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The Targumic Toseftot to Ezekiel

Studies in the Aramaic


Interpretation of Scripture

Managing Editor
Paul V.M. Flesher, University of Wyoming

Editorial Board
Bruce Chilton, Bard College
Willem Smelik, University College, London
Moshe Bernstein, Yeshiva University
Edward M. Cook, Catholic University of America
Luis Dez Merino, University of Barcelona

VOLUME 13

The titles published in this series are listed at brill.nl/sais


The Targumic Toseftot to Ezekiel

By
Alinda Damsma

Leidenboston
2012
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Damsma, Alinda.
The targumic toseftot to Ezekiel / by Alinda Damsma.
p. cm. (Studies in the Aramaic interpretation of Scripture, ISSN 1570-1336 ; v. 13)
This study represents a revised version of the authors doctoral dissertation submitted to
University College London in 2008.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 978-90-04-22990-7 (hardback : alk. paper) 1. Bible. O.T. Ezekiel AramaicVersions.
2. Bible. O.T. EzekielCriticism, interpretation, etc. I. Title.
BS1545.52.D36 2012
224.4042dc23
2012009442

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ISSN 1570-1336
ISBN 978 90 04 22990 7 (hardback)
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Dedicated to my Family

Andries
Henny
Gringo
Django
Even the distance feels so near
All for the love of you
Loreena McKennitt, The Mystics Dream

And it makes me wonder


Led Zeppelin, Stairway to Heaven
CONTENTS

Authors Preface............................................................................................... xiii


Abbreviations.................................................................................................... xvii

I. Introduction................................................................................................ 1

II. The Targumic Toseftot to Ezekiel 1..................................................... 7


2.1 Introduction..................................................................................... 7
2.2 The Targumic Toseftot to Ezekiel 1:1........................................ 8
2.2.1 Ms. Codex Manchester, Gaster 1478............................ 8
2.2.1.1 Text and Translation........................................ 10
2.2.1.2 Comments............................................................ 19
2.2.2 Ms. T-S NS 245.98.............................................................. 67
2.2.2.1 Text and Translation........................................ 68
2.2.3 Ms. T-S NS 171.7.................................................................. 69
2.2.3.1 Text and Translation........................................ 70
2.2.4 Remaining Manuscripts.................................................. 71
Ms. JTSA L260A................................................................................ 72
Ms. JTSA L265A................................................................................. 73
Ms. Feldman 143.............................................................................. 73
Ms. Genizah 430.............................................................................. 74
Ms. Halper 64................................................................................... 74
Ms. Bar-Ilan 737............................................................................... 75
2.2.4.1 Text and Translation........................................ 75
2.2.5 The Relationship between the Manuscripts............. 107
2.3 Tosefta-Targum Ezekiel 1:3 (Arukh ha-Shalem)..................... 110
2.3.1 Text and Translation........................................................ 111
2.3.2 Comments........................................................................... 111
2.4 Tosefta-Targum Ezekiel 1:8 (Ms. Codex Reuchlinianus)..... 113
2.4.1 Text and Translation........................................................ 114
2.4.2 Comments........................................................................... 115
2.5 Tosefta-Targum Ezekiel 1:12 (Mazor Vitry,
Ms. London 655)............................................................................. 117
2.5.1 Text and Translation........................................................ 119
2.5.2 Comments........................................................................... 119
x contents

2.6Tosefta-Targum Ezekiel 1:26 (Ms. 7 Montefiore


Library)............................................................................................. 124
2.6.1 Text and Translation...................................................... 125
2.6.2 Comments.......................................................................... 126

III. Targumic Tosefta to Ezekiel 28:13....................................................... 129


3.1 Introduction.................................................................................... 129
3.2 Ms. Codex Reuchlinianus .......................................................... 131
3.2.1 Text and Translation...................................................... 132
3.2.2 Comments.......................................................................... 133

IV. Targumic Toseftot to Ezekiel 37.......................................................... 143


4.1 Introduction.................................................................................... 143
4.2 Pentateuch Salonika 1513 edition.............................................. 144
4.2.1 Text and Translation...................................................... 145
4.2.2 Comments.......................................................................... 148
4.3 Mazor Vitry, Ms. London 655.................................................. 163
4.3.1 Text and Translation...................................................... 164
4.3.2 Comments.......................................................................... 165

V. Concluding Observations...................................................................... 167


5.1 Language.......................................................................................... 167
5.2 Date and Provenance................................................................... 180
5.3 Sitz im Leben................................................................................... 182

Appendices
Appendix A: The Targumic Versions of the Recovery of the
Book of the Torah....................................................................................... 187

Appendix B: The Targumic Versions of Deuteronomy 28:36............. 191

Appendix C: The Order of the Heavens in Rabbinic Literature........ 193

Appendix D: The Stature of the Godhead in Sefer Haqqomah


compared with the Stature of the ayyot in b.agiga 13a
and in TosTgs. Ezekiel 1:1.......................................................................... 195

Appendix E: The Concept of the Macrocosmic Body in the Ancient


Near East....................................................................................................... 197
contents xi

Appendix F: The Order of the Underworlds in Rabbinic


Literature....................................................................................................... 211

Appendix G: Aggadah on the Premature Exodus of the Tribe


of Ephraim in Rabbinic Literature........................................................ 213

Bibliography...................................................................................................... 215
Index of Sources............................................................................................... 225
Authors Preface

This study represents a revised version of my doctoral dissertation sub-


mitted to University College London in 2008. My dissertation was embed-
ded in an AHRC funded project entitled Late Aramaic: The Literary
and Linguistic Context of the Zohar (20042009) in University College
Londons Department of Hebrew and Jewish Studies.
The Zohar, a late thirteenth century corpus of mystical texts written for
the most part in Aramaic, has become Judaisms most important kabbalis-
tic work. Under the influence of the late Zohar expert, Gershom Scholem,
it was commonly accepted that the Zohar was composed in an artificial
type of Aramaic in late thirteenth century Spain by the Judeo-Spanish kab-
balist Moshe de Leon. In order to give the Zohar authoritative status, De
Leon not only attributed it to the second century Palestinian sage Rabbi
Shimon bar Yohai, but he also established its authenticity by employing
various literary Aramaic dialects of antiquity, which resulted in the dis-
tinctive Zoharic language. Scholems verdict on the language had never
been subject to revision, despite the meagre evidence which supported
it. Our project, however, challenged the prevalent scholarly opinion by
exploring the possibility that the Aramaic of the Zohar was a product of
an unbroken literary tradition which still existed far into the Middle Ages.
By the end of the first millennium literary traditions from diverse periods
and dialect regions came into close contact, which may have facilitated
the emergence of a genuine new literary dialect. Despite the fact that pur-
ists would deem such a dialect to be impure from a historico-linguistic
point of view, our task was to establish whether or not such a new literary
dialect did in fact occur in sources other than those of the Zoharic corpus,
among which the Targumim.
My research was devoted to the position of the Targumic Toseftot to
Ezekiel within this Aramaic literary tradition. Although the homiletic
nature of the Zohar warranted an examination of its language in relation to
that of the Targumim, which are not only translations but also expositions
of the Bible, one may wonder why the Zohar and the Targumic Toseftot
to Ezekiel in particular were bracketed together. The answer lies in the
distinctive mystical and linguistic character of these Aramaic renderings.
Even more than the Hebrew original and Targum Jonathan to Ezekiel, the
Targumic Toseftot contain a wealth of mystical speculation, especially with
xiv authors preface

regard to the first chapter. In his inaugural vision, the prophet Ezekiel sees
the divine throne-chariot, the Merkabah, and the type of mysticism that
developed from this mysterious prelude to the Book of Ezekiel left unique
traces in these variant additional and liturgical readings. In addition, my
linguistic analysis of the Targumic Toseftot to Ezekiel shed further light on
Zoharic Aramaic because it demonstrated that the fusion of dialects had
not been uniquely and artificially manufactured in the Zohar but already
occurred to a variable degree in the Targumic corpus.
The guiding spirit behind my doctoral dissertation was Dr. Willem
Smelik, to whom I am deeply indebted. He offered me the chance to move
to the United Kingdom and fulfil my academic dream. I felt fortunate to
have him as my principal supervisor, not only because of his expertise,
but also because of his kindness. Thanks to his inspiring guidance, I thor-
oughly enjoyed my research on this fascinating topic, both here in London
and during my stay in Jerusalem.
I also wish to record my appreciation to my examiners Prof. Philip
Alexander and Prof. Geoffrey Khan for reading my dissertation and kindly
offering their expertise in preparing my work for publication. I bear sole
responsibility, however, for any errors that this study may contain.
The cordial support I received in various ways from the people within
the Department of Hebrew and Jewish Studies makes me realize that
University College London has truly become my second alma mater. I
especially wish to thank my subsidiary supervisor Prof. Mark Geller, Prof.
Ada Rapoport-Albert, Prof. Sacha Stern, the participants of the Zohar-
workshops, and the departmental administrators, Dr. Emma Harris and
Mrs. Lia Kahn-Zajtmann. I also owe Dr. Daphne Freedman, who was so
kind to correct the English of this book and offer her generous comments,
an enormous debt of gratitude.
I wish to acknowledge the funding received for the preparation of this
dissertation by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and
University College Londons Graduate School during the years 20042007.
My appreciation is hereby extended to the people who so kindly
assisted me in collating the manuscripts: David Benayem and Bina Eiger,
Bar-Ilan University Library; Kinga Devenyi, Library of the Hungarian
Academy of Sciences, Budapest; David Kerschen and Barukh Yonin, The
Schocken Library, Jerusalem; David Kroeze, Targum Manuscripts Database
Project, Protestant Theological University, Kampen; Csar Merchn-
Hamann, Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies; Yael Okun and
Zmira Reuveni, Institute of Microfilmed Hebrew Manuscripts, Jerusalem;
authors preface xv

Ben Outhwaite, Taylor-Schechter Genizah Research Unit, Cambridge


University Library; Rabbi Jerry Schwarzbard, Jewish Theological Seminary,
New York; Ilana Tahan, The British Library, London; Anne Young, The
John Rylands Library, Manchester.
I am very grateful to Dr. Paul Flesher for granting my work a place in
his series Studies in the Aramaic Interpretation of Scripture, published by
Brill Academic Publishers, and awarding meon behalf of the series
a travel fellowship to attend the IOTS conference (2010) in Helsinki. It
is also a great pleasure to thank my former colleagues of Brill Academic
Publishers for their constant support. Seven years ago I left Brill to pursue
my academic dream, and it is very special that the same publishing house
has transformed my dissertation into a book. I am particularly indebted to
my dear friend Wilma de Weert for her dedicated editorial assistance.
In the four years that spanned this doctoral research, I was constantly
reminded of the loyal support of my friends and relatives, for which I am
extremely grateful. In particular, I wish to thank Dr. Milagros Zeballos,
Young Cho, and my other friends from North Finchley, Ifor Evans Hall,
and St Michaels, my dear pen-pal Elly Suijk-Vijlbrief, Jan-Peter Wissink,
Jan and Marianne Veenhof, and Dr. Margaretha Folmer for their warm
friendship.
Nader, I wish to express my deepest gratitude for your love and support
through the words of your great mystic, Rumi:










Finally, I dedicate this work to my family, whom I had to leave behind to
fulfil my dream and whose presence I so dearly miss. Even the distance
feels so near...

Alinda Damsma
Girton, December 2011
Abbreviations

Consulted works are cited in full once, thereafter only the name of the
author, the title, and the page number(s) are given. In the bibliography,
the full details are cited once again. The abbreviations of frequently men-
tioned tools (concordances, dictionaries, grammars, and text editions)
and journals, series, manuscripts, rabbinic sources, etc. are listed below.

Quotations of rabbinic sources are from Bar Ilans Responsa Project, unless
stated otherwise. I adopt the rabbinic classification and the spelling of the
rabbis names as found in H.L. Strack and G. Stemberger, Introduction to
the Talmud and Midrash (trans. M. Bockmuehl; Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark,
1991).

The sigla for Targum Jonathans textual witnesses as per A. Sperber, The
Bible in Aramaic Based on Old Manuscripts and Printed Texts (Leiden: Brill
Academic Publishers, repr edn, 2004) and J. Ribera Florit, Targum Jonatn
de los profetas posteriores en tradicin babilnica: Ezequiel (Madrid:
Instituto de Filologia del CSIC, Departamento de Filologia Biblica y de
Oriente Antiguo, 1997):

Manuscripts with Babylonian Vocalization


v Ms. Or. 2211, British Library, London
z Ms. Or. 1474, British Library, London
1 Ms. Or. 1473, British Library, London
Eb 22 Ms. T-S B 2/2, Geniza Collections, Cambridge
Eb 24 Ms. T-S B 4/38, Geniza Collections, Cambridge
Eb 86 Ms. Heb 4 1143,124, The Jewish National and University Library,
Jerusalem
Kb 4 Ms. T-S NS 247.12, Geniza Collections, Cambridge
Hafarot
5 Ms. Or. 1470, British Library, London
Manuscripts with Tiberian (or no) Vocalization
c Ms. 7, Montefiore Library
f Codex Reuchlinianus, Badische Hof- und Landesbibliothek,
Karlsruhe
xviii abbreviations

Printed Editions
b The First Rabbinic Bible, Bomberg, Venice 1515/17
g The Second Rabbinic Bible, Bomberg, Venice 1524/25
o The Antwerp Polyglot Bible, 1569/73

Sigla used in critical text of Targumic Toseftot to Ezekiel:


[ ] reconstructed text, based either on text or on supposition
[?] text is hardly legible
[...] text is illegible
_ text completed by editor
_ text deleted by copyist
( ) text needs to be deleted
{ } text completed by copyist
Biblical or Targumic quotation

The Books of the Bible:


Gen., Exod., Lev., Num., Deut., Josh., Judg., 12 Sam., 12 Kgs, Isa., Jer.,
Ezek., Hos., Joel, Amos, Obad., Jon., Mic., Nah., Hab., Zeph., Hag., Zech.,
Mal., Ps. (pl. Pss.), Job, Prov., Ruth, Cant., Qoh., Lam., Est., Dan., Ezra, Neh.,
12 Chron., Add. Esth, Bar., Bel, 12 Esd., Jdt., Ep. Jer., 12 Macc., Pr. Azar.,
Pr. Man., Sir., Sus., Tob., Wis., Mt., Mk., Lk., Jn, Acts, Rom., 12 Cor., Gal.,
Eph., Phil., Col., 12 Thess., 12 Tim., Tit., Phlm., Heb., Jas, 12 Pet., 123
Jn, Jude, Rev.

Ab. Abot
Abod. Zar. Aboda Zara
AbrN.S Abr-Nahrain, Supplement Series
AGJU Arbeiten zur Geschichte des antiken Judentums und des
Urchristentums
AnBib Analecta biblica
AramB Aramaic Bible
ARN Abot de-Rabbi Nathan
AS Aramaic Studies

b. Babylonian Talmud
BA Biblical Aramaic
B. Bat. Baba Batra
BCTP J.C. de Moor (ed.), A Bilingual Concordance to the Targum of the
Prophets (Leiden: Brill Academic Publishers, 19952005)
Bek. Bekorot
Ber. Berakhot
abbreviations xix

Beyer, Die aramischen K. Beyer, Die aramischen Texte vom Toten Meer
Texte (Gttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1984)
BHS Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia
Bib Biblica
B. Me. Baba Meia
BN Biblische Notizen
B. Qam. Baba Qamma
BT Bible Translator
BTA Babylonian Talmudic Aramaic
BZAW Beihefte zur Zeitschrift fr die alttestamentliche
Wissenschaft (ZAW)

CAL Comprehensive Aramaic Lexicon


Cant. R. Canticles Rabba
CBQMS Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Monograph Series
CChrSL Corpus Christianorum. Series Latina
Cook, Rewriting E.M. Cook, Rewriting the Bible. The Text and
the Bible Language of the Pseudo-Jonathan Targum (unpublished
Ph.D. Diss. University of California, Los Angeles, 1986)
CPA Christian Palestinian Aramaic
CRINT Compendia rerum Iudaicarum ad Novum Testamentum
CSCO.S Corpus scriptorum christianorum orientalium. Scriptores
Syri
CTLevi Cairo Testament of Levi
CULGS Cambridge University Library. Genizah series

Dalman, Dialektproben G.H. Dalman, Aramische Dialektproben (Leipzig: J.C.


Hinrichs, 2nd edn, 1905)
Dalman, Grammatik G.H. Dalman, Grammatik des Jdisch-Palstinischen
Aramisch (Leipzig: J.C. Hinrichs, 2nd edn, 1905)
Daut, Targum des R. Le Daut, Targum des Chroniques (Cod. Vat. Urb.
Chroniques Ebr. 1) (Rome: Biblical InstitutePress, 1971)
Der. Er. Zu. Derek Ere Zua
Deut. R. Deuteronomy Rabba
Dez Macho, Neophyti I A. Dez Macho, Neophyti I: Targum Palestinense MS de la
Biblioteca Vaticana, Vol. IVI (Madrid: Consejo Superior
de Investigaciones Cientificas 19681979)
Drower, CPB E.S. Drower, The Canonical Prayerbook of the Mandaeans
(Leiden: Brill Academic Publishers, 1959)
Drower, Mandaic E.S. Drower, A Mandaic Dictionary (Oxford: Clarendon
Dictionary Press, 1963)
DTMT Dictionaries of Talmud, Midrash and Targum

1 En. 1 (Ethiopic) Enoch


3 En. 3 (Hebrew) Enoch
xx abbreviations

EncJud Encyclopaedia Judaica (eds in chief: M. Berenbaum, F. Skolnik;


Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA, 2nd edn, 2007)
Epstein, Grammar J.N. Epstein, A Grammar of Babylonian Aramaic (in Hebrew;
Jerusalem: Magness Press, 1960)
Exod. R. Exodus Rabba

Fassberg, Grammar S.E. Fassberg, A Grammar of the Palestinian Targum Fragments


from the Cairo Genizah (HSeSt, 38; Atlanta: Scholars Press,
1990)
FJB Frankfurter Judaistische Beitrge
FragTgP Fragmentary Targums of the Pentateuch, Ms. Paris,


Bibliothque nationale 110


FragTgV Fragmentary Targums of the Pentateuch, Ms. Vat. Ebr. 440


GCS Griechischen christlichen Schriftsteller


GCSNF Griechischen christlichen Schriftsteller. Neue Folge
Gen. R. Genesis Rabba
Ginsburger, M. Ginsburger, Pseudo-Jonathan (Thargum
Pseudo-Jonathan Jonathan ben Usiel zum Pentateuch): nach der Londoner
Handschrift (Hildesheim: G. Olms 1971)
Golomb, Grammar D.M. Golomb, A Grammar of Targum Neofiti (HSM, 34; Chico:
Scholars Press, 1985)

Hag. Hagiga
HALAT L. Koehler and W. Baumgartner, Hebrisches und Aramisches
Lexikon zum Alten Testament (Leiden: Brill Academic
Publishers, 3rd edn, 2004).
HdO Handbuch der Orientalistik
Hebr. Hebrew
HSeSt Harvard Semitic Studies
HSM Harvard Semitic Monographs
HTR Harvard Theological Review
HUCA Hebrew Union College Annual
ul. ullin

ICC International Critical Commentary

JAB Journal for the Aramaic Bible


Jastrow, Dictionary M. Jastrow, A Dictionary of the Targumim, the Talmud Babli
and Yerushalmi, and the Midrashic Literature (New York:
Judaica Press, 1971)
JBA Jewish Babylonian Aramaic
JBL Journal of Biblical Literature
JCMAMW Jews, Christians, and Muslims from the Ancient to the
Modern World
JCPS Jewish and Christian Perspectives Series
JJS Journal of Jewish Studies
abbreviations xxi

JLA Jewish Law Annual


JLA Jewish Literary Aramaic
JPA Jewish Palestinian Aramaic
JQR Jewish Quarterly Review
JSJ Journal for the Study of Judaism in the Persian, Hellenistic and
Roman Period
JSJSup Journal for the Study of Judaism in the Persian, Hellenistic and
Roman Period, Supplement Series
JSOTSup Journal for the Study of the Old Testament, Supplement Series
JSS Journal of Semitic Studies
JTS Journal of Theological Studies

KAI H. Donner and W. Rllig, Kanaanische und aramische


Inschriften (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 197176)
Kalla R. Kalla Rabbati
Kasher, Targumic R. Kasher, Targumic Toseftot to the Prophets (in Hebrew;
Toseftot to Sources for the Study of Jewish Culture, 2; Jerusalem:
the Prophets World Union of Jewish Studies, 1996)
Ker. Keritot
Ket. Ketubot

Lam. R. Lamentations Rabba


Lev. R. Leviticus Rabba
Levy, CWT J. Levy, Chaldisches Wrterbuch ber die Targumim und
einen grossen Theil des rabbinischen Schriftthums (Leipzig:
Baumgrtners Buchhandlung, 3rd edn, 1881)
LJLA Late Jewish Literary Aramaic
LXX Septuagint

m. Mishna
Mak. Makkot
Meg. Megilla
Mek. Mekilta deRabbi Ishmael
MGWJ Monatsschrift fr Geschichte und Wissenschaft des Judentums
MHG Midrash ha-Gadol
Midr. Prov. Midrash on Proverbs
Midr. Ps. Midrash on Psalms
M. Qat. Moed Qaan
Ms(s) Manuscript(s)
MT Masoretic Text

Ned. Nedarim
NICOT New International Commentary on the Old Testament
NovTSup Novum Testamentum, Supplements
NTAp Neutestamentliche Apokryphen
NTOA Novum Testamentum et orbis antiquus
Num. R. Numbers Rabba
xxii abbreviations

OTL Old Testament Library


OTS Oudtestamentische Studin

PAAJR Proceedings of the American Academy of Jewish


Research
Payne Smith, Syriac R. Payne Smith, A Compendious Syriac Dictionary
Dictionary (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1903)
Pes. Pesaim
Pesh. Peshitta
Pes. K. Pesiqta deRab Kahana
Pes. R. Pesiqta Rabbati
PRE Pirqe deRabbi Eliezer

1QM Serek ha-Milamah (War Scroll) from Qumran


Cave 1
Qoh. R. Qohelet Rabba

RB Revue biblique
REJ Revue des tudes juives
RevScRel Revue des sciences religieuses
Rosh Hash. Rosh Ha-Shana

SA Samaritan Aramaic
SAIS Studies in the Aramaic Interpretation of Scripture
Sanh. Sanhedrin
SBLMS SBL Monograph Series
SC Sources chrtiennes
Shab. Shabbat
Shebu. Shebuot
Sheq. Sheqalim
SJ Studia Judaica
SJT Scottish Journal of Theology
Sokoloff, DJBA M. Sokoloff, A Dictionary of Jewish Babylonian
Aramaic of the Talmudic and Geonic Periods (DTMT,
3; Ramat-Gan: Bar Ilan University Press, 2002)
Sokoloff, DJPA M. Sokoloff, A Dictionary of Jewish Palestinian
Aramaic of the Byzantine Period (DTMT, 2; Ramat-
Gan: Bar Ilan University Press, 2nd edn, 2002)
SPB Studia postbiblica
Sperber, The Bible in Aramaic A. Sperber, The Bible in Aramaic Based on Old
Manuscripts and Printed Texts (Leiden: Brill
Academic Publishers, repr edn, 2004).
SRdB Seder Rabbah di-Bereshit
Stevenson, Grammar Wm.B. Stevenson, Grammar of Palestinian Jewish
Aramaic (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2nd edn,
1962)
abbreviations xxiii

t. Tosefta
Taan. Taanit
Tal, Dictionary A. Tal, A Dictionary of Samaritan Aramaic (HdO: Abt.1, 50; Leiden:
Brill Academic Publishers, 2000).
Tan. Tanuma
Tg Targum
TgCG Targum Cairo Geniza
TgJob Targum Job
TgJon Targum Jonathan
TgKet Targum Ketuvim
TgLam Targum Lamentations
TgNeof Targum Neofiti I
TgOnq Targum Onqelos
TgPs, TgPss Targum Psalm(s)
TgPsJ Targum Pseudo-Jonathan
TgQoh Targum Qohelet
TgRuth Targum Ruth
TgSheni Targum Esther Sheni
TgShir Targum Shir ha-Shirim
TosTg(s) Tosefta-Targum(s)
TSAJ Texte und Studien zum Antiken Judentum

UCOP University of Cambridge Oriental Publications

VTSup Vetus Testamentum, Supplements

WBC Word Biblical Commentary

y. Palestinian Talmud
Yal. Shim. Yalku Shimoni
Yom. Yoma

ZAW Zeitschrift fr die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft


ZDMG Zeitschrift der deutschen morgenlndischen Gesellschaft
Chapter One

Introduction

Over the centuries the Book of Ezekiel has aroused mixed feelings among
its readers: both lavish praise and immense scorn have fallen to the most
mysterious of Israels prophets.1 After their first encounter with Ezekiel,
many readers describe the book as obscure and incomprehensible,
whether in the Hebrew source text or in translation. The difficult access
to the prophets message can be ascribed to:

The notorious text-critical difficulties. Ezekiel is one of the most obscure


books of the Hebrew Bible in terms of textual criticism.2
The distinctive literary style. The book displays lexical and grammatical
peculiarities,3 including incomplete sentences and strange construc-
tions that leave the reader puzzled.4
The substance. No other prophetic book has such a surreal character
as Ezekiel, for instance, the prophet relates his encounter with strange
creatures,5 travels through the sky,6 carries out bizarre symbolic actions,7
and he does not shun even shocking pornographic imagery in seeking
to get through to the hardened hearts of his contemporaries.8

Already from the outset the Book of Ezekiel is far from easy to gain access
to. The first chapter, in which the prophet recalls his inaugural vision,
embodies all the difficulties detailed above; highly obscure in many

1In the detailed introduction to his commentary on Ezekiel, Block deals with the vary-
ing reception of Ezekiel in Jewish and Christian tradition: D.I. Block, The Book of Ezekiel
[Vol. I]: Chapters 124 (NICOT; Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1997), pp. 4246.
2For a detailed discussion of the text of Ezekiel see E. Tov, Textual Criticism of the
Hebrew Bible (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1992), pp. 33334.
3Apart from the linguistic shift from Early Biblical Hebrew to Late Biblical Hebrew in
Ezekiel, which has been extensively dealt with in M.F. Rooker, Biblical Hebrew in Transition:
the Language of the Book of Ezekiel (JSOTSup, 90; Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1990).
4Cf. Block, The Book of Ezekiel, vol. 1, p. 17.
5Ezek. 1; cf. Ezek. 10.
6Ezek. 8:3; 11:24; 40:1ff.
7Ezek. 4:13, 48, 917; 5:117; 12:116, 1720; 21:11ff., 2329; 24:1524; 37:1528.
8Ezek. 16; cf. Ezek. 23.
2 chapter one

aspects, this opening vision forms a bizarre and mysterious prelude to the
rest of the book.
Equally fascinating are the Jewish Aramaic translations of Ezekiel and
its first chapter in particular because these renderings function both as
translations and interpretations, thus throwing light on the reception his-
tory of this book in late antique Judaism.9 These Aramaic versions are
known as Targum Jonathan to Ezekiel10 and the Targumic Toseftot to
Ezekiel, and the latter preserve additional liturgical and alternative read-
ings of Targum Ezekiel.11 Whereas Targum Ezekiel has received a fair
amount of scholarly attention,12 its Toseftot have not been the subject of an
extensive and systematic study. However, credit should be given to schol-
ars like Alejandro Dez-Macho,13 David Halperin,14 and Rimon Kasher,15

9A good general introduction to the Aramaic renderings of the Bible, also known as
Targums or Targumim (singular Targum), is P.V.M. Flesher and B. Chilton, The Targums:
A Critical Introduction (Waco: Baylor University Press, 2011).
10Or simply Targum Ezekiel. Targum Ezekiel is part of a larger corpus entitled Targum
Jonathan to the Prophets, which is the Aramaic rendering of the Prophets that enjoyed
authoritative status amongst Babylonian Jewry from Late Antiquity onward. Its counter-
part, the official Aramaic translation of the Pentateuch, is known as Targum Onqelos. In
the present study both works are abbreviated as TgOnq and TgJon.
11Smelik describes the Targumic Toseftot as collections of highly midrashic addi-
tional readings to TO and TJon of which no complete version survived or existed. He
further throws light on the confusing terminology employed in scholarly literature: the
additional Targumic readings are also called Palestinian Targum, yet the Aramaic of
these variant additions bears closer resemblance to that of TgOnq and TgJon than to that
of the Targums of Palestinian origin, and this observation will be elaborated on later in
this study. Following Smelik, I use the term Targumic Toseftot or, alternatively, Tosefta-
Targums for the liturgical or alternative additional readings of TgOnq and TgJon, and
Palestinian Targum for the supposed Palestinian Targum to the Prophets. W.F. Smelik,
The Targum of Judges (OTS, 36; Leiden: Brill Academic Publishers, 1995), pp. 30, 7677.
For further evaluation of the terminology and an extensive discussion of the Tosefta-
Targums in general, including a survey of previous research, see A. Houtman and H.
Sysling, Alternative Targum Traditions: The Use of Variant Readings for the Study in Origin
and History of Targum Jonathan (SAIS, 9; Leiden: Brill Academic Publishers, 2009).
12Studies on Targum Ezekiel include D.J. Halperin, The Faces of the Chariot (TSAJ, 16;
Tbingen: Mohr Siebeck, 1988), pp. 11729; S.H. Levey, The Targum to Ezekiel, HUCA 46
(1975), pp. 13958; idem, The Targum of Ezekiel (AramB, 13; Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1987);
J. Ribera-Florit, Conceptos a travs de los cuales se desarrolla la hermenutica del Targum
de Ezequiel, in J. Targarona Borrs and A. Senz-Badillos (eds.), Jewish Studies at the Turn
of the 20th Century. Vol. I: Biblical, Rabbinical, and Medieval Studies (Leiden: Brill Academic
Publishers, 1999), pp. 18898; idem, Targum de Ezequiel. Introduccin, traduccin crtica y
notas (Biblioteca Midrsica, 27; Estella: Editorial Verbo Divino, 2004).
13A. Dez-Macho, Un segundo fragmento del Targum Palestinense a los Profetas, in
Bib 39 (1958), pp. 198205.
14D.J. Halperin, The Faces of the Chariot (TSAJ, 16; Tbingen: Mohr Siebeck, 1988).
15R. Kasher, Targumic Toseftot to the Prophets (in Hebrew; Sources for the Study of
Jewish Culture, 2; Jerusalem: World Union of Jewish Studies, 1996).
introduction 3

who dealt with some of these Targumic Toseftot and whose important
studies I am very much indebted to.
The present study provides the critical text, translation, and commen-
tary of the Targumic Toseftot to Ezekiel. It offers a systematic treatment
of these Targumic materials in relation to their linguistic profile, date and
provenance, as well as their historical and social setting, but at the same
time the heterogeneous character of these texts is taken into account.
As to the textual witnesses employed in this study, the critical text of
the Tosefta-Targums is based on the manuscripts that I gathered, and the
details of these manuscript materials will be provided in the following.
Whenever I had to cite the text of Targum Ezekiel I resorted to the text-
critical works of both Sperber16 and Ribera Florit.17 I employed Sperbers
critical edition though bearing in mind the heavy criticism it has been
subjected to, primarily concerning the choice of base text, the abun-
dance of (typographical) errors, and the collation of secondary sources.18
Regrettably, Sperber did not take the extant manuscripts with genuine
Babylonian vocalization into account, which could have taken us closer
to the most ancient textual tradition, assuming that the final redaction
of Targum Jonathan took place in Babylonia. One should bear in mind,
though, that due to their fragmentary character, none of the Babylonian
manuscripts could have served as the base text. In his preference for
Yemenite manuscripts of the Latter Prophets, Sperber subsequently chose
Ms. Or. 2211 of the British Library as the base text, rather than Ms. Or.
1474, which displays more of the Babylonian punctuation. As for the typo-
graphical errors, the presumed lack of accuracy should be mitigated as
well because the errors mainly concern the vocalization and the confu-
sion of the consonants and , as Gordon has pointed out. The consonan-
tal text itself is fairly unharmed and therefore I consider it legitimate to
make use of it, albeit in juxtaposition with Ribera Florits critical edition.
However, critics have drawn attention to the misreadings or even the lack

16A. Sperber, The Bible in Aramaic Based on Old Manuscripts and Printed Texts (Leiden:
Brill Academic Publishers, repr edn, 2004).
17J. Ribera Florit, Targum Jonatn de los profetas posteriores en tradicin babilnica:
Ezequiel (Madrid: Instituto de Filologia del CSIC, Departamento de Filologia Biblica y de
Oriente Antiguo, 1997).
18For a well-balanced discussion of the reception of Sperbers edition and further litera-
ture, see R.P. Gordon, Studies in the Targum to the Twelve Prophets (VTSup, 51; Leiden: Brill
Academic Publishers, 1994), pp. 2830; idem, Foreword to the Reprinted Edition (1992),
in Sperber, The Bible in Aramaic, pp. 712; A. Houtman, Planning a New Targum Edition:
Look Before You Leap, JAB 2.2 (2000), pp. 21331; Smelik, Targum of Judges, pp. 11317.
4 chapter one

of readings in the secondary apparatus, and thus care is required when


consulting the secondary witnesses.
Methodologically, I frequently draw parallels between Targumic and
classic rabbinic texts, but this approach does not imply a pan-Rabbinist
stance. I am aware of the ongoing debate on the role and influence of the
rabbinic movement in the development of Judaism in Late Antiquity. The
influence of the Rabbinate may not have been as dominant as previously
thought.19 There were other forms of Judaism in existence, not only in
the Greek-speaking Diaspora, but in Palestine and Babylonia as well. This
debate is relevant to the present study as it touches upon the complex ques-
tion of the rabbinic character of the Targums and early Jewish mysticism.
However, given the hitherto speculative nature of this specific discussion,
I have attempted to demonstrate literary connections between the core
rabbinic literature and other Jewish sources from Late Antiquity without
drawing far-reaching implications as to the underlying social connections.
The outline of this book is as follows. Chapter II deals with the Targumic
Toseftot to Ezekiel 1, the so-called Merkabah chapter. Even more than the
Hebrew original and Targum Jonathan to Ezekiel, the Targumic Toseftot
to Ezekiel 1 contain a wealth of mystical speculation, which furthers our
understanding of a relatively dark chapter in the reception history of
early Jewish mystical lore. Chapter III continues with the Tosefta-Targum
to Ezekiel 28 verse 13, and this Targumic version gives a highly creative
interpretation of the prophets lament against the king of Tyre. In Chapter
IV I discuss two Targumic Toseftot to Ezekiel 37, which offer an original
conveyance of the prophets dry bones vision. In chapter V I present my
concluding observations on the Targumic Toseftot to Ezekiel and their
dialectal classification,20 date, provenance, and, finally, Sitz im Leben.

19One of the most critical recent scholars in this respect is Seth Schwartz, see his book
Imperialism and Jewish Society, 200 bce to 640 ce (JCMAMW; Princeton University Press,
2001); cf. C. Hezser, The Social Structure of the Rabbinic Movement in Roman Palestine
(TSAJ, 66; Tbingen: Mohr Siebeck, 1997).
20I follow Fitzmyers periodization of the Aramaic dialects as well as the more recent
description of the (sub-) dialects by Flesher, see J.A. Fitzmyer, The Phases of the Aramaic
Language, in idem, A Wandering Aramean: Collected Aramaic Essays (SBLMS, 25; Missoula:
Scholars Press, 1979). pp. 5784; P.V.M. Flesher, The History of Aramaic in Judaism, in
J. Neusner and A.J. Avery-Peck, et al. (eds.), The Encyclopedia of Judaism (Leiden: Brill
Academic Publishers; 2nd ed. 2005), pp. 8596. For the present study the following dialects
are particularly important.
Jewish Literary Aramaic (JLA): the dialect of Middle Aramaic that evolved in Judea from
Imperial Aramaic. It was employed from approximately 200 bce to 200 ce. Examples are
the Book of Daniel, Targum Onqelos and Targum Jonathan.
introduction 5

Jewish Palestinian Aramaic (JPA): the Late Aramaic dialect that emerged in Palestine
from approximately 200 ce and continued until about 700 ce. Examples are the Aramaic
parts of the Palestinian Talmud, the Palestinian Targums to the Pentateuch, and the
Palestinian piyyutim.
Jewish Babylonian Aramaic (JBA): the Late Aramaic dialect that was used in Babylonia
from about 200 ce until 900 ce. It is the main dialect that is used in the Babylonian
Talmud.
Late Jewish Literary Aramaic (LJLA): this Late Aramaic dialect has only quite recently
been established, and its date and geographic distribution are still subject of debate. The
dating of LJLA ranges from the fourth century ce until halfway the Middle Ages. Examples
of works written in LJLA are Targum Pseudo-Jonathan and many of the Targums to the
Writings.
Chapter Two

The Targumic Toseftot to Ezekiel 1

2.1Introduction

The afterlife of Ezekiels vision of the celestial chariot in the rabbinic tra-
dition presents an ambiguous picture. While the rabbis appear to have
been enthralled by the vision, it also imbued them with awe and fear.1
According to rabbinic sources, only a few sages were qualified to engage
in the Merkabah exposition.2 A terrible fate awaited the less educated
who contemplated it, who were either struck by leprosy3 or consumed
by fire.4 The danger that the exposition of the Merkabah chapter posed
to lay people induced the rabbinic authorities to impose rulings on its
delivery in the synagogue. This is confirmed by the so-called lists of the
forbidden Targumim, which we find disseminated in rabbinic writings.5
In m.Meg. 4:10 we read that the Maaseh Merkabah, i.e., Ezek. 1, should
not be read as a prophetic portion, although R. Yehudah permits.6 Judging
from y.Meg. 4:10 (75c), the Talmud Yerushalmi follows this Mishnaic rul-
ing. A more lenient approach is attested in t.Meg. 3:3138, according to
which the chapter can be read in public.7 The fact that b.Meg. 25ab is
silent on Ezek. 1, but b.Meg. 31a refers to the chapter as the hafarah read
on Shavuot may indicate that from the Amoraic period onward the ban
on its synagogal recitation and translation was relaxed further. We will see
in the following that several recensions of TosTg Ezek. 1 attest its use at
Shavuot. However, we will also learn that even when Ezekiels controver-
sial first chapter was allowed to be heard in the synagogue, the rabbinic

1Cf. Halperins introduction in Faces of the Chariot, esp. pp. 34.


2E.g., m.ag. 2:1; y. ag. 2:1 (77a).
3y. ag. 2:1 (77a).
4b. ag. 13a.
5See P.S. Alexander, The Rabbinic Lists of Forbidden Targumim, JJS 27 (1976), pp. 177
91; M.L. Klein, Not to be Translated in Public, JJS 39 (1988), pp. 8091; W.F. Smelik, Rabbis,
Language and Translation in Late Antiquity (in preparation).
6The permission may or may not include translation.
7Again, translation may or may not be included.
8 chapter two

authorities went to great lengths to dissuade the worshippers from devel-


oping any interest in its dangerous contents.

2.2The Targumic Toseftot to Ezekiel 1:1

The Targumic Toseftot to Ezekiel 1:1 are treated in a logical rather than
chronological order. A chronological order would have made it necessary
to start with the Cairo Genizah materials, which are presumably the old-
est extant recensions at our disposal. However, their brief and fragmen-
tary character makes them unsuitable as an introduction to the rest of the
Targumic Toseftot to Ezekiel 1:1. Ms. Gaster 1478, on the other hand, is a
complete version, even the longest, and serves as the best starting point
for the reader, despite its unknown date and provenance. The introduc-
tory and detailed treatment of Ms. Gaster 1478 (2.2.1) helps the reader
to understand the context of the remaining Targumic Toseftot to Ezekiel
1:1, which consist of two damaged Cairo Genizah fragments (2.2.2 and
2.2.3) and several recensions whose remarkable similarities allow us to
compare them in a table (2.2.4).

2.2.1The Targumic Tosefta to Ezekiel 1:1 in Codex Manchester,


Gaster 1478
The text under discussion was preserved in a manuscript owned by Dr.
Moses Gaster, the prolific scholar and chief rabbi of the Sephardic com-
munity in England. A brief reference to this manuscript is found in an
article in which Gaster discusses a Targumic Tosefta to 2 Sam. 21:15ff., a
hafarah reading on the seventh day of Pesach:
So weit diese Legende aus einer alten orientalischen Handschrift in meinem
Besitze (No. 1020), von der ich die wichtigsten Agadas abgeschrieben
habe.8
Gaster considered the lengthy Targumic version of Ezek. 1:1 one of the
most important aggadot in this old oriental manuscript and copied it.
Unfortunately, the original manuscript is thought to be lost.9 We only

8M. Gaster, Das Buch Josua in hebrisch-samaritanischer Rezension, ZDMG 62 (1908),


pp. 494549, esp. 532.
9According to a record of the University of London detailing the material from Gasters
collection, the original manuscript (Ms. 1020) should have gone to the British Library, but
there it is listed amongst the untraced manuscripts. I am grateful to Anne Young (The John
the targumic toseftot to ezekiel 1 9

have his typed copy left at our disposal, which has the shelf-number Ms.
1478 of the Gaster collection in The John Rylands Library, Manchester.
On top of its first page, the typescript presumably contains the handwrit-
ten words agadot in hafaroth (Persian hand...). The copy furthermore
indicates that the Targumic Tosefta to Ezek. 1:1 was found on ff. 254r257r
of the original manuscript.10 The consonantal text is partly accompanied
by handwritten Tiberian vowel and accent pointing, and the introductory
words attest the use of this Targum during the festival of
Shavuot.
The absence of the original manuscript is a complicating factor for our
analysis in several ways. Firstly, caution is called for when trying to estab-
lish the provenance of the original manuscript solely on the strength of the
word Persian. Secondly, it is impossible to date the original manuscript.
Gaster spoke of an old manuscript but, unfortunately, we can no longer
verify this. We can only propose a terminus post quem for its composition,
based on both the dialect and the Talmudic and mystical traditions that
our Targumic Tosefta seems to have drawn on. We are left in the dark,
however, as to its textual transmission. Finally, although a typescript usu-
ally has the advantage over a manuscript in terms of legibility, the typing
has posed some problems whilst defining the linguistic character of the
Targumic Tosefta: sometimes a consonant is typed over another conso-
nant; the typing is corrected by hand or accompanied by symbols indicat-
ing mistakes. It is impossible to establish whether the scribal errors were
already present in the original manuscript and faithfully copied, or that
the typing itself has been corrected.
This Targumic Tosefta has previously been published and commented
upon by Rimon Kasher.11

Rylands Library, Manchester) and Ilana Tahan (The British Library, London) for kindly
assisting me in my search.
10The typescript also contains aggadic Targums to 2 Sam. 21:1619 (ff. 240v252r) and
Isa. 47:15 (ff. 281r285r).
11Kasher, Targumic Toseftot to the Prophets, pp. 18084. Kasher frequently refers to this
Targum text and the shorter recensions in his article, Angelology and the Supernal Worlds
in the Aramaic Targums to the Prophets, JSJ 27 (1996), pp. 16891.
10 chapter two

2.2.1.1The Text and Translation of the Targumic Tosefta to Ezekiel 1:1 (Ms Gaster 1478)
1
12 2
13 [][]3
14} {4
5
6
15 {}7
8
18 17 16 9
19 10

12 ... ] I have interpreted this phrase as a date formula,


see Sokoloff, DJPA, p. 560, where examples are given, including the so-called Zoar inscrip-
tions, Jewish tombstone inscriptions from the 4th6th century ce discovered at the site
of Zoar in Jordan. Sokoloff translates Zoar 1:4 as follows:
of the first year of the Sabbatical cycle,
year 364 after the destruction of the Temple. Cf. S. Stern, Calendar and Community: a his-
tory of the Jewish calendar, second century bcetenth century ce (Oxford: Oxford University
Press, 2001), pp. 8797. The other versions of this Targumic Tosefta to Ezek. 1:1 read
, but they do not count from the destruction of the Temple.
See the table in 2.2.4.1, line 3. In my comments I discuss this obscure date in greater
detail.
13 ] [][]The typescript reads , and we should probably emend it to
because later on in our Targumic Tosefta the typescript spells the word correctly:
, in line 69.
14} ] {The typescript reads , but the is hand-written. There was probably no
space left, because is the last word on the line.
15[]... ] This quotation stems from TgOnq Deut. 28:36a; cf. my com-
ments and appendix B. In addition, the typescripts reads , but the dots above the
and probably indicate that the copyist was aware of this error in the original Ms.
16 ... ] Cf. the parallel in TgJon Jer. 26:19:
we cause great evil to be inflicted upon ourselves.
17 ] We would have expected the genitive construction
, i.e., the proleptic pronominal suffix followed by -( the other TosTgs. Ezek.
1:1 read , see the table in 2.2.4.1, line 11). In his grammar of Targum Neofiti,
Golomb identified six very common nouns that indicate inalienable possession and occur
predominantly in the genitive construction with a proleptic pronominal suffix + -, and
the noun hand belongs to this group; Golomb, Grammar, p. 218ff. The omission of
- may thus be a scribal error, see also TgCG Gen. 29:31: in the countenance
of her husband (cf. TgNeof. Gen. 29:31v ) . More examples of the proleptic pro-
nominal suffix without - are given in Fassberg, Grammar, p. 252.
18 ] The spelling of this form with yod is somewhat puzzling. At first glance, it
looks like a participle of the Ithpeel, but since belongs to the verba tertiae gutturalis,
which have for in all final syllables, you would expect the yod to disappear; cf. Dalman,
Grammatik, 64.3; Stevenson, Grammar, p. 54. Moreover, to the best of my knowledge, the
Ithpeel of is not attested in Aramaic, only the Ithpaal.
19 ] In my opinion, the masculine suffix - attached to - refers to
the feminine city rather than to the masculine god: there is no city like
Jerusalem from one end of the world to the other. This happens again in the next line,
the targumic toseftot to ezekiel 1 11

22 21 20 11
12
23{}{}13
25 24} {14
26 15
2716
17
18
19
[] 20
21
22
23
28 24
25

where the composer employs - instead of the corresponding feminine suffix - to des-
ignate Jerusalem: .
20 ] This phrase is incomprehensible if translated literally:
I have come to be delivered into my hand. You could interpret as a result
infinitive clause: I have come so that it will be delivered into my hand, but the subject,
expressed by either or the suffix ending , is lacking. The other versions of
TosTg. Ezek. 1:1 read: It is destined to be delivered into my hand
(see the table in 2.2.4.1, line 13).
21 ] This phrase is worth mentioning for two reasons. The use of
the participle to express the future tense is much more characteristic of JPA and, to a
lesser degree, LJLA than of JLA, see Cook, Rewriting the Bible, p. 218; Stevenson, Grammar,
pp. 5657. In the rest of the verse, the imperfect ( (and the participle ) )alternate.
Moreover, the masculine accusative discords with the feminine , although this
is not unusual, as seen in footnote 19.
22 ] Lit. its great people, but the reading the people in it in the
other versions of TosTg. Ezek. 1:1 (see the table in 2.2.4.1, line 13) makes more sense; cf.
in line 78. Our phrase thus seems to hint at a scribal error.
23 ] {}{}The typescripts reads , but a symbol behind this word probably
indicates that the copyist was aware of this error in the original Ms.
24} ] {The typescripts reads but a symbol behind this word probably indicates
that the copyist was aware of this error in the original Ms.
25 ... ] Isa. 14:14 is quoted in Hebrew.
26 ] We probably have to emend the plural adjective ( cf. line 79) to the
singular ;cf. Kasher, Targumic Toseftot to the Prophets, p. 185.
27 ]The verb may have been intended here as a play on the name Nimrod,
because means to rebel, revolt. Interestingly, whereas the other Targumic Toseftot
to Ezek. 1:1 read in the Peal (see the table in 2.2.4.1, line 17), our version employs the
Aphel (only attested in Syriac; cf. Payne Smith, Syriac Dictionary, p. 299), and this may hint
at influence of the Talmudic parallels b.ag. 13a and b.Pes. 94a-b, which read the Hiphil:
. In my comments I discuss the parallels between our Targumic
Tosefta and these rabbinic sources in greater detail.
28 ] Perhaps the scribe or one of his predecessors mistook the resh for dalet; cf.
in TosTgs. Ezek. 1:1 (see the table in 2.2.4.1, line 27).
12 chapter two

29 26
30 [] 27
31] [28
33 32 29
30
34 31
32
35 [ 33
34
36] 35
36
37
38
39

29 ]as, just as is employed here instead of .


30 ] Variant spelling (from line 27 onward): instead of .
Vacillations between and are not unusual, see Dalman, Grammatik, 15.5; Sperber,
The Bible in Aramaic, vol. 1, p. xiv.
31[ ] ]We are probably dealing with haplography, because both and
begin with dalet.
32 ] We would expect or rather than . This spelling could be
a scribal error, but in general the shift from yod to waw occurs in the vicinity of bila-
bials. In Syriac and Mandaic the spelling with waw is common (maybe a survival from
Akkadian burku, cf. HALAT, vol. 2, p. 1683). For examples in Syriac see Pesh. Gen. 30:3,
Deut. 28:35, Judg. 7:5, etc.; Wright, Homilies of Aphraates, vol. 1, p. 70; C. van den Eynde
(ed.), Commentaire dIodad de Merv sur lAncien Testament. Vol. VI. Psaumes (CSCO.S, 185;
Louvain: Peeters, 1981), p. 179; cf. Payne Smith, Syriac Dictionary, p. 39. For examples in
Mandaic see Drower, CPB, pp. 1718; cf. idem, Mandaic Dictionary, p. 57.
33The mentioning of the creatures knees contradicts rabbinic lore about the ayyot,
see my comments on line 29.
34 ] The only Targumic occurrences of the noun / side, thigh, flank
are found in our Targumic Tosefta and TgSheni 1:2. The spelling with aleph is character-
istic of Babylonian Talmudic Aramaic and Mandaic, whereas in Syriac you find ayin. The
noun is rarely attested in Palestinian Aramaic; cf. Drower, Mandaic Dictionary, p. 13; Payne
Smith, Syriac Dictionary, p. 410; Sokoloff, DJPA, p. 401; idem, DJBA, p. 107.
35 ] The noun heel, root, bottom part can function in the plural as a
euphemism for buttocks, see Drower, Mandaic Dictionary, p. 356. This euphemistic use
of is already present in the Hebrew Bible, in Jer. 13:22, where your heels most
probably refers to the genitals.
36] ... ] ] This passage is missing in the
typescript, and we may be dealing with haplography. The scribe could have easily over-
looked a few lines due to the identical beginning of each paragraph with . The
repetitive nature of the creatures description makes haplography hard to avoid as we will
further witness in the following. Kashers suggestion (Targumic Toseftot to the Prophets,
p. 187) that it could be an intentional omission to avoid the irreverent description of the
gigantic size of the buttocks is appealing, but we have to bear in mind that the noun
is already a euphemism, see footnote 35 above, and if the scribe had difficulties
with mentioning this body part why did he not delete it altogether (cf. / in
lines 37 and 40)?
the targumic toseftot to ezekiel 1 13

40 37 38
41 [ ] 39
42
43
44 [ ] 40
45
46
47
48
49
50 []
51
52
53
54 [
55 ] 41
56
57 42 [] 43
58
59
60 [ ] 44
61 [ ] 45

; cf. Kasher, instead of ] Variant spelling (from line 40 onward):37


Targumic Toseftot to the Prophets, p. 187. The spelling of this noun with gimel is attested in
Mandaic, albeit rarely, see Drower, Mandaic Dictionary, p. 341. For examples of vacillations
, see Dalman, Grammatik, 15.2. and between the palatals
(backs). This bodies instead of ] From line 40 onward the text reads38
body does not seem to fit in the order, unless change is somewhat puzzling because
as a variant spell- trunk, torso. Could we, alternatively, treat we interpret it as
back and vacilla- is a variant of ? According to Levy, CWT, vol. 1, p. 121, ing of
; are attested in Aramaic, see Dalman, Grammatik, 15.6 and tions between the labials
Sperber, The Bible in Aramaic, vol. 1, p. xii.
[ ] We are probably dealing with haplography [39
. due to
[ ] See footnote 39. [40
[ ] See footnote 39. [41
(wings). Now it seems to be backs, but this instead of ] Variant spelling:42
(see footnote 38 above). part of the body has already been mentioned with the use of
are not uncommon, see Dalman, and Moreover, as said before, vacillations between
Grammatik, 15.6; Sperber, The Bible in Aramaic, vol. 1, p. xii.
. , which we have to emend to ] The typescript reads[]43
(and the calves of the creatures) is ] [ The construction ]44
missing in the typescript. Perhaps another case of haplography due to the repetitive abbre-
. viation
(and the wings of the creatures) is miss- ] [ The construction ]45
ing in the typescript. Perhaps another case of haplography due to the repetitive abbrevia-
. tion
14 chapter two

46 62
{} 48 {} {} 47 63
64
65
66
49 67
50 68
51 69
52 70

46 ] In the typescript it is vocalized by hand as , but I have interpreted it


as the preposition outside of, except for. The reading is incomprehensible
given the context.
47 ] It is difficult to understand the verse with this plural form. Parallel readings
offer the singular, and perhaps we should emend it here to the singular as well; cf. MHG
Gen. 1:1; TosTgs. Ezek. 1:1 (see the table in 2.2.4.1, line 37).
48 ] {} {} The curly brackets indicate that these words have troubled
the producer of the typescript, and, unfortunately, it is impossible to establish the exact
reading due to the absence of the original manuscript. Judging from what I can reconstruct,
there seems to have been an error at first, with the reading , and this has
been corrected as follows: the is typed above the line and accompanied by a handwritten
insertion symbol; the letters are written over the typed ;and is inserted by
hand above the line. The (secondary?) insertion of the yod in Metatrons name may hint
at knowledge of the significance kabbalists attached to the distinction between the spell-
ings of Metatrons name: and . The Shiur Qomah already observes that his
name is written with six or seven letters; cf. Sefer Raziel:
he is written in six letters and in seven letters, in M.S. Cohen, The Shiur Qomah: Texts
and Recensions (TSAJ, 9; Tbingen: Mohr Siebeck, 1985), p. 105. Both forms are employed
in later mystical works, such as the Zohar. For a list of examples see R. Margaliot, Malakhey
Eliyon (in Hebrew; Jerusalem: Mosad ha-Rav Ku, 1964), pp. 8889. According to Scholem,
in kabbalistic circles, these two different spellings represented two prototypes of Metatron.
The short spelling referred to the strand in Metatron lore that connected him with Enoch.
After Enochs ascent to heaven he is transfigured into an angel, and this Enoch-Metatron is
the Great Scribe who records human merits. The spelling with the letter yod, on the other
hand, stood for the exalted, primordial Metatron, who, endowed with power over heaven
and earth, is chief vizier in the celestial realms; G. Scholem, Metatron, in EncJud, vol. 14,
pp. 13234. The image of Metatron in our Targum leans heavily on this second tradition,
and that may explain why the copyist or one of his predecessors inserted the yod, provid-
ing he was aware of the importance kabbalists attributed to this distinction. It could also
be that the yod was already in the original manuscript but that it had been accidentally
left out due to a scribal error that was later corrected.
49 ] Not as in lines 13 and 14, and the other versions of TosTg. Ezek. 1:1.
Perhaps the copyist mistakenly wrote instead of .
50 ] According to the typescript the name of this lower level is ,
but it should most likely be read as , in accordance with Ps. 40:3 (cf. the reading
in the other TosTgs. Ezek. 1:1 in the table in 2.2.4.1, line 41).
51... ] This quotation stems from Isa. 14:15, and the verse is identical to the MT.
On the Scriptural quotations in this Targumic Tosefta see my comments below.
52 ] The literal meaning is: and the ear of man is not heard, but this sounds
odd because, of course, an ear cannot be heard. An active rendering of the Ithpeel would
fit the context better: the ear of man does not hear. I have not yet come across any other
the targumic toseftot to ezekiel 1 15

71 () 53 54
72
73
74 55
75
76
77 {}
78
79 56
80
81
82
83 57 {} {}
84 58
85
86
87 {}
88
89

line 1
Shavuotin Ezekiel
It came to pass at the end of year 430 after the destruction of the Temple, at the
line 2

time that Hilkiah the High Priest found the Book line 3 of the Torah in the Temple of the
Lord, in the court in the Temple under the entrance, at one-third of the night, after
the setting of the moon, line 4 in the days of Josiah son of Amon, king of the tribes of the
House of Judah, in the fourth month, on the fifth day of the month Tammuz. Hilkiah
the High Priest found it line 5 and he gave it to Shaphan the scribe. And Shaphan the
scribe spoke to the king, saying, Hilkiah the High Priest gave this book to me. line 6

with an active meaning, but in JPA the Peal passive participle of this Ithpeel-forms of
, is sometimes employed in active sense, see E.Y. Kutscher, Two Passive verb, viz.,
Constructions in Aramaic in the Light of Persian, in idem, Hebrew and Aramaic Studies
(in Hebrew; Jerusalem: Magnes Press, 1977), p. 75 n. 29; cf. Sokoloff, DJPA, p. 558. The other
TosTgs. Ezek. 1:1 have a shorter version:
(see the table in 2.2.4.1, line 44).
to be unclean) is placed in parentheses after (of ] In the typescript53
. It could be a case of dittography with a writing error.
; D. Levene, 54Cf. the parallel in a magic bowl:
A Corpus of Magic Bowls (London: Kegan Paul, 2003), p. 123.
[ This quotation stems from Jer. 23:19, and the verse is identical to the...55
MT.
] The same construction is used in b.Mak. 14a // b.Ker. 15a, 56
refers to a man who commits incest. where
] This quotation stems from Isa. 37:36 (cf. 2 Kgs. 19:35), and the verse...57
is identical to the MT, except for two minor orthographic deviations: the Targumic Tosefta
. and has a scriptio plena in
, an adjective in the feminine plural, in accor- ] We would have expected58
; see Levy, CWT, vol. 1, p. 6. dance with the feminine
16 chapter two

And Shaphan the great scribe recited to king Josiah the words of this Book of the
Torah, in which was written thus, The Lord shall lead you line 7 and the king you set
over you into exile to a people that neither you nor your fathers have known. At that
moment, king Josiah tore line 8 his garments and responded, thus speaking, Woe to
the wicked, woe to the rebels, and woe to the sinners! You cause punishment and evil
to be inflicted line 9 upon the city of Jerusalem through Nebuchadnezzar the Chaldean
king of Babel, who bragged about the house of Dagon, his idol. line 10 And thus he59
spoke: Lo! This is the city of Jerusalem, the city of the highest god, of which it is said:
There is none like it from one end of the world to the other. line 11 It is destined to be
delivered into my hand. I will destroy it, I will burn the Temple of the Lord with fire,
and I will lead the people in it into exile line 12 to the country of my idols. After this, he
planned in his heart, thus thinking,60 I will go up to the highest of the uppermost
heavens and destroy line 13 the highest dwelling places. I will wage war against the holy
ones of the Most High and I will set the throne of my kingship above the throne on
high. line 14 Since thus is written in it, I will go up to the tops of the clouds; I will make
myself like the Most High. At that moment, the holy spirit replied line 15 from the heav-
ens on high, speaking to him thus, Nebuchadnezzar, Chaldean king of Babel, wicked
man, grandson of the wicked Nimrod, line 16 who stirred up the whole world through
his wickedness! How much strength is there in you? And how many are the days of
the years of your life, that you say: I will go up line 17 to the highest of the uppermost
heavens and destroy the highest dwelling places. I will wage war against the holy
ones of the Most High and I will set the throne of my kingship line 18 over the throne on
high?. From the earth to the height of the heavens is a journey of five hundred years,
and the depth of Welon is a journey of five hundred line 19 years. And from Welon to
Rakia is a journey of five hundred years, and the depth of Rakia is a journey of five
hundred years. And from Rakia line 20 to Sheaqim is a journey of five hundred years,
and the depth of Sheaqim is a journey of five hundred years. And from Sheaqim
to Zevul is a journey of line 21 five hundred years, and the depth of Zevul is a journey of
five hundred years. And from Zevul to Maon is a journey of five hundred years, and
the depth line 22 of Maon is a journey of five hundred years. And from Maon to Makhon
is a journey of five hundred years, and the depth of Makhon is a journey of five hun-
dred line 23 years. And from Makhon to Aravot is a journey of five hundred years, and
the depth of Aravot is a journey of five hundred years. After this,61 line 24 the soles of
the feet of the creatures appear, which are as high as from the earth to the height of
the heavens corresponding to the seven heavens and their depths. line 25 After this, the
ankles of the creatures appear, which are as high as from the earth to the height of
the heavens corresponding to the seven heavens and their depths, line 26 and corre-
sponding to the soles of the feet of the creatures. After this, the calves of the creatures
appear, which are as high as from the earth to the height of the heavens line 27 corre-
sponding to the seven heavens and their thickness, and corresponding to the soles of
the feet of the creatures and the ankles of the creatures. After this, line 28 the thighs of

59he ] I.e., Nebuchadnezzar.


