work on Ezekiel appear in print. Given his influence on biblical scholarship far beyond his native Jewish world, it is fitting that this final form of this project be cast as an interfaith dialogue with Daniel Block, who has himself written a major two-volume commentary on Ezekiel (NICOT). This volume offers a window into how one Jewish scholar engaged with the work of a Christian scholar. It invites readers to listen in on their conversation, in the course of which they will also hear the voices of medieval Jewish rabbis, particularly R. Eliezer of Beaugency and R. Joseph Kara. While Block and Milgrom are free to disagree in their reading of particular texts, readers will find this dialogue illuminating for their own understanding of the last chapters of Ezekiel.