Adam, Satan, and the King of Tyre by Hector M. Patmore

By Hector M. Patmore

The oracle opposed to the King of Tyre, present in Ezekiel 28.12-19, is a tricky textual content that encouraged assorted interpretations in past due Antiquity. for instance, based on one rabbinic culture the textual content referred to the 1st guy, Adam, whereas the Church Fathers present in an identical textual content an outline of the autumn of devil. This booklet stories the rabbinic assets, patristic literature, the Targum, and the traditional translations, and seeks to appreciate the explanations for the various interpretation, the interplay among the exegetical traditions and the groups of interpreters, specifically among Jews and Christians, and the influence the explicit shape and wording of the textual content had at the formation and improvement of every interpretation.

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Example text

But the purpose of the passage is not to discuss Adam’s fall, but to emphasise that despite his glory God created him from dust. In other words, despite his glory he did not boast, because of his righteousness towards God. This exegetical conclusion reflects the nature of Leviticus Rabbah as an essentially homiletic midrash. The Midrash, in fact, goes on to give several further examples of the righteous’ humbleness before their God-given earthly successes, the first example being Abraham, who despite being granted a son in his old age is nonetheless prepared to sacrifice him at God’s command.

Joshua was called ‘full’ because it is said: ‘and Joshua, son of Nun, was filled by a spirit of wisdom’ (Deut 34:9). Caleb was called ‘full’ because it is said: ‘but my servant Caleb, because he had a different spirit, so he followed me fully (‫( ’)וימלא אחרי‬Num 14:24). Bezalel was called ‘full’ because it was said: ‘a divine spirit filled him with wisdom’ (Exod 35:31). Oholiab was called ‘full’ because it was said: ‘he filled them with a wise heart’ (Exod 35:35). Hiram was called ‘full’ because it was said: ‘full of wisdom and entirely beautiful’ (Ezek 28:12).

Even accepting that the Babylonian Talmud exercises a fair degree of freedom in recasting Palestinian haggadoth, so that it is unclear how much of the haggadah is the responsibility of the Palestinian sources and how much the Babylonian editors,47 the tannaitic and most of the amoraic literary strata of the Babylonian Talmud are by and large understood to have been formulated and accepted as authoritative by the time of Rav Ashi (d. B. Mets. 48 The tradition that identified the Hiram mentioned in the books of Kings and Chronicles with the King of Tyre of Ezekiel 28:11–19 must have predated the rabbis’ reflections on the Ezekiel 28 figure’s hubristic pride and blasphemous claims, since this reflection presupposes the equation of the two figures.

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