60thinking ] Lit. speaking, but since refers to Nebuchadnezzars evil thoughts
thinking is more appropriate.
61After this ] I.e., above the seven heavens.
the targumic toseftot to ezekiel 1 17

the creatures appear, which are as high as from the earth to the height of the heav-
ens corresponding to the seven heavens and their depth, line 29 and corresponding to
the soles of the feet of the creatures and the ankles of the creatures and the calves of
the creatures. After this, the knees of the creatures appear, which are as high line 30 as
from the earth to the height of the heavens corresponding to the seven heavens and
their depth, and corresponding to the soles of the feet of the creatures and the ankles
line 31
of the creatures and the calves of the creatures and the thighs of the creatures.
After this, the flanks of the creatures appear, which are as high as from the earth line 32
to the height of the heavens corresponding to the seven heavens and their depth, and
corresponding to the soles of the feet of the creatures and the ankles of the creatures
line 33
and the calves of the creatures and the thighs of the creatures and the knees of
the creatures. After this, the buttocks of the creatures appear, which are as high as
from the earth line 34 to the height of the heavens corresponding to the seven heavens
and their depth, and corresponding to the soles of the feet of the creatures and the
ankles of the creatures and the calves of the creatures line 35 and the thighs of the
creatures and the knees of the creatures and the flanks of the creatures. After this,
the backs of the creatures appear, which are as high as from the earth line 36 to the
height of the heavens corresponding to the seven heavens and their depth, and cor-
responding to the soles of the feet of the creatures and the ankles of the creatures
line 37
and the calves of the creatures and the thighs of the creatures and the knees of
the creatures and the flanks of the creatures and the buttocks of the creatures. After
this, line 38 the loins of the creatures appear, which are as high as from the earth to the
height of the heavens corresponding to the seven heavens and their depth, and cor-
responding to the soles line 39 of the feet of the creatures and the ankles of the creatures
and the calves of the creatures and the thighs of the creatures and the knees of the
creatures and the flanks line 40 of the creatures and the buttocks of the creatures and
the backs of the creatures. After this, the wings of the creatures appear, which are as
high as from line 41 the earth to the height of the heavens corresponding to the seven
heavens and their depth, and corresponding to the soles of the feet of the creatures
line 42
and the ankles of the creatures and the calves of the creatures and the thighs of
the creatures and the knees of the creatures and the flanks of the creatures line 43 and
the buttocks of the creatures and the backs of the creatures and the loins of the
creatures. After this, the shoulders of the creatures appear, which are as high as
from line 44 the earth to the height of the heavens corresponding to the seven heavens
and their depth, and corresponding to the soles of the feet of the creatures line 45 and
the ankles of the creatures and the calves of the creatures and the thighs of the crea-
tures and the knees of the creatures and the flanks of the creatures line 46 and the
buttocks of the creatures and the backs of the creatures and the loins of the creatures
and the wings of the creatures. After this, line 47 the necks of the creatures appear,
which are as high as from the earth to the height of the heavens corresponding to
the seven heavens and their depth, line 48 and corresponding to the soles of the feet of
the creatures and the ankles of the creatures and the calves of the creatures and the
thighs of the creatures line 49 and the knees of the creatures and the flanks of the crea-
tures and the buttocks of the creatures and the backs of the creatures and the loins
of the creatures line 50 and the wings of the creatures and the shoulders of the crea-
tures. After this, the heads of the creatures appear, which are as high as from the
earth to the height line 51 of the heavens and corresponding to the seven heavens and
18 chapter two

their thickness, and corresponding to the soles of the feet of the creatures and the
ankles line 52 of the creatures and the calves of the creatures and the thighs of the
creatures and the knees of the creatures and the flanks of the creatures and the but-
tocks line 53 of the creatures and the backs of the creatures and the loins of the crea-
tures and the wings of the creatures and the shoulders of the creatures and the necks
of the creatures. line 54 After this, the horns of the creatures appear, which are as high
as from the earth to the height of the heavens corresponding to the seven heavens
line 55
and their depth, and corresponding to the soles of the feet of the creatures and
the ankles of the creatures and the calves of the creatures and the thighs line 56 of the
creatures and the knees of the creatures and the flanks of the creatures and the but-
tocks of the creatures and the backs of the creatures and the loins line 57 of the crea-
tures and the wings of the creatures and the shoulders of the creatures and the necks
of the creatures and the heads of the creatures. After this, line 58 eight hundred heavens
and their depths appear, and above them the throne of the king of kings of kings
(appears), blessed be He, of which line 59 the height is like from the earth to the height
of the heavens corresponding to the seven heavens and their thickness, and corre-
sponding to the soles of the feet of the creatures line 60 and the ankles of the creatures
and the thighs of the creatures and the knees of the creatures and the flanks of the
creatures line 61 and the buttocks of the creatures and the backs of the creatures and
the loins of the creatures and the shoulders of the creatures and the necks line 62 of the
creatures and the heads of the creatures and the horns of the creatures. After this,
from outside the eight hundred heavens line 6364 above them, appears the one who is
appointed over them, Metatron, the great prince of Israel, through whom the whole
world would have been burnt with fire, the earth and who dwell on it, were it not for
the love of the highest God. And above them on the throne, the uppermost great One
(appears), the glory, and the greatness, line 65 and the strength of the king of the worlds
dwell over them62 so that his servants and the angels on high are not able to know
nor to say his praise; line 66 their eyes are not able to see nor their ears to hear. And
you are saying: I will go up to the highest of the uppermost heavens and I will destroy
the highest dwelling places. I will wage line 67 a war against the holy ones of the high-
est and I will set the throne of my kingship over the throne on high?!. Now, I will
bring you down line 68 to the lowest dwelling places, which are seven dwelling places,
and these are their names: Sheol, Gehinnom, Beer Shaat, i ha-Yawen, Dumah,
line 69
Sheol Tatit, and Abaddon Olam, as it is written, But you are brought down
to Sheol, to the depths of the pit. A place where the sun and the moon do not shine
line 70
and a place where the footsteps of man do not walk and the ear of man does not
hear. Your soul will be exhausted there until line 71 the time of the Great Court arrives.
At that moment, two angels, swift to anger, were sent against him. line 72 They brought
him down to Abaddon Olam. They went and scattered fire and sulphur over the
heads of the wicked in Gehinnom in order to ruin line 73 and to destroy them, saying to
them: Why did you transgress the word of the will of the King of the World, the Lord
of the whole world? line 74 Since thus is written in it, Lo! the storm of the Lord. Wrath
has gone forth, a whirling tempest; it will whirl upon the head of the wicked. A place
where Sennacherib, line 75 the king of Assyria, dwelt, and when they were walking in

62Over them ] I.e., over the throne and God.


the targumic toseftot to ezekiel 1 19

the darkness, they met each other. Sennacherib began to speak and said to him, to
Nebuchadnezzar, line 76 Who are you? Whose son are you that your bones are with
me at this place? Nebuchadnezzar replied and said to him, to Sennacherib, I am
Nebuchadnezzar, line 77 the Chaldean king of Babel. I rebelled against the great god of
Israel, I destroyed Jerusalem, I burnt the Temple line 78 with fire, and I led the people
who were in it into exile to the country of my idols. Sennacherib replied and said to
him, to Nebuchadnezzar, the Chaldean king of Babel, line 79 O wicked man, son of a
wicked man, grandson of the wicked Nimrod! Have you not seen with your eyes and
have you not heard with your ears what the god of the Jews did to me? line 80 He con-
founded me and made me go up against the city of Jerusalem, however, my hand did
not stretch against it because the angel Gabriel, who line 81 is one of his messengers,
came forth. He appeared from the wall of the Temple and burnt my entire camp with
fire, and only I remained, alone. line 82 As is written, The angel of the Lord went out
and struck one hundred and eighty five thousand in the Assyrian camp. When the
morning dawned, lo! line 83 they were all dead bodies. Nebuchadnezzar replied and
said to Sennacherib, Now, I will make a vow to the god of Israel that if I rise line 84
from this Sheol, I will rebuild it63 with precious stones and gems, and I will gather
the people in it. Sennacherib replied and said to him, O (biggest) fool line 85 in the
world! Have you not heard what the Jews say: He who does not prepare himself on
Sabbaths eve, what will he eat on Sabbath? And he who does not line 86 prepare him-
self on dry land, what will he eat at sea? And he who does not keep the command-
ments in this world, what will be given to him as a reward for the world to come?.
line 87
Then both of them lifted up their voices and wept. And they64 brought them
down to their place, to the fog and the darkness. The prophet Ezekiel said, As I was
line 88
among the exiles that were dwelling by the river Kebar, a light was opened from
the heavens and I saw a great vision. And since I have seen that vision, line 89 the spirit
of prophecy from before the Lord rests upon me.

2.2.1.2Comments on the Targumic Tosefta to Ezekiel 1:1 (Ms Gaster 1478)

The Year 430 after the Destruction of the Temple (line 2)


Rabbinic sources attest the usage of dating events according to the era
of the destruction of the Second Temple.65 This Jewish dating system
may have even been the most long-standing.66 However, the reading in
our manuscript is not supported by the other versions of this Targumic

63it ] I.e., the city Jerusalem, which was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar.


64They ] I.e., the fiery angels.
65E.g., b.Sanh. 41a; b.Abod. Zar. 9b.
66The era from the Destruction is unique in that it is probably the only distinc-
tively Jewish era to have been consistently used in late antiquity and the early Middle
Ages, S. Stern, Time and Process in Ancient Judaism (Oxford: Littman Library of Jewish
Civilization, 2003), p. 77 n. 53. For more examples of inscriptions and documents that are
dated to the year from the destruction of the Temple see Stern, Calendar and Community,
pp. 8889 n. 123.
20 chapter two

Tosefta. They do not refer to the destruction of the Temple, and some
only mention 30 years instead of 430 years.67 Perhaps the composer or
scribe made an error due to the habit in his own period of dating from the
destruction of the Second Temple.68
Kasher raises the possibility that the temple mentioned here should be
understood as the sanctuary in Shiloh, that was destroyed approximately
430 years before the recovery of the Book of the Torah.69 However, the
sanctuary in Shiloh is never referred to as a temple, and its destruction
did not play a significant enough role in rabbinic literature to account for
its being mentioned in our Targumic Tosefta.70

The Recovery of the Law-Book after the Setting of the Moon (line 3)
Contrary to Sperbers witnesses 11 b g o f c and Kimi and other TosTgs.
to Ezek. 1:1,71 which share the reading
at midnight, after the setting of the moon, this Tosefta-Targum situates
the recovery of the law-book at one-third of the night, after the setting of
the moon.72 By using and not the composer of our Targum
demonstrates his knowledge of astronomy because on the fifth day of any
lunar month the moon always sets at one-third of the night.
The very specific indication of time when the law-book was found,
namely on the fifth day of the fourth month73 at one-third of the night
after moonset, may hint at a belief in astrological fatalism: Hilkiahs find-

67See the table in 2.2.4.1, line 3.


68Thanks are due to Prof. Sacha Stern, who kindly put forward this suggestion in pri-
vate communications dated July 7, 2005, and October 13, 2005.
69Kasher, Targumic Toseftot to the Prophets, p. 184.
70Kasher briefly mentions the possibility that the puzzling date hints at the time of
composition of this Targum. Moreover, he refers to the 430 years Israel resided in Egypt
(Exod. 12:40), but I do not see the intrinsic connection between Israels time in Egypt and
the recovery of the Book of the Torah.
71See the table in 2.2.4.1, lines 45.
72 one-third might refer to the Jewish division of the night in three watches,
i.e., men kept guard in three consecutive periods. The first watch lasted from sunset to 10
p.m.; the second from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m.; and the third and last watch, the so-called morning
watch, extended from approximately 2 a.m. until dawn. This practice, which has biblical
roots (Exod. 14:24; 1 Sam. 11:11; Judg. 7:19; Lam. 2:19), continued through the Graeco-Roman
period and is attested in rabbinic literature (cf. y.Ber. 1:1; b.Ber. 3b; t.Ber. 1:1).
73This Tosefta-Targum has a double translation of the fourth month: it follows the
Hebrew source text by its rendering of , but also agrees with TgJon, in which the
fourth has been interpreted as the month Tammuz (see line 4). As a result, the audience in
the synagogue understands that our Targum unquestionably refers to the religious rather
than the secular calendar because in the latter Tammuz is the tenth month.
the targumic toseftot to ezekiel 1 21

ing of the law-book, with all its consequences, was not a chance occur-
rence, but had been written in the stars.74

The Targumic Versions of the Recovery of the Law-Book (lines 48)


The miraculous recovery of the Book of the Torah and king Josiahs fiery
reaction on hearing its contents have been recorded in 2 Kgs. 22:811 and
2 Chron. 34:1419, and this story unmistakably formed the inspiration for
the Tosefta-Targums to Ezek. 1:1. A comparison between the Targumic
versions of the story (see Appendix A) reveals that our Targum does
not leave any room for doubt about who is being referred to because it
abounds in designations such as , ,
. These epithets could be vestiges of a phase in which this Targumic
Tosefta was delivered orally at Shavuot.75 Other rhetorical devices that
facilitated the oral delivery of this Targumic Tosefta may have been the
incipit-formula,76 time formulae,77 and parallels and synonyms.78 This
assumption implies that the meturgeman also recited a Tosefta-Targum.
A comment made by R. Yehudah b. Barzillai in the twelfth century may be
regarded as proof that this was indeed a common practice:79
, ,
,
As for the Targum of the Land of Israel, in which there are haggadic additions,
included by the azzanin on their own initiative saying that it was permitted to
recite it in the synagogue, because it was a commentary.

74Unfortunately, neither 2 Kgs 22 nor its targum, the source of this aggadic passage,
provide the key to understand this specific indication of time. Incidentally, the same
applies to the parallel account in 2 Chron. 34 and its targumic rendering. They are all
silent on when exactly the law-book was found.
75Examples of other epithets in this manuscript are
(lines 9, 7677); ( lines
15, 7879); ( lines 15, 79); ( lines 7475); {}
( {} line 63); cf. A. Shinan, The Aggadah in the Aramaic Targums to the
Pentateuch (in Hebrew; Jerusalem: Makor Publishing, 1979), p. 183.
76See ( {} line 87).
77E.g., ( lines 7, 14, 71), ( lines 12, 2362); ( lines 67, 83);
cf. Shinan, Aggadah in the Aramaic Targums, p. 184.
78E.g., ...( line 3), ( line
4), ( lines 8, 76, 78), ...( lines 1415, 75, 83, 84),
( line 10); cf. Shinan, Aggadah in the Aramaic Targums, p. 182f.
79M.M. Kasher, Torah Shelemah. XXXV. Aramaic Versions of the Bible (in Hebrew;
Jerusalem: Beth Torah Shelemah 1983), p. 54.
22 chapter two

The employment of the infinitive in this quotation demonstrates


that a azzan, who functions here as the meturgeman,80 also had to recite
the Targumic Tosefta, despite the latter not being a translation in the
narrow sense of the word. In fact, the literary structure of our Targumic
Tosefta is reminiscent of that found in the homiletical Midrashim, viz.,
the proem (in Hebrew petiah).81 The proem-form is characterized by the
skilful linking of seemingly unrelated biblical verses, through which the
pericope acquires a hitherto hidden and unexpected meaning. Only at
the very end does the composer arrive at the first verse of the pericope
meant for exposition in the sermon. By following this pattern the com-
poser captures the interest of the audience and heightens their anticipa-
tion, which culminates in the citation of the actual biblical verse.82 Our
Targumic Tosefta differs from the classical proem in its length and in that
the first verse of the pericope (Ezek. 1:1) forms both the introduction, albeit
partly, and conclusion of the text. Heinemann attributes this type of inclu-
sio to the work of editors or copyists.83 According to him, it would have
been superfluous to quote the text at the beginning because the synagogal
audience knew the lectionary. It would thus have diminished the sense
of expectation. However, this convention applies to homilies, not transla-
tions. The presence of the inclusio may go back to the Tosefta-Targums
synagogal Sitz im Leben, where it served in lieu of the regular Targum.

80Although the identification of the azzan as the meturgeman is not unchallenged,


see S.D. Fraade, Rabbinic Views on the Practice of Targum, and Multilingualism in the
Jewish Galilee of the Third-Sixth Centuries, in L.I. Levine (ed.), The Galilee in Late Antiquity
(New York: Harvard University Press, 1992), pp. 26162 n. 20. On the other synagogal duties
of the azzan, see L.I. Levine, The Ancient Synagogue (New Haven: Yale University Press,
2000), pp. 41017.
81Cf. Halperin, Faces of the Chariot, pp. 28081.
82On the proem see J. Heinemann, The Proem in the Aggadic Midrashim, in
J. Heinemann and D. Noy (eds.), Studies in Aggadah and Folk-Literature (Scripta
Hierosolymitana, 22; Jerusalem: Magnes Press, 1971), pp. 10022. Heinemann established
the Sitz im Leben of the proem as the sermon delivered before the Torah reading, in con-
trast to Goldberg, according to whom this order does not fit the pattern of the synagogal
service. He deems it only possible to allocate the proems Sitz in der Literature, namely
as being part of a longer literary homily; A.M. Goldberg, Versuch ber die hermeneutische
Prsupposition und Struktur der Petia, FJB 8 (1980), pp. 159; cf. idem, Petia und Hariza:
zur Korrektur eines Missverstndnisses, JSJ 10 (1979), pp. 21318.
83Heinemann, The Proem in the Aggadic Midrashim, p. 104.
the targumic toseftot to ezekiel 1 23

The Quotation of Deuteronomy 28:36 (lines 67)


The Tosefta-Targum quotes Deuteronomy 28:36 in Aramaic,84 and when
comparing the various Targumim to this verse the conclusion can be eas-
ily drawn that TgOnq has served as a source (see Appendix B)85 because
the quotation in our Targum shares the most similarities with TgOnq.86
It is somewhat surprising that this Deuteronomic verse is quoted in
Aramaic; Hebrew would have been likelier, providing that the recovered
law-book was indeed identical to the legal nucleus of Deuteronomy. One
could argue that for the sake of the synagogue audience the composer
conveyed the quotation in Aramaic rather than Hebrew, assuming that
the hearers hardly understood the holy tongue anymore. However, this
line of thought is contradicted by the four Hebrew quotations taken
from the Prophets later on in our Tosefta-Targum. The employment of a
Hebrew quotation without an accompanying Aramaic rendering seems to
negate the raison dtre of the Targumic practice.87
That the mainly Hebrew-less audience need not have been hampered
by the liturgical use of Hebrew is shown by Schwartz in his dealing with
the reception of the piyyutim.88 He points out that the less educated wor-
shippers in the synagogue with a poor command of Hebrew may still have
been able to partially grasp the meaning of the piyyutim and to respond
to the atmosphere of numinous mystification surrounding them.89 We
can look at our Targumic Tosefta in similar vein: if the composer indeed
wanted to construct a proem, meant to be delivered in the synagogue, the

84Deut. 28:36 is quoted in a similar context in y. Sheq. 6:1 and b.Yom 52b. When King
Josiah reads this verse, he hides the Ark fearing that it might be looted by the Babylonian
enemy: .
( b.Yom 52b). Our Tosefta-Targum does not mention Josiahs
hiding of the Ark as a reaction to Shaphans recitation.
85It is not uncommon for a Targumic Tosefta to contain a quotation of either TgOnq or
TgJon. See for example the Tosefta-Targum to Judg. 5:26, which has a verbatim quotation
of TgOnq Deut. 22:5, see Kasher, Targumic Toseftot to the Prophets, p. 95; further discus-
sion in Smelik, Targum of Judges, pp. 47576. The Tosefta-Targum to Zech. 2:1415 even
represents a miscellany of Targumic quotations from the Prophets; see Kasher, Targumic
Toseftot to the Prophets, pp. 21318; further discussion in Gordon, Studies in the Targum,
pp. 96107.
86Except for ( TgOnq: )and ( TgOnq: ). I have checked
Sperbers critical apparatus, but there were no variants that could help to explain these
minor deviations.
87On the exchangeability of Aramaic and Hebrew quotations in the Targums in gen-
eral, see Houtman, Sysling, Alternative Targum Traditions, p. 153v.
88Schwartz, Imperialism and Jewish Society, p. 266ff.
89Ibid., p. 267.
24 chapter two

Hebrew biblical quotations may have been part of the homily from the
outset, even if only partially understood by the audience. This explanation
traces the quotations back to the oral stage of our Targumic Tosefta.
Alternatively, we can explain them as the result of subsequent redac-
tion. Targum Sheni may serve as an example for this explanation. The lat-
ter Targum also had its Sitz im Leben as a festival reading, yet it abounds in
biblical quotations in Hebrew.90 Beate Ego has subjected these quotations
to an examination and explains them as the result of the process of writ-
ten transmission (Verschriftlichung).91 Although TgSheni most likely was
composed for oral presentation on Purim, the text may have been further
developed once it lost its liturgical function, and there was no longer a
concern for its proper recitation in the synagogue. Subsequently, TgSheni
had become accessible only to those who still had knowledge of Hebrew.
Although I am not convinced by Beate Egos assumption that the Targum
excluded Hebrew in its oral phase, her hypothesis about written trans-
mission sounds plausible. Our Targumic Tosefta may have undergone a
similar process in which the oral tradition was committed to writing and
(more) biblical quotations were included, be it in Hebrew or Aramaic.
At the same time, however, the Targum still bears traces of its oral stage,
such as epithets and incipit-formulae.

Nebuchadnezzar and the House of Dagon (line 9)


The phrase can also be found in the Tosefta-Targum to 2 Sam.
21:1619.92 In the latter Targum, however, the idol Dagon is mentioned in
the same breath as the Philistines, in accordance with the Hebrew Bible,
in which Dagon occurs as a Philistine deity.93 Although the cult of Dagon
was one of the most widespread and persistent in Mesopotamia and the
West Semitic area,94 there are no biblical passages that attest the worship
of this god by Nebuchadnezzar.

90A discussion of the quotations from the Prophets in Targum Sheni is found in
Houtman, Sysling, Alternative Targum Traditions, p. 172vv. The authors note the inconsist
use of language of the citations in the manuscripts; Hebrew and Aramaic are used inter-
changeably, although the Hebrew quotations are more frequent.
91B. Ego, Targum Sheni zu Ester (TSAJ, 54; Tbingen: Mohr Siebeck, 1996), pp. 5253.
92Kasher, Targumic Toseftot to the Prophets, pp. 11618.
93E.g., Judg. 16:23; 1 Sam. 5:17; 1 Chron. 10:10. See further J.F. Healey, Dagon, in K. van
der Toorn et al. (eds.), Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible (Leiden: Brill Academic
Publishers, 1995), pp. 40713.
94In 1 Macc. 10:8384 the temple of Dagon is mentioned, which establishes that he
continued to be worshipped in the Second Temple period.
the targumic toseftot to ezekiel 1 25

The Rendering of Idols in Nebuchadnezzars Direct Speech


(line 12; cf. 78)
The targumists in general make it thoroughly clear that idols do not possess
any divine power, for instance, by employing the derogative term ,
error.95 However, they also realized that it would be highly inappropriate
to use this unflattering designation in the direct speech of foreign people.
The targumists solved this dilemma by using the slightly more mitigated
term , fear, in the direct speech of foreigners.96 In TgJon to Ezekiel
this practice is clearly demonstrated in 28:2, 6, 9, where Hebrew and
equate with in the king of Tyres direct speech. There is
also extra-Targumic evidence for this practice, for example in Megillat
Antiochus, where Antiochus Epiphanes accuses the Jewish people of for-
saking their religious duties, saying in vs. 7: to
our deities they do not offer sacrifices.97 Interestingly, our Targum does
not distinguish between direct and indirect speech. It solely employs
, regardless who is mentioning the foreign gods, king Josiah (
)or Nebuchadnezzar () .98 It could mean that either
the targumist was unaware of TgJons translation technique, or that he
was aware of it, but decided not to adopt it because he did not want to
create any ambiguity regarding the idols.99

95See P. Churgin, Targum Jonathan to the Prophets (New York: Ktav Publishing
House, repr edn, 1983), pp. 11112; M.L. Klein, The Aramaic Targumim: Translation and
Interpretation, in J. Krasovec (ed.), Interpretation of the Bible (JSOTSup, 289; Sheffield:
Sheffield Academic Press, 1998), pp. 31731, esp. 324; E. Levine, The Aramaic Version of
the Bible: Contents and Context (BZAW, 174; Berlin: W. de Gruyter, 1988), p. 61; L. Smolar
and M. Aberbach, Studies in Targum Jonathan to the Prophets (New York; Ktav Publishing
House, 1983), pp. 41, 154.
96See Smeliks comment on Judg. 16:2324, where he refutes Churgins argument that
when the idols are mentioned in an incriminating sense is used, whereas
is employed in cases where the idols are referred to in a matter-of-fact manner. The link
between / and direct versus indirect speech seems to be more warranted;
Smelik, Targum of Judges, pp. 59091 n. 1566; cf. Churgin, Targum Jonathan, pp. 11213.
97As per A. Jellinek, Bet ha-Midrasch (in Hebrew; Jerusalem: Bamberger & Wahrmann,
2nd edn., 1938), vol. 6, p. 4. It is usually held that Megillat Antiochus is of relatively late
date, the eight or ninth century ce.
98The same holds true for the other TosTgs. Ezek. 1:1; cf. the table in 2.2.4.1, lines 13, 51.
99The same deviation in this translation strategy is noticeable in TgJon to Samuel
and TosTgs. 1 Sam. 17:8, where Goliath boasts of bringing the ark of the covenant to the
house of Dagon, his idol ( ;) see E. van Staalduine-Sulman, The Targum
of Samuel (SAIS, 1; Leiden: Brill Academic Publishers, 2002), pp. 14142; 35053; Kasher,
Targumic Toseftot to the Prophets, pp. 1068.
26 chapter two

Nebuchadnezzars plan to invade heaven (lines 1213)


This verse is strongly reminiscent of Isa. 14:13 and its Targumic render-
ing, in which the king of Babylon is accused of scheming to ascend to
heaven:
MT


You thought to yourself: I will go up to the heavens, I will set my throne over
the stars of God and I will sit on the mount of assembly in the far north.

TgJon


You thought to yourself: I will go up to the heights, I will set the throne of
my kingship over the people of God and I will sit on the mount of assembly
in the far north.
Our Tosefta-Targum shares with TgJon Isa. 14:13 the phrase
the throne of my kingship, but the latter changes the kings evil inten-
tions: instead of trying to invade the heavens, he rather seeks world domi-
nation.100 Perhaps the Targumist wanted to avoid the impression that it is
possible to reach the heavens and challenge God.101 In our Tosefta-Targum,
on the other hand, Nebuchadnezzar does seek to invade the heavens, just
as the anonymous Babylonian king of Isa. 14:13.102
The phrase is attested in Dan. 7:18; 22; 25; 27. Collins has
convincingly demonstrated that the traditional view on the holy ones as
human beings in Dan. 7 is no longer sustainable.103 Instead, he proposes
an interpretation of the holy ones as angels, supported by an extensive
body of evidence, taken from the Hebrew Bible, Qumranic, Apocryphal,
and Pseudepigraphal literature. There are a few cases in which the term

100Following B.D. Chilton, The Isaiah Targum (AramB, 11; Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark,
1987), p. 33: The arrogance of the king of Babylon is spelled out in vv. 1314, and the
Targumic innovation is to replace the idea of his challenging God in the MT with the motif
of his attempt to dominate the people of God. Indeed, the chief threat he poses is that of
propagating enemies (vs. 21).
101Cf. Kasher, Targumic Toseftot to the Prophets, p. 185.
102Further on the differences between TgJon Isa. 14:1314 and our Tosefta-Targum, see
Houtman, Sysling, Alternative Targum Traditions, p. 191.
103J.J. Collins, Daniel: A Commentary on the Book of Daniel (Hermeneia; Minneapolis:
Fortress Press, 1993), pp. 31219.
the targumic toseftot to ezekiel 1 27

does refer to a human group or Israel,104 but these instances pale into
insignificance when compared to the usage of in a celestial setting.
The employment of in our Targumic Tosefta105 supports Collins
view, for after having subdued the human beings, Nebuchadnezzar now
plans to conquer the heavens and battle with the holy ones in the highest
dwelling places. Given this celestial context, most probably
refers to angels.
As for the singular term , once again, we must resort to the Book
of Daniel to find a clue. Traditionally, in Dan. 7:18; 22; 25; 27 has
been interpreted as an epithet for God, explaining the plural form as a
plural of majesty, similar to , and thus implying its definite state.106
This traditional view is supported by Collins, who rejects the interpreta-
tion of as most high holy ones or holy ones on high, as
defended by Goldingay.107 In the latters opinion, has an adjecti-
val function, thus making the phrase indefinite. In that case, however,
one would rather expect . Moreover, Biblical Aramaic has
another adjective for highest, namely, .
Material has been drawn from Isa. 14:13 and Dan. 7, and this passage
introduces us to a midrash to which we find a striking, if abridged paral-
lel in b.ag. 13a and in b.Pes. 94ab. However, the Talmud Bavli does not
mention Nebuchadnezzars evil intentions to invade both Jerusalem and
the highest heavens, which makes it hard to establish the precise relation-
ship between the Targumic and Talmudic versions. I would nevertheless
like to follow Halperins suggestion that the targumist adapted an older
midrash of Isa. 14:1415, which is preserved in Talmud Bavli and further
embellished it,108 amongst others with this material from Isa. 14:13 and
Dan. 7.109

104E.g., Ps. 34:10; 1 En. 100:5; and 1QM 10:10.


105As well as in the other TosTgs. Ezek. 1:1 (see the table in 2.2.4.1, lines 14, 19, and 39).
106For a discussion of see Collins, Daniel, p. 312.
107J.E. Goldingay, Daniel (WBC, 30; Dallas: Word Books, 1989), p. 146; cf. idem, Holy
Ones on High in Daniel 7:18, JBL 107 (1988), pp. 49799.
108Halperin, Faces of the Chariot, pp. 28081; cf. Kasher, Targumic Toseftot to the
Prophets, p. 184; idem, Angelology and the Supernal Worlds, pp. 18283.
109In this connection it is worth noting the parallel between Nebuchadnezzars inva-
sion of the heavens and the midrash on Moses heavenly ascension and his subsequent
battle against the angels, as found in Pes. R. 20:4 and several other sources (e.g., Deut.
R. 11:10, b.Shab. 88b89a). The crucial difference lies in the nature of their quest for heaven:
whereas Moses heavenly ascent has a positive overtone, Nebuchadnezzars ascension is
depicted as a hostile invasion. See Halperin, Faces of the Chariot, pp. 31922.
28 chapter two

The Midrash on Isaiah 14: Nebuchadnezzar and the Heavenly Voice


(lines 1469)
Between the quotations of Isa. 14:14 (line 14) and Isa. 14:15 (line 69), we find
a lengthy midrash on Nebuchadnazzar being rebuked by the holy spirit for
his attempts to deify himself. The heavenly voice belittles him and mocks
his hubris by giving him the astronomical measurements of the heavenly
realms, the creatures, and, finally, the throne. As a punishment for his plan
to invade the highest heaven and become like God, Nebuchadnezzar will
be brought down to the lowest hell. So the anonymous king of Babylon in
Isa. 14:1415 is identified here with Nebuchadnezzar,110 and, as said above,
we are probably dealing with an enriched adaptation of a midrash on Isa.
14:1415, attested twice in Talmud Bavli, in b.ag. 13a and b.Pes. 94ab. In
the Talmud, this midrash belongs to the Merkabah traditions involving
R. Yoanan b. Zakkai, who was traditionally considered a mystic.111 We are
therefore dealing with an Amoraic source that attributes this story back to
a first century Tanna, and due to a lack of any earlier parallels we are left
in the dark as to the provenance of this midrash. Given the extant sources,
it is therefore safest to date it to the Amoraic period.

The Quotation of Isaiah 14:14 (line 14)


The quotation of Isa. 14:14 is taken from the Hebrew source text, in distinc-
tion to the Aramaic citation of Deut. 28:36, which is identical to TgOnqs
version. So why did the composer in this case not employ TgJons version
of Isa. 14:14? We have to resort to Talmud Bavli to find the answer. As
said above, the Tosefta-Targum shows a striking similarity to b.ag. 13a.112
Our Targums account of Nebuchadnezzars hubris and the subsequent
heavenly rebuke is in all likelihood inspired by this midrash, in which a
literal quotation of Isa. 14:14 is incorporated. The targumist most probably
adapted the midrash, including the Hebrew quotation, and interwove it
with the rest of the material.

110The scene depicted in this midrash is faintly reminiscent of Dan. 4:2833, in which
Nebuchadnezzar is rebuked by a voice from heaven for his hubris and is sentenced to a
life as a beast in the field.
111Recent studies have questioned the historicity of the rabbinic traditions in which
R. Yoanan b. Zakkai is portrayed as a mystic. See A. Goshen-Gottstein, The Sinner
and the Amnesiac: The Rabbinic Invention of Elisha Ben Abuya and Eleazar Ben Arach
(Contraversions; Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 2000), pp. 23365; cf. S.G. Wald,
Johanan ben Zakkai, in EncJud, vol. 11, pp. 37377, esp. 375.
112Cf. the parallel, yet even briefer account in b.Pes. 94ab.
the targumic toseftot to ezekiel 1 29

The Wicked Nebuchadnezzar and his Grandfather Nimrod (line 15)


The kinship between Nebuchadnezzar and Nimrod should not be taken
literally because in the Hebrew Bible a gap of several centuries exists
between them. Nimrod is mentioned in Gen. 10:812, where he is por-
trayed as Cushs son, a skilled hunter, and the founder of a great empire
that included among others the great cities Nineveh and Babylon. In 1
Chron. 1:10 he is once again described as the first to be a mighty one on
the earth. This rather brief and neutral portrait of Nimrod is marred in the
rabbinic tradition, which depicts him as a Nebuchadnezzar avant la lettre:
a cruel world leader, who suffers from megalomania and worships idols.
Moreover, according to b.Abod. Zar. 53b the tower of Babel with its top
in heaven was built during Nimrods reign,113 hence its designation
the temple (or: house) of Nimrod. Nimrod thus shared the ambi-
tion to invade heaven with his prospective Babylonian successor, and this
explains the midrashic association of Nebuchadnezzar with Nimrod.114

The Sequence of the Seven Heavens (lines 1823)


The names and the order of the heavens in this Targumic Tosefta115 cor-
respond exactly with the locus classicus of Talmudic cosmology, namely
b.ag. 12b,116 though the latter is far more expansive with its detailed
description of each heaven.117 Apocalyptic writings already speak of seven

113The common midrashic connection of Nimrod with the tower of Babel is exegeti-
cally based. According to Gen. 10:10 Nimrod ruled over Babel, Erech, and Accad, in the land
of Shinar, and Gen. 11 locates the tower of Babel in the same land.
114According to Van der Horst, the earliest probable trace of the tradition that explic-
itly depicts Nimrod as invading heaven and making war on heavenly things can be found
in Philo of Alexandrias work, dating from the first half of the first century ce. Nimrods
family tie to Nebuchadnezzar is less frequently attested in post-biblical Jewish sources,
apart from the well-known parallels in b.ag. 13a and b.Pes. 94b. See P.W. van der Horst,
Nimrod after the Bible, in idem, Essays on the Jewish World of Early Christianity (NTOA,
14; Gttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1990), pp. 22032.
115Welon, Rakia, Sheaqim, Zevul, Maon, Makhon, and Aravot.
116Appendix C offers a table in which the various models of the seven heavens in
the Targumic Toseftot to Ezek. 1:1 are compared to those in other rabbinic cosmological
texts.
117For a thorough analysis of b.ag. 12b see P. Schfer, From Cosmology to Theology.
The Rabbinic Appropriation of Apocalyptic Cosmology, in R. Elior and P. Schfer (eds.),
Creation and Re-Creation in Jewish Thought. Festschrift in Honor of Joseph Dan on the
Occasion of his Seventieth Birthday (Tbingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2005), pp. 3958.
30 chapter two

heavens,118 a model which may have contributed to that of b.Hag. 12b,119


although this Talmudic passage also reveals some knowledge of the
Hekhalot literature.120 Among the rabbinic concepts of the heavenly realms
Peter Schfer distinguished three distinct models of traditions about the
multiple heavens. Together with b.Hag. 12b, Seder Rabbah di-Bereshit,
and several other texts, our Targumic Tosefta is categorized in the third
group, which represents Babylonian texts with the classical sequence of
the names of the seven heavens.121
Although several rabbinic sources provide the same sequence of heav-
ens as our Targumic Tosefta, as appendix C shows, I am inclined to think
that this part of our Targum is an abridged version of b.Hag. 12b13a. The
targumist not only adapted the legend about Nebuchadnezzar that pre-
cedes this passage, he also owes the enumeration of the heavens and the
500 years-journey to the Talmud Bavli. Interestingly, our version lacks
the inventories of the seven heavens as described in b.Hag. 12b. On the
one hand, the composer may have considered the details of the heavens
inventory to be superfluous: the exact contents of the heavens was not
important, it was sufficient just to state the number and the names of
heavens in order to give the synagogue-goers at the festival of Shavuot
an impression of the enormous dimension of the heavenly realms. On
the other hand, it should be borne in mind that by revealing what is
above, one touches upon the disciplines of Maaseh Bereshit (Gen. 1:13)
and Maaseh Merkabah (Ezek. 1), which had become intertwined in time.122
The wary approach of the rabbis towards these texts is clearly reflected in

118The seven heavens are mentioned in the following works: a Greek recension of
the Testament of Levi, the Greek version of the Life of Adam and Eve, the Apocalypse of
Abraham, 2 Enoch, and the Ascension of Isaiah. The respective passages are dealt with in
A.Y. Collins, The Seven Heavens in Jewish and Christian Apocalypses, in J.J. Collins and
M. Fishbane (eds.), Death, Ecstasy, and Other Worldly Journeys (Albany: State University of
New York Press, 1995), pp. 5793. Collins argues that the Jewish, and later also Christian,
motif of the seven heavens is most probably derived from the Babylonian tradition which
ascribes magical properties to the number seven (pp. 8081, 86). Cf. P. Schfer, In Heaven
as It Is in Hell: The Cosmology of Seder Rabbah di-Bereshit, in R.S. Boustan and A. Yoshiko
Reed (eds.), Heavenly Realms and Earthly Realities in Late Antique Religions (Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press, 2004), pp. 25361.
119Schfer, From Cosmology to Theology, p. 40.
120For instance, Schfer mentions the phrase , which is only further
attested in the Hekhalot literature; ibid., pp. 5556.
121Schfer, In Heaven as It Is in Hell, pp. 261ff.
122See Alexander, The Rabbinic Lists of Forbidden Targumim, pp. 18283.
the targumic toseftot to ezekiel 1 31

m.Hag. 2:1, which imposes restrictions on the exposition of these chapters.123


Even centuries after the mishnaic ruling was first introduced and the syn-
agogal-liturgical use of these texts was no longer prohibited, the detailed
exposition of heavenly matters in the synagogue may still have posed a
concern for the rabbis. What was allowed to be studied at the academies
may not have been deemed fit for the synagogal service. Hence the dif-
ference between the elaborate description of the seven heavens and their
inventories in b.Hag. 12b and the rather summary version in our Targumic
Tosefta. The curtailment of Talmud Bavlis elaborate cosmology contrasts
sharply with the tireless repetition of 500 years, which is only mentioned
twice in the Talmudic passage to indicate the distance to and between
the heavens and their respective depth.124 It therefore seems to be the
case that whenever the Talmud Bavli touches upon too sensitive (read:
cosmological) issues, our Targumic Tosefta takes precautions in view of
the synagogue audience. At the same time, though, our version goes to
greater lengths than the Talmud, to stress the distance between human
beings and the heavenly realms.
The celestial measurement described in the Targumic Tosefta and b.Hag.
13a is also attested in other rabbinic and Hekhalot sources, but a difference
can be noticed in the exact number of years: a distance of either 500 or
502 years.125 Both y.Ber. 1:1 (2c) and Reuyot Yeezkel126 find the Scriptural
evidence for this highly specific measurement in Deut. 11:21:

123For more on m.Hag. 2:1 and how the ban on Maaseh Bereshit was observed in classi-
cal rabbinic literature, see P.S. Alexander, Pre-Emptive Exegesis: Genesis Rabbas Reading
of the Story of Creation, JJS 43 (1992), pp. 23045; Schfer, In Heaven as It Is in Hell,
pp. 23374.
124Cf. b.Pes. 94b.
125Examples of 500 years: y.Ber. 1:1 (2c); 9:1 (13a); b.Hag. 13a; b.Pes. 94b; Gen. R. 6:6;
Reuyot Yeezkel, as published in I. Gruenwald, Reuyot Yeezkel, in I. Weinstock, Temirin:
Texts and Studies in Kabala and Hasidism (in Hebrew; Jerusalem: Mosad ha-Rav Ku, 1972),
pp. 10139, esp. 121. An example of 502 years is found in Seder Rabbah di-Bereshit, as pub-
lished in N. Sd, Une Cosmology Juive du Haut Moyen Age: La Brait d Maaseh Brt,
REJ 124 (1965), pp. 23123, esp. 58. The pseudepigraphic works 3 Bar. 2:5; 11:89 and the
Asc. Isa . 7:18 also give the length and depth of the heavens, but they do not explicitly
mention the 500/502 years journey. Gruenwald thinks that the measure of the heaven in
the Ascension of Isaiah could well be the first of its kind in Jewish apocalyptic and mysti-
cal tradition; I. Gruenwald, Apocalyptic and Merkavah Mysticism (AGJU, 14; Leiden: Brill
Academic Publishers, 1980), p. 60.
126Gruenwald, Reuyot Yeezkel, pp. 12122.
32 chapter two



That your days may be multiplied, and the days of your children, in the land
which the Lord swore to your fathers to give them, as the days of heaven upon
the earth.
Either source interprets days as the antecedent of which instead of the
land as one would expect. Thus, the number of days that God swore to
give to the forefathers equals the days of the heavens above the earth. And
indeed, if one adds up the years that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob lived, 175,
180, and 147 years respectively, then the total sum is 502 years, usually
rounded down to 500 years.127

The Description of the Bodily Dimensions of the Hayyot (lines 2357)


The passage which describes the creatures gigantic bodily dimensions
from toe to top echoes the controversial segment of Hekhalot literature,
namely the Shiur Qomah, which literally means the measurement of the
body.128 The characteristics of this mystical genre are the portrayal of
Gods body parts in an extremely grotesque and anthropomorphic man-
ner, and the mystical names that are attributed to his limbs.129 Admittedly,
our Targum as well as the other TosTgs. Ezek. 1:1 and b.ag. 13a do not
belong to the Shiur Qomah proper since no mystical names are given to
the limbs, and the texts do not measure in parasangs but in a distance
from the earth to the height of the heavens. Most importantly, not the
stature of God is described but that of the creatures. Nevertheless, apart
from these differences the description of the creatures still breathes such
a Shiur Qomah-like atmosphere that we cannot brush this similarity

127However, Halperin casts doubt on the idea that the measurement originally stems
from this ingenious bit of midrash on Deut. 11:21: More likely, it is a clever effort to find
Scriptural support for a traditional belief whose origin no one knew; Faces of the Chariot,
p. 266 n. 10.
128Or, alternatively, the measurement of the height because the ambiguous Hebrew
lexeme means both body and height. For more on the origin of the name Shiur
Qomah see M.S. Cohen, The Shiur Qomah. Liturgy and Theurgy in Pre-Kabbalistic Jewish
Mysticism (Lanham: University Press of America, 1983), pp. 7781.
129For a critical survey of the history of Shiur Qomah research see Cohen, The Shiur
Qomah, pp. 1341. Critical edition and translation of the extant Shiur Qomah materials are
found in M.S. Cohen, The Shiur Qomah: Texts and Recensions (TSAJ, 9; Tbingen; Mohr
Siebeck, 1985). In the following I quote Shiur Qomah passages from Cohens edition since
not all the traditions are found in P. Schfers Synopse zur Hekhalot-Literatur (TSAJ, 2;
Tbingen: Mohr Siebeck, 1981).
the targumic toseftot to ezekiel 1 33

aside as a mere coincidence. If we look at the parallels, the following


list appears:

The intermediary
The measurement of the body is revealed by an intermediary. In the Shiur
Qomah it is the heavenly angel, Metatron, who confides the size of the
godheads body to the Tannaim R. Aqiba, R. Ishmael, and R. Nathan. In
the Talmudic and Targumic counterparts, it is not Metatron, but either
the holy spirit or a celestial voice that describes the creatures bodily
dimensions to Nebuchadnezzar.

The journey of five hundred years


In the TosTgs Ezek. 1:1 and b.ag. 13a the body parts are said to be as high
as from the earth to the height of heavens. We know from the preceding
passage that from the earth to the height of heavens is a journey of five
hundred years. The measurements in the Shiur Qomah are in parasangs,
but it subsequently converts the parasangs into years. The divine span is
1,825,000 parasangs, which equals a five hundred years walk.130

The enumeration from foot to head


Both the godhead and the creatures are described from the feet up,131
which makes sense if we take the subjects point of view into account:
Nebuchadnezzar (or rather the synagogue-goer) has to lift up his head
to see the creatures beyond the seven heavens, and the mystic has to
gaze up at the gigantic godhead, whilst standing at the foot of his throne.132
Apart from this logical point of view motif, there may have been another
reason for the description of the godhead and the creatures from foot
to head, namely the authors familiarity with this kind of anatomical
descriptive language in the Graeco-Roman literary corpus.133 In this type
of Hellenistic literature both the foot to head and head to foot descrip-
tions alternate. However, if we examine the Shiur Qomah texts closely we
can see that they do not reveal a fixed pattern either.134 Admittedly, the

130See, for example, Sefer Hashiur in Cohen, Texts and Recensions, pp. 2829 (lines
912).
131Appendix D provides a comparative scheme of the body parts and their respective
order.
132Cf. Kasher, Targumic Toseftot to the Prophets, p. 187.
133See for examples and further references, Cohen, The Shiur Qomah, pp. 108109.
134My opinion at this point differs from Cohen, who only mentions the foot to head
direction in the Shiur Qomah, see Cohen, The Shiur Qomah, pp. 22, 108.
34 chapter two

prevalent description of the godhead is from foot to head, but sometimes


we come across the opposite order, for instance in Siddur Rabbah.135 In
the following, we will see that also our TosTgs. Ezek. 1:1 occasionally devi-
ate from the regular foot to head pattern.

The body parts


Appendix D shows a striking overlap between the body parts mentioned
in the Shiur Qomah on the one hand, and b.ag. 13a and the TosTgs. Ezek.
1:1 on the other. Body parts that hint at anthropomorphism are not found
in the Talmudic and Targumic descriptions.136

Repetitive style
In the Shiur Qomah the body parts are often repeated. First the measure-
ment of each body part is given in parasangs, then a mystical name is
attributed to it. This kind of repetition also occurs in the Talmudic and
Targumic counterparts, most noticeably in our Tosefta-Targum. Yet no
mystical names are traceable, only the body parts are repeated and their
size as compared to the distance from the earth to the height of the
heavens.

Considering all these similarities, we cannot escape the impression that


the composers of both b.Hag. 13a and the TosTgs Ezek. 1:1 must have been
familiar with the Shiur Qomah or, at least, Shiur Qomah-type specula-
tions. The parallels are too obvious to be explained away.137
My observations contrast sharply with previous scholarly research on
the Shiur Qomah, which noticed a lack of references to this speculation
in rabbinic writings, despite the rabbis apparent familiarity with Hekhalot
literature in general. Only a baraita in b.Bek. 44a was regarded as a paral-
lel with a Shiur Qomah passage, although the Talmudic passage is used
in a different setting, namely in the discussion regarding the physical

135See Siddur Rabbah in Cohen, Texts and Recensions, pp. 4650 (lines 75106). The
following body parts are mentioned with their respective measurement in parasangs: fore-
head, eyes, nose, lips, beard, shoulders, arms, palms of hands, hand, fingers, feet, toes.
136Interestingly, the horns are also mentioned in the description of the godhead in
the Shiur Qomah, see, for example, Sefer Raziel in Cohen, Texts and Recensions, p. 97
(lines 185186). However, Cohen has pointed out that, given the context, these are not
literal horns but the decorative horns on the crown of the godhead, see Cohen, The Shiur
Qomah, p. 219 n. 15.
137This line of reasoning has implications for the dating of the Shiur Qomah, and I will
come back to this in the following.
the targumic toseftot to ezekiel 1 35

requirements for a priest to serve in the Temple. A priests nose has to be


in the proper proportion to the rest of his body otherwise he is disquali-
fied. According to the baraita, the right size of the priests nose is the size
of his little finger:
:.
One whose nose was very large etc. It was taught: as his little finger
The Shiur Qomah parallel can be found in several recensions, among oth-
ers, in Merkavah Rabbah.138 Lieberman was the first to draw attention to
this parallel and suggested a common source for both the Talmud and the
Shiur Qomah.139 Scholem was of the opinion that the Talmudic speaker
quoted from Shiur Qomah material,140 but for Cohen the reverse was
more likely. In fact, he went a step further by saying that
...the complete absence of any citations from the Shiur Qomah in the col-
lection of mystic data in the second chapter of Tractate agigah in both
the Palestinian and the Babylonian Talmuds suggests, at least ex silentio,
that those traditions were unknown to the redactor of those sections of the
Talmuds.141
Caution is in order regarding Cohens line of reasoning that silence on the
part of the Talmudic redactors necessarily means they were unfamiliar
with the Shiur Qomah speculations. In fact, it is surprising that he and
other scholars overlooked b.Hag. 13a and the Targumic Toseftot to Ezek.
1:1142 whilst searching for identical rabbinic passages. Granted that rab-
binic literature has hitherto not brought forward any passages parallel to
the Shiur Qomah proper other than the abovementioned b.Bek. 44a, the
description of the creatures is too similar to this type of mysticism to be
overlooked.143

138See Cohen, Texts and Recensions, p. 67 (lines 133134):


and the length of the nose is like the (length of) the pinky-finger.
139S. Lieberman, Sheiin (in Hebrew; Jerusalem: Bamberger & Wahrmann, 1939), p. 12.
140Scholem, Jewish Gnosticism, p. 41.
141Cohen, The Shiur Qomah, p. 52.
142And to a lesser extent the reference to the size of the hoofs of the creatures in y.Ber.
9:1 (13a); cf. Tan. Terumah 9 (= Tan. Buber, Terumah 8); Midr. Ps. 4:3.
143Only a brief reference to the Targumic Toseftot and their Talmudic counterpart is
found in a footnote of Cohens first study on the Shiur Qomah, in which he lists and
compares the body parts of the godhead in Sefer Haqqomah with those of the creatures in
one TosTg. Ezek. 1:1, b.ag. 13a, and Massekhet Hekhalot; Cohen, The Shiur Qomah, p. 214
n. 68 (in the following, I will come back to the description of the creatures in Massekhet
Hekhalot, which is a literal quotation from b.ag. 13a). Alas, Cohen does not go beyond this
comparison, which could have yielded many important observations. In his commentary,
36 chapter two

In all likelihood, the rabbinic authorities were acquainted with Hekhalot


literature at the time when Talmud Bavli, and subsequently the Targumic
Tosefta, were compiled, because traces of this mystical tradition are
discernable in these sources.144 Since the Shiur Qomah was a segment
of Hekhalot literature we can plausibly assume that the Talmudic and
Targumic composers were also familiar with the speculation about Gods
body. This assumption is strengthened by the description of the creatures,
which, as noted above, could not have been composed without some prior
knowledge of the Shiur Qomah. Moreover, our Targumic Tosefta in partic-
ular may further justify this assumption given the illogical order of some
of the body parts. For instance, the knees of the creatures appear after the
thighs!145 In the genuine Shiur Qomah passage, the enumeration may
have been from top to toe instead of from toe to top,146 but the targumist
had to reverse the order because in his work the heavens and what lies
beyond are described as seen from the earth. A few times, though, he acci-
dentally maintained the original sequence which resulted in the strange
order. In the Talmud Bavli and the Targumic Toseftot to Ezek. 1:1 we are
dealing therefore with a veiled reference to the Shiur Qomah.
Yet why would the Shiur Qomah material have been adopted in order
to transform it in such a drastic way that even present-day scholars do
not recognize its original source? I am afraid there is no clear-cut answer
to this question. The rabbinic aim to disguise the Shiur Qomah may be
explained by its wary approach towards the latter, although this sounds
contradictory at first given the fact that in the Hekhalot material the syna-
gogue is mentioned as a place of recitation:147

Kasher also hints at a possible link between our Targumic Tosefta and the Shiur Qomah
but he does not elaborate on this hypothesis; Targumic Toseftot to the Prophets, p. 186.
144Hekhalot influence can, for instance, be found in b.Hag. 12a13b, see Schfer, From
Cosmology to Theology, pp. 5556. We will see in the following that our Targumic Tosefta
is also imbued with Hekhalot imagery.
145Cf. appendix D.
146We have seen that the description of the body in the Shiur Qomah does not reveal
a fixed pattern: the godhead is alternately envisaged from the feet up and from the head
down.
147Hebrew text as per Schfer, Synopse zur Hekhalot-Literatur, 706 (Ms. Munich 40),
p. 259. Schfer further expounds the liturgical function of the Hekhalot in general and
of the Shiur Qomah in particular in his Hekhalot-Studien, p. 83. It should be borne in
mind that the liturgical function of these mystical materials is a complex issue. Liturgical
function does not necessarily imply the synagogue because there is some evidence for
private liturgies and conventicle-liturgies; cf. P.S. Alexander, The Mystical Texts. Songs
of the Sabbath Sacrifice and Related Manuscripts (Companion to the Qumran Scrolls, 7;
London: T & T Clark International, 2006), pp. 12425. The Hekhalot passage presented in
the targumic toseftot to ezekiel 1 37

/

He who studies this great mystery, studies the mishnah148 every day after his
prayer; he recites it in purity, in his home or in the synagogue.
This suggests anything but wariness in the rabbis stance.149 If they were
so lenient towards such an extraordinary vision of God, why the attribu-
tion of the body parts and astronomical size to the creatures instead of to
God in the Talmud Bavli and the Targumic Tosefta? The answer may lie
in a manuscript that also can be found in Schfers synopsis:150


R. Yishmael said: Every talmid hakamim who studies this great mystery,
studies it as a repetition.
In rabbinic literature, the term talmid hakamim a disciple of the wise, or
just hakam a wise man, designates a rabbinic scholar, a sage.151 Not only
was a thorough knowledge of both Written and Oral Torah a prerequisite
for becoming a sage, but preferably also noble lineage. Thus, the aristo-
cratic scholar had to live up to great expectations, but, in return, he held
a very high position within the academic hierarchy.152 We may infer from
the employment of the term scholar (talmid hakamim) in the Hekhalot
literature that the mystical knowledge of Gods appearance was solely
accessible to the sages, the peers of the rabbis. It remained shrouded in
secrecy for the laymen and maybe even for those who held a low position

the following clearly distinguishes between the recitation of the Hekhalot in a communal
gathering and in private.
148The mentioning of the mishnah is somewhat puzzling here. It does not
seem to refer to the Mishna, i.e., the rabbinic compilation of the entire religious law. The
great mystery, the mystical knowledge obtained from the Hekhalot literature, is perhaps
meant to be studied as a mishnah, namely recited aloud; cf. Cohen, The Shiur Qomah,
p. 223 n. 5. Alternatively, mishnah may have been used in the sense of verse; cf. Sefer
Yeirah.
149Caution is in order, though, because I could not find any other evidence of the reci-
tation of Hekhalot texts in the synagogue in Schfers Synopse; only Ms. Munich 40, which
dates from the end of the 15th century (Schfer, Synopse, p. ix), attests this ruling.
150Hebrew text as per Schfer, Synopse zur Hekhalot-Literatur, 312 (Ms. Vatican 228),
p. 139; cf. 311, 682, 687. Ms. Vatican 228 is dated between the end of the 14th century and
ca. 1470; cf. Schfer, Synopse, p. x.
151Cf. Jastrow, Dictionary, vol. 1, p. 463.
152See L.I. Rabinowitz, Talmid akham, in EncJud, vol. 19, pp. 46668; J.L. Rubenstein,
The Culture of the Babylonian Talmud (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2003),
pp. 8799.
38 chapter two

at the academies. Only elite scholars were deemed wise enough to catch a
glimpse of what lies beyond the sun, the moon, and the stars. They were
the initiated who embarked on a mystical journey that culminated in the
vision of the gigantic, anthropomorphic deity enthroned in the highest
heaven. So both the uneducated and the less educated were kept away
from the pure Shiur Qomah speculation, not because of rabbinic con-
tempt for this type of mysticism, but because of its esoteric nature. The
Talmudic and Targumic descriptions of the creatures may have served
as a substitute for the real thing, though revealing enough to satisfy the
curiosity of the non-elite.
The assumption that the rabbinic authorities accepted the Shiur Qomah,
if only for exclusive use in elite circles, is attractive insofar as it explains the
liturgical features; the mentioning of the synagogue; as well as scholars in
the Hekhalot manuscripts. It suggests that there was no tension between
mystical speculation on the one hand, and the synagogal institution on
the other. We have to bear in mind, though, that just one manuscript
mentions the synagogue as place of recitation and only a few more refer
to the scholar. These manuscripts, dating from the late medieval period,
do not necessarily mirror the late Amoraic situation. Over the course of
time, the Sitz im Leben of the Hekhalot texts may have shifted from the
outer margins of Rabbinic Judaism towards the inner heart of the syna-
gogue. But if they do reflect a late Amoraic practice, they give us a reveal-
ing insight in the actual situation in the synagogue, where the Hekhalot,
including the Shiur Qomah, was not out of reach for the masses, despite
the rabbis efforts to discourage its public exposition. Consequently, the
Talmud Bavli and the Tosefta-Targums aim at an ideal, yet non-existent
situation, whereas the Hekhalot offers a much more realistic view.
The question remains why the rabbinic authorities went to great lengths
to disguise the Shiur Qomah in their writings. What was the reason behind
their adopting this speculation and at the same time toning it down, not
just in a Targumic Tosefta that was to be heard by the worshippers at
Shavuot, but even in a Talmudic passage whose range extended less far?
Let us explore several possible explanations and their validity.

Anthropomorphic speech about God had to be kept at bay?


It may have been out of the question for the rabbinic authorities to circu-
late the provocatively anthropomorphic speculations of the Shiur Qomah
in either the synagogue or the academy. Was the corporeal representa-
tion of God indeed taboo, or did the rabbinic authorities feel comfortable
with it? This question requires a nuanced treatment because the rabbinic
the targumic toseftot to ezekiel 1 39

stance on anthropomorphism is far from unequivocal.153 Furthermore, it


is in this respect necessary to distinguish between the synagogue and the
academy, and therefore the Targumim will be dealt with separately.

The corporeal representation of God in rabbinic literature


As regards rabbinic literature in general, we learn from Marmorsteins
classical study The Old Rabbinic Doctrine of God154 that corporeal person-
ifications of God were widespread, but that they at the same time were
contradicted by passages that hint at the rabbis discomfort with anthro-
pomorphism. Marmorstein explained this paradoxical phenomenon by
assuming the existence of two different rabbinic schools in the first cen-
turies ce with opposite views of anthropomorphism: the literalists of
R. Aqiba on the one hand, and the allegorists of R. Ishmael on the other.155
Although Marmorsteins work is extremely valuable given the wealth of
examples, it is now commonly held that his hypothesis is no longer ten-
able, mainly due to the lack of evidence for the actual existence of both
schools. Instead of trying to explain away the contradictory statements,
present-day scholars prefer to clarify the essence of rabbinic thought first.156
Contrary to medieval Jewish thought, no philosophical system underlay
the rabbinic conceptions, and this sometimes resulted in opposing state-
ments. It would therefore be misleading to speak of the rabbinic concept
of God. To cite Stern,
The motives behind many rabbinic anthropomorphic interpretations can be
shown to be either apologetic or ideological responses to ad hoc occasions
rather than discursive propositions about Gods being or behaviour157
Whilst keeping this modification in mind, we may conclude that the rabbis,
seemingly unhesitant, inherited and elaborated on the biblical portrayal

153It should be borne in mind that the term anthropomorphism covers both the
humanlike corporeal (anthropomorphism proper) and psychical (anthropopathism) per-
sonification of God. I will henceforth deal with anthropomorphism as it is understood in
its narrow sense, namely the attribution of a human body to God.
154A. Marmorstein, The Old Rabbinic Doctrine of God II, Essays in Anthropomorphism
(London: Oxford University Press, 1937).
155Marmorstein, The Old Rabbinic Doctrine II, pp. 4862.
156M. Kadushin, The Rabbinic Mind (New York: Jewish Theological Seminary of America,
1952), pp. 27187; D. Stern, Imitatio Hominis: Anthropomorphism and the Character(s) of
God in Rabbinic Literature, Prooftexts 12 (1992), pp. 15174.
157Stern, Imitatio Hominis, p. 154.
40 chapter two

of God in possession of human limbs,158 albeit mainly in formulaic and


idiomatic statements.159 Thus, in agreement with the Written Torah,
the Oral Torah attributes to God a human body, and the Shiur Qomahs
anthropomorphism per se is not at odds with this. Both types of Jewish lit-
erature represent God in an, at times blatantly, anthropomorphic manner.

