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By Hector M Patmore

The oracle opposed to the King of Tyre, present in Ezekiel 28.12-19, is a tough textual content that encouraged diversified interpretations in past due Antiquity. for instance, in accordance with 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 reviews 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 impression the categorical shape and wording of the textual content had at the formation and improvement of every interpretation.

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Extra info for Adam, Satan, and the King of Tyre: The Interpretation of Ezekiel 28:11-19 in Late Antiquity

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44 For a general introduction to the problems associated with dating rabbinic writings see Strack and Stemberger, Introduction to the Talmud and Midrash, 52–4. 45 As a result of the situation just described, it is difficult to attribute a historical context to the formation of rabbinic traditions. We cannot say with any certainty when Ezekiel 28 began to be thought of as referring to the Adam of Genesis, but on the whole it appears likely that apparent links between Genesis 1–3 and Ezekiel 28:11–19 would have been noted from the early rabbinic period.

It is not clear whether the main text of R. Meir’s copy of the Torah read ‘death’ (‫ )מות‬instead of ‘exceedingly’ (‫ )מאד‬or whether this was a marginal note. The midrash does not elaborate: we simply move on to the explanation of Adam’s death given by R. Hama b. R. Hanina, and from there to further considerations of Adam’s death. The problem posed by the text in Ezekiel 28:13 is central to the rabbinic exegesis here, and to the exegesis that we find in the Targum, as we will see in chapter 4.

Perrot notes that even before 70 ce “some prophetic texts seem already to gravitate around some texts of the Tora”; Perrot, ‘The Reading of the Bible in the Ancient Synagogue’, 157. 9 Cf. Eccl R. 7:1—‫ זה אדם הראשון דכתיב אתה חותם תכנית‬,‫ד״א החכמה תעוז לחכם‬ Another interpretation of Wisdom gives strength to the wise (Eccl 7:19a): This is the First Man of whom it is written, You were a seal of perfection (Ezek 28:12). 10 Strack and Stemberger, Introduction to the Talmud and Midrash, 321. 11 On the work’s date and nature: Herr, ‘Ecclesiastes Rabbah,’ 90–91.

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