The corporeal representation of God in the Targumim


If we turn to the Targumim, we can see a slightly different picture. The age-
long belief that the Targumim consistently avoid biblical anthropomor-
phisms, whose roots goes back to the medieval philosophers R. Saadiah
Gaon and Maimonides, was gradually questioned and became untenable
after the publication of Kleins studies on the rendering of anthropomor-
phic expressions in the Targumim of the Pentateuch.160 He convincingly
demonstrates that there is anything but consistency, let alone an underly-
ing translational strategy that explains the inconsistencies:
The long repeated generalization that the targumim avoid or tone down all
biblical anthropomorphisms, is no longer acceptable. In fact, the targumim
in their present textual state are highly inconsistent on this matter, and the
frequency of anti-anthropomorphisms is much smaller than has hitherto
been asserted161
One word that Klein employs here to criticize the idea of Targumic aver-
sion to anthropomorphism, can, in turn, be applied to Kleins own thesis:
generalization. However strong and convincing his argumentation is,
it could have been even more fruitful if he had distinguished between
the various Targumim, especially between the official and authoritative
Targum Onqelos on the one hand, and the Palestinian Targumim on the

158E.g., Gen. 6:8 (eyes); Exod. 33:23 (back); Dan. 7:9 (hair); Exod. 31:18, Ps. 8:4 (fingers).
For the concept of Gods hands and fingers in rabbinic sources, see M. Bar-Ilan, The Hand
of God: A Chapter in Rabbinic Anthropomorphism, in G. Sed-Rajna (ed.), Rashi 10401990:
Hommage Ephram E. Urbach, Congrs europen des tudes juives (Paris: ditions du Cerf,
1993), pp. 32135. This article demonstrates with ample evidence that the rabbis not only
adopted and developed biblical notions, but created new ideas. For example, according to
b.Sanh. 38b God burns the ministering angels with his little finger.
159Stern, Imitatio Hominis, p. 152.
160M.L. Klein, The Preposition ( Before). A Pseudo-Anti-Anthropomorphism in
the Targums, JTS 30 (1979), pp. 502507; idem, The Translation of Anthropomorphisms and
Anthropopathisms in the Targumim, in J.A. Emerton (ed.), Congress Volume, Vienna 1980
(VTSup, 32; Leiden: Brill Academic Publishers, 1981), pp. 16277; idem, Anthropomorphisms
and Anthropopathisms in the Targumim of the Pentateuch (in Hebrew; Jerusalem: Hotsaat
Maor, 1982), esp. pp. 4369; idem, The Aramaic Targumim: Translation and Interpretation,
pp. 31731.
161Klein, The Translation of Anthropomorphisms and Anthropopathisms, p. 177.
the targumic toseftot to ezekiel 1 41

other.162 Moreover, Klein follows in the footsteps of Marmorstein and


ascribes the Targumic inconsistencies to the influence of the two oppos-
ing rabbinic schools of R. Aqiba and R. Ishmael.163 But, as we noted ear-
lier, the actual existence of different schools of interpretation is highly
questionable.164
I will confine myself here to the way in which the Targumim have
translated the biblical passages that speak of the human limbs of God
because this aspect of the Targumic treatment of anthropomorphism
touches directly upon my discussion.165 In his article The Translation of
Anthropomorphisms and Anthropopathisms, Klein attempts to show that
the Pentateuchal Targumim do not try to veil the biblical references to
the human body parts of God.166 And, indeed, the examples given clearly
support his thesis that the Targumim not only adopted the biblical cor-
poreal presentation of God, but sometimes even went a step further and
introduced body limbs. However, Kleins evidence is derived solely from
the Palestinian Targumim, most notably TgNeof. God is described as hav-
ing eyes (Deut. 11:12), a mouth (Deut. 33:9), hands (Exod.15:17; Deut. 32:41),
palms (Exod. 33:22), and feet (Exod. 24:10). I wondered whether TgOnq
deviated from this pattern given the fact that this Targum most probably
underwent formal editing and was considered as being the authoritative
translation of the Written Torah in Babylon. Did the rabbinic authorities
resort to circumlocution of biblical passages that refer to Gods limbs in
a Targum whose synagogal use is beyond question? Remarkably, TgOnq
often translates the Hebrew verses that attribute human limbs to God lit-
erally, albeit less frequently than its Palestinian counterparts: eyes (Deut.
11:12), hand/arm (Exod. 15:6, 12, 17; Deut. 3:24, 5:15, 26:8, 32:41), and fin-
ger (Exod. 31:18; Deut. 9:10).167 We even come across a replacement of
one anthropomorphism by another: the mouth of God instead of the
Hebrew nostril (Exod. 15:8). We could explain away these renderings as

162The same generalizing approach towards the Targumic treatment of anthropomor-


phic expressions characterizes Levine, Aramaic Version of the Bible, pp. 4856.
163Klein, The Translation of Anthropomorphisms and Anthropopathisms, p. 163.
164See for a further critical assessment of Kleins view, M.J. Bernstein, Kleins
Anthropomorphisms in the Targumim, JQR 77 (1986), pp. 6570; cf. Smelik, Targum of
Judges, p. 105.
165So neither the Targumims rendering of verbs of motion, emotion, and perception
used in a divine setting nor the employment of supposed anti-anthropomorphisms, like
and , will be dealt with here.
166Klein, The Translation of Anthropomorphisms and Anthropopathisms, pp. 16870.
167Examples of circumlocution of anthropomorphisms in TgOnq in contrast to the
Palestinian Targums: feet (Exod. 24:10); palm (Exod. 33:22).
42 chapter two

mere idiomatic expressions in the case of eyes and hand/arm;168 that


the honour of God had to be protected and, hence, mouth is used instead
of nostrils;169 or, as for the finger of God, that the divine origin of the
Tablets of the Covenant had to be emphasized.170 Yet, it is doubtful
whether the distinction between literal and metaphorical speech made
a difference to the audience in the synagogue. The very mentioning of a
limb of God may have evoked a reaction and acquired a certain meaning,
even if only partially understood. If the rabbinic authorities were so keen
to avoid any reference to the corporeality of God in the synagogue, they
would have probably demanded a much more consistent and, henceforth,
anti-anthropomorphic translation. Consequently, we may surmise from
the inconsistencies in TgOnq that the corporeal presentation of God was
not an issue for the rabbis and did not pose a doctrinal threat to whoever
heard the reading from the Pentateuch with its Aramaic translation in
the synagogue.
It seems that the ambiguity we are faced with in TgOnq also applies
to another formally edited and authoritative Targum, namely Targum
Jonathan to the Prophets, in which literal translations of Gods human
limbs go hand in hand with paraphrastic modifications.171 This observation
is particularly important because the Targumic Toseftot to Ezek. 1:1 some-
times adopt the translation strategy of TgJon. Admittedly, the prevalent
tendency in TgJon is to transform the biblical references to Gods face (Isa.
54:8; Jer. 21:10; Ezek. 7:22), eyes (1 Kgs. 8:29; Isa. 1:15; 43:4; Jer. 7:30), hand/
arm (Josh. 22:31; 1 Sam. 5:7; 1 Kgs. 18:46; Isa. 5:25; 9:11; 11:11, 15; 31:3; Jer 1:9),
loins (Ezek. 1:27; 8:2), soles of the feet (Ezek. 43:7), but we also find some
exceptions to the rule: verses in which God is portrayed with arms (1 Kgs.
8:42; 2 Kgs. 17:36; Ezek. 20:33), and his having feet is implied (Isa. 66:1).172

168Cf. Klein, The Aramaic Targumim: Translation and Interpretation, pp. 31920.
169Cf. Kadushin, The Rabbinic Mind, pp. 32930.
170Cf. Churgin, Targum Jonathan, p. 21 n. 26; Levine, The Aramaic Version of the Bible,
p. 51.
171Contrast Smolar and Aberbach, Studies in Targum Jonathan, p. 248; For an overview
of TgJons treatment of anthropomorphic expressions in the Former Prophets, see G.I.
Lehman, Anthropomorphisms in the Former Prophets of the Hebrew Bible as Compared with
the Septuagint and Targum Jonathan (unpublished Ph.D. Diss. New York University, New
York, 1964), pp. 8194 (see for a critical assessment of Lehmans study, Smelik, Targum of
Judges, pp. 101102).
172Cf. the rendering of Exod. 24:10 in TgNeof and TgPsJ, in which the notion of Gods
footstool is inserted.
the targumic toseftot to ezekiel 1 43

Thus, TgOnq and TgJon are twin-like Targumim with regard to their treat-
ment of anthropomorphism proper.173

In conclusion, we can give a twofold answer to the question whether the


far-reaching anthropomorphic description of God (e.g., the white of his
eyeball!) could have been the reason for keeping Shiur Qomah-like specu-
lations out of the Talmud Bavli and the Targumic Toseftot to Ezek. 1:1. On
the one hand, the Shiur Qomahs corporeal presentation of God would not
have clashed with the anthropomorphic portrayal in rabbinic literature. In
agreement with the Hebrew Bible, God is often depicted in human terms,
at times just as boldly as in the Shiur Qomah. Nothing hints at a fiery
opposition to the anthropomorphic personification of God in rabbinic lit-
erature. On the other hand, the corporeal representation may have been
deemed less appropriate in the synagogue, as can be inferred from the
general tendency in TgOnq and TgJon, the official synagogal Targumim,
to circumvent most references to the human limbs of God. However, the
exceptions to the rule in either Targum reveal that there is no consistency,
and the rabbinic attitude towards the exposition of anthropomorphic
imagery in the synagogue may therefore have been less rigid.

The measurement of God and the mystic names had to be kept under lock
and key?
If we cannot state with certainty that due to the blatant anthropomor-
phism, the Shiur Qomah had to be almost unrecognizably transformed in
Talmud Bavli and the Targumic Toseftot we must look in another direc-
tion. The numerical measurements and the names attributed to the god-
head in the Shiur Qomah may have induced the sages to veil it for their
less-educated fellow Jews.
The Shiur Qomahs description of the size of the godhead may have pre-
sented the danger of contradicting the rabbinic doctrine of his omnipres-
ence. The given numbers, however astronomical and incomprehensible,
still imply that Gods presence is spatially limited. Instead of emphasiz-
ing Gods greatness, the numbers delimit him. The Targumim prove that
adherence to the doctrine of Gods omnipresence was indeed of major
concern for the rabbinic authorities:

173By contrast, the Targumim to the Writings seem to show no hesitation as to the ren-
dering of Gods body parts, e.g., his eyes (Ps. 11:4; 33:18); his hands (Ps 119:73); cf. Churgin,
Targum Jonathan to the Prophets, pp. 2021.
44 chapter two

Because of the concept of Gods omnipresence, various divine activities


depicted in the Bible which happen to involve movement or confinement
to a given place are usually circumvented in the Aramaic Targumim so as
to avoid creating the impression that there is any place without the Divine
Presence174
TgJon follows the general Targumic avoidance of Biblical passages that
seem to question this doctrine, and Isa. 66:1, which plays a hugely impor-
tant role in the Shiur Qomah,175 serves to illustrate this translational
strategy:
MT

Thus says the Lord: The heavens are My throne, and the earth is My foot-
stool

TgJon

Thus says the Lord: The heavens are the throne of My glory, and the earth
is a footstool before Me
This rendering perfectly demonstrates that the anthropomorphism did
not pose a problem for the translator in its supposed negation of his omni-
presence: the image that God Himself only resides in heaven is avoided by
means of My glory, whereas footstool is retained, implying that God has
feet. The employment of in TgJon does not detract from this because
Klein has identified as a pseudo-anti-anthropomorphism; it is merely
a reverential expression.176
It seems as if the rabbinic authorities were afraid that the worshippers
would start questioning Gods omnipresence. For the sages the truth of
this doctrine was beyond dispute and they could rate the numerical mea-
surement of the Shiur Qomah at its true value, but could the same be said
of the uneducated and less educated? As observed before, the Talmudic
and Targumic description of the creatures lacks the big numbers, instead,
the size of each limb is said to be comparable to the distance from the
earth to the height of the heaven.

174Smolar, Aberbach, Studies in Targum Jonathan, p. 135 n. 40.


175Cf. Cohen, The Shiur Qomah, pp. 11516.
176Klein, The Preposition ( Before), pp. 502507.
the targumic toseftot to ezekiel 1 45

Interestingly, despite the enormous figures, the body of the godhead


in the Shiur Qomah is of normal anatomical proportion,177 but the size
of the creatures limbs is anything but proportional. The soles of the feet,178
the ankles, the calves, etc., are invariably as high as from the earth to
the height of the heavens. Consequently, if we try to envisage them, we
are faced with creatures that are out of all proportion, almost carica-
tures. Could it be possible that the Shiur Qomah is being ridiculed in the
Talmudic and Targumic portrayal of these creatures? Are we dealing with
a caricature of the Shiur Qomah behind which lies a rabbinic polemical
attitude? I do not think that the Shiur Qomah-like passages in b.Hag. 13a
and the Targumic Toseftot serve a polemical purpose for two reasons.
Firstly, as noted earlier, the Hekhalot texts, including the Shiur Qomah,
hint at a synagogal Sitz im Leben and at the use of this mystical lore among
the talmidei hakamim, the noble scholars. We assumed that, given its
esoteric character, the latter tried to curb the public exposition of the
Hekhalot. Only the initiated were allowed to experience the nearness and
oneness with God. However, restricting the circulation of the Hekhalot
literature does not necessarily mean that the sages disapproved of its con-
tents since the sages themselves recited these texts.
Secondly, if the Talmudic and Targumic description of the creatures
was considered to be mocking the Shiur Qomah genre, how can we
explain traces of it in Hekhalot texts? According to Herrmann, the hayyot-
passage in tractate Massakhet Hekhalot 14.2, which is a literal quotation
from b.Hag. 13a, may be a secondary insertion.179 In Reuyyot Yehezqel, the
measurement of the wings is given:180

Above [it] are the wings of the creatures, which are equal to the seven
heavens and the seven thicknesses.
This single reference to the creatures wings may be derived from the
Targumic Toseftot because b.Hag. 13a does not mention them.181 Finally,

177Cf. Cohen, The Shiur Qomah, pp. 106107.


178On the sensitivities surrounding the soles of the creatures feet in TgJon see 2.5.2
179K. Herrmann, Massekhet Hekhalot (TSAJ, 39; Tbingen: Mohr Siebeck, 1994), pp. 46*,
25960.
180As published in Gruenwald, Reuyot Yeezkel, p. 139.
181See Appendix D. It is somewhat surprising that b.Hag. 13a lacks the wings, which
are repeatedly mentioned in the Merkabah passages in Ezekiel and acquired an important
function in early Jewish mysticism: through them the creatures can praise God; they are
the organs of song (cf. Ezek. 1:24; 3:1213). However, we should not attach undue weight to
46 chapter two

we find a longer description of the creatures in two manuscripts of


Seder Rabba di-Bereshit, which unmistakably betrays the influence of
b.Hag. 13a.182
Not only the detailed measurement of the godhead may have been
inappropriate for the non-initiated, but also the mystic names attributed
to the limbs. The rabbinic authorities may have sought to prevent the
widespread revelation of these names because of their theurgic power.183
Maybe they were meant to be recited solely in a private ceremony, not
by the laymen.

Conclusion: The Relation between the Shiur Qomah and the Talmudic and
Targumic Description of the Creatures
Comparison between b.Hag. 13a and the Targumic Toseftot to Ezek. 1:1 on
the one hand, and the Shiur Qomah on the other, revealed that there must
have been an intimate relationship between them. The Shiur Qomah was
already known in the late Amoraic period, but the sages, among whom
this type of mysticism was in use, wished to protect the non-initiated
from the esoteric and doctrinally dangerous knowledge.
Three characteristics of the Shiur Qomah may have been deemed unfit
for exposition at academy and synagogue: its far-reaching anthropomor-
phism, although this was not alien to rabbinic thinking, its numerical
measurement of Gods body, and its mystical names with their theurgic
power. However, to still the peoples craving for nearness to God, the sages
decided to allow them a strictly controlled glimpse of what lies beyond
the heavens. Not the Shiur Qomah proper was revealed to them, but the
substitute description of the creatures.184 By attributing huge corporeal
dimensions to the creatures, the authorities could still convey some of

the absence of the creatures wings because they are mentioned on the next amud, albeit
in a different context: the difference in the number of wings between Isa. 6:2 and Ezek.
1:6 is resolved.
182Schfer, Synopse, 777, p. 273; cf. Herrmann, Massekhet Hekhalot, p. 260.
183On the theurgic nature of the Shiur Qomah, see Cohen, The Shiur Qomah,
pp. 6871.
184The hayyot serve here as a substitute for the vision of Gods glory, and an interest-
ing parallel is found in Song 13 of the Songs of the Sabbath Sacrifice from Qumran, where
the congregation is invited to gaze at God but instead at the resplendent garments of the
celestial high priest. See Alexander, Mystical Texts, pp. 105106: The ultimate transcen-
dence of God comes out also in the pointed reluctance of the Qumran texts, in contrast
to the Shiur Qomah strand of later Jewish mysticism, to focus on the divine manifestation
in the celestial sanctuary. A strategy of displacement seems to operate in Sabbath Songs,
by which our attention is constantly turned away from God to something else. Thus at
the climax of the ecstasy our gaze is deflected from God to the glorious garments of the
the targumic toseftot to ezekiel 1 47

the majesty of the celestial court and emphasize the incalculable distance
from the earth to the heavens and beyond.185
That the rabbis were keen on making the worshippers aware of the
impenetrability of the celestial realms is demonstrated by the detailed
enumeration of the creatures body parts and their sizes. Compared to
the parallel passage in b.Hag. 13a, our Targumic Tosefta describes far more
limbs, thus creating an even greater distance between man and God.
Whilst hearing this tireless and dry repetition, the worshippers may have
felt extremely small and humble, and not in the least inclined to start a
mystic journey. This effect, though probably welcomed by the sages, con-
trasts sharply with the purpose of the more vivid, even mesmeric, descrip-
tion of Gods body parts in the Shiur Qomah, whose desired effect is a
trancelike state culminating in the vision of the godhead.186
Our assumption that the Shiur Qomah left its imprint on Talmud Bavli
and the Targumic Toseftot has implications for the dating of the Shiur
Qomah, which scholarly research previously established to be of either
Tannaitic or Geonic date. Following Adolph Jellinek, Gershom Scholem
was of the opinion that Shiur Qomah speculations were linked to esoteric
interpretations of the Song of Songs, in which the lovers body is poetically
described. In the first two centuries ce, the lover was seen as a meta-
phor for God, and this interpretation gave way to the hugely exaggerated
description of Gods appearance, which even led to a Hellenistic coun-
terpart in the writings of the 2nd century Gnostic Markus.187 Henceforth,
Scholem attributed a high antiquity to Shiur Qomah, dating it from the
early Tannaitic period. He found further proof of the antiquity of the Shiur
Qomah in the prologue to Origens 3rd century commentary on Song of
Songs, which speaks of the Jewish restrictions on the reading of the entire

celestial high priests, the implication perhaps being that these are a manifestation of God
that we can grasp, a way for us to contemplate the divine mystery.
185Note the striking parallel with b.Hag. 13a and the TosTgs Ezek. 1:1 in an early Islamic
oral tradition (adith) of which we find the earliest attestations in the 9th century. In
remarkably similar wording the adith describes the journey through the heavens to the
throne of glory and identifies the creatures as eight mountain goats, whose height equals
the distance between the seven heavens; for a discussion of this adith and more paral-
lels between the Merkabah traditions and Islamic cosmography, see Halperin, Faces of the
Chariot, pp. 46590, esp. 47071.
186Or quoting Cohen, The Shiur Qomah, p. 69: (...) the Shiur Qomah was composed as
a mystic meditation (incantation would be, perhaps, too strong a term) on the Deity, the
recitation of which was meant to yield practical physical and metaphysical results.
187This gnostic parallel is discussed in Appendix E.
48 chapter two

book.188 According to Scholem, the Jewish wariness regarding Song of


Songs can be explained by its being the source of the controversial Shiur
Qomah speculations.189 However, Martin Cohen questioned Scholems
notions of the date and provenance of Shiur Qomah. He claimed that
the Urtext of the Shiur Qomah was composed in Babylonia in the early
Geonic period. This Urtext recycled older traditions whose provenance
can no longer be traced.190 According to Cohen:
...this date allows us to explain the fact that the text seems to have been
composed after the final stages of redaction of the Babylonian Talmud, yet
early enough to have been known to the great if obscure poet, Kallir, and
long enough before the time of Saadia Gaon and his archenemy, the Karaite
Salmon b. Yeruhim, for the tannaitic authenticity of the text not to have
been considered an open question.191
Contrary to Cohen, I advocate the idea that the Shiur Qomah as it has
come down to us in the extant recensions, or perhaps a close predeces-
sor, was already known in the late Talmudic period when the rabbinic
authorities decided to rework the material for their own reasons.192 The

188Together with the beginning of Genesis, and the beginning and the end of Ezekiel.
189Of course, this rather brief summary does not do justice to Scholems extensive treat-
ment of the Shiur Qomah genre. See on this topic, G. Scholem, Von der mystischen Gestalt
der Gottheit (Zrich: Rhein-Verlag, 1962), pp. 747; cf. idem, Major Trends, pp. 6367; idem,
Jewish Gnosticism, Merkabah Mysticism, and Talmudic Tradition (New York : The Jewish
Theological Seminary of America, 1960), pp. 3642; idem, Shiur Qomah, in EncJud, vol. 18,
p. 491.
190Schfer demonstrated that there is no such thing as an Urtext of the Shiur Qomah,
just as is the case with Hekhalot literature in general; P. Schfer, Shiur Qoma: Rezensionen
und Urtext, in idem, Hekhalot-Studien (TSAJ, 19; Tbingen: Mohr Siebeck, 1988), pp. 7583.
The extant manuscripts, including Genizah fragments from the 11th century, display a
variety of recensions and do not help us any further in tracing the very beginning of this
sub-genre, let alone hint at an Urtext. In the same essay, Schfer convincingly refutes
Cohens identification of Ms. London Or. 10675 as the oldest extant version of the Urtext.
For instance, textual analysis between this manuscript and the Genizah fragments has
shown a significant lack of textual overlap. Most importantly, palaeographic research has
confirmed the manuscripts young age: instead of the 10th or 11th century, as presupposed
by Cohen, it dates from the 18th century. Hence, it is safest to state that we are merely
dealing with fluctuating Shiur Qomah materials that never developed into a single fixed
and authoritative text.
191Cohen, Texts and Recensions, p. 2.
192In my opinion, the same holds true for a short passage in y.Ber. 9:1 (13a) (cf. Tan.
Terumah 9; Tan. Buber, Terumah 8; Midr. Ps. 4:3), which is reminiscent of b.Hag. 13a
and the Targumic Toseftot to Ezek. 1:1. After it is said that the distance from one heaven
to another and the depth of each heaven is a journey of 500 years, Talmud Yerushalmi
continues :
" ", , And R. Berekhyah and R. Helbo said in the
name of R. Abba Semuqah: Also the hoofs of the creatures are a journey of 515 years.
the targumic toseftot to ezekiel 1 49

Shiur Qomah did already exist in the late Talmudic period and found its
way into Talmud Bavli, albeit in disguised form. The Targumic Toseftot, in
turn, adopted and further adapted b.Hag. 13a. Unlike Scholem, I am hesi-
tant, though, to speculate on the existence of the Shiur Qomah before the
Amoraic period due to a lack of strong parallels. The concept of the mac-
rocosmic divine body had already crystallized in the Graeco-Roman world
of the first centuries ce, but there is no firm textual evidence yet that sup-
ports the existence of Shiur Qomah-like speculations in Ancient Judaism
prior to the description of the creatures in b.ag. 13a (see Appendix E,
which offers a survey of the concept of the macrocosmic body in the
Ancient Near East in comparison with the Shiur Qomah).

The Mentioning of the Hayyot (from line 24 onward)


The plural form of the noun ( living) creature is employed here,
and its usage may have been influenced by Hebrew ( wild) animal,
creature in b.ag. 13a, the presumable source of this Targumic passage.
In TgJons rendering of the Merkabah passages, the equivalent of the
MTs is creature, being.193 Important to note is that TgJons

Whence? Straight [= Ezek. 1.7]. In other words, the 515 years is explained through
Ezek. 1:7 ( and their legs were straight), because 515 is the numerical
sum of . It is difficult to establish whether Ezek. 1:7 was indeed the original source of
the number of years or that it was added later to provide Scriptural support. However, the
number 515 does not sound familiar in this context because the distance is usually 500 or
502 years (see footnote 125).
As for the dating of this dictum, it is attributed to R. Helbo and his student R. Berekhyah,
rabbis of the fourth and fifth generations of Amoraim respectively. They thus belong to the
latest mentioned rabbis in Talmud Yerushalmi. Unfortunately, I have not come across any
other reference to R. Abba Semuqah, and his identity remains shrouded in mystery. This
Yerushalmi dictum could also have originated from the tendency to veil the Shiur Qomah
because we know that R. Helbo spent some time in Babylonia, and it could well be that he
brought this Babylonian tradition with him back to Palestine, where it subsequently found
its way into Talmud Yerushalmi.
Kasher is of the opinion that the description of the creatures in our Targum is the out-
come of a combination of two separate traditions. According to the first tradition, the
size of the limbs is a journey of five hundred years; cf. y.Ber. 9:1 (13a), which speaks of 515
years. And according to the second, the size of the limbs is like all the heavens as found in
b.Hag. 13a; Targumic Toseftot to the Prophets, p. 186. However, I believe that b.Hag. 13a also
implies the measurement of a five hundred years journey for the limbs of the creatures.
I interpret as corresponding to all of them, i.e., corresponding to the size and
distance of each heaven, which means 500 years. So there is no discrepancy between our
Targumic Tosefta and b. Hag. 13a.
193See TgJon Ezek. 1:5, 1315, 1922; 3:13; 10:15, 17, 20, 22.
50 chapter two

manuscript traditons are highly consistent in their rendering.194 In addi-


tion, is also preserved in a Tosefta-Targum to Ezek. 1:12.195 Halperin
observed that the employment of runs counter to TgJons conven-
tional practice of rendering Hebrew by its cognate , and he con-
vincingly argued that the Targumist deliberately avoided , either to
avoid implying that bestiality lies at the heart of the Merkabah or to pre-
clude any association of the ayyot with Dan. 7, where Israels enemies are
portrayed as four terrifying beasts () .196
In support of Halperins first
suggestion, we can add that although the Aramaic noun is ambigu-
ous in that it does not solely have bestial connotations, it clearly refers
to beasts in Targum Ezekiel, aside from its usage in the Merkabah pas-
sages: ( 33:27); wild beasts (5:17; 14:15, 21; 34:25);
the beasts of the earth (29:5; 32:4); and the beasts of the
field (31:13; 38:20; 39:4, 17).197 Moreover, the concern for a possible link
between Ezekiels ayyot and Daniels four beasts also sounds plausible,
especially because the appearance of these beasts is faintly reminiscent
of the ayyots. For instance, some of them are also equipped with wings
(Dan. 7:4, 6). The usage of the Aramaic equivalent could thus have
generated associations with the Danielic .198

However, judging from our Targumic Tosefta, at some stage in Late
Antiquity the juxtaposition of the beast ( )and the Merkabah was no
longer considered doctrinally dangerous in the public exposition of this
chapter.199 Perhaps even more telling, the noun animal, beast is
employed in several other manuscripts preserving the Tosefta-Targum to

194Unfortunately, the Babylonian tradition has only yielded one attestation of ,


due to its fragmentary character: TgJon Ezek. 3:13 in Ms. Eb. 86.
195This Targumic Tosefta is found in the Mazor Vitry, see 2.5.
196Halperin, Faces of the Chariot, pp. 12829; cf. Kasher, Targumic Toseftot to the
Prophets, p. 187.
197The etymologically related animal, beast is found in several variant readings:
Ezek. 14:15 in Ms. 7 of the Montefiore Library; Ezek. 29:5 in The Antwerp Polyglot Bible; and
Ezek. 31:13 in both Ms. 7 of the Montefiore Library and The Antwerp Polyglot Bible.
198For more on the Danielic concept of the four beasts and its presumed sources, see
Collins, Daniel, pp. 29597. Collins dismissed Halperins suggestion that the description
of the four in Dan. 7 stems from the composers interpretation of the ayyot in Ezek.
1. Halperin himself already observed that the vulnerability of his conjecture lies in the
different characteristics of the : whereas the ayyot are Gods very own heavenly ser-
vants, the represent his enemies on earth (Halperin, Faces of the Chariot, pp. 7778).
According to Collins, the description of the individual beasts is rather determined in part
by biblical precedent (Hosea 13), in part by the traditional depiction of Israels enemies as
wild animals (Ezek. 34; the Animal Apocalypse), and in part by the prominence of hybrid
creatures in Near Eastern art and literature; idem, p. 296.
199Following Halperin, Faces of the Chariot, p. 129.
the targumic toseftot to ezekiel 1 51

Ezek. 1:1.200 The fact that the ayyot even have horns, just like the fourth
beast (Dan. 7:7, 2021), further confirms this development. Additional
proof that the reading / in reference to the Merkabah had
become acceptable is found in a Jewish Palestinian Aramaic piyyut from
Late Antiquity that served in the liturgy for Shavuot. The poem describes
Moses ascension to heaven to receive the Torah. Having reached the
highest point on earth and the lowest point of heaven, Moses finds him-
self standing among the ayyot: .201 Moreover, all
the extant manuscripts of Hekhalot Zutarti attest the use of both
and in an Aramaic portion.202

The Knees of the Hayyot (from line 29 onward)


Whilst describing the stature of the creatures, the TosTgs. Ezek. 1:1 and
the parallel in b.ag. 13a mention their knees.203 Interestingly, we seem
to be dealing with two conflicting rabbinic views because in Gen. R. 65:21204
R. Hanina b. Andrai quotes the statement of R. Samuel b. Siter that the
creatures have no knees, and the supporting proof text is Ezek. 1:7
their legs were straight.205 The parallels to this midrash are
found in y.Ber. 1:1 (2c), y.Shebu. 6:5 (37a), and Lev. R. 6:3, which originated
in Palestine.206 Moreover, the other rabbinic sources that briefly describe
the stature of the creatures do not mention the knees, and their place of
origin is in all likelihood Palestine.207 Why would the knees of the creatures
have bothered the rabbinic authorities? The answer lies in the doctrinally
dangerous implications: the creatures having knees implies their being

200See the table in 2.2.4.1, lines 2728 and footnote 393.


201M. Sokoloff and J. Yahalom, Jewish Palestinian Aramaic Poetry from Late Antiquity
(in Hebrew; Jerusalem: The Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, 1999), pp. 11016,
esp. 114 line 26. Cf. the variant reading in J. Heinemann, Remains
of the Piyyutic Creativity of the Early Aramaic Translators, Sifrut 4 (1973), pp. 36275,
esp. 36364 (in Hebrew).
202Schfer, Synopse, 353354; cf. Halperin, Faces of the Chariot, p. 389.
203See appendix D which offers a comparison between the Targumic and Talmudic
descriptions of the stature of the creatures.
204As per Theodor/Albeck edition.
205These conflicting views in rabbinic angelic lore seem to have hitherto gone unno-
ticed.
206The latter two passages show a few disparities though. Firstly, the statement is
attributed to R. Samuel b. Naman instead, a Palestinian Amora of the third generation.
Secondly, according to these sources the angels of destruction have no knees; there is
no mention of the creatures or the angels in general; cf. Halperin, Faces of the Chariot,
p. 149f.
207y.Ber. 9:1 (13a); cf. Tan. Terumah 9 (=Tan. Buber, Terumah 8); Midr. Ps. 4:3.
52 chapter two

able to sit down, and that would contradict the tradition that only God has
a seat in heaven.208 Apparently, this was of no concern for the composers
of the Talmudic and Targumic descriptions of the creatures, in which the
knees are even endowed with a stupendous size. In the Hekhalot literature
we also find a reference to the knees of the creatures, in Seder Rabba di-
Bereshit.209 Could it perhaps be that the tradition of the angels having no
knees did not permeate angelic lore in Babylonia?210

The Eight Hundred Heavens (lines 58, 62)


If the astronomical size of the seven heavens and the creatures were not
enough to deter any worshipper in the synagogue from embarking on a
celestial journey, the Targumic Tosefta reinforces this point by stating
that above the creatures there are eight hundred more heavens.
The tradition that beyond the creatures another heavenly realm exists
originated in Ezek. 1:22,211 where we read that there was an firmament
( )above the heads of the creatures. This expanse was interpreted
as another heaven, and Schfer is of the opinion that this tradition is of
Babylonian provenance because we already find it in a dictum attributed
to R. Aa b. Jacob,212 who belongs to the fourth generation of Babylonian
Amoraim.213 Later works have even expanded the number of heavens to
several hundreds. For instance, Midrash LaChanukah refers to three hun-
dred and ninety heavens,214 and Midrash Alphabetot speaks of nine hun-
dred and fifty five heavens.215 Apart from our Targumic Tosefta and the
other TosTgs. Ezek. 1:1,216 the reference to eight hundred heavens is not
attested elsewhere, and according to Kasher its source is unknown.217

208Gen. R. 65:21; b.Hag. 15a (cf. the parallel in Merkavah Rabbah; Schfer, Synopse, 672,
p. 246). See also Halperin, Faces of the Chariot, p. 149f.
209Schfer, Synopse, 777, p. 273.
210Interestingly, even within the same tractate in Talmud Bavli we come across these
two conflicting traditions: b.Hag. 15a states that there is no sitting in heaven, with the
exception of God Himself and Metatron, the heavenly scribe, whilst b.Hag. 13a mentions
the knees of the creatures.
211Cf. Ezek. 10:1.
212b. Hag. 13a.
213Schfer, In Heaven as It Is in Hell, p. 250.
214Jellinek, Bet ha-Midrasch, vol. 1, p. 132.
215S.A. Wertheimer, Batei Midrashot (Jerusalem: Mosad ha-Rav Kuk, 1953), vol. 2,
p. 427.
216See the table in 2.2.4.1, lines 26 and 36.
217Kasher, Targumic Toseftot to the Prophets, p. 187.
the targumic toseftot to ezekiel 1 53

A possible explanation is that this number is a hundredfold multiplica-


tion of the number eight, which refers to the eighth level or the eighth
heaven. However, a few queries are in order here. Firstly, strictly speaking
the eighth level is the level with the gigantic creatures. Above the seven
heavens these creatures appear, and above them, so to speak at the ninth
level, we come across the other heaven(s). In addition, although the exist-
ence of multiple heavenly realms is characteristic of both Jewish ascent
apocalypses and later rabbinic and Hekhalot traditions, an eight-heaven
scheme is virtually absent.218 Finally, even if we adhere to the eight-
heaven model, why was it multiplied a hundredfold? Why not tenfold
or even thousandfold? We have seen that the targumist is very keen on
emphasizing the incalculable distance that separates the earth from the
throne of glory, so why did he specifically choose to multiply the eight
heaven by hundred? Perhaps because the celestial measurement in the
preceding verses is in five hundreds of years?
Alternatively, the number eight hundred can be explained as being con-
cealed in Ezek. 1:22 itself. The rabbinic expositors sometimes employed
gematria in their exegesis of the obscure first chapter of Ezekiel,219 and
they may have also resorted to the numerical value of the seemingly mys-
tifying words like terrible ice spread out in Ezek.
1:22, resulting in the number eight hundred.220 We should thus read the
verse as follows: And a form above the heads of the creatures, eight hun-
dred heavens above their heads from above.
The reason the targumist disregarded the literal reading and calculated
its numerical value instead may lie in the troubling connotations that sur-
rounded the terrible ice. After all, ice is a solid form of water, and here
we touch upon the traditions surrounding the waters in the Merkabah
literature.221 Halperins painstaking analysis of rabbinic and Hekhalot
materials shows that the ancient concept of Gods conflict with the pri-
mordial waters may still have been very much alive in Late Judaism. The

218So Schfer, In Heaven as It Is in Hell, p. 259: The relevant Jewish and Christian
texts fluctuate among one-, three-, five-, seven-, and ten-heaven schemes, with a clear
predominance of the one-heaven and seven-heaven structures. On possible references to
an eight heaven in Gnostic works see Collins, The Seven Heavens in Jewish and Christian
Apocalypses, pp. 8385.
219See, for instance, y.Ber. 9:1 (13a), where gematria is applied to straight in
Ezek. 1.7 to calculate the size of the hoofs of the creatures.
220 = 20+70+10+50+ 5+100+200+8+5+50+6+200+1+50+9+6+10.
221On this tradition see Halperin, Faces of the Chariot, pp. 194249; C.R.A. Morray-
Jones, A Transparent Illusion. The Dangerous Vision of Water in Hekhalot Mysticism (JSJSup,
59; Leiden: Brill Academic Publishers, 2002).
54 chapter two

idea that water, i.e., the force of chaos, existed in the vicinity of God and
his throne was disturbing, and the Babylonian rabbinic tradition therefore
sought to avoid it.222 Less convincing, though, is Halperins reasoning that
once the water has become solid, its dark and chaotic force disappears,
and that, accordingly, the firmament of terrible ice in Ezek. 1:22 was of
no concern to the rabbis because God had defeated the waters and fro-
zen them.223 The presence of the terrible ice in the celestial realms does
appear to have troubled the rabbis for two reasons. Firstly, why would the
composer of our Targumic Tosefta have applied gematria to the words
if they had not been deemed doctrinally too dan-
gerous? Secondly, TgJon Ezek. 1:22 translates the Hebrew terrible
(of Niphal to be feared) with powerful, mighty, and in all other
cases where this equation is employed in TgJon it is meant to tone down
the Scriptural reading.224 If TgJon had wanted to convey the literal mean-
ing, it would have used as equivalent.225 So despite its limited trans-
lational freedom, TgJons subtle change from terrible ice into mighty ice
makes the firmament sound less threatening.226
Finally, the mentioning of the heavens above the creatures does not
seem to tally with the baraita in b.ag. 13a, which we identified as its
presumable source. After the portrayal of the creatures, the Talmudic pas-
sage immediately continues with the throne of glory, whereas our Targum
mentions the eight hundred heavens as another buffer between the earth
and Gods dwelling place. However, at the beginning of b. ag. 13a we do
find a reference to the additional heaven above the creatures, viz., in the
aforementioned dictum of R. Aa b. Jacob. It is just that, as seen before, the
Targumic Tosefta goes to greater lengths than Talmud Bavli to emphasize
the impenetrability of the heavenly realms, hence its addendum of eight
hundred heavens above the creatures instead of one. Moreover, by not
dwelling any longer on these additional heavenly realms, our Targumic
Tosefta is in line with b.Hag. 13a, which quotes Sir. 3:2122 as a proof text
for not speculating on the heaven above the creatures.

222Halperin, Faces of the Chariot, pp. 23438, 450.


223Idem, p. 238.
224TgJon Judg. 13:6; 2 Sam. 7:23 (cf. TgOnq Deut. 10:21!); Isa. 21:1 ( ;)Joel 2:11;
Mal. 1:14.
225TgJon Joel 3:4; Hab. 1:7; Zeph. 2:11; Mal. 3:23.
226Cf. Halperin, who does not know what this substitute is supposed to convey; Faces
of the Chariot, p. 528 n. h
the targumic toseftot to ezekiel 1 55

The Throne of the King of the Kings of Kings (line 58)


Above the eight hundred heavens appears the throne of the king of the
kings of kings. The liturgical expression appears very
frequently in both rabbinic and mystical literature.227 In the Shiur Qomah
we regularly come across this designation of God in combination with his
throne, for instance, in Sefer Raziel:228
"

R. Ishmael said: I saw the king of kings of kings, the Holy One, blessed be he,
and he was sitting on a high and exalted throne.
By continuing the description of the celestial realms with the throne, the
Targumic Tosefta follows the order in the Hebrew Vorlage. As seen above,
our Targum interpreted the firmament above the creatures in Ezek. 1:22
as eight hundred heavens, and here it aligns with Ezek. 1:26229 by stating
that above these heavens there is a throne.230 Note also the parallel in
b.Hag. 13a, which speaks of the the throne of glory. However,
whereas the Hebrew text of Ezekiel describes the throne as being made
of lapis lazuli, both the Talmudic and Targumic versions remain silent on
its appearance and immediately proceed with its gigantic dimensions.231
Once again, this could have been done intentionally because the peo-
ple might be encouraged to engage in mystical activities when learning
about the beauty within the realms above them. Instead, the audience
in the synagogue had to be left in awe by the inaccessible distance of the
throne.

227See M.D. Schwartz, Mystical Prayer in Ancient Judaism (TSAJ, 28; Tbingen: Mohr
Siebek, 1992), p. 119 n. 40.
228As published in Cohen, Texts and Recensions, pp. 8687.
229Cf. Ezek. 10:1.
230The Targumic Tosefta employs the word for the throne imagery, and
throughout the whole of TgJon this is the equivalent for Hebrew . The same applies
to the Shiur Qomah, where we find rather than as the regular expression. So
although the mysticism that developed from Ezekiels throne-chariot vision is known as
Merkabah mysticism, one would search in vain for this designation in the Book of Ezekiel
and its Targumic renderings. On the use of both and to designate the divine
throne, see Cohen, The Shiur Qomah, pp. 200201.
231In TgJon Ezek. 1:26 and 10:1 is equated with , thus leaving the
appearance of the throne less specified. However, I am hesitant to attach undue weight to
this rendering because TgJon is characterized by its use of ) (as equivalent for
gems; cf. TgJon Isa. 54:11; Ezek. 1:16; 10:9.
56 chapter two

Metatron the Great Prince of Israel (lines 6364)


Our Targum reveals several characteristics of Metatron: he is appointed
above the heavens and the creatures, he is the great prince of Israel, and
he is capable of executing terrible judgement. This imagery of Metatron
is reminiscent of rabbinic and mystical lore about him, although closer
to the latter, i.e., the Hekhalot corpus.232 For instance, in b.Hag.15a we
find the tradition in which Metatron merely serves as a heavenly scribe,
writing down or erasing the merits of Israel.233 In contrast to this stands
the exaltation of Metatron among the angels in the Hekhalot literature,
including the Shiur Qomah. He is turned into a celestial judge who
governs both the heavenly and earthly realms, and being Gods right
hand, he is even positioned directly under the throne. Only God him-
self can prevent Metatron from punishing the rebellious world.234 Our
Targumic Toseftas association of Metatron with Israel in the designation
235 could be attributed to the Talmudic description
of him as the angelic scribe who records Israels deeds.236 However, we
should allow for the possibility that the reference to Israel is borrowed
from the tradition about the archangel Michael, with whom Metatron is
often identified. Already in Dan. 12:1 Michael is mentioned as the great
prince of Israel.237 Metatron could thus serve here as an esoteric name for
Michael. Be that as it may, the mentioning of Metatron and his capacity
to burn the world may have served as another deterrent to discourage
synagogue-goers from developing an interest in mystical lore.

The Heavenly Curtain (lines 4244)


The words seem diffi-
cult to interpret at first, but a passage in a Hekhalot text may elucidate

232A recent study by Orlov examines the Metatron passages in rabbinic and Hekhalot
materials against the background of a possible connection with the Enoch traditions, and
his work also provides a useful survey of previous research on the figure of Metatron:
A.A. Orlov, The Enoch-Metatron Tradition (TSAJ, 107; Tbingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2005), esp.
pp. 86147.
233Cf. the parallel in Merkavah Rabbah (Schfer, Synopse, 672). This Hekhalot passage
speaks of Metatron burning ( )human merits.
234E.g., Sefer Hekhalot (Schfer, Synopse, 120); cf. Orlov, The Enoch-Metatron
Tradition, pp. 11112; 12730.
235The other TosTgs. Ezek. 1:1 lack the reference to Israel, they only read ;
see the table in 2.2.4.1, lines 26 and 37.
236So Kasher, Targumic Toseftot to the Prophets, p. 187.
237Cf. Dan. 10:21.
the targumic toseftot to ezekiel 1 57

their meaning. In Sefer Hekhalot we read about the enthronement of


Metatron:238



R. Ishmael said, The angel Metatron, Prince of the Divine Presence, said
to me: All this the Holy One, blessed be he, made for me: a throne like the
throne of glory and he spread over me239 a coverlet of splendour, brilliance,
brightness, glory, beauty, loveliness, and grace like the coverlet of the throne
of glory (...)
So, indirectly, we learn from this passage about the existence of a cover
made of splendour, brilliance, brightness, glory, beauty, loveliness, and
grace that is spread out over the Godhead and his throne. In the same
work, we find a reference to the celestial curtain, the so-called pargod:240
{} ()

R. Ishmael said, Metatron said to me: Come and I will show you the cur-
tain of the Omnipresent One, which is spread before the Holy One, blessed
be He.
Our Targumic Toseftas phrase
seems to allude to this curtain, which shields the angelic hosts from
seeing God, because seeing him would be deadly to them.241 The imagery
of the curtain that screens off God and his throne is reminiscent of the
Temple in Jerusalem where the Holy of Holies, Gods abode on earth, was
curtained off from the Holy Place and only accessible to the high priest on
the Day of Atonement.242 And indeed, both rabbinic and Hekhalot materi-
als attest the priestly origins of the imagery of the heavenly curtain.243

238As published in Schfer, Synopse, 13.


239Or: over it (= the throne).
240As published in Schfer, Synopse, 64.
241Cf. TgJob 26:9
He holds tightly the thick darkness about the throne so
that the angels cannot see him; He spreads the clouds of his glory over it like a curtain.
242Interestingly, Josephus states that the curtain of the Second Temple depicted a pan-
orama of the heavens: (War 5.214).
243On the heavenly setting of the Temple curtain and the Holy of Holies in (post-)bib-
lical literature see M. Barker, Beyond the Veil of the Temple. The High Priestly Origin of
the Apocalypses, SJT 51 (1998), pp. 121. For rabbinic and mystical literature, Morray-Jones,
A Transparent Illusion, pp. 15372.
58 chapter two

Our Targumic Tosefta continues by stating that due to the shielding


presence of Gods glory, greatness, and strength, the ministering angels
are unable to obtain any knowledge of God or to say his praise. Moreover,
their eyes cannot see him and their ears cannot hear his voice. In the
Hekhalot corpus, including the Shiur Qomah, we regularly read about God
who is beyond the sight and hearing of the heavenly hosts. The celestial
creatures either cover their faces with their wings or look downward to
avoid the destructive vision of Gods glory, and Metatron stops up their
ears with the so-called fire of deafness, so that they will not be harmed
by Gods mighty voice or Metatrons recitation of the holy name.244
Although the angels inability to see or hear God is a familiar motif in
early Jewish mysticism, the Targumic Toseftas mentioning of them not
being able to praise him is rather out of character.245 It might be a ref-
erence to the tradition known in rabbinic and Hekhalot literature that
the angels are only allowed to praise God after Israel has taken the lead.
Moreover, according to b.Hul. 91b, some say that the angels can only sing
Gods praise once in eternity.246 Alternatively, the silence of the angels
might be an allusion to the idea that the celestial temple is a temple of
silence.247
By describing another impressive obstacle in heaven, namely, the
cover that is spread over God and his throne, the targumist once again
seems to have tried to discourage the worshippers in the synagogue: even
Gods attendants and angels cannot endure a direct encounter, let alone
mere humans.

The Holy Spirit quotes Nebuchadnezzar (lines 6667; cf. 1213,


1618)
In accordance with b.ag. 13a,248 the Holy Spirit quotes Nebuchadnezzars
words, and now that we know of the incalculable distance that separates

244E.g., Hekhalot Zutarti (Schfer, Synopse, 390); Siddur Rabbah (Cohen, Texts and
Recensions, p. 42); Sefer Raziel (idem, p. 107); Sefer Raziel (idem, p. 113); Sefer Haqqomah
(idem, p. 163); Sefer Haqqomah (idem, p. 171); cf. Cohen, The Shiur Qomah, p. 242 n. 14.
245Cf. Kasher, Angelology and the Supernal Worlds, p. 176.
246See P. Schfer, Rivalitt zwischen Engeln und Menschen: Untersuchungen zur
Rabbinischen Engelvorstellung (SJ, 8; Berlin: de Gruyter, 1975), p. 164f.; idem, Hekhalot-
Studien, p. 266f.
247Cf. the references to the stillness of the praise of the heavenly hosts in the Songs
of the Sabbath Sacrifice from Qumran; Alexander, Mystical Texts, pp. 2223, 38, 41, and 58
fn. 31.
248Which reads .
the targumic toseftot to ezekiel 1 59

earth from the throne of glory, the absurdity of his plan to ascend to
the highest heaven becomes even clearer. Worse still, Nebuchadnezzars
intention to place his throne over the throne of glory must have been the
ultimate proof of his hubris for the rabbis, because, as explained above,
it is the prerogative of God alone to sit in heaven.249 The exception to
this rule is Metatron, but Talmud Bavli strenuously emphasizes that he
owes his seat only to his task as an angelic scribe, which requires him to
sit down to record the merits of Israel.250 His celestial seat is certainly no
proof of his being a second deity.251

The Punishment of Nebuchadnezzar in the Infernal Worlds


(lines 6774)
Our Tosefta-Targum accords with its presumable source, b.ag. 13a,252 in
citing Isa. 14:15 to indicate the punishment that will be inflicted upon
Nebuchadnezzar for his wicked deeds, although our version is much
more detailed in its description of the impending sufferings. Moreover,
Bavli ag. is silent on the seven names of hell or the regions of hell.253
The only Talmudic reference to them is found in b.Erub. 19a.254 We also
find parallels in the mystical works Seder Rabbah di-Bereshit and Midrash
Konen. Appendix F shows that the sequence of names in these sources
is far from consistent, and any attempt to reconstruct the original order
would be futile.255 Schfer allocates the model of the seven underworlds to
Babylonia. According to him these texts, including our Targumic Tosefta,
are clearly Babylonian. Despite the divergent sequence of the names they
all belong to the same literary complex.256 This provenance tallies with

249E.g., Gen. R. 65:21; b.ag. 15a; cf. Halperin, Faces of the Chariot, pp. 149150.
250B.ag. 15a; cf. the parallel in Merkavah Rabbah (Schfer, Synopse, 672).
251As seen above, the Hekhalot corpus has considerably less difficulty in attributing a
throne to Metatron, and even labels him as the lesser YHWH; cf. Orlov, The
Enoch-Metatron Tradition, p. 136ff.
252Cf. the abridged parallel b.Pes. 94b.
253On the (post-)biblical concepts of hell and punishment in the hereafter see A.E.
Bernstein, The Formation of Hell: Death and Retribution in the Ancient and Early Christian
Worlds (London: Cornell University Press, 1996), pp. 131202; M. Himmelfarb, Tours of
Hell: An Apocalyptic Form in Jewish and Christian Literature (Philadelphia: University of
Pennsylvania Press, 1983).
254Appendix F offers a table in which the names of the seven infernal regions in the
Targumic Toseftot to Ezek. 1:1 are compared with those in other rabbinic cosmological
texts.
255So Schfer, In Heaven as It Is in Hell, p. 247.
256Ibid., p. 265 n. 97.
60 chapter two

our Targumic Toseftas model of the seven heavens, which, as seen above,
represents the Babylonian strand of tradition.
The Holy Spirit continues by graphically describing the lower worlds,
where punishment will be inflicted upon Nebuchadnezzar by the angels
of destruction who will scatter fire and sulphur over the heads of the
wicked.257 The Targumic Toseftas description is reminiscent of Seder
Rabba di-Bereshit,258 which also quotes Jer. 23:19 as a proof text259 but
elaborates in greater detail on the horrors of the seven hells. Interestingly,
Seder Rabba di-Bereshit seems to have adopted the characterization of the
wicked from t.Sanh. 13:5.260 According to the Tosefta, eternal punishment
in hell is reserved for apostate Jews and those who tyrannized Israel and
sought to destroy the lofty habitation, by which the Temple is meant.
Seder Rabba di-Bereshit repeatedly refers to these wicked and asserts that
God will deny mercy to those who stretched out their hands against his
Temple and took his people into exile.261 The composer of our Targumic
Tosefta was probably aware of this tradition because in the following
it relates the encounter between Nebuchadnezzar and Sennacherib in
Abaddon Olam, the lowest hell. Both foreign oppressors are doomed to
dwell and suffer there in eternity because of the crimes they committed
against Israel.262

257Note the similarities between lines 7273 and TgJon Ezek. 1:8, the latter adding to
the Hebrew Vorlage that the heavenly beings scatter fire on the place of the wicked to
destroy the sinners who transgressed the Lords Memra; cf. 2.4 below. Himmelfarb points
out that the punishing angels in the Bible (e.g., 2 Kgs. 19:35; 2 Sam. 24:16) cannot be put
on a par with the angels of destruction in post-biblical Jewish texts. Whereas the biblical
angels merely carry out their task on earth at Gods command, the post-biblical angels of
destruction are depicted as far crueler beings who take pleasure in torturing the wicked
(e.g., 1 En. 53:3, 56:1). It seems this transition took place under influence of Hellenistic
ideas, possibly the concept of the Furies of Hades; Himmelfarb, Tours of Hell, pp. 12021;
cf. M. Mach, Entwicklungsstadien des jdischen Engelglaubens in vorrabbinischer Zeit (TSAJ,
34; Tbingen: Mohr Siebeck, 1992), pp. 105f, 25657. Schfer fails to notice these differences
in angelic lore; Schfer, Rivalitt zwischen Engeln und Menschen, pp. 3132, 65ff.
258Schfer, Synopse, 755764.
259Ibid., 758. The biblical verse is quoted in a similar context in b.ag. 13b and in the
late Medieval work MHG Gen. 1:7; cf. Kasher, Targumic Toseftot to the Prophets, p. 188.
260Ibid., 764; see Schfer, In Heaven as It Is in Hell, pp. 24849.
261Ibid., 758; cf. 756, 764.
262Note the parallel between our Targumic Tosefta (lines 7778)
{} and Seder
Rabba di-Bereshit 758:
.
the targumic toseftot to ezekiel 1 61

Nebuchadnezzar and Sennacherib meet in Hell (lines 7487)


Here we can clearly see that the contents of our Targumic Tosefta served
not only as a deterrent, but also as entertainment.263 It is easy to visual-
ize the tragicomic scene in the underworld: two forlorn figures, wander-
ing in the darkness, who bump into each other. It turns out that during
their lifetime they were foreign oppressors who laid their hands on Israel.
They start a conversation which ends in one calling the other names
and, ultimately, tears flowing. To hear about the fate of Sennacherib and
Nebuchadnezzar, who end up showing remorse, quarrelling, and crying in
the hereafter, must have amused the people in the synagogue, yet, at the
same time, they are warned about the terrible implications of seeking to
know what is above.
The aggadah on the conversation between Nebuchadnezzar and
Sennacherib in hell is unattested in rabbinic literature; we only find it in
the Targumic Toseftot to Ezek. 1:1, and we thus seem to be dealing with a
unique tradition.264 In the Tosefta-Targums to 2 Kgs. 19:35 and Isa. 10:3234,265
Nebuchadnezzar is portrayed as the son-in-law of Sennacherib, who
accompanies his father-in-law on his campaign against Hezekiah.266 Our
Tosefta-Targum is silent on this connection between them. Sennacherib
even has to explain to Nebuchadnezzar the dire fate that awaited his huge
army at the gates of Jerusalem.

The Annihilation of Sennacheribs Army (lines 8083)


The aggadah on the fate of Sennacheribs army, whose roots go back to 2 Kgs.
19:35 and Isa. 37:36, has parallels in rabbinic literature and in the Tosefta-
Targums to 2 Kgs. 19:35 and Isa. 10:3234.267 The latter Tosefta-Targum is

263So Schwartz, Imperialism and Jewish Society, p. 267: We must not forget that the
synagogue service was, among other things, entertainment, a commodity always hard to
come by in antiquity, and all the more so in the fifth and sixth centuries, when rhetorical,
theatrical, and athletic performances were no longer available, and even horse racing was
coming under increasing attack.
264Cf. Kasher, Targumic Toseftot to the Prophets, p. 188.
265More on these Tosefta-Targums in my comments on lines 8083 below.
266Cf. b.Sanh. 95b.
267On the after-lifeof the story of 2 Kgs. 19:35 and Isa. 37:36 in apocryphal works and
Josephus, see P. Hffken, Sanherib als Gestalt der berlieferung: berlegungen im Hinblick
auf 2Kn 18f. und Jes 36f., BN 133 (2007), pp. 2340, esp. 2627. For the rabbinic parallels,
see Ginzberg, Legends of the Jews, vol. 4, pp. 26869; vol. 6. p. 362f. The Tosefta-Targums
are published in Kasher, Targumic Toseftot to the Prophets, pp. 14748, 151f. For a discussion
of the recensions of the Tosefta-Targum to Isa. 10:3234 and its parallels, see P. Grelot, Le
Targoem dIsae, X, 3234 dans ses diverses recensions, RB 90 (1983), pp. 20228.
62 chapter two

of special interest to us because Sennacheribs speech before the walls of


Jerusalem is not only very similar to Nebuchadnezzars,268 it also identi-
fies Gabriel as the angel who slew the Assyrians.269 On the other hand,
the version in our Targumic Tosefta exhibits some unique features. Firstly,
Sennacherib says that God confounded him,270 thus giving the impres-
sion of being a victim, a mere instrument in Gods hand. Secondly, our
version speaks of Gabriel appearing from the wall of the Temple when he
destroys the Assyrian army. The origin of this tradition may be rooted in
Isa. 62:6 Upon your walls, O Jerusalem,
I have posted watchmen because Exod. R. 18:5 employs this biblical verse
as a proof text when it describes how the angel Michael came out and
destroyed Sennacheribs army. Note, however, that in the latter source
the avenging angel is Michael, rather than Gabriel. Lastly, according to
Sennacherib, he was the sole survivor, which contradicts the rabbinic and
Targumic accounts.271

The Parables of the Jews (lines 8486)


Whilst dwelling in the lowest underworld, Nebuchadnezzar considers it
not too late to repent and make a deal with God. He vows that if God
releases him, he shall rebuild Jerusalem lavishly and gather the exiled
Jews in it. His hope fades when Sennacherib tells him that the Jews have
sayings which make clear that only those who did good deeds during
their lifetime shall be rewarded in the hereafter. A parallel is attested in
b.Abod. Zar. 3a, where it functions in a similar context: on learning of
Israels reward for obeying the Law, the nations, which once rejected the
Torah, plead to God to give it to them anew, and this time they will accept
it. God replies to their plea as follows:
, ,
?

268Compare lines 1012 in our Targum with Sennacheribs speech in the recensions in
Kasher, Targumic Toseftot to the Prophets, pp. 15155.
269Cf. Kasher, Angelology and the Supernal Worlds, p. 172.
270The verb ( Pael) to confound seems to have been employed in TgJon Jer.
20:7 to tone down the potentially blasphemeous ( Piel) to persuade; see R. Hayward,
The Targum of Jeremiah (AramB, 12; Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1987), p. 105 n. 5; cf. Kasher,
Targumic Toseftot to the Prophets, p. 188.
271E.g., b.Sanh. 95a; TosTg 2 Kgs. 19:35.
the targumic toseftot to ezekiel 1 63

O fools of the world, he who has prepared himself on the eve of the Sabbath
shall eat on the Sabbath, but he who has not prepared himself on the eve of
the Sabbath, what will he eat on the Sabbath?
In Midr. Prov. 6:6 we find an expansive version of this parable. According
to R. Yehudah bar Pedayah, a Palestinian Amora of the first generation,
the wicked will want to show repentance in the future by heeding the
admonition: You lazybones, go to the ant; study its ways and be wise
(Prov. 6:6). Then God addresses the wicked, for whom it is too late to
repent:272
,
. .
,
.
. .
.
.
O fools of the world, the world in which you lived resembles the eve of the
Sabbath, and this world is like the Sabbath. If a person does not prepare
himself on the eve of the Sabbath, what will he eat on the Sabbath? The
world in which you lived resembles dry land, and this world is like the sea. If
a person does not prepare himself on dry land, what will he eat at sea? The
world in which you lived resembles a vestibule, and this world is like a din-
ing room. If a person does not prepare himself in the vestibule, how can he
enter the dining room? The world in which you lived resembles the sunny
season, and this world is like the rainy season. If a person does not plough
and sow in the sunny season, what will he eat in the rainy season?
The first two parables in Midr. Prov. 6:6, in which the hereafter is com-
pared to the Sabbath and the sea, are paralleled in our Targumic Tosefta273
and Pes. R. 198b [Piska 50].274 It is impossible to establish whether the ver-
sions in these presumably later works have their roots in b.Abod. Zar. 3a
and were further embellished. We could be dealing with a parablewith
many variantsthat was common in popular speech and found its way

272Edn. B.L. Visotzky, Midrash Mishle (New York: Jewish Theological Seminary of
America, 1990), p. 46.
273The other Targumic Toseftot to Ezek. 1:1 only have the first saying; see the table in
2.2.4.1, lines 5859.
274Edn. M. Friedmann, Pesikta Rabbati: Midrasch fr den Fest-Cyclus und die ausgeze-
ichneten Sabbathe (Vienna: Kaiser, 1880): " "
[ ] [ ] .
" .
64 chapter two

into rabbinic materials. For instance, the parable about the vestibule and
the dining room is also attested in m.Ab. 4:16.

The Quotation of TgJon Ezekiel 1:1 (lines 8789)


The composer of the Targumic Tosefta finally arrives at Ezek. 1:1, the
verse that triggered our lengthy journey through the celestial and infer-
nal worlds. Our version follows TgJon Ezek. 1:1, but with some significant
deviations.
The insertion is a so-called incipit-formula,275 which
introduces the first-person account of the prophet.276 This kind of incipit
is also attested in TgJon Ezek. 8:1, 14:1, 20:1 and the Targumic Tosefta to
Ezek. 37:114.277 We often come across this incipit in Targums with a
liturgical function, although the synagogue may not have been the sole or
original Sitz im Leben of the formula. Its primary function seems simply to
help in positive identifications, i.e., explaining and elucidating the iden-
tity of the speaker,278 not just to avoid confusion about who is speaking:
the meturgeman in the synagogue or the prophet in exile.279
OurTargumic Tosefta deviates from TgJons literal rendering of Hebrew
the heavens opened with .280 Instead it reads
a light opened from the heavens. Not the heavens
themselves are opened but rather a light appears from the heavens.281 This
may hint at Ezekiels avoiding the direct sight of the extraordinary throne-
chariot; only through the medium of the light is the prophet allowed to
look at the great vision. Theinsertion of the light may be another attempt
by the composer to discourage peoples interest in what is above: not even
Ezekiel himselfcan gaze directly at heavenly things. The motif of the light,
which could be an allusion to the flaming fire in the sky (Ezek. 1:45), is
reminiscent of the concept in rabbinic and mystical lore that Ezekiel could
only perceive the Merkabah indirectly, modified through the reflections in

275TgJon Ezek. 1:1 and the other Tosefta-Targums (see the table in 2.2.4.1, line 61) read
.
276On this formula, see Gordon, Studies in the Targum, pp. 7482.
277Ms. Pentateuch Salonika, 4.2.1.
278See my comments above on lines 48, in which this formula is mentioned among
other rhetorical devices that facilitated the oral delivery of the Targumim.
279Contra Halperin, Faces of the Chariot, pp. 11920.
280The other Targumic Toseftot to Ezek. 1:1 follow TgJon; see the table in 2.2.4.1,
line 61.
281Cf. the variant reading in Mazor Vitry: the gates of the
heavens opened, see 2.5.
the targumic toseftot to ezekiel 1 65

the waters or mirrors,282 never by looking at the sky itself.283 The origins of
the link between the prophets celestial vision and bodies of water may be
rooted in Ezek. 10:15 (cf. 10:20):
The cherubim raised themselves up. It was the ayya that I had seen
in the river Kebar. Significant in this respect is the construction
in the river Kebar, in contrast to by the river Kebar in Ezek.
1:1. The linking of the Merkabah and mirrors by the rabbinic expositors
can be explained as a word play on the twofold meaning of :
appearance, vision and mirror. The concept that Gods glory is
immanent in reflections in the waters or mirrors is not carried through in
our Targumic Tosefta: it remains silent on the nature of the vision seen
through the light from the heavens. Ezekiel does not see a vision of God
as in the Hebrew Vorlage nor a vision of the glory of the Shekhinah of the
Lord as in TgJon.284 The prophet rather perceives a great vision,
, and Kasher attributes this rendering of MTs to the
raresuperlative meaning of or in the Bible, in the sense of
mighty.285 It is worthy of note, though, that the equations God,
gods, Elohim // great, big and God, El, god || great, big are
unattested in TgJon. Be that as it may, the composer could have resorted
to to maintain the doctrine of Gods invisibility,286 and at the
same time to leave the audience in the synagogue further in the dark as
to the realities of the celestial realms.
Finally, TgJon and our Targumic Tosefta differ on the starting point of
Ezekiels prophecy.287 TgJon holds that Ezekiels gift of prophecy enables
him to see the vision of the glory of the Shekhinah of the Lord. This aligns
with TgJons rendering of Ezek. 1:3, accordingto which Ezekiel was already
gifted with the spirit of prophecy in Palestine. This may reflect the rabbinic
debate on how prophecy is possible outside Palestine.288 Our Targumic
Tosefta, on the other hand, seems oblivious to this discussion because its

282E.g., see Gruenwald, Reuyot Yeezkel, pp. 11114; Lev. R. 1:14; Mek. Pisa 1.
283See Halperin, The Faces of the Chariot, p. 227ff.; Gruenwald, Apocalyptic and
Merkavah Mysticism, p. 135.
284The other Targumic Toseftot to Ezek. 1:1 follow TgJon, see the table in 2.2.4.1, line 62.
285Kasher, Targumic Toseftot to the Prophets, p. 188.
286Cf. Smolar, Aberbach, Studies in Targum Jonathan, p. 136.
287Cf. Kasher, Targumic Toseftot to the Prophets, p. 188.
288Mek. Pisa 1; Sifre Deut. 175; b.M. Qat. 25a. Cf. Halperin, Faces of the Chariot, pp. 127
28; S.H. Levey, The Targum to Ezekiel, HUCA 46 (1975), pp. 13958, esp. 140; idem, Targum
of Ezekiel, p. 13.
66 chapter two

rendering implies that Ezekiels prophetic vocation begins with his vision
at the river Kebar in Babylonia.

Concluding Observations
The message that this extensively aggadic Targum to Ezek. 1:1 seeks to
convey is even better understood when we take its liturgical role in the
synagogue into account. This hafaric Targumic Tosefta accompanied the
Pentateuch reading at Shavuot, which, in all likelihood, was Exod. 19.289
In Exod. 19:21 God urges Moses to warn the people not to come up to
Mount Sinai to see him; otherwise they would perish.290 This warning is
repeated in the Targumic Tosefta with the example of the terrifying fate
of Nebuchadnezzar, who in his hubris tried to invade heaven and reach
Gods throne. Our Targumic Tosefta thus aims to discourage the worship-
pers interest in mysticism. Of course, discouraging the prideful desire to
be like a deity is not the same as discouraging mysticism, but it is the
aim to reach heaven, either literally or mystically, which is disapproved
of here. We have seen that the Targumic Toseftas mystical core depends
heavily on b.ag. 13a and Hekhalot imagery, yet at the same time it gives
its own twist to these traditions by turning them into a pre-emptive read-
ing of Ezekiels first chapter. The audience in the synagogue is offered
a strictly controlled glimpse of the heavenly realms accompanied by a
warning about the destructive vision of Gods glory. This pre-emptive
tendency suggests that even when the synagogal-liturgical reading of
Ezekiels controversial first chapter was no longer prohibited, the possible
consequences of its public recitation and exposition still posed a concern
for the rabbinic authorities. However, the Targumic Toseftas treatment of
early Jewish mystical lore does not necessarily imply a polemical attitude
towards speculation about the chariot. It may rather have been the case
that only select rabbis were deemed wise enough to engage in mystical
activities whose esoteric nature had to be protected.

289Cf. M. Ginsburger, Die Thargumim zur Thoralection am 7. Pesach- und 1.


Schabuoth-Tage, MGWJ 39 (1895), pp. 97105, 16775, 193206; Perrot, La Lecture de la
Bible, p. 240ff., 252.
290Interestingly, according to one strand of rabbinic traditions on the theophany at
Mount Sinai God does not leave the heavenly realms when handing down the Torah
to Moses, instead he lowers the heavens unto the summit of the mountain; e.g., Mek.
Ba-odesh 4; Lev. R. 19:4; Qoh. R. 18:1; cf. Smelik, Targum of Judges, p. 403. This interpreta-
tion, in which two conflicting verses have been brought together through means of har-
monizing exegesis (Exod. 19:20; 20:19), makes the synagogal-liturgical link between Exod.
19 and Ezek. 1 even clearer.
the targumic toseftot to ezekiel 1 67

2.2.2The Targumic Tosefta to Ezekiel 1:1 in Ms. T-S NS 245.98


The literary treasure discovered in the Cairo Genizah has yielded an
Aramaic passage that, though fragmentary in character, bears remarkable
similarities to the description of the ayyot in the Targumic Toseftot to
Ezek. 1:1. It was discovered in a box, together with other minute fragments,
and became part of the Cambridge Genizah collections. This Genizah
fragment has been classified by Klein as a liturgical work which, apart
from the passage on the ayyot, also preserves quotations from TgOnq
Lev. 26:44 and TgJon Isa. 51:3.291
The consonantal text in oriental script is unpointed. Several ligatures
are used, although inconsistently. Sometimes a line is filled up with the
first letter of the next word. No abbreviations are employed. Two yods with
a vertical curved line (or inverted nun) on their left serve as a substitute
for the Tetragrammaton.292 Unfortunately, the poor physical state of the
fragment, with a mutilated and partly faded text (especially verso, col. 1),
hampers the reconstruction. Though outwardly damaged, its content is of
remarkable value because, together with Mss. T-S NS 171.7,293 Halper 64
and Genizah 430,294 it may be the earliest extant manuscript with mysti-
cal lore on the bodily dimensions of the ayyot.295
This unique passage on the ayyot has previously been published in
Kasher, Targumic Toseftot to the Prophets, p. 189, but caution is in place
with the reconstructed reading, which seems based on supposition rather
than a former better condition of the fragment. For instance, the second

291M.L. Klein, Targumic Manuscripts in the Cambridge Genizah Collections (CULGS, 8;


Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992), p. 58 no. 715. The lectionary cycles do not
show a link between these biblical verses.
292Cf. J.Z. Lauterbach, Substitutes for the Tetragrammaton, PAAJR 2 (1931), pp. 3967,
esp. 50 nos. 17 and 18.
293See 2.2.3 below.
294Halper 64 and Genizah 430 are manuscripts from the Cairo Genizah that contain
longer recensions of the Targumic Tosefta to Ezek. 1:1. See 2.2.4 below.
295I could not find attestations of the rabbinic and Hekhalot parallels in the Cairo
Genizah collections. The following works were consulted for the rabbinic parallels which
are b.ag. 13a, y.Ber. 9:1 (13a), Tan. Terumah 9 (=Tan. Buber, Terumah 8), and Midr.
Ps. 4:3: R. Brody, A hand-list of rabbinic manuscripts in the Cambridge Genizah collections.
Vol. 1. Taylor-Schechter new series (CULGS, 5; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press,
1998); S. Morag, Vocalised Talmudic manuscripts in the Cambridge Genizah collections.
Vol. 1. Taylor-Schechter old series (CULGS, 4; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988).
I checked Schfers Geniza-Fragmente zur Hekhalot-Literature for the Hekhalot parallels,
which are Massakhet Hekhalot 14.2 (Herrmann, Massekhet Hekhalot, p. 46*); Reuyyot
Yehezqel (Gruenwald, Reuyot Yeezkel, p. 139); and Seder Rabba di-Bereshit (Schfer,
Synopse, 777).
68 chapter two

line on verso, col. 1 (line 17 in text below) is scarcely legible, and the few con-
sonants that can be distinguished do not match Kashers reconstruction.

2.2.2.1The Text and Translation of the Targumic Tosefta to Ezekiel 1:1


(Ms. T-S NS 245.98)
verso, col. 1 recto, col. 2
] ...[ 16
]...[ 1
]........................................[17
].....[ 2
]...[ ] .................[ 18
]... [3
]] [......................[19 ]...[ 297 296 4
]...[ ] [] ............[20 ]...[ 5
] ..............[ 21
]...[ 6
] [] ..........[ 22
]...[ 2987
] [ ] ........[23 ]...[ [] 8
] [] ..............................[24 ]...[ ] [ ] [ 9
] ................[25 ]...[ 10
] [] ...........[ 26
]...[ [] 11
] [] ...........[27 ]...[ [] 12
] .......................[28 ]...[ 13
] ..........................[ 29
]...[ 14
] ............................[ 30
]...[ 15

recto, col. 2
line 1
And the feet of the creatures and the ankles of the creatures and [...]
line 2
the calves of the creatures, the knees of the creatures, which are [...]
line 3
as from the earth to the height of the heavens and corresponding to [...]
line 4
the seven heavens and their depths [...]
line 5
And the feet of the creatures and the ankles of the creatures and [...]
line 6
And after this the knees of the creatures, the thighs of the creatures [...]
line 7
high as from the earth to the height of the heavens [...]
line 8
corresponding to the seven heavens and their depths[...]
line 9
and the feet of the creatures and the ankles of the creatures and [...]
line 10
and the knees of the creatures and after this the thighs of the creatures [...]
line 11
of the creatures, which are as high as from the earth [...]

296 ] The cardinal number is mentioned twice. I only translated it


once because we seem to be dealing with a case of dittography.
297 ] The Hebrew plural ending is employed in this Targumic Tosefta: .
Other Targumic examples of instead of can be found in Fassberg, Grammar, p. 135.
298 ] I found one other instance of the spelling of the adjective high with a
waw, namely in a Tosefta-Targum to Judg. 5:5 preserved in Codex Reuchlinianus:
. However, in the latter the spelling is not consistent because the reading
follows shortly thereafter; cf. Kasher, Targumic Toseftot to the Prophets, p. 87; Smelik,
Targum of Judges, p. 417. According to Kasher the waw may hint at a phonetic spelling;
Targumic Toseftot to the Prophets, p. 190.
the targumic toseftot to ezekiel 1 69

line 12
of the heavens and corresponding to the seven [...]
line 13
and their depths and the feet of the creatures [...]
line 14
and the calves of the creatures and the knees [...]
line 15
and after this the torsos of the creatures [...]

verso, col. 1
line 16
[...]as from the earth to the height of the heavens
line 17
[..................................................................]
line 18
[............] of the creatures and the calves [......]
line 19
[.........] of the creatures and the torsos of the creatures
line 20
[......] wings of the creatures, the necks of the creatures [...]
line 21
[...] the earth to the height of the heavens and corresponding to
line 22
[...] heavens and their depths and the feet of the creatures
line 23 
[...] of the creatures and the calves of the creatures and the knees of the
creatures
line 24
[....................................] and the wings of the creatures
line 25
[......] of the creatures, the heads of the creatures which are
line 26
[......] earth to the height of the heavens and corresponding to
line 27
[......] heavens and their depths and the feet of the creatures
line 28
[............] calves of the creatures and the knees of the creatures
line 29
[...............] of the creatures and the wings of the creatures
line 30
[...............] heads of the creatures, the horns of the creatures

2.2.3The Targumic Tosefta to Ezekiel 1:1 in Ms. T-S NS 171.7


The Taylor-Schechter Genizah collection contains another fragment that
bears remarkable similarities with the Tosefta-Targums to Ezek. 1:1. It was
classified by Brody as a rabbinic fragment of mystical and magical charac-
ter that discusses various heavens and angels.299 Interestingly, this small,
hitherto unpublished, fragment rather has a Targumic background, which
would have gone completely unnoticed had it not been for a chance
discovery.300
The ouranological speculations are written in an unpointed oriental
script on vellum, which consists of two partly damaged leaves (bifolium).
The first leaf is well legible but the second one suffers from a mutilated
and faded text.
The contents of the fragment can be summarized as follows. Lines
121 mention the names of six heavens and their depths. Due to the frag-

299Brody, Hand-list of rabbinic manuscripts, p. 62.


300I am very grateful to Prof. Gideon Bohak for calling my attention to this fragment,
upon which he stumbled in the Cambridge University Library during his research on
Hekhalot texts and dream requests from the Cairo Genizah.
70 chapter two

mentary nature of the manuscript the mentioning of the first heaven is


lacking. Lines 2232 continue with the description of what is beyond the
seven heavens: the ayyot with their huge bodily dimensions. The follow-
ing body parts of the ayyot can be reconstructed from the fragment: feet,
ankles, calves, torsos, wings, necks, heads, and horns. Unfortunately, the
contents of lines 3340 is either badly faded or gone completely. Only
a few words are discernable such as throne of the king, the Lord, his
name, and Metatron.

2.2.3.1The Text and Translation of the Targumic Tosefta to Ezekiel 1:1


(Ms. T-S NS 171.7)
verso, col. 1 recto, col. 2
11
1
12 2
13 3
14 4
]...[]....[ 15 5
16 6
17 7
18 8
19 9
20 10

verso, col. 1 recto, col. 2


31
21
32
22
]..........[ ] ......[ 33
]............[ ]..............[ 23
].............[] .........[34 ]..........[] ..............[ 24
]......................................[35 ].....................................[25
]...........................................[36 ]....................................[ 26
]...................................[37 ].........................................[27
]..........................................[38 ]......................................[28
]...................................[39 ]...................................[29
]........................................[40 ]......................................[30

recto, col. 2
line 1
And the depth of Raqia is a journey of five
line 2
hundred years. And from Rakia to Sheaqim
line 3
is a journey of five hundred years, and the depth
line 4
of Sheaqim is a journey of five hundred years.
line 5
And from Sheaqim to Zevul is a journey of five
line 6
hundred years, and the depth of Zevul is a journey of
line 7
five hundred years. And from Zevul to Maon
the targumic toseftot to ezekiel 1 71

line 8
is a journey of five hundred years, and the depth
line 9
of Maon is a journey of five hundred years.
line 10
And from Maon to Makhon is a journey of five

verso, col. 1
line 11
hundred years, and the depth of Makhon is a journey of
line 12
five hundred years. And from Makhon to Aravot
line 13
is a journey of five hundred years, and the depth
line 14
of Aravot is a journey of five hundred years.
line 15
After this, the feet of the creatures appear [...]
line 16
as high as from the earth to the height of the heavens,
line 17
corresponding to the seven heavens and their depths and the feet
line 18
of the creatures. After this, the ankles of the creatures,
line 19
which are as high as from the earth to the height of the heavens,
line 20
corresponding to the seven heavens and their depths

recto, col. 2
line 21
corresponding to the [seven] heavens and their depths
line 22
and the feet of the creatures and the ankles of the creatures and the calves
line 23
of the creatures [.............] creatures [................]
line 24
and the torsos [of the creatures...] the wings [of the creatures]
line 25
creatures [..............................................]
line 26
horns [of the creatures..............................]
line 27
[to the height..........................................]
line 28
[heavens................................................]
line 29
ankles [................................................]
line 30
creatures [..........................................]

verso, col. 1
line 31
and the wings of the creatures and the necks of the creatures and the heads
line 32
of the creatures and the horns of the creatures. After this,
line 33
[.........] the throne of the king [.........] the Lord
line 34
[............] his name [.................................]
line 35
[.........................................................]
line 36
[.........................................................]
line 37
[.............................................depths]
line 38
[...................................................]
line 39
[..........................................]Metatron
line 40
[................................................] ???

2.2.4The Targumic Tosefta to Ezekiel 1:1 in Other Manuscripts


Scattered over several manuscripts we find recensions of the Tosefta-
Targum to Ezek. 1:1 whose remarkable similarities enable us to compare
them in a table (2.2.4.1). The group consists of six manuscripts, four of
which are of Yemenite provenance, and two from the Cairo Genizah.
72 chapter two

Unfortunately, two other Yemenite testimonies could not be included


in this study. The first is a manuscript from the late 17th century in the
Library of the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York, with the shelf
mark JTSA L266, which contains a Tosefta-Targum to Ezek. 1:1 at its begin-
ning. However, the microfilm was too illegible to utilise.301 In addition,
the microfilm copy of Ms. Kaufmann 570, a Yemenite manuscript that
belongs to the Library of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in Budapest,
did not arrive in time to be included in the table. This manuscript pre-
serves a Tosefta-Targum to Ezek. 1:1 on folio 1, and the following leaves
contain the hafarot for the whole year with Targum Jonathan. Despite
the absence of these two manuscripts, we still have sufficient parallels
at hand to examine the development and textual transmission of the
Yemenite strand. A brief overview of the characteristics of the presented
manuscripts is provided below:

Ms. JTSA L260A


The Lutzki collection of the Library of the Jewish Theological Seminary
in New York preserves a Yemenite manuscript from the 16th century
which contains the hafarot according to the Yemenite rite with Targum
Jonathan. On ff. 104r109r we find other hafaric versions of these portions,
among them the Targumic Tosefta to Ezek. 1:1. These additional hafarot
have the shelf-number Ms. JTSA L260A.
Our Targumic Tosefta is preserved on ff. 108r109r under the heading
". Menaem ha-Reca-
nati, the late medieval Italian kabbalist, was known for his extensive col-
lection of manuscripts on various kabbalistic and related topics, and he,
in all likelihood, copied this Targumic Tosefta himself or had it copied
for him.302 We can rule out the possibility that Recanati was the origi-

301The variant readings in this manuscript in comparison with Ms. JTSA L260A are
listed in Kasher, Targumic Toseftot to the Prophets, pp. 23637 (siglum 2). Because I could
not check these variants against the actual manuscript, I decided not to include them in
my table below.
302The reference to Menaem ha-Recanati attests the reception of this Targumic
Tosefta in an esoteric milieu in which the Zohar featured prominently, for Recanati was
well acquainted with sections of the Zohar, judging from the numerous quotations in
his writings Perush al ha-Torah; Taamei ha- Mitzvot; and Perush ha-Tefillot; see M. Idel,
R. Menahem Recanati the Kabbalist (in Hebrew; Tel Aviv: Schocken Publishing House,
1998). Moreover, Moses ben Jacob Cordovero, the 16th century kabbalist from Safed, refers
in his commentary on the Zohars Shir ha-Shirim to a list with details on the ayyot that is
preserved . According to Scholem, this reference is attested
on f. 3b of Ms. Hebr. 474 of the Jewish National and University Library, Jerusalem; see
the targumic toseftot to ezekiel 1 73

nal author, given the presence of this Targum in other, sometimes older
manuscripts, which do not bear his name.303
The text is written in Yemenite script and has sublinear vocalization
only on f. 108r.304 The ligature for is used, although inconsistently.
Sometimes a line is filled up with the first letter of the next word, and
every leaf bears a catchword in the lower left corner. Two substitutes for
the Tetragrammaton have been employed. The predominant form has
two yods with a sort of inverted waw above the second yod that slants
towards the left.305 We also find two yods with a kind of medda in a verti-
cal position to their left.306 This manuscript has previously been published
in Kasher, Targumic Toseftot to the Prophets, pp. 19092.

Ms. JTSA L265A


The Lutzki collection yields another Tosefta-Targum to Ezek. 1:1, which is
found on the first folio of JTSA L265, a Yemenite manuscript from the 18th
century preserving both hafarot and Targum Jonathan. Judging from the
microfilm copy, which was my only access to this manuscript, the text is
partly faded and blotted. The Tetragrammaton has been substituted by
two yods with a kind of medda in a vertical position to their left.307 The
text, written in Yemenite script, is unvocalized, save two words, and some-
times the ligature for is employed. The variant readings in this manu-
script in comparison with Ms. JTSA L260A are listed in Kasher, Targumic
Toseftot to the Prophets, pp. 23637 (siglum 2).

Ms. Feldman 143


The Feldman collection of the Jewish and National University Library
preserves a Yemenite manuscript containing the hafarot according to
the Yemenite rite together with Targum Jonathan. The colophon on f. 97
dates this work to 1848. The Tosefta-Targum to Ezek. 1:1 is preserved on
ff. 3536. The text of this Targum, which is in good condition, has sublin-
ear vocalization throughout and the spelling is predominantly defective

G. Scholem and B. Joel, Catalogue of Hebrew Manuscripts in the National and University
Library, Jerusalem. Vol. 1: Kabbalah (in Hebrew; Jerusalem: University Press, 1930), p. 95.
303See Idel, Menahem Recanati, pp. 7879.
304On the vocalization in Yemenite Targumic manuscripts, see Van der Heide, The
Yemenite Tradition, pp. 3756.
305Cf. Lauterbach, Substitutes for the Tetragrammaton, p. 50 no. 15.
306Ibid., p. 51 no. 26.
307Ibid., p. 51 no. 26.
74 chapter two

(e.g., , , and ). The Tetragrammaton is presented as in


the quotation of TgOnq Deuter. 28:36. The form is substituted for the
Tetragrammaton in the quotation of the latter half of TgJon Ezek. 1:1.308
The ligature for is used, and each leaf bears a catchword in the lower
left corner. Kasher mentions this manuscript in his overview of variant
readings in comparison with Ms. JTSA L260A; Targumic Toseftot to the
Prophets, pp. 23637 (siglum 2).

Ms. Genizah 430


The Kaufmann collection, in the Library of the Hungarian Academy of
Sciences in Budapest, contains a Cairo Genizah fragment of unknown
date that preserves a Tosefta-Targum to Ezek. 1:1 on 2 folios under the
heading . The heading is also
written on the subsequent leaves. The Yemenite script of this fragment
is very legible and has supralinear vocalization throughout. Sometimes a
line is filled up with the first letter of the next word, and every leaf bears
a catchword in the lower left corner. The Tetragrammaton is presented as
two yods with one dot below them, and the ligature for is employed.
This fragment has previously been published by M. Weisz.309

Ms. Halper 64
The Cairo Genizah collection owned by the Center for Advanced Judaic
Studies of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, contains a remark-
ably well preserved folio which, together with T-S NS 245.98, T-S NS 171.7,
and Genizah 430, could be one of our oldest extant witnesses.310 The recto
conserves the second half of a Targumic Tosefta to Ezek. 1:1 under the
heading . The verso seems to have been used as
scribbling-paper for a Hebrew writing exercise. The Targum, starting with
the measurement of the ayyots body parts, is written in oriental semi-cur-
sive script with sporadic sub- and supra-linear vocalization. The fragment
is tentatively dated to the 11th12th centuries, which makes it possibly the

308Ibid., p. 57 no. 37.


309M. Weisz, Geniza-Fragmente der Bibliothek David Kaufmann s. A. im Besitze der
Ungarischen Akademie der Wissenschaften (in Hebrew; Budapest: Katzburgs Druckerei,
1922), pp. 3538.
310For a digital image of Ms. Halper 64 and detailed bibliographic information, see the
website of the Penn/Cambridge Genizah fragment project: http://sceti.library.upenn.edu/
genizah/browse.cfm.
the targumic toseftot to ezekiel 1 75

oldest version in the table below. The spelling is predominantly defective,


for example, )( , )( , )( , )( ,
and )( . However, note the employment of the aleph throughout
the fragment in the nota accusativi -, the interrogative pronoun ,
and the form )( . The ligature for is used, although inconsist-
ently. The Tetragrammaton is not present in this recension. The variant
readings in this manuscript in comparison with Ms. JTSA L260A are listed
in Kasher, Targumic Toseftot to the Prophets, pp. 23637 (siglum 5).

Ms. Bar-Ilan 737


The youngest version in the table below is found on ff. 67 of a Yemenite
manuscript that belongs to the Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan. It stems
from the early 20th century and preserves mainly prayers and piyyutim.
The Targumic Tosefta to Ezek. 1:1 is written in Yemenite script with spo-
radic sublinear vocalization. The scribe has frequently inserted words
above the lines and in the margins. These glosses can often be explained
as corrections of instances of haplography. Sometimes, however, unique
material is found in them. The plene spelling is prevalent, and the ligature
for is employed. The right leaf bears the catchword in the lower
left corner. In the quotation of TgOnq Deut. 28:36 the Tetragrammaton
has been substituted by two yods with a kind of medda in a vertical posi-
tion to their left. We find the abbreviation for the Tetragrammaton in
the quotation of the latter half of TgJon Ezek. 1:1. Kasher published this
manuscript in his Targumic Toseftot to the Prophets, pp. 19395.

2.2.4.1The Text and Translation of the Targumic Tosefta to Ezekiel 1:1


in Other Manuscripts
The following pages contain a table that offers the critical text of the man-
uscripts described above. The recensions preserved in Mss. Gaster 1478,
T-S NS 245.98 and T-S NS 171.7 have been excluded because of the exceed-
ingly expansive character of the former and the briefness of the latter two.
In 2.2.5, however, these three recensions are included in my search for
any genealogical relation between the extant textual witnesses.
I employed Ms. JTSA L260A as the base text for my comparison and
translation because it is the longest Yemenite recension at our disposal,
and we know its date for certain. I concluded each line with the text of
Ms. Bar-Ilan 737, the youngest recension, which happens to contain the
most significant variants in relation to the base text.
76 chapter two

The footnotes in the Targum text indicate abbreviations, scribal errors,


as well as linguistic observations. The footnotes in the translation of
Ms. JTSA L260A, on the other hand, refer to substantive textual variants,
thus excluding common cases of orthographic inconsistency, such as vac-
illations between and , and , and final and . In addition, the
(partial) vocalization in Mss. JTSA L260A, JTSA L265A, Feldman 143, and
Genizah 430 is only referred to when it illuminates any obscurities in the
consonantal text.311

311On the relative importance of orthographic features and vocalization in establish-


ing textual dependancy, see Smelik, Targum of Judges, pp. 13032; cf. Van der Heide, The
Yemenite Tradition, pp. 10810.
L260A Yemenite, 16th century. Jewish Theological Seminary of America, New York
L265A Yemenite, 18th century. Jewish Theological Seminary of America, New York
Feldman 143 Yemenite, 19th century. Feldman collection, Jewish National and University Library, Jerusalem.
Genizah 430 Cairo Genizah fragment [date unknown]. Kaufmann collection, Library of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest.
Halper 64 Cairo Genizah fragment [11th12th century?]. Center for Advanced Judaic Studies, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.
Bar-Ilan 737 Yemenite, 20th century. Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan.

" " L260A


L265A
Feldman 143
Genizah 430
Halper 64
Bar-Ilan 737
line 1
Targum312 It came to pass in the thirtieth year313 by Rabbi Menachem Recanati of blessed memory314

L260A
L265A
Feldman 143
Genizah 430
Bar-Ilan 737
line 2
It came to pass in the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, on the fifth day of the month, as I was among the exiles by the river Chebar, the heavens
opened and I saw a vision of God.315
the targumic toseftot to ezekiel 1

312Genizah 430: Tosefta-Targum.


313L265A, Feldman 143 and Bar-Ilan 737 lack Targum...year.
314All other Mss. lack the reference to Menaem ha-Recanati.
77

315All other Mss. lack the Hebrew quotation of Ezek. 1:1.


316
{} L260A
78

L265A
Feldman 143
Genizah 430
Bar-Ilan 737
line 3
It came to pass in the thirtieth year317 after the time318 that Hilkiah the Priest319 found the Book of the Torah320 in the Temple

L260A
L265A
Feldman 143
Genizah 430
Bar-Ilan 737
line 4
in the court321 under the entrance to the Temple,322 at midnight,323 after the setting of the moon,324
chapter two

316The copyist deleted the phrase and subsequently wrote the letter over the deleted words .
317L265A, Feldman 143, and Genizah 430: at the end of year 430; cf. Ms. Gaster 1478, 2.2.1 line 2.
318Feldman 143 and Bar-Ilan 737: at the time.
319The other Mss.: Hilkiah the High Priest.
320L265A, Feldman 143, and Genizah 430 add the nota accusativi.
321Feldman 143: holy court.
322Genizah 430 lacks in the court...Temple, but reads: in the fourth month, in Tamuz, which does justice to both the Hebrew Vorlage and TgJon
Ezek. 1:1.
323Bar-Ilan 737 lacks at midnight. Genizah 430: at one-third of the night; cf. Ms. Gaster 1478, 2.2.1 line 3.
324Genizah 430 and Bar-Ilan 737 lack after the setting of the moon.
325
L260A


L265A
Feldman 143
Genizah 430
Bar-Ilan 737
line 5
in the days of Josiah son of Amon, king of the tribe of the House of Judah,326 in Tammuz, on the fifth day of the month.327

L260A
L265A
Feldman 143
Genizah 430
Bar-Ilan 737
line 6
328Hilkiah the High Priest found the book329 and he gave it

L260A
L265A
Feldman 143
330
Genizah 430
Bar-Ilan 737
line 7
to Shaphan the scribe. And Shaphan the scribe recited it331 before332 king Josiah. And when king Josiah heard the words of the Book of the Torah,333
the targumic toseftot to ezekiel 1

325 ] The copyist deleted the second, most probably dittographic mentioning of .
326L265A, Feldman 143, and Bar-Ilan 737 lack in the days...House of Judah.
327Genizah 430 lacks in Tammuz...month. Bar-Ilan 737 adds at midnight, after the setting of the moon.
328Feldmann 143 adds: in the days of Josiah son of Amon, king of the tribe of the House of Judah.
329Bar-Ilan 737 lacks Hilkiah...the book. L265A, Feldman 143, and Genizah 430: the Book of the Torah (Genizah 430: + in the Temple).
330... ] These words are written in the margin of the Ms.
331Bar-Ilan 737: the book.
332Bar-Ilan 737 uses the preposition - instead of .
79

333L265A and Feldman 143: the words of the Torah.


334
L260A
80


335
L265A
Feldman 143
Genizah 430
336
Bar-Ilan 737
line 8
in which337 thus is written,338 The Lord shall lead you and your king339 whom you set over you340 into exile to a people that neither you nor your
fathers have known,

L260A
L265A
Feldman 143
Genizah 430
Bar-Ilan 737
line 9
and there you shall serve people who worship idols of wood and stone. At that moment,341 king Josiah tore342 his garments,343
chapter two

334 ] TgOnq Deut. 28:36 reads . There is no attestation of this variant in Sperbers critical apparatus of TgOnq.
335 ] So also Feldman 143 and Bar-Ilan 737. TgOnq Deut. 28:36 has the distinctive ending -
, and the variant is not found in Sperbers
critical apparatus of TgOnq.
336 ] This variant reading is not attested in any of Sperbers textual witnesses of TgOnq Deut. 28:36.
337Bar-Ilan 737 lacks in which.
338TgOnq Deut. 28:36 is quoted (continued in line 9); cf. appendix B.
339Bar-Ilan 737: the king.
340Feldman 143 lacks whom you set over you.
341Feldman 143 lacks the demonstrative adjective, but the suffixed preposition already has a demonstrative function.
342The other Mss.: he tore.
343Bar-Ilan 737: his garment.
L260A
344 [] [] L265A
Feldman 143
Genizah 430
Bar-Ilan 737
line 10
and he went and broke the wickedness of Israels heart.345 And he led them back to the words of the Torah346 lest the city of Jerusalem would be
delivered

L260A
[] L265A
Feldman 143
347
Genizah 430
348
Bar-Ilan 737
line 11
into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar, the Chaldean, who bragged about his idolatry. He349 responded and spoke thus:350
the targumic toseftot to ezekiel 1

344 ] So also Feldman 143. The imperfect 3rd fem sg. is employed rather than the perfect 3rd fem. sg.
345The other Mss. lack the nota accusativi; L265A and Feldman 143: Israels wicked of heart.
346Bar-Ilan 737 lacks And he led...Torah.
347 ] Genizah 430 employs a periphrastic form, in contrast to the other Mss, which only have the participle. The periphrastic form
seems to indicate it was a habitual action of Nebuchadnezzar: who would brag about his idolatry.
348 ] Bar-Ilan 737 consistently writes the name Nebuchadnezzar as two separate words (Halper 64 also in line 49); cf. Van der Heide,
The Yemenite Tradition, p. 111.
349he ] I.e., Nebuchadnezzar.
81

350Bar- Ilan 737 adds: to her. Perhaps Nebuchadnezzar addresses Jerusalem directly ( is feminine noun).
L260A
82


L265A
351
Feldman 143
Genizah 430
352
Bar-Ilan 737
line 12
Lo! This is the city of Jerusalem353 of the highest god,354 of which it is said: There is none like it from one end of the world to the other.
355
L260A
L265A
Feldman 143
Genizah 430
356
Bar-Ilan 737
line 13
It is destined to be delivered into my hand. I will destroy it, I will burn the Temple with fire,357 and I will lead the people358 in it into exile to the country of
my idols.
chapter two

351On the use of the masculine suffix to refer to Jerusalem, see 2.2.1.1, footnotes 19 and 21.
352 ] The copyist has bracketed the second, most probably dittographic, mentioning of .
353Genizah 430: this is Jerusalem.
354L265A and Feldman 143 add: the city. Bar-Ilan 737 lacks of the highest god.
355 ] The Mss. employ the Peal and the Aphel of interchangeably, see also lines 14, 19, and 39 below. Cf. Van der Heide, The Yemenite
Tradition, pp. 14243.
356 ] The verb has been employed, instead of . This variant does not affect the meaning as both verbs bear the transitive meaning to
burn .
357Genizah 430 lacks the nota accusativi. Bar-Ilan 737: I will burn the Temple ( without compound phrase).
358L265A adds the nota accusativi.
L260A
[] ][ ][ ][ L265A
Feldman 143
Genizah 430
Bar-Ilan 737
line 14
After this, I will go up to the heavens on high359 and destroy the highest dwelling places.360 I will wage war against the holy ones of the Most High

L260A
[] L265A
Feldman 143
Genizah 430
Bar-Ilan 737
line 15
and I will set the throne of my kingship361 over the cherubs,362 as it is written,363I will go up to the tops of the clouds; I will become like the Most High.

L260A
[] ]...[ ]...[ ]...[ L265A
Feldman 143
Genizah 430
Bar-Ilan 737
line 16
At that moment, the holy spirit replied to him. It called out364 to him and spoke to him thus,365

359L265A: to the heavens. Genizah 430 and Bar-Ilan 737: to the highest of heavens.
the targumic toseftot to ezekiel 1

360Bar-Ilan 737: the dwelling place of the highest ones.


361The other Mss. lack the independent genitive particle and attach the pronominal suffix to the noun.
362Over the cherubs ] See my comments on lines 1213 in 2.2.1.2. According to Isa. 14:13, the biblical verse to which the Tosefta-Targum alludes, the
king of Babylon aims to set his throne over the stars of God. All the versions presented here, however, mention the cherubs in lieu of the stars. This dis-
crepancy may go back to the association of the heavenly bodies with angels in Jewish tradition; cf. Collins comments on Dan. 12:3 in Daniel, p. 393f.; Mach,
Entwicklungsstadien des jdischen Engelglaubens, p. 170f.
363Isa. 14:14 is quoted in Hebrew.
83

364Bar-Ilan 737: It responded.


365The other Mss.: and spoke to him.
L260A
84


[]... []... []... []... L265A
Feldman 143
Genizah 430
Bar-Ilan 737
line 17
Wicked man, son of a wicked man, grandson of the wicked Nimrod, who rebelled against me more than the whole world! How many366 armies do
?you have

L260A
[]... []... []...[ ]... L265A
Feldman 143
Genizah 430
Bar-Ilan 737
line 18
And how much strength is there in your hand?367 And how many are the days of the years of your life,368 that you say:369 I will go up to the heavens on
high370
chapter two

366The other Mss.: and how many.


367Feldman 143 lacks how much...hand?.
?368L265A and Feldman 143 add and what is in your hand
369Genizah 430: that you said.
370L265A and Feldman 143: to the heavens; Genizah 430 and Bar-Ilan 737: to the highest of heavens.
L260A
371
[] [] L265A
Feldman 143
Genizah 430
Bar-Ilan 737
line 19
and destroy the highest dwelling places.372 I will wage war against the holy ones of the Most High and I will set the throne of my kingship373 over the
cherubs?.

L260A
L265A
Feldman 143
Genizah 430
Bar-Ilan 737
line 20
From the earth to Shamaya374 is a journey of five hundred years, and the depth of Shamaya375 is a journey of five hundred years.376 And from
Shamaya to Sheme Shamaya377
the targumic toseftot to ezekiel 1

371 ] One of the rare instances of vocalization in this Targum text is found here: . We might be dealing with a Ketib/Qere situa-
tion, with the ere denoting the correct reading: . For similar discrepancies between consonants and vowels in the Yemenite strand of Targum
Lamentations, see Van der Heide, The Yemenite Tradition, pp. 11114.
372Bar-Ilan 737: the dwelling place of the highest ones.
373The other Mss. lack the independent genitive particle and attach the pronominal suffix to the noun.
374L265A and Feldman 143: from Shamaya to the earth.
375Genizah 430: Welon.
376Feldman 143 and Bar-Ilan 737 lack and the depth...five hundred years.
85

377Genizah 430: from Welon to Rakia.


L260A
86


[] L265A
378
Feldman 143
Genizah 430
Bar-Ilan 737
line 21
is a journey of five hundred years, and its depth379 is a journey of five hundred years.380 And from Sheme Shamaya381 to Sheaqim is a journey of five hundred
years,

L260A
382
L265A
Feldman 143
Genizah 430
Bar-Ilan 737
line 22
and the depth of Sheaqim is a journey of five hundred years. And from Sheaqim to Maon383 is a journey of five hundred years, and the depth of Maon384
chapter two

] From this line onward, Feldman 143 designates 500 by employing the numerical value of taw (= 400) and qof (= 100).378
379L265A, Feldman 143, and Bar-Ilan 737: and the depth of Sheme Shamaya.
380Genizah 430 lacks and its depth...years.
381Genizah 430: from Rakia.
are missing, perhaps due to haplography. ] The words382
383The other Mss.: to Zevul.
384The other Mss.: of Zevul.
L260A
L265A
Feldman 143
Genizah 430
Bar-Ilan 737
line 23
is a journey of five hundred years. And from Maon to Makhon385 is a journey of five hundred years, and its depth386 is a journey of five hundred years.

[] L260A
[] L265A
Feldman 143
Genizah 430
[] Bar-Ilan 737
line 24
And from Makhon to Zevul387 is a journey of five hundred years, and its depth388 is a journey of five hundred years. And from Zevul389 to Aravot
the targumic toseftot to ezekiel 1

385The other Mss.: from Zevul to Maon.


386The other Mss.: the depth of Maon.
387The other Mss.: from Maon to Makhon.
388The other Mss.: the depth of Makhon.
87

389The other Mss.: from Makhon.


L260A
88


L265A
Feldman 143
Genizah 430
Halper 64
Bar-Ilan 737
line 25
is a journey of five hundred years, and the depth of Aravot is a journey of five hundred years, and corresponding to the seven heavens and their
depths.390

L260A
L265A
Feldman 143
Genizah 430
Halper 64
Bar-Ilan 737
line 26
391After this,392
chapter two

390L265A, Feldman 143, and Bar-Ilan 737 lack and corresponding...depth.


391Bar-Ilan 737 adds: After this, eight hundred celestial heavens appear, over which Metatron, the great prince, is appointed. The other Mss.
mention the eight hundred heavens and Metatron later, after the ayyot and the throne of glory.
392After this ] I.e., above the seven heavens. Halper 64: and thus.
394
393
L260A
]] ][ L265A
Feldman 143
Genizah 430
Halper 64
Bar-Ilan 737
line 27
the feet395 of the creatures396 appear, which are as high as from the height of the earth to the height of the heavens,397

393 ] Note the different noun employed here and in the other manuscripts to designate the ayyot in comparison with Gaster 1478 and
T-S NS 245.98: instead of . Whereas the latter is more ambiguous, the former clearly has bestial connotations. This meaning of is
confirmed by the way the noun is vocalized in Genizah 430 ( = plural) and in Feldman 143 ( = singular). See my comments on line 24
in 2.2.1.2. Cf. Levy, CWT, pp. 25253; Sokoloff, DJBA, pp. 45152, 455; idem, DJPA, pp. 19798.
394 ] We are probably dealing with a scribal error: the dalet seems to have been mistaken for resh. For more variants of dalet and resh, see
Van der Heide, The Yemenite Tradition, pp. 9496.
395Genizah 430 and Bar-Ilan 737: the soles of the feet.
396Bar-Ilan 737 adds which are the ofannim or of the ofannim. This phrase is puzzling: are the soles of the feet of the ayyot in fact ofannim
wheels, or have the ayyot been equated with the ofannim, i.e., the heavenly beings? In Ezek. 1:1521 is used in the sense of wheels, whereas
in Ezek. 10:917 these wheels appear to have been transformed into a new class of angels, to be distinguished from the ayyot; cf. Halperin, Faces of
the Chariot, p. 45f. In Rabbinic and the Hekhalot literature the ofannim are often referred to in the latter sense, for instance in b.ag. 13b; b.Rosh Hash.
24b; Abod. Zar. 43b; 3 En. (Schfer, Synopse, 9). If the phrase indeed indicates that the ayyot and the ofannim are one and the same
the targumic toseftot to ezekiel 1

class of angels, then we are dealing with a unique tradition. The only other instance where the two are seemingly equated, viz., in the
Shiur Qomah manuscript Munich 40 (Schfer, Synopse, 966), is regarded by Schfer as a scribal error: the proper reading should be .
Perhaps we are dealing here with scribal corruption too, and - should be interpreted as a scribal error for -. The only other Targumic attestation
of is found in TgJon Ezek.10:13 (with the Aramaic ending: instead of the Hebraism ). Throughout TgJon, the Hebrew and
are both equated with , only in TgJon Ezek. 10:13 is rendered with . This sole deviation from the conventional translation
strategy could be explained as stylistic variation because otherwise would appear twice in this short verse. Alternatively, the composer may
have wanted to stress the angelic character of the ofannim, being aware of the lore that developed from the exposition of this passage. Incidentally,
the same applies to Pesh. Ezek. 10:13: .
89

397Halper 64 lacks the feet...heavens and reads their knees instead.


L260A
90


[] L265A
Feldman 143
Genizah 430
Halper 64
Bar-Ilan 737
line 28
corresponding to the seven heavens and their depth. After this, the ankles of the creatures appear, which are as high as the height of the earth to the
height of the heavens,398

L260A
[] L265A
Feldman 143
Genizah 430
Halper 64
Bar-Ilan 737
line 29
and corresponding to the seven heavens and their depths. Thus their knees,399 thus their bellies,400 thus their torsos,
chapter two

398Halper 64 and Bar-Ilan 737 lack and corresponding...of the heavens.


399Bar-Ilan 737 lacks and corresponding...knees and reads thus their horns, thus their hands instead. In contrast to the other Mss., Bar-Ilan 737
seems to describe the ayyot from top to toe, except for mentioning of the soles of the feet at the beginning of the enumeration.
400Bar-Ilan 737 adds thus their backs. Halper 64 lacks and corresponding...bellies.
L260A
][ L265A
Feldman 143
Genizah 430
Halper 64
401
Bar-Ilan 737
line 30
thus their wings,402 thus their necks,403 thus their horns, thus their heads,404

L260A
L265A
Feldman 143
Genizah 430
405
Halper 64
407 406
Bar-Ilan 737
line 31
and thus408 they are as high as from the height409 of the earth to the height of the heavens, and corresponding to the seven heavens and their depth.
After this,
the targumic toseftot to ezekiel 1

401 ] Inserted above the line in the Ms.


402Halper 64 lacks thus their wings. Bar-Ilan 737 adds thus their knees, thus their feet.
403Halper 64 adds thus their heads, which makes the order more logical: necks, heads, and horns.
404Halper 64 lacks thus their heads. Bar-Ilan 737 lacks thus their necks...heads.
405 ] The similar way in which the scribe wrote and makes it difficult to establish which reading is correct: or .
406Bar-Ilan 737 designates 7 by employing the numerical value of zayin.
407 ] Inserted above the line in the Ms.
408Genizah 430 and Bar-Ilan 737 lack and thus.
91

409The other Mss.: as the height.


L260A
92

] [ L265A
Feldman 143
Genizah 430
Halper 64
410
Bar-Ilan 737
line 32
the throne of the king of kings411 is revealed,412 the Lord of Hosts,413 blessed be he,414 and blessed be his name,415 may his great name be blessed,416

L260A
417
] [] [] [ L265A
Feldman 143
Genizah 430
[] Halper 64
Bar-Ilan 737
line 33
418 which is as high as from the height419 of the earth to the height of the heavens.420
chapter two

410 ] The verb has been employed rather than . This variant does not affect the meaning as both verbs mean to appear.
411Genizah 430: the king of kings of kings.
412Halper 64 adds above them, i.e., the ayyot.
413The other Mss. lack the Lord of Hosts.
414L265A and Feldman 143 lack blessed be He.
415Genizah 430 and Halper 64 lack and blessed be his name.
416L265A and Feldman 143 lack may his great name be blessed.
417 ] So also Feldman 143. The personal pronoun and the adjective refer to the throne, , which is a singular with an ending that
could be misread as a plural. Hence the vacillation between and in the Mss.
418Genizah 430 and Bar-Ilan 737: for ever and ever. Halper 64: for ever and ever it will be blessed.
419The other Mss.: as the height.
420L265A and Feldman 143 add: and corresponding to the seven heavens and their thickness.
L260A
]...[ ]...[ ]...[ ]...[ ]...[ ]...[ ]...[ ]...[ [] L265A
Feldman 143
Genizah 430
421
Halper 64
Bar-Ilan 737
line 34
And encircling the throne of the king of kings,422 blessed be He, and blessed be His name,423 are thousands of myriads424 of fiery angels425

L260A
L265A
Feldman 143
Genizah 430
Halper 64
Bar-Ilan 737
line 35
and thousands of myriads426 of wrathful angels,427

421 ] Another verbal stem has been used, but it does not affect the meaning as expresses to go around, encircle in both the Peal and
the Aphel; Sokoloff, DJBA, pp. 36366. For examples of interchange between Peal and Aphel, see Van der Heide, The Yemenite Tradition, pp. 14243.
the targumic toseftot to ezekiel 1

422Genizah 430: the king of the kings of kings.


423Genizah 430 and Halper 64 lack and blessed be his name.
424thousands of myriads ] Lit.: a thousand of thousands and a myriad of myriads. Genizah 430 and Halper 64: a thousand of thousands of thou-
sands and etc.
425Bar-Ilan 737: wrathful angels.
426thousands of myriads ] Lit.: a thousand of thousands and a myriad of myriads. Genizah 430 and Halper 64: a thousand of thousands of thou-
sands and etc..
93

427Bar-Ilan 737: fiery angels; something holy, that is: fire that you cannot grasp.
L260A
94


428
L265A
Feldman 143
Genizah 430
429
Halper 64
Bar-Ilan 737
line 36
who are as high as from the height430 of the earth to the height of the heavens. After this, eight hundred431 heavens432 appear,433

L260A
434
" " L265A
" " Feldman 143
Genizah 430
[] Halper 64
Bar-Ilan 737
line 37
over which Metatron, the great prince, is appointed,435 through whom, were it not for the love of the highest God,
chapter two

428 ] So also Feldman 143. Both Mss. employ a masculine singular participle, which disagrees in number with the masculine plural subject,
.
429 ] The two consonants have a dot above each and seem to indicate numbers: 20 ( )+ 400 (). This number differs from the eight hundred
heavens of the other versions. The number 800 would have been expressed by either "or . Alternatively, perhaps we are dealing with a scribal
error, with the bet being mistaken for kaf: 2 () 400 = 800.
430The other Mss.: as the height.
431Bar-Ilan 737: four hundred and twenty (?).
432The other Mss. add: of above.
433Bar-Ilan 737 lacks who...appear.
434 ] " "So also Feldman 143 (vocalized as ) " ". The letters mem and et are written in full, and together they form the abbrevia-
tion of Metatrons name.
435Genizah 430 lacks Metatron. Bar-Ilan 737 lacks over which...appointed.
437
436
L260A
L265A
Feldman 143
Genizah 430
Halper 64
438
Bar-Ilan 737
line 38
the whole world would have been burnt with fire. And you439 said: I will go up to the heavens on high440

L260A
L265A
Feldman 143
Genizah 430
Halper 64
Bar-Ilan 737
line 39
and destroy the uppermost dwelling places.441 I will wage war against the holy ones of the Most High.442
the targumic toseftot to ezekiel 1

436 ] The other Mss. do not employ the periphrastic form.


437 ] The other Mss. lack the same construction, in contrast to line 17 above.
438 ... ] Inserted in the margin and between the lines of the Ms.
439Halper 64 adds: wicked man.
440L265A: to the heavens. Feldman 143, Genizah 430, Halper 64, and Bar-Ilan 737: to the highest of heavens .
441Bar-Ilan 737: the dwelling place of the highest ones.
95

442L265A and Bar-Ilan 737 add: and I will set the throne of my kingship over the cherubs.
L260A
96


L265A
Feldman 143
443
Genizah 430
Halper 64
444
Bar-Ilan 737
line 40
Now, I will bring you down to the seven dwelling places of Gehinnom,445 and these are their names:

L260A
L265A
Feldman 143
Genizah 430
Halper 64
446
Bar-Ilan 737
line 41
Gehinnom, Shaare Tzalmawet, Shaare Mawet, i ha-Yawen, Beer Shaat, Sheol,
chapter two

has been employed. ] So also Halper 64. The Aphel imperfect form of the verb443
, as in the is somewhat puzzling, we would have expected the plural form, ] The use of the demonstrative pronoun near masc. sg.444
. other Mss. Cf. TosTg. to Ezek. 37:1 in Mazor Vitry (Ms. London 655), 4.3.1, line 2:
445The other Mss.: to the seven lowest dwelling places.
] Inserted above the line in the Mss.446
447
L260A
449 448
L265A
Feldman 143
Genizah 430
Halper 64
Bar-Ilan 737
line 42
and Abaddon Olam.450 And lower than all of them is Arqa. Whoever goes down to Arqa will be judged from generation to generation and forever
and ever.451

L260A
453 452
L265A
Feldman 143
Genizah 430
Halper 64
Bar-Ilan 737
line 43
And I have appointed over them cruel angels who do not show mercy to the wicked.454 A place where the sun and the moon455 do not shine,

447 ] So also L265A and Feldman 143 (vocalized as ) . In Dalmans Grammatik is said to be a Hebraism (p. 321; cf. p. 316 Hebraismen sind
die Partizipia , , , im pal. Talmud). This form does not seem to be attested in the Cairo Genizah manuscripts of Talmud Yerushalmi; cf.
S. Heijmans, Morphology of the Aramaic Dialect in the Palestinian Talmud according to Geniza Fragments (unpublished MA Thesis Tel Aviv University,
2005), pp. 98100.
448 ] Perhaps a scribal error for ;cf. L260A and Feldman 143.
449 ] L265A lacks , perhaps due to a scribal error.
the targumic toseftot to ezekiel 1

450L265A and Feldman 143: Gehinnom, Shaare Tzalmawet, Shaare Mawet, i ha-Yawen, Beer Shaat, Abaddon, and Sheol. Genizah 430 and
Halper 64: Sheol, Gehinnom, Beer Shaat, Dumah, Arqa, i ha-Yawen, and Abaddon Olam. Bar Ilan 737: Sheol, Beer, Shaat, Dumah, Arqa, i
ha-Yawen, and Abaddon Olam Tata.
451Genizah 430, Halper 64, and Bar-Ilan 737 lack and lower...and ever.
452 ] So also Feldman 143. The relative pronoun - is not employed, in contrast to L260A.
453 ] So also Feldman 143. The verb is cognate with the Hebrew verb to rise, shine (*dr > ). Whereas is found in the other
manuscripts, both L265A and Feldman 143 employ its Hebrew cognate note the Hebrew ending -). The Rabbinic and Hekhalot literatures have
not yielded Hebrew parallels to this passage that could help explain the Hebraism.
97

454Genizah 430, Halper 64, and Bar-Ilan 737 lack and I have...wicked.
455Bar-Ilan 737 lacks and the moon.
L260A
98


456
L265A
Feldman 143
457
Genizah 430
Halper 64
{} Bar-Ilan 737
line 44
and where the footsteps of men458 are not heard.459 Your soul will burn in Gehinnom460

L260A
L265A
Feldman 143
Genizah 430
Halper 64
Bar-Ilan 737
line 45
until the day of the Great Judgement461 arrives, as it is written,462 But you will be brought down to Sheol, to the depths of the pit463.464
chapter two

456 ] So also Feldman 143 (vocalized as ). The spelling of imperf. 3rd fem. sg. with final aleph is also attested in y.Ned. 42d; cf. Dalman,
Grammatik, 73.3.
457 ] So also Halper 64. Instead of the preposition -, as in the other Mss.
458The other Mss: of men (without compound phrase).
459Bar-Ilan 737 adds: a place where Sennacherib, the king of Assyria, was dwelling.
460Halper 64: you will burn in Gehinnom. Bar-Ilan 737 lacks your soul...Gehinnom.
461The other Mss.: until the Great Judgement.
462Isa. 14:15 is quoted in Hebrew.
463Halper 64 lacks the latter half of the Isaiah quotation () . Instead it quotes the phrase with those who go down to the pit,
which is found in Ezek. 26:20; 32:25, 29, 30. The scribe presumably associated the proclamation against Babylon in Isa. 14:15 with the proclamation against
Tyre in Ezek. 26:20, which has a similar wording: .
464Bar-Ilan 737 lacks until...of the pit. The quotation of Isa. 14:15 follows later in this Ms.
465
L260A
L265A
Feldman 143
Genizah 430
Halper 64
Bar-Ilan 737
line 46
After this, I answered (?) cruel angels.466 At that moment, two467 cruel angels were sent against him.

L260A
L265A
Feldman 143
Genizah 430
Halper 64
[] Bar-Ilan 737

line 47
They destroyed468 him469 and brought him down to Abaddon Olam,470
the targumic toseftot to ezekiel 1

465 ] So also L265A and Feldman 143 (vocalized as ) . The presence of the perfect 1st sg. of to answer, respond is puzzling.
466Genizah 430, Halper 64, and Bar-Ilan 737 lack after this...angels.
467Halper 64 and Bar-Ilan 737 lack two.
468Halper 64: and they destroyed.
469Instead of a suffixed nota accusativi, L265A and Feldman 143 employ the suffixed preposition -( cf. line 59). Genizah 430, Halper 64, and Bar-Ilan 737
lack the masculine accusative.
99

470Bar-Ilan 737 adds: to Abaddon Olam Tata, as it is written, But you are brought down to Sheol, to the depths of the pit (Isa. 14:15)
L260A
100

[] L265A
Feldman 143
Genizah 430
Halper 64
471
Bar-Ilan 737
line 48
472the place where Sennacherib, the king of Assyria, was judged.473 And when both of them were walking in the darkness,474

L260A
L265A
Feldman 143
Genizah 430
Halper 64
Bar-Ilan 737
line 49
one turned475 to the other476
chapter two

471 ... ] Inserted in the margin and in between the lines of the Ms.
472Bar-Ilan 737 adds (in addition to the Isaiah quotation): and you shall not enter eternity.
473L265A and Feldman 143, Genizah 430, and Halper 64: dwelt. Bar-Ilan 737: was dwelling.
474Bar-Ilan 737 lacks and when...darkness .
475L265A and Feldman 143: said.
476Genizah 430, Halper 64, and Bar-Ilan 737 add: Sennacherib (Halper 64: + the king of Assyria) began to speak to Nebuchadnezzar and said,
Who are you?.
L260A
L265A
Feldman 143
Genizah 430
Halper 64
Bar-Ilan 737
line 50
and said,477 I am Nebuchadnezzar, the Chaldean.478 I rebelled against the god of the Jews,479

L260A
L265A
Feldman 143
480
Genizah 430
Halper 64
Bar-Ilan 737
line 51
I destroyed the city of Jerusalem,481 and I led the people482 in it into exile, to the country of my idols.483
the targumic toseftot to ezekiel 1

477L265A and Feldman 143 lack and said. Genizah 430: Nebuchadnezzar replied and said to him. Halper 64: Nebuchadnezzar the Chaldean
replied and said. Bar-Ilan 737: he said to him.
478Feldman 143: the Chaldean king. Halper 64: I am the one (who).
479L265A and Halper 64: the God of Israel. Bar-Ilan 737: the highest god.
480 ]We are probably dealing with a scribal error: the dalet seems to have been mistaken for resh.
481Bar-Ilan 737 adds: and I burnt the Temple.
482Genizah 430, Halper 64, and Bar-Ilan 737 lack the nota accusativi.
101

483Halper 64: to Babylonia, the country of my idols.


484
L260A
102

L265A
Feldman 143
Genizah 430
Halper 64
485
Bar-Ilan 737
line 52
Sennacherib replied486 and said to Nebuchadnezzar,487 Wicked man, son of a wicked man! Have you not seen with your eyes488 and heard with
your ears489

L260A
L265A
Feldman 143
Genizah 430
Halper 64
Bar-Ilan 737
line 53
what the god of the Jews did to me? He made me encamp490 and go up491 against the city of Jerusalem,492
chapter two

484 ] The suffixed pronoun seems to be out of place here, and perhaps the scribe mistakenly wrote instead of ( cf. ).
485 ] The Ms. reads twice (at the end of line and beginning of next line), perhaps a case of dittography.
486Bar-Ilan 737 lacks Sennacherib replied.
487Bar-Ilan 737: He said to him.
488Bar-Ilan 737: But have you not seen with your eyes.
489Genizah 430 and Halper 64: and have you not heard with your ears.
490L265A and Feldman 143 (vocalized as participle masc. sg. ) : He dwelt, permitted (?).
491Bar-Ilan 737 lacks He made me...and go up, but reads: I set all my camps in motion.
492Halper 64: the city of the Jews.
L260A
493
L265A
Feldman 143
Genizah 430
494
Halper 64
Bar-Ilan 737
line 54
but my hand did not stretch out495 against it because one of his messengers came forth and burnt my camp with fire.496

L260A
L265A
Feldman 143
Genizah 430
Halper 64
Bar-Ilan 737
line 55
I alone remained,497 by myself. Now you,498 what is499 your plan500 concerning the Jews?501

493 ] So also Feldman 143. One would expect the masculine plural possessive suffix: . Only in Babylonian Aramaic - is also the
masculine singular possessive suffix of masculine plural nouns; cf. Epstein, Grammar, p. 123.
the targumic toseftot to ezekiel 1

494 ] The spelling of this Aphel perfect 3rd fem. sg.. form is unusual, and we may be dealing with a scribal error.
495L265A and Feldman 143: I did not stretch out my hand; Bar-Ilan 737: I did not stretch out my hand against anything.
496Bar-Ilan 737 lacks against it...fire.
497Genizah 430: for me. Halper 64: nothing was left over for me.
498Halper 64 adds: wicked man, fool.
499L265A and Feldman 143 lack the independent personal pronoun 3rd fem. sg., which is used here as the copula. Genizah 430: was.
500Halper 64: what have you done.
103

501Bar-Ilan 737 lacks No one...the Jews.


502
L260A
104

L265A
Feldman 143
Genizah 430
Halper 64
503
Bar-Ilan 737
line 56
Nebuchadnezzar replied504 and said,505 Now, if the god of the Jews will forgive me, I506 will go and rebuild it507 with precious stones and gems.

L260A
L265A
Feldman 143
Genizah 430
Halper 64
Bar-Ilan 737
line 57
Sennacherib replied508 and said to him,509 O wicked man,510 (biggest) fool of the whole world!511 In which world are you dwelling?512
chapter two

502 ] The masculine accusative discords with its feminine antecedent , although this is not unusual. So also L265A.
Feldman 143 has the spelling , but vocalizes it as . The feminine accusative is attested in Genizah 430 () , Halper 64, and Bar-Ilan 737.
503 ] The masculine plural adjective does not accord with the feminine noun ;cf. Levy, CWT, vol. 1, p. 6.
504Bar-Ilan 737 lacks Nebuchadnezzar replied.
505Genizah 430 and Halper 64 add: to him. Bar-Ilan 737: he said to him.
506L265A and Feldman 143 add the independent personal pronoun 1st sg.
507it ] I.e., the city of Jerusalem, which was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar.
508Bar-Ilan 737 lacks Sennacherib replied.
509Bar-Ilan 737: he said to him.
510L265A adds: son of a wicked man.
511Halper 64: of the world.
512L260A has the independent personal pronoun 2nd masc. pl., which seems odd here. L265A: in which world are we?. Feldman 143: in which
world are we dwelling?. Genizah 430 and Halper 64 lack: in which...dwelling?. Bar-Ilan 737 lacks: o wicked man...dwelling?.
L260A
L265A
Feldman 143
Genizah 430
Halper 64
Bar-Ilan 737
line 58
Did you not know513 (and) did you not hear514 what the Jews recite in a parable and speak,515 saying: He who has not prepared food516 on
Sabbaths eve,

L260A
517
L265A
Feldman 143
Genizah 430
Halper 64
Bar-Ilan 737
line 59
what will he eat on Sabbath? At that moment,518 two519 cruel angels were sent against him. They destroyed him520

513Genizah 430 and Halper 64 lack did you not know. Bar-Ilan 737: and you did not know.
514Halper 64 and Bar-Ilan 737 lack did you not hear.
the targumic toseftot to ezekiel 1

515Genizah 430 and Halper 64 lack: and speak.


516The other Mss. lack food.
517 ] The second instance of vocalization in this Ms. is found here:
. Judging from the other manuscripts, one would have expected ,
imperf. 3rd masc. sg. of the Peal. The present spelling seems unusual.
518Halper 64 lacks the demonstrative adjective, but the suffixed preposition already has a demonstrative function.
519Halper 64 and Bar-Ilan 737 lack two.
520Instead of a suffixed nota accusativi, L265A employs the suffixed preposition -. Genizah 430, Halper 64, and Bar-Ilan 737 lack the masculine
105

accusative.
L260A
L265A
106

Feldman 143
Genizah 430
Halper 64
Bar-Ilan 737
line 60
and brought him down to Abaddon Olam521.522

L260A
L265A
Feldman 143
Genizah 430
Halper 64
523 Bar-Ilan 737
line 61
524the prophet said,525 As I was among the exiles by the river Kebar, the heavens opened
526
. L260A
527
L265A
chapter two

Feldman 143
Bar-Ilan 737
line 62
and I saw, in the prophetic vision that rested upon me, a vision of the glory of the Shekhinah of the Lord. On the fifth.528

521Bar-Ilan 737: Abaddon Olam Tata.


522L265A and Feldman 143 add: Thus it is written by Ezekiel and explained above. Genizah 430, Halper 64, and Bar-Ilan 737 add: As it is written
and explained (Genizah 430: + and he said; Bar-Ilan 737: + above).
523 ] Bar-Ilan 737 adds . This variant is not attested in Sperbers critical apparatus.
524Both Genizah 430 and Halper 64 conclude the Targum text by quoting the beginning of TgJon Ezek. 1:1. Genizah 430: And it came to pass in the
thirtieth year after the time that (Hilkiah the High Priest) found etc.. Halper 64: And it came to pass in the thirtieth year etc.
525The second half of TgJon Ezek. 1:1 is quoted.
526 ] We would have expected , and perhaps we are dealing with a scribal error.
527 ] We are probably dealing with a scribal error: the bet seems to have been mistaken for kaf.
528The other Mss. lack on the fifth, the first word of TgJon Ezek. 1:2.
the targumic toseftot to ezekiel 1 107

2.2.5The Relationship between the Manuscripts


Interestingly, all the manuscripts examined in the previous paragraphs
are of oriental provenance, although as to the origin of the original manu-
script behind Ms. Gaster 1478 we are dependent on Gasters testimony of
an old oriental manuscript. The shared provenance of these manuscripts
does not imply that this tradition only circulated in the Middle East. The
attribution to Menaem ha-Recanati in one of the recensions (Ms. JTSA
L260A) attests the reception of this Tosefta-Targum in late medieval mys-
tic circles in Italy, and this recension ultimately found its way from 14th
century Italy into a 16th century Yemenite manuscript.529
We have to give heed to a few complicating factors when seeking to
establish the relationship between the extant witnesses. Firstly, a major
impediment is the absence of the original manuscript of Ms. Gaster 1478,
the longest recension, without which we are left in the dark as to its date
and exact provenance. Secondly, the important synagogal-liturgical func-
tion of Ezek. 1 may have resulted in the co-existence of many Targumic
recensions that circulated orally, with only a few of them undergoing the
process of written transmission.530
Bearing these obstacles in mind, we can start our reconstruction with
the passage on the ayyot in the Genizah fragment, T-S NS 245.98, the
shortest and perhaps one of the oldest recensions, whose textual depend-
ency is difficult to establish. This passage may have circulated independ-
ently, being the nascent form of a tradition which evolved into elaborate
recensions. Alternatively, it could be an abridgement of a lengthy Targumic
Tosefta similar to the other recensions. The fact that the Genizah passage
is written in Aramaic and serves in a liturgical context, in juxtaposition
with quotations from TgOnq Lev. 26:44 and TgJon Isa. 51:3, at least sug-
gests that it is embedded in the Targumic milieu. The description of the
ayyot in this Genizah fragment is much briefer than in Ms. Gaster 1478:
fewer body parts are mentioned; it lacks the verb as well as the sec-
ond ; and, finally, after has been substituted for the last-
mentioned body part. However, these differences are eclipsed by the overall
similarities with Ms. Gaster 1478 and the manuscripts presented in the

529Thanks are due to Prof. Philip Alexander, who kindly brought forward information
about Yemenite manuscripts in which the copyist has actually copied the title-page of the
printed copy from Italy in a private communication dated January 31, 2009.
530For the complex interface between oral and written transmission, see Y. Elman and
I. Gershoni (eds.), Transmitting Jewish Traditions: Orality, Textuality, and Cultural Diffusion
(New Haven; Yale University Press, 2000).
108 chapter two

table, which strengthens our assumption of a Targumic Sitz im Leben of


this Genizah passage. The same line of reasoning can be applied to the
other short Genizah fragment, T-S NS 171.7, which is very similar to T-S
NS 245.98, albeit slightly longer because of its description of the heavens
and their depths.
Interestingly, comparison between the several descriptions of the stat-
ure of the ayyot (see appendix D) shows a remarkable agreement between
b.Hag. 13a and the two aforementioned Genizah fragments, despite the dif-
ference in language: the same body parts except for the wings,531 are given,
in the same consecutive order.532 Our two Taylor Schechter Genizah frag-
ments thus forms the closestand perhaps oldestAramaic parallels to
the ayyot passage in b.Hag. 13a. I am hesitant though, on the strength of
this similarity, to pinpoint the Genizah versions as (part of?) the Targumic
Urtext, from which the other, longer recensions evolved.533 It is safest to
state that these two Genizah passages belong to a fluctuating tradition on
the bodily dimensions of the ayyot, of which we find literary evidence in
the recensions of TosTg Ezek. 1:1.
As for the remaining manuscripts, Kasher suggested that the recensions
which I presented in the table above are independent abridgements of
a longer recension, similar to Ms. Gaster 1478. According to him, there
was a continuous tendency, up to the early 20th century, to summarize
this parent version.534 Unfortunately, as said in the foregoing, we cannot
verify the age of Ms. Gaster 1478 due to the absence of the original manu-
script, Ms. 1020. However, as evidenced by the Cairo Genizah fragments,
Mss. Halper 64 and Genizah 430, a shorter recension was probably already
in circulation halfway through the Middle Ages. I therefore suggest that
these shorter recensions were not as thoroughly edited as Ms. Gaster 1478.

531On the absence of the wings in b.Hag. 13a see footnote 181.
532Tractate Massakhet Hekhalot 14.2 (Herrmann, Massekhet Hekhalot, p. 46*) pre-
serves an exact parallel to b.Hag. 13a, but we do not have to take it into consideration as
another possible source for the Genizah passage on the ayyot because we are dealing
with a literal quotation from Talmud Bavli that may even be a secondary insertion (so
Herrmann, Massekhet Hekhalot, p. 259).
533I am following Schfer here, who has extended his dynamic model of the process
of emergence and transmission of Hekhalot texts to rabbinic literature. He is reluctant to
retrieve an Urtext and rather speaks of fluctuating traditions being committed to writing;
P. Schfer, Research into Rabbinic Literature: An Attempt to Define the Status Quaestionis,
JJS 37 (1986), pp. 13952; idem, Once again the Status Quaestionis of Research in Rabbinic
Literature: An Answer to Chaim Milikowsky, JJS 40 (1989), pp. 8994.
534Kasher, Targumic Toseftot to the Prophets, pp. 192, 195. The Targumic Toseftot to
Judg. 5:5 show a similar development: the short versions appear to be abridgements of the
longer version; Smelik, Targum of Judges, pp. 41419.
the targumic toseftot to ezekiel 1 109

They may reflect the shape of the Tosefta-Targums that had actually been
used in the synagogue. For instance, they lack the endless repetitions and
include more liturgical formulae.535
Halper 64 mentions the fewest body parts,536 and the number of heav-
ens over which Metatron is appointed does not seem to tally with the eight
hundred heavens mentioned in the other testimonies.537 Interestingly,
Ms. Halper 64 regularly accords with the other Cairo Genizah witness,
Ms. Genizah 430, whose date is unknown. For instance, they share the list
of the lower levels.538
However, a stronger genealogical relation is noticeable between
Mss. JTSA L265A and Feldman 143, Yemenite manuscripts from the 18th
and 19th century, respectively. For instance, they share a Hebraism,539 the
abbreviation of Metatrons name with ,540 and the names and
consecutive order of the underworlds.541
Ms. Bar-llan 737, the youngest recension, is distinctive among the extant
manuscripts because it abounds with omissions, inversions, and unique
readings. For example, according to this recension the eight hundred
heavens and Metatron precede the ayyot,542 whereas the other recen-
sions locate them above the throne of glory.543 Furthermore, only this
manuscript refers to the ofannim544 and enumerates the creatures body
parts (including hands) from top to toe.545 Since the Targumim never lost
their liturgical function in the Yemenite Jewish community, the manu-
scripts distinctive character may be ascribed to endless copying or oral

535Lines 3234. In Ms. Gaster 1478 only the liturgical expression


is employed.
536See appendix D.
537Line 36.
538For more shared variants see lines 32, 34, 40, 52, 5658.
539Line 43.
540Line 37.
541See appendix F. Other shared readings are found in lines 10, 12, 18, 2021, 33, 44, 47,
49, 56, 60.
542Line 26.
543Cf. Ms. Gaster 1478, where the eight hundred heavens appear after the ayyot and
before the throne of glory.
544Line 27.
545See appendix D.
110 chapter two

transmission.546 Thus, this manuscript is tangible proof that our tradition


survived in Yemen throughout the centuries into recent times.547
To conclude, we found traces of this Targumic tradition in the Cairo
Genizah and Yemen, disseminated over the long and short recensions. We
may infer from the substantive variants in the manuscripts that this seem-
ingly unified body of tradition was in a permanent state of flux, possibly
due to its continuous liturgical function in the synagogue, at least where
the Yemenite strand is concerned,548 which renders the reconstruction of
a stemma more difficult.

2.3The Targumic Tosefta to Ezekiel 1:3 in the Arukh ha-Shalem

In the second volume of Alexander Kohuts Arukh ha-Shalem or, alter-


natively, Arukh Completum, under the letters we find a brief reference

546Cf. Beattie on the Yemenite tradition of Targum Ruth: we can see that the tradi-
tion of continual expansion, revision and improvement of the text, which has been of the
essence of the genre targum since its beginnings, was still alive and well in the Yemen
in recent times; D.R.G. Beattie, The Yemenite Tradition of Targum Ruth, JJS 41 (1990),
pp. 4955, esp. 55.
547Targumic activity was also attested amongst Jewish communities in Iran and Iraq
until recently. Targumic traditions were transmitted orally in Neo-Aramaic dialects for
many generations by religious leaders. However, these Jewish communities left Iraq and
Iran in the 1950s, the majority settling in Israel. After their migration, though, some of the
religious leaders committed these Targumic traditions to writing. These written versions
are extremely valuable and unique given the oral character of the Targumic tradition,
and the fact that they circulated amongst Jews whose ancestors lived in the Babylonian
diaspora at the time when Targum Onqelos to the Pentateuch and Targum Jonathan to
the Prophets were passed on. They are tangible proof of the survival of the Targumic
practice in this region. For example, a manuscript known as Manuscript Barzani pre-
serves the written version of an originally oral Targumic tradition that circulated in the
Rewanduz/Arbel region of Iraqi Kurdistan. This Targum had its Sitz im Leben as an educa-
tional tool in schools. For more on Manuscript Barzani, see M. Rees, Lishan Didan, Targum
Didan: Translation Language in a Neo-Aramaic Targum Tradition (Gorgias Neo-Aramaic
Studies, 3; Piscataway: Gorgias Press, 2008). Cf. the studies of Yona Sabar, who studied
the Neo-Aramaic Targum literature in the dialects of the Zakho region in northern Iraq;
Y. Sabar, The Book of Genesis in Neo-Aramaic: In the Dialect of the Jewish Community of
Zakho (Publications of the Hebrew University Language Traditions Project, 9; Jerusalem:
Magnes Press, 1983). His studies on the Neo-Aramaic versions of Exodus (1988), Leviticus
(1990), Numbers (1993), and Deuteronomy (1994) appeared in the same series.
548My assumption that this Tosefta-Targum was used until recent times is strength-
ened by the observations of the 19th century traveller Jacob Sappir, whose itinary offers
us a detailed insight in the Yemenite Targumic practice. He writes that on the Sabbath a
young boy delivers the Targum according to a manuscript in their possession containing
a mixture of Targum and homily (derush). Quoted from Van der Heide, The Yemenite
Tradition, p. 13. The description of the nature of this type of Targum is very reminiscent of
that of the Targumic Toseftot.
the targumic toseftot to ezekiel 1 111

to a reading in Targum Jerushalmi that identifies the prophet Ezekiel as


the son of the prophet Jeremiah.549 Kohuts work is a largely amplified,
scholarly edition of the Arukh compiled by Nathan ben Jehiel, a lexicog-
rapher who lived in late 11th century Italy. Kohut has added to Nathans
Arukh that the Targum Jerushalmi reading is also attested in Kimis
commentary on Ezek. 1:3. Consequently, Kimi may have quoted from
the original Arukh, the latter already being in widespread circulation
amongst Jewish scholars in Europe within a century of its completion in
1101.550 However, we should not rule out the possibility that both scholars
drew from the same exegetical tradition that to date, has only survived in
these two sources.551 This Tosefta-Targum has previously been published
by Sperber552 and Kasher.553

2.3.1The Text and Translation of the Targumic Tosefta to Ezekiel 1:3


(Arukh ha-Shalem)

Targum Jerushalmi: The prophet Ezekiel, son of the prophet Jeremiah

2.3.2Comments on the Targumic Tosefta to Ezekiel 1:3


(Arukh ha-Shalem)
Both in the Hebrew Vorlage of Ezek. 1:3 and its rendering in TgJon, the
prophet Ezekiel is identified as the son of Buzi, the priest.554 The Arukh of
Nathan ben Jehiel, which stems from the early 12th century, mentions an
alternative tradition, allegedly found in the Targum Jerushalmi, that links
Ezekiel with Jeremiah: the prophet Ezekiel,
son of the prophet Jeremiah. The Arukh then continues by explaining this
link in Hebrew: Jeremiah was called
Buzi because he was sneered at. Unfortunately, no Targumic fragment that

549A. Kohut, Aruch Completum sive lexicon vocabula et res, quae in libris Targumicis,
Talmudicis et Midraschicis (9 vols.; New York: Pardes Publishing House, 1955).
550See B. Felsenthal, Kohuts Arukh Completum, Hebraica 9,12 (189293), pp. 12528;
cf. A. David, Nathan ben Jehiel of Rome, in EncJud, vol. 15, pp. 1314.
551Cf. the explanation of the parallels between Rashis work and Nathans Arukh
in David, Nathan ben Jehiel of Rome, p. 860. Contrast Felsenthal, Kohuts Arukh
Completum, p. 126.
552Sperber, The Bible in Aramaic, vol. 3, p. 264 (both Arukh of Nathan ben Jehiel and
Kimis commentary).
553Kasher, Targumic Toseftot to the Prophets, p. 195.
554Whether the designation the priest applies to Ezekiel or his father is left
undetermined; cf. Block, The Book of Ezekiel, vol. 1, p. 88.
112 chapter two

has resurfaced preserves this reading. It has hitherto only survived in the
Arukh and Kimis commentary, with the latter possibly being a quotation
from the former, as suggested above. We should be careful, though, not to
attach undue weight to the mention of the Targum Jerushalmi. It could
hint at the existence of a long lost Palestinian Targum to the Prophets,
of which this reading is a vestige, but the introduction is also used for
Targumic Toseftot whose language and contents point to a Babylonian
background.555 Kohut raises the possibility that our Targum Jerushalmi
reading is a variant found in a recension of TgJon.556 To prove his point
he refers to a remark in Kimis commentary on Ezek. 34:9 (
) , from which we may surmise that he had a recension
of TgJon preserving unique variants at his disposal.
Despite the paucity of witnesses, rabbinic literature does provide clues
as to how Ezekiel and Jeremiah became linked to each other in this tradi-
tion. The connection between the two prophets is established through the
name of Ezekiels father, Buzi, which was associated with the verb
to despise. Explicit proof of this association is found in Yal. Shim. Ezek.
1:3: .557 Consequently, the name Buzi
was interpreted as a nickname, and the identity of Ezekiels despised father
was shrouded in mystery. However, according to aggadic lore, the people
despised ( )Jeremiah because he was a descendant of Rachab the
harlot.558 This characterization most probably resulted in the equation
of Jeremiah with Buzi, Ezekiels father. Interestingly, we find an implicit
reference to Jeremiah being known as Buzi in two manuscripts of the kab-
balistic work Sefer Tagin, Ms. Paris 762 and Ms. London 15299.559 In this
passage the Holy Spirit demands to know who has revealed the contents
of the mystical works. Ben Sira, who according to the legend was fathered
by Jeremiah, stands up and reveals his identity: Buzi, the son of Buzi.

555Cf. my concluding statements on the provenance of the Targumic Toseftot to


Ezekiel in 5.1.2.
556Kohut, Aruch Completum, vol. 2, p. 29.
557Note the similarities with the explanation in Nathans Arukh and Kimi:
.
558Pes. K. 13:12; Yal. Shim. Jer. 1; cf. Sifre Zut. Num. 10:29; Yal. Shim. 1 Chron. 4:23. Note
that in these sources Ezekiel is also counted to Rachabs offspring and is equally despised.
For other examples of taunts against Jeremiah, see B. Qam. 16b; Pes. R. 26.
559J.J.L. Bargs, Sefer Tagin (Paris: L. Guerin, 1866), p. 10; cf. P. Mordell, The Origin of
Letters and Numerals According to the Sefer Yeirah, JQR 3 (1913), pp. 51744, esp. 53031.
the targumic toseftot to ezekiel 1 113

2.4The Targumic Tosefta to Ezekiel 1:8 in Codex Reuchlinianus560

The colophon of the Codex Reuchlinianus states that this work was com-
pleted by the scribe Serach b. Jehuda in 11056. The running text comprises
both the Hebrew Vorlage and TgJon to the Prophets, with the Hebrew
and Aramaic alternating, and glosses are preserved on the margin. The
Hebrew text and TgJon are characterized by a system of Tiberian vocal-
ization that has been described as pre-Masoretic.561 Tiberian texts in
general are notorious for their lack of consistency as regards vocalization,
but the system utilised in Codex Reuchlinianus is even more enigmatic.562
In order not to unduly burden my research, I decided not to investigate
the variants in the vocalization, but to focus instead on the consonantal
text of both the Hebrew and Targumic versions of Ezek. 1:8, which are
preserved on f. 294v.563
The Hebrew Vorlage of Ezek. 1:8 agrees with MT, except for the addi-
tion of in , which may be due to interfer-
ence from vs. 18: . However, the three dots above the letters
probably indicate the scribes awareness of the error. The Hebrew
text also adopted the Ketib reading with the Qere written in the
margin.
The version of TgJon to Ezek. 1:8 in this manuscript has a prevalent
plene spelling, e.g., )( and )( , and it is difficult to
distinguish from , and and . The variants are () ,
() , () , and () .

560Ms. Reuchlin 3, Badische Hof- und Landesbibliothek, Karlsruhe. For my research


I consulted the facsimile reproduction of Codex Reuchlinianus: A. Sperber, The Pre-
Masoretic Bible (Corpus Codicum Hebraicorum Medii Aevi, 2, vol. 1; Copenhagen: E.
Munksgaard, 1956).
561See the introductory treatise to The Pre-Masoretic Bible: A. Sperber, A Grammar
of Masoretic Hebrew (Corpus Codicum Hebraicorum Medii Aevi, 2, vol. 1; Copenhagen:
E. Munksgaard, 1956), pp. xxixxxiii.
562Considering the Tiberian system, including Codex Reuchlinianus, as being far
from reliable and univocal, Sperber did not include variants in the Tiberian vocalization
in the upper critical apparatus of The Bible in Aramaic; cf. vol. 1, p. viii; vol. 3, pp. viii-
ix. However, Shelomo Morag challenged Sperbers notion of the pre-Masoretic Codex
Reuchlinianus after having meticulously analyzed its vocalization. He discovered that
Codex Reuchlinianus did not lack system, but rather tended towards a far more phonetic,
and hence complicated notation, which hints at a later stage in the development of vocal-
ization systems when the need was felt to further dictate the proper reading of the text;
see S. Morag, The Vocalization of Codex Reuchlinianus: Is the pre-Masoretic Bible pre-
Masoretic?, JSS 4 (1959), pp. 21637.
563Sperber, The Pre-Masoretic Bible, p. 592.
114 chapter two

The Targumic Tosefta to Ezek. 1:8 is written on the margin of f. 294v


under the heading . The marginal gloss has sublinear vocali-
zation, and the consonantal spelling is predominantly plene. The Tosefta-
Targum does not entirely accord in its -short- quotation with the version
of TgJon Ezek. 1:8 in Codex Reuchlinianus: compare
in TgJon Ezek. 1:8 with in TosTg Ezek.
1:8.564 This Targumic Tosefta has previously been published by Lagarde,565
Bacher,566 Sperber,567 and Kasher.568

2.4.1The Text and Translation of the Targumic Tosefta to Ezekiel 1:8


(Codex Reuchlinianus)
The text and translation of both the MT and TgJon to Ezek. 1:8 are presented
first, because the Ketib/Qere reading in the former and the midrashic
expansion in the latter are essential to understand the Targumic Tosefta.
MT
569

Human hands were under their wings on their four sides, and all four crea-
tures had faces and wings.

TgJon




Hands like human hands He made for them under their wings on their four
sides, with which to take fiery coals from among the cherubim, underneath
the expanse, which is over their heads, to give into the hands of the seraphim,
to scatter on the place of the wicked, to destroy the sinners who transgress his
Memra. And all four creatures had the same faces and wings.

564The quotation from TgJon Ezek. 1:8 is set in italics in the text below.
565P. de Lagarde, Prophetae Chaldaice (Leipzig: Teubner, 1872), p. xxxvii.
566W. Bacher, Kritische Untersuchungen zum Prophetentargum, ZDMG 28 (1874),
pp. 172, esp. 23.
567Sperber, The Bible in Aramaic, vol. 3, p. 265.
568Kasher, Targumic Toseftot to the Prophets, p. 196.
569Ketib: his hand; Qere: the hands of. The scribe most probably mistook
yod for waw.
the targumic toseftot to ezekiel 1 115

After the beginning of TgJon (


) , Codex Reuchlinianus adds the following in the margin:

570 1
2

Another book: The right hand is stretched out towards the sinners who return in
line 1

repentance to acquit them on the Day of Judgment, line 2 to bequeath them eternal life.
But the left hand is stretched out to take fiery coals etc.

2.4.2Comments on the Targumic Tosefta to Ezekiel 1:8


(Codex Reuchlinianus)
According to rabbinic reasoning, the Ketib his hand has a mystical
connotation, referring to Gods hand, which stretches out from under-
neath the wings of the ayyot to receive those sinners who repent.571
TgJons rendering with may go back to a simi-
lar exegetical tradition whose aim was to harmonize the Ketib and the
Qere: the translation is the Aramaic equivalent of the Qere
reading ,572 and the phrase he made for them573 may
refer to his hand. Gods hand fashioned hands like human hands for
the ayyot.
TgJon adds a grim notion to Ezekiels portrayal of the ayyot: their
hands are stretched towards coals of fire with which the wicked will be
punished for transgressing Gods word. The cherubim, ayyot, and ser-
aphim form a chain of heavenly beings whose task it is to destroy the

570 ] This form is vocalized as , the construct of the compound preposi-


tion opposite, in front of, towards. Scholars have rendered the present form as the Pael
infinitive of to receive, although its spelling and vocalization do not support this
interpretation; cf. Halperin, Faces of the Chariot, p. 124; Kasher, Targumic Toseftot to the
Prophets, p. 276; Levey, Targum of Ezekiel, p. 20 n. d; Smolar, Aberbach, Studies in Targum
Jonathan, p. 212. The same confusion applies to Tg 2 Chron. 33:13 (as per Daut, Targum des
Chroniques), one of the parallels to our Tosefta-Targum: some manuscripts read ,
others :
.
571See b.Pes. 119a: ,
.
572Note the insertion of the comparative - ;perhaps to prevent the image of the
ayyot from becoming too anthropomorphic; cf. Ezek. 10:8 // TgJon Ezek.
10:8 .
573The form points to an active participle in the masculine singular. Consequently,
the translation were fashioned for them found both in Halperin and in Levey does not do
justice to this form; Halperin, Faces of the Chariot, p. 124; Levey, Targum of Ezekiel, p. 20.
116 chapter two

sinners in the place of the wicked.574 TgJons expansion of Ezek. 1:8 is


largely inspired by Ezek. 10:2, 69, except for the distinction between the
ayyot and cherubim, who are equated in the latter verses in the Hebrew
Vorlage and TgJon,575 and the identification of the wicked as the sinners
against Gods Memra. The addition of the sinners is in line with the ten-
dency that we have already observed in the Targumic Toseftot to Ezek. 1:1,
to instill awe and fear of Gods Merkabah in the synagogue audience at
Shavuot.576 Apparently, the exposition of Ezekiels inaugural vision in the
synagogue was tantamount to a cautionary message.
The Targumic Tosefta preserved in Codex Reuchlinianus mitigates
TgJons description of the ayyot: they do not only execute punishment,
but also show their merciful side by accepting remorseful sinners. This
loop-hole is possible because TgJon does not specify with which hand
the ayyot take out the fiery coals; it rather speaks of hands in general.
Consequently, the Targumic Tosefta distinguishes between the right
hand, with which the ayyot reach out to those who repent, and the left
hand, which is used for destroying the wicked. Scattered throughout rab-
binic literature we find parallels to this tradition, with the difference that
not the ayyot but God Himself stretches out his right hand towards the
penitents.577

574The place of the wicked is unidentified in TgJon Ezek. 1:8. According to Ezek. 10:3,
the burning coals have to be sprinkled over the city Jerusalem. TosTg Ezek. 1:1 (Ms Gaster
1478) speaks of the angels of destruction who scatter fire and sulphur upon the wicked in
the netherworld.
575Cf. Halperin, Faces of the Chariot, p. 124.
576Cf. TosTg Ezek. 1:1 (Ms Gaster 1478):


577E.g., Tg 2 Chron. 33:13; PRE 43; cf. Kasher, Targumic Toseftot to the Prophets, p. 196.
b.Pes. 119a and Num. R.13:18 leave unspecified which hand God uses to receive the sinners
who show remorse. Kasher mentions several other rabbinic sources in which the dispar-
ity between the right hand and the left hand occurs: b.Sot. 47a; y. Sanh. 10:3 (29b); and b.
Sanh. 107b; ibid., p. 196. In rabbinic thought the right hand thus has a positive connotation
in contrast to the left one, and anthropological studies have attested the presence of this
polarity in many societies, both past and present. The right represents what is high, the
upper world, the sky; while the left is connected with the underworld and the earth. It is
not by chance that in pictures of the Last Judgement it is the Lords raised right hand that
indicates their sublime abode to the elect, while his lowered left hand shows the damned
the gaping jaws of Hell ready to swallow them; R. Hertz, Death and the Right Hand (transl.
R. and C. Needham; London: Cohen and West, 1960), pp. 101102; cf. M. Douglas, Purity and
Danger (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1966), pp. 38, 42, 197.
the targumic toseftot to ezekiel 1 117

Interestingly, several other Targumic manuscripts have yielded vari-


ants which speak of the merciful hands of the ayyot, albeit without
the opposition between right and left. After TgJons
, both the Antwerp Polyglot Bible and Ms. 7 of the Montefiore
Library578 read and to receive
with them the repentance of all the penitents.579 The variant in Ms. 4
of the Hebrew Union College, Cincinnati,580 is slightly shorter:
and to receive with them all the penitents. We
may infer from both the marginal gloss in Codex Reuchlinianus and the
variants in the aforementioned Western manuscripts that there was a ten-
dency to soften TgJons terrifying image of the ayyot. Moreover, these
readings testify to the importance of the doctrine of repentance in the
Targumic corpus581 and rabbinic thought in general. Following Halperin,
we should allow for the possibility that these midrashic additions are
independent attempts to reshape the Targums image, along similar lines
to b. Pes. 119a.582 Whether the variant traditions had their wording at the
time when Targum Jonathan still played a liturgical role in the synagogue,
and thus served as an implicit appeal to the worshippers to repent, or
originated from later scribes is difficult to establish.

2.5The Targumic Tosefta to Ezekiel 1:12 in the Mazor Vitry


(Ms. London 655)

The halakhic-liturgical composition Mazor Vitry is preserved in Ms.


London 655 of the British Library, and this manuscript dates from

578This North African manuscript preserves a Targum to the Prophets and Writings
and dates from 1486. The collection of Moses Montefiore is currently available only on
microfiches owned by the Library of the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies.
579 ] This is probably a translation calque from the Hebrew; cf. b.Pes.
119a: .
580This Sefardi manuscript stems from the 14th15th century and contains the
Pentateuch, hafarot, and the Megillot.
581On repentance in Targum Jonathans theology, see Smolar, Aberbach, Studies in
Targum Jonathan, p. 210f.
582Halperin, Faces of the Chariot, p. 124. Halperins remark that the Targumic Toseftot
attribute the merciful hands to the ayyot rather than to God in order to avoid anthropo-
morphism requires modification. b. Pes. 119a refers to the exposition of the Ketib his
hand in the Hebrew text and not to the Targumic midrash on the function of the ayyot
hands. Moreover, Targum Ezekiel does not as systematically recoil from anthropomor-
phism as Halperin holds.
118 chapter two

about the middle of the thirteenth century.583 On f. 86rv we find TgJon


Ezek. 1:112 under the heading , which refers to the
hafarah reading for the first day of Shavuot. Each Targumic verse is pre-
ceded by a Hebrew lemma. The writing is in the French rabbinic character
and unpointed, with a prevalent plene spelling. The Tetragrammaton is
substituted by four yods.584 Apart from the expansion in verse 12, the
Targum text also preserves some noteworthy variant readings in vss. 12,
which are underlined below:


586 585


587
The most interesting variant is the gates of the heav-
ens opened. The word gate features prominently as the equivalent
of the Hebrew gate and opening, entrance in Targum Ezekiels
rendering of the Temple vision in chs. 4048.588 It seems as if this addition
is meant to link the opening vision of the celestial Merkabah, Gods abode
in heaven, with the final vision of the future Temple, his dwelling place on
earth. Previous publications of our Targumic Tosefta by Hurwitz, Churgin,
and Kasher are also based on the London manuscript.589

583See G. Margoliouth, Catalogue of the Hebrew and Samaritan Manuscripts in the


British Museum. Vol. II (London: The British Museum, 1905), no. 655.
584Three yods in a cluster and the fourth beneath it, slightly to the left; cf. Lauterbach,
Substitutes for the Tetragrammaton, p. 55 no. 62.
585 ] Cf. the parallel variant in 2.2.1.1, line 87: {}
.
586 ] Cf. the partially parallel variant in 2.2.1.1, line 87: .
587 ] Perhaps a scribal error for .
588E.g., TgJon Ezek. 44:1, 11; 42:1; 47:1; etc.; cf. Ezek. 8:14, 16; 10:19.
589S. Hurwitz, Machsor Vitry nach der Handschrift im British Museum (Nrnberg: Bulka,
1923), p. 170; Churgin, Targum Jonathan to the Prophets, p. 136; Kasher, Targumic Toseftot
to the Prophets, p. 197.
the targumic toseftot to ezekiel 1 119

2.5.1The Text and Translation of the Targumic Tosefta to Ezekiel 1:12


(Mazor Vitry)
591 590 1
594 593 5922
595 3
596 4
line 1
And when the prophet Ezekiel saw the vision which showed him the Shekhinah
just as it had shown (the Shekhinah) to Isaiah son of Amoz line 2 the prophet in the
Templehe saw four creatures, who turned towards each other to show their humil-
ity, and thus was line 3 their pose, turning their faces in righteousness.597 Each crea-
ture went straight ahead; wherever the will would go, they went, line 4 they did not
turn as they went.

2.5.2Comments on the Targumic Tosefta to Ezekiel 1:12 (Mazor Vitry)


In Mazor Vitry, the Hebrew lemma , the first word of Ezek. 1:12, is not
immediately followed by Targum Jonathans rendering. Instead, a Tosefta-
Targum is preserved which links Ezekiels vision of the Shekhinah with the
one that the prophet Isaiah saw (Isa. 6:1ff.).598 Importantly, Isaiahs vision

590 ] We are most probably dealing with a scribal error: to see instead of
to rejoice.
591 ] Hurwitz reads , perhaps under the influence of in
TgJon Ezek. 1:1.
592 ] Isaiah is identified as the son of Amoz, but whether the
designation prophet applies to Isaiah or his father is left undecided. The Hebrew Bible
supports either possibility: compare ( 2 Kgs. 20:1; Isa. 37:2; 38:1;
2 Chron. 26:22; 32:20, 32) with ( 2 Kgs. 19:2). According to rabbinic
literature both Isaiah and Amoz were prophets (cf. Lev. R. 6:6; Mishnah de Rabbi Eliezer
6:118).
593 ] The verb to turn, aim, direct is unknown in the Peal, and the mascu-
line plural ending clashes in gender with the feminine plural subject. In TgJon Ezek. we
come across the Pael form instead, e.g., in Ezek. 1:9, 11, 23, and perhaps we should
read here too.
594... ]The numeral and the suffix in and
disagree in gender with the feminine subject creature; cf. Ezek. 1: 9, 23
.
595 ] The masculine ending disagrees in gender with the feminine subject, and
this variant is also found in Codex Reuchlinianus and the Antwerp Polyglot Bible.
596... ] Cf. TgJon Ezek. 1:12.
597turning their faces in righteousness] I.e., to look away out of reverence; cf. Sokoloff,
DJBA, p. 367 (# 11a).
598A similar reference to the identical visions, which is attributed to the fourth century
Amora Raba bar Joseph bar ama, is found in b.ag. 13b:
,
All that Ezekiel saw Isaiah saw. What is Ezekiel like? A villager who saw the
king. And what is Isaiah like? A townsman who saw the king. This rabbinic comparison
120 chapter two

and its Targumic rendering hold the key to understanding our Targumic
Tosefta, and I would like to draw the readers attention to Isa. 6:2 in par-
ticular:
MT


Seraphim stood above him; each one had six wings. With two he covered his
face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew.

TgJon
599
601 600
Holy servants were in the height before Him; each one had six wings. With
two he covered his face, that he might not see, and with two he covered his
body, that it602 might not be seen, and with two he served.
As for the Targumic rendering, two observations are of interest to us.603
Firstly, the addition that he might not see is strongly reminiscent of
angelic lore in the rabbinic and Hekhalot literature: the celestial creatures
turn away their faces or cover them with their wings to avoid the destruc-
tive sight of God.604 The Targum implies that the holy servants had to
cover their faces in order not to be harmed by seeing Gods glory. This
exegesis accords with the rabbinic exposition of Isa. 6:2, found in Lev. R.
27:3 and Pes. K. 9:3:

could easily be interpreted as if Ezekiels description of the Merkabah vision is inferior to


Isaiahs, but, following the Medieval Jewish commentators, we can explore another avenue
of approach. Firstly, since Ezekiels audience in Babylonia lives far away from Jerusalem,
and some of his fellow exiles never saw the First Temple, the prophet goes to great lengths
in describing Gods sublime, heavenly throne and His earthly abode. Isaiahs contempo-
raries, on the other hand, did not require all these details. Furthermore, by giving such
an elaborate account of his vision, Ezekiel proves that, despite being a villager, i.e., living
outside Palestine, the spirit of prophecy rests upon him. See Rashi and Tosafot on b. ag.
13b; M. Maimonides, Guide for the Perplexed (trans. M. Friedlnder; London: Routledge,
1904), part 3, ch. 6; cf. M. Polliack, Ezekiel 1 and Its Role in Subsequent Jewish Mystical
Thought and Tradition, European Judaism 32 (1999), pp. 7078.
599 ] b and g lack the second .
600 ] o reads , which also means his face.
601 ] o renders Hebrew literally with his feet; c reads his
glory, pride.
602it ] I.e., his body. Female clashes in gender with , but this noun seems
to me the likeliest subject, and this type of gender disagreement is not uncommon in JLA.
603For a commentary on TgJons rendering of Isa. 6:1ff., see Chilton, The Isaiah Targum,
p. 15.
604See my comments on lines 4244 in 2.2.1.2.
the targumic toseftot to ezekiel 1 121


With two he covered his face, in order not to gaze upon the Shekhinah.
In addition, the Targum renders Hebrew foot with body,605
except for the Antwerp Polyglot Bible, which translates it literally. The
equation // is also found in TgJon 1 Sam. 2:9, and according to
Van Staalduine-Sulman the Targumist of the latter verse may have under-
stood the feet as a pars pro toto for the whole body.606 The same line of
thought could underlie TgJon Isa. 6:2, although we should allow for several
other possibilities. For instance, the rendering is due to the associative
translation technique: the Targumist wanted to harmonize this verse with
the similar phrase in Ezek. 1:11: , which TgJons
renders literally with and two covered their bod-
ies. Alternatively, he avoided a literal translation of Hebrew foot,
because he was aware of its euphemistic undertone.607 Finally, Lev. R. 27:3
and Pes. K. 9:3 may provide, once again, the most plausible explanation:


With two he covered his feet, that they might not to be exposed to the
Shekhinah. As it is written: The soles of their feet were like the sole of a calfs
foot (Ezek. 1:7); and as it is written: They made for themselves a molten calf
(Exod. 32:8).
According to this homiletic midrash whose proem-like form hints at
the synagogue as its original Sitz im Leben, the feet of the seraphim are
identical to the feet of the ayyot, which are said to resemble those of

605Halperin translates in TgJon Isa. 6:2 with his genitals rather than his body
(Faces of the Chariot, p. 531 n. b) on the strength that the only explanation for TgJons ren-
dering is that the Targumist interpreted Hebrew as a euphemism and wanted to ren-
der it with an Aramaic euphemism (although only Sokoloff explicitly mentions Aramaic
as a euphemism for the male sexual organ; DJPA, p. 123). Caution is in place as to
Halperins line of reasoning, because if the Targumist wanted to maintain the euphemistic
undertone, if indeed present, he could have used the Aramaic cognate instead. See
for instance TgJons rendering of in 2 Kgs. 18:27//Isa. 36:12 with
(in Isa. 7:20 and Ezek. 16:25, also refers to the genitals, but the word is embedded in
metaphorical speech, which TgJon interprets historically). Moreover, below we will see
that there are other, perhaps more valid reasons why the Targumist sought to avoid a
literal rendering of .
606Van Staalduine-Sulman, Targum of Samuel, p. 216.
607See Exod. 4:25; 2 Kgs. 18:27// Isa. 36:12; Isa. 7:20; Ezek. 16:25; and, possibly, Ruth 3:4,
7; cf. S. Keita and J.W. Dyk, The Scene at the Threshing Floor: Suggestive Readings and
Intercultural Considerations on Ruth 3, BT 57 (2006), pp. 1732; cf. footnote 605.
122 chapter two

a calf. To the rabbis this comparison was doctrinally dangerous, the calf
being an unsettling reminder of one of the darkest episodes in Israels
history. Consequently, they shied away from any connection between the
Merkabah and the peoples apostasy at the foot of Mount Sinai.608 This
rabbinic line of interpretation may have underlain the taboo on the feet
in TgJon Isa. 6:2, especially because this verse was embedded in a hafarah
reading to be heard by the synagogue audience.609 The Targumic render-
ing of Ezek. 1:7 further testifies to the rabbis discomfort with the mention-
ing of the calf in the public exposition of the Merkabah, for it translates
Hebrew with , reading round instead
of calf.610 The synagogal exposition of the latter verse was particularly
sensitive because it was part of the hafarah at Shavuot which accompa-
nied Exod. 19, the chapter on the theophany at Mount Sinai. This liturgical
context could have easily evoked the worshippers association of the calf
with the sin of the golden calf at Sinai.
The above excursus on TgJon Isa. 6:2 is necessary to grasp the message
of our Targumic Tosefta, which centres round the function of the crea-
tures wings. As seen above, in Isaiahs vision the seraphim have six wings,
in contrast to Ezekiels description, according to which the ayyot have
four wings at their sides (Ezek. 1:6, 8, 11). The Babylonian Talmud irons
out this discrepancy by stating that the number of wings was reduced
after the destruction of the Temple.611 Contrastingly, TgJon Ezek. 1:6 inex-
plicably multiplies the figure by equipping each creature with sixty four
wings.612 This does not affect the function of the wings, though, for TgJon
translates Ezek. 1:11 literally, which states that the wings were spread out
upward; two wings were directed towards the other creatures; and two
covered their bodies. Accordingly, the wings have fewer functions than
in the parallel in Isaiah. One pair covers the body (to hide the feet?), yet
it seems unclear why the second pair touches the creatures compan-

608On the Merkabah-calf tradition see Halperin, Faces of the Chariot, pp. 15793,
esp. 16062.
609TgJon Isa. 6:113 is preserved with other hafarot in T-S B18.27 (Klein, Targumic
Manuscripts, p. 35 no. 415); cf. the list in Triennial Cycle, in EncJud, vol. 20, pp. 14043,
according to which Isa. 6 is the hafarah for Exod. 18.
610Cf. Halperin, Faces of the Chariot, p. 128; Levey, Targum of Ezekiel, p. 21 n. 7.
611See b.ag. 13b.
612Due to TgJons multiplication and magnification, the image of the ayyot becomes
even more discomforting. This may be a further attestation of the pre-emptive intention,
which is also visible in the Targumic Toseftot to Ezek. 1.
the targumic toseftot to ezekiel 1 123

ion.613 It is here that our Tosefta-Targum steps in, and the resemblance
with TgJon Isaiah 6:2 and the aforementioned rabbinic parallels becomes
clear. Four creatures, who turned towards each other to show their humil-
ity, i.e., by turning towards his companion,614 each creature615 covers his
face with the pair of wings that is directed towards the other to show their
humility in the presence of Gods glory. The plausibility of this explana-
tion is proved by a striking parallel in the Hekhalot corpus. Compare our
Targumic Toseftas ] ...[ with the
following passage in Hekhalot Rabbati:616


All of them617 immediately get up in awe and fear, in trembling and holi-
ness, in truth and humility, and cover their faces with their wings, that they
may not recognize the likeness of God, who dwells on the Merkabah.
The proposed explanation of the Targumic Toseftas meaning differs from
the one offered by Kasher. He asserts that the Tosefta-Targum seeks to
clarify why the creatures moved straight ahead and did not turn when
they moved. According to Kasher, the phrase in
the preceding verse refers to the creatures chastity. The Tosefta-Targum
reinforces this image by making clear that the creatures were so chaste
that they avoided the sight of each others rear by looking straight ahead.618
However, the knowledge that the creatures have already covered their
bodies with their wings renders this precaution superfluous. Moreover,
according to the Tosefta-Targum, the creatures are turning their faces
() , and Kasher seeks to solve this discrepancy by speculating
that the negation may have dropped out.

613So Block: Combining vv. 8 and 11, we learn that of the two pairs possessed by each
creature, one was extended upward so that its tips touched the tips of the creature oppo-
site. This feature is reminiscent of the cherubim over the ark of the covenant in the holy
of holies, but Ezekiel seems not to have made this connection; The Book of Ezekiel, vol. 1,
p. 97.
614This is somewhat reminiscent of the interpretation of Onqelos the Proselyte in b.B.
Bat. 99a, where the faces of the cherubim are turned sideways and towards one another,
thus resolving a contradiction between 2 Chron. 3:13 and Exod. 25:20.
615Note that the Targumic Tosefta follows TgJon to Ezekiel by employing the same
equation for Hebrew animals, beings in the Merkabah chapters, viz., crea-
ture, being. By doing this, the composer shows his consistency, because the preceding
verses in Mazor Vitry are TgJon Ezek. 1:111, which also read .
616Schfer, Synopse, 183.
617All of them ] I.e., the angels.
618Kasher, Targumic Toseftot to the Prophets, p. 197.
124 chapter two

The thesis that I have sought to demonstrate is that the composer of


the Tosefta-Targum puts the Targumic exposition of Ezek. 1:12 on a par
with the rabbinic and Hekhalot lore on the angels, by making them avoid
the direct vision of God and his Merkabah. He felt the necessity to stress
that the creatures were humble and did turn away their faces whilst in
Gods presence.
Halperin only touches upon our Targumic Tosefta in passing because
he regards it as a seemingly late composition of minor importance:
Mazor Vitry contains a Targumic Tosefta to Ezekiel 1:12, which summarizes
Ezekiels vision and compares it to Isaiahs. I suspect that the compilers of
the Mazor themselves composed this note, and that it tells us nothing
about merkabah exegesis in antiquity.619
Halperins conjecture requires modification because, as seen above, some
variants in Mazor Vitrys version of TgJon Ezek. 1:112 have parallels in
other Targumic manuscripts, from which we may infer that the compiler
had a different recension at his disposal. In addition, below we will exam-
ine a Tosefta-Targum to Ezek. 37 in Mazor Vitry, of which we could have
said the same, following Halperins line of reasoning, had it not been for
Dez-Machos surprising discovery of a parallel Targum.620 Lastly, by reject-
ing this late medieval work as a valuable source for his research, Halperin
seems to contradict himself because he does use equally late composi-
tions, such as Midrash ha-Gadol, on the strength that they preserve older
traditions. Why should the same not hold true for Mazor Vitry?

2.6The Targumic Tosefta to Ezekiel 1:26 in Ms. 7


of the Montefiore Library

The collection of the Montefiore Library is currently solely accessible on


microfiches owned by the Library of the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and
Jewish Studies. Fortunately, the microfiche of Ms. 7 shows that the man-
uscript is in good condition and easily legible. Apart from the Targum
Jonathan text, which begins with 1 Sam. 5:11, this Sefardi manuscript also
contains the Targumim to Psalms, Job, and Proverbs. The colophon attri-
butes this work to David b. Nissim Harofe b. Vivas and states that it was

619Halperin, Faces of the Chariot, pp. 52829 n. h.


620Dez-Macho discovered this Targum in Pentateuch edn. Salonika, see 4.2.
the targumic toseftot to ezekiel 1 125

completed in 1486.621 We find the Targumic text of Ezek. 1 on ff. 3536, and
the Tosefta-Targum is preserved as a marginal note on f. 180r. The unvocal-
ized text, which is written in square characters, is dominated by a plene
spelling, and each Targumic verse is preceded by the Hebrew lemma. The
ligature for is employed, and two yods with a sort of medda in a vertical
position to their left serve as a substitute for the Tetragrammaton.622 Ms. 7
is one of the textual witnesses mentioned in The Bible in Aramaic, and I
would like to refer the reader to this edition for an overview of the vari-
ants in this manuscripts recension of TgJon Ezek. 1.623 The consonantal
variants listed by Sperber wholly agree with the actual manuscript. The
Tosefta-Targum has also been published by Kasher.624

2.6.1The Text and Translation of the Targumic Tosefta to Ezekiel 1:26


(Ms. 7 Montefiore Library)
The text and translation of both the MT and TgJon to Ezek. 1:26 are
presented first because they are essential to understand the Targumic
Tosefta.
MT


And above the expanse that was over their head was the form of a throne,
like the appearance of lapis lazuli stone. And above the form of the throne
was a form like the appearance of a human being over it from above.

TgJon
625
627 626" "
And above the expanse that was over their heads was the form of a throne,
like the appearance of a precious stone. And above the form of the throne
was a form like the appearance of a human being over it from above.

621Cf. H. Hirschfeld, Descriptive Catalogue of the Hebrew Mss. of the Montefiore Library
(London: Macmillan, 1904), p. 2.
622Cf. Lauterbach, Substitutes for the Tetragrammaton, p. 51 no. 26.
623Sperber, The Bible in Aramaic, vol. 3, pp. 26468.
624Kasher, Targumic Toseftot to the Prophets, p. 197.
625 ] b and g read .
626Hebr. ] b, g and f render literally with ; the
variant is found in o.
627 ] b lacks .
126 chapter two

The Tosefta-Targum to Ezek. 1:26 is recorded in the margin of f. 180r in Ms.


7 of the Montefiore Library:

Another version: The form of Jacob our father over it from above.

2.6.2Comments on the Targumic Tosefta to Ezekiel 1:26


(Ms. 7 Montefiore Library)
The motif of Jacobs image (engraved) on the Merkabah is found in
both rabbinic and Hekhalot materials, as we will see below, but despite
the ubiquity of this tradition, we are left in the dark as to its exegetical
background.628
One of the parallels is an early Amoraic midrash, preserved in Gen.
R. 68:12 and b.ul. 91b, which Peter Schfer discusses in his studies on
the rivalry between angels and humans.629 It describes how the angels
descend on the ladder whilst Jacob is asleep and start to mock him. Their
scorn is aroused by the fact that the scene of Jacob fast asleep on the
ground sharply contradicts the image of Jacob engraved on the Merkabah.630
Schfer sees in b.ul. 91b a later, abridged version of the midrashic pas-
sage in Genesis Rabba, and here the behaviour of the angels turns into
downright aggression. Their hatred is not just directed towards Jacob, but
to Gods people in general. That Jacob is synonymous with Israel is made
clear in Gen. R. 68:12, where Isa. 49:3 serves as a proof text:
Israel, in whom I will be glorified.631 According to Schfer, this

628See the interpretations offered by Halperin, Faces of the Chariot, p. 121; Kasher,
Targumic Toseftot to the Prophets, pp. 19798; J.Z. Smith, The Prayer of Joseph, in
J. Neusner (ed.), Religions in Antiquity; Essays in Memory of Erwin Ramsdell Goodenough
(Studies in the History of Religions, 14; Leiden: Brill Academic Publishers, 1970), pp. 253
94, esp. 28486; E.R. Wolfson, The Image of Jacob Engraved upon the Throne: Further
Reflection on the Esoteric Doctrine of the German Pietists, in idem, Along the Path: Studies
in Kabbalistic Myth, Symbolism, and Hermeneutics (Albany, N.Y.: State University of New
York Press, 1995), pp. 162, esp. 49.
629Schfer, Rivalitt zwischen Engeln und Menschen, pp. 204207.
630The midrash is also attested in the rendering of Gen. 28:12 in TgPsJ, TgNeof, and
FragTgP&V, with the difference that the angels do not mock Jacob. They only want to com-
pare the patriarchs earthly appearance with his heavenly image, with which they are so
familiar. Cf. Tg. 1 Chron. 21:15; Gen. R. 78:3, 82:2; Num. R. 4:1; Lam. R. 2:2.
631Cf. Num. R. 4:1, where the rabbis use Isa. 43:4 as a proof text when speaking of
Jacobs image on the throne of glory: because you are precious in my
sight. This implies that the image of Jacob/Israel is constantly in Gods sight because it is
engraved on his chariot.
the targumic toseftot to ezekiel 1 127

midrash implies a rivalry between the angels and Israel. The angels have
to vie for Gods love with Israel, and the latter is constantly in Gods sight,
being engraved on his Merkabah.
In Hekhalot Rabbati we find touching evidence of Gods deep love for
Israel, which is expressed through the celestial image of Jacob.632 God
describes how he tightly embraces and kisses the countenance of Jacob
engraved on the throne upon hearing his people chanting the Kedushah
prayer. Interestingly, in this parallel Jacob is also designated as father;633
cf. Jacob our father in our Targumic Tosefta. However,
whereas the Tosefta-Targum may have been intended to avoid anthropo-
morphism, the mentioning of Jacobs heavenly image in Hekhalot Rabbati
could not have served in a more anthropomorphic context.634
Another intriguing parallel is found in a piyyut that we discussed
earlier.635 The poem dates from Late Antiquity and describes how Moses
ascends to heaven to receive the Torah. Briefly it states that Moses sees
the image of Jacob looming ahead:
the image of Jacob rising opposite him.636 Given the fact that this poem
served in the liturgy for Shavuot, we may suggest that the motif of Jacobs
celestial image was already connected to the Targumic exposition of
Ezek. 1:26. As seen above, Ezek. 1 was the hafarah reading for Exod. 19 at
Shavuot, and this poem may have linked the Targumic interpretation of
Ezek. 1:26 to the Sinai-ascension lore.637
We should also allow for the possibility that the reading
is of a much later date because I could only find attestations of
its Hebrew parallel in medieval Jewish writings, such as Ibn Ezras com-
mentary on Deuteronomy 32:9 and Recanatis commentary on Numbers

632Schfer, Synopse, 164.


633 What I
do to the countenance of Jacob, their father, that is engraved for me on my throne of glory.
Following Mss. O1531 and V228, I read their father; the other Hekhalot Rabbati
manuscripts read your father.
634Cf. Halperin, Faces of the Chariot, p. 406f.
635See my comments on line 24 (the distinctive rendering of )in 2.2.1.2.
636Sokoloff, Yahalom, Jewish Palestinian Aramaic Poetry, pp. 11016, esp. 114 line 30. Cf.
Heinemann, Remains of the Piyyutic Creativity, pp. 36364.
637Cf. Halperin, Faces of the Chariot, p. 121; the same author discusses another poem,
titled Angele Meroma, which also betrays a link between the Sinai-ascension and Ezek. 1;
Faces of the Chariot, pp. 35051. This poem is found in Sokoloff, Yahalom, Jewish Palestinian
Aramaic Poetry, pp. 116120.
128 chapter two

10:35: ( ) .638 Although these parallels


do not link the midrash to Ezekiels vision of the Merkabah, they may
have inspired the copyist of Ms. 7 of the Montefiore Library or one of the
earlier tradents to translate the phrase into Aramaic and apply it to Ezek.
1:26. The rabbinic and Targumic parallels, on the other hand, read
, without the designation our father.

638Cf. the parallel () in Recanatis commentary on


Gen. 46:4 and Nachmanides commentary on Deut. 32:710.
Chapter Three

The Targumic Tosefta to Ezekiel 28:13

3.1Introduction

Ezek. 28:13ff. was the hafarah for Gen. 3:22, the third seder in the triennial
Palestinian lectionary cycle,1 and the connection between the two biblical
passages is not difficult to establish because Ezekiel 28 is imbued with the
paradisiacal imagery of Gen. 23. The setting in Eden and the paradise
motif of exaltation and hubris are adapted by the prophet in his charac-
terization of the king of Tyre, against whom Ezekiels lament is directed,
and whose portrayal strongly echoes that of the First Adam. Both the king
of Tyre and his primeval antecedent were not satisfied with the exalted
status bestowed upon them by the Lord, and in their hubris they sought
to become like their creator, which resulted in their fall.
The synagogue was in all likelihood also the setting of TgJon Ezek.
28:132 and its additional Targum, and these versions are characterized by
a seemingly free expansion due to the numerous textual difficulties in the
Hebrew Vorlage. The enigmatic words and phrases in the Hebrew source
text resulted in an original interpretation in TgJon which is carried even
further in the Targumic Tosefta, and in order to get a good understanding
of the latter, I first give the text and translation of the problematic Hebrew
verse and its rendering in TgJon.3

1Perrot, La Lecture de la Bible, p. 55; idem, The Reading of the Bible, p. 141.
2Cf. MS T-S B 17/2, which preserves the triennial hafarot for the second, third and
fourth sedarim of Genesis, both in Hebrew and in TgJon: Isa. 51:816 for Gen. 2:4; Ezek.
28:1325 for Gen. 3:22 under the heading ; and Isa. 29:1823 for Gen.
5:1; see Klein, Targumic Manuscripts, p. 31 no. 380.
3For an extensive treatment of TgJon Ezek. 28:13 see H.M. Patmore, Adam, Satan and
the King of Tyre: The Interpretation of Ezekiel 28:1119 in Late Antiquity (JCPS, 2; Leiden: Brill
Academic Publishers, 2012).
130 chapter three

MT

6 5 4

You7 were in Eden, the garden of God. Every precious stone was your cover-
ing: carnelian, peridot, and moonstone; topaz, onyx, and jasper; lapis lazuli,
turquoise, and emerald.8 And made of gold were your timbrels and your
flutes with you, which were made on the day you were created.

TgJon



9


With abundant wealth and luxuries you were delighted as if you were dwelling
in Eden, the garden of the Lord. Wealth, grandeur, and glory were given to
you. All precious stones adorned your garment: carnelian, a greenish jewel,
and moonstone; beryl of the sea, onyx, and spotted stone; sapphire, smaragd,
and emerald; inlaid in gold. Your adornment was made of all these. Then your
heart exalted and you did not even look at your body, made of openings and
holes, which you need,10 without which you cannot live, and which were made
together with you from the day you were created.


4 ] It can be linked either to the preceding list of precious stones or to the fol-
lowing clause. The Masoretic punctuation suggests the former, whereas BHS proposes the
latter.

5 ] Both ancient versions and modern translations are far from univocal in their
rendering of this lexeme, which in its extant form can only be understood as timbrel,
tambourine, see BHS; Block, The Book of Ezekiel, vol. 2, p. 100; Zimmerli, Ezechiel, vol. 2,
p. 674. I adhere to MTs reading in the footsteps of HALAT, p. 1631 (Jedenfalls scheint es
schwierig, fr das sbst. eine andere als die gelufige Bedtg. anzunehmen).

6 ] Even more enigmatic is this lexeme, in which the root to pierce can
be recognized. Could it refer to another music instrument, made of gold and with perfora-
tions, a flute for example? In the following, we will see that the Targumic Tosefta supports
this line of thought.

7You ] I.e., the haughty king of Tyre.

8Carnelian, ...and emerald ] I have adopted Blocks rendering of the gemstones with
which the king of Tyre was adorned. See for a discussion of the jewels and their probable
origin, Block, The Book of Ezekiel, vol. 2, pp. 107109; further on Hebrew gemmology, see
P.S. Alexander, The Targum of Canticles (AramB, 17A; Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 2003), pp.
21013.

9 [ cf. TgJon Ezek. 28:2 ) ( because you lifted
your heart (and said: I am a god).
10 ] Lit. your need. In Targumic and Rabbinic literature, need, necessity
is regularly used as a euphemism to designate the organs for excretion, see Levy, CWT,
vol. 2, pp. 33637; Sokoloff, DJPA, pp. 46162. The euphemistic overtone is more notice-
targumic tosefta to ezekiel 28:13 131

3.2The Targumic Tosefta to Ezekiel 28:13 in


Codex Reuchlinianus

Ezek. 28:13 is found in the second column of f. 320r in Codex Reuchlinianus.11


As said in 2.4, the Tiberian vocalization of Codex Reuchlinianus is fraught
with difficulties, and, hence my sole focus is on the consonantal text. The
Hebrew text and TgJon of Ezek. 28:13 show a prevalent plene spelling, and
three yods with a qame serve as a substitute for the Tetragrammaton in
TgJon.12 The variants mainly concern the absence of vowel-letters,13 apart
from 14 for MTs in the Hebrew text, which might be a case of
haplography.15
The Targumic Tosefta to Ezek. 28:13 is written on the margin directly
below the second column of f. 320r under the headings and
, which could mean that the scribe who composed Codex
Reuchlinianus or its Vorlage found this gloss in two different Targumic
manuscripts. This marginal gloss is unpointed with a prevalent plene
spelling. It does not contain abbreviations, and the and , and ,
and and are hardly distinguishable. The Divine Name is substituted
with three yods in a cluster.16 The Tosefta-Targum agrees in its quota-
tions with the version of TgJon Ezek. 28:13 in Codex Reuchlinianus in that
they share exactly the same plene spelling, apart from in TgJon
Codex Reuchlinianus and in TosTg Codex Reuchlinianus.17
This Targumic Tosefta has previously been published by Lagarde,18
Sperber,19 and Kasher.20 This lengthy gloss is conspicuous by its absence
in Bachers analysis of the Codex Reuchlinianus marginalia, both in the

ably present in the following Targumic Tosefta, where undoubtedly refers


to defecation and urination.
11Sperber, The Pre-Masoretic Bible, p. 643.
12Three yods in a cluster; cf. Lauterbach, Substitutes for the Tetragrammaton, p. 55
no. 56.
13E.g.,
for in TgJon.
14Or , since there is hardly any difference between waw and zayin in Codex
Reuchlinianus.
15One of the criticisms of Sperbers The Bible in Aramaic concerns the typographical
errors found mainly in the vocalization and in the critical apparatus. I therefore carefully
checked the consonantal variants mentioned in Sperbers edition against the facsimile
reproduction of Codex Reuchlinianus, but I did not come across any errors.
16See footnote 12 above.
17In the following text, the quotations from TgJon Ezek. 28:13 are set in italics.
18Lagarde, Prophetae Chaldaice, p. xxxviii
19Sperber, The Bible in Aramaic, vol. 3, p. 332.
20Kasher, Targumic Toseftot to the Prophets, p. 198.
132 chapter three

categories ( f6)21 and ( f5).22 A discussion of this


variant in connection with the numerous parallels in midrashic works
would have fitted very well in Bachers discourse. Moreover, our Tosefta-
Targum goes unmentioned when Bacher sums up all the glosses with the
double headings and .23

3.2.1The Text and Translation of the Targumic Tosefta to Ezekiel 28:13


(Codex Reuchlinianus)
"" 1
2
24 3
26 25 4
5

21Bacher did not recognize the glosses with the heading ( f7) as a separate
group, and listed them under the aggadic groups and ; Kritische
Untersuchungen, p. 5 n. 1; cf. Gordon, Studies in the Targum, p. 26 n. 73; Smelik, Targum
of Judges, p. 170.
22TosTg Ezek. 28:13 also goes unmentioned in G. Klein, Bemerkungen zu Herrn Dr.
Bachers Kritischen Untersuchungen zum Prophetentargum, ZDMG 29 (1875), pp. 157
61, and W. Bacher, Gegenbemerkungen und Nachtrge das Prophetentargum betreffend,
ZDMG 29 (1975), pp. 31920.
23Ezek. 16:26 ( f3 + f5) and Ezek. 44:20 ( f4 + f5)
have gone unheeded too, in contrast to Ezek. 9:10 ( f2 + f5) and
Ezek. 16:39 ( f2 + f3 + f5); see Bacher, Kritische
Untersuchungen, pp. 3435.
24 ... ]I am hesitant to ascribe the difference in the terms for the stones
between TgJon and the Targumic Tosefta to dialectal influence (cf. and ;
and ;and ). Although the terms employed in our Tosefta-
Targum occur more often in LJLA, one requires frequently occurring words to discriminate
between various Aramaic dialects, and gems are too infrequently mentioned in Aramaic
sources to be of any significance.
25 ] The - after to spring up, jump is puzzling given the masc. pl. subject,
. We could either emend the verbal form to Peal participle , or treat - as a
scribal error for -, thus reading , third person masc. pl. perfect. The latter emenda-
tion would be in agreement with the preceding perfect .
26 ] In the Ms. the penultimate letter could either be , or , and this con-
fusion has resulted in different readings in the extant editions: Lagarde reads ,
whereas Sperber and Kasher both have . Lagardes reading poses a problem,
because the preposition towards is usually preceded by -. Moreover, we would
expect the - ending rather than -: towards him. This reading thus requires
two emendations in order to make sense. The -reading of Sperber and Kasher, on
the other hand, is perfectly intelligible.
targumic tosefta to ezekiel 28:13 133

6
27 7

Another book, another targum


line 1

You were in Eden, the garden of the Lord. All precious stones adorned your gar-
line 2

ment. You saw with your own eyes the ten canopies which I made line 3 for the first
Adam, (made of ) carnelian, a greenish jewel, and moonstone; beryl of the Great
Sea, onyx, and spotted stone; sapphire, emerald, and smaragd, and fine gold. line 4
All the works of Creation rejoiced at his wedding28 and angels leapt before him with
timbrels and flutes. So, on the day line 5 Adam was created, they gathered to honor
him, but after this he went astray and was banished from there. You, too, did not
take a lesson from him line 6 but your heart exalted and you did not look at your body,
that you are made of openings and holes which you need for excretion, and without
which you cannot live, line 7 and which were made together with you from the day you
were created.

3.2.2Comments on the Targumic Tosefta to Ezekiel 28:13


(Codex Reuchlinianus)
At first glance it seems the Tosefta-Targum has expanded freely on this
Hebrew verse with its numerous textual obscurities, but closer inspec-
tion reveals a translation which has seamlessly blended all the possible
interpretations through means of doublets and even triplets, and bears a
remarkable resemblance to aggadic traditions. To give a better insight in
the translational strategy employed in this Targumic Tosefta, I will start
my commentary with an overview of the double (and even triple) transla-
tions, in comparison with the version in TgJon:29

27 ] The fem. pl. - after Pael to prepare, establish does not agree in gender
with the masc. pl. subjects, ; cf. the participle passive masc. pl. in
TgJon. Ezek. 28:13. Perhaps we are dealing with a scribal error.
28All the works ...wedding ] Levey translates: They showed him at his wedding all
the works of creation; Targum of Ezekiel, p. 84 n. d. However, I do not see any reason why
cannot serve as the subject in this phrase, given the free word order
that is characteristic of Aramaic, especially of the late Eastern dialects; cf. Cook, Rewriting
the Bible, pp. 22223.
29An equation that is standard for TgJon will be indicated in the footnotes.
134 chapter three

Hebrew TgJon TosTg

covering 1. garment 1. garment (=TgJon)30


2. to see31
3. cover, canopy32
carnelian, ruby 1. red precious stone 1. red precious stone (=TgJon)
2. Adam
1. 1. work, deed, affair34
work, workmanship work, business, labour33 2. to make, do (=TgJon)
2. to make, do 3. angel
1. 1.
timbrels and flutes (?) openings and holes openings and holes (=TgJon)
2. , timbrels and flutes35
1. 1.
on the day you were they were made together with and which were made together with
created they were you from the day you were you from the day you were created
prepared created (=TgJon)
2.
on the day Adam was created, they
were prepared to honor him

303132333435
The King of Tyre in Eden, the Garden of the Lord (line 2)
The Hebrew source text reads the garden of God, and this
phrase returns in Ezek. 31:89 as part of the prophets oracle against the
Pharaoh. In his commentary, Block assumes that, although Ezekiel, being
an Israelite, probably preferred , he employed because
he did not want to mention the Divine Name and a foreign ruler in one
and the same breath.36 We have to bear in mind, though, that is

30In accordance with TgJon, has first been derived from to cover, and
interpreted as a piece of garment, hence, ;cf. Kasher, Targumic Toseftot to the
Prophets, p. 198.
31The word is also associated with the Aramaic verb to look, watch, and
equated with to see; cf. Kasher, Targumic Toseftot to the Prophets, p. 198.
32 is interpreted as hedge (cf. Mic. 7:4) from to hedge, fence about
and associated with ( marriage) canopy from to enclose, surround, hence .
33 // is a standard equation in TgJon, e.g., Judg. 16:11; 1 Sam. 8:16; Jer.
17:22, 24; Ezek. 15:35.
34 // is only found in variant readings: TgJon Ezek. 15:3 (Ms. 7 of the
Montefiore Library, Jews College, London) and TgJon Jon. 1:8 (Antwerp Polyglot Bible and
Codex Reuchlinianus: f4).
35 // is also attested in TgJon Isa. 24:8; 30:32.
36Block, The Book of Ezekiel, vol. 2, p. 105.
targumic tosefta to ezekiel 28:13 135

only attested twice in the Hebrew Bible,37 too few times to regard it as the
standard expression for which Ezekiel may have had a preference. The dif-
ference may just as well be explained as a matter of personal style.
In the Targums any possible nuance has been lost with both
and being translated as .38 However, although TgJon
Ezek. 28:13 and the Tosefta-Targum share the reading , these
versions differ in how far they carry the Biblical imagery through. Whereas
the Targumic Tosefta, in line with the Hebrew Vorlage, portrays the King
of Tyre as literally residing in the garden of Eden,39 TgJon tones down the
imagery by turning it into a comparative metaphor.40 The reason behind
TgJons translation strategy may have been to circumvent the idea that
the king of Tyre, who in his hubris claimed divine status, had actually
lived in the Garden of Eden. To protect the unspoilt image of paradise, the
targumist treated the verse as a simile and inserted as if .41
So the actual presence of the king of Tyre in the Garden of Eden is
affirmed in the Targumic Tosefta and subtly denied in TgJon, and these
opposite views are reflected in rabbinic literature. According to aggadic
tradition, the name of the king of Tyre against whom Ezekiel addresses
his prophecy is Hiram, ruler in the days of David and Solomon.42 We learn

37 in Gen. 13:10 and Isa. 51:3 ( in Ezek. 28:13; 31:89).


38TgOnq Gen. 13:10 (idem TgPsJ and TgNeof); TgJon Isa. 51:3; TgJon Ezek. 28:13 (idem
TosTg). However, in Ezek. 31:89 has been paraphrased with
.
39Hebrew // TosTg " .
40Cf. Kasher, Targumic Toseftot to the Prophets, p. 198; Levey, Targum of Ezekiel, p. 83
n. 12. On the comparative metaphor, see Churgin, Targum Jonathan to the Prophets, pp.
8492; cf. R. Kasher, Metaphor and Allegory in the Aramaic Translations of the Bible, JAB
1 (1999), pp. 5377, esp. 58.
41Another example of such a pre-emptive reading is found in Ezek. 23:33, where
Oholibah, i.e., Jerusalem, the lewd and whorish mistress of high-ranking Egyptians,
Assyrians, and Babylonians, is sentenced to drink the cup of death:
MT You will be filled with drunkenness and grief
TgJon Lo!, like a drunkard you will be filled with sorrow
In this verse, the Targum maintains the metaphor, but by inserting the comparative
-, Oholiba/Jerusalem is spared the humiliation of being portrayed as a drunkard. There
is no reason for the synagogue-goers to feel embarrassed: the Holy City is compared to a
drunk, but is not one itself. Leveys translation Behold, you shall be filled with sorrow and
pain (Targum of Ezekiel, p. 73) presupposes the copula - before in the text, which is
only the case in the variant reading of b and o (g reads ). Furthermore, I only came
across the noun in the meaning caraway; Sokoloff, DJBA, p. 599.
42E.g., Gen. R. 9:5; 96:5; b.B.Bat. 75a; b.ul. 89a; Yal. Shim. Ezek. 28. The aggadic tradi-
tion that identifies the accused king of Tyre with Hiram is also attested in the works of
the fourth century Church Fathers Aphrahat, Ephraim, and Jerome; cf. L. Ginzberg, Die
Haggada bei den Kirchenvtern und in der apokryphischen Literatur (Berlin: S. Calvary,
1900), pp. 12628. In the Bible, however, the identity of the king of Tyre in Ezekiel 28 is
136 chapter three

from the Bible that the relationship between the two kingdoms was peace-
ful, and that Hiram even assisted in the building of Solomons Temple
by supplying skilled artisans and timber of cedar and cypress.43 Judging
from the aggadic material, these biblical references to Hiram must have
eventually been linked to the oracle against the anonymous king of Tyre
in Ezek. 28. As a result, Hiram was transformed into a king who entered
the Garden of Eden alive because of his assistance in the building of the
Temple, but who became haughty and compared himself to God and sub-
sequently fell from grace.44 However, the idea that Hiram actually resided
in Eden as a reward for his good deed is out of the question for the third
century Amora R. ama bar anina:
.45 According to this Palestinian Amora, the phrase
should be understood as referring to Adam instead.
It was Adam who was in Eden and who had to suffer death because of
Nebuchadnezzars and Hirams divine claim. Death had to be created so
that ultimately these two haughty rulers would die as punishment for their
hubris. And since Adam was the first man, he was the first who had to face
death.46 It seems as if R. ama bar anina is reacting to the tradition that
Hiram lived in paradise by putting him on a par with Nebuchadnezzar
and stressing his haughtiness. Perhaps we should see TgJons translation
in the same light, namely as an attempt to purify the image of the Garden
of Eden by excluding the sinful king of Tyre from it. However, we do not
know if and to what extent the rabbinic tradition about Hiram has influ-
enced the composer. In both TgJon and TosTg to Ezek. 28:13 Hiram is not
explicitly mentioned as the king of Tyre. Hence, we should be careful not
to jump to conclusions by attributing the two Targums to two opposing
rabbinic views on Hirams presence in the Garden of Eden.

shrouded in mystery. According to Zimmerli, the description of the king was deliberately
stereotypical in order to keep Ezekiels message as timeless as possible; Ezechiel, vol. 2,
p. 665. Block tentatively suggests Ethbaal III or his successor Baal II as possible candidates,
both kings ruled Tyre in Ezekiels days; The Book of Ezekiel, vol. 2, p. 95.
432 Sam. 5:11 // 2 Chron. 14:1; 1 Kgs. 5:15ff. // 2 Chron. 2:2ff.
44The name of Hiram is enumerated in the list of immortals who gained entry to para-
dise during their lifetime: Kalla R. 3:26; Der. Er. Zu. 1:18; Alphabet of Ben Sira 28b, 29a, 37a;
Yal. Shim. Ezek. 28. Ginzbergs conclusion that these lists only emerged in the late period
(not before the 10th century) is no longer tenable, because the extracanonical Talmudic
tractates Kalla R. and Der. Er. Zu can be dated to the Amoraic period; Ginzberg, Legends
of the Jews, vol. 5, p. 96 n. 67.
45Gen. R. 9:5.
46Ibid.; Cf. b.B.Bat. 75ab ( some say). In this alternative explanation,
the drums and holes are taken as a reference to the grave (i.e., the grave
of Adam), see Rashbams commentary on the Talmudic tractate.
targumic tosefta to ezekiel 28:13 137

The Tradition of the Bejeweled Wedding Canopies (lines 23)


It seems the composer has ingeniously linked this Tosefta-Targum with
the tradition of the bejeweled canopies that God made for Adam by means
of double translations.47 Many rabbinic sources take
as alluding to Adam instead of Hiram and under-
stand covering as canopies. However, rabbinic tradition dis-
agrees on their exact number. The prevalent opinion is ten canopies, in
agreement with the nine stones plus gold that are enumerated.48 But we
also come across nine,49 eleven,50 twelve,51 and even thirteen canopies,52
depending on where the enumeration starts and ends according to the
respective rabbi. The rabbis whom these numbers are attributed to are
mainly second and third generation Palestinian Amoraim,53 and the tradi-
tion that links Ezek. 28:13 with Adam and the ten canopies may therefore
be tentatively dated to the (late) third century.54 In contrast to TgJon, our
Tosefta-Targum refers to this tradition, although indirectly. It still regards
the Hebrew as alluding to
Hiram rather than Adam, but subtly interweaves the tradition of Adams
wedding canopies.

The Parade of the Works of Creation and the Angels at the Wedding
(lines 45)
The targumist has rendered work, workmanship twice, both
as works of Creation and angels, and connected them with the story of
Adams ten canopies by letting them rejoice, play music, and dance before

47See overview of the double translations at the beginning of this commentary.


48Attributed to our Rabbis in Gen. R. 18:1; Lev. R. 20:2; Qoh. R. 8:1:2; Pes. K. 4:4; PRE
12; Pes. R. 14:10; attributed to R. Simon in Gen. R. 18:1; attributed to R. ama b. anina in
b.B.Bat. 75a.
49Attributed to R. Levi in Gen. R. 18:1.
50Attributed to R. Simeon b. Laqish in Gen. R. 18:1; Lev. R. 20:2; Qoh. R. 8:1:2; Pes. K. 4:4;
Pes. R. 14:10; attributed to Mar Zutra in b.B.Bat. 75a.
51Alphabet of R. Aqiba (edn. Jellinek, Bet ha-Midrasch, vol. 1, part 3, p. 60).
52Attributed to R. ama b. anina in Gen. R. 18:1; Lev. R. 20:2; Qoh. R. 8:1:2; Pes. K. 4:4;
Pes. R. 14:10; Tan. Buber Gen. 5.2; Tan. Buber Lev. 6.3.
53With the remarkable exception of Mar Zutra, mentioned in b.B.Bat. 75a. Moreover,
this Talmudic passage is noticeable because it mentions R. ama b. anina as the one who
speaks of ten canopies, whereas he advocates thirteen canopies in the parallel sources.
54In this case the dating of a tradition by means of the attributions to the rabbis
seems justified since there is a remarkable consistency among the various sources, with
the exception of b.B.Bat. 75a, as detailed in the footnote above.
138 chapter three

the First Adam on his wedding day. The image of a joyful parade of celes-
tial bodies and angels that celebrates the creation and marriage of the
First Man mirrors two agggadic works from the Geonic period, PRE 12
and Alphabet of R. Aqiba.55 Both sources describe how on Adams wedding
day in the Garden of Eden, God prepares the bejewelled canopies and
heavenly beings rejoice with dance and music. We may be dealing with
an aggadah that emerged in the process of illuminating Ezekiel 28:13, a
verse fraught with textual obscurities, as detailed above. However, given
the few extant sources it is difficult to say precisely when this aggadah first
germinated in rabbinic circles. As said above, the tradition of the nuptial
canopies, which is interwoven in the aggadah on the First Mans wedding,
may go back to early Amoraic times, but no source earlier than the Geonic
period mentions the longer aggadah.
As to the interdependency between the parallels, the Targumic Tosefta
shares most resemblances with PRE 12. Although the Alphabet of R. Aqiba,
unlike PRE, refers to the works of creation like the sun, moon, stars, it
speaks of twelve canopies. According to PRE and our Targumic Tosefta,
on the other hand, God made ten canopies, see further the list of paral-
lels below:

TosTg Ezek. 28:13 PRE 12







Palestine is considered the likely place of origin of PRE,56 and some dia-
lectal features of the version of this aggadah in our Tosefta-Targum point
in that direction too, namely the numeral with the determinate ending
, and, most tellingly, the verb .57 These Palestinian Aramaic
features may hint at a connection between TosTg Ezek. 28:13 and PRE 12,

55Edn. Jellinek, Bet ha-Midrasch, vol. 1, part 3, p. 60. Cf. also Job 38:7, where the stars
together with the angels sing the praise of the creation of the world.
56Strack, Stemberger, Introduction to Talmud and Midrash, p. 357.
57More on these dialectal markers in 5.1.
targumic tosefta to ezekiel 28:13 139

and the following scenarios are possible. The nascent form of this aggadah
may have been rooted in the Palestinian exegetical tradition and found
its way into each work separately. Alternatively, the aggadic passage in
TosTg Ezek. 28:13 may be an abridged version of PRE. Or, conversely, the
aggadah could have originated in the targumists exegesis of Ezek. 28:13,
and have been subsequently adopted and embellished by PRE. The latest
possibility implies the profound originality of the targumists translational
strategy.58

The Hubris and Downfall of the King of Tyre (lines 57)


All the splendor which was bestowed upon the First Man was not deemed
enough, and in his hubris he sought to become like God, which led to
his expulsion from the Garden of Eden. Instead of giving heed to Adams
fate, the king of Tyre claimed divine status as well. In both TgJon and our
Targumic Tosefta he is brought down to earth with the sobering message
that he is human after all since he is created with the necessary organs to
relieve himself.
Although TgJon and the Tosefta-Targum are in close alignment here,
TgJon refers to the excretory orifices in a veiled manner (), whereas
our Tosefta-Targum is slightly more explicit () , which adds
to the humiliation.59 A parallel, anatomical interpretation is found in
b.B.Bat. 75a:
, ?
,
What means the work of your timbrels and your flutes with you (Ezek.
28:13)? Rav Yehudah said in the name of Rav, The Holy One, blessed be He,
said to Hiram, the King of Tyre: I looked upon you, and created orifices in
man.
According to this Talmudic version, it is because God foresaw Hirams
hubris that humans are created such that they have to relieve themselves,
which will remind them of their humble and mortal status and should

58See Shinan, who has criticized the tendency to assume a priori the dependency of
the Targums upon rabbinic tradition; A. Shinan, The Aggadah of the Palestinian Targums
of the Pentateuch and Rabbinic Aggadah: Some Methodological Considerations, in D.R.G.
Beattie and M.J. McNamara (eds.), The Aramaic Bible: Targums in their Historical Context
(JSOTSup 166; Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1994), pp. 20317.
59Cf. footnote 10 above.
140 chapter three

thus prevent any hubris. The Talmud attributes this interpretation of


Ezek. 28:13 to Rav and his pupil Rav Yehudah, Babylonian Amoraim from
the third century, and we are left in the dark as to the interrelationship
between this Talmudic passage and the Targums to Ezek. 28:13. Has the
Babylonian Talmud drawn from the Targum, or vice versa, or were both
works perhaps influenced by an already existing exegetical tradition?
We also have to take another possible source of influence into account,
namely the Yoser HaAdam benediction.60 This prayer appears in sev-
eral forms and places, but the formulation in b.Ber. 60b, which should
be recited after relieving oneself, mirrors TgJon and TosTg Ezekiel. 28:13
most clearly:
:


When he comes out he says, Blessed is He who formed man in wisdom and
created in him many orifices and many cavities. It is fully known before the
throne of Your glory that if one of them opens or one of them closes it would
be impossible to stand before You.
The reference to the organs of bodily discharge in this prayer is a far cry
from the more vulgar and satirical context in b.B.Bat. 75a. Here, the organs
are not a source of mockery and humiliation, but, instead, they let us mar-
vel at the ingenious functioning of the body.61 However, the version of
Yoser HaAdam in b.Ber. 60b may not necessarily have been the underly-
ing source for the Targums. On the contrary, according to Bar-Ilan, the
motif of the openings and holes that were created for man and without
which he cannot live, is old and already found in TgJon Ezek. 28:13, thus
implying that the Targumic version antedated b.Ber. 60b.62

60On this prayer and its various occurences, see M. Bar-Ilan, The Occurrences and the
Significance of the Yoser Haadam Benediction, HUCA 56 (1985), pp. 927 (in Hebrew).
61See R. Kimelman, The rabbinic theology of the physical: blessings, body and soul,
resurrection, and covenant and election, in S.T. Katz (ed.), The Cambridge History of
Judaism. Vol. IV: The Late Roman-Rabbinic Period (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press,
2006), pp. 94676, esp. 954.
62Bar-Ilan, Occurences and Significance, p. 15. Cf. the rendering of Deut. 32:18 in
TgNeof., TgPsJ and FragTgV, in which a play on the Hebrew verb to bring forth and
Aramaic to drill, pierce results in the interpretation that God has created man
with many cavities; see E.G. Clarke, Targum Pseudo-Jonathan: Deuteronomy (AramB, 5B;
Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1998), p. 92 n. 77; M.J. McNamara, Targum Neofiti 1: Deuteronomy
(AramB, 5A; Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1997), p. 154 n. 51.
targumic tosefta to ezekiel 28:13 141

Although scholars have drawn attention to the Targumic parallels with


b.B.Bat. 75a and b.Ber. 60b,63 they overlooked a midrashic explanation
of Exod. 7:15 which may provide further clues as to the wording of our
Targumic version. According to the Hebrew Bible, Moses has to confront
the Pharaoh and announce the first plague when the latter goes out to
the Nile in the morning. The reason for Pharaohs daily visit to the river
is not given, and one of the rabbinic explanations holds that he went to
the river bank each morning to secretly relieve himself. This in order to
uphold his divine status, because gods do not have such needs. But the
Pharaoh is caught in the act by Moses and his deception is exposed. The
earliest reference to this midrashic tradition is found in Tan. Vaera 14,64
which stems from the Geonic period, but we may be dealing with older
material. This view is also held by Ginzberg, who describes this legend
as a satire on the deification of the Ceasars,65 implying that this tradi-
tion emerged when Palestine was still under Roman domination, and
the divine claim of the Roman emperors was mocked in the guise of the
Pharaohs hubris.
The motif of a villainous ruler who pretends to be a god, but who is
degraded by being made aware of his need to relieve himself is shared
with our Targums. As Moses once humiliated the Pharaoh by the river
bank, so Ezekiel has to confront the king of Tyre and show him that he
is just a mere mortal with the same needs as any other human being.
Whether or not our Targumic version was also intended as veiled criti-
cism of the cult of the Roman emperor, remains an open question, but
the motif itself may indeed go back to the Palestinian exegetical tradi-
tion, since we have seen that the parallels with b.B.Bat. 75a and b.Ber.
60b do not necessarily presuppose that the Targum is dependant on the
Babylonian tradition.

In conclusion, the study of this Targumic Tosefta does not yield firm
statements as to its date and provenance, although we may tentatively
consider Palestine as the place of origin. We find several parallels in
rabbinic literature, but they need not have been the sources which
the Targumist adopted. The core of aggadic material may already have

63Bar-Ilan, Occurences and Significance, p. 15; Kasher, Targumic Toseftot to the


Prophets, p. 199; Levey, Targum of Ezekiel, p. 85 n. 14.
64This midrash is also attested in later works such as Exod. R. 9:8; Midrash Aggadah
Exod. 8:16; Leqa Tob Exod. 8:16.
65Ginzberg, Legends of the Jews, vol. 5, pp. 42728 n. 175.
142 chapter three

been in circulation long before it eventually found its way into rabbinic
writings, nor should we rule out the possibility that the exegesis in our
Tosefta-Targum is profoundly original and influenced the rabbinic exeget-
ical tradition. Some linguistic features of our Targumic Tosefta hint at a
Palestinian provenance, although I am hesitant to designate TosTg. Ezek.
28:13 as belonging to the (long lost?) Palestinian Targum to the Prophets,
of which TgJon Ezek. 28:13 may have been an abridged version. The
Targumic Tosefta seems to share a common textual basis with TgJon, but
there are also some noticeable differences in their exegesis. For instance,
TgJon adds , ,
and , but lacks the detailed description of the wed-
ding of Adam and his ten canopies. Perhaps both versions had their origin
in a proto-TgJon, but were transmitted and edited independently.
Interestingly, this is another hafaric Tosefta-Targum to Ezekiel which
elaborately deals with the downfall of a foreign ruler with divine pre-
tensions. In the Targumic Toseftot to Ezek. 1:1 Nebuchadnezzar wants
to conquer the highest heavens whereupon he is cast into hell, and we
have described this expansive additional version as a pre-emptive read-
ing: a subtle warning to the synagogue audience not to get involved with
speculation about the Merkabah. According to exegetical tradition Hiram,
the king of Tyre, was punished for building seven metallic heavens in
the sea, on top of which he placed a throne,66 and Halperin assumes a
link between this legend and the anti-Merkabah tradition.67 Could our
Targumic Tosefta also be understood in this light, namely, as an attempt
to induce the synagogue-goers to shy away from the Merkabah by illus-
trating the humiliation of the king of Tyre? It is an alluring thought, but, as
said before, both TgJon and TosTg Ezek. 28:13 do not explicitly equate the
king of Tyre with Hiram, and the earliest attestations of Hiram building
a palace upon the waters can only be dated to the late medieval period,
although Halperin believes the aggadah draws on earlier material.68 It is
nevertheless highly questionable whether the congregation hearing this
Targum in the synagogue would automatically have associated it with the
legend of Hirams self-made seven heavens.

66Yal. Shim. Ezek. 28; cf. MHG Exod. 7:1.


67Halperin, Faces of the Chariot, pp. 24147.
68Ibid., p. 244.
Chapter Four

The Targumic Toseftot to Ezekiel 37

4.1Introduction

Ezekiel 37, which recounts the prophets vision of the dry bones, func-
tioned as the hafarah for the Sabbath in the week of Passover,1 and the
Targumic versions of this passage seemed to have played an important
synagogal-liturgical role as well. I write versions because besides the ren-
dering in TgJon we find additional and extensively aggadic Targums to
this passage in two late medieval Jewish works, namely the Pentateuch of
Salonika and the halakhic-liturgical composition, Mazor Vitry. These two
Tosefta-Targums will be discussed in this chapter.
We will see in the following that the Targumic Toseftot to Ezek. 37 devi-
ate significantly from TgJons literal rendering of Ezekiels vision of the dry
bones. The apparent lack of translational freedom is noticeable in TgJon
Ezek. 37:1, where we come across the following repetition:
// . The repetitive
character of this rendering is striking given TgJons translational strategy
to avoid repeating the same word(s). As a rule, TgJon attributes a distinct
significance to each of the repeated words in the Hebrew source text and
translates it accordingly.2 Here, however, TgJon veers in the opposite direc-
tion: the Hebrew verse does not contain any repetitions, and, yet, TgJon
employs the same words twice. This repetition has its roots in TgJons
strategy to translate the anthropomorphically-laden and
with ,3 but it is significant that these phrases are
rendered identically in one and the same verse. We may infer from this
that there was simply no room for alternative translational equivalents
given the doctrinal importance of this passage.

1On Ezek. 37:1ff. as a hafarah see footnote 30 below.


2See Churgin, Targum Jonathan to the Prophets, pp. 8990.
3The Hebrew is rendered with in TgJon Ezek. 1:3; 3:22;
8:1; 37:1; 40:1; and rendered with in TgJon Ezek. 3:14; 33:22. More on
TgJons readings of see Smelik, Targum of Judges, pp. 36263. Hebrew
rendered with in TgJon Ezek. 1:5, 24; 37:1.
144 chapter four

In addition, the close alignment to the Hebrew Vorlage is remarkable


since one of TgJons favourite translation techniques is to strip prophetic
speech of its metaphors, with which Ezek. 37 is lavishly clothed, and to
convey the literal meaning instead.4 Doctrinal concerns may have trig-
gered this deviation in TgJons translational strategy: in order to serve the
higher good, viz., the right conveyance of the resurrection-dogma, and to
avoid any theological errors, TgJon sacrificed its stylistic and translational
variation. The Tosefta-Targums, however, may have taken over TgJons
interpretative and explanatory function. Whereas TgJon slavishly follows
the Hebrew source text of Ezek. 37, they give an original interpretation
of Ezekiels dry bones vision. So the additional Targums do seem to have
the translational freedom that TgJon apparently lacks in conveying this
chapter.

4.2The Targumic Tosefta to Ezekiel 37:114 in the


Pentateuch Salonika

The unique Hebrew Pentateuch of Salonika, which dates from 1513, con-
tains a version of TgJon 37:114 on f. 419r, which is followed by a Targumic
Tosefta on ff. 419r420v.5 This Salonika Pentateuch was formerly in the
possession of The Zalman Schocken Library in Jerusalem, and the library
now has a facsimile edition, of which I received copies of the respective
folios.
Both Targumic versions of Ezek. 37:114 in this early printed edition6
are characterized by Tiberian vocalization and accents. The vocalization

4On TgJons methods of explaining metaphors, see Churgin, Targum Jonathan to the
Prophets, p. 84ff.; W.F. Smelik, Concordance and Consistency: Translation Studies and
Targum Jonathan, JJS 49 (1998), pp. 286305, esp. 3012; Van Staalduine-Sulman, Targum
of Samuel, pp. 105107. On the place of the metaphor in the Targumim in general, see
F. Bhl, Die Metaphorisierung in den Targumim zum Pentateuch, FJB 15 (1987), pp. 11149;
Kasher, Metaphor and Allegory, pp. 5377.
5This Targumic Tosefta is not found in Cambridge, MS T-S B 13/2 as stated in H. Sysling,
Teiyyat Ha-Metim (TSAJ, 57; Tbingen: Mohr Siebeck, 1996), p. 233 n. 18. Sysling misread
Dez-Machos article on this Tosefta-Targum, which also refers to a Targumic fragment
of Josh. 5:26:1 that indeed belongs to the Taylor-Schechter collection, but whose correct
classmark is MS T-S B 13/12. Thanks are due to Dr. B.M. Outhwaite of the Taylor-Schechter
Genizah Research Unit, who shed light on this confusing matter in a private communi-
cation dated January 27, 2007. Cf. A. Dez-Macho, Un segundo fragmento del Targum
Palestinense a los Profetas, Bib. 39 (1958), pp. 198205.
6Hereafter the version of TgJon Ezek. 37:114 in the Salonika Pentateuch will be desig-
nated as TgJon Salonika, and the Tosefta-Targum to the same passage as TosTg Salonika.
targumic toseftot to ezekiel 37 145

of the Targumic Tosefta reflects Sefardi pronunciation,7 which is explained


by the fact that after the Jews were banned from Spain in 1492, many
of them fled to Salonika. Each Targumic verse is introduced by a spo-
radically pointed Hebrew lemma, and the ligature for is used, albeit
inconsistently. Sometimes a line is filled up with the first letter or first
two letters of the next word. Throughout the Salonika Pentateuch the
Tetragrammaton is written as ,8 but is substituted differ-
ently: TgJon Salonika reads , whereas TosTg Salonika has
. The Targumic Tosefta quotes extensively from TgJon Ezek. 37:1
14,9 but the quotations include some distinctive variant readings which,
interestingly, do not always overlap with the version of TgJon in the same
Salonika edition. This Targumic Tosefta has previously been published by
Dez-Macho10 and Kasher.11

4.2.1The Text and Translation of the Targumic Tosefta to Ezekiel 37:114


(Pentateuch Salonika)
1
12) vs.1(2
13 3
4


7Dez-Macho pointed out that the vocalization is of Sefardi character, which is charac-
terized by a mixed-up use of the qame, pata, ere, and seghol; Dez-Macho, Un segundo
fragmento, p. 201.

8As to the spelling of the Tetragrammaton with one or double dalet, graphically speak-
ing, the dalet is very close to the he, only the left leg has to be removed. We find and
in the edition of the book of Proverbs (Naples, 1486), and in the Brescia Bible
(1494); see Lauterbach, Substitutes for the Tetragrammaton, p. 57 no. 37. In addition, the
substitute is also used in a Hebrew inscription in Vittore Carpaccios painting Birth
of the Virgin (Venice, 15048): ; see
S. Mason, Carpaccio: The Major Pictorial Cycles (trans. A. Ellis; Milan: Skira, 2000), p. 176.

9In the following text, quotations are set in italics. They stem from TgJon Ezek. 37:114,
unless otherwise stated.
10Dez-Macho, Un segundo fragmento, pp. 201202.

11Kasher, Targumic Toseftot to the Prophets, pp. 199200.
12 ] Kasher reconstructs ][, most probably because this suffixed nota accusativi
is vocalized as instead of . However, as a result of this reconstruction the direct
speech does not start until : The prophet Ezekiel said when the Lord of the
world made known to him the redemption that He will bestow upon the rest of Israel, which
has been scattered among the nations, I thought in my heart.... I am very hesitant to go
along with Kashers reconstruction, not only because the late start of the direct speech
makes the verse unintelligible, but also because we should not give undue weight to the
vocalization of this Targumic Tosefta; cf. Dez-Macho, Un segundo fragmento, p. 201.
13 ] The form is here spelled with an aleph.
146 chapter four

)vs.2(5
6
7
)vs.3(8
)vs.4(9
)vs.5(10
)vs.6(11
12
)vs.7(13
14 14 15
15
16 16
17 17
)vs.8(18
)vs.9(19
20
)vs.10(21
22
23
)vs.11(24 18
25
26 19

] This phrase is difficult to understand, especially because of the obscure...14


. The most likely explanation is to read employment of the active participle masc. pl.
as a passive participle, although without the characteristic yod and with a different
vocalization: They were made [into] vessels in the house of God. Unfortunately, the parallel
; FragTgP Targums do not help us any further: TgCG Exod. 13:17:
. Exod. 13:17:
] Cf. Dan. 5:3....15
] Cf. Dan. 5:9....16
]The Targumic Tosefta includes a quotation from Dan. 5:6. The read- ...17
ing of our Targumic Tosefta is almost identical to the Masoretic Text, apart from the preva-
), which (the Masoretic Text has the plural lent plene spelling and the singular
does not correspond in number with the following plural verb . There are no textual
variants in BHS that help explain this deviation. Perhaps we are dealing with a Babylonian
- is also the masculine singular possessive suffix of Aramaic form, because in this dialect
masculine plural nouns; cf. Epstein, Grammar, p. 123.
] The employment of the perfect rather than the imperfect tense here is )18(2
puzzling because the Lords direct speech seems to allude to the resurrection of the exiles
. as a future event; cf. the imperfect in the following phrase:
. Dittography is probable given the double occurrence of
] Cf. Ezek. 37:11. ...19
targumic toseftot to ezekiel 37 147

) vs.12(27
22 21 20 28
23) vs.13(29
) vs.14(30
24 31
line 1
Jerushalmi
line 2
(vs. 1) The prophet Ezekiel said, When the Lord of the world made known to me
the redemption that He will bestow upon the rest of Israel, who have been scattered
among line 3 the nations, I thought in my heart, What will happen to the deceased
who died in exile? Then the spirit of prophecy from before the Lord rested upon me
line 4
and He set me down in the midst of the valley of Dura, which was full of human
bones. line 5 (vs. 2) And He led me all around them, they were the bones of thirty thou-
sand foot-soldiers of the Ephraimites, who left line 6 Egypt thirty years before the des-
tined time, and the Philistines killed them. And lo!, there were so many bones on
the surface of the valley, and lo!, line 7 they were so dry! line 8 (vs. 3) He said to me,
Son of Adam, can these bones live again? And I said, O Lord God, it is revealed
before You. line 9 (vs. 4) Then He said to me, Prophesy over these bones and say to
them, O dry bones, hear the word of prophecy of the Lord. line 10 (vs. 5) Thus says the
Lord God to these bones: Lo!, I will put breath into you, and you will live again. line
11
(vs. 6) I will fasten sinews on you, lay flesh upon you, and cover you with skin. I
will put breath into you, and you will live again. Then you will know that line 12 I am
the Lord . line 13 (vs. 7) So I prophesied as I had been commanded; and as I was
prophesying, there was a noise, and lo!, a rattling! The bones came fitted themselves
together, one bone to another. line 14 They25 had been made [into] vessels in the house
of God,26 and Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babel, had taken them from there. At
that moment, as line 15 the prophet prophesied over them, king Belshazzar was drink-
ing from them. An angel struck that wicked one on his mouth and line 16 one bone came
to another. At that time, the king trembled very much, his countenance changed,
and his thoughts terrified him, and the joints of his loins line 17 were loosened and
his knees knocked against each other. line 18 (vs. 8) I looked, and lo!, sinews appeared

20 ] We may be dealing with a scribal error, because the next verse,


which closely parallels this one, reads . The latter reading seems to make
more sense since the deceased are raised, not the graves.
21 ......... ] The forms used to express the future
tense here are varied. We successively find a participle, two imperfects and a perfect, the
latter perhaps under influence from the Hebrew source text: . In comparison,
TgJon employs a participle and two imperfects: ...... .
22 ... ] Cf. Ezek. 37:12.
23 ... ] Cf. Ezek. 37:13.
24 ... ] Cf. Ezek. 37:14.
25they ] I.e., the bones of the slain Ephraimites.
26the house of God ] I.e., the Temple in Jerusalem.
148 chapter four

on them, flesh came up, and skin covered them on top; but there was no breath in
them. line 19 (vs. 9) Then He said to me, Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, O Son of
Adam, and say to the breath, Thus says the Lord God: Come from the four winds,
line 20
O breath, and come into these slain, so they may live again. line 21 (vs. 10) So I
prophesied as he had commanded me. The breath came into them, and they lived
again, and they stood up on their feet, exceedingly vast hosts. line 22 They all stood up
except for one man, who did not stand up. The prophet answered and said before
the Lord, What were the deeds of this man, that all of them live again, but he line 23
does not live again? The angel of the Lord answered and said to the prophet, He
lent on interest and usury, and therefore he was not worthy to live again amid his
brethren. line 24 (vs. 11) Then He said to me, Son of Adam, from what I have done to
these bones you are able to know what I will do line 25 to those of the Israelites who die
in exile, for the Israelites are saying, When we die and do not see the redemption,
which the Lord will bestow upon Israel, line 26 our bones will be dried up, our hope will
cease, and our confidence will perish. line 27 (vs. 12) Therefore, prophesy and say to
them: Thus says the Lord God: Lo!, I will gather your dispersed ones and open the
graves line 28 of your deceased, and I will raise your graves, and I will bring you into
the land of Israel. line 29 (vs. 13) And you will know that I am the Lord, when I open the
graves of your deceased, and raise your deceased, O My people. line 30 (vs. 14) I will put
my Spirit into your deceased, and they will live again. I will set all of them down on
your land, and you will know that I, the Lord, have decreed it line 31 by My Word and
will fulfill it, says the Lord.

4.2.2Comments on the Targumic Tosefta to Ezekiel 37:114


(Pentateuch Salonika)

The Incipit Formula: The Prophet Ezekiel said (line 2)


Another occurrence of an incipit formula,27 which is lacking in TgJon
Ezek. 37:1. Here, too, it is employed in a hafaric Tosefta-Targum, which
supports Gordons suggestion of a connection between incipit formulae
and the usage of Targums in the lectionary cycle.28

The Resurrection of the Jews in the Diaspora? (lines 24)


Whilst drawing heavily on the textus receptus as the many quotations
in italics show, our Targumic Tosefta gives a rather unexpected twist to
Ezekiels vision by elucidating why the prophet was led to the valley of the
dry bones, namely, that it was the divine response to Ezekiels wondering

27Cf. the comment on lines 8789 in 2.2.1.2.


28Gordon, Studies in the Targum, pp. 7482.
targumic toseftot to ezekiel 37 149

whether the Israelites who had been buried in foreign soil would partake
in the Lords future redemption.
Kasher suggests that the Targumic Tosefta here seeks to explain the con-
nection between Ezek. 36 (vs. 8f.) and 37.29 However, chapter 36 speaks
of the prospective homecoming of the whole house of Israel. The living
exiles are explicitly aimed at, not those who have died in the Diaspora.
Our Targumic Tosefta, on the other hand, affirms in the following that
despite their being scattered among the nations, the exiles, both the living
and the dead, will still participate in the future redemption, by which the
resurrection is meant. So in this version the redemption of the Jews in the
Diaspora is the prophets primary concern.
Instead of looking at the previous chapter in Ezekiel for a clue, the
synagogal-liturgical Sitz im Leben of this pericope should be considered.
Ezek. 37:1ff. was the hafarah reading for the Sabbath in the week of
Passover,30 and the link between the Exodus from Egypt and the reassem-
bling and resuscitation of the dry bones, which represent the whole house
of Israel, is easy to establish: as the Lord once redeemed Israel miracu-
lously by leading his people out of slavery into the promised land, so he
shall bestow his redemption by restoring the nation of Israel and leading
his people out of the exile into the Holy Land. Clear as this link may seem,
over the centuries it may have lost its topicality among the Jews living
in the Diaspora. Being born and raised outside Palestine and feeling no
ardent longing for their ancestral homeland, these Jews may have even
started to feel uneasy about the vision of the revivification and regather-
ing of the dry bones, afraid of being excluded from the future redemption
because they lived outside Palestine.
It is only against this background that we can fully grasp the change
of perspective in the Targumic Tosefta. Whereas TgJon slavishly follows

29Kasher, Targumic Toseftot to the Prophets, p. 200.


30On the hafaric function of Ezek. 37:1ff. and its connection with Exod. 13:17ff. in
the Palestinian reading cycle, see b.Meg. 31a; Perrot, La Lecture de la Bible, pp. 23334;
cf. idem, The Reading of the Bible, pp. 14647. Perrot classifies our Tosefta-Targum as
a Palestinian festal reading, but with the reservation that Dez-Machos assumption that
the fragment is of Palestinian provenance needs solid proof before any statement can be
made about the diversity in festal readings in Palestine (La Lecture de la Bible, p. 233).
However, my linguistic analysis and commentary show that this Tosefta-Targum on Ezek.
37:1ff. probably originated outside Palestine, its dialect being of late date (JLA/LJLA) and
its contents betraying a diasporic outlook. Consequently, it seems hazardous to speculate
on a link between our Tosefta-Targum and the Palestinian reading custom. Ginsburger
briefly touches upon Ezek. 37 in his study on the Targums to Exod. 13:17ff., Die Thargumim
zur Thoralection, p. 103.
150 chapter four

the Hebrew Vorlage with its nationalistic and territorial overtones, our
additional Targum is concerned with the fate of the exiles who for genera-
tions had been buried abroad. It thus reflects the anxiety of the diasporic
Jews, whose tradition regarding the afterlife had hitherto been far from
unequivocal in its answer.
It would be an oversimplification to state that with the destruction of
the Second Temple in 70 ce and the subsequent decline of the Sadducean
movement, the controversial debate on life after death was settled in
favour of the Pharisees affirmative view, which was later adopted by the
rabbinic movement. On the contrary, the rabbis continued to fight against
disbelief in the resurrection dogma long after the cataclysms of the first
century,31 and even when the resurrection itself was no longer the subject
of denial, the divergent conceptions of its nature would still divide rab-
binic opinion.
One of the disputed questions was who would be entitled to partici-
pate in the future resurrection. Some rabbis tended towards an exclusiv-
ist, territorial position, most rigidly expressed by the third century Amora
R. Eleazar ben Pedat, who even denied the righteous exilic Jew participa-
tion in the resurrection.32 So, according to some rabbis, life after death
could only be safeguarded via the Holy Land, and this may have added
to the custom of re-interring human corpses or bones in Palestine.33 In
reaction to this exclusivist, Palestinian stance, an alternative tradition of
presumably Babylonian provenance seems to have originated. It offered
a comforting prospect for the less fortunate whose bodies would remain
in foreign soil: on the day of resurrection, the righteous would be trans-
ported from their final resting-place to Palestine by means of subterra-

31See A. Marmorstein, The Doctrine of the Resurrection of the Dead in Rabbinic


Theology, in idem, Studies in Jewish Theology (ed. J. Rabbinowitz and M.S. Lew; London:
Oxford University Press, 1950), pp. 14561; Sysling, Teiyyat Ha-Metim, pp. 12534.
32b.Ket. 111a: ) ...(
. R. Eleazar ben Pedats radical opinion is all the more remarkable
because he was originally from Babylonia. Yet his Babylonian roots did not prevent him
from defending this rigid Palestinian stance, almost in the manner of a proselyte.
33For example, excavated inscriptions in the necropolis of Beth Shearim, in the lower
Galilee, attest the burial of (adjacent) Diaspora Jews in the third and fourth centuries ce,
see T. Rajak, The rabbinic dead and the diaspora dead at Beth Shearim, in P. Schfer
(ed.), The Talmud Yerushalmi and Graeco-Roman Culture. Vol. I. (TSAJ, 71; Tbingen: Mohr
Siebeck, 1998), pp. 34966; cf. I.M. Gafni, Reinterment in the land of Israel:notes on the
origin and development of the custom, Jerusalem Cathedra1 (1981), pp. 96104.
targumic toseftot to ezekiel 37 151

nean tunnels.34 No longer was residing in Palestine the precondition for


life after death, but being a righteous Jew. Morality rather than territory
became the decisive factor. This compromising tradition seems to have
been adopted in our Targumic Tosefta, which, in the following, reassures
us that the deceased exiles who behaved righteously would be resurrected
and brought into the Holy Land.35
A foreign setting of this Targum explains the leniency towards the exiles
who did not live to see Palestine during their lifetime, although it should
not be excluded a priori that some Palestinian rabbis may have agreed. My
assumption about a process of regional, i.e., Palestinian and Babylonian,
development in rabbinic speculation on the resurrection implies the late
date and diasporic provenance of the Targumic Tosefta.36

The Valley of Dura (line 4)


Our Targumic Tosefta designates the plain filled with dry bones as
Dura, a valley in the province of Babylon where, according to Dan. 3:1,
Nebuchadnezzar erected a golden statue.37 As a consequence of this

34E.g., b.Ket. 111a; Pes.R 31. It is worth noting that the idea of tunnels may be Babylonian
in origin, but they are also mentioned in Palestinian sources (e.g., TgShir 8:5). There was
a strong influence of Eastern exegetical traditions in the west in late Amoraic/Geonic
times.
35On the rabbinic doctrine of the resurrection and the Targums, among which TosTg
Ezek. 37:114, see Sysling, Teiyyat Ha-Metim, pp. 22935; R.P. Gordon, The Targumists as
Eschatologists, in J.A. Emerton (ed.), Congress Volume, Gttingen 1977 (VTSup, 29; Leiden:
Brill Academic Publishers, 1978), pp. 11330; cf. idem, Terra Sancta and the Territorial
Doctrine of the Targum to the Prophets, in J.A. Emerton and S.C. Reif (eds.), Interpreting
the Hebrew Bible (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1982), pp. 11931. Gordon briefly
discusses our Targumic Tosefta again in his Studies in the Targum, pp. 5960, but by over-
looking the verses which are of crucial importance for its understanding, namely, those
which explicitly refer to the Israelites who died in exile, he creates the impression that
the Targumic Tosefta merely advocates the idea of a personal, physical resurrection and
reflects the Pharisaic stance in the debate on life after death, thus implying its early date
and Palestinian provenance (cf. idem, The Targumists as Eschatologists, pp. 12930).
However, in my view, the Targumic Tosefta focuses on the deceased exiles share in life
after death. It thus reflects a historical circumstance in which the resurrection itself was
no longer the subject of the controversy, but the question of who was entitled to partici-
pate in it. For more on Targumic speculation on the revival of the dead, see Levine, The
Aramaic Version, pp. 21625; Smolar, Aberbach, Studies in Targum Jonathan, pp. 18187.
36My linguistic analysis of this Targumic Tosefta supports a late dating, its dialect
being an amalgam of both JLA and LJLA, though tending more to the former; see 5.1.
37The following sources also locate Ezekiels vision of the dry-bones in the valley of
Dura: TgPsJ Exod. 13:17; TgCG Exod. 13:17; FragTgP Exod. 13:17; TgShir 7:10; b.Sanh. 92b; PRE
33; Yal. Shim. Ezek. 37.
152 chapter four

foreign setting, the Jews in the Diaspora probably felt themselves even
more directly addressed, particularly those living in the Babylonian exile.38
Dez-Macho, however, holds the view that Dura is a misvocalization of
Dor, situated between Carmel and Caesarea, because only a Palestinian
setting could account for the next verses identification of the dead in the
valley with the 30,000 Ephraimites who were slain by the Philistines after
they had left Egypt, thirty years before the actual Exodus.39 Dez-Machos
assertion is questionable because according to several rabbinic sources
that retain the aggadah on the premature exodus, the Ephraimites were
slaughtered at Gath,40 Dor is never mentioned. Moreover, there is no need
to explain the discrepancies in time and place in our Tosefta-Targum.41 We
are dealing with a patchwork of traditions that are seemingly illogically
connected, but in which the connections are not historical but topical.
The creative historiography that is so characteristic of Rabbinic Judaism
enables the Tosefta-Targum to span hundreds of years and hundreds of
miles without any hindrance in order to drive home a point about the
future resurrection.

The Aggadah on the Premature Ephraimite Exodus (lines 56)


Whereas TgJon only adds that the bones are human bones,42 our Tosefta-
Targum specifies them as those of the Ephraimites who left Egypt thirty
years before the appointed time of the Exodus and were subsequently
slain by the Philistines. With this elucidation of the bones identity, the
Targum briefly touches upon the aggadah on the catastrophic exodus of
the tribe of Ephraim, which is a recurring tradition in rabbinic literature.43

38That the Jews in Babylonia attached great importance to Ezekiels vision of the
dry-bones can be deduced from a third century panel in the synagogue of Dura-Europos
(not to be confused with the plain of Dura!), which vividly depicts the resurrection scene.
The literature on the excavations at this synagogue is abundant, see for instance C.H.
Kraeling, The Synagogue (The Excavations at Dura-Europos. Final report; 8, pt. 1; New
Haven: Yale University Press, 1956), pp. 178202, plates LXIXLXXII. On the possible rea-
son the vision of the dry bones enjoyed prominence in the Jewish community in the East
see footnote 57.
39Dez-Macho, Un segundo fragmento, p. 203 n. 1.
40TgPsJ Exod. 13:17; TosTg Ezek. 37:1 (Mazor Vitry); TgShir 2:7; Tg 1Chron. 7:21; b.
Sanh. 92b; Mek. Beshalla; Exod. R. 20:11; Sefer ha-Yashar 75; Meor ha-Afela (edn. Y. Kafah,
p. 211); cf. appendix G.
41So also Sysling, Teiyyat Ha-Metim, p. 234 n. 26.
42More on TgJons addition of human in footnote 57.
43The rabbinic sources are listed in appendix G.
targumic toseftot to ezekiel 37 153

The aggadah has been the subject of several studies, and it is useful to
provide a brief survey of previous research.
Heinemann44 traced the exegetical ancestry of this story back to two
obscure biblical passages, namely Ps. 78:9 and 1 Chron. 7:20f. By means
of harmonizing exegesis the story of the Ephraimite exodus came into
being, and not only did it make these two passages intelligible, it was also
linked to Exod. 13:17, another enigmatic verse in the Bible. Given the wide-
spread occurrence of this aggadah in the Targums, Heinemann was of the
opinion that it had first germinated in Targumic circles before it found its
way into other rabbinic sources. Moreover, he noticed a shift in rabbinic
attitude towards the disastrous undertaking of the Ephraimities. Whereas
the original version of the the aggadah appears to have condemned the
premature exodus as a presumptuous and sinful act, fuelled by pride and
lack of faith in Gods redemption,45 later versions judge the Ephraimites
more mildly, as if they had fallen victim to a tragic calculation error,46 or
even rehabilitate them by concluding the story with Ezekiels vision of
the dry bones.47 Heinemann dated this change in rabbinic attitude and
addition of the resurrection motif shortly after the Bar Kokhba revolt,
assuming a direct link between the tragic ending of Simon Bar Kokhba
and his fellow revolutionaries and the positive reshaping of this aggadah.
After 135 ce, Bar Kokhbas contemporaries found the failure of his rebel-
lion mirrored in the story of the premature exodus: like the Ephraimites
and their leader, Bar Kokhba and his allies had paid with their lives
for their presumptuous attempt to force their way out of oppression
into freedom. Due to their overbearing haughtiness, any warning voices
had gone unheeded; yet, despite the gravity of their sin, these men had
been righteous in nature, and their harsh punishment was considered
disproportionate and undeserved. Hence, Heinemann argues, they were
posthumously rehabilitated through the addition of Ezekiels resurrection
motif to the story of the Ephraimite exodus.

44J. Heinemann, The Messiah of Ephraim and the Premature Exodus of the Tribe of
Ephraim, HTR 68 (1975), pp. 115. Previously published in Hebrew in Tarbiz 40 (1970/71),
pp. 45061.
45Examples according to Heinemann, The Messiah of Ephraim, p. 11: TosTg Ezek. 37:1
(edn. Mazor Vitry, p. 167); Mek. Beshalla. See for more examples appendix G.
46Ibid., p. 11 n. 39: TgPsJ Exod. 13:17; FragTgP Exod. 13:17; TosTg Ezek. 37:114 (Salonika);
TgPs. 78:9; Tg1Chron. 7:21; Cant. R. 2:7. See for more examples appendix G.
47Ibid., p. 13 n. 45: TgPsJ Exod. 13:17; FragTgP Exod. 13:17; TosTg Ezek. 37:114 (Salonika);
TosTg Ezek. 37:1 (Mazor Vitry); b.Sanh. 92b. See for more examples appendix G.
154 chapter four

Despite Heinemanns in-depth analysis of this aggadic tradition and its


numerous sources, his assumptions did not remain unchallenged. Mulder
soon called into doubt the exegetical origin of the story,48 dismissing
Heinemanns claim that this aggadah emerged in the process of illumi-
nating Ps. 78:9 and 1 Chron. 7:20f. as unverifiable. Mulder rather advocates
the pre-exilic age of the storys core, which had been in circulation as an
oral tradition even before the obscure biblical verses were written down.
It subsequently developed into a kind of midrash, that was adopted and
further embellished in rabbinic literature. It was not until then that this
midrash became linked to other biblical passages, like Exod. 13:17 or Ezek.
37:1f. However, Mulders criticism of Heinemann can also be applied to his
own assumptions, as they are no more verifiable than his predecessors.
More recently, Pearson has rejected some of Heinemanns conclusions
more convincingly.49 He emphasizes that rabbinic literature is not as
univocal in its attitude towards Bar Kokhba and the revolt he instigated
as Heinemann asserts. This ambivalence is most blatantly demonstrated
in y.Taan. 4:8,50 where Bar Kokhba is depicted in both messianic and
derogative terms by R. Aqiba and R. Yoanan b. Torta, respectively. This
contradicts Heinemanns statement that the Tannaim of the second cen-
tury who had witnessed the failed revolt and its aftermath could simply
not have felt anti-Bar Kokhba sentiments but rather sympathy or pity.
In fact, as Pearson points out, the failure of the revolt evoked nothing
but negative feelings amongst the Jewish people because in the wake of
it the Romans treated them even more harshly in retaliation. Enduring
admiration for Bar Kokhba was only to be expected from those who
had partaken in the revolt and survived, and who now sought to keep
his legacy alive. According to Pearson, these post-revolutionary follow-
ers of Bar Kokhba may have been the ones who positively reshaped the
story of the Ephraimite exodus and added the dry-bones vision in order
to justify their cause. Presumably they went even further by actually re-
interring the bones of their fallen brethren in the caves of the Judean
Desert, as was brought to light during several archaeological expeditions
in the 1960s. Pearson thus surmises a direct link between the addition

48M.J. Mulder, 1 Chronik 7, 21b23 und die rabbinische Tradition, JSJ 6 (1975), pp.
14166.
49B.W.R. Pearson, Dry bones in the Judean Desert: the messiah of Ephraim, Ezekiel 37,
and the post-revolutionary followers of Bar Kokhba, JSJ 29 (1998), pp. 192201.
50Cf. Lam. R. 2:4.
targumic toseftot to ezekiel 37 155

of Ezekiels dry-bones vision by the survivors of the revolt and their re-
interment operations.
In sum, Heinemann posits that the aggadah in its nascent form, i.e.,
with a negative view on the Ephraimite exodus, antedated the second
Jewish revolt and was only connected to Bar Kokhba and his people after
the defeat, whereupon it also underwent a positive reshaping in rabbinic
circles. Pearson, on the other hand, dates the emergence of the negative
version after 135 ce, when anti-Bar Kokhba sentiments were at their peak;
and in response to this negative depiction of the Ephraimites, the sur-
vivors of the revolt gave a positive twist to the story by adding Ezekiels
resurrection motif.
For several reasons I cannot endorse either Heinemanns or Pearsons
theory concerning the development of the aggadah on the premature
Ephraimite exodus. Heinemann, to begin with, advocates the early date
and Targumic origin of the aggadah stating:
The recurrence of the story in so many different targumic passages makes
it probable that the legend originally belonged to the targumic tradition,
whence it was eventually taken over by the Rabbis.51
As a consequence, the original Targumic tradition, comprising the nega-
tive version without the sequel from Ezek. 37, must have antedated the Bar
Kokhba revolt.52 However, this early dating is questionable because the
Targums with the presumed original aggadah are commonly held to be of
late date, namely, TgPs. 78:9, TgShir 2:7, and Tg1Chron. 7:21.53 Admittedly,
we should allow for the possibility that the core of the aggadah was an oral
Targumic tradition already in circulation by the first century ce only to be
put into written form many centuries later. Yet the same dating problem
arises as regards the sources that add the dry-bones vision to the aggadah.
According to Heinemanns theory, this new version must have originated
shortly after the second Jewish revolt, at a time when the striking resem-
blance between the tragedy that had occurred and the legendary account
of Ephraims disastrous undertaking dawned upon the people, and the
urge was felt to see the story of the premature exodus in a new, positive
light. Consequently, the modified story would have been created around

51Heinemann, The Messiah of Ephraim, p. 10.


52Cf. ibid., p. 13.
53Cook has convincingly demonstrated that the language of the Targums to the
Writings is closely allied to that of Targum Pseudo-Jonathan, both belonging to Late Jewish
Literary Aramaic, a dialect which he dates (far) into the Geonic period, i.e., 7th10th cen-
tury ce; see Cook, Rewriting the Bible, pp. 26680.
156 chapter four

the middle of the second century ce. This Tannaitic dating, too, is very
hard to prove in light of the extant sources, which either stem from the
Amoraic/Geonic period (b.Sanh. 92b;54 TgPsJ Exod. 13:17; TosTg Ezek. 37:1
14; and TosTg Ezek. 37:1) or are hardly dateable at all (FragTgP Exod. 13:17;55
and TgCG Exod. 13:17). Hence it is safest to state that the aggadah on the
premature exodus was not linked to the vision of the dry bones until the
Amoraic period,56 and this relatively late dating makes the assumption
that the Bar Kokhba revolt gave rise to the positive re-interpretation of the
aggadah untenable. Moreover, there is no intrinsic connection between
the premature exodus and the Bar Kokhba revolt. Rather, such an exodus
should be related to a non-Palestinian event (a revolt in the Diaspora?)
since the aggadah starts off in Egypt. Accordingly, we can only speculate
on what did trigger the fusion between the Ephraimite exodus story and
Ezekiels resurrection motif.57

54In this Talmudic source the identification of the dead whom Ezekiel revived with
the slain Ephraimites is attributed to Rav. Cf. the Medieval rabbinic work Yal. Shim. 1
Chron. 7:21.
55M.L. Klein, The Fragment-Targums of the Pentateuch According to their Extant Sources.
Vol. I (AnBib, 76; Rome: Biblical Institute Press, 1980), p. 25: [...] the extant PTs could not
have acquired their present form before the 2nd century ce. Although no direct genetic
relationship exists between the extant PTs and FTs, it is reasonable to assume that the FT
collections are substantially later than the complete PTs. However, the crucial and unan-
swered question remains: How much later?.
56Cf. Ginsburger, Die Thargumim zur Thoralection, p. 103.
57My partial and tentative explanation is that Ezekiels vision of the dry bones may
have acquired a renewed topicality and vividness from the third century ce on in the
Jewish community of Babylonia. In 224 ce a change of power from the Parthians to the
Sassanians took place, and the new rulers sought to re-establish Zoroastrian sovereignty in
their realm. One of the characteristics of Zoroastrianism is the funerary rite of exposure:
the corpse is laid in an open place to be exposed to the sun, rain, wind, and scavengers.
Direct exposure to the sun is a prerequisite for life after death because only via the suns
rays can the soul ascend to heaven. The bones are subsequently assembled and interred
in ossuaries in the belief that one day they will be resuscitated and reunited with the
soul. These places of exposure of the dead are attested in the Sassanian period, and in the
eyes of the Babylonian Jews, the Zoroastrian funeral grounds may have uncannily mir-
rored Ezekiels valley of the dry bones. Interestingly, the city of Dura (once again, not
to be confused with the plain of Dura!) was under temporary Sassanian domination in
253254 ce, and the Sassanian officials who visited the synagogue left their certificates
of inspection, the so-called dipinti, on the Ezekiel panel as a stamp of approval and safe-
guard during the occupation period. These inscriptions express the Sassanians endorse-
ment of the depicted resurrection-scene, which must have reminded them of their own
Zoroastrian doctrine regarding death and afterlife. Familiarity with Zoroastrian funerary
practices may also have left its traces in TgJon Ezek. 37. TgJon presumably underwent
its final redaction in Babylonia at the time when the Sassanians ruled and spread their
religious beliefs (224640 ce), and the addition of human bones in TgJon
Ezek. 37:1 could be explained by the fact that not only humans but also domesticated
targumic toseftot to ezekiel 37 157

Heinemanns dating of this aggadah, therefore, and its link with the
Bar Kokhba revolt is fraught with difficulties, and the same criticism can
be applied to Pearsons theory, which also implies a Tannaitic date of the
story and the addition of the Ezekiel 37 material without any solid literary
or historical support. Moreover, even if we set these objections aside, other
difficulties loom. First of all, the existence of a group of post-revolutionary
followers of Bar Kokhba is purely speculative, neither archaeological nor
literary evidence supports this idea. Moreover, Pearson briefly touches
upon the ambivalent attitudes in rabbinic literature towards Bar Kokhba,58
but, in fact, the word ambivalent is an understatement. Schfer has metic-
ulously re-examined the rabbinic sources which refer to Bar Kokhba and
his activities and reached the conclusion that a negative and censorious
attitude prevails.59 Even the famous dictum of Rabbi Aqiba in y.Taan. 4:8,
which is commonly held to be proof of his support for Bar Kokhba and the
rebellion, is highly dubious, because the name Aqiba appears to be a sec-
ondary insertion.60 Furthermore, Bar Kokhbas letters do not mention the
rabbis at all.61 Accordingly, we have no reliable evidence that hints at a rela-
tionship between Bar Kokhba and the rabbis. So how could the modified,

dogs were carried to the places of exposure. The dog was held in very high esteem in
Zoroastrianism, being regarded as the second holiest creature after man, and therefore
its corpse had to undergo a funerary rite as well. To rule out any confusion regarding the
bones identity in Ezek. 37, the targumist may have added . An immediate objection
would be that LXX also modifies the bones as human. However, this similar-
ity does not necessarily indicate a direct influence of the Greek version upon TgJon. Both
composers may have independently felt the need to stress the human identity of the bones
for the sake of clarity. Moreover, LXX has hardly influenced the wording of TgJon, see for
instance the conclusions of Smelik after having compared the rendering of Judges in LXX
and TgJon, Targum of Judges, pp. 32122. On the likelihood of Zoroastrian influence on
Ezekiel see J.R. Russel, Ezekiel and Iran, in S. Shaked and A. Netzer (eds.), Irano-Judaica.
Vol. V (Jerusalem: Ben-Zvi Institute, 2003), pp. 115. For a description of funerary rites in
Zoroastrianism see M. Boyce, Zoroastrians: Their Religious Beliefs and Practices (London:
Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1979), pp. 1216; idem, A History of Zoroastrianism (HdO: Abt.1,8,
vol. 1; Leiden: Brill Academic Publishers, 3rd imp. with corr., 1996), pp. 32530; J.R. Russel,
Burial iii. In Zoroastrianism, in Encyclopaedia Iranica, Vol. IV (Londen: Routledge &
Kegan Paul, 1982), pp. 56163. On Zoroastrian respect for the dog see M. Boyce, Dog ii. In
Zoroastrianism, in Encyclopaedia Iranica, Vol. VII (Londen: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1982),
pp. 46769. On the inscriptions on the Ezekiel panel in the Dura-Europos synagogue see
Kraeling, Synagogue, p. 337.
58Pearson, Dry bones in the Judean Desert, p. 195.
59P. Schfer, Bar Kokhba and the Rabbis, in idem (ed.), The Bar Kokhba War
Reconsidered:New Perspectives on the Second Jewish Revolt against Rome (TSAJ, 100;
Tbingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2003), pp. 122; cf. idem, Der Bar Kokhba-Aufstand: Studien zum
zweiten jdischen Krieg gegen Rom (TSAJ, 1; Tbingen: Mohr Siebeck, 1981).
60Schfer, Bar Kokhba and the Rabbis, pp. 24.
61Ibid., pp. 815.
158 chapter four

positive version of the Exodus aggadah that, according to Pearson, cir-


culated among these post-revolutionary followers of Bar Kokhba have
possibly found its way into rabbinic circles, whose attitude towards the
revolt seems to have been far from sympathetic? Moreover, could this
propagandistic version, which envisaged the resurrection of Ephraim,62
have ever found a willing ear among people whose relatives had been
killed or enslaved, whose houses had been destroyed, or who had suffered
from famine and disease as a result of the revolt? Against this background
it is implausible that the range of the modified aggadah on the Ephraimite
exodus could have extended beyond the isolated caves in the Judaean
Desert and eventually reached rabbinic literature.

[Lines 812 contain verbatim quotations from TgJon]

The Bones of the Ephraimites are turned into Drinking Vessels


(lines 1317)
We come across another, rather obscure aggadic passage which is paral-
leled in FragTgP Exod. 13:17, TgCG Exod. 13:17, and b.Sanh. 92b, although
with slight divergences. According to the version in our Tosefta Targum,
which betrays heavy influence from Dan. 5, some of the bones of the slain
Ephraimites were turned into drinking vessels in the temple in Jerusalem63
and taken as war booty by Nebuchadnezzar to Babylon.64 The sinister link
between the Ephraimites bones and the vessels is to the best of my knowl-
edge only attested here and in the two Targum-fragments on Exod. 13:17,65

62I.e., the resurrection of Bar Kokhba and his followers.


63Reading for the puzzling , see footnote 14.
64Dan. 5:2 speaks of vessels of gold and silver that were brought to Babylon after the
siege of Jerusalem, so also Ezra 1:711; 5:14; 6:5. Dan. 5:3 only mentions golden vessels, and
Dan. 1:2 and 2 Chron. 36:7,10 are silent on the material of the temple vessels. According
to 2 Kgs 24:13, Nebuchadnezzar cut the vessels of gold into pieces in the temple, instead
of bringing them to Babylon as booty, but this verse is commonly held by scholars to be
secondary; see Gray, I & II Kings: A Commentary (OTL; London: S.C.M. Press, 3rd rev edn,
1977), p. 760; cf. J.A. Montgomery, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Books of
Kings (ICC; Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1967), p. 556. The biblical tradition that the tem-
ple vessels fell into the hands of Nebuchadnezzar is contradicted in a later Jewish leg-
end which describes how Jeremiah (or an angel) miraculously concealed the vessels; see
Ginzberg, Legends of the Jews, vol. 4, p. 321.
65According to b.Sanh. 92b, Nebuchadnezzar is slapped in the face by the revived
bones of the dead of the Dura-plain (i.e., the exiled youths, not the Ephraimites!) after
he has thrown Hananiah, Michael, and Azariah into the furnace. However, this Talmudic
targumic toseftot to ezekiel 37 159

and we are left in the dark as to the background of this tradition. Strangely
enough the Temple is mentioned here as the place where the bones were
fashioned into vessels, in contrast to the two Targum-fragments. It is dif-
ficult to reconcile the strict observance of purity in the Temple with the
idea that human bones, one of the most feared transmitters of impurity,
would be used in the Temple cult.
At the moment Ezekiel revives the other bones, which have been left
behind in the plain, king Belshazzar drinks from the bone vessels with ter-
rifying consequences: an angel appears, slaps him on his mouth, and the
bones come to life. So the bones in the plain and in Belshazzars palace
are resuscitated simultaneously. Contrary to the two Targum-fragments
on Exod. 13:17, in which Nebuchadnezzar drinks from the bone vessels,
our Tosefta-Targum portrays Belshazzar as the wicked one who commits
sacrilege in a scene which is strongly reminiscent of Dan. 5:16.66 The
Tosefta-Targum also diverges from the parallel Targums in that it is not
the revived bones themselves that strike the king on his mouth but an

passage does not say that the bones were turned into vessels from which Nebuchadnezzar
was drinking, let alone that he was responsible for this atrocious act (contra Ginzberg,
Legends of the Jews, vol. 4, p. 330; vol. 6, p. 418). Rashis commentary on b. Sanh. 92b does
refer to a tradition which seems to be paralleled in the two Targum-fragments on Exod.
13:17, in which the bone vessels strike Nebuchadnezzar on his mouth when he is about to
drink from them.
66Interestingly, a calculation error is ascribed not only to the tribe of Ephraim in rab-
binic tradition but also to king Belshazzar. In b.Meg. 11b12a we read that Belshazzar threw
a lavish party in his palace to celebrate the failure of Jeremiahs prophecy concerning the
end of the Babylonian reign and the redemption of the Jews after seventy years (Jer. 25:12,
29:10; cf. Zech. 1:12; Dan. 9:2). During the banquet he scoffed at the Jews by profaning their
Temple vessels. However, the king erred in his calculation by counting from the first year
of Nebuchadnezzars reign instead of the second, when he took Jehoiakim into exile. That
same night Belshazzar is killed as a punishment for his profanation of the vessels, and his
death marks the end of the Babylonian kingdom. The Church Father Jerome was already
familiar with this story of the Hebrews, see S. Jerome, Hieronymi Presbyteri Opera, Pars I:
Opera Exegetica 5, Commentariorum in Danielem libri III IV (ed. Fr. Glorie; CChrSL, 75A;
Turnhout: Brepols, 1964), p. 821; cf. J. Braverman, Jeromes Commentary on Daniel (CBQMS,
7: Washington: Catholic Biblical Association of America, 1978), pp. 7980. According to
this legend, Belshazzars calculation error proved fatal for him, just as the Ephraimites
once had paid with their lives after leaving Egypt prematurely. Our Tosefta-Targum does
not refer to Belshazzars calculation error but it is interesting that it mentions him instead
of Nebuchadnezzar as the one who drinks from the bone vessels. Could the targumist
perhaps have known this tradition and have hinted at Belshazzars fate by letting him
drink from the vessels made of the bones of the Ephraimites, who also had calculated
and erred?
160 chapter four

angel, and in that Belshazzars reaction to the extraordinary events is


described.67

[Lines 1820 contain verbatim quotations from TgJon]

No Resurrection for the Sinful Moneylender (lines 2223)


Amidst the exceedingly vast hosts of revived Ephraimites the bones of one
man are still scattered in the plain of Dura, but Ezekiel learns from an
angel that this man is not worthy to be resurrected because he trespassed
against the law on interest.68
Although the Pentateuchal Law makes perfectly clear that inter-Jewish
moneylending on interest is strictly prohibited,69 we also have biblical
evidence of the flagrant violation of this law.70 From the numerous denun-
ciations of it in rabbinic literature, it can be inferred that the practice of
taking interest spanned the centuries,71 and the frequency of this offence

67An analogous frightened reaction is found in TgSheni 6:10, which also seems to be
inspired by Belshazzars response to the mysterious writing on the wall in Dan. 5:6:

Dan. 5:6

TosTg
Ezek. 37:114
[ ] TgSheni 6:10*


*Edn. B. Grossfeld, The Targum Sheni to the Book of Esther (New York: Sepher-Hermon Press, 1994),
p. 61.
68The Ezekiel panel in the Dura-Europos synagogue shows some scattered body parts
amidst the resurrected crowd, and perhaps this also hints at a distinction between the
righteous who deserve the afterlife and the sinner to whom resurrection is denied; cf.
Kraeling, Synagogue, plate LXXI.
69See Exod. 22:24; Lev. 25:3537; Deut. 23:2021.
70E.g., 2 Kgs. 4:12; Neh. 5:111.
71See especially the fifth chapter of B. Me., in both the Mishna and the two Talmuds,
and the respective Tosefta, chapters 46. Hillel Gamoran has published extensively on the
biblical law against usury and its interpretation and implementation in the Talmudic and
Geonic periods. He distinguishes between ordinary loans of money, which were unequivo-
cally condemned by the religious authorities, and business loans, which required a more
liberal rabbinic stance in order not to hamper the fast changing economy. See for example
H. Gamoran, Talmudic Usury Laws and Business Loans, JSJ 7 (1976), pp. 12942; idem,
Credit Transactions in Geonic Times in the Light of the Law Against Usury, JLA 11 (1994),
pp. 6384. Cf. idem, The Talmudic Law of Mortgages in View of the Prohibition Against
targumic toseftot to ezekiel 37 161

may have led to the anti-usury warning in our Tosefta-Targum, which


reached a wide audience on the Sabbath in the week of Passover. So the
comforting prospect of resurrection that our Targum offers to the Jews in
exile is not unconditional; it goes hand in hand with the moral exhorta-
tion, that he who gives in to the evils of interest and usury will surely not
partake in the future resurrection. From the fact that of all conceivable
offences this one is singled out we may infer that the Jewish community
was seriously plagued by the adverse effects of lending and borrowing on
interest.
The topic that a sinful moneylender is denied resurrection, raised as
Ezekiel revives the bones is also found in PRE 33, Yal. Shim. Ezek. 37,
FragTgP Exod. 13:17, and TgCG Exod. 13:17. In comparison with our Tosefta-
Targum, these parallel sources share the following deviations: not an angel
but God Himself explains to Ezekiel why the man remains dead,72 and
they quote Ezek. 18:13 almost verbatim, either in Hebrew or in Aramaic.73
Moreover, in PRE 33 and Yal. Shim. Ezek. 37, it is not the Ephraimites who
had left Egypt prematurely that are resurrected, but the exiled Israelites
who had bowed down before the idol in the plain of Dura and were sub-
sequently slain by Nebuchadnezzar.

Lending on Interest, HUCA 52 (1982), pp. 15362; idem, Mortgages in Geonic Times in
Light of the Law Against Usury, HUCA 68 (1997), pp. 97108; A. Weingort, Intrt et crdit
dans le Droit Talmudique (Paris: Librairie Gnrale de Droit et de Jurisprudence, 1979).
72I am hesitant to ascribe the mentioning of an angel instead of God to the anti-
anthropomorphic character of our Tosefta-Targum, because in the following verse, which
partially quotes TgJon Ezek. 37:11, it is God, not an angel, who directly addresses the
prophet.
73See the following table:

MT Ezek. 18:13
PRE 33
Yal. Shim. Ezek. 37
TgJon Ezek. 18:13
TgCG Exod. 13:17 (cf. Houtman, Sysling,
Alternative Targum Traditions, pp. 169
70)
FragTgP Exod. 13:17 (cf. Houtman, Sysling,
Alternative Targum Traditions, pp. 169
70)
TosTg Ezek. 37:114
162 chapter four

The Lord will Bestow Redemption on the Jews in the Diaspora


(lines 2426)
Once again the exilic outlook of our Targumic Tosefta is explicitly
expressed, and through means of a converse translation the Jews in the
Diaspora are urged not to despair, for the Lord will bestow His redemp-
tion, i.e., resurrection, on all the people of Israel, the living and the dead.
The reason the Tosefta-Targum resorts to this translational technique74 is
that it seeks to protect the honor and glory of Israel. The people being lost
and cut off implies their being abandoned by God, a doctrinally dangerous
statement from which the synagogue audience had to be preserved. And
hence Israels lament is being toned down in that it is not actually said but
will be said in theimpossibleevent the people are not redeemed.75
So the story of the unfortunate tribe of Ephraim with its happy ending
serves to illustrate the fate of the Jews who die in exile: they will par-
take in the future resurrection, provided that they have refrained from
abominations such as lending on interest. Here we observe an important
difference between the function of the aggadah on the premature exodus
in our Tosefta-Targum on the one hand, and in the parallel Targums76 on
the other, because in the latter it merely serves to elucidate why the Lord
did not lead his people through the land of the Philistines.77

The Resurrection of the Deceased Jews and their Return to their


Homeland (lines 2731)
The final three verses, which deviate too significantly from TgJon to be
regarded as quotations, would have definitely reassured the people in the

74See M.L. Klein, Converse Translation: A Targumic Technique, Bib. 57 (1976), pp.
51537.
75Note the use of the future tense in the Tosefta-Targum in contrast to the past tense
in both the Masoretic Text and TgJon:

MT
TgJon
TosTg
76TosTg Ezek. 37:1 (Mazor Vitry); TgPsJ Exod. 13:17; TgCG Exod. 13:17; FragTgP Exod.
13:17.
77On Exod. 13:17 and this aggadic tradition in the Palestinian Targums to the Pentateuch
see Sysling, Teiyyat Ha-Metim, pp. 23035.
targumic toseftot to ezekiel 37 163

synagogue who wondered whether the afterlife would only be available


to those exiles who had lived to see the Lords redemption during their
lifetime. The Targumic Tosefta concludes that when the Lord bestows
his redemption on Israel the deceased exiles78 will be resurrected and
reunited with the living. Thereupon, the Lord will lead all the gathered
exiles into the Holy Land.

4.3The Targumic Tosefta to Ezekiel 37:1 in the Mazor Vitry


(Ms. London 655)

The halakhic-liturgical composition Mazor Vitry as found in the London


manuscript dates from around the middle of the thirteenth century.79 The
Targumic Tosefta to Ezek. 37:1 appears in this manuscript on ff. 8384
under the heading , which refers to the hafarah
for the Sabbath in the week of Passover. The Tosefta-Targum to Ezek. 37:1
is followed by the basic text of TgJon Ezek. 37:214, which does not pre-
serve any noteworthy variant readings.80 Each Targumic verse is preceded
by a Hebrew lemma. The writing is in the French rabbinic character and
unpointed, with a prevalent plene spelling. The Tetragrammaton is substi-
tuted by four yods.81 The ligature for - is used, but only in the rendering
of . This hafarah is spread over two leaves, and below the second
column of the first leaf the scribe has written the catchword , which
marks the end of the quire.
Previous publications of our Targumic Tosefta by Hurwitz, Churgin,
and Kasher are also based on the London manuscript.82

78Note that the word for deceased is employed four times in these last three
verses.
79See Margoliouth, Catalogue of the Hebrew and Samaritan Manuscripts, no. 655.
80The only relevant variants are for in 37:7, and
for in 37:1213. However, for in 37:3, and for
in 37:8 are uncorrected errors.
81Three yods in a cluster and the fourth beneath it, slightly to the left; cf. Lauterbach,
Substitutes for the Tetragrammaton, p. 55 no. 62.
82See Hurwitz, Machsor Vitry, p. 167; Churgin, Targum Jonathan to the Prophets,
p. 136 (although Churgin most probably quoted Hurwitz edition given the shared errors);
Kasher, Targumic Toseftot to the Prohets, p. 201.
164 chapter four

4.3.1The Text and Translation of the Targumic Tosefta to Ezekiel 37:1


(Ms London 655)
83 1
86 85 84 2
3
4
87 5
6
88 7
8
line 1
The spirit of prophecy from before the Lord rested upon me. He led me out by
the spirit of prophecy, which rested upon me from before the Lord, and set me down
in the midst line 2 of a certain valley, which was full of bones. And lo!, these were the
bones of those who left Egypt on their own strength and did not wait line 3 until the
destined time of the Lord. On that day, there was a man in Egypt whose name
was Jair, and he was the chief of the tribes line 4 of the house of Ephraim. He said to

83 ] Presumably the scribe wrote instead of , but realized his mistake in


time and deleted the letters. Perhaps he had the dialectal form of this preposition in mind,
viz., which is characteristic for JBA, see Sokoloff, DJBA, p. 1024; cf. Cook, Rewriting the
Bible, p. 157.
84 ] Kasher joined these two words together and interpreted the result as the
demonstrative adjective near masc. sg. . However, the words are clearly separated in
the manuscript and should be read as the interjection ( which is frequently employed
in this version of Ezek. 37:114) and the demonstrative pronoun near masc. sg. . The use
of the latter is somewhat puzzling though, you would rather expect the plural form:
these are the bones; cf. TgJon Ezek. 11:2: .
85[ Perhaps the scribal hand strayed and wanted to write instead of
.
86This Ithpaal form of has an assimilated prefix: the has been absorbed by the
following ;cf. Sokoloff, DJBA, p. 861. This type of assimilation with consonants other than
sibilants and dentals is widespread in JPA and JBA, and frequenly occurs in LJLA, e.g. some
strata of TgPsJ. However, it is very rare in JLA, see Dalman, Grammatik, 59.5.
87 ] The expression of the numeral 200,000 with - is puzzling, the appro-
priate form is ; see Dalman, Grammatik, p. 128. I have not come across a
similar construction of myriads (the same applies to hundreds and thousands). Compound
numerals do have a connecting -, but it is unlikely that should be inter-
preted as 2,200, because as a rule the higher number precedes the lower one: .
There are exceptions to this rule in Biblical Hebrew, e.g., Gen. 5:17, where the Targumim
abide by the common order; cf. TgOnq, TgNeof, and TgPsJ on Gen. 5:17.
88 ] The context suggests that the Palpel of , which carries the transitive
meaning to move, frighten, should be emended to , passive Itpalpel to be moved,
frightened. The present form may be due to haplography, given the similarity between
and . Cf. TgOnq, FragTgP, and TgCG on Exod. 13:17: lest the people
quiver.
targumic toseftot to ezekiel 37 165

them at that time, The whole house of Israel is living under oppression and hard
labour, line 5 and we are thus serving them,89 two hundred thousand men, sons of
valour?! They left Egypt, but became haughty without line 6 the redemption of the
Lord. Therefore, the Lord delivered them in the hand of the king of Gath, and Ganun
and his servants killed them. And He set me down in the midst of that line 7 valley. At
the time of redemption, the Lord did not lead Israel through that valley lest they
would be frightened, because it was the valley line 8 full of human bones.

4.3.2Comments on the Targumic Tosefta to Ezekiel 37:1


(Ms London 655)

The Aggadah on the Premature Ephraimite Exodus (lines 26)


In my commentary on TosTg Ezek. 37:114,90 I have dealt extensively with
the aggadah on the Ephraimite exodus and the wide variety of parallels in
rabbinic literature. This version of the aggadic tradition is unique insofar
as it mentions both the name of the leader of the Ephraimites ( Jair) and
the name of the Philistine king (Ganun). Remarkably, in other, possibly
later sources the name Ganun/Nun is attributed to the leader of the tribe
of Ephraim.91 Here, however, Ganun is responsible for the massacre of
the Ephraimites, who are led by Jair. Over the centuries the name of the
Ephraimite leader in this aggadah may have changed due to oral transmis-
sion. In addition, the contents of the leaders speech to his people deviates
from the parallel passages: it is not a divine revelation that urges him to
lead the Ephraimites out of Egypt,92 but the harsh conditions under which
their Egyptian oppressors force them to live.

An Alternative Route to the Promised Land for Israel (lines 78)


As observed in the commentary on TosTg Ezek. 37:114,93 the aggadah on
the doomed first exodus functions here, as well as in TgPsJ, TgCG, and
FragTgP on Exod. 13:17, as a means to illuminate an obscure biblical verse,
viz., Exod. 13:17, and to throw light on the identity of the bones in Ezek. 37.94
In Exod. 13:17 we learn that God decided to avoid the quickest route whilst

89them ] I.e., the Egyptians.


90See 4.2.2 (commentary on lines 56) and appendix G.
91PRE 48; Yal. Shim. 1 Chron. 7:21f.; Meor ha-Afela (edn. Y. Kafah, p. 211).
92Cf. PRE 48; Yal. Shim. 1 Chron. 7:21f.
93See 4.2.2 (commentary on verse 11 lines 2527).
94On the link between Exod. 13:17 and Ezek. 37:1ff. in the Palestinian festival lectionary,
see Perrot, La Lecture de la Bible, p. 234.
166 chapter four

leading the Israelites to the promised land, because he wanted to spare


his people the sight of war for fear they would change their mind. What
horrifying event could have possibly taken place that the Israelites would
rather have returned to oppression and hard enslavement in Egypt than
continue their journey? According to our Tosefta-Targum and its paral-
lels, it was the confrontation with the bones of their massacred breth-
ren, the Ephraimites, who had left Egypt prematurely, which would have
disheartened the Israelites and resulted in their returning to the land
of the Pharaoh. For centuries these unburied, dishonored bones of the
Ephraimites lay in the valley until Ezekiel is led to them and sits amidst
them. It is here where our Tosefta-Targum ends,95 but the aggadah is
continued in the parallel Targumic sources, and they recount how the
prophet brings the unfortunate Ephraimites back to life.

95The manuscript continues with the basic text of TgJon Ezek. 37:214.
Chapter Five

Concluding Observations

The previous chapters provided the critical text and translation of the
Targumic Toseftot to Ezekiel, accompanied by an analysis of their con-
tents. This systematic treatment showed the diverse character of these
texts. I discussed Targumic materials dating from halfway the Middle Ages
until the early twentieth century. Lengthy Tosefta-Targums alternated with
those which only consist of a few words. Some of the Targumic Toseftot
clearly had a liturgical function whereas the use of others is shrouded
in mystery. Despite the heterogeneous nature of the Tosefta-Targums to
Ezekiel it is possible to conclude the present study with some general
observations as regards their language, date and provenance, and Sitz im
Leben. It is hoped that the Tosefta-Targums to the Prophets will receive
further scholarly attention so as to increase our understanding of this fas-
cinating, alternative Targumic tradition.

5.1Language

Whereas the dialect of Targum Jonathan to the Prophets has been classi-
fied as Jewish Literary Aramaic (JLA),1 no in depth linguistic profile has yet
been constructed for the Targumic Toseftot to the Prophets.2 According to

1Formerly known as Standard Literary Aramaic (SLA); cf. J. Greenfield, Standard


Literary Aramaic, in A. Caquot and D. Cohen (eds.), Actes du Premier Congrs International
de Linguistique Smitique et Chamito-Smitique, Paris 1619 juillet 1969 (The Hague: Mouton,
1974), pp. 28089. The term JLA refers more specifically to the literary dialect that evolved
in Judea from Imperial Aramaic. Studies on the language of TgJon and its separate Targums
include E.M. Cook, A New Perspective on the Language of Onqelos and Jonathan, in
D.R.G. Beattie and M.J. McNamara (eds.), The Aramaic Bible. Targums in their Historical
Context (JSOTSup, 166; Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1994), pp. 14256; R.J. Kuty, Studies in the
Syntax of Targum Jonathan to Samuel (Leuven: Peeters, 2010); F. Sepmeyer, The Tenses in
the Targum of Jeremiah, in J. Targarona Borrs and A. Senz-Badillos (eds.), Jewish Studies
at the Turn of the 20th Century. Vol. I: Biblical, Rabbinical, and Medieval Studies (Leiden: Brill
Academic Publishers, 1999), pp. 20913; A. Sperber, Zur Sprache des Prophetentargums,
ZAW 45 (1927), pp. 26788; A. Tal, The Language of the Targum of the Former Prophets and
its Position within the Aramaic Dialects (in Hebrew; Tel Aviv: Tel Aviv University, 1975).
2A step in this direction was taken by Tal in his treatment of the language of some
of the Tosefta-Targums to the Former Prophets; Tal, The Language of the Targum of the
Former Prophets, pp. 191200.
168 chapter five

the Comprehensive Aramaic Lexicon (CAL),3 their dialect belongs to Late


Jewish Literary Aramaic (LJLA), the language of Targum Pseudo-Jonathan
and the Targums to the Writings.4 However, CALs classification is not
based on a thorough linguistic analysis. As for the Targumic Toseftot to
Ezekiel, Kasher described the dialect of each Targum as either mixed5 or
close to Targum Jonathan,6 without supplying further linguistic data. It
was therefore my aim to provide a dialectal classification on the strength
of a linguistic analysis of the Targumic Toseftot to Ezekiel, bearing in
mind, though, that they do not constitute a homogeneous work from the
hand of the same composer or redactor, being disseminated over many
manuscripts, incorporated either as a hafarah or as a brief marginal gloss.
It nevertheless transpired that the Targumic Toseftot to Ezekiel with a
substantive body of text shared dialectal features that suggested a variable
degree of linguistic heterogeneity.
In order to establish their dialect methodologically, I distinguished four
linguistic categories: orthography, vocabulary, morphology, and syntacti-
cal observations, thus following in the footsteps of Edward Cook, who
meticulously analyzed the LJLA language of Targum Pseudo-Jonathan
to the Pentateuch and also paid attention to some of its congeners, the
Targums to the Writings.7 On the strength of Cooks preliminary descrip-
tion of LJLA, I listed all the deviations from JLA, the dialect of Targum
Jonathan to the Prophets, which appears to underlie our Targumic
Toseftot.

3The Comprehensive Aramaic Lexicon (CAL), edited by S.A. Kaufman and J.A. Fitzmyer,
in preparation (see http://cal1.cn.huc.edu/index.html).
4This dialect has been identified by E.M. Cook, Rewriting the Bible. The Text and
Language of the Pseudo-Jonathan Targum (unpublished Ph.D. Diss. University of California,
Los Angeles, 1986) and S.A. Kaufman, Targum Pseudo-Jonathan and Late Jewish Literary
Aramaic, in M. Bar-Asher and M. Garsiel, et al. (eds.), Moshe Goshen-GottsteinIn
Memoriam (in Hebrew; Studies in Bible and Exegesis, 3; Ramat-Gan: Bar Ilan University
Press, 1993), pp. 36382.
5Kasher, Targumic Toseftot to the Prophets, p. 180 (TosTg Ezek. 1:1, Ms. Gaster 1478);
p. 198 (TosTg Ezek. 28:13, Codex Reuchlinianus).
6Ibid., p. 189 (TosTg Ezek. 1:1, Ms. T-S NS 245.98); p. 190 (TosTg Ezek. 1:1, Ms. JTSA L260A);
p. 193 (TosTg Ezek. 1:1, Ms. Bar-Ilan 737); p. 196 (TosTg Ezek. 1:8, Codex Reuchlinianus);
p. 196 (TosTg Ezek. 1:8, Ms. 4 , Hebrew Union College, Cincinnati); p. 197 (TosTg Ezek. 1:12,
Mazor Vitry); p. 197 (TosTg Ezek. 1:26, Ms. 7, Montefiore Library); p. 199 (TosTg Ezek. 37,
Pentateuch edn. Salonika); p. 201 (TosTg Ezek. 37:1, Mazor Vitry). Kasher describes the
dialect of the short TosTg Ezek. 1:3 in Arukh ha-Shalem as undefined (p. 195).
7See footnote 4.
concluding observations 169

Orthography
The Targumic Toseftot abound in orthographic variants, particularly the
recension of TosTg Ezek. 1:1 in Ms. Gaster 1478.8 However, this category is
the least important one because it is not the divergent consonantal spell-
ings and incidental peculiarities that reveal the linguistic character of a
text, but mainly the lexical and grammatical patterns. Two examples serve
to demonstrate the pitfalls that loom when undue weight is attached to
incidental orthographic variants.
Firstly, in Ms. Gaster 1478 we come across the threefold spelling of the
interjection woe! with .9 I found only one other Targumic occur-
rence of the same spelling, viz., TgCG Gen. 15:1. The spelling with an aleph
is widely attested in Mandaic, and one could easily have jumped to the
conclusion that this Eastern Aramaic dialect may somehow have exerted
an influence.10 However, it is in all likelihood just one of the many ortho-
graphic variants of , such as , , and .
In addition, although the predominant spelling of the relative pro-
noun is - in all the manuscripts, the spelling occasionally crops up.11
The unattached form / is characteristic of Old and Official Aramaic,
including Biblical Aramaic. In Middle Aramaic a gradual shift from to
- takes place, reflected in the Aramaic writings of Qumran, although this
never results in a complete change-over in Palestine.12 Cook explains the
prevalent spelling with in the Palestinian Targums to the Pentateuch
and even more so in the LJLA dialect of TgPsJ and the Targums to the
Writings as an historical spelling or an archaizing feature, probably the
former.13 The latter dialect exhibits a tendency to use archaisms, and
the ample presence of in TgPsJ and its congeners, in contrast to JLA,14
fits well into this pattern. However, the comparatively few instances of


8For example, the following orthographic variants are noticeable in the manuscripts
enumeration of the ayyots body parts: and for ankles; and
for buttocks; and for backs; and for wings.

9See 2.2.1.1, line 8.
10In Mandaic uai = ;cf. Drower, CPB, pp. 8283 (69); idem, Mandaic Dictionary,
p. 155.
11See the recensions of TosTg Ezek. 1:1 in the table in 2.2.4.1, lines 37 (Genizah 430,
Halper 64); 57 (Genizah 430, Halper 64, and Feldman 143); and TosTg Ezek. 37:114,
Pentateuch edn. Salonika, in 4.2.1, line 24.
12E.M. Cook, Qumran Aramaic and Aramaic dialectology, in T. Muraoka (ed.), Studies
in Qumran Aramaic (AbrN.S, 3; Louvain: Peeters Press, 1992), pp. 121, esp. 810.
13Idem, Rewriting the Bible, p. 144.
14Cf. Tal, Language of the Targum of the Former Prophets, pp. 56.
170 chapter five

in our manuscripts serve as insufficient proof of a dialectal link with


LJLA.

Vocabulary
This category is more important, because some lexemes are typical of a
certain Aramaic dialect. Presented below are vocabulary items that are
attested in the Targumic Toseftot to Ezekiel but lacking in JLA.

Westernisms
The verb to see, which is found in TosTg Ezek. 28:13,15 is character-
istic of JPA and LJLA.16 The few occurrences of this verb in TgJon mainly
stem from variants and the Targumic Toseftot,17 apart from in 2
Sam. 2:22.18 Moreover, is not employed in TgOnq.19

Easternisms
In his study, Cook observes a natural use of Eastern Aramaic features
in LJLA, the so-called Easternisms, which do not appear to be derived
from another source.20 The same applies to the traces of Eastern Aramaic
vocabulary that I discovered in the Targumic Toseftot.
Several TosTgs. Ezek. 1:1 have the conjunction if, whether,21 an
abbreviated form of and typically Eastern Aramaic,22 whereas is
characteristic of JLA.23 The form is furthermore attested in LJLA.24
In several recensions of TosTg Ezek. 1:1 we find the adjective
lower with elided ,25 which seems to be characteristic of JBA.26 I did

15See 3.2.1, line 2.


16Hence, there is no need to explain the few instances of the Western verb to
see in the Yemenite manuscripts of Targum Lamentations, another LJLA source, as scribal
corruptions, as Van der Heide does; The Yemenite Tradition, p. 97.
17Cf. TgJon 1 Kgs. 8:27; 2 Kgs. 11:12; 13:21; 19:35; Ezek 28:13.
18See Tal, Language of the Targum of the Former Prophets, p. 198.
19See Dalman, Grammatik, 8 (under Substantiva und Verba).
20Cook, Rewriting the Bible, p. 259.
21See the table in 2.2.4.1, line 37.
22See Epstein, Grammar, p. 141; Sokoloff, DJBA, pp. 108109.
23Cf. Tal, The Language of the Targum of the Former Prophets, pp. 3031.
24See Cook, Rewriting the Bible, p. 158; Levy, CWT, p. 23.
25See the table in 2.2.4.1, lines 40 and 42.
26Sokoloff, DJBA, p. 1238.
concluding observations 171

not come across this form in JLA, except for two variant readings in Codex
Reuchlinianus TgJon Josh. 15:19 and Judg. 1:15: instead of .
Both TosTgs Ezek. 1:1 and TosTg. Ezek. 1:12 preserve the verb to
return, surround,27 which is mainly attested in LJLA, JBA, and Mandaic.28
In JLA it is only attested in a variant reading of TgJon Ezek. 4:12.29

Loanwords, archaisms, and Hebraisms


LJLA shows a tendency to adopt loanwords, archaisms, and Hebraisms,30
of which we also find some evidence in the Targumic Toseftot. Although
the examples presented below are not dialect markers themselves, they
nevertheless serve to illustrate that our Targumic Toseftot share with LJLA
the tendency to use these types of vocabulary items.
The Tosefta-Targum to Ezekiel 28:13 in Codex Reuchlinianus preserves
two Greek loanwords: ( ) and ( ), and the for-
mer is already found in Daniel-Aramaic.31 As regards the Targumim, as
far as I am aware is only attested in our Targumic Tosefta. I did
find another Targumic occurrence of the loanword , in FragTgP Gen.
35:9. It is also attested in JPA32 and Syriac.33
The form ) () (at that moment, which is attested in all
the recensions of TosTg. Ezek. 1:1, except for the brief fragment in Ms. T-S
NS 245.98,34 could be classified as a (pseudo-)archaism because the use of
the suffixed preposition as a demonstrative reflects Biblical Aramaic
influence,35 which would correspond to LJLA.36 The expression does not
occur in TgOnq and TgJon, except for TgJon Isa. 5:30.
In the long recensions of TosTg Ezek. 1:1 we find an epithet for God,
the Most High.37 This epithet, used in both the singular and plural

27See the table in 2.2.4.1, line 34; and 2.5.1, line 3.


28See Drower, Mandaic Dictionary, p. 131; Sokoloff, DJBA, pp. 36367; idem, DJPA, p. 159
(corrupt in JPA); cf. Beyer, Die aramischen Texte, p. 559.
29Ms. 7 of the Montefiore Library reads and for and
.
30Evidence of this tendency is found in Cook, Rewriting the Bible, p. 225ff.
31Dan. 3:5, 15 (Dan. 3:10 Ketib: , Qere: ;)cf. HALAT, vol. 2, p. 1751.
32Sokoloff, DJPA, p. 145.
33Payne Smith, Syriac Dictionary, p. 85.
34See 2.2.1.1, lines 7, 14, and 71; and the table in 2.2.4.1, lines 9, 16, 46, and 59.
35See in Dan. 3:6, 15; 4:30; 5:5.
36Note the juxtaposition of the forms and in TgPsJ Gen. 38:25;
cf. FragTgP Gen. 38:25. Contrast TgNeof Gen. 38:25: ( 2x).
37See 2.2.1.1, lines 13 and 17; and the table in 2.2.4.1, lines 14, 19, and 39.
172 chapter five

forms, is a Hebraism and unattested elsewhere in the Targumic corpus.


It is, on the other hand, found in LJLA,38 Qumran Aramaic,39 Biblical
Aramaic,40 and even Old Aramaic.41
TosTg Ezek. 37:1 in Mazor Vitry preserves a lexeme that is rare in the
Targumim: / strength, power.42 I only found attestations in
LJLA, where it occurs both on its own43 and in the phrase
the power of the strength.44 The lexeme is just as rare in Aramaic in
general, further instances are only found in BTA and SA. Interestingly,
according to Tal, / belongs to Neo-Samaritan Hebrew,45 also known
as , the artificial literary language that emerged in the late medi-
eval period and formed a synthesis between Aramaic and Hebrew, the two
languages whose use had become restricted to the synagogue. Our lexeme
is thus a Hebraism in SA, and the same might be said of its attestations
in LJLA and BTA.46 This lexeme is not mentioned by Cook in his list of
Hebraisms, but it perfectly fits his description of an immediate Hebraism,
as a Hebrew loanword that has not yet been completely naturalized.47

Morphology
This is a very important category because with regard to literary texts,
morphological deviations reveal a deeper level of change than does either
orthographic or lexical information. The Targumic Toseftot exhibit a few
interesting morphological features that differ from TgJons JLA.

38CTLevi Bodleian col. b:6, col. d:16.


39IQapGen. 12:17, 20:12, 20:16, etc.; 4Q246 col. ii.1; 4Q552 col. ii frag. 4; cf. Beyer, Die
aramischen Texte, p. 657.
40Dan. 7:8, 22, 25, 27.
41KAI, vol. 1, p. 41 ( 22211).
42See 4.3.1, line 2.
43TgJob 36:19 ( also in the Hebrew Vorlage); TgRuth 3:15; TgLam. 1:6 ( also in in
the Hebrew Vorlage).
44TgPsJ Gen. 44:13; Exod. 2:17; 8:15; TgPss 16:3; 22:31; 54:3; 65:7 ( also in the Hebrew
Vorlage); 66:7; 71:18; 80:3; TgShir. 1:9; TgQoh. 9:16.
45Tal, Dictionary, vol. 1, p. 380.
46Cf. HALAT, bd.1 , p. 446; Jastrow, Dictionary, vol. 1, p. 628; Sokoloff, DJBA, p. 558.
47Cook, Rewriting the Bible, p. 226: [...] an immediate Hebraism in PsJ is one that
clearly alludes to or derives from a Hebrew source, or one that is found rarely or nor at all
in any other Aramaic writing. Cf. also the list of Hebraisms found in the Yemenite strand
of Targum Lamentations in Van der Heide, The Yemenite Tradition, pp. 17376.
concluding observations 173

Independent personal pronouns


A diagnostic is the employment of the 2nd pers. masc sg. pronoun
(JLA: )in TosTgs Ezek. 1:1 and TosTg Ezek. 28:13.48 The latter Targumic
Tosefta even has the forms and in one and the same sentence:
... you, too, did
not take a lesson from him...that you are made of openings and holes.
The form in the example is part of a verbatim quotation taken from
the same verse in TgJon, but it is significant that both and occur,
seemingly harmoniously, in this Targumic Tosefta. This pseudo-archaic
pronoun49 is not often attested in JPA and JBA, and does not occur at all
in JLA. On the other hand, it frequently appears in LJLA, especially TgPsJ,
and also in Nedarim and Geonic literature.50 At first glance, it may seem
difficult to comprehend how the archaic pronoun enjoyed some sort
of a revival in these late Aramaic sources. It seems highly unlikely that a
composer opened the Books of Ezra and Daniel and adopted this pronoun
at random. Alternatively, the prominence of the nasalized form may be
due to Arabic (anta), which exerted its influence from the early seventh
century onward. The linguistic term for this phenomenon is multiple cau-
sation, i.e., a dormant lexeme is reinforced due to contact with another
language which employs the same or a similar lexeme.51 This explana-
tion preserves the notions of as an archaism and Arabism: is
indeed an archaic feature, which was further reinforced under influence
of Arabic.
Another personal pronoun that serves as a dialect marker is we,
found in TosTg. Ezek. 37:1.52 This form of the 1st pers. pl. is characteristic
of JPA and JBA, whereas ()is typical JLA. I have not come across
any occurrences of in TgOnq and TgJon, although it is widely attested
in the other Targumim.53

48See table in 2.2.4.1, lines 49 (Halper 64 and Bar-Ilan 737) and 55 (L260A); and 3.2.1,
line 5.
49Cf. the Qere in Biblical Aramaic.
50Cf. Cook, Rewriting the Bible, p. 131; Dalman, Grammatik, 16.1; Tal, The Language of
the Targum of the Former Prophets, pp. 12.
51I am grateful to Prof. Geoffrey Khan, who put forward this suggestion at the 8th work-
shop held by University College Londons Department of Hebrew and Jewish Studies on
February 14, 2007 as part of its Research Project Late Aramaic: The Literary and Linguistic
Context of the Zohar.
52See 4.3.1, line 5.
53Cf. Cook, Rewriting the Bible, p. 131; Dalman, Grammatik, 16.1; Epstein, Grammar, pp.
2021; Fassberg, Grammar, pp. 11113; Golomb, Grammar, pp. 4748; Tal, The Language of
the Targum of the Former Prophets, p. 4.
174 chapter five

Direct object nouns and pronouns


The way the pronominal object is denoted differs amongst the Targumim.
Cook observed that TgPsJ shares with TgOnq and TgJon the tendency to
cliticize the pronominal object to the nota accusativi as an imitation of
Hebrew in translational passages, on the one hand, and to a verb in
non-translational passages on the other.54 Contrastingly, in the Palestinian
Targums to the Pentateuch the object pronoun is usually appended as a
clitic to the nota accusativi, either with or without the Hebrew Vorlage.55
Our Targumic Toseftot appear to conform to the latter pattern because
the preference for the suffixed nota accusativi is clearly visible.56
The picture is slightly different as to the way in which the direct object
is expressed in the Tosefta-Targums to Ezekiel: with about equal frequency
we come across determined direct objects that are introduced by the nota
accusativi, and direct objects, both determined and undetermined, that
have no object marker.57 The use of the preposition - to denote the direct
object is virtually absent.58

Numerals
TosTg Ezek. 28:13 employs the phrase the ten canopies,59
and the emphatic form of the numeral is of interest here. The determi-
nate ending of numerals - is found in Western and Eastern Aramaic, the
Palestinian Targums to the Pentateuch, and LJLA. It is, on the other hand,
not attested in the JLA of TgOnq and TgJon.60 In our Tosefta-Targum this

54Cook, Rewriting the Bible, pp. 13536.


55See Fassberg, Grammar, p. 252; Golomb, Grammar, pp. 6566, 211.
56For occurrences of the suffixed nota accusativi in TosTgs Ezek. (quotations not
included), see 2.2.1.1, lines 45, 11, 67, 7273, 80, 84, 87; and 2.2.4.1, lines 13, 16, 40, 42, 47,
53, 56, 5960. 2.4.1, line 1; and 4.2.1, lines 2, 6, 14, 28; and 4.3.1, lines 56. For occurrences
of the suffixed verb in TosTgs Ezek., see 2.2.1.1, line 6; and 2.2.4.1, lines 6, 7 (except Bar-
Ilan 737), 10, 38, 53; and 2.4.1, line 2; and 3.2.1, line 5; and 4.3.1, line 6.
57See for example 2.2.1.1: in TosTg. Ezek. 1:1 in Ms. Gaster 1478 we find the direct
object with the nota accusativi in lines 2, 6, 7, 11 (2x), 77(2x), 81 The direct object without
an object marker is attested in lines 5, 1213, 16, 17, 65, 72, 78, 84, 88. The recensions in the
table in 2.2.4.1 exhibit an interesting variation of the use of the object marker. All Mss.
share the nota accusativi in lines 7, 9, and 54, whereas some of them lack it in lines 3, 10, 13
(2x), and 51. Cf. Fassberg, Grammar, p. 252; Golomb, Grammar, p. 208f.; Tal, The Language
of the Targum of the Former Prophets, p. 28f.
58I only found one instance, viz., in TosTg Ezek. 1:8 in Ms. 4 of the Hebrew Union
College, Cincinnati: ( see 2.4.2).
59See 3.2.1, line 2.
60See Cook, Rewriting the Bible, pp. 14849; Dalman, Grammatik, 21.6; Fassberg,
Grammar, p. 127.
concluding observations 175

emphatic form of the numeral ten is used with an absolute plural noun,
which is also characteristic of LJLA, especially TgPsJ. There it indifferently
modifies both emphatic and absolute nouns, whereas in the other dialects
it is employed before emphatic nouns.

Verbal inflection
In TosTg Ezek. 37:1 in Mazor Vitry we find the reading we were.
The - ending of the perfect 1st pers. pl. occurs in JPA and JBA, whereas
the - ending is employed in JLA.61 The nunated form is also attested
in the dialect of the Palestinian Targums to the Prophets and in LJLA.62

Syntactical observations
Little attention has been paid to JLAs syntax,63 nevertheless it transpired
that our Targumic Toseftot bear certain distinctive syntactical features.

The syntagma -
The recension of TosTg Ezek. 1 in Ms. Gaster 1478 reads
have you not heard what the Jews are saying?.64 We find
the so-called - syntagma, a passive participle with the preposition
-, in the Eastern Aramaic dialects, viz., JBA, Syriac, and Mandaic. Only a
few other Targumic instances of - are attested, namely in LJLA.65
As to JLA, TgJon Zech. 3:3 appears to have the only genuine attestation of
the - syntagma,66 and Robert Gordon attributed this Eastern feature
to the Babylonian phase of TgJons existence.67 Kutscher allocated the ori-
gin of the - syntagma to Old Persian. While Western Aramaic was
only under Persian influence for a comparatively short period, Eastern

61See Dalman, Grammatik, 60.1; Epstein, Grammar, pp. 3536; Tal, The Language of
the Targum of the Former Prophets, p. 74.
62Cook, Rewriting the Bible, p. 179; Fassberg, Grammar, p. 166; Golomb, Grammar,
p. 125.
63For an overview of studies on the syntax of TgOnq and TgJon, see Kuty, Studies on
the Syntax of Targum Jonathan to Samuel, pp. 1214.
64See 2.2.1.1, line 85.
65TgPsJ Gen. 50:13; TgSheni 6:13.
66 by whom the wives were taken.
67Gordon, Studies in the Targum to the Twelve Prophets, pp. 11314. TgJon Josh. 2:6 is
thought to be an imitation of Hebrew .
176 chapter five

Aramaic was exposed to this language for more than a millennium. Hence
the prevalent use of this construction in the Eastern dialects.68

Periphrastic forms
In Western and Eastern Aramaic the periphrastic forms are widespread,
especially in Late Aramaic dialects, although JBA rarely employs the imper-
fect form of .69 They occur only in limited numbers in JLA, where they
express a durative or repetitive action.70 The comparatively frequent use
of the periphrastic form in the Targumic Toseftot, compared to TgOnq
and TgJon, could be another indication that their dialect represents a later
stage of Aramaic than JLA. The compound tense is attested with both per-
fect and imperfect forms of .71 Interestingly, despite its high frequency,
the perfect of compounded with a participle rarely seems to express
the present durative, as is the case in TosTg Ezek. 37:1 in Mazor Vitry,72
where Jairs direct speech refers to an ongoing event in the present.73

The position of the demonstrative adjective


Another diagnostic is the position of the demonstrative adjective. In both
JPA, except for the Palestinian Targums, and JBA it precedes the noun; in
TgOnq, TgJon, TgNeof. and FragTgs, on the other hand, the reverse order
is predominant, perhaps under the influence of the Hebrew Vorlage.74 In
the Targumic Toseftot the instances in which the demonstrative adjective

68E.Y. Kutscher, Two Passive Constructions in Aramaic in the Light of Persian, in


idem, Hebrew and Aramaic Studies (in Hebrew; Jerusalem: Magnes Press, 1977), pp. 7089.
Cf. Sokoloff s comments below the entry , DJPA, p. 558.
69Cook, Rewriting the Bible, pp. 21920. See the extensive treatment of Targum Neofitis
compound verbal forms in Golomb, Grammar, p. 188ff.; cf. Fassberg, Grammar, pp. 16971.
70See Cook, Rewriting the Bible, p. 220; Kuty, Studies on the Syntax of Targum Jonathan
to Samuel , pp. 17678; Stevenson, Grammar, pp. 5759.
71See 2.2.1.1: ( past habitual, line 12); ( future
durative, line 70); ( past progressive, line 75); and recensions of TosTg Ezek. 1:1
in the table in 2.2.4.1: ( past habitual, line 11, only Genizah 430);
(past conditional, line 38, only L260A); ( future durative, line 44);
( past progressive, line 48); and TosTg Ezek. 37:114 in the Pentateuch
edn Salonika in 4.2.1: ( past progressive, line 15); ( past habitual,
line 23).
72See 4.3.1, lines 45: ... .
73The one example that Stevenson mentions (Grammar, p. 58, 2c) is ambiguous given
its narrative context (the example is found in Dalman, Dialektproben, p. 21 line 12).
74Fassberg, Grammar, p. 122; Golomb, Grammar, p. 56; Stevenson, Grammar, p. 19
(5.10); Tal, The Language of the Targum of the Former Prophets, p. 8.
concluding observations 177

precedes the noun, and follows it, are almost equally distributed,75 and
this mixed order is also found in TgPsJs LJLA.76

The expression of the genitive


Cook examined the way the genitive relationship is expressed in the
midrashic expansions in TgPsJs rendering of Deuteronomy. On the
strength of his findings, Cook observed a marked preference for the con-
struct state, followed by the employment of the relative pronoun, and,
lastly, the proleptic pronominal suffix combined with the relative pro-
noun.77 My examination of the genitive constructions in the Targumic
Toseftot, which, of course, are even more midrashic in character, resulted
in an identical picture. To give the reader an idea of the frequency of these
three constructions, I give the result of the longest recension of TosTg
Ezek. 1:1, Ms. Gaster 1478:78 19x construct state (e.g., ;) 9x
relative pronoun (e.g., ;) and 5x proleptic pronominal suffix
combined with the relative pronoun (e.g., ) .

Disagreement in number and gender


In the Targumic Toseftot we regularly come across disagreement in
gender and number.79 This type of disagreement does not serve as a

75Compare, for example, in the recension of TosTg Ezek. 1:1 in Ms. Gaster 1478
with ( 2.2.1.1, lines 5 and 76); and in TosTg Ezek. 37 in the Pentateuch
edn. Salonika with ( 4.2.1, lines 15 and 22).
76Cook, Rewriting the Bible, p. 13738.
77For an overview of the expression of the genitive in the other Targumim and Aramaic
dialects, see Cook, Rewriting the Bible, pp. 21215.
78Repititions, like those found in the enumeration of the ayyots body parts, were
only counted once, and genitive constructions in the quotations were excluded from my
analysis.
79See the following cases of disagreement (the list continues on next page):
* In the recension of TosTg Ezek. 1:1 in Ms. Gaster 1478 in 2.2.1.1, lines
10: ...( gender)
1011, 84: ...( gender)
84: ( gender)
2462: ////...( gender)
69: ( number)
70: ( gender)
70: ( gender)
* In the recensions of TosTg. Ezek. 1:1 in the table in 2.2.4.1, lines
27: ...( gender)
36: ( number, L265A and Feldman 143)
43: ( number + gender, L260A, Genizah 430, Halper 64,
Bar-Ilan 737)
178 chapter five

diagnostic itself, but it becomes more frequent in the Late Aramaic dia-
lects.80 According to Cook, this frequency suggests that apparently mas-
culine forms had begun to encroach on the feminine in the late stages of
Aramaic, but he does not discuss this development any further.81 I sug-
gest, at least where the disagreement between verbs and postverbal sub-
jects is concerned, that Arabic exerted an influence on the Late Aramaic
dialects. In Standard Arabic, as a rule, the subject does not need to agree
in number and gender with the preceding verb.82 I discovered that in 8
out of the 13 examples of verb/noun disagreement in TgPsJ mentioned by
Cook the verb preceded the subject.83

To conclude, the Targumic Toseftot to Ezekiel employ a language that


basically belongs to that of Targum Jonathan to the Prophets, viz., JLA.
However, sometimes it displays a linguistic heterogeneity which bears
resemblances with LJLA. The dialectal deviations from JLA appear too

44: ...( gender)


55: ( gender, only L260A)
56: ...( gender, L260A, L265A, Feldman 143)
56: ( gender, only Bar-Ilan 737)
* In the TosTg Ezek. 1:12 in Mazor Vitry in 2.5.1, lines
2: ( gender)
2: ...( gender)
2: ...( gender)
3: ...( gender, quotation from TgJon Ezek. 1:12 with variant reading)
* In the TosTg Ezek. 28:13 in Codex Reuchlinianus in 3.2.1, lines
4: ( gender)
67: ...( gender)
* In the TosTg Ezek.37:1 in Mazor Vitry in 4.3.1, line
6: ( number)
80Cf. the list of disagreements in the Yemenite strand of Targum Lamentations, Van
der Heide, The Yemenite Tradition, pp. 17679.
81Cook, Rewriting the Bible, p. 222.
82My assumption is supported by the observations of Abraham Tal on the character of
Late Samaritan Aramaic. Proof that Arabic had penetrated this dialect is found, amongst
others, in The Asatir. In verse 25 of the first chapter we read
and their minds strayed in the matter of the serpent. The perfect 3rd fem. sg. disagrees
in number and gender with the following masc. pl. noun. Tal presented his findings at
the 8th workshop held by University College Londons Department of Hebrew and Jewish
Studies on February 14, 2007 as part of its Research Project Late Aramaic: The Literary and
Linguistic Context of the Zohar. The passage can be found in M. Gaster, The Asatir: the
Samaritan Book of the Secrets of Moses (London: Royal Asiatic Society, 1927). For more
on the disagreement between verbs and postverbal subjects in Arabic, see W. Harbert and
M. Bahloul, Postverbal Subjects in Arabic and the Theory of Agreement, in J. Ouhalla and
U. Shlonsky (eds.), Themes in Arabic and Hebrew Syntax (Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic
Publishers, 2002), pp. 4570.
83The examples are mentioned in Cook, Rewriting the Bible, pp. 22122.
concluding observations 179

frequently to discount them as the result of scribal contamination. The


fact that these dialect markers are attested in the Cairo Genizah manu-
scripts, which are considered amongst the cleaner manuscripts, confirms
the assumption that we are not merely dealing with scribal intrusions, but
with a genre of literary Aramaic texts that displays to a variable degree a
fusion of dialects. Consequently, we should allow for the possibility that
these Targumic Toseftot are composed in LJLA, even if it mimics JLAfor
is that not characteristic of LJLA?84 The JLA dialect may have had a high
status given its liturgical function, and the composers of the Targumic
Toseftot may have aspired to use it. Further research has to establish
whether this linguistic heterogeneity also characterizes the language of
the other Targumic Toseftot to the Prophets.85

84Following Cook on LJLAs character: The whole picture is thus one of broad accom-
modation to Standard Literary Aramaic, especially as it is exemplified in TO/TJcombined
with, on the one hand, a striving for greater literariness by imitation of Biblical Aramaic,
and on the other hand, with a drop-off into clearly later or colloquial forms; Rewriting the
Bible, p. 211.
85Cf. Smeliks observation that the language of the glosses at TgJon Judg. 12:6 and 16:16
in Codex Reuchlinianus bears affinity with Palestinian Aramaic; Targum of Judges, p. 647.
Interestingly, research has recently been undertaken to establish the dialectal classifi-
cation of the Zohar and other Late Aramaic sources and whether or not their intriguing
linguistic heterogeneity resembles that of LJLA. This scholarly interest is a far cry from the
days of Gershom Scholem, under whose influence it was commonly accepted by research-
ers, even axiomatic, that the Zohar was composed in an artificial type of Aramaic in late
13th century Castile by Moshe de Leon. In order to give the Zohar authoritative status, De
Leon not only attributed it to the 2nd century Palestinian sage Rashbi, but he also estab-
lished its authenticity by employing various literary Aramaic dialects of antiquity, which
resulted in the distinctive Zoharic language. Scholems verdict on the language as an arti-
ficial idiom had never been subject to systematic revision, despite the meager evidence
which supported it. Scholem never expounded his theory in a detailed study, but a brief
overview of the alleged linguistic peculiarities in the Zohar can be found in G. Scholem,
Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism (New York: Schocken Books, 1941), pp. 16468.
In the years 20042009 an AHRC funded project in University College London success-
fully challenged the prevalent scholarly opinion by establishing that the type of Aramaic
found in the Zohar, with its artificial fusion of dialects, was in fact also found in other
medieval literary works, albeit to a variable degree. This discovery thus placed the Zohar in
an unbroken literary tradition which still existed far into the Middle Ages, see A. Rapoport-
Albert and T. Kwasman, Late Aramaic: The Literary and Linguistic Context of the Zohar,
AS 4 (2006), pp. 519. The project showed that by the end of the first millennium Aramaic
literary traditions from diverse periods and dialect regions had come into close contact,
and this facilitated the emergence of a genuine supra-regional literary Aramaic that may
have spread to the late 13th century Iberian peninsula. Linguistic profiles of distinct bod-
ies of medieval Aramaic sources were created, focusing specifically on those for which no
such profiles currently existed in scholarship, see W. Smelik, The Aramaic Dialect(s) of the
Cairo Geniza Toldot Yeshu Fragments, AS 7.1 (2009), pp. 3973; idem, A Biblical Aramaic
Pastiche from the Cairo Genizah, AS 9 (2011), pp. 325339. My research into the Tosefta-
Targums to Ezekiel, presented in this study, was also embedded in the AHRC-project.
180 chapter five

5.2Date and Provenance

On the strength of the linguistic profile we can tentatively date the


Targumic Toseftot to Ezekiel, at least those with a substantive body of
text like TosTgs Ezek. 1:1, 28:13, and 37, to the Geonic period.86 Tellingly,
the contents of each of these Tosefta-Targums allows such a dating, as
demonstrated in my comments. The question of their origin is more
difficult to answer, though, and this time the affinity with Late Jewish
Literary Aramaic does not provide any clues because of the juxtaposition
of Eastern and Western elements in this dialect.87 Moreover, we have
to take the heterogenous character of these Targums into consideration
when seeking to establish their provenance. This is a far cry from the gen-
eralizing approach of Wilhelm Bacher, the late 19th century scholar who
painstakingly analyzed the vast number of marginal readings in Codex
Reuchlinianus.88 Despite Bachers in-depth analysis of the aggadic glosses
and their rabbinic parallels, he did not manage to avoid the pitfalls which
threaten such an ambitious undertaking.89
Firstly, Bacher argued that aggadic parallels in the Talmuds and later
Midrashim betray the dependence of the -group on these
rabbinic sources. As a result, Bacher advocated not only a late date for
these glosses but also a Palestinian provenance, assuming that at a cer-
tain time the Babylonian Talmud had gained ground in Palestine, and the

Whereas the AHRC project focused on the linguistic trajectory towards Zoharic
Aramaic, some recent pilot studies examined the Zoharic language itself and their findings
supported Yehuda Liebes, who had suggested a late Aramaic provenance for the Zoharic
language without elaborating on it, see A. Damsma and D. Freedman, An Analysis of an
Astrological Treatise (Zohar 2,172a), in A. Rapoport-Albert, W. Smelik, et al. (eds.), Late
Aramaic: The Linguistic and Literary Context of the Zohar. Vol. 2: Proceedings of the Final
Project Conference (IJS Studies in Judaica; Leiden), forthcoming; T. Kwasman, Der Zohar
und seine Beziehung zu late Jewish literary Aramaic, FJB34 (20072008), pp. 133147;
Y. Liebes, Hebrew and Aramaic as Languages of the Zohar, AS 4.1 (2006), pp. 3552.
86Following Cooks concluding observation on the Geonic date of LJLA, see Rewriting
the Bible, pp. 28182. However, it should be taken into account that the periodisation of
LJLA is subject of debate, with some scholars advocating a fourth century date of TgPsJ, the
Targum on which the identification of LJLA was mainly based; cf. P.V.M. Flesher, The liter-
ary legacy of the priests? The Pentateuchal Targums of Israel in their social and linguistic
context, in B. Olsson and M. Zetterholm (eds.), The Ancient Synagogue from Its Origins
until 200 C.E.(Stockholm: Almqvist & Wiksell International, 2003), pp. 467508.
87Cf. Cook, Rewriting the Bible, p. 259.
88W. Bacher, Kritische Untersuchungen zum Prophetentargum, ZDMG 28 (1874), pp.
172.
89Gordon, Studies in the Targum, p. 26, 35, summarizes Bachers observations without
questioning them, in contrast to Smelik, Targum of Judges, pp. 7980, 17172, who chal-
lenges Bachers line of reasoning; cf. Van Staalduine-Sulman, Targum of Samuel, pp. 58.
concluding observations 181

Palestinian aggadot had been influenced by the later midrashic works.90


However, Shinan has criticized the tendency to treat aggadic Targums as
subordinate versions of rabbinic traditions, and to assume a priori the
dependency of the former on the latter.91 Instead, we should allow for
the possibility that the core of an aggadic tradition had already been
passed down for centuries before it was eventually incorporated into the
Babylonian Talmud or late Midrashim, and had left earlier traces in other
rabbinic and Targumic works. Moreover, it should be borne in mind that
the label is ambiguous. Not only can it refer to a Targum of
Palestinian provenance, but it can also be used to designate an additional,
expansive Targum, whose language and contents betray Babylonian influ-
ence. Hence, we should be careful not to follow in Bachers footsteps by
interpreting the label too literally, but subject the aggadic
material in each Tosefta-Targum with this heading to an in-depth linguis-
tic, literary, and exegetical analysis.
Secondly, in the other glosses, including the aggadic ones with the
heading , Bacher saw scattered remnants of the original Targum
to the Prophets before it underwent editing in Babylonia. Bacher found
proof that they represent an earlier stage in the ample presence of Greek
loanwords, and in the type of translation, which strays further from the
Hebrew Vorlage than TgJon.92 As for the loanwords, the presence of
these foreign language elements is not firm evidence for an early date or
a Palestinian provenance. For instance, in the gloss at TgJon Ezek. 28:13
in Codex Reuchlinianus, which bears the double heading and
, two Greek loanwords are used: ( ) and
(). However, the former is already found in Daniel-Aramaic (Dan
3:5,15: ), and might just as well be an archaism, and the latter is
also attested in Syriac, one of the Eastern Aramaic dialects. Moreover,
more than a century after Bachers publication it is hard to endorse his
assumption that the Targums that do not slavishly follow the Vorlage pre-
date the literal ones, like TgOnq and TgJon. TgPsJ and some of the Targums
to the Megillot, for instance, are very paraphrastic Targums, but their LJLA
dialect can be dated far into the Geonic period, as seen above.
Returning to the Tosefta-Targums to Ezekiel, we can conclude that the
exegetical analysis of the shorter Targums (TosTgs Ezek. 1:3, 8, 12, 26; 37:1)

90Bacher, Kritische Untersuchungen, pp. 4, 58.


91Shinan, The Aggadah of the Palestinian Targums of the Pentateuch, pp. 20317.
92Bacher, Kritische Untersuchungen, pp. 5657.
182 chapter five

did not yield clear indications of their provenance; their contents often
being simply too brief to hold any significant clues. However, our analy-
ses of TosTgs Ezek. 1:1 and 37:114 (Pentateuch edn. Salonika) pointed to
the Eastern Diaspora as the presumable place of origin, the former being
steeped in the Babylonian exegetical and mystical traditions,93 and the lat-
ter displaying a Babylonian exilic outlook, despite its heading Yerushalmi.
TosTg Ezek. 28:13, on the other hand, displays a greater affinity with the
Palestinian exegetical tradition.

5.3Sitz im Leben

It is significant that all the Targumic Toseftot to Ezekiel apply to verses


which belong to hafaric readings.94 Some of them are preserved in juxta-
position with Targum Jonathan in manuscripts containing the hafarot in
Hebrew and Aramaic.95 These mainly concern the Yemenite recensions of
TosTgs Ezek. 1:1, which may go back to the continuous Targumic practice
in the Yemenite Jewish synagogues. In the halakhic-liturgical composition
Mazor Vitry we find two Targumic Toseftot incorporated into the text of
Targum Jonathan itself, expounding either the first or the last verse of the
hafarah.96 In addition, some versions are preserved independently, albeit
some still in liturgical works.97 Three Cairo Genizah recensions stand
alone, but the headings of two of them possibly indicate liturgical use.98
It seems probable that these often lengthy Tosefta-Targums are the lit-
erary reflections of originally oral traditions which had their setting in
the synagogal service during the festivals of Shavuot (Ezek. 1) or Pesach
(Ezek. 37). Some of them may have served as a homiletical introduction

93It should be borne in mind that there was a strong Babylonian influence in late
Amoraic/Geonic Palestine, and thus we cannot state with certainty that these Tosefta-
Targums stem from Babylonia on the basis of the parallels with these Eastern traditions.
94Cf. Kasher, Angelology and the Supernal Worlds, pp. 18990.
95TosTg Ezek. 1:1 in Mss. JTSA L260A, JTSA L265A, Feldman 143, and Gaster 1478 (?).
TosTg Ezek. 37:114 in Pentateuch edn. Salonika ().
96TosTg Ezek. 1:12 ( ) and TosTg Ezek. 37:1 (
).
97TosTg Ezek. 1 in Mss. T-S NS 245.98 (accompanied by different Targumic fragments)
and Bar-Ilan 737 (accompanied by prayers and piyyutim).
98TosTg Ezek. 1:1 in Mss. Genizah 430 ( ) and
Halper 64 () . TosTg Ezek. 1:1 in Ms. T-S NS 171.7 is preserved
entirely independently.
concluding observations 183

to TgJons version99 or belonged to a variant reading of TgJon itself.100 Be


that as it may, several of these fluctuating oral traditions were set down
in writing, some only in recent times,101 which accounts for the different
recensions.
Less clear is the setting in life of the remaining marginal glosses.102
Aside from TosTg Ezek. 28:13, they are very brief and may represent vari-
ant readings in other TgJon manuscripts or commentaries that the scribe
had at his disposal. For instance, as observed in my comments on TosTg
Ezek. 1:26,103 this marginal gloss is only paralleled in medieval Jewish com-
mentaries. The heading another version may thus refer to a
similar type of commentary. Alternatively, the marginal glosses may have
been inserted by the scribal tradents themselves through the centuries.


99Note the ending of all the recensions of TosTg Ezek. 1:1, except for Mss. T-S NS 245.98
and T-S NS 171.7.
100See TosTgs Ezek. 1:12 and 37:1 in Mazor Vitry, Ms. London 655.
101E.g., TosTg Ezek. 1:1 in Ms. Bar-Ilan 737.
102TosTg Ezek. 1:8 in Codex Reuchlinianus ( ;) TosTg Ezek. 1:26 in Ms. 7,
Montefiore Library ( ;) TosTg Ezek. 28:13 in Codex Reuchlinianus (;
) . TosTg Ezek. 1:3 is not a marginal gloss as such. It is attested on its own in
Arukh ha-Shalem under the heading .
103See 2.6.2.
Appendices
Appendix A

The Targumic Versions of the Recovery of the Book


of the Torah1,2

Gaster
2 Kgs
2 Chr
(Continuation of the verses)
Gaster
2 Kgs
2 Chr

1A comparison between TosTg. Ezek. 1:1 (Ms. Gaster 1478), 2 Kgs 22:811, and 2 Chron. 34:1419.
2The translation of the Targumic Tosefta is found in 2.2.1 (cf. the parallel versions in 2.2.4.1 line 6ff.). TgJon. 2 Kgs 22:811 and Tg. 2 Chron.
34:1419 are translated below:
TgJon. 2 Kgs 22:811: Hilkiah the High Priest said to Shaphan the scribe, I have found the Book of the Torah in the Temple of the Lord. And Hilkiah
gave the book to Shaphan and he read it. And Shaphan the scribe came unto the king and he brought the word back to the king and said, Your servants
have counted the silver that was found in the house, and have given it into to the hand of the workmen who where appointed in the Temple of the Lord.
And Shaphan the scribe told the king, saying, Hilkiah the Priest has given me a book. And Shaphan read it before the king. And when the king heard
the words of the Book of Torah, he tore his garments.
Tg. 2 Chron. 34:1419 as per Daut, Targum des Chroniques: And when they took out the silver that had been brought into the Temple of the Lord,
Hilkiah the Priest found the Book of the Torah of the Lord, that was given in the hand of Moses. And Hilkiah turned to Shaphan the scribe and said, I
have found the Book of the Torah of the Lord, which was hidden and wrapped. And Hilkiah gave the book to Shaphan. And Shaphan brought the book
before the king and addressed to the king further, saying, All that was committed to your servants, they are doing. They have melted the silver that was
found in the Temple of the Lord, and have given it into the hand of the secretaries who were appointed and into the hand of the workmen. And Shaphan
the secretary informed the king, saying, Hilkiah the priest has given me a book. And Shaphan recited it before the king. And when the king heard the
words of the Book of the Torah, he tore his garments.
)(Continuation of the verses
188

Gaster
2 Kgs
2 Chr
)(Continuation of the verses
Gaster
2 Kgs
3 2 Chr
)(Continuation of the verses
Gaster
2 Kgs
4 2 Chr
)(Continuation of the verses
Gaster
2 Kgs
2 Chr
appendix a

)(Continuation of the verses


Gaster
2 Kgs
2 Chr

3
can mean both silver and money in TgKet. According to Levy, CWT, vol. 2, p. 158,
4
; cf. R. Hayward, Some Notes on Scribes and Priests in the Targum of the Prophets, instead of Note that Shaphan is designated as
JJS 36 (1985), pp. 21021, esp. 212 n. 8.

)(Continuation of the verses
[] Gaster
2 Kgs
2 Chr
)(Continuation of the verses
Gaster
2 Kgs
2 Chr
targumic versions of torah recovery
189
Appendix B

The Targumic Versions of Deuteronomy 28:36

A Comparison between TosTgs. Ezek. 1:1,1 TgOnq, TgPsJ, and TgNeof 2

[] Gaster 1478
5 4 3 L260A
+ other TosTgs
TgOnq
TgPsJ
TgNeof
)(Continuation Deut. 28:36
Gaster 1478
6 L260A
+ other TosTgs
TgOnq
TgPsJ
TgNeof

1Mss. T-S NS 245.98, T-S NS 171.7 and Halper 64 are not included because they do not quote Deut. 28:36.
2Editions as per Dez Macho, Neophyti I; Ginsburger, Pseudo-Jonathan; and Sperber, The Bible in Aramaic.
. 3Bar Ilan 737:
. . Feldman 143 lacks: 4Other TosTgs.:
. 5L265A, Feldman 143, and Bar-Ilan 737:
. 6Genizah 430 and Bar-Ilan 737:
Appendix C

The Order of the Heavens in Rabbinic Literature1

Group 1: Reuyot Shamayim Sheme shamayim Zevul Arafel Sheaqim Aravot Kisse
Palestinian Yeezqeel 1 kavod
Reuyot Raqia/ Sheme hashamayim Zevul Arafel Sheaqim Makhon Aravot
Yeezqeel 2 Shamayim
Group 2: Pes. K. 23 Shamayim Sheme hashamayim Raqia Sheaqim Zevul Maon Aravot:
Palestinian (Mandelbaum) Ps. 68:5
Pes. K. 23 Shamayim Sheme shamayim Raqia Sheaqim Zevul Maon Aravot:
(Buber) Ps. 68:5
Lev. R. 29:11 Shamayim Sheme hashamayim Raqia Sheaqim Zevul Maon Aravot
Deut. R. 2:23 (32) Shamayim Sheme hashamayim Raqia Sheaqim Maon Zevul Arafel
TosTg. Ezek. 1:1 Shamaya Sheme shamaya Sheaqim Maon Makhon Zevul Aravot
(L260A)
TosTgs. Ezek. 1:1 Shamaya Sheme shamaya Sheaqim Zevul Maon Makon Aravot
(L265A,
Feldman 143,
Bar-Ilan 737)

1I am greatly indebted to Peter Schfer, whose chart I have adapted with slight alterations. Since Schfer did not include all the TosTgs. Ezek. 1:1
that contain a list of heavens I have inserted them as well. Moreover, I have indicated the groups and their origin. T-S NS 245.98 and Halper 64 are
absent from this chart because the fragments do not mention the heavens. For the original chart and the editions used by Schfer, I refer the reader
to: P. Schfer, In Heaven as It Is in Hell: The Cosmology of Seder Rabbah di-Bereshit, in R.S. Boustan and A. Yoshiko Reed (eds.), Heavenly Realms
and Earthly Realities in Late Antique Religions (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004), pp. 23374 (26162).
Group 3: b.ag. 12b Welon Raqia Sheaqim Zevul Maon Makhon Aravot
194

Babylonian ARNA 37 Welon Raqia Sheaqim Zevul Maon Makhon Aravot


TosTgs. Ezek. 1:1 Welon Raqia Sheaqim Zevul Maon Makhon Aravot
(Gaster 1478,
T-S NS 171.7,2
Genizah 430)
3 En. 50 Shamayim Raqia Sheaqim Zevul Maon Aravot
3 En. 21 Shamayim Raqia Sheaqim Zevul Maon Makhon Aravot
SRdB Vatican 288 Welon Shamayim Raqia Sheaqim Zevul Maon Makhon Aravot
SRdB Oxford Welon Shamayim Raqia Sheaqim Zevul Maon Makhon Aravot
(767777)
Midrash Konen Raqia Sheaqim Zevul Maon Makhon Aravot
appendix c

2T-S NS 171.7: this damaged fragment does not mention the first heaven, but the other six names are identical to Gaster 1478 and Genizah 430.
Appendix D

The Stature of the Godhead in Sefer Haqqomah1 compared with the Stature of the ayyot in
b.agiga 13a and in TosTgs. Ezekiel 1:1

Sefer Haqqomah b.ag. 13a Gaster 1478 T-S NS 245.98, L260A, L265A, Feldman 143, Bar-Ilan, 737
T-S NS 171.72 Genizah 4303

soles of feet feet soles of feet feet feet4 soles of feet


ankles ankles ankles ankles ankles horns
calves calves calves calves knees hands
knees knees thighs knees bellies bellies
thighs thighs knees thighs torsos backs
loins torsos flanks torsos wings torsos
heart necks buttocks wings necks wings
neck heads backs necks horns knees
skull horns loins heads heads feet
beard wings horns
tongue shoulders

1This text is exemplary for the rest of the Shiur Qomah material. See for the complete passage, Cohen, The Shiur Qomah, pp. 13747.
2T-S NS 171.7: in this damaged fragment the body parts between calves and torsos are illegible.
3Halper 64 mentions the fewest body parts. From toe to top: knees; torsos; necks; heads; horns.
4Genizah 430: soles of feet.
Table (cont.)
196

Sefer Haqqomah b.ag. 13a Gaster 1478 T-S NS 245.98, L260A, L265A, Feldman 143, Bar-Ilan, 737
T-S NS 171.7 Genizah 430

forehead necks
eyes heads
shoulder horns
arms
cheeks
palms of hands
fingers
toes
appendix d
Appendix E

The Concept of the Macrocosmic Body in the


Ancient Near East

1.The Cosmic Body of God in the Jewish tradition

If we restrict ourselves to the Jewish tradition, we come across the rabbinic


concept of the primordial Adam, who was created with a body reaching
from the earth to the heaven:1
:
For R. Eleazar said: The first man [extended] from the earth to the firmament.
But as soon as Adam sinned, God placed his hand on him and he lost his
cosmic proportions. This concept, which was read into Deut. 4:32 and Ps.
139:5, 16, implies the macrocosmic body of God because the primordial
Adam was created in the likeness of God, in his image.2
According to Barc, who collected and translated the relevant rab-
binic texts, this concept dates from the 3rd century ce.3 Interestingly,
the implicit rabbinic idea that God has a body of cosmic dimensions
seems to be attested by the Church Fathers, as Stroumsa has pointed out.
According to him, scholarly research has so far paid too little attention
to testimonies of Patristic writers which attest the presence of Jewish

1b.ag. 12a; see also b.Sanh. 38b; Gen. R. 8:1; 21:3; 24:2.
2Cf. S. Niditch, The Cosmic Adam: Man as Mediator in Rabbinic Literature, JJS 34
(1983), pp. 13746.
3B.Barc, La taille cosmique dAdam dans la littrature juive rabbinique des trois pre-
miers sicles aprs J.-C., RevScRel 49 (1975), pp. 17385. Cf. E.E. Urbach, The Sages: Their
Concepts and Beliefs (Jerusalem: Magness Press, 2nd enl. edn., 1979), vol. 1, p. 228. However,
this 3rd century dating is challenged by G.G. Stroumsa in his Form(s) of God: Some Notes
on Meaatron and Christ, HTR 76 (1983), pp. 26988, esp. p. 275 n. 31. Nag Hammadi
texts already seem to hint at the figure of the first Adam. For more on the concept of
the corporeality of God, especially in comparison with the concept of Adams body in
rabbinic literature see A.G. Gottstein, The Body as Image of God in Rabbinic Literature,
HTR 87 (1994), pp. 17195. Contrast D.H. Aaron, Shedding Light on Gods Body in Rabbinic
Midrashim: Reflections on the Theory of a Luminous Adam, HTR 90 (1997), pp. 299314.
Despite their titles, these two articles do not shed further light on the concept of a gigantic
body of God or Adam in Rabbinic Judaism.
198 appendix

macrocosmic anthropomorphism in the first centuries ce.4 Origens tes-


timony in particular is of outmost importance in our search for further
traces of descriptions of a body of gigantic dimensions:5
Denique carnales isti homines, qui intellectum divinitatis ignorant, sicubi
in Scripturis de Deo legunt quia coelum mihi sedes, terra autem scabellum
pedum meorum, suspicantur Deum tam ingentis esse corporis, ut putent
eum sedentem in coelo pedes usque ad terram prodentere.
In brief, those carnal men who have no understanding of the meaning of
divinity suppose, if they read anywhere in the Scriptures of God that heaven
is my throne, and the earth my footstool, (Isa. 66:1) that God has so large
a body that they think he sits in heaven and stretches out his feet to the
earth.

Quoniam in multis divinae scripturae locis Deum legimus ad hominess


loqui et pro hoc Judaei quidem, sed et nostrorum nonnulli Deum quasi
hominem intelligendum putarunt, id est humanis membris habituque dis-
tinctum, (...)
We read in many passages of the divine Scripture that God speaks to men.
For this reason the Jews indeed, but also some of our people, supposed that
God should be understood as a man, that is, adorned with human members
and human appearance.
Basil the Great, too, seems to hint at the Jewish theologoumenon of the
anthropomorphic and macrocosmic body of God:6

.
Do not imagine a form for him; do not diminish the Great One in Jewish
fashion; do not enclose God in corporal concepts, do not delimit him accord-
ing to your own comprehension.
The phrase (do not diminish the Great
One in Jewish fashion) in particular could reflect Patristic resentment

4Stroumsa, Form(s) of God, p. 271.


5Origen, In Genesim homiliae, 1.3; 3.1; as per Origen, Homiliae in Genesim; Origenes Werke,
Bd. 6 (ed. W.A. Baehrens; GCS, 29; Leipzig: J.C. Hinrichs, 1920), pp. 1517; 39. Translation:
Origen, Homilies on Genesis and Exodus (trans. R.E. Heine; The Fathers of the Church, 71;
Washington DC: Catholic University of America Press 1982), pp. 6364. Stroumsa stresses
the value and credibility of Origens observation, in contrast to De Lange, according to
whom Origen refers to Jewish literalism in general rather than to a specific rabbinic con-
cept; N.R.M. De Lange, Origen and the Jews: studies in Jewish-Christian relations in third-
century Palestine (UCOP, 25; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1976), p. 44.
6Basil, De hominis structura 1.5; as per Basile de Csare, Sur lOrigine de lHomme (ed.
A. Smets and M. van Esbroeck; SC, 160; Paris: E ditions du Cerf, 1970), p. 176.
concept of the macrocosmic body 199

against Shiur Qomah-type speculation in the 4th century Jewish tradition.


It is not anthropomorphism that is criticised here, but the Jewish custom
of measuring the Immeasurable One, even when the given size is beyond
comprehension. It seems as if Basil wants to emphasize that measurement
of God implies by definition his diminishment.
If, like Stroumsa, we regard the testimonies of both Origen and Basil
as faithful reflections of a contemporary Jewish concept, then we have
reason to believe that there was indeed a tendency in the Jewish tradi-
tion to attribute cosmic dimensions not only to Adam, but also to God
himself. In the 3rd and 4th centuries ce, God was portrayed in both an
anthropomorphic and macrocosmic manner. However, rabbinic literature
has only yielded explicit evidence of the rabbinic concept of the cosmic
Adam, which, admittedly, does speak of his height reaching from the earth
to the heavens, but reveals no further parallels with the descriptions of
the godhead and the creatures in the Shiur Qomah and its Talmudic and
Targumic counterparts.

2.The Cosmic Body of God in Ancient Mesopotamia

Perhaps we would find more clues if we broadened our horizon and


looked for parallel traditions outside late antique Judaism. Particularly
helpful in this respect is a study of Howard Jackson in which he discusses
texts ranging from the 3rd millennium bce to Late Antiquity that, to a
greater or lesser extent, parallel the Shiur Qomah, and could hint at an
ongoing development in the conception of the divine macrocosmic body
in the Ancient Near East.7 Jacksons findings are summarized below and
critically discussed in chronological order. Further proof of this theol-
ogoumenon in (late) antiquity is also added where appropriate.
In his extensive search for ancient Near Eastern parallels with the Shiur
Qomah, Jackson comes across Mesopotamian texts that date from the 3rd
and 2nd millenniums bce. The first and oldest parallel is found on the
so-called Stele of the Vultures, a victory monument of the Sumerian king
Eannatum of Lagash, and the second is a fragment from the Hittite ver-
sion of the Gilgamesh Epic.8 Both texts show traces of the royal ideology
of divine parentage, i.e., the belief that the ancient Mesopotamian kings

7H.M. Jackson, The Origins and Development of Shiur Qomah Revelation in Jewish
Mysticism, JSJ 31 (2000), pp. 373415.
8Jackson, Origins and Development of Shiur Qomah, pp. 40913.
200 appendix

were of divine birth. A characteristic of this tradition is the attribution of


a superhuman size to the god-king in question.9
However, doubt should be cast on Jacksons firm opinion that there is
somehow a link between the Shiur Qomah and the royal Mesopotamian
tradition of divine parentage. These two small and partly damaged frag-
ments serve as insufficient proof to state that ancient legends of excep-
tionally tall divine kings triggered the later concept of the macrocosmic
body. The space of time between the royal court of Mesopotamia of the
3rd and 2nd millennium bce and Babylonian mystical circles of the early
Geonic period is too large. If the ideology of the divine king with superhu-
man size had been so widespread and persistent, we would have found
traces of it in the Hebrew Bible. After all, the latter is not only historically
and culturally closer to the time we are speaking about, it also consists
of a wide variety of genres, and, most importantly, betrays influence of
Mesopotamian literature. Unfortunately, Jackson does not mention the
Hebrew Bible in this context.

3.The Cosmic Body of God in Ancient Egypt

The Egyptian proof of the divine measurement is found in royal dream-


visions on the one hand, and in magic texts on the other.10
In the first category, Jackson starts with a papyrus from the 2nd cen-
tury bce: (Defense) of Petesis the Hieroglyph-Cutter to King Nektanebo(s).
According to Jackson, we are probably dealing with a translation or adap-
tation of what was originally a Knigsnovelle, dating from perhaps the
4th century bce. I will not relate the papyrus entire story, but the rel-
evant point is that the Egyptian ruler Nektanebo(s), whose kingdom is
threatened by the Persians, has an ominous dream in which the stature
of the god Onouris (or Ares in Greek) is described as being 21 cubits tall.
Centuries earlier, in the 13th century bce, one of Nektanebo(s)s predeces-
sors has a similar dream under similar circumstances: in the fifth year of
his reign, king Merneptah, who is facing an invasion from the west, sees in
his dream the god Ptah, urging the worried king to stop being afraid. The


9To give the reader an idea of the type of measurement, I would like to quote one
of Jacksons examples. The fragment is taken from the Hittite recension of the Epic of
Gilgamesh: The form of Gilgamesh the great gods [made surpassing]. Eleven cubits [was
his height]; the breadth of his chest was nine [spans]. The length of his [...] was three (?)
[...]; Jackson, Origins and Development of Shiur Qomah, p. 412.
10Jackson, Origins and Development of Shiur Qomah, pp. 399401; 4056.
concept of the macrocosmic body 201

inscription says of Ptah: He seemed in height [...]. Sadly, time has erased
the exact type of measurement and, hence, the damaged Merneptah-
inscription does not help us much further.
The other category consists of texts that can be classified under the
genre of magic texts. The first parallel is found in the Egyptian Book of
Dead, a collection of mortuary spells and formulas that arose halfway
through the 2nd millennium bce, although some of the funerary texts may
be much older. One of the texts, i.e., chapter 110, describes a scene in the
Egyptian afterlife in the paradisiacal Field of Rushes where everything is
of immense size. The spirits of the dead are 9 cubits tall, yet this is nothing
compared to the god Horus, who is depicted as a falcon 1000 cubits tall.
Two magic spells for the living, dating from the 19th-20th Dynasty,11 also
speak of gods that are many cubits tall. In a crocodile spell, it is said that
the body of a dwarf-god is 7 cubits tall. Moreover, in a scorpion spell, a
god, probably Seth, not only describes himself as being millions of cubits
tall, but also reveals his secret name, Day of Health, in order to be cured
from a scorpion bite. In Jacksons view, it is precisely this combination of
divine measurements and secret names which have a theurgic function,
that links the Egyptian magic spells and the Shiur Qomah.
Our reservation as to Jacksons treatment of the Mesopotamian paral-
lels is also in place here. There are similarities, but the extant material
that Jackson brings forward is too ancient and meagre to support any firm
conclusions. The magic texts would only have been relevant had there
been late copies in Ptolemaic Egypt. The historical and geographical gap
is also here too large. From Ancient Egypt, we have to bridge thousands
of miles and many centuries before we come across the Shiur Qomah.
Moreover, caution is in order with Jacksons setting and dating of the
Shiur Qomah, which facilitates his comparison between the Egyptian
texts and this type of mysticism. Following Scholem, Jackson attributes
an early Tannaitic date to the emergence of the Shiur Qomah revelation,
namely shortly after 70 ce in Palestine. The Shiur Qomah replaced the tra-
dition of the detailed measurement of the Second Temple since the latter
was no longer viable after the tragic fall of Jerusalem. The heavenly vision
offered in the Shiur Qomah served as a kind of substitute and consolation
for the bereaved people: the Temple, the earthly abode of God, with its
exact and immense measurements no longer existed, but instead, access
was now given to God himself, enthroned in the highest heavens, whose

11I.e., from 1295 bce until 1069 bce.


202 appendix

anthropomorphic appearance and incalculable size could be visualised


in mystical ways.12 Jackson sees a link between the threatening circum-
stances in which the two Egyptian kings, Nektanebo(s) and Merneptah,
were placed and the desperate situation of the Jewish community after
the destruction of the Temple and its disastrous aftermath. When all cer-
tainties seem to fade away, at least the powerful vision of a divinity, whose
existence is confirmed by a precise mathematical description of its giant
size, offers assurance, encouragement, and consolation.
Jacksons argumentation depends on this early dating of the Shiur
Qomah revelations and that is exactly where his comparison falls short.
There is no conclusive evidence that supports the theory of an early emer-
gence of the Shiur Qomah, or even of speculations of this type. The earli-
est references and the strongest parallels point to an Amoraic date and
Babylonian provenance of the Shiur Qomah. By that time, the destruction
of the Second Temple probably still played an important part in the col-
lective memory of the Jewish Babylonian community, but it is doubtful
whether this traumatic event could have triggered the emergence of the
Shiur Qomah centuries after it actually happened.13 Are we still faced with
a bereaved and desperate people for whom the revelation of the anthropo-
morphic and giant godhead offered an assuring and consoling substitute?
In addition, despite their common theurgic context, there is an impor-
tant difference between the Egyptian magic spells, especially the scorpion
spell, and the Shiur Qomah: the goals that need to be achieved. In both
texts the exact recitation of the magic numbers and names was of cru-
cial importance,14 but in contrast to the Egyptian spells, the Shiur Qomah
mystic did not have the sole aim of seeking the favour of the godhead. It
was also, and perhaps most of all, the actual vision of the Deity and the
communion with him that he was longing for. Jackson sheds insufficient
light on this mystical aspiration whilst discussing the parallels between
the Egyptian magic texts and the Shiur Qomah.15 The latter may have

12Jackson, Origins and Development of Shiur Qomah, pp. 4034.


13Jackson rightly notes the allusions to the destruction of the Temple in the Shiur
Qomah (Origins and Development of Shiur Qomah, p. 403 n. 42), but do they serve as
additional proof for the early date of this mysticism? As said before, we should not attach
undue weight to the appearance of three eminent Tannaim in the Shiur Qomah given
the widespread practice of pseudepigraphy, and it could well be that by mentioning the
destruction of the Temple the composer aspired to give an antique flavour to his work.
14The theurgic function of the Shiur Qomah is, for example, clearly attested in Sefer
Haqqomah in Cohen, Texts and Recensions, pp. 15052 (lines 120124).
15Jackson, Origins and Development of Shiur Qomah, p. 409.
concept of the macrocosmic body 203

originated from actual mystic experiences, and the theurgic and liturgical
elements that subsequently became important may have been introduced
at a later stage.16

4.The Cosmic Body of God in the Greaco-Roman World

Although the Greeks conceived of their gods as being of immense size,


they eschewed the attribution of numbers because knowing the exact
measurement of the divinity, however gigantic, means being able to com-
prehend its majesty and greatness. So the Greeks were fully aware that
numerical exactitude entails the risk of the divinity losing its incompre-
hensibility. Henceforth, we would search in vain for, seriously intended,
Greek parallels in which numbers are assigned to the colossal deities.
Exceptions to the rule are the stories, earliest found in Homers work, of
ancient human heroes and demigods that are described as being many
feet tall. However, since they were not regarded as gods, the mentioning
of their exact size was not seen as a delimitation of their greatness, and,
hence, numbers could safely be attributed to them. Moreover, folktales
such as these had an entertaining function, and the same applies to a
satiric passage in the Philopseudes of Lucian of Samosa, written c. 150 ce,
in which the elderly philosopher Eukrates describes his vision of the god-
dess Hecate. He portrays her as a terrifying giant, half a mile, almost, in
height with a huge sword in her hand.17 Jackson rightly notes that
satire depends on stereotype, and stereotype, in turn, is characterized by
what contemporaries assume to be typical of the subject.18
The subject in this case is the godhead, who, in Lucians days, is stereo-
typically depicted appearing in visions as a giant whose exact size is
known and given. Following Jackson, we may infer from this that in the
first centuries ce the idea of a huge divine body with numeral specifics
had become a common, yet non-Hellenistic, feature in the Greek realm of
thought and was even ridiculed.
In our search for similar concepts of the divine macrocosmic body, we
come historically and culturally closer to the Shiur Qomah and now it is

16Cf. Cohen, The Shiur Qomah, pp. 6871.


17The full citation can be found in Jackson, Origins and Development of Shiur Qomah,
pp. 38788.
18Jackson, Origins and Development of Shiur Qomah, p. 388.
204 appendix

time to discuss a text that may be considered as the most striking paral-
lel so far. It resembles the Shiur Qomah in its visionary context; in the
anthropomorphic-like description of huge divine beings, and in the type
of measurement. We are dealing with the so-called Elkesaite vision as it
has come down to us in the testimonies of the Patristic writers Hippolytus
(c. 170236 ce) and Epiphanius (c. 315403 ce). They claim that Elkesai,
the 2nd century founder of a Judaeo-Christian movement, possessed a
book whose contents had been revealed by an angel of enormous height,
the Son of God, with whom appeared a female angel, the Holy Spirit.19
We quote the earliest testimony of this revelation, which is found in
Hippolytus work:20
, , ,
, ,
, ,
, .
,
, .
[It] had been revealed by an angel whose height was 24 schnoi, which is
96 miles, and whose width is 4 schnoi, and from shoulder to shoulder 6
schnoi; and his footprints extend to the length of three and a half schnoi,
which is fourteen miles, and the width is one schnos and a half, and the
height half a schnos. And there also appears to be a female with him,
whose measurements, he says, are the aforementioned. The male appears
to be Son of God, and the female is called the Holy Spirit.

19Klijn and Reinink, who give a portrait of the Elkesaites with the help of Patristic
testimonies, regard the Book of Elkesai as a literary product of an apocalyptic-syncretistic,
missionary movement which originated during the Roman invasion of Parthia within a
Jewish community which tried to show its allegiance to the Parthians. The movement
came into contact with different Jewish and non-Jewish groups of the river Jordan. In this
way the Elkesaite movement included some Christological conceptions in its oral mes-
sage; A.F.J. Klijn and G.J. Reinink, Patristic Evidence for Jewish-Christian Sects (NovTSup,
36; Leiden: Brill Academic Publishers, 1973), pp. 6667; cf. G.P. Luttikhuizen, The Revelation
of Elchasai: investigations into the evidence for a Mesopotamian Jewish apocalypse of the
second century and its reception by judeo-christian propagandists (TSAJ, 8; Tbingen: Mohr
Siebeck, 1985).
20Hippolytus, Refutatio omnium haeresium 9.13; as per Hippolytus, Refutatio omnium
haeresium; Hippolytus, Werke. Bd. 3 (ed. P. Wendland; GCS, 26; Leipzig: J.C. Hinrichs, 1916),
p. 251 (lines 1420). Traditions on the origin of the book differ. According to Origen, the
book fell from heaven, and Ephiphanes states that Elkesai himself received the revelations
through divine wisdom and a prophecy, whereas in Hippolytus testimony he only serves
as an intermediary, see Klijn, Reinink, Patristic Evidence, p. 55, esp. n. 3.
concept of the macrocosmic body 205

Even at first glance, one easily recognizes the parallels with the Shiur
Qomah: the visionary setting; the revelation of divine secrets; the men-
tioning of the overall height in length and width; the anthropomorphic
appearance of the divine beings and the detailed measurement in scho-
inoi.21 Taking all the parallels with the Shiur Qomah into account, one
cannot escape the impression that speculation on the gigantism of divine
beings must have been a tendency in the first centuries ce in the Graeco-
Roman world, and the Elkesaite vision is an important step forwards in
our search for traces that may hint at a development in Late Antiquity
leading to the Shiur Qomah, especially given the Jewish roots of the
Elkesaite movement. But however tempting it may be to jump to conclu-
sions, a critical comment needs to be made with regard to the differences
between the Elkesaite vision and the Shiur Qomah. One cannot overlook
the description of the angels instead of God Himself, the relatively small
height in comparison to the endless parasangs, and the lack of secret
names.
We do find secret names, or rather letters, attributed to a divine body
in a contemporary heretical doctrine which first Gaster and subsequently
Scholem regarded as an important parallel with the Shiur Qomah and
proof of the latters high antiquity: the anatomical description of Aletheia,
i.e., the divine hypostasis of truth, in the teachings of the 2nd century
gnostic Markus.22 Jackson did not include this parallel in his study because
the idea of gigantism is wholly lacking. It is nonetheless worth taking a
closer look at Markus Body of Truth as it is attested
in the work of the early Church father Irenaeus. It is beyond the scope
of this survey to explain the system of Markus, but in the passage that

21The Greek schoinos equals here the Persian parasang, both are approx. 4 miles.
Jackson discusses the parallels at greater length in his Origins and Development of Shiur
Qomah, pp. 39394; cf. Cohen, The Shiur Qomah, pp. 3839 n. 64; P.W. van der Horst, The
Measurement of the Body. A Chapter in the History of Ancient Jewish Mysticism, in idem,
Essays on the Jewish World of Early Christianity (NTOA, 14; Gttingen: Vandenhoeck &
Ruprecht, 1990), pp. 12335, esp. 124; Stroumsa, Form(s) of God, pp. 27879; an overall
comparison between the Book of Elkesai and Merkabah mysticism / Hekhalot literature is
provided by J.M. Baumgarten, The Book of Elkesai and Merkabah Mysticism, JSJ 17 (1986),
pp. 21223 (on the Elkesaite vision and the Shiur Qomah, see pp. 22021).
22M. Gaster, Das Schiur Komah, in idem, Studies and Texts (London: Maggs Bros,
19251928), vol. 2, pp. 133053, esp. 134346. Scholem, Von der mystischen Gestalt, pp. 1720;
cf. idem, Major Trends, p. 65; idem, Jewish Gnosticism, pp. 3738, 41; idem, Shiur Komah,
in EncJud, vol. 18, p. 491. Stroumsa shares the opinion of Gaster and Scholem, and even
speaks of the most striking parallel to the Shiur Qomah fragments in his article Form(s)
of God, p. 280.
206 appendix

interests us most the body parts of the female Aletheia are enumerated
and named:23

, ,
.
, , ,
, , , , ,
, , , .
And I wish to show you Aletheia herself; for I have brought her down from
the dwellings above, that you may see her naked, and understand her beauty,
but that you may also hear her speaking, and admire her knowledge. Behold,
then, her head on high, a and w; her neck, b and y; her shoulders with her
hands, g and c; her breast, d and f; her diaphragm, e and u; her belly, z and
t; her genitals, h and s; her thighs, q and r; her knees, i and p; her calves, k
and o; her ankles, l and x; her feet, m and n.
Far more body parts are mentioned here than in the description of the
angel in Elkesaites vision.24 The fact that Aletheia is portrayed from
head to feet does not detract from the parallel because, as noted above,
the godhead is sometimes also described this way in the Shiur Qomah.
Moreover, the attribution of Greek letters in a mystical Atbash-like man-
ner is reminiscent of the secret names in the Shiur Qomah, that seem to
be either theophoric or non-theophoric, but nonetheless just as enigmat-
ic.25 It is tempting to follow in Gasters footsteps and assume a strong link
between the Shiur Qomah and Markus gnostic system with far-reaching
implications for dating and provenance. However, caution is also in order
here, as Cohen has already pointed out.26 For instance, nowhere is it said
that the body is of a gigantic dimension, let alone detailed measurements
are given.27 We are merely dealing with an anthropomorphic body of a

23Irenaeus, Adversus haereses 1.14.3; as per Irne de Lyon, Contre les Hrsies. Livre I
(ed. A. Rousseau and L. Doutreleau; SC, 263; Paris: E ditions du Cerf, 1979), vol. 2, pp. 21516
(Latin text: pp. 21416).
24Even Aletheias genitals are mentioned in contrast to the Shiur Qomah, where,
understandably, veiled language is employed to describe the deitys private parts. An
example of a euphemism can be found in Sefer Haqqomah: "
The name of the loins of His loins is Asasnigiyahu; Cohen, Texts and Recensions, 1985,
pp. 13940 (line 63). Cf. Cohen, The Shiur Qomah, p. 207 n. 29.
25However, the Atbash cipher is not employed in the Shiur Qomah. For more on the
mysterious names that are given to the divine limbs, see Cohen, The Shiur Qomah, pp.
99104.
26Cohen, The Shiur Qomah, pp. 2425.
27Stroumsa, who does adduce proof of Aletheias macrocosmic body, does not
convince me in this respect. According to him, the element of gigantism is implicit in
concept of the macrocosmic body 207

hypostasis, which is neither the godhead itself nor an angel. Furthermore,


as said before, the specific Atbash cipher is not employed in the Shiur
Qomah. Aletheias body is even composed of the Greek alphabet letters,28
which adds to her intangibility. In the Shiur Qomah, on the other hand,
mysterious names are only attributed to the body parts, which seem to
be actual body parts similar to human ones. In addition, I would like to
draw attention to an aspect that has been overlooked until now by the
authors who studied the parallels between the Shiur Qomah and other
texts: the dynamic portrayal of the macrocosmic divine bodies described.
If we return to the description of Aletheia, we subsequently learn from
Irenaeus that she opens her mouth and utters the name of Jesus Christ.
After the revelation of his name, Aletheia immediately falls silent again.29
In the Elkesaite vision, it is the giant male angel himself, later identified
as the Son of God, who reveals the divine knowledge. In the dream of the
Egyptian king Merneptah, the huge god Ptah appears and urges him not
to worry. These are but a few examples taken from the texts mentioned
earlier which serve to illustrate the dynamic aspect of the macrocosmic
divine being, which is absent from the Shiur Qomah. Instead, and I am
now embroidering on an observation made by Moshe Idel, we are offered
a glimpse of the enormous, static Divinity, the knowledge and repeti-
tion of whose precise dimensions constitute a salvic gnosis.30 Not a word
is heard from his lips nor a move made by him is seen. The godhead is

Irenaeus description of the Body of Truth because the body is composed of the opposite
Greek letters, of which each letter is spelled by other letters, thus creating an endless
process; Stroumsa, Form(s) of God, p. 280. Stroumsas line of reasoning is farfetched for
several reasons. Firstly, the explanation of how each letter generates the other precedes
the description of the Body of Truth and is not directly linked to the latter (Irenaeus,
Adversus haereses, 1.14.2). Secondly, in this different context the idea of the immensity
of the letters should not be interpreted literally as if referring to the gigantic size of the
aeons, but rather as a means to convey the greatness and incomprehensibility of names,
which reflect Gods nature.
28Irenaeus, Adversus haereses 1.14.9.
29Ibid., 1.14.4.
30M. Idel, Kabbalah: New Perspectives (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1988), p. 158.
Idel distinguishes between a static and a dynamic view of God; the first being found in
the Shiur Qomah and the latter in talmudic-midrashic literature. The term dynamic does
not denote the actions of God, for instance, his speaking or moving; rather it describes
the processes in the divine Dynamis [= Gevurah = God] which are influenced by human
actions. Evil acts have a direct and negative effect on the amount of divine energy, and
vice versa. This idea of change within the divinity is wholly absent in the static view,
which does not describe God in terms of power, but rather in terms of his unchanging and
precisely measured greatness.
208 appendix

sitting motionless and majestically on his throne in the highest heavens,


surrounded by the celestial court.
The idea of the dynamic macrocosmic divine being recurs in a text with
which I want to conclude this survey: the Gospel of Peter. It was probably
composed in 2nd century gnostic circles in Syria.31 The passage that is
of importance gives a unique account of Jesus resurrection. According
to the gospel, the Roman soldiers and Jewish authorities witnessed two
men, presumably angels, descending from heaven and entering the sepul-
chre in which Jesus body was laid. The two angels come out of the tomb,
sustaining a third man, the risen Jesus, with a cross following them. The
gospel continues saying:32
,
.
And the head of the two reaching up to the heaven, but that of the one who
was led by the hand by them exceeding the heavens.
This description of huge angelic beings, who accompany the even larger
resurrected Jesus, takes us back to the Targumic Toseftot to Ezek. 1:1, in
which the heads of the creatures are as high as from the earth to the
height of the heavens.

5.Conclusion

The texts presented demonstrate that there was a tendency in the Graeco-
Roman world to attribute an anthropomorphic body of huge size to celes-
tial beings. This tendency may have been part of an age-long development
in the ancient Near East, which roots might even be traced back to the
royal Mesopotamian tradition of divine parentage as well as the Egyptian
Knigsnovellen and magic texts, although the paucity of ancient material
prevents us from drawing any firm conclusions concerning their origin and
provenance. Even the closest non-Jewish parallels to the Shiur Qomah,
the Elkasaite vision and the Markosian concept of Aletheia, do not serve
as sufficient proof to attribute a higher antiquity to this Jewish mystical

31W. Schneemelcher (ed.), New Testament Apocrypha. Vol. 1, Gospels and related writ-
ings (transl. R.McL. Wilson; London: Lutterworth, 1963), p. 180.
32As per Th.J. Kraus and T. Nicklas, Das Petrusevangelium und die Petrusapokalypse
(NTAp, 1/ GCSNF, 11; Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2004), p. 42 (verse 40). The Greek text is
based on the so-called Akhmm-codex, discovered in the winter of 18861887, which prob-
ably goes back to the 6th7th century (p. 29).
concept of the macrocosmic body 209

tradition than the Amoraic period. None of the discussed parallels por-
trays the angel, hypostasis, or deity in such an extremely anthropomor-
phic manner with gigantic astronomical dimensions. The Shiur Qomah
exceeds all the other texts as regards the degree of anthropomorphism,
the numerical measurement, and mystical names, and this really makes
it unique of its kind.
The same conclusion can be reached when we return to the Jewish
tradition: only the description of the Primordial Adam, as found in rab-
binic literature, provides solid evidence of the existence of the concept
of the macrocosmic body. The Patristic testimonies of both Origen and
Basil could be taken as explicit proof that this concept extended to the
Godhead itself in the 3rd and 4th centuries ce, but we only have rabbinic
passages at our disposal that describe God in an anthropomorphic, yet not
macrocosmic manner. Rabbinic literature has so far not yielded any sup-
port for this dual testimony. Moreover, we should bear in mind that we
receive this information at second hand from Church Fathers who took a
polemical stand against the Jewish image of God and whose writings may
therefore not have been truly faithful reflections. Speculation about the
existence of a tradition similar to the Shiur Qomah in the first centuries
ce thus remains without a Jewish foundation.
Admittedly, the Shiur Qomah did not appear out of the blue, and it
could well have had its origin in the tradition of the macrocosmic divine
body that was so widespread and persistent in Graeco-Roman times, but,
still, its nature is so bizarre and incomparable that caution is in order
when seeking to pinpoint its literary ancestry.
Appendix F

The Order of the Underworlds in Rabbinic Literature1

b.Erub. 19a Sheol Abaddon Beer Shaat Bor shaon i ha-Yawen Tzalmawet Eretz ha-tatit
(Jon. 2:3) (Ps. 88:12) (Ps. 16:10) (Ps. 40:3) (Ps. 40:3) (Ps. 107:10)
TosTg. Ezek.1:1 Gehinnom Shaare Tzalmawet Shaare Mawet i ha-Yawen Beer Sheol Abaddon Olam
(L260A)2 Shaat
TosTg. Ezek. 1:1 Sheol Gehinnom Beer Shaat i ha-Yawen Dumah Sheol tatit Abaddon Olam
(Gaster 1478)
SRdB Vatican 288 Gehinnom Shaare Mawet Shaare Tzalmawet Beer Shaat i ha-Yawen Sheol/ Abaddon / Sheol
Abaddon
SRdB Oxford Sheol tatit Abaddon Beer Shaat i ha-Yawen Shaare Mawet Shaare Gehinnom
1531 Tzalmawet
SRdB Munich 22 Sheol tatit Abaddon Mashit i ha-Yawen Shaare Mawet Tzalmawet Gehinnom

Midrash Konen Sheol Abaddon Beer Shaat i ha-Yawen Dumah Beer shaat
(ed. Jellinek, = Eretz tatit
BHM, 1:30)
Sheol (Tatit) Abaddon Beer Shaat i ha-Yawen Shaare Mawet Shaare Shaare
Tzalmawet Tzalmawet

1I am greatly indebted to Peter Schfer, whose chart I have adapted with slight alterations. Since Schfer did not include all the TosTgs. Ezek.
1:1 that contain a list of the lower levels, I have inserted them as well. For the original chart and the editions used by Schfer, I refer the reader to
P. Schfer, In Heaven as It Is in Hell: The Cosmology of Seder Rabbah di-Bereshit, in R.S. Boustan and A. Yoshiko Reed (eds.), Heavenly Realms and
Earthly Realities in Late Antique Religions (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004), p. 247; cf. p. 268.
2L265A and Feldman 143: Gehinnom, Shaare Tzalmawet, Shaare Mawet, i ha-Yawen, Beer Shaat, Abaddon, and Sheol. Genizah 430 and
Halper 64: Sheol, Gehinnom, Beer Shaat, Dumah, Arqa, i ha-Yawen, and Abaddon Olam. Bar Ilan 737: Sheol, Beer, Shaat, Dumah, Arqa, i
ha-Yawen, and Abaddon Olam Tata.
Appendix G

Aggadah on the Premature Exodus of Tribe of Ephraim in Rabbinic Literature

name leader reason exodus number cattle- battlefield dry bones name king drinks one man lent
of men theft vision valley from vessels on interest

TgPsJ Exodus 13:17 calculation error 200,000 X Gath X Dura


TgCG Exod. 13:17 calculation error 200,000 X Dura X X
FragTgP Exod. 13:17 calculation error 200,000 X Dura X X
TosTg Ezek. 37:114 calculation error 30,000 X Dura X X
(Salonika)
TosTg Ezek. 37:1 Jair haughtiness 200,000 Gath X
(Mazor Vitry)
TgPs. 78:9 haughtiness
calculation error
TgShir. 2:7 calculation error Gath
Tg1Chron. 7:21 calculation error 200,000 X Gath
b.Sanh. 92b calculation error Gath Dura X
Mek. Beshalla haughtiness 200,000 Gath/Philistia
Table (cont.)
214

name leader reason exodus number cattle- battlefield dry bones name king drinks one man lent
of men theft vision valley from vessels on interest

Pes. K. 11:10 calculation error 180,000 n.s.,1 but slain


(80 years!) by Egyptians
Exod. R. 20:11 calculation error 300,000 Gath
Cant. R. 2:7 haughtiness
calculation error
PRE 48 Jagnun/ haughtiness 200,000 n.s., but slain
Ganun/Nun by Egyptians
Sefer ha-Yashar 75 haughtiness 30,000 X Gath
calculation error
Yal. Shim. Nun haughtiness n.s., but slain X X
appendix g

1 Chron. 7:21f. calculation error by Egyptians


Meor ha-Afela Ganun calculation error 30,000 X Gath
(edn. Y. Kafah, p. 211)

1n.s. = not specified.


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Index of Sources

Biblical passages

Genesis Judges
1:13 30 7:19 20
23 129 16:23 24
2:4 129
3:22 129 1 Samuel
5:1 129 5:17 24
5:17 164 11:11 20
6:8 40
10:812 29 2 Samuel
10:10 29 5:11 136
11 29 24:16 60
13:10 135
46:4 128 1 Kings
5:15ff. 136
Exodus
4:25 121 2 Kings
7:15 141 4:12 160
12:40 20 18:27 121
13:17ff. 149, 153154, 162, 165 19:2 119
14:24 20 19:35 15, 6061
18 122 20:1 119
19 66, 122, 127 22 21
19:20 66 22:811 21
19:21 66 24:13 158
20:19 66
22:24 160 Isaiah
25:20 123 6 122
31:18 40 6:1ff. 119
32:8 121 6:2 46, 120
33:23 40 7:20 121
14:13 2627, 83
Leviticus 14:1314 26
25:3537 160 14:1415 2728
14:14 11, 28, 83
Numbers 14:15 14, 28, 59, 9899
10:35 128 29:1823 129
36:12 121
Deuteronomy 37:2 119
4:32 197 37:36 15, 61
11:21 3132 38:1 119
23:2021 160 43:4 126
28:36 23 49:3 126
32:710 128 51:3 135
32:9 127 51:816 129
66:1 44
62:6 62
226 index of sources

Jeremiah 28:13 129, 131, 135, 137140


13:22 12 28:1325 129
23:19 15, 60 31:89 134135
25:12 159 32:25 98
29:10 159 32:2930 98
34 50
34:9 112
Ezekiel 36 149
1 1, 7, 30, 50, 66, 107, 122, 37 143144, 149, 155, 157,
127, 182 165, 182
1:1 22, 6465 37:1ff. 149, 154
1:3 111 37:11 146
1:45 64 37:12 147
1:6 46 37:13 147
1:7 49, 51, 53 37:14 147
1:8 113, 122 37:1528 1
1:11 121122 40:1ff. 1
1:12 119
1:1521 89 Hosea
1:18 113 13 50
1:22 5255
1:24 45 Jonah
1:26 55, 125, 128 2:3 211
3:1213 45
4:13 1 Micah
4:48 1 7:4 134
4:917 1
5:117 1 Zechariah
8:3 1 1:12 159
8:14 118
8:16 118 Psalms
10 1 8:4 40
10:1 52, 55 16:10 211
10:2 116 34:10 27
10:3 116 40:3 14, 211
10:69 116 68:5 193
10:8 115 78:9 153154
10:917 89 88:12 211
10:15 65 107:10 211
10:19 118 139:5 197
10:20 65 139:16 197
11:24 1
12:116 1 Job
12:1720 1 38:7 138
16 1
16:25 121 Proverbs
18:13 161 6:6 63
21:11ff. 1
21:2329 1 Ruth
23 1 3:4 121
23:33 135
24:1524 1 Lamentations
26:20 98 2:19 20
28 129, 135136
index of sources 227

Daniel 10:21 56
1:2 158 12:1 56
3:1 151 12:3 83
3:5 171, 181
3:6 171 Ezra
3:10 171 1:711 158
3:15 171, 181 5:14 158
4:2833 28 6:5 158
4:30 171
5 158 Nehemiah
5:16 159 5:111 160
5:2 158
5:3 146, 158 1 Chronicles
5:5 171 1:10 29
5:6 146, 159160 7:20f. 153154
5:9 146 10:10 24
7 2627, 50
7:4 50 2 Chronicles
7:6 50 2:2ff. 136
7:7 51 3:13 123
7:8 172 14:1 136
7:9 40 26:22 119
7:18 26, 27 32:20 119
7:2021 51 32:32 119
7:22 2627, 172 34 21
7:25 2627, 172 34:1419 21
7:27 2627, 172 36:7 158
9:2 159 36:10 158

Ancient Versions

Peshitta

Genesis Judges
30:3 12 7:5 12
Deuteronomy Ezekiel
28:35 12 10:13 89

Targumim
Fragmentary Targums of the Pentateuch,
Ms. Paris, Bibliothque nationale 110

Genesis Exodus
28:12 126 13:17 146, 151, 153, 156, 158,
35:9 171 161162, 164165, 213
38:25 171
228 index of sources

Fragmentary Targums of the Pentateuch,


Ms. Vat. Ebr. 440

Genesis Deuteronomy
28:12 126 32:18 140

Targum Cairo Geniza

Genesis Exodus
15:1 169 13:17 146, 151, 156, 158,
29:31 10 161162, 164165, 213

Targum 1 Chronicles

7:21 152153, 155, 213


21:15 126

Targum 2 Chronicles

33:13 115116
34 21
34:1419 187

Targum Esther Sheni

1:2 12
6:10 159160
6:13 175

Targum Job

26:9 57
36:19 172

Targum Jonathan

Joshua 2 Samuel
2:6 175 2:22 170
5:26:1 144 7:23 54
15:19 171
22:31 42 1 Kings
8:27 170
Judges 8:29 42
1:15 171 8:42 42
12:6 179 18:46 42
13:6 54
16:11 134 2 Kings
16:16 179 11:12 170
16:2324 25 13:21 170
17:36 42
1 Samuel 18:27 121
2:9 121 19:35 170
5:7 42 22 21
5:11 124 22:811 187
8:16 134
17:8 25
index of sources 229

Isaiah 1:26 55, 125


1:15 42 1:27 42
5:25 42 3:13 4950
5:30 171 3:14 143
6:1ff. 120 3:22 143
6:113 122 4:12 171
6:2 121123 5:17 50
7:20 121 7:22 42
9:11 42 8:1 64, 143
11:11 42 8:2 42
11:15 42 10:1 55
14:13 26 10:8 115
14: 1314 26 10:9 55
21:1 54 10:13 89
24:8 134 10:15 49
29:1823 129 10:17 49
30:32 134 10:20 49
31:3 42 10:22 49
36:12 121 11:2 164
43:4 42 14:1 64
51:3 67, 107, 135 14:15 50
51:816 129 14:21 50
54:8 42 15:3 134
54:11 55 15:35 134
66:1 42, 44 16:25 121
18:13 161
Jeremiah 20:1 64
1:9 42 20:33 42
7:30 42 23:33 135
17:22 134 28:2 25, 130
17:24 134 28:6 25
20:7 62 28:9 25
21:10 42 28:13 129, 131, 133, 135136,
26:19 10 140, 142, 170, 181
28:1325 129
Ezekiel 29:5 50
1 125 31:89 135
1:1 64, 7475, 78, 106, 119 31:13 50
1:112 118, 124 32:4 50
1:2 106 33:22 143
1:3 65, 111, 143 33:27 50
1:5 49, 143 34:25 50
1:6 122 37 156
1:7 122 37:1 143, 148, 156
1:8 60, 113114, 116 37:114 144145, 163, 166
1:9 119 37:3 163
1:11 121122 37:7 163
1:12 119 37:8 163
1:1315 49 37:11 161
1:16 55 37:1213 163
1:1922 49 38:20 50
1:22 54 39:4 50
1:23 119 39:17 50
1:24 143 40:1 143
230 index of sources

42:1 118 Micah


43:7 42 7:4 134
44:1 118
44:11 118 Habakkuk
47:1 118 1:7 54

Joel Zephaniah
2:11 54 2:11 54
3:4 54
Zechariah
Jonah 3:3 54, 175
1:8 134
Malachi
1:14 54
3:23 54

Targum Lamentations

1:6 172

Targum Neofiti I

Genesis
5:17 164 24:10 4142
13:10 135 33:22 41
28:12 126
29:31 10 Deuteronomy
38:25 171 11:12 41
28:36 191
Exodus 32:18 140
15:17 41 32:41 41
33:9 41

Targum Onqelos

Genesis Leviticus
5:17 164 26:44 67, 107
13:10 135
Deuteronomy
Exodus 3:24 41
13:17 164 5:15 41
15:6 41 9:10 41
15:8 41 10:21 54
15:12 41 11:12 41
15:17 41 22:5 23
24:10 41 26:8 41
31:18 41 28:36 10, 23, 28, 7475, 80, 191
33:22 41 32:41 41

Targum Psalms

11:4 43 66:7 172


16:3 172 71:18 172
22:31 172 78:9 153, 155, 213
33:18 43 80:3 172
54:3 172 119:73 43
65:7 172
index of sources 231

Targum Pseudo-Jonathan

Genesis
5:17 164 8:15 172
13:10 135 13:17 151153, 156, 162, 165,
28:12 126 213
38:25 171 24:10 42
44:13 172
50:13 175 Deuteronomy
28:36 191
Exodus 32:18 140
2:17 172

Targum Qohelet

9:16 172

Targum Ruth

3:15 172

Targum Shir ha-Shirim

1:9 172 7:10 151


2:7 152, 155, 213 8:5 151

Tosefta-Targum

Judges 108, 116, 122, 142,


5:5 68, 108 168171, 173177, 180,
5:26 23 182183, 187, 191, 193,
195196, 208, 211
1 Samuel 1:3 110111, 168, 181, 183
17:8 25 1:8 113115, 168, 174, 181,
183
2 Samuel 1:12 50, 119, 168, 171, 178,
21:15ff. 8 181183
21:1619 9, 24 1:26 125126, 168, 181
9:10 132
2 Kings 16:26 132
19:35 6162 16:39 132
28:13 4, 131133, 136, 138140,
Isaiah 142, 168, 170171, 173,
10:3234 61 177, 180, 182183
47:15 9 37 4, 124, 143, 168, 177,
180
Ezekiel 37:1 96, 152, 156, 162164,
1 4, 7 168, 172173, 175177,
1:1 8, 1011, 14, 2021, 25, 181183, 213
27, 29, 3236, 43, 37:114 64, 148149, 151, 153,
4648, 51, 56, 59, 61, 156, 160161, 165, 169,
6465, 67, 6975, 176, 182, 213
44:20 132

Zechariah
2:1415 23
232 index of sources

Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha

Ascension of Isaiah 56:1 60


7:18 31 100:5 27

3 Baruch 1 Maccabees
2:5 31 10:8384 24
11:89 31
Wisdom of Jesus Ben Sirach
1 Enoch 3:2122 54
53:3 60

Qumranic Literature

IQapGen. Serek ha-Milamah (War Scroll) from


12:17 172 Qumran Cave 1
20:12 172 10:10 27
20:16 172
Songs of the Sabbath Sacrifice
13 46

Rabbinic and Other Literature

Mishnah
Megilla Abot
4:10 7 4:16 64

agiga
2:1 7, 31

Tosefta

Berakhot Sanhedrin
1:1 20, 35 13:5 60

Megilla
3:3138 7

Palestinian Talmud
Berakhot agiga
1:1 20, 31, 51 2:1 7
9:1 31, 4849, 53, 67
Nedarim
Sheqalim 42d 98
6:1 23
Sanhedrin
Taanit 10:3 116
4:8 154, 157
Shebuot
Megilla 6:5 51
4:10 7
index of sources 233

Babylonian Talmud

Berakhot Sanhedrin
3b 20 38b 40, 197
60b 140141 41a 19
92b 151153, 156, 158, 213
Shabbat 95a 62
88b89a 27 95b 61
107b 116
Erubin
19a 59, 211 Makkot
14a 15
Pesaim
94ab 11, 2728 Aboda Zara
94b 29, 31, 59 3a 6263
119a 115117 9b 19
43b 89
Yoma 53b 29
52b 23
Hullin
Rosh Ha-Shana 89a 135
24b 89 91b 58, 126

Megilla Bekorot
11b12a 159 44a 3435
25ab 7
31a 7, 149 Keritot
15a 15
Moed Qaan
25a 65 Genesis Rabba
6:6 31
agiga 8:1 1 97
12b 2931, 194 9:5 135136
12a13b 36 18:1 137
12b13a 30 21:3 197
13a 11, 2729, 3135, 4549, 24:2 197
5152, 5455, 5859, 65:21 5152, 59
63, 6667, 108, 195, 197 68:12 126
13b 60, 89, 119120, 122 78:3 126
15a 52, 56, 59 82:2 126
96:5 135
Ketubot
111a 150151 Exodus Rabba
9:8 141
Sota 18:5 62
47a 116 20:11 152, 214

Baba Qamma Leviticus Rabba


16b 112 1:14 65
6:3 51
Baba Batra 6:6 119
75a 135, 137, 139, 140141 19:4 66
75ab 136 20:2 137
99a 123
234 index of sources

27:3 120 Midrash Aggadah


29:11 193 Exodus
8:16 141
Numbers Rabba
4:1 1 26 Midrash ha-Gadol
13:18 116 Genesis
1:1 14
Deuteronomy Rabba 1:7 60
11:10 27
2:23(32) 193 Exodus
7:1 142
Canticles Rabba
2:7 153, 214 Midrash on Proverbs
6:6 63
Qohelet Rabba
8:1:2 137 Midrash on Psalms
18:1 66 4:3 35, 48, 51, 67

Alphabet of Ben Sira Mishnah de Rabbi Eliezer


28b 136 6:118 119
29a 136
37a 136 Pesiqta Rabbati
14:10 137
Derek Ere Zua 20:4 27
1:18 136 26 112
31 151
Kalla Rabbati 50 63
3:26 136
Pirqe deRabbi Eliezer
Lamentations Rabba 12 137138
2:2 126 33 151, 161
2:4 154 43 116
48 158, 214
Leqa Tob
Exodus Sefer ha-Yashar
8:16 141 75 152, 214

Pesiqta deRab Kahana Sifre


4:4 137 Deuteronomy
9:3 120 175 65
11:10 214
13:12 112 Sifre Zut.
23 193 Numbers
10:29 112
Mekilta deRabbi Ishmael
Pisa 1 65 Tanuma
Ba-odesh 4 66 Terumah
9 35, 48, 51, 67
index of sources 235

Vaera Yalku Shimoni


14 141
Jeremiah
Tanuma Buber 1 112

Genesis Ezekiel
5.2 137 1:3 112
28 135136, 142
Leviticus 37 151, 161
6.3 137
1 Chronicles
Terumah 4:23 112
8 35, 48, 51, 67 7:21 156, 165, 214

Inscriptions

Zoar
1:4 10